The reality is that as human beings, we want to be trustworthy which means we also want to be accountable (or rather "count-onable"). Have you ever met someone who aspired not to be? The challenge is that somewhere along the line, we learned that it was "ok" to break our word. That the world is, in fact, so accepting of it that we no longer feel bad when it occurs. We have confused the "promise" of getting something done with the reality of completing the task.
What we don't realize however is that every single time we fail to keep our word, we chip away at our own integrity. This applies to our public promises and almost more importantly, the private ones. After all, who will know when we break a promise to ourselves? Who will know that I actually wanted to get that report in 2 days early? As long as I get it in on time, my boss will be happy.
But someone really does know.
And try as you might, you cannot hide from yourself.
So how can anyone else trust you when you know that you can't even keep your word to yourself? We're all such frauds!
The good news is that every day is an opportunity to practice new behaviors:
1. Only make commitments that you can deliver. If your boss pushes you on a "no-can-do" deliverable, have the courage to say no and discuss the challenges. This gives your boss the opportunity to understand how you are prioritizing and delivering your work so that you can come to a mutual decision on something else that may have to give in order to meet the request.
2. If you commit, deliver. NO MATTER WHAT. We have come to accept apathy as the norm. Set yourself apart from the crowd by actually delivering on your commitments. Not only will you be a super-star, you will feel better about yourself and your work!
3. Start slow. Set yourself up to win. If you have historically had difficulty keeping your word, don't make TEN promises today. Make ONE and keep it all costs. If you can't keep it, assess why and move on. Sometimes there really are valid reasons for missing a deadline.
4. Don't beat yourself up for missing the mark. You're practicing new behavior so you will not be perfect. Notice why you didn't meet your goal and begin in the next moment to do better.
Imagine what a shift we could make in our workplaces if everyone from the top to the bottom made a renewed commitment to their personal level of integrity and accountability!
What could this mean for your organization? If you want to learn more about our programs, click HERE.
Continue to be great!