First, is this meeting a boomerang? If so, send it back to me but when you do, clarify the purpose of the meeting and what my role is. Am I there to be a provocateur? Do I own this? What will I add that nobody else can?
The second option was like a wobbly boomerang – it comes back, but not to me. The meeting should still exist, but someone else could add as much value as me, so I’m going to tap out and delegate it.
The third option was to consider the meeting a stick. (Because sticks don’t come back when you throw them. Unless you have a dog… but I digress.) These are meetings that shouldn’t exist anymore but still do just because we’re really bad at killing meetings. We’re only good at adding them. So there was just massive duplication.
Before calling or accepting a meeting, get curious and ask some questions:
- What is the purpose of this meeting?
- What is my role in it?
- What can we do beforehand to make the best use of our time? Is there data to gather up? Pre-reading?
- What do we need in order to close it out?
Make a habit of challenging the recurring meetings on your calendar. Questioning whether you need to attend isn’t rude. It’s smart. And questioning whether a meeting is needed in the first place is even better.