When the weather gets warm, there are few nicer things than drinking margaritas in the sunshine.
These are some of my favorites in NYC:
Writing is not necessarily an activity one enjoys. Even those who are best at it, most possessed by it, often find it grueling and painful. But we are all writers. Or, more appropriately, we all should be. Not because we expect to be read. But because we all need to think, consider, and communicate, and writing is fundamental to the process.
Much to my consternation, time spent mulling and working over the thoughts in my head are not enough. To process my ideas, my feelings, opinions, and curiosities, I need to write. Concepts morph and progress as my fingers do the thinking. Words slip out faster than my mind can process them. That first draft is a raw discussion with myself that I didn’t know I was having. It is the truth, in that moment.
And then I edit. I re-read and consider my ideas and the words I chose to represent them. I clarify. I disagree. I rearrange. I dig deeper. I chip away at my arguments and answer my own questions. I stop feeling and begin analysing.
Although I write assuming no one will see the words, I try to consider the reader who is not the voice in my head. A person who does not view the world as I do, or know the things I do. I hold the reader’s hand just enough to ensure I am not just talking to myself.
Ultimately, the words are published. But never complete. For if writing is part of thinking, then I always reserve the right to change my mind.
I love conversations. I love debate. I relish an opportunity to discuss. I hate meetings.
Goodness knows, I am not alone. Meetings are usually a parade of words which would have been better shared in writing. Writing on how to make meetings more effective is a well-tread path. But what about making meetings FUN (and, ok, if we must, more productive)?
A couple experiments I want to try:
1. Turn the meeting into a game of Taboo. Every office, every team, every person, has its jargon and its repeated phrases. Create a list and make those words off-limit. Force people to explain themselves in a new, hopefully more meaningful, way. If you have a casual office, this idea can double as a drinking game.
2. Argue someone else’s position. We all walk in with pre-conceived notions and ideas we love. Fine. Share that right away. Make everyone lay their cards on the table in advance of the meeting (or at the very beginning). Then have the discussion, with the caveat that you can not push for your own idea. You must choose someone else’s position and push for that instead.
If you try either, please let me know how it goes.
Image credit: everyplace