Now, this isn’t leading to another rant on the how and why to run a meeting. Not at all—been there, done that. It’s about the far more important issues pressing on your mind right now: Why are you even in this meeting when you have so many more important things going on . . . like your real job?
As you know, your days can get filled with back-to-back meetings that leave little time to do what’s considered the purposeful, productive aspects of your actual job. They’re the ones your performance review is based on. What’s at stake? Your ability to direct your time toward what matters most.
So stop suffering in silence at the whim of meeting facilitators who just don’t get that. And while I can’t tell you how to get that upcoming PowerPoint-prison meeting cancelled, I can suggest how to get out of that meeting . . . without getting fired.
That, my friend, requires you to employ these three Suckification Reduction Devices (SRDs).
Suckification Reduction Device #1 – First in, first out (FIFO)
The setup: Once you receive an agenda, respond with a note saying “looks great. I’ll be there. However, I’m hoping you could meet me a few minutes before the meeting. I want to share my updates and thoughts in person because I’m not able to attend the entire meeting.”
The desired result: Meet the host five minutes beforehand and fully share your good, legitimate input. This is key. This also gives you the opportunity to grab a seat by the door for your discreet exit a few minutes into the meeting. You walk out, nothing more than a thankful nod needed.
What you didn’t see: The other dumbfounded attendees jealously glare as you whistle back to your own agenda. Meanwhile, the host regards you as a committed team member.
Suckification Reduction Device #2: Start late, then leave a note
The setup: Does your office have that 15-minute grace window for meeting start times—that is, meeting time at 10:00 a.m. means be ready to start by 10:12ish? Try this. Arrive exactly on time (and I mean that). If the meeting host hasn’t arrived by five minutes past the start time (and you haven’t heard from that person), then leave a note. Either write this on the whiteboard or on your business card left on the table: “It’s Jon. Assume the meeting got cancelled. Nobody here. 10:05 a.m.”