In the business world (and life in general), there needs to be a certain level of respect for everyones’ time. Cancelling and rescheduling meetings happens frequently. Things come up and you learn to roll with the punches.
However, there are times when you’ll receive no warning a meeting is off because the other person decided to bail. You can yell and scream and drop a few curse words, but at the end of the day you need to come up with a plan of action. So get those feelings of frustration out quickly, because when someone is a no-show, you don’t have much time to sit around and pout.
Stay Calm, Cool and Professional
If you make it a point to notify anyone and everyone that you are going to be late, or unavailable for a meeting, kudos to you. This is the real world, not everyone is going to have the same level of professionalism as you. People won’t share the same set of values.
The key is to keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t blow off a meeting with someone just because they blew you off last time. You want to come out on top in this situation. Remain professional at all costs. Set an example for those clients and coworkers who just cannot seem to communicate with you. Don’t let their lack of professionalism impact yours.
Don’t Get Mad, Get Strict
If you are working with someone who continually demonstrates a lack of respect then set stricter rules with them. Take the kid gloves off and lay down the law and demand respect.
Set up a schedule for people who continually push meetings back and let them know that if they break from this schedule, their projects will suffer or you may be unavailable when they are finally ready.
Nag, Nag, Nag, Nag
Call ahead and remind them about the upcoming meeting. Confirm date, time and location. Send a calendar invitation with all the meeting details. Email them with the things you need to discuss in the meeting. Now you have covered your bases.
Is There Someone Else You Can Work With?
Sometimes the person you need to meet with is just too busy. They have too much going on, they over commit and you fall to the bottom of the list over and over again. If that’s the case, is there someone else on their team who will have time to meet with you? Get in contact with your next available resource so the whole project doesn’t fall to pieces.
Sometimes the other person is going through things you might not be aware of. Changes in their business like a loss of a key employee or upsets in their personal life, death, divorce or medical emergencies can all take priority and skew the routine they had put in place. If someone starts blowing you off, ask if there are distractions. Decide together whether to put a project on hold or work together to come up with an alternative plan.
Maybe this is a Bad Business Relationship
Things happen and there’s a time to be understanding about canceled or rescheduled meetings, and then there is a time to say goodbye. Whether they are a partner, referral source or customer, take a stand. If despite your best efforts, the other person continues to blow off meetings ask yourself why you are doing business with them? If they aren’t going to respect your time, you have better things to do.