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R-E-S-P-E-C-T, All I’m Askin For….

by David Brock on May 27th, 2011

Aretha Franklin had it right, all any of us want is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  I could write a year’s worth of posts on this, but I want to focus on one tiny aspect of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, that’s T-I-M-E.

All of us are time poor–everyone has more to do than there are hours in the day.  One of the greatest signs of respect, for our people, for our customers, for ourselves, is how we value time.

Take some signs of disrespect:

  • We show up for meetings late–it’s a demonstration of our lack of respect for the people we are meeting with, we don’t respect their time, they can wait for us to show up.
  • Meetings run over time–we don’t respect that others have other commitments, other things to do, we just care about our agendas, so the meeting runs late.
  • Managers (at every level) pre-empt our time–they want a meeting when they want a meeting, we have to cancel everything we have scheduled to meet when they want.
  • We aren’t prepared–we haven’t planned for the meeting, we haven’t published an agenda, we haven’t taken the time to review materials that were sent out in advance.  We have to waste everyone’s time recapping things that we should have been prepared for.
  • Multitasking, the person we are meeting with or listening to is so unimportant that we don’t give them our full attention, instead, we look at email, hide our Blackberries (and both thumbs) below desk level, texting others.
  • “Howdy calls,”  those meetings that have no purpose other than to call attention to ourselves, interrupting someone’s valuable time.
  • Not meeting commitments, schedules, or deadlines.  Not realizing this failure had an impact on the ability of others to meet their schedules, deadlines, commitments.
  • Having enough time to do something over, but too little time to plan and do it right–wasting our own and others’ time with errors.
  • Not planning our own time, our own days to be productive and fulfilling–operating in react mode.

Time is precious to all of us, it is about the only thing in life that is irrecoverable.

The ultimate sign of respect is how we value others’ time and our own.  Do we use it well, are we fully present and participating, have we created value?  Do we respect others, do we respect ourselves?  It’s all about time.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what in means to me…..

From → Leadership

  1. Hey David,
    That’s a wonderful post that we should all be reminded of. I like how you’ve made the bullets into Xs. Time is a valuable thing that should not be overlooked or wasted. As those that know and respect it’s value will agree with your post.

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