May 9, 2009

Bulk view

Delegating weaknesses; experimenting with social secretaries

I really enjoy bringing people together for great conversation and sending them home with new connections, new ideas, and perhaps a reading assignment or two. What I don’t enjoy is actually organizing these get-togethers. I’m terrible at it. I mix up dates all the time, as soon as I hit a calendar, I get mildly dyslexic. Even using the great calendaring systems we have at work, I occasionally mess up dates of meetings. Not good. Embarrassing!

When it’s my job to organize an event, it drops in priority, I lose sight of it, and a monthly tea party becomes a quarterly tea party or worse. I would like to get better at this, and the fastest way that can get much better at this is to have someone else plan the event. Things I don’t like about organizing events:

  • making sure everyone (including me!) has the right location and time
  • coordinating RSVPs and following up with people
  • making sure it’s on my calendar and that Io don’t have any conflicts
  • keeping track of potluck contributions and dietary restrictions
  • making sure there’s enough food
  • reminding me a few days before the event and telling me how many people there are so I can go shopping for groceries,
  • and maybe even suggesting some recipes to try.

There’s so much here I can delegate so that I can focus on the things I love:

  • welcoming people into my home
  • providing a space for great conversation
  • providing lots of simple, yummy food
  • shaping the conversation through questions, interest, introductions, stories, etc.
  • connecting the dots between people, ideas, and tools

And I learn so much whenever I have one of these get-togethers that it’s worth learning more about how to scale up. =D

I shouldn’t let my idiosyncrasies get in the way of having great conversations. So I’m going to have an experiment — I’m going to see what it’s like to have a social secretary. =) It’ll be a learning experience for everyone, but I think it’ll be awesome!