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  • Writer's pictureLisa Plancich

Arriving Late to a Meeting- And Losing All Integrity

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

We all get a little rushed and, at times, find ourselves running late. Most of us hate the thought that we are going to make others wait for us.

late to a meeting etiquette
Running late for a meeting?

You are meeting people, whether in person or online, business or social, at say 9am. At 8am (or earlier) you know you are going to arrive late. What do you do? Let people know!!

If it’s one person, call them (see my article on cancelling an appointment). If it’s more than one person send a group text saying you are running late and give your expected time of arrival. Easiest of all, if you arranged the meeting, or are in charge of the meeting, just don’t be late. Showing up to a meeting, or volleyball practice, or online yoga (when you are the instructor) late is wrong on so many levels. It squashes your consideration for others and questions your accountability.

late for a meeting etiquette
Arriving late to a meeting, with a latte in hand? Seriously?

When walking into a meeting, or logging in late, knowing that people are waiting for you, don’t have a latte in your hand. Seriously, do I need to explain? OK, fine. Arriving late holding a latte says, “I wasn’t really running late. I just took some extra time to get what I wanted when I wanted it. I don’t care that you didn’t get your coffee so you could be on time. My needs are more important than your convenience."

Further, if there’s a chance one person had to forgo a meal or coffee so that they could arrive on time, don’t rub salt in the wound and show up late with food (or anything but your apologetic self). Everyone else managed to get there on time. Some rearranged their schedule so they could accommodate you and your request to meet at a specific time. Don’t kick them in the teeth by saying you didn’t have time to eat/drink but took the time to stop for food (and now you are going to consume it in front of everyone) at the expense of others’ convenience and possible grumbling stomach.

Time is a precious commodity. From the guy with the dog who needs a walk before he leaves the house, to the single parent who didn’t get to kiss the kids good-bye before racing out the door, everyone has a to do list. It just takes some pre-planning, follow through and integrity to arrive on time. Your late arrival, but having taken the time to stop at Starbucks, screams to everyone how irritatingly inconsiderate you are.

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