Inviting Invitations

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“If I had $50 for every great meeting I’ve been invited to, I’d have $75!”

–     A buddy of mine, who used to always say out loud what we were thinking inside.  We miss him.

They come in every day.  Obtuse calendar invitations — “Meeting” listed from 10 – 11 AM.  The best ones we see might say “Agenda to Follow,” (it won’t).

Another of my favorites, “Lunch.”  Nothing else.  Just “lunch.” Not sure what we’re having, where we’re having it or why (other than that whole mid-day meal timing…)  And, finally, a third example, a first-cousin to “Meeting” and “Lunch,” “Discussion.”

Yay.

No.  Not yay.

Difference Makers do it (spoiler alert!) differently.

“Discussion with Executive Team to Recommend New Bonus Plan.”  The purpose is in the description, and then, when we get it right, the agenda is in the invitation, with instructions:  “All participants should be prepared to discuss what’s working best, what we’re missing and what we will want to make sure we include in a new bonus plan, should we roll one out.”  The meeting is set for :40, because that’s how long it should take, instead of just choosing the 1-hour default in the calendar program.  Now I know why.  Now, I can prepare.  Now, I can contribute.

“Lunch @ The Club:  Joe Smith (Client ABC), Pat Jones and Steve Heston to Review Client Experience During Last Week’s Upgrade.”  Followed by sub-bullets, etc.  At the very least I know with whom I’m dining, where and (wait for it) why!

Are there some that can be a little more open-ended?  Perhaps.  “1 x 1:  Steve and Heather” might be a good way to hold the time for a recurring meeting.  Steve and Heather owe it to one another, though, to make the agenda meaningful, the desired outcomes clear and to honor the time.

There are lots of ways to honor our time and those around us’s time.  More inviting invitations.  Clearer expectations. Start on time.  End on time.  Schedule the time you need, not the convenient block of :30, :60, :90 etc.

Let me know if it makes a difference for your team…

 

 

 

 


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