Getting invited to meetings (video transcript)

It’s Monday morning, and you’ve just settled in with a coffee to take a look at your calendar for the week. As you scroll through, you notice Wednesday afternoon that two hour cross-functional meeting has popped up in your calendar.

Here’s the right words to say when you get invited to a meeting:

Ask about the purpose of the meeting – “I got your invite, thanks so much, tell me a little bit about what we’re trying to achieve at the meeting. What’s the purpose, and who’s going to be there?”

Get a sense of the value they’re looking for you to add – “How would you like me to contribute? Am I just representing myself, or there are other people you would like me to represent? Do I need to talk to them advance, is there an informal role you’d like me to play in the meeting?”

Do your homework – What should you do to get prepared? What materials do you need to read in advance, how do you need to think about the issue, what’s some of the conflict, or resistance you can expect to encounter?

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear people complaining about meetings. I’m constantly hearing that we spend too much time in meetings, or they’re excruciatingly painful or boring, but unfortunately nobody does anything to make it better.

When you’re invited to a meeting, it’s your responsibility to actually figure out what it’s about, to make sure it’s a good use of your time, and then to show up and add value in that meeting.

Here’s a challenge: if you can’t get answers to those three questions, and you can’t be prepared to add value in that meeting, decline it. Those are the right words to say when you get invited to a meeting.

More on this

How to Evaluate the Quality of Meetings

8 Techniques to Make Your Meetings More Effective (Part I)

8 Techniques to Make Meetings More Effective (Part II)