Early this morning, a few Chairs (of Vistage groups) gathered for cross-training. We call it “Chairs On Zoom Getting Coffee.”
During today’s Zoom videoconference, this sudden awareness.
There are four sounds during a peer group meeting:
- The voice of one of the peer group members
- The voice of the Chair
- Silence, the absence of sound, the sound within, one’s own breath and heartbeat
- Others’ natural human bodily noises, squeaking of chairs, noises from outside the room, and the whir of HVAC
The Relative Value Of Each Sound
Here is a ranking of the four sounds, from highest value to lowest. Tied for first are these two sounds:
1. The voice of a member. That’s what everyone has come to the meeting to hear. That is what we want to encourage. (In the rare cases of someone talking too much, the best remedy is the interrupting voice of another member.)
1. Silence. What has happened that we consider silence to be non-work and talking to be work and collaboration? This is a cultural confusion. Silence must be encouraged — so that we can breathe and process what is happening — and where to go. We must not be all talk and no action. Silence is action.
Tied for last place are these two sounds:
3. The voice of the Chair. How often does the lifeguard blow the whistle?
3. Natural human bodily noises, squeaking of chairs, noises from outside the room, and the whir of HVAC. (These might be ranked higher than the voice of the Chair, because they return us to the present.)
When you lead a meeting, what percentage of the time is spent on each of the Four Sounds?