Chapter 10. Stop the Meeting Madness!

SUPERCOMPETENT Hero Thinking:

I weigh the results of attending each meeting against the alternative results I could produce instead

SIMPLY COMPETENT Zero Thinking:

I don't have the authority to refuse meeting requests.

Meetings can devour your entire day if you let them. Have you seen the Dilbert cartoon about preliminary premeeting meetings? I was rolling on the floor in my office laughing after reading that one; it was so typical of everything I see. Does it ever feel like you're stuck in a Dilbert cartoon and can't get anything done because you're always in a meeting? Well, you can decide not to take it anymore! Keep the following items in mind when dealing with time-stealing meetings.

Refuse Face-to-Face Meetings When Unnecessary

Determine if you really need to meet in person. How many times have you attended a meeting and asked yourself, "Why am I here?" Hopefully, you've started protecting your time from every person who wants a piece of it by now. If my clients want to meet in person, I charge a consulting fee. I don't charge for telephone calls. Ninety-five percent of the time, a conference call will suffice. Extra travel time and expenses are inevitably involved when meeting in person, so avoid it unless dialogue and brainstorming are required.

Do not accept a meeting invitation if the requestor can't state in one sentence the exact reason for getting together. For example:

  • To inform our department of changes in the holiday pay policy.

  • To sell ...

Get SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.