VOL. 130 | NO. 207 | Friday, October 23, 2015
Build Your Credibility, Be On Time
By Angela Copeland
The importance of being on time is often underestimated in business. It is one of the easiest ways to build credibility and conversely, one of the fastest ways to lose it. Whether you are just starting your career or are a seasoned professional, this is an important point for everyone.
Have you ever had a one-on-one meeting with your boss where the boss showed up late, really late? As the employee, what message does this give you? It can often leave you feeling like a lower priority. It appears the boss has much more important things to do. You may feel underappreciated and demotivated.
What about someone interviewing for a job? Would you hire someone who showed up late to an interview? Chances are good that you wouldn’t. No matter how talented a candidate is, showing up late is just plain unacceptable. If they can’t make it to the interview on time, there’s no telling what they may be like to work with.
It’s strange to think that something so unrelated to our daily duties can make or break us. But, it really can make a difference.
The reason is that timeliness is often associated with respect. It’s also thought of as an indicator as to whether or not you’re responsible, reliable, and in some cases, trustworthy. When you are habitually late, it can give the impression that you are disorganized and unable to manage your schedule.
If you struggle with this issue, there’s hope. The first step is to take the reins when it comes to your schedule. Make a point to record all appointments and commitments when you make them. You can use the calendar in your email, or there are smart phone apps that may help. Personally, I use an old-fashioned paper calendar. It allows me to see everything laid out together, and allows me to write notes on items as they come up.
Begin to take note on how long it takes you to do things. How long does your drive to work take? What if there’s traffic? How long does it take you to compile the report you put together each week? As you begin to notice how long it takes to complete tasks, you are better able to plan out your overall schedule.
It’s also important to get enough sleep, so it’s easier to get up in the morning. If you struggle to get ready fast enough, consider making your breakfast – and laying out your clothes the night before. Try to reduce the number of stressors waiting for you first thing in the morning.
When interviewing for a job, be sure to drive to the interview location the day before, so you’ll know exactly where it is. Iron your suit, shine your shoes and select any jewelry the night before.
On the flip side, when you master the art of being on time, people may begin to assume positive things about you that extend beyond what they may see in your work.
Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.