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Catalyst In The Halls

I decided to skip notes on this last session. I'm not going to tell you where I am or why I'm not taking notes :)

Instead I bring you "Etiquette of the Halls"

The buzz of a conference like Catalyst happens as much or more in the halls as it does in the sessions. I can't tell you how many discussions I've already had in the hall here at "Catalyst Labs". I'm speaking of beneficial networking talks. Everyone wants them, few have them. In a conference like Catalyst you can walk away with wisdom or a bad reputation. Your etiquette (or lack thereof) determines that.

I'm blessed to have known and to have met some extremely humble top-tier Christian leaders. As I've spoken to people in the halls today I'm reminded that there really is a generation of leaders who 'get it' and aren't into themselves as much as they are into God.

If you're out there and you want to build relationships I encourage you to read and live Philippians 2.

With Philippians 2 in mind. Here are a few key thoughts on hall etiquette:

1. Treat others as better than yourself.
Don't miss an opportunity to learn about the people whom you want to learn from. Go back and read that. Don't miss an opportunity to learn ABOUT the people whom you want to learn FROM. It's a sign of respect.

2. Make the agenda their agenda.
When you meet them don't jump in their face with your agenda. Show them that you appreciate them as a leader. If they are someone you appreciate give them an opportunity to guide the discussion by simply asking something like "I read your book and this particular question came to mind... would you mind expounding on that."

3. Honor the Teacher
Honor national leaders by taking time to read whatever they've put out and if they share thoughts on the web, take the time to read them. These men and women usually love to invest but when a person comes and asks a question thats on page 3 of their book it can be frustrating. They spent nearly a year writing thoughts down and you want the answer for free. They may oblige but it 's not respectful to their effort. Take time to read the leader's work or just keep your discussion to an appreciation of their contribution to the Kingdom. Then go get their book :)

4. Don't Interrupt
I enjoy hip-hop. Emenim has a song where he speaks to his fans who rudely interrupt him in the strangest of places (restrooms) and at times when he's with his family. My observation has been that younger guys can come off as obnoxious by being disrespectful. The last thing a person wants to do is try to answer your question with food in their mouth. There are certain places and times when you can come off as a thorn of the flesh as opposed to an eager student. Just have some plain respect and you'll be fine. Take time to ask "Is now a good time for them."

Those of us who want to become wise and influential must first become a student of servitude. Value other people above yourself and you'll find more times than not that the leaders you want to know you will WANT to get to know you. Times like Catalyst are priceless to those willing to be humble and learn from the best. They walk the halls and share what they know. Do your best to show them that you appreciate it by demonstrating respect.

Happy Hall-Walking!

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, October 08, 2008


At 6:55 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Awesome insights, Tally. (And lots of people will be posting notes, but probably not on this. Important stuff)



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