Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Meetings Decision Making Communication

Our manager called a meeting to get our suggestions on plans for our department. As the meeting progressed, it became clear that our input meant nothing and the plans were already finalized. I was annoyed with the waste of time, and I don't want to sit through more meetings like this. What can I do?

Rather than a meeting of the minds where discussion counts, this was more like a meeting of the mimes where discussion is out. The best way to figure out what to do is to take a look at past meetings in your company.

If the meeting you described was a one-of-a-kind event that is atypical for your company's culture and values, then it may be safe to assume that you will not be wasting much more time playing corporate charades.

However, if this meeting is a typical example of a lack of trust and respect that permeates your company, you can expect this trend to continue. There are plenty of managers who proudly speak of employee involvement in the decision-making process, while the employees' actual involvement is designed to be little more than showing up and nodding in agreement.

If the latter scenario sounds like your scenario, you are not going to be able to do much to change these meetings. If these types of meetings are starting to take over your job, then you need to take over your career and reassess where you are and where you would like to be going.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!