It’s Monday morning and you have an important meeting scheduled for 11:30 a.m.. Your phone rings and when you answer it you receive the most unwelcome news; the babysitter is sick. What do you do now? Do you call your client and cancel your meeting at the last minute? Or do you pack a bag full of colouring books and snacks and bring your little one along? Here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re faced with this difficult dilemma:
Who are you meeting with? Whether or not it is appropriate for you to bring your child to a meeting largely depends on who will be there. Does the person that you are meeting with have children? Do they work in a business that caters to children? Do they have a warm, welcoming and easygoing personality? If so, then you may be able to get away with it. However, if the person that you are meeting with is formal and reserved, then it may be best to leave your little one at home.
How will the experience be for your child? Will your child be comfortable at the meeting? Will there be a suitable place for him or her to read a book or have a snack? Will he or she be able to talk to you during the meeting if he or she needs something? How long do you expect that the meeting will run?
What is the lesser of two evils? Under the circumstances, there is no good solution; you can either cancel the meeting or bring your child with you. Consider the situation: What would happen if you rescheduled the meeting? Would it have negative implications on your business? If you bring your child, will it cause your client to question your professionalism or your commitment to their account? You need to do your best to determine which option would have less of an impact on your business.
How stressful will the experience be for you? Attempting to focus on a business meeting while also keeping an eye on your child is not easy. Your attention will likely be divided to the point where you don’t perform either task well. Consider your child’s disposition and try to imagine how it will be to have him or her there. Don’t put yourself in that position if you believe that it will completely stress you out.
Even if you have an elaborate plan in place, just remember that things fall apart. When the worst happens, don’t panic and don’t rush to any decisions. Take a few minutes to consider your options and determine what makes the most sense in this particular situation. You may make the wrong call sometimes, but when you do, just learn from it and move on.