The Power of Prompt
Recently, I was on a Zoom call with a successful real estate developer out of Washington, DC. and the first thing he said to me was, “You know what I like? You know what I admire about people? It’s when they’re on time. Being prompt. It matters to me.” I thought, “Well I’m glad I was 2-minutes early for this call!”
We had exchanged a couple of emails, but this was our first face-to-face conversation, so I didn’t feel like I knew him well enough to say, “Being prompt is a challenge for me. Because I am a ‘jammer.’” I like to send 1 more email, or check 1 more text, or make 1 more phone call.
Not long ago, I had back-to-back video calls. One was on Teams, the other on Zoom. I should have said at the beginning of the Teams call, “I have a hard stop at 10-minutes before the top of the hour.” But I didn’t. And then it went long. By the time I got off, I had 1-minute to spare before the Zoom call and I thought, “Well it doesn’t matter. I use Zoom all the time.” But then I needed a passcode. So, I’m scrambling trying to find the passcode and by the time I got on the call, I was 2- minutes late. For a prospect. They hadn’t even hired me yet. Of course, I apologized, and they said, “It’s no problem.” I said, “Really, yes, it is.” Now they’re trying to make me feel better for a situation that I had caused.
Here’s the motto I try to live by:
Five-minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.
When we're on time…when we’re prompt, it lets people know that we value them. That we respect them. And we’re organized and efficient. Plus it boosts our credibility.
But perhaps more importantly, in this time in the world, where there is a heightened level of anxiety with health, the economy, racial reckoning and the climate, when we’re prompt, it shows people that we are highly thoughtful.
For the next 30 days, I encourage all of us to practice being prompt. It will not only boost your own confidence, but it will also encourage other people to have more confidence in you.