When people show up late for meetings or miss deadlines, it gives the person waiting time to think.
They think about how unprofessional their coworker is. How untrustworthy. How careless.
Even if employees produce great work and have a positive attitude, being too casual with schedules can make the boss question a staff member’s leadership ability.
Being late doesn’t just cause chaos for everyone else’s schedule; it can damage reputations and stop a career in its tracks.
We all deal with tardiness from time to time. Nevertheless, the chronically late tend to fit into one of seven categories defined by Diana DeLonzor in “Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged.” Some of these characteristics may be familiar from your workplace:
- Rationalizers who think ignoring the clock is no big deal, or who always have an excuse.
- Producers who get things done, but try to squeeze in so much they can’t possibly make it all work and end up breaking promises.
- Deadliners who live on the edge and can only get motivated when the heat is on, but who end up putting pressure on everyone around them.
- Indulgers who play things by ear rather than sticking to a schedule, avoids starting projects.
- Rebels who think ignoring schedules is a way to feel powerful and show they don’t bow to authority.
- Absentminded professors who just don’t do details. These people often digress and jump from one activity to another without finalizing projects or conversations.
- Evaders who set low expectations for themselves, and who may have fears of both success and failure which can turn into anxiety.
None of these personality types doom an employee to a life of angry colleagues and low-level roles. However, anyone who has trouble managing their time can benefit from understanding their procrastinator profile.
UCO’s Workforce Advantage Certificate gives specific strategies to help people manage the clock. To register for our next class, click here.
Karen Youngblood is the executive director of UCO Customized Education.