Think back to your last ministry or church staff meeting where your team was collaborating and sharing ideas. Did you notice that some people’s ideas seem to be succeeding and influencing others in a positive way while others ideas where not?
For a moment, let’s view collaboration and ideas as if they were social media content.
One of my favorite blogs is Lateral Action. Contributing writer Rajesh Setty considered whether bloggers, Twitters, etc. could know if their ideas were succeeding in influencing their audiences in a positive way. His idea is that the audience would “tell them” by the manner in which they responded to the online content.
What I found interesting is this is very much like how we collaborate in our meetings.
Rajesh suggests there is 9 ways people respond to content. Spam, Skip, Scan, Stop, Save, Shift, Send, Spread, and Subscribe.
Remixing these, I found there are 9 ways we respond to ideas when we collaborate in our church or ministry team meetings.
If your content does not provide a reasonable ROII (return-on-investment for an interaction) for the reader or is self-serving or simply useless, the reader will mark it as spam. Posting something that may be assessed, as “spam” is the fastest way to losing credibility.
If your ideas, thoughts and comments do not provide any benefit to your team, or worse, seem self-serving as opposed to meeting the needs of your church you are going to lose credibility as a member. Make a contribution through collaboration that benefits the team and the church.
The reader makes an assessment that he or she won’t lose much by reading it. In this case, the reader has not written you off yet but if you consistently create content that is worth “skipping,” the reader might write you off.
The worst thing that can happen to you as team member is to have others stop listening and stop giving any consideration to your ideas, thoughts, and comments. If you consistently fail to add to the discussion in a positive way, or focus on yourself instead of the needs of the ministry or church, people are going to consider your ideas, thoughts and comments worth skipping. “Skipping” is a failure in collaboration.
The reader thinks there are only a few parts that are of relevance and wants to get right to the core of the content and skip the rest.
Cut to the chase. The most valuable resource for you as a leader is time. Don’t waste people’s time. Effectively collaborate by getting to the point, being succinct, staying on topic, driving to the core of the issue, and providing possible solutions or ideas to the issue at hand. If you want team members to stop, focus, consider your ideas, and collaborate on them, then you need to get to the core quickly.
The reader is touched by the article and stops to think about the article, it’s relevance and what it means to him or her personally and professionally.
During team meetings someone may say something that make people stop, take notice, and want to dig deeper. Great ideas, meaningful comments, powerful solutions make teams stop, think, and collaborate to create impact for the church and ministry.
The content is so good that the reader might want to re-visit this multiple times.
Smart teams will save great ideas and revisit them throughout the school year. Smart teams will save the best ideas and look for ways to use and apply them with their students.
The article is transformational. The reader is so deeply affected (in a positive way) by the article that it shifts some of their values and beliefs. In other words, this piece of writing will transform the reader and make him or her grow.
An important aspect of any team is “learning.” Smart teams are always learning from each other. Smart teams adjust or shift what they do, how they do it, or what they know when they apply what they have learned.
The content is not only useful to the reader but also to one or more people in the reader’s network. The reader simply emails the article or a link to it to people that he or she cares.
When smart teams learn something of value, they share with others to make a bigger impact for the church. Sharing knowledge, ideas, and solutions by “sending” them on to others in their networks is what smart teams do. It is at the heart of collaboration.
The reader finds the article fascinating enough to spread it to anyone and everyone via a blog, twitter or the social networks that he or she belongs.
Spreading ideas through our networks is easy because technology is viewed as a natural part of how we work. You should take the time to spread ideas through your network, be it a Twitter, email, Facebook, etc. Smart teams spread smart ideas.
This is the ultimate expression of engagement and a vote of confidence that you will continue to provide great content. When the reader wants to continue listening to your thoughts, he or she will subscribe.
Subscribing is the end result of trust and credibility. All teams are more effective when there is trust. When you prove you are trust worthy, that you have knowledge and ability, and collaborate with your team, you become credible. Team members “subscribe” to the ideas of credible team members.
Photo: Courtesy of http://lateralaction.com/articles/9-responses/