It can be frustrating when you have to attend a Meeting you know will not be productive. For instance, sitting through a brainstorming session where extroverts shout out random ideas and little is being recorded for actual execution. Or a planning meeting where you know detailed plans will be made only on paper, and none of the team members will actually adhere to them.
For instance, when the girls got together in the series ‘The Office’, to teach Dwilight how to listen actively. He was nowhere near learning, and the girls were wasting their time.
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Some meeting you can avoid, but some become work landmines because you got the notice to attend from your boss or someone higher up. So, how do you escape from sessions you know are going to be unproductive and time consuming.
Clarity is the key
Make a list of meetings that you know are important and the ones you know from precedents to be unproductive. The most essential meetings are the ones in which decisions will be made. If your team is choosing to launch either Project A or Project B, you can’t make a high-stakes decision over email. That’s best done in person. You have to attend such crucial meeting to know in which direction your team is planning to move. Also, meetings that could seem a wastage of time, but hep you in connecting with people should not be given a miss.
It is easy for people to compel you to attend meeting if they know you are free during that time slot. Keep you work calendar confidential, and don’t divulge your schedule for the whole team to know when you are available and when you are not. If you are working on multiple projects and collaborating with different teams at the same time, it is easier to prioritise your work and dodge meetings accordingly.
If you do not have a say in scheduling or excusing yourself from the meeting, the best thing you can do would be to go prepared, be crisp andto-the-point about what you had to say on the subject. Wait for your turn, say so and check if you can excuse yourself after that. This may be seen as rude by other colleagues, but if you can take the convenor of meeting into confidence prior, it may smoothen the whole process.
Putting in productive hours
You can also enlist the help of your colleague to ensure that meetings don’t turn into wasteful hours, with actual decisions being taken during the meeting. Good debates during meetings can be productive for all. You can turn meetings into an opportunity to increase your credibility and improve your work image.
Many professionals attempt to cope in a passive-aggressive way, showing up late to meetings or fiddling with their gadgets instead of listening. But this is probably the worst way to handle meetings as it shows a disrespect for others’ time.
What may seem as unproductive may have other latent benefits for the team. Meetings are good way to learn different viewpoints and connect with people. But if you are convinced that they will be unproductive, the above means will help you avoid time-consuming meetings.
Read Also: Smart Ways To Use Meetings To Boost Your Work Image
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