A particular challenge for Vitti is scheduling meetings for her boss, Kevin Roberts. “That’s my biggest nightmare. It’s always, can I get him from one side of the world to the other? And can I find room in his schedule?” she explains.
Making things even more vexing was Roberts’ habit of telling others, “Call Trudy and have her set up a meeting time.” But when Vitti set up the meeting, her boss would ask her, “Why am I meeting with this guy? It wasn’t that important.”
“I told him, ‘I need to know that. I need to know whether you’re saying something to be polite to the other person. I need to know how important it is to you that I set up a meeting.’”
Her solution to this communication challenge: Vitti devised a rating system, which ranks meeting requests on a scale of 1 to 4. A rating of “4” means that Vitti should set up the meeting if her boss happens to have a morning free. A rating of “1” means, do whatever you have to do to find a date: Cancel something else, if you have to.
The tactic has made it easier for Vitti to understand her boss and manage his brimming-over schedule. “Now it’s working really well,” she says, “and he’s loving it.”