The Better Thing to Promise

transparency and authenticiityWhen you are working for someone – a client, boss or your employees, even – you have a deal, whether spoken or unspoken. There is mutual expectation on what you can and will deliver.

I don’t like being in low trust relationships. They are fraught with stress and unrealistic outlooks. With low trust, it’s just a matter of time before the other shoe drops, and you find yourself at odds with those whom you are seeking to help.

Better to be straightforward and promise something realistic. If you say nothing, or you are desperate, you may be promising perfection. That’s an impossible goal to attain. You can’t control the myriad details and gotcha’s that will inevitably stump your well-intentioned plans.

So, why allow perfection to be your promise and brand in the first place? It’s a losing proposition and a bad deal.

No, instead, promise engagement and excellence. This is something you can control. When things don’t turn out perfect, you can promise to communicate, be straightforward, raise issues before they become crises, and be human. Promising engagement means, “I accept responsibility and I will give you my best.” No dodging or positioning.

You can engage those you serve by thinking ahead or raising issues as they happen.

“Here’s what has happened.”

“I don’t have an answer yet.”

“But I am committed to working hard to find a solution.”

Such transparency makes doing business easier. You are not bound by unrealistic expectations.

How could that change your relationships by simply promising engagement rather than default to perfection?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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