Attending on time. A short discussion about respect.

This discussion is about respect in attending work related meetings. The undertaken consideration and hints may not work properly for private meetings. There’re taken into account organization’s meetings including plannings, retrospectives, reviews, standups, all hands meetings, presentations. They apply to both onsite and remote venues.  

Attending a meeting on time

Ask yourself - how would you feel when you see people late on your meeting? You’ve probably seen such occurrences. Don’t follow this pattern, and please join meetings on time. If you can’t, just inform about that the organizer before, if possible. It’s about respect. Time is value. This is crucial in every company, in every development methodology. Scrum defines five value [1]. Respect is one of them. Appearing on time is a sign of respect to other attendees and to the leaders. Appearing late or not at all might be seen as a lack of respect.

However, attending too many meetings is not professional. The virtue is to get things done, not walking around them. If the meeting is useless for you, please don’t attend. If you’re obligated to join then please do that on time only because of the other people who joined on time and also because of the organizer/leader. Reveal the attending intention to the organizer before the meeting. Show the respect.

Leaving a meeting before time

Is it allowed to leave a room before the official wrap up? If the meeting doesn’t follow the purpose promised in the agenda and it’s simply a time waste for you, why not to leave earlier? As long as you’re not paid to persist to the end, and there is more loss than benefits you’re allowed to quite, perhaps. There are techniques on supporting leaving meeting room in a good way. Leaving such meetings is a sign of respect to yourself.

Organizing & leading a meeting

As a meeting organizer or a leader you have to produce perfect attitude. The event owner has to be on time and show readiness to start. We need to put attention on the meaning of being on time and starting the actual meeting. There is a significant difference between starting a show and showing the readiness.  In a case when the audience is not in a required setup to start, the immediate kick off will be pointless. As an organizer you also need to decide what to do then. There are some options. For example, you may ask attendees for patience in order to allow join the missing attendees, or you may decide to cancel or postpone the meeting. These decisions will depend on certain factors.  If you’re asking for waiting, always set a time limit. When you decide to postpone, inform about new time. Assume and respect that other people work with a calendar in a similar way you do. The audience will have an impact on those decisions, though. If it’s a regular meeting with the same people, you may set a common working agreement on starting and conducting meetings. For example you could decide you always start on time regardless of the absence of the rest members.


The general rule in attending meetings is to joining them on time or not joining them at all. Leaving a meeting is more complicated and requires more care. Organizing and starting a meeting is even more challenging. You need to reward people who attended on time while not (always) reject those who were late.  All of these scenarios require actions with a respect.


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