Tag Archives: relationships

Professional Skills: Punctuality

Punctuality is a skill anyone can master, a trait admired by most and a characteristic that never goes out of fashion. 


One of the primary aims at BMH is to prepare our students for the world of work. Regardless of whether you plan on using your BMH qualification in a corporate or creative environment, both will insist that you adhere to and respect the principle of being punctual. No company, regardless of its size or success, can afford to employ staff who do not appreciate the importance of showing up for and producing work on time. The same principle of punctuality is expected of you as a student whilst you are at BMH – be it in relation to attending lectures or submitting assessments.

Why is Punctuality Important?

As explained by Brett and Kate McKay (2012) in their article “A Man Is Punctual: The Importance of Being on Time”, there are a variety of reasons why punctuality is respected and valued:

Punctuality strengthens and reveals your integrity:

By registering as a student at BMH you are entering into an agreement with Boston whereby in exchange for your tuition and learning experience, you are agreeing to attend classes (all your classes) on time and partake in the required learning experiences, be they invigilated assessments or assignment based assessments within the pre-determined time frames.

By attending lectures and submitting your assessments punctually you are communicating to your educators and peers that you are a person of your word. You have entered into an agreement and you are honouring it.

Punctuality shows that you are dependable:

Dependability is highly prized in employees and students alike. If you are the student who seldom attends lectures or always arrives late or has an excuse for missing every deadline, your peers are not going to be overly enthusiastic to include you in their group project because your dependability is in question. No-one is going to want to risk their final grade or major client on someone who cannot be depended on to arrive on time for work / a meeting / lectures or deliver on time on a project / brief.

Punctuality builds self-confidence:

By cultivating the habit of punctuality in all areas of your life you are not only communicating to the outside world that you are reliable, but you are also showing to yourself that you are a dependable, independent person. With this growth in responsibility and independence comes growth in self-confidence and mastery over compulsions and poor habits – thus the more in control of your life you will feel and become.

Punctuality assures you’re at your best:

By racing across campus, nearly spraining your ankle in your attempt to make the 3 minute late rule, you are entering class in the wrong frame of mind and stressed. By arriving on time or, even better, a few minutes early, you have time to orientate your mind and settle in.

Punctuality builds and reveals your discipline:

A punctual person shows that they are skilled in organising their time, are able to pay attention to detail and move from one task to another without upheaval or drama. Never mistake discipline for a lack of creativity – the most creative people are often the most disciplined.

Punctuality shows your humility:

Don’t overestimate your own self-importance. The disruption you cause, no matter how unobtrusive you attempt to be, when entering a lecture late not only communicates a clear lack of respect for your lecturer but also for your peers, who have made the effort to be on time.

Punctuality shows your respect for others:

Regardless of your excuse, arriving late for anything be it a lecture, meeting or date shows a lack of respect; that your needs and time are more important than those who you have kept waiting or have been disrupted by your arrival.

Being late disturbs the experiences of other people:

By being late you’re not only stealing time from those who you’ve kept waiting or disturbed when you finally do arrive, but you also rob them of the experience they have started submerging themselves in.

In her article “Late Again”, Stephanie Reese Mason (2015) noted that whilst students don’t mind the odd late comer who slips in quietly just after a lesson has begun; they do however get  annoyed when their peers arrive 10 minutes or more late for a class. The reason for this resentment lies in that the late arrivals, regardless of their perceived stealth, are more distracting once a lesson is 10 minutes or more into being delivered. Furthermore, students felt that those who repeatedly run 10 minutes or more late do not place the same value on the course as those who run only a minute or two late.

Being late places strain on relationships:

When you are late for a meeting, lecture, date etc. you are in effect communicating to the other person / people that they are not as important as whatever it was that caused your tardiness, or that you couldn’t be bothered with ensuring that you have enough time to arrive on schedule. Either way you are placing a higher value on your time and experience and by so doing disrespecting those who you have kept waiting.

Being late hurts you professionally:

Whether you’re a permanent member of staff, an intern or you run your own company, gaining a reputation for being perpetually late can harm your professional success. Most South African companies have rules regarding working hours, by repeatedly arriving late you can be assured of finding yourself on the business end of a disciplinary hearing, if not a letter of termination.

Arriving late for an oral presentation assessment, job interview, meeting with a new client speaks volumes: I’m not taking this seriously.  My time is more important than yours.  I’m not dependable.



Masson Reese, S. (2015). Late Again? Retrieved from: http://world.edu/late-again/. [Accessed: 01 September 2015].

McKay, B. & McKay, K. (2012). A Man is Punctual: The Importance of Being on Time. Retrieved from: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/07/16/a-man-is-punctual-the-importance-of-being-on-time/. [Accessed: 01 September 2015].


FOCUS ON: Anger Management – An Introduction

We live in a society where, all too often, the go-to response to anything or anyone who gets in the way of what we want is: anger. 

A car cuts you off in the traffic…anger

Lecturer locks you out of class for being 15 minutes late…anger

Parents won’t buy you the latest shoes / gadget … anger

Anger is a normal, healthy emotion but when it starts hijacking your life and becomes your automatic response to any and every situation it’s a sign that you need to start looking at the real reason for your anger and how to manage it.


What is Anger?

Anger is an emotional state which varies in intensity. It is both normal and healthy to experience anger in response to events or circumstances in which you have been unfairly treated or there’s a perceived threat. The feeling of being angry is neither good nor bad; rather, when it comes to anger, what is important is how you express it, experience it and what you do with it. When anger results in you either harming yourself or someone else, be it physically or emotionally, there is a problem.

Myths about Anger

Myth: It’s healthy to vent my anger and get it all out.

Fact: Suppressing or ignoring anger is not healthy, however venting it is not any better either. Anger does not have be “let out” in an aggressive manner in order for you to avoid “blowing up” or “going crazy”. In fact, by allowing your anger to be expressed in an aggressive rant or outburst you are merely reinforcing your anger and the feelings that come with it.

Myth: Anger, aggression and intimidation earn me respect and get me what I want.

Fact: Never confuse bullying with having power. People who use aggression to get what they want may be feared but they are never respected. People are more willing to listen to you and accommodate your needs if you communicate with them in a respectful and calm manner.

Myth: I have no control over my anger, it just happens.

Fact: You can’t always control your environment, how it impacts on you and how it makes you feel, but you can control how you express your emotions in response to it. You always have a choice in how you decide to respond to a situation – you can effectively express your anger without having to resort to verbal or physical abuse.

Myth: Anger management is about suppressing your feelings.

Fact: Anger is a natural response and will come out in one form or another regardless of how hard you try to suppress it. Anger management is a tool whereby you become aware of your emotional and physical reactions to situations and the underlying feelings and responses they evoke. The purpose of anger management is to learn different ways of expressing your anger and frustration which are both healthier and constructive.

Source: Segal, R. & Smith, M. (2014). Anger Management: Tips & Techniques for Getting Anger Under Control. Retrieved from: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/anger-management.htm

Why is Anger Management Important?

People express their anger in different ways. Not everyone expresses their anger in a loud, cursing and throwing of things manner; instead there are some who express a constant, simmering irritability and grumpiness, and there are those who withdraw and sulk or even become physically ill.

People who are easily angered are believed to have a lower tolerance for frustration. Simply put, they cannot cope with being subjected to frustration, inconvenience or annoyance. They find it difficult to take such things in their stride, and become particularly upset when they consider a situation to be unjust.

Regardless of whether you are genetically predisposed to being an “angry person” or you’ve learnt to rely on it as way of getting what you want; poor anger management can lead to the breakdown of relationships and impaired judgement. Out-of-control anger harms your:

  • physical health – constantly operating in a state of stress and tension is bad for your health. Chronic (constant or recurring frequently) anger increases your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and  unhealthy cholesterol. It can also result in a weakened immune system and insomnia.
  • mental health – Chronic anger uses up huge amounts of mental energy and can interfere with your thinking and judgment, making it harder to concentrate and enjoy life. Unmanaged anger can lead to depression, stress and other mental health problems.
  • studies and career – Constructive criticism, creative differences and debates are healthy and necessary to help you grow as a student and employee. However, verbally abusing or lashing out at a peer, lecturer, colleague, parent or client both alienates the person and lessens their respect for you. In addition to this, you will earn a reputation for being “hard to work with”, “unable to take criticism”, “unpleasant” etc. which will follow you and make it harder for you to succeed in life.
  • relationships –  there is a saying “Taste your words before you spit them out“; once something has been said (or done), it can never be unsaid or taken back resulting in deep or even permanent damage to friendships and relationships. Chronic anger results in people perceiving you as being untrustworthy, they will struggle to address issues with you out of fear of your reaction and may even feel uncomfortable being around you.


In the next instalment of the FOCUS ON: Anger Management series we will be looking at strategies and tips to manage you temper


American Psychological Association. (2015). Controlling Anger Before it Controls You. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/topics/anger/control.aspx [Accessed on: 08 April 2015].

Segal, R. & Smith, M. (2014). Anger Management: Tips & Techniques for Getting Anger Under Control. Retrieved from: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/anger-management.htm [Accessed on: 08 April 2015].

FOCUS ON: ADD / ADHD – The Effects of Adult ADD / ADHD

Undiagnosed or untreated ADD/ADHD can result in a person experiencing problems in basically every area of their life. 


The range of effects ADD/ADHD has can result in feelings of embarrassment, frustration, disappointment, hopelessness and lack of confidence. What is important to remember when receiving a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is that the problems and difficulties you have been experiencing are as a result of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD and not because of a personal weakness or character flaw.

The Negative Side of Adult ADD/ADHD

Mental & Physical Health

The symptoms of ADD/ADHD can contribute to a variety of health problems including:

  • compulsive eating
  • substance abuse or addiction
  • anxiety
  • chronic stress & tension
  • low self-esteem
  • depression
  • mood swings

In addition to this, those with ADD/ADHD are more likely to forget or ignore important medical check-ups and doctors appointments, fail to read and follow medical instructions, and possibly forget to take medications.

Work & Finances

Adults with untreated ADD/ADHD are more likely to change jobs more frequently and under-perform, resulting in low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Problems adults with ADD/ADHD experience in the work (or college) environment include:

  • trouble keeping a job or staying in college
  • difficulty with following company or college rules
  • difficulty meeting deadlines
  • difficulty sticking to a 9 – 5 routine or college schedule

In addition to this many adults with ADD/ADHD find it difficult managing their own finances resulting in bills not being paid or getting lost, late fees and debt due to impulsive spending.


Adults with undiagnosed or untreated ADD/ADHD are at a higher risk for:

  • marital / relationship problems
  • multiple marriages due to divorce
  • higher incidences of separation and divorce

The symptoms of ADD/ADHD can put an enormous amount of strain on work, family and love relationships. The person with ADD/ADHD is often frustrated by their inability to “get organised” or “listen” or “focus”; and those close to them become increasingly resentful because of their perceived lack of “responsibility” and “attention”.

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Having ADD/ADHD does not mean you cannot pursue your dreams or lead a “normal” life; nor is it an indicator of a person’s intelligence or capabilities. What ADD/ADHD does mean is that there may be certain things that are more challenging for you than for others, this doesn’t mean you can’t find ways around these challenges and succeed.

The key to coping with a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is finding what your strengths are and capitalising on them. You may be disorganised and impulsive but you may also be highly creative, passionate and able to see things from a totally different perspective to others. The aim is to identify what you are good at and work around that. 

The Positive Side of Adult ADD/ADHD

High Energy

A different way to view hyperactivity is “high energy”. If you’re following a career where energy and stamina are required, you can use your “high energy” to your advantage. The challenge however is learning to harness the energy, instead of allowing it to disrupt your focus.

The Devil’s in the Detail

People with ADD/ADHD are not commonly known for their attention to detail; but what most people forget is that a person with ADD/ADHD often can and will become very focussed on tasks or activities they do enjoy, and as a result may pick on details others will miss.

Live in the Now

As with hyperactivity, implusivity too has a positive side to it – being impulsive means you are the type of person who “lives in the now” and doesn’t dwell too far into the future.

Although impulsive behaviour can be risky and can result in unnecessary problems and consequences, if you can learn to manage and direct your impulses the benefits could outweigh the risks.

In Part 3 of Focus On: ADD/ADHD we will be looking at Ways of Managing Adult ADD/ADHD


*The information contained in this post is for informative purposes only and is not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. 


Metcalf, E. (2013). The Positive Side of Adult ADHD. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/features/positives?page=2 [Accessed on: 25 February 2015].

Segal, R. & Smith, M. (2014). Adult ADD/ADHD: Signs, Symptoms, Effects and Treatment. Retrieved from: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/adult-adhd-attention-deficit-disorder.htm [Accessed on: 25 February 2015].