Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

How to properly set up a meeting

"Hey - we should get together sometime."
"Let’s connect one of these days."
"We should grab coffee."
"Hey - give me a call."

When someone uses any form of one of these invitations, I know there will be no meeting. It’s simple polity. Our cultural way of being nice without committing.

And sometimes that’s an important thing to do. Although, I do believe it’s possible to be nice without making a promise.

If I want a meeting with you I will most likely send an email using the following template:

First ask:

Could this happen with a phone call or an email?

Yes, we need more personal connection and in our increasingly digital world. This is important. But maybe it isn’t necessary to have a face to face over simple (or simplistic) questions. Think it through.

1. Why I want to meet

Be specific here. “To catch up” or “to pick your brain” are not specific.

2. A couple of options for when to meet.

Specific, yet flexible, dates and times. Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday morning. Anytime Saturday. If I’m asking for a meeting, I need to be the flexible one.

3. Pick a place

Make it convenient for the person you’re asking. Is there a café close to her workplace? Do you know of a frequented lunch spot?

I find using this pattern to set up face to face meetings relatively successful. It’s empathetic to others and their time and cuts fake promises for nebulous meetings that no one is actually interested in attending.