and it's me again, with a new blog on the personal development!
Today's topic is Your Word or how to keep your word.
Do you keep your word?
“Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future, making it predictable and reliable to the extent that this is humanly possible.” -- Hannah Arendt
Keeping you word. Keeping your word is one of the main things we need to do to maintain integrity and trust in life. The issue is that it's not as easy as it sometimes seems. There are many things to consider when you are about to make a promise or commit to something. As you know, life is dynamic. It is not static. Things change. In times of change, you need to be able to maintain your integrity. This means doing the best you possibly can in the moment. Today, I'm going to give you some ideas on how you can do a better job of keeping your word and building trust with others.
Communication is the key. It is easy to say you will keep your word. The question is, “Whose word are you keeping?” Some of the problems in this area include communication and expectations. I've run into many situations where I've been very excited about something and conveyed a message, and the other person had selective hearing. We were not even close to being on the same page. This can cause major issues, when the other person thinks you are saying one thing and you mean another.
As I get older, I see this as one of the major issues in building trust and integrity, especially when you are building business. Sometimes, you have to be able to move and do something else if one aspect of business is not working. In those situations, you have to be able to communicate your expectations so that both parties are on the same page. Be very cautious about that initial promise and expectations. This will help solve a lot of problems in the future and will help you maintain trust if you can clarify expectations.
If it is important, put it in writing. If it is something important like a business deal or something you're going to do with a significant other, then you need to put it in writing. I've made this mistake many times. If the other person does not want to put it in writing, then you have issues right from the beginning. Again, this is about clarifying expectations. Even when you make a promise, if it's something critical, make sure that you put it in writing.
Expect others to do the same. From both practical and metaphysical perspectives, we need to hold others to our expectations. In dealing with others, you should expect them to keep their word. We want to trust that the other person is going to hold to his or her word, but we also know that if it is important, we should write it down, and then we communicate our expectations.
It is also critical that both parties be on the same page. As we discussed above, if there is an issue, the issue will come from a lack of communication. Focus on establishing expectations, and if it is very important, get it in writing.
Be impeccable with your word. I love the book The Four Agreements. It is a very short book, and if you get a chance this week to pick it up, do so and read it. There are a lot of great suggestions and ideas on keeping your word. One of the main agreements is that you should be impeccable with your word. I love the word “impeccable.” It really makes a statement about the way you're going to use your words.
Use discretion in handing out promises. It’s really important to use discretion when you're making promises. Make sure you slow down and really think through the things you're going to say. It is better to not make a promise and exceed expectations than to make a promise and not fulfill it and lower expectations.
Words are spells. When you think of your words having an impact on other people, you will do a better job of using them properly. Always remember that words are spells, and you are putting that energy out into the world when you open your mouth. Respect your words. We have two ears and just one mouth for a reason.
What does it mean to keep your word? What issues have you had in doing this?
Why is it so important to set expectations?
What is the most important thing you can do if a promise is an important one?
What are two things you can do today to help keep your word? What does the word impeccable mean to you as it pertains to your word?