Decline a Meeting Invitation Without Burning Bridges
There it is in your inbox: an invite to a meeting you really don’t want to attend. Maybe it’s shoehorned into one of the few remaining open spaces in your calendar. Or maybe it’s for a time that’s already booked, and now you’re left to decide whom to turn down. How do you decline an invite without burning bridges? Ask yourself:
- Can I recommend someone else? Invest some effort in finding the right person to attend the meeting so you don’t appear to be shirking the responsibility.
- Can I contribute in advance? Take a few minutes to pull together some notes and brief the chair or a suitable participant ahead of time.
- Can I attend for part of the meeting? If one or more agenda items don’t apply to you, ask if you can attend only the parts of the meeting that do.