Business Timing Is About More Than Getting an Approval

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One of the career lessons I’ve had to learn is that “timing is everything”. I remember years ago pitching the idea of casual attire to my boss. She looked at me like I had three heads. Then one day, she said to me, “You know, you’re right. We should do this.” While my timing was off in pitching the idea, a right time did happen to make it work.

As an HR pro, I’ve listened to employees talk about something they wanted. It might have been something for themselves, like a pay increase or attending training. Or maybe a manager who wanted something for their team, like new computer equipment. And no matter how many times they brought it up…the timing was wrong. I’m reminded of it now as I talk to managers who say, “I was so adamantly opposed to remote work. Now we’re doing it, granted because of the pandemic, but it’s working! And working well.”

But in talking about “timing”, it’s important to realize that it’s about more than simply having an aha moment, making a decision, or getting an approval. My takeaway from Daniel Pink’s book “WHEN: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing” was that we need to think of timing as a continuous process. Timing is about creating and maintaining the right beginnings, middles, and endings.

BEGINNINGS: Getting off to a good start sets the timing.

I do believe we think about timing when it comes to beginnings. We want things to start off well. When it does, it makes our lives easier. For example, building successful relationships is essential in our personal and professional lives. You’ve probably heard the old cliché that says, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” We think about beginning new. . .

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