Why some people are always late?

BBC.com recently published an interesting six-minute video: Why some people are always late.  The voice of authority quoted in the video is Grace Pacie who has written a book: LATE! A Timebender’s guide to why we are late and how we can change published in June 2020.  As be deduced from the title Pacie has proposed a personality trait based on lack of punctuality and Normally distributed.  Those who are strong in this trait (top one sixth of population) she defines as Timebenders and people weak in this trait as Timekeepers.

She says you can recognise Timebenders by the following characteristics:

  • Doesn’t like routine
  • Gets bored easily
  • Starts another project before finishing the first one
  • Can focus if really interested in something
  • Works well under a deadline
  • Messy desk

The video then moves on to David Robson, a UK scientific author, who has also published a book: The Expectation Effect in January 2022.  In the video David argues that Pacie’s personality trait is actually the inverse of one of the Big Five Personality Traits, namely conscientiousness.

I actually think both Pacie and Robson are on the wrong track.  Timebending is based on another Big Five Personality Trait: Extraversion.  And in the 7MTF temperament model Timebenders are Socialisers/Movers.  The above list of characteristics perfectly defines the Socialisers/Mover component.

Besides the Socialiser however this is another 7MTF trait which if dominant generally means the person is late: The Politician.  This group of people has been completely missed by both Pacie and Robson.

One of the great benefits of the 7MTF model is that people learn to use TOPDOG to determine the dominant components of a person’s temperament. TOPDOG stands for Talk-Organisation-Position-Dress-Office-Gambit.

Gambit is derived from the game of chess, where it is used to describe the opening move in a game.   In a similar fashion someone may keep you waiting for a meeting or they might be punctual.  Another clue is how soon he or she first uses your first name.

Socialisers because they are easily distracted will keep you waiting; However, they will immediately apologise, quickly get onto first names and their warm enthusiastic smile will immediately put you on their side and make you forget their tardiness.

Politicians are driven by the desire to win and are very competitive.  Whoever arrives last at a meeting is the most important person.  They will not apologise for keeping you waiting, and will be formal and assertive in the beginning.  Until they have worked out your status they will not move on using your first name.

If you want to improve your recognition and social skills for Politicians and the other six 7MTF components consider doing my practical emotional intelligence courses.  Do the basic 7MTF course for an investment of  A$25 and 5 hours of your time and you will dramatically increase your EQ competency in days.

This blog was first published on LinkedIn on 8 April 2011.




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