Kansas City Business Journal, November 2007 2017-12-08T09:27:30+00:00

Management: Habitually Tardy

Everyone knows that person who is perpetually late. And when you’re relying on that co-worker to show up for an important meeting or to tend to an urgent task, his or her tardiness can be frustrating. “It’s important to try to understand what’s going on,” says UMKC professor Lee G. Bolman. “Are there factors in the person’s life that are making a difference? … Is there something about the job or me, if I’m the boss?” There could be…

 

An individual’s background can affect punctuality as well. “Some families, if you’re supposed to be there at 5, you’re expected to be there at 5,” says Bolman. “Other families, 5 means 5-ish, plus or minus 10 minutes or plus or minus 30 minutes…

Differences in personality such as being disorganized or even overly optimistic make running behind more likely. “People who are very successful tend to be overly optimistic about the time it takes to accomplish things or how many things they can actually fit into a day,” says Marilyn O’Hearne, master certified coach and owner of MOh!, an executive coaching service. This optimism leads to a lack of cushion time between appointments and an overscheduled calendar.

As an executive coach, O’Hearne encourages these latecomers to find focus through prioritizing—evaluating values, goals, vision and purpose to discover what is most important and scheduling around that. “It’s getting realistic and padding some time in the calendar—under-scheduling instead of over-scheduling,” she says. Add to that another motivator: O’Hearne challenges them to arrive 15 minutes early…

For most chronic latecomers, O’Hearne attributes a general lack of awareness. “A lot of people don’t realize how much they are doing it and what the effect is on other people,” she says. “I don’t think it’s malintentioned—that they’re doing it to flaunt they are more powerful or everyone needs to wait on them. I just don’t think they have the awareness.”