People around the world have lots of different behavioural characteristics that are in most cases passed down from your parents or refined through education, employment and association with peers.
Our characterisitics make us unique as human beings and allow us to integrate into society, both in business and personal groups. Even though the characteristics of a person differ from the next person, most people are able to accept the differences and live together.
But there is one characteristic that should not differ from person to person and its a characteristic that doesn’t need training. Im talking about PUNCTUALITY.
Punctuality means respect and over recent years I have seen an increasing lack of respect by many people who don’t care about being punctual.
Call me old fashioned, but there is one thing that I remember being told by my grandparents and parents as a young boy.
‘No matter what you do, always be punctual because not being punctual means you don’t care about the person you are meeting.’
Apart from a critical incident or unforeseen emergency, there is absolutely no excuse for being late. The excuse of sleeping in, heavy traffic, I lost track of time, I was busy or even I forgot, simply means that you think your time is more important than my time.
Now I am sure that some people who read this blog will be saying that I am over-reacting, that I am too strict and that punctuality isn’t that important.
But if you go to the dentist and he is 55 miutes late because he opened the office late, would you be happy?; if you are due to fly to your holiday destination and the flight was delayed 90 minutes because the captain was stuck in traffic, would you be happy?; if you have an important meeting and the taxi is 65 minutes late because he forgot about your pickup, would you be happy?; and if you are meeting a friend for coffee and they turn up 45 minutes late and tell you that they were busy, would you be happy? – I dont think you would be happy because it simply means that those people think that their time is more imporatnt than your time and they don’t respect you.
In business, I have grown so frustrated with the lack of respect and constant lack of punctuality that I now turn people away if they are 10 minutes late for a meeting with me. 3 weeks ago a person who turned up 20 minutes late for a meeting to introduce me to their new product, became angry when I told them to go away as I had another meeting 10 minutes later. My comment to the person was simple – “if you don’t have respect for my time, then why should I respect yours’.
Its very simple – Punctuality equals respect!