Last Updated Dec 30, 2009 11:27 AM EST
- Send a friendly email the day before. Tell them how much your looking forward to meeting them. Even better, share a relevant news story or quote you came across â€" if you've done your homework, you already have a good idea if it will interest the person.
- Offer to get Starbucks on your way â€" for the admin, too. Make it casual: "I'm getting coffee and thought since I'm on my way, I could bring something for you and Jennifer too." And make sure you get the order right!
- Get them away from their desk. See if they'll take the meeting outside of their office â€" if they don't want to go offsite, even downstairs in the company canteen is an improvement from them on one site of the desk, you on the other. I've studied this carefully and can tell you: There is a direct relationship between someone's proximity to their desk and their willingness to act like an a#$hole. If you can get them outside, you're almost guaranteed better behavior.