Most likely, anyone who has ever attended weekly or monthly staff meetings can recall some unpleasant experience. According to a recent Harris poll, 46 percent of those polled admit they would rather do things like take a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles, watch paint dry or even endure a root canal than sit through a boring staff meeting. Additionally, 35% of attendees consider staff meetings a waste of time.
So why do these Americans subject themselves to such agony? The answer is quite simple: because when done effectively, staff meetings are the mile markers on the road to success. Companies that consistently monitor budgets, communicate project status, identify obstacles and recognize what works well, then create future strategies for implementation all stand a much greater chance for success than those that don’t. So what happens when we apply this same concept to marriage?
Take a few moments to ask yourself the following questions:
- Would you say you and your spouse have a good understanding regarding your monthly finances and the detailed expenses needed to operate your family?
- Do you both agree on a plan for who handles family responsibilities such as going to the grocery store, doing laundry, outside chores, inside cleaning, etc.?
- Have you established and agreed on a plan for overseeing and implementing each family member’s schedule?
- Could you quickly identify what seems to work well?
- Do you work together to effectively problem solve and and make mid-course changes?
- Have you made future family plans and established strategies for success?
So, how did you do? Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.” Abundance here means experiencing the abundant life, which is founded on Christ (John 10:10) and represented by order as opposed to chaos or turmoil. Maybe it’s time for you and your spouse to not just consider having staff meetings, but actually make plans to have one soon. Here are a few tips for getting started:
- Schedule at least one hour a week or every other week for just the two of you to meet. You’ll be most successful if your scheduled appointment is the same each week. For example, it might be a Saturday morning or a weeknight after the kids are in bed.
- Place a high value on this time and keep it protected. Consider this time essential for building a stronger marriage. Therefore, choose a time in your week with little or no competing events. Should a meeting need to be changed occasionally, formulate your back up plan at the same time you decide what day will be your primary meeting date.
- Choose a location with little or no distractions. For some, that could be a quiet local restaurant or coffee house. The key word here is “quiet.” Others might consider it best to stay home. If so, it too needs to be free of distractions.
- Develop a standing agenda. For most of us that means discussing finances, weekly schedules for each family member, future events like holidays and vacations, etc...
- Agree beforehand on acceptable communication. Since what we communicate is often a reflection of our attitudes, taking time to prepare an attitude of openness and oneness will more often result in successful discussions. Communicate a willingness to help each other. Listen to ideas without criticism. Use words of appreciation and affirmation. Recognize when its time for a break or a time out.
Even though it might be rough getting started, the key is to start. Then, be willing to persevere through the difficult times. Remember, your diligence will surely lead to abundance!