What Would You Change About the Meetings You Attend?

Jessica Swanson

November 17, 2022

I'm the VP of a foundation, and we read this before each meeting:

"Guiding Principles: Harmony & Right Speech 

  • Is it true?
  • If it is true, is it helpful?
  • If it is true and helpful, can the message be communicated clearly & calmly? (no judgment; no blame)
  • If it is true and helpful and can be communicated clearly & calmly, is it the right time?

Listen; don't interrupt others while they are speaking. Instead, allow time and space for all present to participate.

Practice patience. Be clear and concise as possible; pay attention to avoid repeating yourself or rambling.

Request confidentiality for any topic or information; all agree to provide a safe space for bringing up difficult or vulnerable issues.

Although we strive for consensus, we encourage all to stand in their truth and share their deepest experience. A diversity of viewpoints is acknowledged and encouraged.

It's ok to disagree.

Practice voicing disagreement from a place of "right speech." (Right speech in most Buddhist texts is presented as four abstentions: Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter.) 

Use "I" statements, not "you" statements. 

Begin and end meetings on time."

After reading this, the group is calm, quiet, and ready to begin. We then strive to proceed and end in harmony.

What would you change about the meetings you attend?

Raised in a military family, Jessica Swanson brings a literal world of experience to her clients. With more than 20 years as a business journalist, editor, and copywriter, Jessica helps organizations connect with their stakeholders through storytelling, branding, and content marketing. She's especially excited about helping people build online reputations that will carry them wherever they want to go! Learn more about Jessica's services at jessicaswanson.org or read her work on LinkedIn.