I read an article recently that included this phrase. It really jumped off the page at me, because I am hypersensitive to people who make commitments and fail to come through.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I’ve never let people down against a commitment, but I have a pet peeve with people who do this habitually. It causes me not to trust their ability to follow through, and it makes me hesitant to accept their commitment in areas that matter.
“I know she says she wants to volunteer to help, but WILL SHE ACTUALLY?“
Whether this is a behavior in the workplace or in personal relationships, it sends the same signal to those who are left holding the proverbial bags. “You cannot be trusted to come through when it matters.”
I was involved in a project a few years ago in support of the person leading it. It was someone I respected, and I wanted to be a part of it, because he was passionate about the cause. At one point in the project, he asked if I would fill in for a specific meeting, because he had to be out of town. No problem! Glad to help! As weeks rolled on, though, he found increasing excuses to be unavailable and eventually abandoned the project altogether. This really rubbed me raw, and I eventually closed the project down.
It wasn’t my project. It wasn’t my passion. Others involved with the project were frustrated and hurt by the lack of involvement, and I ended up with a black eye for something I shouldn’t have been leading to begin with. Does this temper the way that I engage with him moving forward? You bet it does!
I was reading some comments online last week and came across a note from a woman who claimed that she had been pursued persistently by a salesperson for a service his company offers. When the time finally came that her company needed those services, she emailed him to let him know. In fact, she emailed him three times to express her interest. Eventually she contacted a different company to provide the services she needed. That was a lot of work on the part of that salesperson to peter out at the last minute (I guess he got caught up in his LVMs). What a waste!
I’m confident that none of us sets out to disappoint in this way, but it’s worth asking yourself if you’re one of these folks. Do you make commitments and find excuses not to come through when it comes time to execute? Do you do the work to bring in the new customer only to disappoint when the chips are on the table? Do you get the kids’ hopes up and sleep through commitments instead?
The point is that, even though saying yes feels good in the moment, failing to come through is what will stand out in the minds of your customers, your friends, your family, etc. The people in your life will remember the outcome far more than the willingness to commit. If you’re going to look good on the front end, you damn sure need to follow it up with action. If you don’t, well….
Let your YES be YES and your NO be NO, and I hope you’ll share your stories with me! Tomorrow Begins Today.