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Don’t Have Meetings, Have Relationships


Just like you, I have a lot of meetings on my calendar. For the most part I don’t like meetings. So, I have a lot of what I don’t like on my calendar.

The other day I had a thought: What if instead of having meetings, I had relationships? I don’t particularly like meetings, but I like relationships. What if instead of writing “meeting” in my calendar I wrote “relationship”? What if instead of telling a co-worker “I’m headed out to a meeting with so-and-so”,  I said, “I’m headed out to relate with so-and-so” or “I’m headed out to enjoy relationship with so-and-so”? What if my to-do list looked like “Relate with ____” instead of “Meet with ____”?

I like these ifs.

Maybe this is just semantics. Maybe changing a noun or a verb doesn’t mean much. But, words matter. Hearing the word “meeting” can make me cringe, but hearing the word “relationship” makes me smile. God designed us to be relational beings, not meeting beings. Maybe our workplace language would benefit from having more relationships and less meetings. Maybe referring to people-interaction as a meeting instead of as “relationship,” “conversation,” “dialogue,” or “time together” causes us to treat tasks as more important than people. Maybe this cultural language builds in us a bad habit of always believing the most important thing is the thing we’re meeting about rather than the person we’re meeting with.

I don’t know. This is just an idea I’m thinking about. Give it a shot. Don’t have meetings, have relationships.

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