I live in a world where a 9am appointment means 9am. Not 9:30 or 10am. Or my favorite, a total no show. But worse than being later or not showing is not communicating – no call, no text, no email, no Facebook message? Client, service provider, friend or family everyone has been on the receiving end of the late or no show. This behavior is not only discourteous, it is destructive to your brand.And this apples to phone appointments and web-based meetings too.

One thing that never goes out of style is punctuality, which is interpreted as a respect for other people’s time. There is a dimension to a personal or business brand that includes etiquette, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as: The set of rules or customs that control accepted behavior in particular social groups or social situations.

Maybe this is where the breakdown occurs…in the words “in particular social groups or social “. Take a look at your world. Do the people in your world (including work and home ones) respect your time? Are they punctual or are they always late and frazzled?

Remember- You are your personal brand. The company you work for and their values reflects on you whether you like it or not. Employers, the brand your employees put out into the world is a reflection of your company and your hiring manager. Like it or not, this is the word we live in today. How many times have you gone into a store or office to be greeted by a surly front person and think to yourself, “who the heck hired this winner?” Align yourself with people that are brand-right for you.We all know that the best plans can go astray and a sick child, missed train, or illness may cause you to be late or even to have to cancel an appointment. But I am here to tell you that you will never go wrong, never lose a client or a friend, never hurt your brand, if you take the time to notify and apologize.

What does this say about a company or person’s brand when they make you wait? For starters it says that you are not reliable – if you can’t show up for an appointment I think you are unreliable and disorganized and as a consumer you are not someone I want to do business with. If you don’t respect my time I think you’re kind of a jerk. Now I know that may not be true – things happen, people are late it’s not about the late it’s about the not communicating.

I have spent a large portion of my career in and around the medical industry. And for a myriad of reasons this is a recurring offense of the industry and a grievance of the patients/clients. Everyone struggles to balance the competing commitments into their life for their time and attention and this Brand RX is not about being perfect- it is being aware of the effect your lateness has on your brand.

Here are The Brand Counselors Tips to keeping lateness from damaging your personal brand:

  • Build in a buffer and plan for delays.
  • Load all the contact info you have into your phone prior to leaving your home or office
  • Review your calendar the day before and plan out your day
  • Use Google to check the traffic and weather and plan accordingly

In my world my time is valuable and I respect the time of others. So if you invite me to a meeting, don’t be surprised if I arrive 5 minutes early and leave if you don’t show up or call me after 20 minutes of our appointed time.

Still need some more counseling on this topic or do you have a classic story you’d like to share ( please leave out names – we don’t like to be mean here) Leave your comments below.