What are people saying about your integrity? That may not be a question you’ve asked yourself lately, but it sure is an important one, isn’t it? If you want to achieve your own personal excellence, practice making, organizing and keeping your promises. It starts here: Identify what you’ve said yes to.
It sure is easy to say yes, isn’t it? Whether it’s during a hallway conversation at the office, at the dinner table with your family or an in all-important staff meeting, it seems we are wired to engage and want to be involved. The next time you’re about to add a new to do to your list, consider these 6 elements of a promise.
Promise: “An assurance that something will happen,” That’s just one definition of the word. When you add a project or a task or take on a new goal, you’re making a promise that something is going to happen between “now” and “then.” Think about this: You already are managing multiple promises - ones you have made to yourself and others.
Perform: A great mantra to keep in mind here is: “I do what I said I would do, in the time I promised.” With each task managed and project completed, our confidence builds. In addition to that, the people around you will notice that you’re engaged and trustworthy. This encourages them to want to be around you, do business with you and work with you.
Hurdles change the momentum and direction, and when that happens it’s important to pause just long enough to reset your efforts. This “time out” may provide you with a chance to see something new, identify a next step and take action. At the beginning of taking on a new goal - that is, making a new promise - consider making a list of the 2-3 people you know you can go to when hurdles happen.
Renegotiation is a critical skill to the promise making and promise keeping process. Are you working with a partner, or a team on an upcoming project? If, along the way, you realize you are behind schedule or a bit off course, it’s time to reach out and ask for help. Renegotiation is one way to demonstrate your commitment to excellence. Model this behavior - asking for help, or an extension - and you may see people around you asking for help when they need it...sooner.
Trust is built up when we do what we said we would do in the time we promised. the fact remains, people trust people who keep their word; and, people do business with people they like. Use these opportunities to work together positively and strengthen the relationships you are building.
Celebrate your accomplishments...often. Share a winning mindset with your team members and stakeholders. When a project “rolls out the door” successfully, call or email a few key people. If it is a public project (showing up in the local news or published in a magazine or journal), forward links or clippings with a note of acknowledgment and/or thanks for a job well done.
What makes the difference in personal and professional excellence? Going beyond simply making a commitment and actually delivering on your promises. The impact of doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, makes things better - in life AND at work. Begin right now by making an inventory of your own “outstanding promises.” Then, identify the elements YOU can address to make good on your word.