It sounds so second-nature and unessential to dwell upon, yet being on time speaks volumes about a person— good volumes. Time management skills and preparedness will pay off big time in this dominion, and your punctuality will give off the impression, most likely an accurate one, that you take the other party’s time seriously, and that it’s in your nature to be prompt. Besides, even concerning your own chance at being fully present, how do you expect to get the most from a meeting if you ran late….your adrenaline pumping, your mind racing?
There’s a ritual I encourage my Strategic Dining℠ clients to practice. When you check your coat and bags at a restaurant or networking event, take a look at the coat check. Then, memorize the number, and bring yourself to the present. Forget about the argument you had with your partner that morning, or the two deadlines you’re under pressure to meet. In order to connect with someone, you must be fully present when listening and interacting. And don’t think you’re getting away with half listening by nodding your head a lot (NOT ideal when attempting to exude executive presence).
And a note on conversation…..in addition to punctuality speaking volumes, so can the words you use (well, naturally). My best advice to those of you who have arrived on time and are conveying presence is to avoid using empty phrases. A classic and irritating example is “Believe me when I tell you”. This cliche, soulless sentence starter will prompt the other person to do only one thing….not believe you. On the flip side of this issue, avoid the use of loaded phrases with pessimistic or underachieving sentiments, like “I will try my best” and “I’m sooooo busy”. Such statements will indicate that you possess a lack of urgency and determination, and are weaseling your way out of the other person’s requests. Think about it….are those the kind of phrases you would want to hear?