Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

Signal Your Time Shifts Before Misunderstandings Occur

What if you had a friend, who for years called you about once a week, and then, suddenly, stopped calling?

You would wonder whether you had said or done something to offend. Or whether he or she has lost your number. Or found a new friend he liked better.

The point is, because we tend to read messages into time changes, it is important to signal others when our time priorities change.

If your boss tells you that your work has reached such a high level that he's going to spend more time training newer staffers, wouldn't that be more reassuring than if he just started avoiding you?

Or: What if your financial planner stopped returning your phone calls for two weeks? Wouldn't he have saved you a lot of anxiety and hair pulling if he just e-mailed you -- ahead of time -- that  he was going on vacation?

Show sensitivity to others by telling them if you are going to make a time-change.

- Do not leave for a trip or long absence without telling clients, customers, or co-workers that you will be gone or where you are going -- and who to contact in your absence.

- Do not leave in the middle of a conversation, phone call, or meeting without giving a good reason why.
(The same goes for answering call waiting on your phone!)

- Do not let an email or voice message go unanswered for more than a day -- unless you want people to think you are purposely ignoring them. (I know this can be hard -- but you really should try it!)

Signaling ALL of your time shifts will help you build more productive relationships and keep others from making the wrong assumptions about your priorities.

Here's to more personal insight,


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Going on vacation? Call people and let them know!

Extend your contacts the basic courtesy of warning them of impending changes to your schedule. This is a highly effective method for keeping everyone on the same page, and will help you avoid insulting someone who thinks you're ignoring him/her.