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.”