‘I didn’t expect it go that way’ is different from ‘I don’t where this is going’. We can have plans, questions, ideas, and expectations, but reality takes us a completely different way. This is the joy of meetings, of convening gatherings of humans. Our plans tend to be a starting point and then we interact. And it’s in the interaction with others that the magic happens, it just might be what you expect.
The other option is to show up with no plan, no ideas, no questions and no expectations. You won’t be disappointed as there was no expectation to begin with. However, if you are convening the meeting people will expect you to start things off. Otherwise it is likely to be a staring match.
And yet, part of the challenge of convening is in letting go. Convening is not about control, it is about gathering the others together. But it is about having a reason to convene. Without a reason, without a plan, there is no point in convening. However, rigidly sticking to your ideas no matter what others bring isn’t convening, it’s controlling or dictating.
Now, more than ever, we need conveners. People who bring others together around issues, but people, too, who let the ‘sparks fly’ between others. Conveners are like the point in a path where the path splits into multiple different directions. However, to get to the point of choosing you need to start on the path in the first place.
The choice is up to us.