Our series today offers ‘Five Tips for the professional – Meeting Management’.
I lived the early parts of my life, schooled and worked a couple of jobs in Mumbai and a pet peeve while there was being a victim to the IST or the Indian Stretchable Time. Personally, I like being punctual for my meetings. I was always a bit earlier (my problem I know) for my meetings but was made to wait…always (beyond expected start time). All of us as students have experienced firsthand the need to wait patiently at admissions office or other places.
My frustration reduced when I started my professional life; first. with a Belgian company and then a French company. Punctuality and respect for time was the norm. However, even there, meeting with colleagues was never on time; always 10-15 minutes later. ‘So 11am became 11 ish!’ Experienced that? Do you know there is even a watch available to celebrate IST? Check it out by clicking here.
A comment by Devita Saraf, CEO of Vu Technologies and Executive Director of Zenith Computers in Mumbai “The western attitude to time is much more organized and much more linear compared to our own very flexible attitude toward punctuality which tends to undervalue both our own time and the time of others”
I have been in Australia for a long time now. I have worked here long enough to enjoy the respect for my time shown by my colleagues here. So, I would have to agree with Devita’s viewpoint and it suits my control freak personality very well.
We should stop giving in to the IST phenomenon. The world is shrinking. We work with people from all around the world. I don’t like it when I have to wait 30 minutes for a colleague to start a meeting. Do you? Then…why the tardiness? Why take others for granted? Why take our time for granted?
Having said this there could be some advantages to this system of time management. One of them is that time is not an issue when help needs to be extended to a colleague or when deadlines mean working late to complete projects and the other is the creativity that flows when meeting times are not too rigid.
Five ways you can manage time around meetings better
- Organize meetings only if and when you know you can make it
- Inform the person you are meeting if you are running late
- If you do have to attend back to back meetings why not organize 50 minute meetings giving you time to attend the next meeting on time
- You would never be late for your flight why then for a business meeting? Stop taking others for granted and your time too!
- Not everyone appreciates the IST…not even fellow Indians!
Let’s manage our own time better and respect another person’s time in this time poor world…