Originally uploaded by Yuri van der Meer
My WW BFF and I have decided to hit the road and seek out other WW meetings to see what other leaders and members are up to. Today we got up at 5:30am to check out an early-morning meeting about 30 miles from us. It was a real experience!!
For one, I have not attended a WW meeting AS A MEMBER in probably 9 months. We staff people are supposed to attend regular meetings but you know, we get so buusyyy and… and… and…
but it’s true, it’s a completely different experience when you’re sitting in a chair than when you’re behind the counter. Completely.
This meeting we attended has a real “rock star” leader we have been very curious about. She has PACKED meeting rooms and has quite a reputation. I have to say that none of my meetings has ever been PACKED. So I wanted to learn her secret.
As it turns out, she was very charismatic. LOTS of energy. Lots of drama. She literally cried twice during the meeting. (apparently her members really appreciate this; I was sort of taken aback) She talked during 90% of the meeting. At extremely high volume. (OK, it felt like yelling to me)
It was really eye-opening. Clearly she has a MASSIVE following. Clearly it works for them/her. I had a lot to think about. There were some valuable things I learned at the meeting that I will take with me and incorporate. Other things, not so much.
But it was valuable to go back in sit in those chairs. To remember what it feels like. To soak it in from THAT perspective. I’ll be doing more of this.
May 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Did you love it?
I LOVE being a student in a Nia class.
It IS totally different NOT being the teacher/one in charge.
I am glad that you enjoyed it and learned.
Are you napping now? 🙂
May 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm
Just woke up. 😉
May 29, 2010 at 5:36 pm
that part of WW, i’m not so much a fan of; the whole “following” thing and being a part of a collective. it reminds me too much of painful cliques in junior high (are you in or are you out?) you’re you, and you will reach people that that particular WW leader doesn’t reach.
May 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm
Personally, if I were facing a crying leader, I’d be furtively looking for an exit. Just too heavy duty for me.
May 29, 2010 at 7:48 pm
I felt the same way. When it happened the 2nd time, I was incredulous.
May 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm
I wish we still lived in Oakland, I would definitely come to your meetings! Hope you are having a nice weekend!
May 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm
I went to ONE meeting where the leader seemed to be “yelling” a lot. I left and searched for another meeting I could attend. That approach doesn’t work for me. Neither does being talked to for the entire time. I liked WW for the sense of community it created for me.
My leader (when I went) was lovely and sincere and supportive – everything a leader should be. Charisma is great but the support is more important to me.
June 1, 2010 at 9:23 am
she talked that much of the time? I was trained to let the membets talk 70% of the time. we facilitate and inspire. Oh well maybe she was trained a while back. How were you trained? Crying too? Yikes. But I am interested in what you took from the meetings that works for your meetings. Your virtual WW friend. Nat
June 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Nat, she’s been leading for over 20 years so apparently she’s “old school” and has not gotten the memo about the 70% rule. (ha!) She also (gasp) served FOOD at the mtg which I’ve been told is a big huge no-no.
She did a good job of referring back to the WW materials (book 2 and pocket guide Activity Booster, both of which I didn’t refer to last week). So that was a good reminder.
But obviously whatever she does, her members love. LOVE. So that was illuminating.
June 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm
Foodie – She’s been leading for 20 years. I am sure that in the short time that you have been leading your memebers LOVE you. And I bet in 20 years there will be a new WW leader in your meetings saying all the same stuff.
You’ll be able to look back and note all that you learned from this and see how far it was able to help you go!
I am always fascinated with how things morph. As you said, she is “old school” and you and other commentors have been sharing what the “new” ways are. Interesting, huh?
We do that with Nia a lot. In the 26 years they have been at it things have morphed but the main “stuff” is the same.
June 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm
WW does a staggering amount of research – both scientific research on how weight loss works, and also MEMBER research about what works for members. It’s constantly evolving to meet the needs of members. Some staff rolls with it, and some like to do things their way, for better or worse.
June 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm
I love that WW does research and keeps moving and changing. That is why they are successful.
I think it is great they leaders do what work best for them because they will—in their honesty, and authenticity—attract who they “need” to attract.