curse your nameYou have an early meeting and wake up ahead of normal schedule in order to arrive on time and be prepared.  Since it’s a breakfast meeting you don’t eat at home.  You get to the meeting spot and no one is there. You wait for a bit thinking that you’re the first to arrive – maybe traffic was bad for them. But 10 minutes go by and you’re still waiting…getting hungry and aggravated.

Irritation setting in, you check your email and find that the organizer of the meeting sent out an email very late the night before cancelling the breakfast meeting.

Insert expletive here followed by his name.

A last minute cancellation not received in time mucks up the schedule of the person who didn’t get the message and it’s extremely frustrating.

How to Prevent It

Sleep with your smartphone and check it the moment before you go to sleep and the second you wake up? No.  That’s a stress-inducing and dumb idea. Not only that, but email isn’t glitch-proof. Email address entered incorrectly, sent to wrong person due to “auto-fill,” full mailbox, goes into spam filter, etc. In all of those instances the email would not have been received by the right person at the right time.

The onus is not on the attendee to make sure the meeting is still happening (sales calls being the exception).  The onus is on the person cancelling to make certain the attendee(s) got the message — and it’s pretty simple to do.

In the communication (email, voice mail, text) sent to cancel the meeting, simply request that the attendee confirm that they got the message.  That’s it. Simple as pie.  Same rule applies if the time or location of the meeting is changing.  Just make sure people received the new information.

The extra step shows respect. Indicating that their time is as valuable as yours.  When people know you respect your time, they’ll respect you more, too.  And definitely won’t be cursing you.

2 Comments

  1. June Van Klaveren on September 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Mary — This has happened to me numerous times. So if I have to cancel a meeting that I organized, I send an email and also leave a voice mail for the attendees. You could also go so far as to send a text. I always ask for confirmation that the message was received, no matter what vehicle I use to send the message.



  2. Mary Kutheis (kooth-ice) on September 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    That confirmation is key. And no one can YOU don’t cover all of the bases!