Ways to Prevent Going to a Meeting by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

By meggin@meggin.com
In General
Nov 3rd, 2013

StopProductive people are aware and proactive when they are invited to meetings. If you get invited to a meeting (or are generally expected to be there) for no other reason than the convener thinks you…

  • “ought to be there,”
  • “have always attended,”
  • “might be interested,” or because he/she
  • “would like your reactions to the meeting,”

…avoid automatically acquiescing to these requests and expectations. Use some of the following tips to ensure that your attendance at a meeting is worth your time, effort, and energy.

  1. Be crystal clear on what your job is and what your job isn’t.
  2. Eliminate the meetings that do not directly affect your roles and responsibilities.
  3. When you are invited to a meeting, ask why you have been invited.
  4. Once you get the answer on why you’ve been invited and if it’s clear that your presence is not really required or worthwhile, offer a reason why you will not be in attendance.
  5. Offer to send your ideas to the meeting convener via email or in some other written form.
  6. Schedule time to do your work so that when a meeting is scheduled that truly doesn’t require your attendance, you can legitimately say, “I already have something scheduled at that time.”
  7. Explain to others why you are avoiding meetings–in a positive, proactive way.
  8. Encourage others to avoid calling meetings unless essential.
  9. Gain clarity on what is worth holding a meeting for and what isn’t.
  10. Positively create a culture of finding solutions without meetings.

You could positive affect the overall productivity of your business, school, or agency by changing the culture of meetings. That’s a pretty good legacy, I’d say.

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