Statistics shows that 9 out of 10 people are poor in delivering promises. Nearly all of us are prompt in making promises, committing to do something; but when it comes to doing it, delivering it, we take a backseat. Promises could be as small as “I shall phone you back” or as significant as “I shall help you to develop and grow”. I have been frequently witnessing that way too many people commit or promise small or big things out of good intentions or emotions; but they hardly care to fulfill. Yes, when promises are self-serving or would help make money, those would be fulfilled promptly!
Promising people are those, who would fulfill what they commit at 1st very attempt! You would find that if you don’t do it when it is due 1st time, you may deliver it on 2nd occasion but with reluctance. If you fail on 2nd occasion, it would be harder for you doing it on 3rd one i.e. resistance. If by any chance you skip to deliver on 3rd occasion, you would go in reverse gear. Instead of delivering promise, you would deliver “excuse”! So, amazing rule of 1-2-3 & Go applies!!
If “considering promises casually” becomes a habit, worst casualty would be no one but you! On other hand, “drive to deliver what is promised” is one of the foundation pillars of true leadership!
Why people make promises which they don’t mean to deliver!
There are varieties of reasons why most are tempted to make false promises, primary reasons being:
- To create good impression, especially on bosses, beloved or buddies
Political class would do it to masses.
- For one-up man ship over bête noire or rival
- For fear of offending a person or being seen in bad light
- To avoid arguments
- Yielding under pressure or compulsions
- Under bout of emotions
- Out of superficial respect or empty obligation
Naturally, people find it difficult to deliver promises made under above situations and therefore, they make easy escape routes through excuses!
Managing or mismanaging promises reflects make up of a person!
It is very important to understand that the manner in which one commits or promises and then fulfill his/her obligations has a lot to do with personality of that person. Here below are some clues:
- Men, who make and honor nearly 100% of their promises!
Population of such people is not big – probably less than 5 %. Highlights of their characters are:
- They would not rush to make a promise. They would contemplate first and then make it consciously.
- If they cannot deliver a promise given, they would revert back in advance, share reasons about their inability to fulfill and be apologetic for same!
- They are consistent and persistent!
- They are upright and sincere.
- They are decent and dependable.
- They are confident and eloquent!
- They are committed and caring!
- They are highly successful and prosperous!
- People, who deliver some and dodge some!
Such people are in majority and you can watch out for the following:
- They pretend to be serious in making promises.
- They are emotional and deceptive at the same time!
- They have split personality.
- What they talk would not walk.
- They are extra humble many times but hollow from inside.
- They are opportunist and therefore, can bend easily, which most people or companies confuse as flexibility!
- They appear sensitive on surface; but vindictive underneath.
- They are political and play games.
They change color like a chameleon – one for making promise, another for delivering and third for avoiding it!
- Men, who can promise a moon but deliver miniscule!
Their number is not small; but less than category 2 above and far more than category 1.
- They are ever eager to make promises and that too promptly.
- They are boisterous and loud talkers.
- They can laugh a lot and heavily!
One can easily confuse them as jovial!!
- They reflect overconfidence, which is often misunderstood as expertise by companies or communities.
- They appear extra respectful; but could be equally revengeful in disguise!
- People, who hesitate to promise and deliver!
There number is next down the line after category 3; but their personality is opposite:
- It is not easy to extract promises or commitment from such people.
- They lack courage, conviction and commitment!
- They are short on initiative and usually introvert.
- They are pessimists.
- They communicate less.
- They lack transparency and consistency.
Be a person of promise!
So, it is very poor idea to be poor in fulfilling promises to self and anyone else! Delivering promise, be determined, dedicated, committed and resolute are part of same trait, without which leadership qualities just can’t survive! So:
- Never rush to make a promise.
- Make promise, what you can deliver.
It is best to make written note of all promises, you have made and review time to time to monitor your performance.
- If you realize anytime that you can’t make it or would be delayed, go back immediately to concerned person and make him/her aware with apologies.
- Deliver 100% of your promises on 1st occasion or attempt.
If you want to stand out of the crowd and establish/enhance your credibility, your natural choice should fall on “Being a Person of Promise”!