The timing was not good. My email box said it was 3 minutes before the hour. The presentation was going to start in on the hour. Somehow, someway, I was supposed to provide my input regarding a forty-page document so that everyone could say I had participated and supported the key message points.
I really wanted to say yes. It was in everyone’s interests that we were aligned. Working together was the only way this would happen.
I glanced at the first few pages to see if there was any possibility of putting my stamp on the document without comment. Pages 1 and 2 gave me hope. Pages 3+ told me that this was not going to be possible.
There are steps to go through if one wants to win.
I like destinations. I want to get to the objective as quickly as possible. Winning is fun!
When I read the details in story, how “the cavalry entered Caesarea and handed Paul and the letter over to the governor,” (Acts 23.33), I am reminded that as urgent as the destination is, it is the process that really matters.
If you want to work together, then the following things are required.
A conversation before things begin. Decisions require dialogue if there is more than one involved. If you need me, then I need to be talking with you.
Joint efforts demand a willingness to hear the other in arrive at something more than just he one. Conversations without hearing are monologues. Monologues are voice in mono. Collaboration is always stereo plus.
Doing things with others includes the gift of time. Virtually or physically, working together includes the gift of time from one to another and vice versa.
As I read the email, I realized that we did not have a conversation, people were not listening, and we had not spent time. There was no foundation. I did not think we were going to build the base in 3 minutes.
This time, an opportunity was squandered. Today brings new opportunities. It also represents a chance for change.