04 August 2020

Coffee Talk Redux (now "Water Cooler Chat")

A few months ago I tried this “coffee talk” thing through June. I met with a bunch of people and I think we had a lot of good conversations; I’ll let them speak to that, but I felt like I got a lot out of them. There were some bits that didn’t work, so I’m changing the format a bit, but the gist is that I’m continuing it, and you can book a chat here, but if you’re at all curious about how this format will look, read on.

The most significant change is that I’m reducing my availability to one day per week - Tuesdays for now, but maybe that’ll change, and maybe it’ll float around from week to week. But I’ll make most of the day available, and meetings will all be 45 minutes long.

Tuesdays > *

I ended up picking Tuesdays mostly by process of elimination - I ruled out Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and between Mondays-Thursdays, I figured I wanted to lean toward the beginning of the week but not make anyone roll out of a hangover or something on Monday morning to chat. So that meant Tuesday. I dunno. Maybe things will change.

All Day

I liked being available at different times of day to accommodate people in different timezones, and it felt a little “special” to wake up early to chat with someone several (or many) hours ahead of me. So that’s sticking around. Setting aside an entire day for meetings is going to be a little awkward on my end, but my hunch is that it won’t be much more awkward than blocking off like 2-3 hours across every day of the week.

45 Minute Meetings

I originally tried 30-minute and 45-minute blocks, and while some people booked 30-minute appointments, they usually ran over by a bit and ultimately took 40 or 45 minutes anyway. More importantly, the awkward initial stage of “what kind of person is this person” usually takes 5 or 10 minutes to get through, so the 45-minute meetings always ended up feeling less rushed because I didn’t feel like a third of my (nominal) time was being lost to breaking the ice.

A lot of this is conjectural, anecdotal, or just stray thoughts. But I figure if someone’s looking for reflections on one person’s experiences doing this, these thoughts might at least help structure how you imagine doing something like this.

Anyway, if you’d like to chat, and if you’ve read to the end, click through to book a block here - looking forward to chatting soon!

If you have something to say about this, contact me