In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Tips for Getting Out of a Meeting

Here's the absolute, best idea ever for a meeting: a brain-storming session on how-to get out of time-wasting meetings.

Seriously, who really wants to go to office meetings anyway? Exactly. Not even the presenter wants to be there.

So let's just think out loud, theoretically speaking, because thinking is an internal process, about the best reasons to dodge a meeting.

Wasting Time

Dorie Clark, writing for Harvard Business Review, should get credit for this fabulous concept. She wrote about how to get out of meetings that you know will waste your time.

Basically, she says it's about priorities. Don't go to non-essential meetings; don't be a go-to person for invitations; compromise when you have to go.

But here are some other -- let's not call these excuses -- reasons not to attend:

  • You have an infectious disease
  • You're on the phone with your mother
  • You're responding to an inquiry from the Department of Labor Standards

Other Excuses

What? So you think meeting organizers are going to believe your excuses? Like your time matters?

This is exactly why a meeting about time-wasting is so important. Confront the issue. Get it out on the table. At least that way everybody will find out what are acceptable reasons to ditch meetings.

In house counsel, especially, have a duty to manage time well because their time has been bought and paid for, says David Schellhase in "The Corporate Law Department Handbook."

"Spending time on unimportant matters hurts your company; spending time on what is important helps," he says. "The equation is that simple."

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