The chasm between “promises made” and “promises kept” seems to keep widening. Consider:
How many times have you unsubscribed from emails and continued to receive them?
I’ve noticed that a high number of “unsubscribes” are illusionary.
How often have you met with a vendor who promised a quote or proposal that you never heard from again?
We’ve all had that experience of wasted time, for me, more than I care to remember.
When was the last time somebody said, “I’ll get that to you,” and then didn’t?
Recently? It happens too often.
A company uses a pre-recorded message to explain their commitment to customers when you reach their automated customer help system.
But the system wears you out with prompts, takes an egregiously long time and then cuts you off before you get the needed help.
A prospect requests a product be overnighted but when you call to make sure they received it, they don’t return your call.
How hard is it to say, “Got it, thanks”?
Another potential client asks you to tentatively hold a date for an engagement. As the date approaches you call and email to confirm that they still want the date yet you can’t get a response of any kind.
A simple email saying, “No thanks, we’ve changed our mind,” would have prevented much aggravation and wasted time.
If someone starts to talk about people not keeping their word, they sound like prehistoric throwbacks. Yet while I’ve not seen hard data, I’d wager that the keeping of one’s word is ill if not on life support. If I tally the number of times people I encounter don’t do what they say they will, I get nearly depressed.
Some behaviors go out of style or become displaced by better options. Keeping your word isn’t one of them.
Integrity as I like to remind myself and others is the distance between your lips and your life. Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. Dedicate yourself to saying what you will do and then doing it.
Keeping your word has always mattered, still matters and always will.
Mark Sanborn is an award winning speaker and Leadership Expert in Residence at High Point University, the Premier Life Skills University. For more information about his work, visit www.marksanborn.com. He also helps professional speakers and execs creates superior digital presentations. Learn more here.
P.S. Fred the Postman was a master of keeping his word. You might want to be a “Fred?” Find out why and how here.
I entirely agree with this. I think a lot of what you are describing may be linked with all the frenzy we put ourselves into to achieve targets and keep pushing forward and get results. It leads to overcommitment and inappropriate prioritization.
We need to bring integrity back in style.