Stop Making This Common Mistake When Scheduling Meetings

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Are you looking to streamline your meetings?Image of people meeting with cellphones and the phrase, Stop Making This Common Mistake When Scheduling Meetings

Tired of wasting time and energy to organize a meeting, only to have it cancelled, or rescheduled?

In this post, I offer a reminder to keep in your back pocket whenever you’re getting ready to schedule a meeting.

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Be sure to check out The Order Expert’s upcoming time management guide. 

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An All-Too Common Mistake When it Comes to Scheduling Meetings

Meetings are bits of time where two or more people agree to meet at a certain place and time, to discuss certain information, and reach a specific outcome.

Simple, right?

Problems can soon arise when very basic meeting requirements are ignored.   

Consider for a moment this rather familiar exchange:

Person #1: “Can we meet this morning for a couple of minutes?”

Person #2: “Sure.”

That’s it.

Let’s now fast forward to that ill-fated moment when the meeting is supposed to take place.

Person #1: “Oh, hello. I’m here, let’s chat.”

Person #2: “Oh, sorry, that’s not possible. I can’t meet with you now. I’ve got this deadline I’m working on, plus I have another meeting I completely forgot about coming up in a few minutes.”

Hmm, looks like that meeting isn’t going to happen any time soon…

So, what’s the mistake here? Well, it’s all has to do with lack of communication.

Both parties weren’t clear about what the meeting was to be about, when it would meet, and for how long.

Whenever you set up a meeting, make sure you communicate the following information:

Determine a specific meeting date and time.

Avoid loose ends and get that meeting on the books! Refer to certain dates and times to propose for your meeting. “Sometime later today”, or “Sometime next week” will come and go, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll actually hold your meeting.

Set a specific amount of time in which to meet.

Did you set your meeting with Joe from accounting at 3 P.M.? Great.

Now, it’s time to take things one step further by specifying how much time you’ll need. Will it be 15 minutes? 30 minutes? An hour?

Requesting a specific amount of time not only sets the tone for the meeting (everybody knows what to expect), but it is something each party can work with when it comes to booking their schedules.

No more worrying about missing an upcoming meeting or flight, or losing much-needed work time on a project.

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Consult your schedule before scheduling meetings.

This is certainly a simple reminder, but you’d be amazed at how many times a schedule is ignored.

The best course of action to avoid making assumptions.

Take a brief moment to consult your schedule and confirm whether or not you are available.

If you don’t have your calendar handy, tell your contact you’ll check your schedule as soon as you are able, and then let them if you can meet up, or not.

Set a goal for the meeting.

So, why are you holding this meeting? What decision(s) do you want to reach? What goals do you want to achieve?

A meeting without a specific goal is sure to go awry.

Make sure you can accurately describe your reasons for holding the meeting.

If you can’t, you may want to reconsider doing so.  

How about you? What other meeting faux pas do you accidentally see or have seen in your time at the office? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 3 Smart Steps to Organizing Your Home, by clicking here.
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