a lot more to punctuality than just a few wasted minutes; it's a
matter of self-esteem, respect and image. You communicate a lot by how you
value your time and the time of others. Valuing time management is a
characteristic of only the top people in our society. If you don't have this
control over your own schedule, you communicate to others that you aren't one of these top people.
But just being on time isn't enough. When it comes to punctuality I have a saying:
On time is the new late.
You can't just depend on being on time anymore--you've got to be a couple of minutes early
every session. When your client, over the course of time, realizes that you're
always early, that you're always there waiting and your serious about their
session, they'll be more serious about the training themselves. They'll talk
about you with others in a positive way, which is exactly the kind of effect
So, if on
time is the new late, what is late? Well, being late reflects that you're not
serious about what you do. It creates a tremendous negative impression if a
client who is not motivated about working out and has hired you to motivate
them sees that even you're not motivated about the training session.
constantly late, you need to ask yourself why. When I started out as a personal
trainer, I was always exactly five minutes late to every training session. I
couldn't explain it, but it was always five minutes, no matter when the session
started. As I've moved on in my career and have begun dealing with employees,
I've seen the same phenomenon and have begun to understand it: your punctuality is a reflection of your own self-esteem.
If you don't really believe in yourself, don't believe in what you do, and your
life is a raving mess, then no matter how hard you try, you can never manage to
get yourself anywhere on time. You subconsciously make yourself late everywhere
you go on purpose--a form of sub-communication.
Have you every known a
sloppy person that doesn't really believe in themselves? There's always
something wrong with them, like a stain on their shirt, or it's wrinkled and
fitting poorly. It doesn't even matter if this person somehow earns a lot of
money and can afford to do better; they just don't. What they're doing is
sub-communicating their self-esteem to you. It's a completely subconscious
process that tells the world what they think of themselves.
exactly the same with punctuality. That's why you'll hear some employers will
immediately get rid of someone who shows up late to an interview; they won't
even bother to see them. You might ask yourself, why are they being so
difficult? The person might have been a good candidate, but they were just a
little late. The reason is that the employer has found, through experience,
that lateness is a sign of an even bigger problem. They probably learned that
lesson the hard way, and so they choose to make this judgment call from the
very first impression. You also hear about this with girls when dating; they'll
dismiss a guy for some strange reason, like his shirt was too big or he had a
bad haircut. From experience too, they've found that we communicate a lot through
these non-verbal criteria.
case, I found that once I got better at this profession and had more success, I
couldn't even imagine being late to a session; I couldn't fathom making a
negative impression about the services that I worked so hard to build and
believed in so much. The most important point is that this works both ways: If
you want to improve your self-esteem and the quality of what you do, just
improve your punctuality. It will force the quality of what you do to get
better. This is called backwards engineering, and it's remarkable to watch it
was running my training studio, I'd often have as many as six clients starting
their sessions every hour. Even though I had assistants, it was difficult to
serve this many people, and if I wasn't careful, a few minutes might slip off
of every session. But I refused to let this happen. I would grit my teeth and
do whatever I could to make sure that every session started precisely on time.
And I made sure my employees understood the importance of this as well.
though you may be busy, in the mind of your client, they're the most important person.
Although they might not show it, they're watching every minute on the clock,
waiting for this high-priced session they've pre-paid for with an alleged top
professional to begin. They're not sympathetic to your problems or difficulties
because they know that if you're on top of your game, you'll find a way to be
on time. Remember that.