Before Gojek, I had only worked at smaller companies where everyone kept their calendars open, and you never had to fight to get a slot for a meeting. My most common question, to my manager during my first month here, used to be: “But that person is always busy. How do I set up a meeting to close this? And if I get an open slot somehow, the other folks seem to have their calendars blocked.”
After 2 years of working at a company of ~5000 employees, and 100+ PMs, I have finally learned how to set up meetings. Here is how you should do it:
Inform, don’t ask. If you ping a dozen people requesting them to give an open slot for a meeting, there is no way you would find a common slot. So what I do is send out a mail invite with the best possible slot and request them to adjust instead. Let me tell you a secret: Most people in big cos are stretched, and rarely get time to do deep work. So a lot of them, :cough: including me :cough:, create meeting slots to get some work done. So your invite might not be actually clashing with another meeting of theirs.
Make sure the decision maker’s slot is free though. In case he actually has a clashing meeting, then you are screwed. Don’t have a meeting without the decider. It is an utter waste of time.
Send the invite with a note “Blocking your time in advance to discuss X”, followed by a detailed agenda. If the meeting agenda is shared in advance with all the relevant docs, there is a far higher chance of people attending. Request them to add other relevant participants. Add a line apologising for blocking their calendar. Mention that it is hard to find a time that worked for everyone, and hence this particular meeting time slot was chosen. This should do the trick.
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