In open space-style workshops/sessions there’s a concept called “The Law of Two Feet”. It means that if, at any time, you feel you are not contributing to the session, or if you are not learning something, then you should use your two feet to leave the session and find one where you can contribute and where you can learn something.
It’s a beautiful rule because it gives all participants the permission to go where they think they can be the most effective.
It occurs to me that nearly all the meetings I attend in the workplace could benefit from having meeting participants understand this concept.
So often we find ourselves in meetings that are not valuable for us. Sometimes we’re invited “just for our info”, so we go along just to avoid the risk of missing out. Sometimes meetings go so off-topic that the value starts to dissipate. And sometimes the meeting probably wasn’t necessary in the first place.
In any of these situations, I propose to you that you invoke your right to use your feet. If the meeting isn’t valuable for you; if you cannot contribute or cannot learn something valuable – then leave.
You have my permission!