Say you have a conference call scheduled with geographically dispersed parties. You decide to email the multiple documents needed for the conference call 2 minutes before it begins.

Don't assume:

  • I'm in my office.
  • I have a clue why this conference call with no agenda is being held.
  • The meeting before this didn't put me behind schedule.
  • You have my undivided attention, especially when things are frantic.
  • There's a computer in front of me - with current versions of the necessary software.
  • If there is a computer, it's functioning properly.
  • Your email is the most important thing I'm dealing with right now.
  • There's time for me to print the documents for the conference call.
  • Someone's available to print and retrieve the documents if I'm running behind.
  • You won't be sitting around waiting for me to open / save / print / retrieve documents for the conference call which could have been handled more efficiently with adequate prep time.

You know what? All these assumptions are manageable by sending the documents in adequate time.

So manage the situation, make sure we have the information, and are setup for strategic thinking and productive work.

Stop playing the "we don't want you to look at the documents ahead of time" game. Please. - Mike Brown