We led a meeting on Friday in the most ridiculous venue ever. It was a hipster bowling alley/sportsbar, complete with too loud music, crashing of pins, horrible acoustics, and non-functional projector, wifi, etc.
The participants were at tall bar tables, so I had to stand on a box. A milk crate, that kept slipping around.
I’ve never had to make change for a foosball game at lunch during one of our sessions before.
It’s been a tough few weeks, work-wise. Too many different projects, feeling a little burnt out, a couple of events where the purpose was fuzzy and people were left feeling unsettled or unsatisfied. One where the clients were downright hostile, one participant actually “threatening” to hit Danny if he continued to use the word “choiceful.” Sort of joking, but sort of not.
Doing our work well requires a lot of planning and a certain amount of alchemy, and even with all or our experience, we’re not always able to pull it out. The bowling alley meeting went well in the end, because we made analogies between the challenges of their work and the moment we were in. Sometimes we can fix retroactively, producing a summary that shows the clients that they actually had more alignment or progress than they were seeing. And sometimes, we’re just too busy to really notice or flag that there’s a signal that something isn’t as clear as it could be going in, and we should do something before we head in. It’s tough, and tiring, and there are no easy answers.
I went home friday and slept for two hours.