Are you dependable? Can others count on you to follow through and deliver on what you promise?
Recently, I was asked by a couple of people to meet them somewhere on a particular day and at a specific time in order to help them with something. Even though I told them that my schedule was full around that time, I promised them I would be there.
When the day came, I was there at the time we agreed, but they were not. I thought they may just be running late, but after waiting for about 15 minutes, I left. As I was leaving, I still had hope that they may show up later, so I left behind a few instructions for them.
Guess what? They never showed up! Neither did they attempt to reach out to me to explain why. It wasn’t until the next day, after I contacted one of them to find out why they didn’t show up, that I got a response that was nothing more than a flimsy excuse.
Yes, we all sometimes have situations that sneak up on us, preventing us from doing what we said we would do. But our reasons for not following through becomes excuses when this becomes habitual. For one of those people I was supposed to meet, that was the case. I could point to several instances within a few months that they have not lived up to their promise. When the latest situation unfolded, I finally made up my mind that this was not someone I could rely on anything they tell me.
So, what about you?
Can you be counted upon? Do you keep your word?
Do you deliver on your promises no matter what? Or do you only follow through when it’s convenient? Do you keep them even when it’s difficult, just because keeping your commitments is important to you?
When we don’t follow through on what we say we’d do, what we’re saying is that people cannot depend on us. It also says that we don’t care about others and their time, especially when the promise involves a time commitment on the part of the other people. Essentially, we’re telling them they can’t trust us.
If this describes you, why don’t you begin to make an effort starting today?
You can start by ensuring that you don’t quickly commit, especially if you know delivering may be difficult. This requires that you take some time to think of your ability to deliver before making the commitment.
Also, if you’re the type that just forgets, put it on your schedule the very moment you make the commitment. Set up the reminder early enough so that it doesn’t creep up on you suddenly. And if something happens that will prevent you from honoring that commitment, reach out immediately to those counting on you BEFORE it’s due. Let them know what happened and renegotiate the deadline.
As you do this, you’d begin to see people trust you more, and your influence will start to grow.
Do you have an experience where people did not follow through on their commitment to you? What happened? How did you feel? Please share your story in the comments section below.