When not to speak

Here’s a flow to help me with my “helpful contribution” problem:Is the priority of (this part of) the meeting to discuss things exhaustively, or to cover the essentials?

  1. If the purpose of the meeting is exhaustive discussion and there’s still time and attention available – go ahead and share your point.
  2. If the purpose of the meeting is to cover the essentials, does the helpful contribution add something essential that hasn’t been raised? If so – go ahead and share your point.
  3. If the helpful point is not exactly essential, is it important and directly relevant to properly understanding something essential? If so…
  4. Ask how likely is it to generate secondary helpful contributions from other people. If it’s relatively contained – go ahead. If it’s likely to open a Pandora’s box of distractions and irrelevance – find a way to share it effectively at a different time.

I usually fall down on point four.

Would it help if your whole team shared an understanding of this principle?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...