KEEP­ING YOUR WORD AND HON­OUR­ING COM­MIT­MENTS

Jamaica Gleaner - - ARTS & EDUCATION - Ashish Jhin­gran Con­trib­u­tor Ashish Jhin­gran is a Ja­maica-based man­age­ment and mar­com prac­ti­tioner and se­nior con­sul­tant with Sy­napse Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. He has more than 25 years of ex­pe­ri­ence with some top com­pa­nies, span­ning sev­eral coun­tries across the wo

HOW OF­TEN have you been in a sit­u­a­tion when you have promised some­thing to some­one but have not been able to keep your prom­ise?

Prom­ises, in any man­i­fes­ta­tions, are a by-prod­uct of two crit­i­cal traits that we touched upon in the last ar­ti­cle — ‘Punc­tu­al­ity and Dis­ci­pline’.

Be­ing late, wherein other peo­ple are on time and wait­ing on you, re­sults in ac­ri­mony, dis­trust and at the end of the day is hugely detri­men­tal to all in the sit­u­a­tion.

What do you think would be the other per­sons’ thoughts be­fore walk­ing out be­cause they could not wait on you any longer? Per­haps, some­thing like, “Th­ese guys do not value time, if they can­not stick to their time­lines, how can they be re­lied upon for any­thing else!”

Notice that the thought process has gone to be­ing ‘they’. What tran­spires does not merely tar­nish your im­age, but along with it the cred­i­bil­ity and in­tegrity of the or­gan­i­sa­tion that you rep­re­sent are also com­pro­mised.

This holds true for any sit­u­a­tion – be it in school, on the job or among friends. We com­mit some­thing and then de­cide whether meet­ing that com­mit­ment is im­por­tant or not, for­get­ting about the per­son who we have com­mit­ted to. For­get­ting that some­thing that we feel may not be too im­por­tant could be an ex­tremely im­por­tant mat­ter for the other per­son. Sel­dom do we keep our­selves in the other per­son’s po­si­tion and feel the pain.

Con­se­quently, we get branded as be­ing ‘un­re­li­able’ or in ex­treme cases ‘dis­hon­est’.

WHY DOES IT HAP­PEN?

Other things take prece­dence: You prom­ise to fin­ish a pro­posal and send it to your client by the end of the day, but by the time you start your work­day, you are told to “drop every­thing else and work on the sales pre­sen­ta­tion for the CEO sched­uled to visit the of­fice to­mor­row”.

Your com­mit­ment to your client goes fly­ing out of your mind’s win­dow, though you could have taken some steps to del­e­gate some work to hon­our your first com­mit­ment.

YOU DO NOT RECOG­NISE YOUR LIM­I­TA­TIONS:

Of­ten, in our en­thu­si­asm of be­ing able to solve ev­ery­body’s prob­lem, you com­mit to be the mes­siah for all with­out re­al­is­ing the lim­i­ta­tions of the re­sources — time, money, peo­ple, phys­i­cal and men­tal fac­ul­ties — avail­able at your dis­posal.

As a re­sult, while you bite much more than you can chew, most of the things are left half done and you leave peo­ple dis­sat­is­fied and wary of you.

YOU CAN­NOT SAY “NO”:

It could be that you love some­one dearly, or you have ut­most re­spect for some­one or out of com­pul­sion of say­ing “yes” for any other rea­son, you will find that you of­ten pile up com­mit­ments which are im­pos­si­ble to be met at the same time. The re­sult, you end up ei­ther feel­ing sorry about every­thing or look­ing for di­vine in­ter­ven­tion to help you meet your com­mit­ments.

YOU BE­COME A HA­BIT­UAL PROCRASTINATOR:

It is true that many of us leave things to be done at the last minute, ha­bit­u­ally... We think that “I have a lot of time to do this, it will not take too long” and spend our time do­ing unim­por­tant things. Even­tu­ally, the eleventh hour comes and goes leav­ing us and those who de­pended on us ut­terly frus­trated.

IM­PACT OF NOT KEEP­ING YOUR WORD

The prin­ci­ple of ‘My word is my com­mit­ment’ seems to be fall­ing out of use, es­pe­cially so when stand­ing by one’s com­mit­ment is in­con­ve­nient in any way. Rem­i­nisc­ing the old times when just a ver­bal prom­ise, cou­pled with a hand­shake, was kept come what may. Nowa­days, hun­dreds of pages go in draft­ing a con­tract and some le­gal minds look out for loop­holes to be plugged or ex­ploited, as the case may be.

HOW DOES IT IM­PACT YOU IF YOU DO NOT KEEP YOUR COM­MIT­MENT?

You lose your in­tegrity when there is no con­sis­tency be­tween your words and ac­tions.

Your trust­wor­thi­ness and re­li­a­bil­ity be­comes ques­tion­able.

Re­spect for you di­min­ishes in oth­ers’ eyes.

Your self-re­spect takes a beat­ing as well lead­ing to a loss in self-con­fi­dence, too.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO MEET YOUR COM­MIT­MENTS?

Just a few steps will help you in keep­ing the com­mit­ments you make:

First, start keep­ing com­mit­ments that you make to your­self. “I shall start reg­u­lar ex­er­cises from to­mor­row”. Make sure that to­mor­row is the next day, not the to­mor­row that never comes.

Make fewer com­mit­ments, be it pro­fes­sion­ally or so­cially. Do not com­mit un­less you are ab­so­lutely sure of meet­ing them. Check upon your re­sources which will be re­quired to meet your com­mit­ments be­fore mak­ing one.

Write down your com­mit­ments. This is now sim­ple with al­most ev­ery­one hav­ing a smart phone which al­lows to set re­minders to keep your dead­lines on your radar. Do not let any­one else make com­mit­ments for you. This of­ten hap­pens in a work­place when a man­ager makes com­mit­ment to a client on your be­half. You end up be­ing ac­count­able for some­thing you never com­mit­ted to. En­sure that you are aware of the na­ture of the com­mit­ment and if you feel you can­not de­liver, rene­go­ti­ate. Keep your com­mu­ni­ca­tion un­am­bigu­ous. Do not as­sume any­thing or leave any­thing for your man­ager’s as­sump­tion.

Avoid over­com­mit­ment. Do not make new com­mit­ments with­out com­plet­ing what you al­ready have on your plate. Over­com­mit­ment will pile them up and leave you over­whelmed. Learn to say ‘no’, po­litely but firmly. You are not a su­per­hu­man that you can do every­thing at one go, you need to pace out your day and keep time for every­thing im­por­tant in your life.

Al­ways re­mem­ber one thing. Peo­ple do not mea­sure you on the ba­sis of com­mit­ments that you make; they mea­sure you on the com­mit­ments you meet.

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