How to Get Your Manager to Just Say “No”
The reason why managers feel the need to be in meetings all of the time is because they want to be “kept in the loop” about everything…so they go to back-to-back-to-back meetings. The day wastes away and they have no time to get actual work done.
One of the best pieces of advice someone gave me to improve productivity was that it’s ok to decline meetings, and I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve found that it’s most effective to invite managers to meetings as optional, and let them know that any time they are optional I don’t expect them to attend. To make sure they have all of the information that they need, I will always CC them on the minutes after the meeting.
As a project manager, the best example of this is when I have daily stand-up meetings for each of my projects. We spend about 15 minutes going over what each person has accomplished and what each person will work on next – things that are far too detailed for my manager to be concerned with. Not only that, but most of the time my manager doesn’t have anything to add to this meeting. Those 15 minutes a day per project really add up and create time where my manager can get work done. If he is interested in reading the meeting notes, he can do so very quickly when there’s free time in his schedule.
How Less Meeting Makes This Easy
One of the goals of Less Meeting is to improve your productivity – both while you’re in meetings, and when you’re not in meetings. Less Meeting gives you the ability to decline a meeting, but still be “in the loop” because you’ll get the meeting notes that someone else takes.
Less Meeting makes this very easy because my meeting minutes are automatically sent to everyone on the calendar invite list. As long as you copy your manager on the meeting invite, just go through the normal process of sending minutes.
Here’s a reminder of how to do that:
- CC your manager (or others) on the invite
- Take notes during the meeting through the Less Meeting website
- Send the meeting notes from Less Meeting and that person or people will automatically get the notes (as long as they were on the calendar invite)
cartoon image via strangecosmos