What’s your favorite meeting scheduling tool? Calendly is one of the most popular, and it received plenty of attention on Twitter towards the end of January. The drama unfolded when Sam Lessin, former VP of Product Management at Facebook, tweeted about the practice of sending a Calendly link as “the most raw/naked display of social capital dynamics in business.”
How the Calendly Drama Unfolded on Twitter
Lessin acknowledges the temptation to be efficient by using Calendly links for scheduling. But in his opinion,
“When someone sends you a Calendly link and asks you to slot yourself on their calendar, they are telling you that you are less important than them/and that ALL of their current meetings are “more important” than whatever you need them for.”
Lessin’s tweet drew widespread attention and prompted a large-scale debate about the culture of appointment booking. Yet, Calendly certainly didn’t suffer from this exposure, with its CEO Tope Awotona responding the next day.
How Does Calendly Work?
Calendly eliminates the difficulty in arranging meetings. There’s no need to send several emails back and forth to agree on a mutually convenient appointment time. Instead, you set your availability within the software and create slots when you’re free to meet.
Next, you advertise your availability by sharing your Calendly link with recipients, so they know when you can commit time to them. The result? Less time getting bogged down with scheduling difficulties and more time preparing for a productive meeting.
Best Etiquette Tips When Using Calendly
But Sam Lessin isn’t the first person to suggest that sending someone a scheduling link might be impolite. Calendly itself has a free etiquette eBook called “Making scheduling human: The Calendly guide to etiquette.”
So, if you’re keen to embrace the benefits and efficiencies of scheduling software but don’t want to cause offense, follow these tips to stay on the right side of your meeting recipients.
1. Strike an Approachable Tone
Be aware of how you phrase an invitation to use your Calendly link. Avoid being too direct or seeming as though you don’t value the other person’s schedule. Instead, focus on highlighting the convenience of using Calendly to find the best time for your appointment.
Example: “I’d love to unpack this in more detail with you. If you’d like to arrange a meeting, here’s my scheduling link, so you can go ahead and pick a time that works best for you. Look forward to speaking with you.”
2. Be Flexible
Show willingness to accommodate the other person’s schedule even if it doesn’t match what’s available on your Calendly.
Example: “Feel free to share the best time for a meeting, or you can also pick from my Calendly if that’s easier for you?”
Notice that you’re not saying your Calendly link is the only way to block out your time. But it’s a great starting point that often works.
3. Email Embedding
If you’re sending an email to plan your meeting, why not embed your Calendly link in the body of your message? This is more polite than directing someone to your website booking system, as there’s less clicking around to nail down an appointment time with you.
To embed times in your messages, follow these steps:
- Click on Meeting Type > Share.
- Choose Add times to email and select the dates and times you want to offer.
- Click Continue > Copy times to clipboard.
- Then Paste these into the body of your email message.
Don’t Forget to Humanize Your Scheduling
Be aware that there may always be people in business who are offended by meeting scheduling. Lessin “will never click on your Calendly…ever(unless maybe you are the President of the US).”
But, most colleagues, customers, and other meeting attendees recognize the benefits of Calendly, so long as you remain polite and human in your approach.
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