Have you ever been in a situation where the real conversations take place in the hallway, and not in the meeting room? It’s a common problem. We jump to conclusions about motives, suspicions and inconsistencies, or we experience anger or disappointment with decisions. But our failure is this– we lack the courage or humility to bring it into the meeting.
Patrick Lencioni, in his great book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, calls this “absence of trust.” That is, I am unwilling to say my real opinion in the room, because it requires me to be vulnerable to the team.
Jesus calls us to something different.
Reading in Philippians 2 this morning, verses 14-15 caught my eye.
“Do everything without complaining or arguing…”
Yes, everything. Including meetings and organizational life.
Wuest describes complaining or grumbling as “discontented and secret mutterings” (against men, not God). Arguing or disputing meant “discussions which carry an undertone of suspicion or doubt.” Isn’t this what happens in the hallway? Murmuring about what was just decided, or casting suspicion or doubt on some course of action?
If we apply this to team life, then the team meeting is where the real conversation needs to take place, not in the hallway or any other place. If we have concerns about a topic, we address them in the meeting. Having the hallway conversation instead of the meeting conversation undermines team trust, unity and effectiveness.
Your point of view is essential to any team where you have membership. You are there for a reason! Don’t shrink back- don’t wimp out! Bring your thoughts, opinions and questions into the meeting.
Showing up requires a heart that is at rest with God and with our team-mates. Courage and humility is necessary to say what might be risky or unpopular. But for people who follow Christ, this is the standard that is held out in this passage.
To what end?
“That you may become those who are deserving of no censure, free from fault or defect, guileless in their simplicity, children of God without blemish, in the midst of a perverse and distorted generation, among whom you appear as luminaries in the world.”
That we are His people needs to be visible in every place we serve.
What helps you bring your opinions and point of view into team meetings?