Buy From Amazon
Prefer the Kindle Version? We've got one. Get it now from the Kindle Store
· Will you be on time?
· Will you be on time THIS TIME?
These questions are problematic because:
· They express a lack of confidence in the other person’s reliability and do so indirectly.
· They seem to carry with them, some ulterior message, since nobody PLANS to be late when you set a time to meet.
You probably use them to get across the point that you want the other person to be punctual, but you are hesitant to say so in a direct way. Often the other person will react to these kinds of questions with some form of argument. As in: “What do you MEAN, this time?”, and the point about not being late gets lost. Nobody will get what they want or need.
Make It Better:
If it’s really important that the person be on time, or the person doesn’t have a great track record for punctuality, deal with the issue more directly and clearly, without insinuation.
· John, it’s important to me that you are on time for our appointment. I don’t want to keep the bank manager waiting when we ask for a loan.
· Mary, if we’re late, we’ll lose our spot, and we won’t be able to get tickets to the show, so can we be specially careful to get there on time?
· Do you need me to do anything to help, so you’ll be on time? I can call to wake you up if you like.