A fresh look @ meeting reminders

by | Jun 3, 2020

One great thing about asking your subscribers for blog post topics?
They come up with countless ideas.
Thanks to Margie G., an executive assistant for a racing team, we’ll consider useful meeting reminders.

The question that started it all

As you might imagine, Margie works in a fast-paced world (no pun intended) that can become … let’s say tense … quickly.
Here is Ms. G.’s dilemma:
I don’t know if this topic fits, but I have trouble with a polite (even clever) way to confirm/remind someone of an appointment.
Regular, daily, even weekly arrangements – no problem.
But less frequent?
I’m not sure the best way to approach it.
Or when.
One day prior? Two days?
My task became researching meeting reminders in real-life situations.
‘Cause let’s face it: some books are written by those living in a dream world.

Useful meeting notices

Thanks to all who participated in the Great Meeting Reminder Hunt!

I learned a lot, and I hope you will, too.

Chris D. ‘softens’ the conversation

Chris uses an easy-going approach, blaming the calendar.

He tries to send reminders within seven days of the meeting.

Here’s an example:

I was looking at my schedule and saw a reminder for our
meeting next week. I look forward to seeing you in your office on the 9th at 4:30 p.m.

Chris told me, “This type of response shows you are organized and delivers the reminder without being pushy. That is just one person’s opinion, but it works for me.”
Notice that Chris made the meeting’s location clear.
This is a smart move because it ensures there is no misunderstanding on who’s traveling!
Plus, it allows the client to provide the sometimes-inevitable “Oops!” and explain why a reschedule is necessary.

Kay L. uses a slightly different approach

Here’s a great way to use your email subject line to ‘say it all.’

It depends on the situation, but Kay usually sends something two days ahead if she and the client have kept in good contact throughout the project.Her subject line says

Checking in about our phone call this week

and the email provides the details:

Just a quick note to make sure we’re still on for our 3:00 p.m. meeting, this Thursday, in your office.

This is for reviewing the new website pages and tying up the final details for your launch.

Please let me know if 3:00 p.m.is still a good time for an uninterrupted 35-45 minute conversation on Thursday.

I look forward to our chat and putting the finishing touches on your project.

Kay mentioned, “I also send a quick email the morning of the meeting. It’s a fine line, though. You don’t want to bug them.”
Here are a couple of good ideas from Kay’s email:

      • Reviewing the purpose of the get-together
      • Clarifying: this is uninterrupted time

Requesting an unbroken period of time gives the interviewee an excuse to let you be ‘the bad guy’ with their staff, plus … you might have quality, uninterrupted time to work!

You’ll both appreciate the chance to focus.

I get specific, too

Much as Kay suggests, I request a specific number of minutes.
For example, when I interview the business owners for our local Small Business of the Month article, I tell them I’ll need 20-30 uninterrupted minutes to fill in some blanks and make sure I’ve captured the information correctly (from their award application).

… 20-30 minutes … gets them thinking:
“Oh, just a half-hour. Yeah, I can do that.”

… to fill in some blanks … lets them rightly assume:
“She’s already working on this. Maybe it’s almost done.”

The trick is to stay with the schedule once I’m on the phone call.

I begin wrapping up at the 18-minute mark, showing the client I respect their time.

If they signal it’s OK to work longer,  I have two responses ready:

      • If it’s going well, I request another 10 minutes.
      • If it’s going nowhere, I graciously bow out … to regroup.

I usually end these meetings around the 25-minute mark.
If we close it up a little early, we aren’t just considerate
of the client’s time.
We are cementing – in their mind –
that we keep our promises.

Join in the Conversation

This topic naturally brings to mind the art of follow-up. Yup … I’m on it! 
Click here for the ‘sister’ post. “A fresh look @ follow-up” Enjoy!
Thanks to those who made this offering possible. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Feel free to add to the discussion by leaving a comment. Use these ideas, or bring your own:
    • How do you usually remind clients of a meeting?
    • Share a funny “Don’t do this!” meeting notice story.
    • Tell us about a unique reminder you’ve received for a meeting.
Please share this post, subscribe so you won’t miss next month’s offering, and scroll down to join the conversation in the comments section.

Let’s all learn from each other

Thanks for stopping by!
If you have a project that’s shooting some angst your way, let’s take a look and non-overwhelm that puppy.
Click here to email me and start the conversation: kyork@kathieyork.com
Who knows? A quick (non-inmailto:kyork@kathieyork.comvoiced) suggestion might be all you need to get unstuck!

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Kathie York, CSQE
Queen of Non-Overwhelm
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