Toxicity

I hate meetings with no prepared agenda. Nothing irks me more than someone organising a meeting with no forethought as to what we would be discussing and what the outputs should be.

As you can tell, I had one of those meetings this morning and 5 minutes into it, I realised that I should not even be in the meeting. I knew nothing about the subject matter and the outputs had no direct effect on my Business Area. I know I was there as the Risk and Change Management “expert” but I could have gleaned the necessary information from the minutes of the meeting.

When I got to my desk, reality dawned on me and I was ashamed…ashamed about my actions during the meeting and the negative vibes I definitely gave off.

Even though I haughtily thought my time could have been better spent working on something else, I should have respected the time of the people who were there and contributed more. I am ashamed to say that my attitude throughout the meeting was highly toxic and it seemed others caught my ‘rebel’ virus.

If the meeting organisers thought I was important enough to be there, why should I prove them wrong? On the flip side, how can I ensure that even though I don’t think I should be in the meeting I can respectfully convey to the organisers or meeting Chairman how I can be more effective without being in the meeting or that my attendance in the meeting is not as important as they think?

1. Ask questions: When a meeting invite is sent to me, I should ask what the agenda of the meeting is if I think there is none or what the output of the meeting is if the agenda is vague about it. I should also ask what is expected of me and what role I need to play.

2. Set an alert in my Calendar: Certainly when I am invited to a meeting, my calendar is blocked during the period but I think it wise to set an alarm for 30-45 minutes so that my brain is wired to be productive at the meeting.

3. Negotiate: If I realise that I really don’t have to be at the meeting, I should call the meeting organiser (no email exchange a.k.a keyboard bashing required…place a call) and negotiate my way out of the meeting. I could come in for the time period I am required or ask to read the meeting minutes and follow up.

4. Show appreciation: Yes, I should say thank you to the meeting organiser whether or not I attend. Another way to show appreciation (in addition to verbally saying thanks) is to ensure that if I am there, I am not that toxic meeting Grinch…I must be the epitome of a supportive meeting attendee.

In other news, I completely forgot today was Friday! How? Life is not so serious that I should forget that the weekend is here. As I have no weekend plans yet (apart from reading my new book), what do you suggest I do?

Have a fab day people!

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