Recently I read an article that said the best way to react to ineffective meetings is just to blow off your next meeting. This radical approach may or may not work for you (it might depend on the meeting), but the concept behind it is valuable. Here’s the big question:
Do you work for your meetings, or do they work for you?
With each meeting we might ask ourselves:
1) How does this meeting help me to accomplish my job in the short term? In the long term?
2) How does this meeting help our organization to accomplish our overall purpose, in the short and/or long-term?
3) What is the opportunity cost of the meeting? In other words, what would I lose from going to the meeting as compared to what I might gain by spending my time doing something else?
If the meeting will be ineffective, but you still have to attend, you might consider how you can make it the best use of your time. The most effective meetings center around key decisions that all or most of the participants need to make together. Talking over the agenda ahead of time with the meeting leader, or asking for certain items to go on the agenda, may go a long way.