Occasionally, the times we are living in give prominence to surprising values or nonvalues. The speed age does not seem to make much of punctuality, which is often construed as impatience or specific to someone who “has nothing better to do”.
In fact, being punctual is nowadays a rare virtue and few people still have it. However, businessmen or those who want to promote their own business should be aware of the fact that punctuality is an integral part of their business card, a defining characteristic of their activity, one that individualizes them before potential clients. Punctuality may determine the success of a particular cooperation or of a new partnership. Being punctual also shows respect for the person who is waiting for you, it shows politeness, good upbringing and common sense.
There is no excuse or justification for collaborators who do not keep their word and are late for a meeting, except for serious or medical situations. Traffic jams, tiredness or overcrowding do not balance out the lack of respect perceived by the person who has to wait. A cooperation started under such circumstances may easily become a business failure or a failed promotion, affecting your social relations or showing incompetence.
If punctuality is not one of your strong points, you could try some of the solutions suggested below to succeed in keeping your word:
- Set your watch 10 minutes forward and pretend to have forgotten about it;
- Use an appointment diary to plan all your meetings;
- Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who is waiting for you;
- Ask a time-coach to help you organize your time for a while.
You can also help form a punctuality routine by selecting and preparing everything you need for the next day’s meetings the night before.
However, the Guide to Good Manners explains that being five to ten minutes late is even recommended when we pay someone a visit at home. On the other hand, a meeting in town requires you to be there five, even ten minutes in advance in order to prove you are reliable.
It is therefore obvious that punctual people will send the others the message that they are reliable, organized, persevering, mature and will always keep their word.