We’ve all been there: staring at an Outlook meeting invitation that contains little more information than a three-word description of the meeting topic and the name of the meeting organizer. Regardless of whether we decide to accept or decline, most of us have two questions on our minds: “Is this meeting really necessary?” and “if it is, must I attend?”
For most of us, time is our most precious resource. So making good decisions about how we spend it is an important part of our daily work. I’m no exception, and here’s what I want to know before accepting a meeting request:
Do you have a clear meeting goal?
Does the goal require the input of all the participants?
Is it necessary to have the commitment of the participants to achieve the goal?
Do the participants intent to contribute to the meeting?
How can I add value to the meeting?
I look to hear a “yes” together with sensible specifics when I ask the first four questions. For the last one, I listen to hear whether what’s wanted is something only I can do. And if so, I check whether I need to attend the meeting to add the value that’s expected of me.
How about you? How do you decide whether to say yes to requests for your time?
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