Close up photo of old watchThere are few things in an office environment causing more tension than timekeeping. Coffee is right up there, between arguments over whose turn it is to make the tea and who’s stolen whose milk – but coffee happens maybe two or three times a day. Compare that to arriving at work, how long it takes to start work, being late to meetings, rescheduling meetings last minute, coming back from lunch late … and there seem to be invariably more opportunities to rub people up the wrong way!

One of the keys to not allowing timekeeping to become an issue in the workplace is to understand others’ attitudes to it, and to understand how your own attitudes to timekeeping will impact upon your colleagues. So we’ll be turning once again to the HBDI Whole Brain model, which we introduced you to a couple of months ago (link).

The HBDI model, if you’ll remember, identifies four main thinking preferences (analytical, organisational, interpersonal and creative) all of which we can all access – but generally have a preference for one, two or three.

So how might our preferences look when it comes to being on time for meetings?


A Quadrant Analytical (Upper Left)

People with this preference tend to be very logical, analytical types. You’ll recognise these people in the office because they’ll likely be the ones who like to have facts and figures to back up their work and decisions.

A Quadrant Preference as timekeepers
These types are least likely to struggle with being on time. They WILL, however, have trouble understanding why anyone else might have difficulty getting to meetings on time! ‘10am start’ means a 10am start, not 10.15am, right?

Keep your A Preference colleagues sweet by …
… setting your watch forward 10 minutes.


B Quadrant Organisational (Lower Left)

These are the super organised people in your office. They’ve got desks so tidy people wonder if they still work for the company when they’re not there!

B Quadrant Preference as timekeepers
Because they are SO organised, they likely know the train timetable to the letter, let alone their meeting schedule – but will get very stressed out if there are any changes to what’s been planned.

Keep your B Preference colleagues sweet by …
… get yourself a fabulous PA to organise your diary, and never agree to anything without said PA’s permission! (Or aim to be consistent)


C Quadrant Interpersonal (Lower Right)

People with this preference tend to be the more e people-oriented ones in your office. They’ll be the great people-managers, the ones who take you for a cup of coffee when they can see you’re upset or struggling. They’re probably also the ones making sure the department lunches or after work drinks happen on a regular basis.

C Quadrant Preference as timekeepers
The people may be less good at timekeeping, but they will be inclined to forgive others’ lateness, and expect others to forgive their own lateness – because there’s always a good reason. People aren’t late on purpose, y’know!

Keep your C Preference colleagues sweet by …
… having a great backstory. There’s only so many times you can have a sick cat!


D Quadrant Creative (Upper Right)

They are the creative ones in your office. You’ll probably recognise them by the quirky paraphernalia that seem magnetically drawn to their desks, or by the very visual reports they produce.

D Preference as timekeepers
A D Quadrant person’s world view as far as timekeeping is concerned is best embodied by the Australian mantra, ‘She’ll be right’. They always think there’s more elastic in timing than perhaps there really is, because it will all happen in the end, won’t it?

Keep your D colleagues sweet by …
… getting a trustworthy teddy bear to whom you can vent your frustration over their constant lateness. Venting to the D won’t make the slightest bit of difference!
Time management still an issue? Why not register for one of our Learning Lunches? In Just a Minute, we take a deeper look at how the four dominant thinking profiles outlined above affect the way we and our colleagues manage our time. Email Hannah or Lesley, or phone 01784 730 234 for more information or to book.