So you know that pointless meetings are a thing – but knowing how to cut the right ones is a skill, particularly if you're leading a team and it's on you to set them up. Whenever you're unsure, follow the decision tree above or ask yourself the following questions.
• Are you completely clear on the objectives of the meeting? If not, double check with the organizer that you understand the main aims.
• Is there a specific reason for you to be there? What are you expected to contribute? If it's simply a means of keeping you updated, consider whether there are other ways that that can be accomplished.
• Are you the right person to attend the meeting? Does the subject matter fall under your domain? Are other people from your department already attending; is there a more appropriate person that could attend in your place?
• Do you need to be there for the entirety of the meeting? Eg, if some of the agenda items don't fall under your area, perhaps there's scope to contribute and then politely leave once the agenda moves on.
• Is one of the main aims of the meeting for relationship-building purposes? If so, that face time is important.