Want to know why I know? Because I asked her. It went something like this:
me: Hey mom, how’s it going? Are you busy?
mom: I’m busy for the next few minutes, can I call you back?
No big deal, right? Actually, it is a big deal. Have you ever had someone call you, or come in your office, and just start chatting? And you were super-busy, or working on a tight deadline? And you really didn’t have the time to chat? Disrespectful, right?
Whether you are in a job search or building relationships (aka networking), make sure you respect the other person’s time. Ask them something like:
- Do you have time to talk right now?
- Are you busy?
- Do you have a few minutes? (and then, only take a few minutes until you clarify that they have more time!)
- Is there a good time we can talk about xyz?
I don’t know why I’m weird about this, except that once I hired a guy that had no concept of other people’s time. I was okay with it and found ways to deal with it. But when I heard about it from my peers (the management team) I was embarrassed – and had to do something about it.
Even when I have a call that has been scheduled I usually ask “is this still a good time?” Who knows what came up, and I want to make sure the other person is going to give me their attention.
Respect. It’s a good thing and it goes both ways.