November 19, 2003
Working relationships require some give,
boss expects me to be on time, every time. She is almost
never on time for her meetings with me. My frustration
is that when her schedule messes up mine, the people who
depend on me to not make them wait get upset with me.
If I say anything about my boss not being respectful of
my time and how that causes me to be late and disrespectful
to others, then I am being unprofessional and disloyal.
I have mentioned to her my commitment to not make others
wait. She nods and continues her meeting. Abuse of time
is not right. Is this violating integrity? Certainly,
time costs money.
wise leaders believe that working effectively requires
relationships built upon respect and trust. Pressure to
perform is great enough without adding the stresses related
to making others wait simply because time commitments
are ignored. Emergencies are understood to be the exception.
However, some individuals seem to thrive on their tight
and tardy schedules. Flying in at the last minute, scrambling
for papers and reports, they destroy whatever order might
have been necessary for others to function productively.
make matters worse, many flagrant violators of time seem
oblivious to the pain they cause others. This insensitivity
runs headfirst into how partners - whether colleagues
or bosses, friends or family members - ought to treat
one another to enhance trust, respect and productivity.
snowball rolls down hill. By the end of the working day,
those affected by the clock-wasters can be demoralized.
Their plans for managing their efforts have been interrupted,
even destroyed. Expending energies in shuffling and adjusting
schedules to accommodate the undisciplined leaders takes
such behavior an integrity issue? Yes. Each partner in
a relationship, at work or at home, professional or personal,
is obligated to show appreciation for the needs of the
other. Wasting time, needlessly, is destructive. Partners
cannot plan with confidence how best to use their energies.
Subordinates in an organization will not maximize productivity
when commitments are missed, especially time commitments.
Mutual respect suffers. Attitudes of those whose schedules
are torn apart will seldom improve.
what can be done? Start and end your own meetings on time.
Clarify to those who violate time that you need to know
what level of rudeness that they find acceptable.
their definition is different from yours, then you will
need to make a decision about the lengths to which you
will go to keep the relationship alive (personal or professional).
After asking for tardy people to behave differently and
finding responses unsatisfactory, you will know what to
do. If an individual or an organization does not have
pride on the timely fulfillment of all commitments, including
time, then partnership is difficult, if not impossible.
Respect of time is an integrity matter. Partners honor