How To Get People To Agree With You
How to Get People to Appreciate You
How To Get People To Be On Time
Often, also, you find that the latecomers are the same people every time.
This problem can also spread; if a team at work see that meetings are continually held back for five minutes to allow for the usual suspects to turn up late, they start to get the idea that they can also turn up late too, and then the problem, escalates.
However, you can adopt some simple strategies in answer to the big question: how to get people to be on time?
1. Make punctuality important
The same people who are late for an office meeting that they know will be held up for them perhaps wouldn’t dream of turning up late to the theatre or cinema. Maybe that’s because they know that these events won’t wait for them. So, make your event is one that won’t be held up for a latecomer either.
You can do this in all kinds of situations. For instance, if you have arranged to meet a friend outside the theatre, and they are late, text the friend to say you’ve gone into the bar to grab a drink. That way, your own evening has got off to a pleasant start and you’re not just hanging around waiting for them.
Added to that, and particularly linked to meetings, is that you must make them useful. If nothing gets decided at your meetings and they are unstructured and confused, there is no real incentive for people to be punctual.
2. Set a reasonable time
People aren’t superhuman. If you set a time for a meeting or outing when the people you want to attend will be busy with other things, you are setting yourself up to fail. If you want people to be on time, try to set a mutually convenient time.
3. Once you’ve agreed a time, stick to it
If you say that the meeting will be 1pm or that you will meet them outside the theatre at 7pm, do it. Be there yourself. And if they are late, move on: start the meeting or go into the theatre bar to wait for them there. That minimises the inconvenience to you, and lets them know you are serious about punctuality.
A five minute wait to allow for traffic or unforeseen hold-ups is excusable, a 20 minute wait while they gussied up or gathered together their work papers they didn’t organise early enough is not.
4. Convey your expectations
If you say the meeting will start at 1pm, do you mean that is when people should start to arrive at 1pm for coffee and networking? Or does it mean that is when you will be getting down to the business of the meeting.
You can very easily make this clear in an email: “Refreshments 12.30-13.00. Meeting starts 13.00 prompt” or “Delegates should arrive by 1pm. There will then follow an informal meet and greet session after which we will commence the meeting.”
You can’t be disappointed in people not meeting your expectations if you don’t make it clear what those expectations are.
5. Make lateness visible
This may sound like a punishment and perhaps it is, but then latecomers to meetings perhaps deserve some kind of punishment. It is work, after all!
So, as a latecomer arrives, you may greet them, in a friendly tone, which adds a slightly pointed comment: “Oh hello; come in. I’m afraid you missed getting everyone’s names but I’m sure you’ll catch up!”
Maybe that slight embarrassment they should feel will make them think twice about being late next time! So, by setting clear and reasonable expectations of punctuality, you can deal effectively with the issue of how to get people to be on time.