Mark Pearl

Some inspiration after reading the following post titled How to get out of a meeting

First off… I don’t like the title, this is not about getting out of a meeting… it’s about using your most precious commodity (time) wisely.

First, establish if you need to be in the meeting, some reasons include:

  • creating a relationship/connection/shared understanding with the people in the meeting
  • helping to brainstorm, diverge or converge on a problem
  • useful discussions around the context of the topic at hand

Second, if you have been invited to a meeting and you don’t understand why you need to be there… ask. Some techniques to do this include:

  • What is the exact topic?
  • What decision needs to be made at the meeting
  • Why, specifically, do you need me to be there?

If the purpose for having the meeting is to keep you updated, there are better ways to communicate this, including:

  • Sharing minutes, or a summary
  • Sharing a brief video recording

If the topic isn’t urgent, delay..

“I’m focussing on X heavily for the next 3 weeks, but we can reconnect after that. Perhaps you can email me the week of the x for us to find a time”

Avoid committing to a meeting in 3 weeks time right now, if you get a meeting request for 3 weeks time respond

“I’m purposefully trying to keep my calendar open to give me enough capacity to tackle the unplanned urgent/important things, can you reach out in 3 weeks time”

Double check if you need to be at a meeting…

“I saw that you invited me to attend the meeting about Project A on Thursday. As you know, I’m heads-down right now working on Project B and we’re on a tight timeline. You have a better sense of the big picture here, so I wanted to check in. Do you think it’s worth it for me to take time away from Project B to attend this meeting? If you think it’s important, of course I’ll be there.”

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