This focus on punctuality likely goes back to high school where I had a teacher, Mr. Rooney, who was strict on starting class on time. He had a unique way of reinforcing this rule. Rather than handing out detentions to students that arrived late, he required the tardy students stand at the front of the class and sing. His song of choice, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
His strategy of calling people out has stuck with me for many years. Perhaps because I sang that song A LOT. But, also because it was an effective “punishment.” You better believe I tried my darnedest to get to his class on time.
As an adult, I implemented similar techniques in both business meetings and development classes. I always start no more than five minutes after the start time. We are all busy people after all!! If someone shows up late (without notice that is), I never repeat myself and they are called out. My students all know that if they are late they risk being put in the middle of the circle and asked to deliver at least one message. Doesn’t happen all the time, but you never know when the mood might strike me.
I am grateful for this technique as it rarely fails me… people are almost always on time.
I have come to realize this is a rarity. In many meetings or classes I attend, the session doesn’t actually start until 15 to 20 minutes after the stated start time to “give leeway for travel.” This always surprises and, to be honest, annoys me.
But after a recent meeting when the facilitator started on time (citing my rule), it became apparent that people had come to expect the leeway. Noting this, I realized it was more than the technique that works for me. It is also the Law of Attraction – you will attract what you expect to attract. I have the expectation that people will be on time, as a result they are. This facilitator hoped people would be on time, but perhaps didn’t really believe they would.
This realization made me realize how deeply embedded Spiritual “rules” are in our day to day. As we live our beliefs, they become our reality. And, it made me chuckle to reflect on how seemingly innocuous events, like singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, can shape who we become.