We’ve become so attached to our asynchronous communication modes that we’ve lost sight of the importance of getting something done in real time. I am referring to how we try to schedule meetings. Too often I get an email asking for a meeting to which I respond that the inquirer should call. In my weaker moments I say that I take briefings after 2 PM most days. At that point I get a Swiss cheese calendar of options and I have to scour my appointment book to see what fits, constantly referring back to the email to check. This might be followed by more email to pick a day and modify the time if possible. And on and on… This can easily be followed by a chain of emails but we could avoid the back and forth if you’d just call.
This isn’t to make life difficult but the opposite. When you call we discuss possibilities and book something.
The alternative is to put a hold on several blocks of my time while you check with your client’s schedule and get back to me. This I cannot do. My calendar runs a first com/first served algorithm. If it didn’t I would end up with a lot of wasted time as blocks expire.
I put out this reminder about once a year and scheduling improves but then inevitably falls back into the old pattern.
I find this very interesting because I have been doing this long enough to recall a time when all meetings were scheduled by phone. It was quick and painless and it the person on the other end of the phone had to schedule multiple meetings it was pretty easy to grab a small block of customer time and fill it up without the mindless back and forth.
I suspect that on-line meetings have contributed to the problem. Back in the day, you made appointments for face time and so you knew you’d have that block. With on-line meetings you might often be booking a meeting here or there filling in holes in your client’s calendar. It’s different.
I don’t care. It’s maddening to try to schedule the number of meetings I take through email. So, I know this is a rant and thanks for reading but would you mind calling to schedule a briefing or other phone meeting?
TSM (Thanks so much.)