Don’t underestimate human memory.
I have a great memory especially when it has to do with other people’s behavior.
I recall how they treated me, what their attitude was, how they reacted to something, and what they said. I remember the manner in which they’ve not kept or kept their word.
I remember the big things they did; yet, it was the little things they did that stood out.
And, it’s not only something I remembered an hour ago or yesterday. I also remember what they did days, months, and years ago.
It’s funny. I don’t recall the superficial details about them during their interactions with me.
Don’t do what he did.
A year or so ago, I offered to pay for a co-worker’s lunch because he forgot his wallet at home. He said, “I’ll pay you tomorrow.”
But tomorrow turned into the day after and the day after turned into next Thursday.
And during those days I did not remind him and he never communicated that he would not be able to pay.
So, come Friday, I reminded my self to remind him on Monday.
On Monday, I said, “Are you going to pay me the lunch money you owe me?”
He said, “Oh shoot! I forgot! I’ll give you the money tomorrow. Sorry about that.”
I said, “No worries.”
He paid me the next day.
The point of this flashback was that my co-worker did not provide the urgency he implied in keeping his word. He did not pay the next day as he promised. And, he did not communicate that he would not be able to pay me back during the days I expected him to pay me back.
If the tables turned, I would pay my co-worker the next day because I said so. But if I would not be able to, I would have communicated that.
The thing, too, is that I had to follow-up with him.
That co-worker’s manner of keeping his word left me a bit scarred that I lost a little bit of trust and respect with him.
After that, I never offered to pay for his lunch again.
Keep your reputation straight.
Last month, on a Wednesday, during a meeting with my boss where I was giving him my two weeks notice, we discussed how we would notify the team. I was not comfortable with notifying my department. So my boss offered to set a day the beginning of the following week for the event. I agreed and we shook hands concluding the meeting.
On Monday, my boss was not in the office, but he was working because I noticed his activity on our company app and emails. He sent me an email early afternoon that he would make the announcement to the team for Tuesday.
Before noontime the next day, my boss gathered the entire office for a quick meeting. I was happy and satisfied that he kept his word.
I felt comfort that I trusted and respected my boss. Additionally, I did not doubt that his promise would fall through. In the five years or so that I’ve known him, he’s never skipped a step when keeping his promises.
When you don’t keep your word, you lose credibility.
– Robin Sharma
The featured photo is from kaboompics.
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