You were amidst of your work till I realized that your mailbox popped up. And yes, a meeting invitation to attend. And I know you are pretty sure that you don’t want to attend it for various reasons. Now, the biggest just evolved task is to turn down the meeting and mindfully you must be polite enough while declining. Is this ever possible on Earth? Well, let me help you to do this!
I believe the one simple way to decline a meeting is to have that courage to politely refuse to the proposal. If you have a genuine reason, then you can let the invitees know about your schedule and politely excuse for your absence. Well, what bothers us more is when we don’t have any reason and still want to miss the meeting.
Your first task is to decide which meeting to decline first. However, this is challenging yet you can start by assessing the value of the meeting. Prepare a clear purpose and an agenda, for instance, assess whether appropriate participants are invited so that meaningful progress can be made.
If you are not clear about the value of the meeting from the invitation, then feel free to revert back with a few open questions like “What stage of decision making we are from this meeting” or “could you please provide some additional information about the agenda meeting.”
Now, if you feel you are either over qualified or under qualified to share your thoughts in the meeting, try considering these options before you make your decision.
Can you recommend someone else in place of you?
Can you attend a part of the meeting?
Can you contribute in advance?
Regardless of what you opt for, the ultimate task is to turn down the meeting. So, thank them for the invite and excuse yourselves by giving a polite explanation for your absence. And if possible mail them asking if there is something important you have missed in the meeting and in that case, ask for a summary of the meeting over an email.
Make sure, no one is offended or felt unimportant. Otherwise, it may lead to workplace conflicts which in turn hinders the working environment.