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So there has been several meeting for the project that I'm currently on where it would seem are very important to be in but, I am not involved in these meetings. Then I am usually played an exact recording of the meeting and decide my actions on the project from there. Is there any reason someone can see for me not being involved? Should I try to get involved? How would I go about getting involved in that case?

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    Have you asked your manager whether you could/ should attend? If it is unlikely that you would be providing input during the meeting, it is possible that it has been decided that it would be more efficient to have a small number of people meet and to distribute a recording to the larger audience that would be interested. That depends on things like how many people are working on the project and how many could realistically participate. Apr 28, 2016 at 18:28
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    Meetings are usually relatively unproductive, you should have more concrete reasons for attending beyond appearance's sake.
    – user7230
    Apr 28, 2016 at 18:29
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    If you had been present at any of these meetings, would you have been asked to contribute? Would you have been able to interrupt and put the project on a better course? If no to both, you're much better off this way. Many of us would envy you, actually. Apr 28, 2016 at 20:13
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    If you aren't going to actively contribute to/participate in the meeting, you shouldn't attend it. Many things that are important happen without our watching them happen. You can always ask questions later.
    – keshlam
    Apr 28, 2016 at 20:32
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    @JeffQuick: No, it doesn't. If you aren't going to help set the policy, it really doesn't matter if you hear about it in person, via memo, or via video. Think about it: if everyone affected by as decision should be in the meeting, executive meetings could involve thousand of people; that's obviously not good. If you are worried about your visibility, attending is not contributing and doesn't by itself give you any points.
    – keshlam
    Apr 28, 2016 at 21:29

2 Answers 2

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Whether you should try to attend the meetings depends on whether you think your live presence at the meeting is important to your work, and how you feel about being excluded. Do you think you're being overlooked, undermined, disrespected? Do you end up having to ask questions and get agreement from multiple people after the meeting that would have been much easier to get at the meeting? Are you frustrated that you could have pointed out flaws or opportunities but are now stuck with what was decided in the meeting?

If you'd say no to all of the above, then I wouldn't worry about it.

On the other hand, if you suffer in some way personally or professionally from your absence, then I would bring it up with either your manager, the project manager, or whoever is responsible for coordinating the meeting.

In my experience, this situation has often happened for passive-aggressive reasons, though not always:

  • Someone wants to avoid or shut down conflict by minimizing the attendees and therefore opportunity for dissent. For example, an attendee knows what you would say and wants to make sure you don't say it.
  • Someone wants to flex his/her power to exclude you.
  • Someone does not want to be challenged or answer questions that you might bring up. I have done this myself, when we needed quick action on to solve a critical problem and did not need to be sidetracked by the 1% edge cases that would take 80% more effort to handle.
  • Someone does not want your "vibe" at the meeting. I have done this to others on occasion as well. When I worked with a guy who would only complain, poke holes and criticize during brainstorm sessions, I learned we were better off excluding him until we had a decision.
  • Someone hates meetings and wants to keep the meeting short.
  • Urgent action is needed, so the meeting has to be kept short.

In other words, there might be good reasons for you to be excluded, and there might be ugly, personal ones. Whether you want to elbow in depends on how you feel about your exclusion.

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Ask your manager, obviously there is a reason you're getting a recording. You have no way of knowing what that is without asking and you have no way of knowing if the recording device is turned off at some point while they discuss other issues.

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  • So just for curiosity's sake, I loaded a recording into sound editing software, in there the sound wave is visualized, if at any time, the recording stopped, it would show the wave immediately ending instead of gradually getting smaller amplitudes. This is not the case, the sound wave indicates no turning off until all members are of the call or have left the room.
    – user49733
    Apr 28, 2016 at 21:19
  • But I agree I should ask.
    – user49733
    Apr 28, 2016 at 21:20
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    any number of possibilities it's not constructive to speculate on when it's so easy to ask. They do a Satanist ritual, they have the meeting in their underwear, someone is present who doesn't want to be known, the room is too small.... etc,.
    – Kilisi
    Apr 28, 2016 at 21:23
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    Many discussions happen much more efficiently when there are fewer people in the room. Give them space to work. How would you like having one of them hovering over ,your department meetings?
    – keshlam
    Apr 28, 2016 at 21:32

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