Hourglass: Call guide

We are really happy that you have signed up to Hourglass. We hope this proves to be a useful conversation that triggers new ideas.

This page is a quick run through the process plus some ideas on how to get the most out of the call.

Before the call

The introduction email 

We’ve sent you both an email introducing you to each other. The message includes a bit of information about the question and the specialist’s expertise.

Either of you can reply to arrange the call. We recommend that you suggest a few times you are free (and which time zone you are in).

You don’t need to copy the Hourglass team in but please feel free to ask us if you need any help or have any questions.

Arranging the call

Agree how much time you’re going to talk for. Our experts have kindly donated 60 minutes, but if you decide 30 or 45 minutes works better for you both, that’s completely fine.

You can choose any way to connect that suits you. We recommend a Zoom or Teams chat if you can because video can be helpful for building a personal connection. But a phone call works brilliantly too.

Ideally, send a calendar invite. Include your video link and/or phone number. This minimises the chance of missing the call or not being able to connect on the day.


Experts: You can ask for more information

You don’t need to do any preparation – we are sure your skills and experience mean you can offer great advice. But you can ask for more information in advance if you like.

During the call


Be ready to lead

Ask them to describe their problem or what they are trying to achieve in their own words. Even if they’ve already sent you this information, asking them to talk about it first helps you both settle and creates a solid starting point for the conversation.


Listen and be curious

Ask more questions about what they are trying to achieve. This helps them reflect and get clearer. It’s ok to spend lots of the call listening. Listening helps you understand their context and give better advice.


Be unconditionally supportive

You’re here to help them feel more confident about their situation, not just to share insight and advice.


Offer freely

Offer ideas, platforms, advice, , further sources of learning, training, websites, other people to talk to.


Say if you don’t know something or don’t have an opinion

Better this than offering wrong info or advice you aren’t confident with. You don’t have to be perfect or know everything!


Offer another call if you’ve time and think it would be helpful

Or just offer the option to contact you again. People feel more confident when they’ve a safety net of support within reach.



The main thing is to be yourself! Other tips include:


Be open

You’ve got this opportunity to ask an expert anything you like. Take it.


Be specific

We find that our experts like details. Feel free to share links to work in progress, etc.


Phase your question succinctly

If you’ve got time to reflect on what precisely you want to ask, it always helps to hone in on the exact area.


Feel free to ask the expert to repeat themselves

It can be hard for an expert to know how to pitch their answers to the right level. It’s easy to fall into jargon without even realising it. If you are losing the thread don’t just nod along!


Ask Hourglass again

It’s fine to do this. Perhaps you’d like a second opinion. Perhaps your thinking has progressed. Submit another request for support.


After the call

We’d love to hear from you.

Please let us know when you have scheduled a call, or as soon as you have completed it. We will send a short survey to find out how it went and get your thoughts on how we might improve the service. Hourglass is still a prototype and we are learning all the time.