Dealing With Late Members

As a Forum moderator, it’s incredibly frustrating to have a jammed-packed agenda that starts at 5 pm, but then members trickle in, so you start the meeting late. Members showing up late to meetings is a common issue with Forums worldwide, so know that you are not alone.

Here are three tips to curtail this issue and start your meetings on time.

  1. Start On Time – I know it sounds odd, but don’t wait for the entire Forum to show up. Instead, get started with who is there and let the late people jump in when they arrive. By starting on time, you are training them that you start on time. If you don’t start until everyone comes, you are training them that you will wait.
  2. Fine The Late People – Most Forums have a section in their Code of Conduct that covers what happens if someone is late. It usually involves some minor financial fine and a 1/2 miss that adds to their total amount of annual allocated misses. The goal here is to penalize those who show up late. “The penalty for showing up late, or leaving a meeting early, is [½] a miss. This includes dinner. Showing up late for a meeting also includes a [$50] fine to the treasury.”
  3. Fine Everyone Else for Someone Being Late – Being late for a Forum is a sign of disrespect for everyone else in the Forum. The late person unconsciously is telling the group that their time is more important. To amplify this point, some groups will fine everyone else in the group if someone is late. The goal here is to really pull on the emotional strings of the person being late to feel extra guilty.

Whatever path you choose, don’t let it slide by if people are late. The sooner you call it out and take action, the quicker it will get resolved. The best Forums have such a strong mutual respect for each other that they want to show up on time, not to let the group down.

Bonus: Here’s a warm-up question for your next.

It seems every business/person now has a story about what happened to themselves and/or their business during COVID. If you were writing a biography of your life/business, what would the title of your COVID chapter be and why?