As the world gets back to some kind of new normal I am still struggling with the protocol around meetings. It could be just me but last week I turned up to a face to face meeting tio find that the other participants had expected it to be online. Fortunately one of the people was on site and so we could still sit down together and so my journey was far from wasted.
As it turns out, this was my fault. When setting up meetings in Google it automatically offers an online meeting. This is the default in my settings, which makes sense as the majority of meetings I have are still online. These last few weeks have been an exception to the last year as I have been out and about quite a bit. For a face to face meeting I have to remember to cancel the online portion of the invite though I invariably forget.
It seems that people still expect meetings to be online. They are easier to deal with, take less time, don’t involve travel and can be accommodated from almost anywhere. Yet face to face meetings can achieve things which are difficult to do online, at least for me. Asking for money is a good example, which I feel is best done in front of the potential supporter. Developing new relationships is another. If you are going to set up a face to face meeting then you have to stress that this is the case, possibly more than once. Get the tech right as well.
Also, at this time of year, it is worth checking that the planned meeting space is actually available. Again last week, I agreed to meet someone at a golf club only to find that it was operating winter hours and wasn’t open. The location wasn’t my choice and I am not a golfer but that is no excuse, I should have checked.
We know that the world of work has changed significantly yet at times we behave as if it is exactly as it was before the pandemic. At some point we will settle into a new routine, hopefully, but for now I need to be a bit clearer about the kind of meeting we are having and check that the place is actually open.
Today I have five meetings, two online and three in person. I’ve spoken to everyone to let them know where I will be at the agreed time.