Thursday, January 17, 2013

Respect for Time.

Respect for Time!

Now I realise that this is an age old discussion within the work place, within relationships, within individual encounters in social interactions and at home.

Yet, I find it imperative to bring it up again. Respect for time is not something that we as adults want to be chatting about, discussing and dissecting in a time when it has been spoken about and killed as a subject.

But I find that as we proceed with caution, trepidation and much fear into a world filled with diverse cultures within the workplace - time management, puntuality and a lack of respect for people's time, has become really prevalent in a seriously negative way.

People seem to love the new excuse of "this is my culture", that is why I am late, do not arrive or will even give you the courtesy of knowing that I am not attending a meeting or function.

When did we as human beings become so disrespectful that we believe that we can use our beautiful cultures and traditions as an excuse for our disgusting behaviour. There are millions of people who have similiar if not the same cultures who do not use their inability to respect time, as an excuse.

I am so fed up with the nonchalant way that some business people have become so blase' in their rude approach when they do not even arrive on time for conferences, professional work functions and meetings.

Since when has it become ok, to be rude? Since when has it become ok, for us to sit in anticipation for someone who does not have the decency to pitch up? And for the life of me, I cannot understand why people are afraid to speak up and tell the person that it is not acceptable!

Now is the time to get over the nonsense of rolling over and accepting lower standards. Now is the time to stand up for what is right. Now is the time to take charge of the way our professional teams interact with each other, guide and support each other to become more effective.

Time is a precious gift given to us in this world. No-one knows how much time we have or when it will run out.

Being thoughtful and caring towards someone else's time shows that you respect and honour them as a human being.

When you arrive on time for a get together, you show your own dignity and respect for yourself. Of course there will be times when you have an emergency or a valid reason why you cannot attend a meeting or function. In those times, it is imperative to phone or contact the person/s and let them know that you are not arriving. This allows people to make alternate arrangements, go ahead with the meeting or dinner or even replace you with someone else.

There is thoughtfulness in liaising with people and this leads to trust. To honour someone elses time, is to give them the ultimate acknowlegement that they are important to you too.

After all, they have made space in their lives to include you. It just makes sense to respect people in the way they wish to be respected too.

Some pointers to consider for future interactions that allow you to be on time:
  • Confirm the date, time and venue in anticipation of making it on time.
  • If you are driving, leave at least a half an hour before you are due to arrive, just in case you run into traffic.
  • Be prepared at all times.
  • If you are in the office and are heading to a meeting, be prepared beforehand. Have your documents ready, speech prepared and double check the venue of the meeting.
  • Be polite to people that you are talking to and let them know that you have to leave to be on time for the next person.
  • Be strict with your own time and people will respect you and your own time too.
  • Do not get side tracked by emails, telephone calls and conversations whilst you are heading towards your next appointment, get together or meeting.
  • When you are going to a personal function or someone's home, arrive on time if not a little bit earlier.
  • When people prepare for you to come to their home, they usually go all out and anticipate your arrival with excitement. To arrive on time makes them feel that you care. That is so awesome to build and deepen the relationship with trust and respect. Very cool
  • If you cannot make it for some reason or due to an emergency, then be thoughtful enough to let people know before hand.
  • Phone, email or send a message in advance if you are going to be late too.
  • Invest in others and they will invest in you. Trust cannot be bought, it is earned. So strive to be trustworthy.
And last but not least, have fun doing this. Challenge yourself to be on time. Challenge people around you to see who gets to meetings first - create a fun, reward system.

Remove negative excuses and do not accept complacency from anyone who uses it too. Life is too exciting to be stuck waiting for someone who does not respect you or your time.

Also, remember that life is filled with surprises. So if there are times when you really do not or cannot make it on time, then do not stress. Unexpected weather, situations and moods may attack you just to create a little excitement in your life. The important thing to remember is this...people remember your integrity as a person when you communicate with them and are upfront about what is happening so that they are able to adjust their own lives.

I personally appreciate it if I am told in advance or even at the time if a person cannot be on time. This allows me to do something else, concentrate on what is important or adjust my day accordingly.

People and their time are precious. Let us all take heed and look for ways to acknowledge it and be on time from now on.

Here's to being on time. :)