Scheduling a meeting with a colleague can be messy. You could waste hours going back and forth on meeting times before finally landing on a time when everyone's available. Apps like Calendly can cut to the chase, but it's important to find a way to invite others to block time off on your calendar without alienating them.
Using Apps to Schedule Meetings
Like many people, you probably have a busy schedule. You may spend your day moving between meetings with team members and clients, in addition to getting your to-do items done. Busy people tend to rely heavily on calendars to block off time for what they need to get done.
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But coordinating your calendar with someone else's can be tough. That's where apps can come in. However, asking someone to block time on your calendar for a meeting can come across as though you're better than the person you're meeting with.
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Set Up Your Calendar
Before you ask one more person to block some time on your calendar, make it as flexible as possible. Always keep your calendar as up to date as possible so what's reflected there shows your availability in real time. Also keep your scheduling blocks short, giving half-hour increments if possible, so people can find a time that works for them.
Further, make sure whatever app you use, it's set up to integrate with your colleagues' favorite scheduling apps. Calendly's Zoom integration can come in handy for making sure you always have the link where you need it to be, and you can find similar integrations for Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar and other popular scheduling platforms.
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As convenient as meeting schedulers can be, it's important to follow proper business etiquette when inviting others to grab a time on your calendar.
Know Your Audience
Working your way up the career ladder means making sure you don't step on any toes on your climb. You may be inviting the president of your company to block time on your calendar for efficiency's sake, but the president may see it as one of the power plays that plague some teams.
For that reason, it may be best to first ask superiors if they'd prefer you block time on their schedule. If they don't have one, you can then mention your own and suggest that it could speed things up. If a superior ignores your request, consider asking for a suggested time and checking your calendar yourself as an alternative to potentially alienating someone.
Delegate Your Scheduling
In some environments, there are people who can help out with meeting planning. If you have project managers invested in the topic at hand, turn scheduling over to them. You might also have product managers who can have everyone schedule the meeting on a central calendar without worrying about power games.
There might be other people on your team who can share your virtual workspace and send out the request. Zoom even has a scheduling privilege management tool to turn over scheduling to someone else who can act on your behalf.
The Importance of Assertiveness
While you're trying to avoid alienating a superior, it's important to consider how assertiveness comes across. When you're confident and straightforward, your boss could very well see you as someone who gets things done. In fact, assertive communication is a great way to instill confidence in your abilities.
That said, it's also important to consider the power dynamics when you plan meetings. If you're asking someone to meet with you, it's more appropriate to ask the other person's availability and work around that. If someone else requested the meeting with you, or you're scheduling interviews or meetings with a team you manage, it makes perfect sense for you to be the one to link the other person to your calendar and ask them to pick a time.
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As convenient as meeting schedulers can be, it's important to follow proper business etiquette when inviting others to grab a time on your calendar. Make sure the person on the other end of the invite understands that you're making the suggestion for efficiency's sake, not to say you see yourself as superior. With the right wording, you can avoid rubbing someone the wrong way and keep your professional reputation intact.