Welcome to my ClassyTip for this week which focuses on:
- Plan, Confirm, and Always Reconfirm - Tip #19
Have you ever planned a luncheon meeting, arrived at the restaurant and waited. And waited, and waited. You call your client’s office and he’s not in. Finally you call your office and are told, "the client called at noon to say something had come up and he’d have to reschedule".
Frustrated you quickly order, eat and leave, getting on with the rest of your day.
There is little doubt that the constant demands on our time certainly keep us on our toes. But time management goes beyond scheduling appointments; it includes not only the planning, but just as important, the activities that lead up to the appointment, event, or meeting. A quick phone call in the morning to reconfirm the luncheon meeting can eliminate not only a great deal of wasted time and effort, but also the potential of damaging a relationship.
The person who initiates an appointment or meeting has the responsibility to reconfirm it. A quick call can reconfirm the time, location, purpose, and any items that should be brought to the meeting, thereby eliminating any potential misunderstanding or miscommunication.
This confirmation, or reconfirmation, becomes most critical when:
The meeting is scheduled far in advance
Depending on how far in advance it’s scheduled, more than one confirmation call may need to be made. A call on the morning of the meeting is timely. And if a meeting is set for several weeks in the future, a phone call or email a week before the meeting to reconfirm the scheduled appointment will help eliminate surprises.
Travel is involved with the meeting
A person doesn’t want to go to the expense, both in time and money, only to find out the meeting is cancelled or postponed.
Important Meeting involving several people
When critical meetings are in the planning stage, the pressures on the person coordinating the meeting become intense. There are usually high-powered ‘egos’ that must be catered to. There may be planes to meet as the ‘important people’ arrive for the meeting. There may be tension among the ‘key players’ because of the nature for the meeting. There are the facts and figures that must be accurate and clearly prepared for presentation at the meeting. Then there’s always the social requirement to entertain the ‘big wigs’. And the meeting hasn’t even started yet!
What works best?
Coordination and reconfirmation are two key elements to successful time management. The classy person who initiates a meeting, or is responsible for the coordination of a meeting, learns to quickly and effectively reconfirm the details of a meeting. This process is always timely and requires little effort on the participants, but it’s critical to the success of the meeting.
Meetings have two parts -
There are always two people who are part of any meeting or appointment. The person who initiates it and the person who agrees to it.
The person who agrees to a meeting has a responsibility to fulfill that commitment. In today’s world of cell phones, too many people think they can back out of a commitment at the last minute because, "I can call and cancel".
This behavior shows a significant lack of consideration for others. If you find that you must frequently back-out or reschedule appointments, look at why this is happening. Usually a better system for recording commitments will help, because many times we tend to over-schedule. But by more accurately and realistically recording time commitments, we’re less likely to have to ‘back-out at the last minute.’
The classy person is considerate of other people’s time. Should an appointment or meeting need to be rescheduled, it’s done with ample warning, never at the last minute. And it’s only done when absolutely necessary.
P.S. Also keep these ideas in mind for all social occasions. Remember a reconfirming phone call that restates the time and location may very well prevent an unfortunate miscommunication. And once a social commitment has been made, don’t back out at the last minute because ‘something better has come along.’
I'm Looking forward to sending you another of my ClassyTips next week. Until then, have a great week, and don't forget to visit my Forum that answers your questions on 'Becoming the Best You Can Be'.
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