Why is it that some people are always on time for a meeting and some people habitually are late? Why is it that I can always be sure that some people will leave me waiting, even though I confirmed and reconfirmed the meeting time? What are they trying to tell me? Is their time more valuable than mine? Well of course it isn’t.
So much of this is about out-doing each other. To say “I’m busier than you are” means “I’m more important”, or that my time is more valuable.
Here’s the thing: it’s harming how we communicate and work together. Everyone is busy in different sorts of ways. Maybe you have lots of clients or are starting a new business or have many staff demands on you. The point is this: with limited time and unlimited demands on that time; it’s easy to fill your plate with activities constantly. But this doesn’t mean that you should. If you want some tips on winning back time, download my whitepaper on this very topic.
To assume that being too “busy” is cool or brag-worthy is ridiculous. In fact when I start working with a new client, one thing I make very clear (and ask them to commit to) is to never use “I’m too busy” as a reason for not completing the (working on the business) tasks they agree to at a coaching session. After all, if you are too busy to work on your business, then who has the time?
Imagine a business that everyone strives always to be on time and meetings always have a fixed length that is adhered to. Imagine how much more productive that business is compared to the typical company that starts meetings late, and they always overrun. It’s not that hard to do and creates a much more focused, motivated and productive workforce. The alternative (which I am sure we have all experienced) is sitting at your desk until you see the person who called the meeting move and start to round everyone up. I used to work for a company whose Sales Director would shut the door at 9am (for a 9am meeting that he called), and if someone walked in at 9.05, he would ask them to leave. NO ONE WAS EVER LATE FOR HIS MEETINGS! He treated everyone else’s time as importantly as his own.
So next time you are late for a meeting, consider what message you are sending – intentionally or otherwise?