I have a question related to communicating assertively.
I have lost hours stuck in meetings because I’m unable to tactfully excuse myself. I believe I’m a bit too passive, or I feel rude if I interrupt.
What is the best way to deal with this situation?
Dear Wasted Time,
Keep in mind that the company is paying you to be engaged and create outcomes, NOT to waste your time, and indirectly, their time as well. Perhaps this is the shift you need to make in your mind so you don’t feel guilty, but rather empowered, to get where you need to be to operate at your top performance level.
Gather your things quietly, stand up, wait for a breath (if the person is too long-winded) and politely say, “Excuse me. I must leave. I’ll catch up with you later,” and LEAVE.
Or, “I need to be somewhere else.” Smile, leave. You do have to be somewhere else – and no one needs to know where that is, even if it’s the bathroom.
Remember, it’s not rude if your tone of voice is kind and you say it with a smile. Powerful people have places to go, people to meet and things to do. It only reflects on you as a leader.