Yesterday, a colleague and I hosted a professional development event for ~40 colleagues. We invited three amazing speakers, brought in catering, and rolled out the red carpet. The event went great—couldn’t have gone better, actually—but what interests me today is one person’s response to how I advertised the event.
I don’t like to get much email (except from you readers), so I try not to send any more than is strictly necessary. A couple weeks ago, I sent an email announcement about the event to the group of ~45 faculty I thought might be interested. I planned to leave it there, but my co-planner suggested I send a second email a week before and a third email the week of the event (this week). This is not my style, but I acquiesced. This colleague knows our organizational culture inside and out, and I figured she might know what she was talking about.
Shortly after I sent the third email—which I thought was way overkill—one of the attendees wrote me back saying how much she appreciated the repeated reminders.
I was astonished, but I shouldn’t have been.
It’s so useful to remember that our worldview is just that: ours. Others see the world through different lenses and operate in it according to different values and with different priorities. I’m religious about scheduling—if I hear about an event I want to attend, I put it on my calendar. End of story. Additional emails are just irritations. But others operate differently, and if we want to connect with them, we need to be willing to do it on their terms, not ours.