Your time is valuable. So is the time of the people you lead. That’s why it’s so important to keep your commitments. A big mistake I see leaders make often is breaking commitments with a simple act: cancelling meetings at the last minute.
What does doing so say? One clear message is that you don’t value the time of the people who were expecting to meet with you.
The result? Let’s name a few: frustration, feelings of disrespect, damage to the trust you have with them….
Here are some tips.
- Don’t overcommit. Be mindful of your calendar. Before agreeing to a meeting, make sure that you actually have the time available.
- Plan time for the unexpected. Every new day brings new opportunities for the unexpected. Be sure you hold time on your calendar for those events, so you don’t need to cancel meetings to address them.
- Communicate early if you know that you might not be able to make a meeting. This will give the other person a chance to reschedule or find a backup.
- Be apologetic if you do have to cancel a meeting. There are times when cancelling is truly unavoidable. When that happens, explain the reason for the cancellation and apologize for any inconvenience.
Show your people that you are reliable, and that you value their time by keeping your commitments to meetings. Start and end them on time, too. Doing so will help you build stronger relationships with your team and create a more trusting and productive environment.