This is a true story:
I had a job interview many years ago at a coffee shop. Honestly, it sounded like it’d be the coolest interview ever. Neutral territory, plenty of people around, food and coffee.
I’m thinking, “laid-back, my kind of interview.” All I wanted was a stress-free meeting.
Instead, it turned out to be a nightmare. The guy I met with spent the whole interview eating pastries and talking about himself. The interview lasted forever because he just droned on and on. What made it worse was we were there during the lunch rush.
How was that a good idea? How did that present his company in a good light?
I ended up declining the offer, and I’ve never looked back.
Still, he had the right idea, it was just poorly executed. Meetings can be anxiety-filled and stressful but there are ways to help everyone keep their cool from beginning to end so both parties can work to their objectives.
1) Get out of the office?
Meeting on neutral territory is certainly not a bad thing for either party. Plus, coffee shops provide the perfect spot for a productive and stress-free meeting. There’s free Wi-Fi, big tables and tons of caffeine and food. However, make sure you plan your meeting. If you are not familiar with the shop, show up a few days early and ask the owner or manager when the busy times are so you can avoid them. Find a spot with plenty of plugs and room, and steer clear of where the traffic will be. Also, it won’t hurt to tip well.
Nothing is more infuriating than sitting in a meeting that drones on and on while you have important work that isn’t getting done. So don’t waste anyone’s time. Have a clear agenda and stick to it. While you’re at it, set a time limit for the meeting, turn on a stopwatch and stick to a deadline you’ve both agreed is appropriate. Is one hour enough? Then stick to it.
3) Designate a note-taker.
Free thinking often involves being able to sit back and throw out ideas without keeping track of someone else’s. Designate one person to take the notes, hit the high points, and have that person email the ideas, goals discussed and resolutions after the meeting.
Don’t plan everything out on your own. Ask for their opinion, in fact, send them a list of ideas for the meeting and see what they say. If they don’t like it, ask what they would like to do. Giving everyone a say in how their day plays out takes some of the pressure off you, and allows them a more active role in the process. Plus, if things don’t go well, it’s not totally your fault.
These are just some of our ideas for helping you keep cool, stay mellow for an important and stress-free meeting. Do you have tips you’d like to share? Let us at Innovative Office Solutions know. And don’t forget to follow us online: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google.