Start your meeting by telling me why I should care?
So often during meetings one of the most obvious questions that should be answered is “Why do I care?”.
Our time is limited, and when we spend it in incessant meetngs we should all be able to say life is too short for other peoples side quests. Remember — qwhen you’re derailing a meeting — you are “Other people”. I suppose it could be called “getting emotional buy-in”, or bottom Line up front (BLUF). But where a person starts speaking for too long about a point thats only relevant to less than 60% of those present, then its time to call people on this.
Yes its hard, yes you may be labelled as something akin to “Not a team player”. But for every person who bad mouths you for standing up for your time, there are ten who are supporting your focus.
If you’re the type who needs to send out that level of detail — there are ways of doing it. You can make a smaller meeting about the point you were trying to make. You could set up a work blog. This is a nice option, you get the time to focus your thoughts, and the validation of likes, and comments.
So how can you ask for the reason you care in meetings?
You can quietly leave. Not always an option, but there is always an excuse. Try not to give an excuse, or something that does not invite push back, “I’m itchy in the groinal area” does not generally invite too much further discussion. Unless you’re speaking to a Nurse. They have weird conversational parameters. Online meetings are great for this. simply vote with your mouse and drop out.
You can be direct. “How do I sell that as important to the project?” — says you’re interested, but forces an explanation of relevance. “Can this be taken to a later meeting” — Keeps the focus on the matter in hand if it was a side quest.
Or you can passively while away your life doodling, and wishing you were in a quite cubicle. Your choice really.
Lastly I would like to say a big thanks to those who have silenced a detour this week. You know who you all are, give yourself a pat on the back.