Oy! I blew NaBloPoMo yesterday. I missed a day posting.Phooey! I'll still try to post every day, NaBloPoMo or not. I've made the commitment. In case you're not familiar with NaBloPoMo it's the blogging version of NaNoWriMo which is writing 50,000 words minimum on a manuscript during the month of November. NaBloPoMo can be done monthly, however. And it's for bloggers. It's to encourage bloggers to post every single day in any given month. I'd signed up to do it in April. Oh well... On a positive note, I not only wrote for several hours, I finished the rough draft of my wip. Yeah! And I found my dress and one of my daughter's dresses for my cousin's wedding in 3 weekends. On a not so positive note, I had to get my dress in one size higher than I've been wearing. So the diet's back on and here comes the cabbage soup - not joking. I didn't realize that American Idol aired later in Australia and perhaps other places, so I didn't mean to spoil anything for any one. Why don't we get to see Australian or the English (or other) Idols over here? Or are they on some obscure channel? I'm all over the place today - I just awoke and am still fuzzy. Have you ever been in a meeting? Yes, I'm sure. Have you ever held a meeting? I'm in management training at the day job. Most of the things (so far) seem like no brainers. We had a session about conducting meetings last week. It seemed like a no-brainer again. However, Wednesday night, my daughters' softball team booster club had a meeting. Or tried to. Can you say "disaster"? This led me to an appreciation of the right way to hold a meeting. What happened is that first, no one unlocked the door to the meeting room. The parents were standing around looking at each other for the first 15 minutes asking, who was supposed to unlock it and who can we call to get a room opened? Finally, when we decided it wouldn't get unlocked we migrated to a group of 3 benches on the side of the school. The Varsity parents claimed the middle bench (that wouldn't fit everybody) and the meeting leaders stood in front of the middle bench the entire time so that the rest of us could only hear snatches of the conversation. This went on for over an hour where I and the mom next to me could hardly hear anything. I wasn't feeling well so I wasn't up to standing behind their bench for over an hour so I didn't. I also felt like they should have turned to us at least a few times to include us more since they'd asked us to be there, too. What I could hear, it sounded as if they already had a lot of the items under control and were just giving us updates. What a waste of time! Not to mention very annoying. If I ever hold a meeting, I'm going to do it the way Sydney taught us last week. (Sydney's my day job boss). I forget the name of it (I think the Lotus Blossom Approach), but it only takes 30 minutes, everybody gets to have input, everybody gets a vote, and it gets results. First, you either need a chalkboard or a large notepad, easel, and magic marker. Go around the room and ask everybody for their #1 problem. Write down that one idea from everybody. (Or if you already know the problem and are going for the solution already - write down one solution from everybody). Ask one more time at the end if anybody was missed that has an idea to add. Write those down. Now, you give everybody 4 stickers (or they can get 4 check marks with the magic marker if no stickers). Each and every person in the group, comes up one at a time and puts a sticker (or check mark) on the 4 ideas they like best (their own can be one of the 4 but doesn't have to be). After everybody has voted, the votes are tallied. The top 3 vote getters are kept for this meeting. Now, the same can be done for each of the top 3 vote getters. This is a proven method of holding an effective meeting in 30 minutes in which every participant has an equal say.