I just finished two key meetings. The “audience” was a group that has supervisory responsibility for making sure that the financial trust given to us as a bank is being handled properly. We want to expand the type of business and are looking for their implicit agreement and approval for our plan.
The meetings should have been simple and straight forward. We provided background presentations with a single page noting what actions we were asking them to take. Unfortunately our message and messenger were not as clear as we intended! The arrangements for two meetings occurred without everyone being clear on why the particular meeting was scheduled and what the particular agenda would be. The opening statement by one of the guests clearly laid out the problem for all participants.
“We are not really sure why we are here.”
Our response on added to the confusion, “Neither are we.”
We muddled our way through the first meeting. We ended up taking almost four hours to cover what should have been a sixty-minute maximum topic. The saving event was that catering had for reasons unknown provided the best desserts made in the city for consumption so our guests lovingly indulged and leisurely asked questions. When desserts and energy were gone the meeting was over. I couldn’t help thinking about the proverb.
“You’re only asking for trouble when you send a message by a fool.” (Proverbs 26.6)
Our second meeting was as opposite as one could imagine, the only constant was the participants and the dessert. Same bakery, different selection; even more awesome than the first! This time however the participants knew why they were there and the conversation moved along swiftly on the key points. What should have taken an hour took forty-five minutes! Actually we would have been done sooner only it took that long for our guests to savor and linger over their choices of the day.
God has trusted each of us with conveying mercy and acceptance to those around us. Regardless of behavior, God knows we are not fools. Question is, do we?