“Sorry, I’m Late…” & Other Overused Phrases in the Workplace

Earlier this evening, Andrew Clarke, a fellow Associate Director at d50 Media shared an article with me via email. The article is actively passed around on LinkedIn and is showing up in a number of feeds – so perhaps you’ve already seen it.

if you haven’t, it’s called Stop Using These 30 Phrases At Work! - and includes a number of gems, including these (my favorites of the list):

  • It’s on my radar
  • No brainer
  • Best of breed
  • Think outside the box
  • At the end of the day
  • Across the piece
  • All hands on deck

As is always the case though, I thought the list was missing something that’s super important… (Warning: ranting Eric in 3…2…)

“Sorry I’m Late…”

In the world of business phrases like “time is money” are thrown around all day long. I don’t care that those phrases are overused, but I do care when people fail to realize that time is the most valuable resource in business. It cannot be returned once it has expired. It’s simply gone. Forever.

There are few things more frustrating than running a meeting. You start with finding a time that works for everyone, then you schedule an appropriate time and place, invest in working hard to run and hold an effective meeting… only to have it all crumble in the first 10 minutes when committed invitees aren’t there, are ill prepared or simply don’t communicate that they won’t be attending.

It all builds off of common courtesy. And I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve certainly been late to far too many meeting in the past… and that’s something I need to change.

The Concept of Integrity

When you accept a meeting invite you are committing to the sender that you will be present and prepared at the time and place submitted to you.

That’s an important concept to fully grasp if you haven’t been.

Accidents happen. Things change. Interruptions will… interrupt. When you build a habit of coming to meetings late though you’re demonstrating a lack of integrity and showing the host (and other attendees) that you have things that are more important than their time. And that time is something you can never give back to them. That line of thinking is far from new, too. Here’s an article from 2004 that sums it up well for me:

Being late for anything — a business meeting, a luncheon, an appointment with a client — suggests a gross lack of integrity. Being fashionably late is neither fashionable nor profitable. It’s inconsiderate, discourteous, and often, insulting.

Be considerate. Be respectful. Demonstrate integrity. Be where you you said you would be, and dammit… Come prepared.

Comments

  1. Honorable mentions:

    “Peel back the onion”
    “Cut the head of the dragon off”
    “Steer the ship”

  2. A wise man once told me:
    “In life your circumstance will alter your commitment OR your word will alter your circumstance… choose.”
    Thanks for the article.

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