So, you think you know how to size up a group? (Think again.) – SCN Encourager

It really doesn’t matter if you call it a crowd, a gathering, or an assemblage.

Feel free to call it a conglomeration, if you prefer.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 8.19.01 PMSame thing.

Whenever a collection of people is drawn together, we often size it up by the sheer number of people “taking up the space.”

It’s true.

At every parent meeting, concert, and athletic event, we just can’t help approximating and guesstimating.

We’re always very much aware of head counts.

Numbers are important to us, regardless of the reason for pulling the multitude together in the first place.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 8.39.25 PMBut one of Starbucks’ most successful managers made a statement about our common tendency to quantify “people, groups, and crowds” and it jabbed me into this pre-weekend re-think.

I hope it’s a “re-think” that’ll be helpful to you, too.

At any rate, a “re-think” is never as painful as a “re-learn” or a “re-do.”

Those two can be real slow going for me.

In fact, I try to avoid them altogether, to tell you the truth… unless Cindy or my superintendent “nudge” the process along.

So, here’s what struck me about the Starbucks manager’s observation.

She said she rarely notes the size of the group, crowd, or audience.

Rather, she tries to assess if the individuals gathered together are “participants or attendees.”

In her view, attendees are just along for the ride.

Progress word on compassParticipants are the ones who contribute energy, strength, and make good things happen.

Do you want to see steady progress in some area in your district?

The Starbucks manager would tell you to grow the number of active “participants” instead of going ga-ga over the actual number of attendees.

It’s something to think about (er, to re-think), for sure.

Luckily for me, Cindy doesn’t know what YOU now know.


Last night during supper, Cindy told me she made a list of a few things she’d like “for us” to tackle on Saturday.

She really seemed pleased when I replied, “No problem! You can count on my 100% attendance.”

Now, friend, mum’s the word.
I’m trusting you to keep this secret through Sunday!







Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.