‘It’s not so much the meetings in my life, it’s the life in my meetings that matters.’
Meeting together has been core to our experience since the beginning of human history. Meeting Together is an engaging, readily digestible, sometimes funny and always insightful book of 84 pages.
It contains the wisdom, tips and ideas which George Gawlinksi and the late Lois Graessle gathered over many years of practice, including from their work at the British Red Cross which is where we three first met. Through our dialogue, then and subsequently, my voice also speaks through its pages.
The three of us published the book in 2008. Its message is now even more essential than it was then.
The book’s 84 pages, amusingly and insightfully illustrated by Steve Appleby and delightfully designed by Marianne Hartley, will tell you a lot of what you need to know - the rest will come from your own knowledge of the meetings in your life.
This is a book of inspiration not of instruction. Take in its wisdom and apply it to the meetings in your life, and you will discover a new life begins to grow. By really meeting together, you can transform a meeting and change a world.
You are preparing for a meeting, next week, next month, next year. It’s going OK but you’re not sure if you’ve thought of everything. You feel a bit uneasy.
The 5Ps+1 meetings planning tool is a way of checking you’ve got everything covered for your next meeting. It’s not a definitive tick list (how could it be, only you know the intricacies of your meeting) but is a prompt for you to notice what is to be done - before during and after the magic moment of the meeting.
The +1 is you, the presence you bring. ‘The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.’ 1 So it’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it - your being as well as your doing. Look at the image and notice how the 5Ps (doing) are connected to the +1 (being) by the connection of the hand to the heart and the whole body.
Want a nice hard A6 hard copy? Send Martin a stamped addressed envelope - to the address here.
1 Quoted by Otto Scharmer in his book ‘Theory U Leading from the Emerging Future’ and u.lab, Presencing Institute, MIT, Massachusetts, USA
Steven Appleby gave this drawing to me when Meeting Together was published. I got my first motorbike on 3rd September 1966 and have had at least one ever since.
Like meetings and one to one coaching, bikes can get you there fast. You can make rapid progress. They can be thrilling and bring a smile. Or two.
They can also be dangerous and things can, and sooner or later will, go wrong. You may run into something, break down or fall off. So you need to learn to ride with care and skill. Learn to look and listen and keep practicing.
So I see riding a motorbike and meeting together, as having more in common than may at first meet the eye.