3

If someone wants to have a meeting and provides a selection of times, ex:

Monday 1:00-1:30 pm - EST
Tuesday 9:00-9:30 am - EST
Wednesday 2:00-2:30 pm - EST

and I am completely indifferent as to the times, should I still pick one (to move things forward), or just reply that all the meeting times are acceptable (to give them the choice of time in case they have a preference)?

Does the status between the two matter, i.e. who is more senior or a boss, or who is the one driving/initiating the meeting?

edit for clarification: assume only two people are involved in the meeting

  • 4
    Pick the first date which isnt a monday morning, or during lunch (11:30-12:30). – Raoul Mensink Jul 18 '16 at 14:13
  • 2
    I think you're over thinking this. Either say "they all work, what's best for you", or pick the earliest time to get it out if the way, or pick randomly. Things that don't matter do not matter. – keshlam Jul 18 '16 at 16:19
10

Depends on how many people are in the meeting. If this is a planning for a larger meeting (3 or more parties, basically) then it is often best to respond with an "I am available at all of these times". (Or, if you can do some, but not all, to respond with the ones you have available).

Since there might be other parties who still need to pick an available time and you saying "Let's do monday" might then result in "we can't do monday", whereas you saying "Any is fine with me" would immediately go to "We can only do Wednesday".

When there are only 2 parties involved, the other party clearly is also available for all of these and is also indifferent, so just pick one. Roll a die, or just go with the first one, or whatever. If they cared, they would have emphasized their preferred date.

  • Edited the question for clarification, it's only 2 parties involved - not sure the other party is indifferent as to the other times, as they may not be confident enough to suggest a preferred time depending on the relationship between the two parties – user2813274 Jul 18 '16 at 14:51
2

If the request is coming from your supervisor and it is something work related, such as a project status check up or a customer expectation etc, it is best that you choose the best time depending on the project's timeline. Your supervisor might not be aware of your position on the subject matter project and deferring the timing to you, so that you can be more prepared.

If it is a personal matter, like your yearly or quarterly review, it is best if you choose a time which you know will be better for your boss, indicating that you are available for all the time slots offered but you thought it might be at your boss' best interest if you go with this or that time. This will make you sound decisive, at the same time considerate of your boss. And letting your boss know that you are open to all suggestions, gives them the chance to offer a different time, should he/she feels another time slot serves better for his/her purpose.

On the other hand, if the meeting request is coming from a coworker or a project team member, it has almost always been my experience that, more flexible you sound, more irrelevant work you end up getting during the course of the project. Choose one time slot, even if it is at random, and stick to it, and if necessary, resist the time change proposals, within reason of course. If someone, who is not your boss, thinks that he/she can walk over you, this is not a good move for the rest of your time in that position.

0

If you are having a small meeting, and all the times work for you - just say so.

Keep in mind that working for you means:

  • You can be on time
  • You will have any preparation or action items for the meeting complete
  • You can be attentive and ready to participate

If you can't do all three, say so, and pick the time that is most likely to get you as ready for the meeting as possible. If you have no part to play in the meeting, then ask why it's necessary and what value you bring to it.

The importance of being ready on all counts increases when the meeting is with your superiors or with other people of high importance. If you are the higher ranked person, you may be able to waste the time of the other groups more or if this is a large meeting, it may be understood if you can't be 100% ready for the meeting.

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