Meeting exclusion

Of course, we cannot invite everyone to every meeting. To do so would defeat the purpose of most meetings – to come to a decision or to create a plan of action.

When everyone is responsible for everything, no one is accountable for anything.

That is why we must limit meetings to the stakeholders or business partners who are ultimately responsible and accountable for results.

Sometimes, however, meetings have more of an exclusive feel. Meetings that we think we should attend and yet are not invited to can be very demoralizing, and contribute to negativity at work.

The subject matter expert who is not invited because the senior leaders do not consider him a peer may end up feeling misrepresented and diminished. The creator of the plan being discussed, without their presence in the meeting, feels their contribution is not valued.

Employees are expected to move on and not focus on the fact that our opinion or information is not needed. But it’s not that simple; our feelings are sometimes hurt, or we may be reminded of childhood slights or injuries, which may lead to disengagement and distrust.

It is tricky to exclude key players from a meeting. The negative fallout and associated frustration may not be worth the efficiency gained from pulling a smaller group of people together. The lack of expertise may even make the meeting somewhat pointless for those attendees who have been included in moving the decision or plan forward. When we strive to make everyone a part of the in-crowd, we promote a positive, engaged and connected workplace.

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