Yes, I Want You to Walk Out of a Meeting! I’d Rather You be Productive!
One of the biggest negligence’s in corporate America is the amount of time wasted in meetings. Just look at your weekly calendar and count the number of meeting invites you have, not to mention back to back or at an inconvenient time. What if you were given permission and even encouraged to walk out of a meeting if it was not relevant to you? Many times by staying it’s an even bigger waste of time as you aren’t even adding value to the meeting. If your time could be used more productively outside that meeting…why attend?
Some leaders and directors that host meetings feel the need to invite the entire team. Not to mention every week. I’m suggesting fewer meetings, smaller size meetings with just the necessary beings to contribute and add value to the meeting purpose. Large-size meetings are ineffective and difficult to manage with a higher number of opinions and input. For those that may benefit by receiving a recap or summary of the decisions and information gained, forego their meeting invite for an email recap instead. Free their time to be used more productively and constructively. In my business coaching and development, I have asked teams to cut their monthly meeting schedule in half! That’s 50% more time on your hands! Would you appreciate and benefit if you were gifted 50% more time from unnecessary meetings? I’d rather have you think and act on those possibilities than sit in a meeting staring at your phone or the clock! That’s working smarter! Accomplishing more with your time.
So, yes, walk out of that meeting that offers little value in your day. Prepare and be an integral and participatory part of the meetings that do matter for you. The ones that YOU will contribute and be a decision-maker.
Ask yourself as the meeting host, who should REALLY be here? To whom may I send a meeting summary to keep them updated? 4-5 people will be more constructive and helpful than a roomful that are not fully engaged. Believe it or not, if you’re just looking for input and ideas, send an email with your topic to be discussed. This allows team members to research and put more thought behind their feedback or reply. Many times, we hijack our team members in meetings on the spot with “what shall we do?” questions and don’t allow enough time or thought for productive answers. This frees up a meeting time and allows each team member to respond in a more thoughtful and purposeful way. Share all responses and give a time-dated reply for the top three ideas. Your team members will find efficient ways to respond and reply based on their schedules. You will have the impact of full team contribution, without one minute spent in a meeting room!
Walk away if you bring little or no value to a meeting. Enjoy the extra hour and be productive!