Leadership Tip

How to decline a meeting invitation without burning bridges

There it is in your inbox: an invite to a meeting you really don’t want to attend. Maybe it’s shoehorned into one of the few remaining open spaces in your calendar. Or maybe it’s for a time that’s already booked, and now you’re left to decide whom to turn down. How do you decline an invite without burning bridges? Ask yourself:

  1. Can I recommend someone else? Invest some effort in finding the right person to attend the meeting so you don’t appear to be shirking the responsibility.
     
  2. Can I contribute in advance? Take a few minutes to pull together some notes and brief the chair or a suitable participant ahead of time.
     
  3. Can I attend for part of the meeting? If one or more agenda items don’t apply to you, ask if you can attend only the parts of the meeting that do.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from Polite Ways to Decline a Meeting Invitation by Liane Davey. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.


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