…wouldn’t it be practiced more commonly? I’m justifying some posting on what may seem to be mundane or insanely self-evident subjects. I console myself that a genius like Benjamin Franklin had similar compulsions.
So next up: calendaring. Not rocket science, right? Find a time and place and just meet the person. But now, with our increasingly complicated forms of connecting and communicating, this is evolving into an increasingly painful process.
If you aren’t sure whether you are driving your colleagues…prospective clients…clients…friends….insane, here’s a few scenarios followed by some easy quiz questions…
Head-Scratch Scenario #1:
Person you propose to meet with: “Sure, happy to meet.”
Your response: “Great! Mornings are best for me.”
Bingo: you just put 90% of the burden of figuring out time slots work on the person whose time you are requesting. Do you get that this is a pain in the butt?
When you request a meeting, you should be the one providing options to meet for (a) day; (b) time; (c) location (if in-person); or (d) channel if remote (Skype, phone, etc.).
- 0 points if you don’t even throw out an option at all – on any front
- 1 point for the number of options you provide for each category. Bonus point if you provide windows of time for (b).
Head-Scratch Scenario #2:
You’ve gone back and forth on meeting times and it’s just on you to give the final confirmation. The day of the suggested appointment, you check in to see “if we are still on.” No commentary here – we’re too pissed off that you were that inconsiderate or oblivious to the fact that other meetings come up.
- 0 points if you wait until 24 hours or less before proposed meeting time.
- 1 point for the amount of days you reply in advance of proposed meeting time.
Head-Scratch Scenario #3:
You know you want to meet with someone, aren’t at your desk, and think a quick text will do the trick: “how about we meet up sometime this week?”
In addition to not conforming with Best Practice above (see #1), you also are forcing the recipient to respond quickly (as SMS protocol normally dictates), and forcing her to consult her calendar using a separate medium and then toggle back to her SMS to get back to you.
Worse: you email and SMS the same person with different times, forcing them to compile all of the various messages into something s/he can act upon.
Hint: use one method (pref email) and don’t force the recipient to toggle various mediums to accommodate which one works best for you.
- 0 points for the greater number of media you use to contact the person.
- 0 points if you use a form of media that forces the recipient to toggle from that to their calendar (SMS) or respond quickly (SMS or Twitter DM or Instant Message)
- 1 point for summarizing all of the options (again, #1 above) in a concise email well in advance (#2) of the proposed meeting times.
Was this a stupid thing to cover? Set up a meeting with me and we’ll find out 🙂