I just finished up three meetings back-to-back the other day. This in itself is no big deal these days. Everyone has meetings, and more meetings, and… Honestly, most of the time they are productive to some extent and if nothing else they do help with coordinating things and clearing the air on the ever present points of confusion.
What really cracks my dishes during these meetings are the plate announcements. At each meeting at least one person will chime in with an opening statement about their plate being full, or too full, or overflowing. Well who cares! Those plate remarks are nothing but overused and hackneyed excuses for copping out, passing the buck, and preempting success or minimally setting the table for failure.
It’s not that there is too much on the plate. It is more likely the plate is too small. When it comes to work plates guess what? You can always swap your saucer for a dinner plate or a soup bowl, or if necessary a platter. There are plenty of options in the China closet. It’s not really a matter of how much is on your plate after all. It’s a matter of bringing the right plate and the right attitude to the table with you.
So, like the hungry guy at the dinner table, I’m going to fill my plate and damned if I am not going to grab for the grub that you don’t want. Once I start chowing down on your food don’t tell me how to arrange it on “my” plate. Don’t tell me how you would have eaten it differently. And sure as hell don’t ask for it back once it’s been digested.