Recently, I had coffee with someone I had met at a conference. We agreed to meet at 2:00 and I had a client meeting at 3:30. I knew I would have to leave at 3:00 to have enough time to get to the client’s office. I thought about saying something to her at the beginning of the meeting, but I got caught up in the greeting and getting coffee and forgot to tell her.
We were having a nice conversation when I looked down at my watch and noticed it was 2:55. I told her I had to get going because of a client meeting. She looked a bit hurt, or maybe I just perceived it that way. It did feel a bit abrupt. It had taken a while to get my coffee, so in all it didn’t feel like we had much time to chat.
As I drove to my client’s office I realized she may have perceived that I wasn’t enjoying our connection and I came up with an excuse to leave abruptly. Of course, this wasn’t the case. I was happy with our discussion. But I made the mistake of not telling her when I first sat down that I had to leave at a certain time so it may have looked like I wasn’t enjoying the chat.
Next time I will state how much time I have for the meeting when we first meet. When I mentioned my faux pas on my Facebook page, one of my Facebook fans mentioned that she always asks the person she’s meeting with how much time they have to meet. I think this is very gracious if you call the meeting.
How about you? Have you ever had someone seemingly end a meeting abruptly? How did you perceive it? Have you done this to others?