Being dependable is very important for everybody not only to the people who we work for but also to the people who work for us. It is as meaningful for people in the business world as it is for our family life.
There are many ways of winning absolute respect from people around us but one of the obvious ways is to be known as a person whose words are always truthful, good and can be depended upon.
We all know that promises are easy to make but sometimes hard to keep. It is bad business and even worse social living to make and take our promises lightly.
The manager to whom we have blithely promised improved results will not forget it quickly if we fail to produce those results with our effective performance. Neither will the employee whom we as managers and supervisors have led to expect something concrete that we could not deliver in time.
Therefore, it is never a wise move to make promises in a hurry. Whether it seems simple or hard, promises have to be well thought-out conduct. Of course, promises are a quick, easy and painless way to motivate people to get them to do what we want. Eventually, however, the time does come when we have to make our promises good and that is when difficulties show up.
I found out in my many years of managerial activities that actually there is nothing wrong with making reasonable promises and that is provided we observe a few precautions:
- Think carefully about how sure you are that you can deliver the promises, because all overly optimistic executives sometimes get carried away and promise things they do not fully control. Therefore the managers who promise to promote an employee, for example, ought to first make certain they can obtain the required approvals. All their intentions may be the best but what if higher authorities would not go along?
- Think also if you honestly intend to keep your promise because under the everyday pressure of the modern system it is easy to promise people something and then forget all about it and assume that they will as well. Unfortunately, they will not and more than likely they will be thinking about it constantly. So if you want to avoid repercussions you had better not stop thinking about it either.
- Think carefully if you make a practice of delivering all that is promised because forcing people to settle for something less than what they have been led to expect leaves a bad taste for a long time. So if you want the continued cooperation of your people remember to always settle in full however inconvenient or painful you may find it.
My experience is that we should make promises to keep. If there is the slightest possibility we might not be able to then we should never promise. Therefore, deliver more than you promise, rather than promise more than you can deliver.
We would find that we are being treated as dependable and our workforce also can be depended upon. Honesty, I have found out, is like an icicle, once it melts, that is the end of it.