Family Meetings

We’re a family, and as such, we’re in the business of awesomeness.

The Bennett's enjoy some quality time shooting and driving and flying and pinballing at the arcade!

As a couple, we’ve been diligent about protecting one night per week (usually around 4 hours) as a ‘date night’. It’s a time that we can look forward to in the busyness and business of the week to know we can relax and spend some quality time together. The activities are not always elaborate or even premeditated. In fact, last week, we decided to go get pizza and play arcade games at Bullwinkles. In many cases, we’ll go out for a┬áleisurely┬ádinner, or maybe a movie.

Heather flying WWII fighter planes, shooting down the enemy in near silence (the audio was broken)

Another thing that we’re getting better about inserting in our week is a “Family Meeting”. Some families use them as an opportunity to check in to connect, but in our case, it has become something more significant. Naturally we want to be in touch with where one another are at in every realm, but we also wanted to use the opportunity to give ourselves some purposeful direction that we can link arms in pursuing.

Lately, with the big changes and busy pace of life, we had missed a few of our meetings, and it had been reduced to a 5 minute check in about our upcoming week’s schedule. This last Sunday we took the time to re-articulate the framework of our weekly meetings. And, because I enjoy sharing and documenting our adventure, I’m going to post it here. Plus, in the case that something goes awry and we don’t have our notes with us, we can refer to this post as a reference to what we came up with.

As an aside, it’s worthy to note that it’s all too frequent that the important things in life get put on the backburner in order to handle the urgent stuff that comes up. If we all live in a reactive mode responding to the fires that pop up, how are we ever going to actualize the important things that we’ve all had on our list for so long and yet have made such little progress. This is one way that we’re working to bring the important things to the forefront in our relationship.

Take a look after the jump…

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Family Meeting

Ground Rules

  • Short and sweet (Meeting length is 30 minutes with extension available to 60 minutes maximum)
  • Clear the decks (No distractions allowed (calls, text, email, etc))
  • Stay in the game (Respectful and attentive (aka: active listening))
  • There is no wrong (though we may have different perspectives)
  • Fun is better (not to the detriment of the overall goal of connecting and growing)
  • Hitch your horse (emotions show us how our horses interpret events – being “emotional” means your horse is prancing.)

What’s the most important thing?

  • Our individual relationships with God and each other

Looking Long Term

  • Where do we want to be 5 years from now?
    • Increased Belief and Faith
    • Better servants of spouse and others
    • Great communication & passion in our relationship
    • Financially free from jobs
    • Children (Heather’s health improved)
    • Looking at a house / to build
    • Increased philanthropic capacity

Short Term

  • How are we doing towards that goal?
    • Areas of achievement, areas of opportunity.
    • Past week, upcoming week

Immediate

  • Schedule
  • To Do
  • Other

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If you have a family, please institute some family meetings. Think about the long term. Think about the important. And then find a way to bring those great things into fruition in spite of the adversity and barrage of the urgent and unproductive things that so often riddle our lives.

If you have any questions about any of the above categories, please comment below and I’ll be sure to reply.

Till next time!
-cb

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2 Responses to Family Meetings

  1. Sandy says:

    Looks good. So do you then have “benchmarks” or do you just talk and mutually agree if you are making adequate progress in things like “Increased belief and faith”?

    Your long term goals are great.

    • cody says:

      Great question… I think benchmarks will grow with clarity in time, but much of our goals are somewhat intangible characteristics. We’d like to have certain qualities, but it’s more of a scale of achievement than a yes or no, all or nothing.

      We did talk about the specificity of things like the philanthropic capacity, but it was tough to pin down a number… It was either (for my immature view) either too easy to accomplish, or too scary to picture. [For that one in particular, I like the idea of increasing the percentage of giving from the customary 10% to something more substancial, eventually growing to 80-90% giving].

      Thanks for commenting!
      -cb

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