Ever notice that some people seem reply to emails almost instantaneously, while others take days or even weeks to reply? While we may receive more emails in a day than we can possibly response to, the time it takes for us to reply does have an impact on how others perceive us.
I remember a meeting where one of the speakers said they would give us a freebie, if we provided our email address. Three months after the meeting, I received an email with that freebie. My initial thought was if it takes someone that long to reply, why would I be interested? That delay created a perception for me of that person’s ability to follow through and level of professionalism.
Consider another response time situation is which an email introduction is made about an upcoming event and one of the parties doesn’t acknowledge it until several months later. By that point, the event has passed and the need for the introduction may be irrelevant but the perception of unresponsive or even discourteous remains.
While the sending and following up on emails is one situation in which timing has an influence, there are other scenarios in which our views about time can impact our actions and interactions:
- What is your event planning horizon? Do you plan events including vacations far out in advance or are you more spontaneous? If you are a planner, do you sometimes find yourself locked into a schedule? If you are more spontaneous, have there been times you were unable to obtain tickets because you waited too long?
- How do you look at your financial future? Do you maintain a short-term view with limited regard for your future? Or maybe you are always putting money away for a rainy day and not fully living in the present.
- In looking at your day, do you include some downtime for meditation or a review of your day or do you find yourself moving from one appointment to the next with barely time to take a breath.
Considering the above examples, what would happen to your perception if:
- When asking for your name, the person indicated it might take a month or so for you to receive the freebie?
- When an introduction is made, the person for whom the introduction was made, acknowledges it within a week of receipt?
- How might a blend of short-term and long-term focus serve your best interests in event planning, financial planning, and managing your busy life?
Finding yourself at one extreme or another in terms of how you perceive or manage your time? Contact me for a complimentary coaching consultation at www.systemsofchange.com.
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