Scheduling Faux Pas

The internet has revolutionized the way we shop, the way we plan, the way we live and even the way we schedule appointments and arrange meetings.  However if you are not careful, you run the risk of committing some common scheduling faux pas.  It’s important that you adhere to some basic scheduling etiquette.

Everyone uses the same calendar

One of the more common faux pas that people tend to commit is assuming that all their contacts are using the same calendar tool as they are.  While most major players in the market such as Google, Outlook, and Hotmail will play together nicely with invitations from each other, you need to be aware of potential issues with your audience.

Clear meeting agenda

Another issue to be aware of is inviting people to a meeting without a clear explanation of the meeting’s purpose.  Even if you’ve spoken to someone about the meeting previously, unless it’s happening in the next few hours, a clear outline of the meeting’s agenda in the invitation is always good etiquette.

Include responsibilities

If attendees need to present data or bring material to the meeting ensure that you include that information in the agenda.  This way you can avoid timely delays and confusion.

Rescheduling or canceling

If you need to reschedule a meeting most programs will allow you to update the message to the attendees describing why the change is needed, however that doesn’t prevent you from having to resend it multiple times because of other scheduling conflicts.  A quick email to all participants prior to sending the update can save you some headaches down the road.  Although sometimes it can’t be avoided, if you need to cancel or reschedule a meeting it should be done as soon as possible to allow your attendees to be able to reorganize their day accordingly.

Time management

Treat your attendees’ time carefully.  Can you accomplish in a focused 30 minute meeting what you originally thought might take an hour?  We all attend enough meetings as it is; wasting time in an unproductive meeting is nobody’s idea of a good time.

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