Religion Magazine

Since When is Showing Up Enough?

By Mochocki @mochocki

Five young boys show up for a wrestling tournament. There are four places awarded. Each goes home with an award. How does that happen?

Or better yet, let’s apply this to adults.

We attend a large conference. During the event, we look around.

There are people are on their phones, checking Twitter and responding to emails. Some people are on their computers. Looking at the screens in front of you, some are taking notes, while others are on Facebook or playing Solitaire. Others are writing in notebooks, mainly taking notes or simply doodling.

At the end, we got a pretty sheet of paper: Certificate of Participation.

Everyone gets the same certificate, just with a different name printed on it.


Since When is Showing Up Enough?

Everyone. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so we give them all a medal for being there. Regardless of the level of their participation.

I love having something to show for the time I just spent. If it was an event that was important for me or my industry, I would hang it up for all to see.

However, what does it mean?


As long as they were breathing, they would have still gotten the certificate. Was living part of the learning objectives?

The studious ones listened and took notes. They have proof that they were there and can repeat some of the speaking points. Was reproduction part of the learning objectives?

Since when is showing up enough?

If we don’t do anything with the lessons that were taught, the course failed and we didn’t learn anything.

So what should a good conference and a good participant aim for?

1.  Completion

I’ve been to enough courses to know that most give some sort of “homework.” Although it will never be turned in or graded, it is a way for the presenter to keep their lesson active in the participant’s life. It could be reading a book, developing a plan, or changing a habit. A task is assigned. And most participants go home and never open that notebook again.

The homework is left undone. The course has not been completed.

Finish what you started. You’ve already made an investment of your time and money to attend the conference, but if you complete the task, you will truly experience it.

2.  Implementation

There is a task that goes along with the homework. A call to action.

If it was a motivational conference that listed 5 steps to becoming a better communicator, start working on those steps! If you fail, start over. If becoming a better communicator is important, it is worth the effort to implement changes into your lifestyle.

3.  Distribution

Pay it forward. This is a popular phrase right now. It is a call to share the knowledge we have.

Write a blog post. Schedule a meeting. Call a friend.

Do something to communicate the message to others. Start a discussion.

How do you make the most out of the information you receive? Leave a comment below!

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