Some work cultures involve too many formal meetings – every now and then. So much so that employees often tend to find ways to get out of such meetings. Then there are work cultures wherein only limited number of meetings are conducted. It is during these meetings that too important decisions are made.

Somehow, employees try to get themselves into these so-called “crucial” meetings. As, decisions made in such meetings can have their implications on you or your team, or just because you’d feel left out of important discussions.

Whether you were overlooked or not invited intentionally by the meeting organizer, you’ve full rights to secure your seat in the formal meetings room. Let’s understand the crux of why limited meeting invites are sent and what if you’ve not been counted in.

“Why was I left out?”

There have been debates on the need to have lesser number of meetings and the importance of having key members in the room. But, when it comes to being left off in the invitees list, you need to understand the logic behind the same. It may even hurt more when you were overlooked and your coworker did receive the invite.

At such occasions, your team and colleagues might wonder “What has kept our boss to be in that meeting?”,  “Is our boss losing his power in the organization?”, and so on.

However, before thinking anything, know the objective about whether there’s a real need of you in the meeting. For that, question yourself:

  • How good would you impact on making decisions?
  • Would you or your team be considerably affected by the results of the meeting?
  • Do you possess the kind of knowledge or information required to attend the meeting?
  • What unique perspective would you bring in to the table?

If you answer “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to think why you don’t have an invitation to the meeting.

Understanding your worth

Apart from everything else, the main parameter of assured seat at the formal meeting is “worth”.

When the meeting organizer leaves you out, think that they may not understand your worth and what you can bring to the table.

Question yourself what peculiar difference you can make to the discussion. How would you proceed in setting the goal of formal meetings.

Case Study:

Mark, an assistant director of a contract research organization, would always been left out of important meetings. Mark’s boss would lead the formal meetings to discuss ways on reframing the research business, but never involved Mark.

On the other hand, Mark felt he should be invited to the meetings as well as lead such discussions. However, he wondered whether his opinions would be appreciated.

It was finally Mark’s time to muster up the courage to dig deeper in the situation. One fine day, he enquired about why he wouldn’t be invited to formal meetings. To his surprise, Mark found out that his boss was only leading and attending the meeting for the sake of it – just because mark never stepped up with ideas!  

Soon, Mark realized himself as a key decision maker, but never really acted like one! In order to stay away from the limelight, Mark would put ideas to his boss – but in the most passive ways possible.

If he wishes to have his boss’s trust again, Mark would have to prove his worth. It is only then he would be able to freeze his seat at the table and lead the meetings.

Applying right strategy at the right situation

When you wish to secure your seat at an important meeting, you would preferably require to apply right strategy at the right situation. Following tips shall help you improve at the same:

Scenario #1 – When your boss keeps you out from important meetings

  • Discuss your goals, ambitions, and interests with your boss.
  • Open up about your eagerness to attend particular meetings and suggest them how you can make your presence felt.
  • Keep tabs on which projects would help you attend specific formal meetings.
  • If your manager is positive of allowing you to attend future meetings, keep them reminding more often about their commitment.

Scenario #2 – When your peer intentionally wants you to stay out of meetings

  • Whether formally or informally, have a conversation with your coworkers about your work feedback.
  • Discuss business reasons with your peer, and not your personal interest on attending the meeting.
  • If you’re still not invited at a meeting, approach someone who has been invited and ask them whether they can suggest your name as future meeting invitees.

Scenario #3 – When you’re just not being noticed enough!

  • Start by building strong connections with your peers. Demonstrate your skills especially when your manager is around so that they notice you.
  • Give clear signals to your boss that you’re interested in joining in for the upcoming meeting. If possible, ask for their advice on what all you can do to get included.
  • Show them how your work ethics and professionalism directly aligns with the goals of the meeting.
  • Show your usefulness to the organizer as well as peers by sharing relevant information with them. Assure them of your support as and when required.

Irrespective of the reason behind you being left out of meetings – whether intentionally or otherwise, it is up to you to show interest in attending formal meetings. At the end, it is your own responsibility to prove your caliber and get an entry ticket to important meetings!