Time. We all have just 24 hours in one day. Doesn’t matter if you are the President of the company, a customer-facing employee, or in the back office. We all have just 24 hours – and where each of us allocate that time is a choice.
Our choices directly reflect what are our highest priorities. What we don’t do doesn’t mean we don’t care. It simply means that those activities are a lesser priority. Not that they are not important, but just not as important as the activities we choose to do.
Ah…but there is another subtext to this choice. It’s about respecting your commitments to yourself and to others. Let’s say you call a team meeting for 10:00 in the morning. It should start at 10 because:
1) It is an important meeting. You have published the objectives and the agenda, and your team is prepared to discuss the topic(s).
2) It’s a sign of respect. By starting on time, you recognize that other people have priorities that they are also juggling. They have allocated an hour to this meeting, and have made intelligent choices for their day.
When you start your meeting 30 minutes late, that disrupts the day.
Now let’s be clear: I am NOT a time-crazed person who is pathologically on time all the time. Stuff happens. I let people know immediately (as soon as I know!) that I will be late – whether it is for a meeting, a deliverable or any other promise made. But I am also aware that by being late, I am eroding the trust I have built with my team.
That being said, I try to be on time and follow through on my commitments. After all, we have just 24 hours in a day – it’s up to you to choose how we are going to use that time. Just be aware that your choices, your commitments, reflect to your team what are your highest priorities.
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.