The Art of the Professional Coffee Meeting

Why your next business meeting should be over a cup of coffee

 

There’s a magic that brews in a community shop that spawns great ideas. Revolutions have been planned in pubs and coffee houses for hundreds of years. From inventions to startup business, revolutionary ideas are often sparked over cups of coffee.

Do you work in an office or from home? I split my time between my home office and various coffee shops around the city and frequently escape to a coffee shop venue when I need to concentrate on a writing project. The change of scenery can help a creative block and of course, the caffeine helps too. 😉

 

When was the last time you met someone over coffee? Meeting for coffee is a meeting, a social gathering and a co-working session all wrapped up in one delicious dairy-free latte, at least in my case. I try to do one coffee meet up per week. With my current travel schedule, that’s potentially 40+ opportunities to network, engage a potential client and strengthen existing relationships.

 

 

 

the art of the coffee date meeting

 

 Kindle your creativity and connection over a cup of coffee

Why not lunch or drinks after work? Hey, I love a great glass of wine but we’re all busy with families, kids and soccer practices to get to. Coffee is about $5, it’s public and easy to agree on a location, usually equidistant between both parties. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Plus, there’s caffeine, which is always a perk.

And while I’m a huge fan of coffee, the coffee meeting isn’t about the coffee at all.

“Coffee is a lot more than just a drink; it’s something happening. Not as in hip, but like an event, a place to be, but not like a location, but like somewhere within yourself. It gives you time, but not actual hours or minutes, but a chance to be, like be yourself, and have a second cup” ― Gertrude SteinClick To Tweet

How to pick the best place for a coffee meeting:

  • Avoid crowds. It’s not a helpful meeting if you can’t get a seat or can’t hear each other when you’re talking.
  • Has room to spread out. If you’re going to need a workspace for a laptop and notebook, pick a place with ample working space.
  • And of course…find a place with all of the above plus great coffee. What can I say? I’m a bit of a coffee snob.

 

 

A quick note about working in a coffee shop. You’re not renting their workspace, you’re enjoying a coffee and using their wifi which has been graciously provided. (Can you tell I’ve got friends on the other side of the coffee counter?) Buy a considerable amount, strike up a friendship with the staff, and tip generously. You’re welcome. If you do need an office away from home, there are some great co-working facilities such as the Trailhead in Boise and WeWork all over the country where you can have an inexpensive workspace as needed without the drain of a large monthly rent.

For those who work from home, creating actual face-to-face connections is enormously helpful in fending off depression, developing a network and creating a reason to actual put on pants in the morning. Well, you know, other than yoga pants.

Coffee isn’t your thing? No problem. It’s not the caffeine the you need, it’s the connection and creativity.

 

Can you reach out to a someone you want to collaborate with and setup a coffee date for this week? Have a clear idea of the purpose of your meeting – working on a collaboration, catching up on work (like I do regularly with a former coworker), or meeting for the first time.

Even Jerry Seinfeld has jumped on the coffee meeting bandwagon. Check out Jerry Seinfeld on the Perfection of the Coffee Meeting by FastCompany.

 

 

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