Ever have the experience where you get an email asking if you and another colleague are willing to talk, huddle, brainstorm or follow up on a new initiative?
Contrast these two examples:
“Can you meet for 30 minutes on Thursday between 9-11am to discuss the new initiative? If not, give me two other windows of time that work for you.”
“Can we get together to discuss this new initiative? Let me know a few times you are free.”
When you see them one after another, it is certainly clear which is more actionable.
As you know, one of the cornerstones of the Decker GridTM is an action step. What do you want people to do? What’s the first step they need to take? Hold everyone accountable – be timed, physical, measurable.
Here’s how to make that request more action-oriented:
- Offer a couple times – specific days and windows of time – that work for you. If coordinating with a group of people, offer a few windows that already work for a few of you.
- Especially if you are scheduling with colleagues, check out their calendars. Chances are you have access to a master calendar or/and travel schedule. Can this be done over the phone? Consider the “where,” as well as the “when.”
- Give a deadline. Nothing makes people act like a deadline. Nothing.
Of course, it’s not always possible to align schedules of busy people. And I’ll be the first to admit that. But you can get a jump on coordinating schedules.
Be specific. Be direct. Save time.
You’ll thank your colleagues, and they’ll thank you, too!
(Want more on email etiquette? Great email tips archived here.)