Don’t be a jerk when asking for a meeting

A recent twitt cued a thought.

Don't ask your staff for a meeting without giving an indication of what it is about.

"Hey, I need to see you" can be very anxiety provoking.

"Come see me about the upcoming meeting Abstracts deadline" is not that hard to do.

"We need to talk about the way we're doing this experiment" is duck soup.

Try to remember this when summoning your techs or trainees.

3 responses so far

  • xykademiqz says:

    I completely agree. Actually, I won't meet with people unless they tell me what it's about.

    A bunch of people do this "We need to talk" without details on purpose, because that leaves you, the other party, in a low-information/high-anxiety situation. They do so in order to destabilize, make it impossible to prepare, often coax a response or decision that wouldn't happen is you did prepare, and overall just have the upper hand.

    It's manipulative and I hate it.

  • Draino says:

    I like to leave notes on my student/postdoc's desk that say "Please see me". I'm not going to write down the purpose because I'm in a hurry and it's rarely a big deal. I'm scribbling on a paper towel with a sharpie, after all. If it is a big deal, maybe I'll add a happy face (good news!) or a sad face (you're in trouble).

    It never crossed my mind that this might bother them. Could there really be that much pent-up anxiety in the lab?

    Fun times: now they do it to me. Sometimes there's a paper towel taped to my office door saying "please see me - postdoc Doe."

  • Sam Cris says:

    Draino - yes. Stop doing that.
    They can do it - you're the one with the power.

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