“Doing coffee” has become a go-to reference for informal meetings with co-workers, potential clients or bosses to build relationships. Such meetings should be casual yet productive. Approach them with a goal-oriented mindset. Anna Marie Clifton, writing at The Muse, offers tips to get better at “doing coffee.”
Research. Before meeting with someone for the first time, research their company, job and interests to find something to talk about. Look for things that are especially important to the discussion you want to have and steer the conversation in that direction.
Define the importance. Explain your interest in the meeting by letting them know what you hope to accomplish. For example, let them know that you look forward to learning about a particular topic or their field.
Don’t just take; give. While the meeting will benefit you, let the other person know you have something to offer them as well—for example, industry knowledge, a connection or advice. This should make the person more interested in speaking with you.
Don’t waste time. Using concise words when asking someone to meet for coffee will send a signal that the meeting is intended to be an efficient use of your time and theirs.
Be enthusiastic. Let the other person know you are excited to meet and share ideas. By showing your excitement and happiness, the other person should be more open and willing to meet.
— Adapted from “How to Get Better at ‘Doing Coffee,’” Anna Marie Clifton, The Muse.