I work at a large company with different groups and divisions and things like that.

We are made to participate in several cross-company workshops where many issues are discussed. In one group, everything is good. We have our meeting, everyone contributes and someone makes a summary and that's what happens.

But in another group, I'm very uncomfortable because what I say is always made to feel wrong and there's 3 or 4 members who decide everything. I and couple other team members feel we're wasting our time. We really want to help make the company better but these 3 or 4 just delete anything we offer.

I told the others that we should just be in the group and let the other 3 or 4 do what they want. My boss says we just have to participate and don't worry about what they do but others say these groups are very important and higher up bosses are watching.

Should we insist that our contributions are included? Should we participate and let them do what they want? Should I ask my boss again if this will hurt my job?

  • " We really want to help make the company better but these 3 or 4 just delete anything we offer." What does this mean? Are they removing your suggestions from the meeting notes?
    – sf02
    Jun 25 '19 at 16:55
  • How many people are there in each group?
    – Ben Barden
    Jun 25 '19 at 17:00
  • @sf02 It's like we have things they want employees feelings on, so we have these meetings, talk about the issue, then we each write our ideas on what we can all do. but when the summary is made, almost none of our contributions are included. Sorry, they are not deleted, just not included. Jun 25 '19 at 20:43
  • This group is 6 people. Jun 25 '19 at 20:44
  • Are the ideas which aren't included recorded anywhere that could be seen by people not in the group?
    – Ed Grimm
    Jun 27 '19 at 2:24

This may be a case where you just need to adjust your outlook on the situation. It’s commendable that you take ownership of your contributions and want them to be valuable to the company. But it sounds as though you’ve attempted what you should. Unless there is some other route of authority to pursue, I’d suggest you do your due diligence of participating but once the meeting is over, go back to the more meaningful remainder of your job. Even if there is another route, you may be jeopardizing yourself by circumventing your manager.

This reads like upper management’s pet performers get their way and upper management wants this exercise done. You could start keeping your own records of meeting results including your ignored contributions. As the results of the sessions come to action, track where your suggestions may have proven more valuable than the path that was taken. Once you have some cases to point to, re-address the issue with your boss. It will definitely take some time.

Ultimately, it doesn’t sound like it’s worth quitting over. It’s unfortunate to waste your time but it sounds like it’s a relatively small part of your time and something you may best want to compartmentalize into the waste of bureaucracy.

  • Ok, thank you. we have only two more meetings before we are assigned to new groups. I think we'll just do our participation and hope next group is better. Jun 25 '19 at 20:45

Consider asking your boss for some back-up. He or she is invested both in your time being used efficiently and that you have a positive experience while at work.

It sounds like your boss is already aware of your feelings about the situation. Have another conversation with you manager and make a specific request that he/she intervene. Some things that your boss could do, in combination or isolation, are:

1. Attend a meeting with you. Your manager can help you interpret the reactions from others (it’s possible you’re mis-understanding what is happening) and see the behaviors first-hand. If the behaviors of the others in the group is bad enough, your manager may no longer require you attend.

2. Talk with the team leader about your involvement. Your manager could approach the team leader to check in on your contributions on the team. This both emphasizes to the team leader that your manager cares about how you spend your time and wants to ensure you’re a good fit for the team.

3. Appeal to the project/team sponsor about releasing your obligation or reforming the team. If there is a senior leader in the organization that has requested your department be represented, but isn’t aware of the current practices of the team (i.e., that not everyone is involved in decision-making), alerting that senior leader to the potential issue may either relax the requirement for you to attend or cause them to improve the health of the team.

Your manager wants the best for you, but you may have to push him/her a little to see what you’re experiencing. Be persistent in asking your manager for help and support when you feel your time is being wasted or you don’t enjoy what you are doing - both are issues you manager cares about.

  • 1
    Ideally the manager should be saying to the group organiser if my guys are just going to be ignored in these meetings, I'd rather they spent their time doing more productive things
    – Smock
    Jun 26 '19 at 13:35

Should we insist that our contributions are included?

No, because they likely won't be.

Should we participate and let them do what they want?

Yes, that is what you boss told you to do.
He said you had to participate... I take that to mean "you" singular and "you" plural (his team... you from his team).
Doesn't sound like your boss thinks very much of that group.

But in another group... what I say is always made to feel wrong and there's 3 or 4 members who decide everything.

You can ask clarifying questions to see why they think you are wrong.
Either in the meeting or just ask one of them privately why the others didn't like the suggestion.
You can also just not bother... participate and don't let their nastiness get to you (developing a tough skin can be painful, but it has to start somewhere).

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