I frequently get frustrated with people that say they will do something and then fail to keep their commitment. “I’ll meet you at 6:00” they say, then roll in at 6:15 with a casual “sorry I’m late.” Or “I’ll call you first thing Monday morning” they say, then respond with “I was just about to call you” after you call them at noon on Monday. I believe that keeping your word, especially in the small things, is a gigantic key to your personal and professional success.
How often have you committed the crime of not following through on a commitment, regardless of the “importance?” Let me open your eyes to a fact: your word is a direct reflection of your character, period. If you say “I will call you back on Monday at 9am” and then fail to do so, it speaks volumes about you as a person. It tells the jilted call recipient that they are not a priority, that you are not a very detail oriented person and, most importantly, that your word cannot be trusted. Some would argue that such small things don’t carry enough weight to influence other’s opinions, when in fact it is the small things that are the most important!
If you are continually late, your inability to keep your commitment reflects a life of disregard, disorganization and/or elevated self-importance. In other words your friends and family find your tardiness inconsiderate and rude. You may not realize it, but your continual tardiness says you find your time more important than theirs. Want the truth just ask. The polite answer will be something like “we understand it’s just how he/she is” or “we’ve just gotten use to them being late.”
The truth is people find it inconsiderate of others to be habitually late and it speaks badly of your character and your ability to hold to your commitments. And this will affect your professional life also.
If a friend knows you are often “fashionably late,” they will be reluctant to pass on important, professional business contacts. Why? Because they know they cannot trust you to respect the time of said important contact by showing up on time or returning a phone call at the allotted time. And they will entrust their business with someone that will not keep the client waiting.
This is a fact that I have experienced first-hand.
Think about this situation: you run your own business selling thingamabobs and have a huge customer looking for a personal recommendation for someone to help design their new conveyor system. It is important to make a good recommendation as it will reflect on you and your business. And it just so happens that you have a friend that is in the conveyor business. The only problem is that this friend is terrible about calling people back, responding to emails and is a habitually late arriving to appointments.
On the other hand, you have a guy you know that does equally good work, but he is very prompt to return phone calls, responds to emails and is always early for appointments, never late. Who do you choose and why? I go with the guy that I know I can trust to treat my client with the respect that will shine on me and create an even better business relationship for all involved!
On the rare occasion that I meet an individual that shows up early or on time, calls me back at the time they said they would or responds promptly to my email, my respect for that person goes through the roof. It shows a general respect for others and their time, shows me that they are organized and shows me that the person can be trusted to do what they say they will do. And trust is the single most important necessity in any relationship!
Take time and think before you commit to anything; big or small. Do not casually tell someone you will do something and then more casually blow it off. That shows low character. Be the person that considers keeping their word a sacred oath, a precious gem. You must make your word your bond and show those in your life that you are a man or woman of high character and principles. Wars are won and lost in the smallest of battles; never forget that. I promise people will notice when you keep your word.
Don’t be afraid to SHARE if you know someone that could use a little organization in their life.