David Grady did a wonderful TED talk on the massive amounts of time we waste by accepting meeting requests that end up in wasted time.Why? Because many of us believe we are powerless to question the request and take back our time.
We know from our studies of behavior that there are three typical reactions to meeting request that are based on your behavioral style.
1. Highly dominant, proactive, impatient people reject (or ignore) all request because they are too important to go. They know it will be a waste of time so they reject most meetings immediately.
2. Low dominant, reactive people, accept all requests because they assume that the person who sent it knows best and they are needed in the meeting.
3. The middle group accepts the request but knows it will be a waste of time.
Here is the reality. People invite you to meetings that you don’t need to attend. People invite you to meetings where you only need to attend for one short section. People invite you to meetings where you could share valuable information if you only knew the agenda and had prepared.
Take back control. Ask the meeting planner if you are needed and what you can prepare. If you are busy, ask if someone else can fill you in after the meeting. The key is ASK. It’s not rude to protect your time, it is your job!
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