Robin Kessler - Competency Speaker and HR Consultant

Keeping appointments

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm

When you work with people, sometimes they cancel their appointments at the last minute.

Today, my 3 pm appointment, a new client, emailed me by phone to let me know that she was running late and then a second time to tell me she would have to cancel the appointment and reschedule.

Two things were interesting about this cancellation. The client was referred by a business friend who sits on the board of a nonprofit that helps people without resources and asked me if I was willing to work with her at a pro bono rate. I explained that I do take clients, occasionally,  in exchange for bartering time to help me with filing and straightening my office (if that’s what I need at the time) because I believe that people generally don’t value things they don’t pay something for and because it helps them maintain more dignity. I was told she agreed to do the barter.

In this case, I received an email from the client’s cell phone to cancel the appointment. I realize that cell phone and internet service are not that expensive today, but when you’ve been asked to work with a client at reduced rates or on a barter deal, and they email by cell phone, it says something about their financial priorities.

The second interesting thing about this experience is that the client emailed me that her son had just had a problem and needed minor medical attention. First impressions matter. When you are looking for a job, you need to be savvy. From a competency perspective, this means that you need strong interpersonal understanding, organizational awareness, and customer service orientation.

If you are emotionally intelligent, you need to be prepared and have back up systems in place. In other words, if your child has a problem, you need to have other people who can help out if you are not able to be there. Employers want to hire people who demonstrate that they will show up for their appointments and handle emergencies in a way that inspires confidence.

We all have problems that cause us to miss our appointments occasionally. When this happens too often, we need to look carefully at our priorities and think about how people may perceive us. So, here’s my advice to my new client:  don’t even think about emailing or texting from your cell phone in the future if you are asking someone to give you something extra because you have financial problems. Just having a cell phone with internet capabilities proves you may not be as poor as you think.


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