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Before the meeting > Meeting request, meeting invitation, or meeting demand? - Pg. 36

36 brilliant meetings Meeting request, meeting invitation, or meeting demand? Most of us receive our instruction to participate in a meeting electronically. On the screen is the name of the organiser, the date, time and venue, together with information to let us know if we are `Required' or `Optional'. Our electronic diary will immediately warn us if there is a conflict with an existing entry in our calendar, and buttons appear prompting us to `Accept', `Decline', or to `Propose a New Time'.With a couple of noncha- lant clicks of our mouse the time is allocated in our calendar. Electronic communication is invasive although we have become conditioned to give emails and telephone calls immediate pri- ority. Emails that pop up onto the screens of our computers and mobile phones take away our attention ­ however momentarily ­ from what we are doing. Too often we respond on impulse; we deal with the intrusion ­ in this case we accept as there is no scheduling conflict in our diary ­ and carry on. We have taken the easy option, the route of least resistance. Every time a meeting is requested from now on you must con- sider the implications on yourself, the other meeting participants, and then determine what is best for you and your organisation. Just because meetings within your organisation have always occurred this way, does not make it right and cer- tainly should not mean that they continue unchallenged and unchanged. Only accept if: G G G in your opinion a physical meeting is the right way to deal with the issue; by attending you can add real value to the meeting; you have time to assemble all the necessary information and prepare correctly;