When Is Expedience Acceptable?

Sometimes I forget to make out my referral slips in advance of our meeting. 
I feel rude checking my calendar on my phone while someone else is talking, 
however, I feel horrible if I have to wait a week to make any referrals.

Should I be rude and check my phone for times,
or should I wait and pass them next week? *

You feel rude or you feel horrible.
Neither is good.
Choosing the lesser of two rudes won’t make the feeling or the result better.

Contrary to what some people think, 1:50
options are the answer to all questions.
You’ve listed two options:

      • Look at my phone during the meeting
      • Be referral-less today and hope to remember to pass the invitation next week

There are more options – maybe 20 more!

      1. Pass the referral record and move quickly to the person to schedule the appointment together, the instant the meeting is adjourned
      2. Mark the referral “will call you” and, do, before noon, today
      3. Have a standard day and time you know will always work – perhaps Wednesday lunch, or Monday breakfast
      4. Fill in a random date and time, then check it, and change it
      5. Email coffee offers during the week, turn in the referral record at the meeting for an appointment that is already confirmed

The common denominator is the responsibility for action. It’s yours. You are not asking the other person to give you calendar suggestions, that would put the responsibility for next action with them. You are not asking them to give you location suggestions, that would make thinking of a place their task. You are taking responsibility for the next action, and that is what makes you feel polite, feel good.

But . . . options don’t solve the underlying issue.
Issues are addressed with systems.

Systems are the way to guarantee results.

System 1:
Tommy Schlosser snags a couple of referral records at the end of each meeting. On Wednesday afternoon, before his Friday meeting, he checks his calendar and fills out two dates and times. He doesn’t know — yet — who the appointment is going to be with; he knows those two times fit his schedule. At the meeting he may invite a Visitor, or a Member, or a Sub, for one of those dates. Some weeks he uses both invitation opportunities.
System 2:
Jill Pullen has two 15 minute appointments on her calendar each week. This is the system she uses to be sure she doesn’t forget to look at the notes she made on last week’s agenda. And this is the time she uses to reach out to a client and suggest an introduction to a Team Member, that she can then put on a Referral Record ready for the next week’s meeting.

Develop systems that fit you.
Don’t assume because you didn’t stick with a system previously you wouldn’t make it work now.  George is currently using the 43 Folders system effectively. It was not a fit for him ten years ago, or six years ago. It is now.

Share your own options and systems for this situation in the comments section.

And, the answer to your second question next Monday:

*We have a Member who is frequently on the phone during the meeting. 
Any polite way to get this person to stop? 
We’re each running a small business and sometimes 
expect a message, but not many times, during every meeting. 
Is this just something I should stop thinking about? 
We are all adults, after all.
One Response to When Is Expedience Acceptable?
  1. Wendy Kinney
    April 11, 2016 | 9:11 am

    I’ve found setting phone alarms to be a particularly useful system. When I sit down for coffee we agree on an end time, and then I say to my phone “Set an alarm for 10 minutes before that.”

    This system gives us the opportunity to agree on an end time, permission to be reminded, and a little fudge factor so it’s not abrupt.

    I wonder if a phone alarm, two days before your meeting, would be a good trigger for you?

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