If you’ve ever made a doctors appointment, it’s pretty much expected you’ll receive a reminder phone call or email about your upcoming appointment. But, when it comes to business meetings, confirming appointments is a bad way to go. Here’s why.
Robby Slaughter, founder of AccelaWork and reoccurring contributor to Inside Indiana Business, discusses this exact topic in his latest piece: Real Professionals Don’t Confirm Appointments. It’s quite an interesting topic because, as so many of us can agree, confirming appointments often times is the norm. But, Slaughter points out some very obvious reasons why doing so can send the wrong message and, perhaps to some extent, hurt a working relationship.
Below are five reasons why confirming appointments can actually have an adverse effect rather than a positive one on the meeting in question.
- Confirming appointments might send the message you are self-conscious
One possible reason you are checking in is because you are nervous they won’t be there. You know they have value to provide and you’re concerned they will skip out.
I don’t know about you, but the last message I want to send out is that I’m afraid I’m not important enough. It’s essential to be aware of this fact as it can make or break what you’ve set out to accomplish with the meeting.
- Confirming appointments might send the message you are self-important
This isn’t what you want to relay to another person who you consider a peer or a mentor. And even if you are technically more important, humility is still a virtue. Don’t tell other people your time is more valuable than theirs. If you confirm an appointment, your confirmation might construed as checking to make sure you aren’t wasting time going to an appointment only to get blown off.
Arrogance (or giving off the false impression of it) can be a very dangerous trait to have in business. Besides the fact that it can turn people off and make them not want to do business with you, it can also come back to haunt you someday. The old adage, “never burn bridges”, can be applied to more than just leaving a job. If you give off the impression of self-importance, one day the same individual (who was on the receiving end of your attitude), may end up being at a higher advantage than you. What will happen then? I would suspect nothing positive.
- Confirming appointments might send the message you have poor organizational skills
Maybe you’re saying “I can’t remember, are we meeting today?” or “I bet you’ve forgotten about us getting together.” Either way, you’re insulting someone’s professionalism. If you can’t manage your own calendar, you shouldn’t be setting appointments. And if someone can’t manage theirs, you’ll find out when they no show, no call, and have no story.
- Confirming appointments might create bad opportunities
Thanks to the advent of modern technology, we can now reach people almost anywhere at any time. A quick reminder text a few hours before you’re supposed to get together presents an easy opportunity to cancel.
If the meeting is super important, don’t take the chance of reminding someone! Particularly if you plan to send a reminder via email or text. After all, as has been discussed previously on The Methodology Blog, utilizing technology, where we don’t have to actually discuss sensitive issues face-to-face, makes it easier to relay bad news.
- Confirming appointments might create a sense of distrust and unreliability
If you nudge someone who has forgotten about your upcoming meeting, that might inspire them to prepare. While it’s good to be ready, it’s not good to have to be reminded to be ready. You want people to treat you the way they treat you without prompting. Otherwise, you’re not meeting the real person.
To many of us, it may seem foreign to NOT confirm appointments. We are of a day and age where communication is so easy and immediate that a simple text or email can seem perfectly harmless. But, as you can see above, Slaughter’s warnings have true consequences that make complete and utter sense. So, next time try as best you can to resist the urge to send a reminder. You’ll thank us for it.