What to Consider When Scheduling a Meeting

March 2022
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The back-and-forth involved in planning a meeting can take a lot of time out of your day. Using a digital calendaring tool is one way to gain some of that time back, as it allows someone to find an opening in your schedule.

However, some workers say that the methodology of apps like Calendly — which send a link to a booking page connected to your digital calendar, showing times you’re available — is poor etiquette, as it’s is a way of saying that your time is more valuable than theirs.

“The problem? Receiving a Calendly link feels impersonal and transactional to some,” says a Wall Street Journal article. “Calendly and other scheduling apps usually make more work for the invitee than the inviter, even if they cut down on overall emails or texts.”

Austin Petersmith of Racket Research Corp. says, “I struggle with keeping up with my inbox, so the efficiency is what I appreciate.” He tries to meet people in the middle by asking, “Can you send over times that work for you? Or if it’s easier, you can use my Calendly link.”

Psychology Today shares some additional pointers on more collaborative calendaring, noting that it “is one of those situations where the little things make a big difference in how people perceive you.” When finding a time, communicate that you take others’ needs into account and are willing to pitch in a little extra for the good of the group.

Be respectful of other people’s time, by thinking about things like what time zone they’re in, or if they have children and may be doing school drop-off in the morning or family-time activities in the early evening. 

Offer flexibility and allow the other person to suggest dates, times and locations as well. And thank them for their time — showing that there’s a human side to scheduling.

Whichever app or method you decide on, it’s helpful to ask others first: “What’s the best way to get on your calendar?” says the Journal

Here, Psychology Today suggests several small gestures to show that you’re a good collaborator when it comes to scheduling:

  1. Present your availability in terms of their time zone, not yours.
  2. Show your availability to correspond to times when they’re likely available.
  3. Reply promptly to requests for your availability.
  4. Think about location and convenience for others if it’s on off-site meeting.
  5. Ask them to suggest options, as some people have less flexibility than others.
Return to Current Issue Creativity & Innovation | March 2022
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