Keeping Your Promises

This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it is still an effective and yet (too often) overlooked step. By showing that you can keep your word, you build up a culture of trust.

We have all seen business owners and executives who might have great intentions, but are not reliable enough to follow through on what they said they were going to do. It’s also important to note that managers have a lot on their plate: there are deadlines to meet, employees to manage, and meetings to attend. Many managers are responsible for not only the day to day functions of the company, but the long term vision as well.

A Full Plate

When all of this “managing” adds up to 50-80 hours per week or more, building trust can be put on the back burner. For example, managers may not be consistent in the way they delegate work to others, or, they may fail to solicit clear promises about getting tasks done by a specific deadline.

We have all met these kinds of people, but are they really bad people? Of course not. In many cases, it’s not done on purpose or maliciously, it just happens. Their plate is simply full. They may have unintentionally become a victim of their own success.

Unfortunately, many employees may not see it this way. Only 40 percent of workers said they have a high level of trust in their individual bosses, or in their organization as a whole, according to a study from Interaction Associates, a workplace performance improvement company.

Earn Their Trust

A person’s word is their bond, right? Well, it used to be, and it can still be with a few small adjustments. If your goal is to empower your ‘unnatural leaders’, your employees will have to believe in you and trust what you’re saying is true. In order for this to occur, a plan of action is required. You need a promise keeping system, to track and manage those promises.

“Trust is the best medium to grow success. It creates an environment in which people feel free to be authentic, passionate, and committed, and be willing to share all they have to offer.”  
– Charles Feltman

There are several ways to earn your employees trust:

  • Task management software can be used to safe keep promises by helping prevent them from falling through the cracks.
  • Resist the urge to lecture to your employees. Teenagers aren’t the only people who don’t like to be lectured to.
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. Giving an important task to an employee shows you trust them, and they will appreciate the gesture by working that much harder. In fact, if you want to keep growing, you’ve got to be willing to give stuff up – by delegating it effectively.

5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Promises & Raise Your Integrity

  1. Be on time for meetings – including internal ones with your team
  2. Respond to calls and emails – including from your team within 24 or 48 hours (set a policy) – delays cost money
  3. Complete your agreed action items by their due time and date – if you can’t, communicate (or negotiate) a new time and date commitment to manage expectations
  4. When you drive a car, obey the road rules (remember, you agreed to them)
  5. Pay your supplier’s bills on time (at home and at the office)

Action Step: Invest in a cloud based project and task management platform to help you keep your promises. Make a commitment to collaborate. Hold others accountable to keep their promises and let them know you “are trusting them to get the job done” by taking an active interest in their progress.

Explore Additional Resources:

  1. Review: 5 Ways Bosses Earn Employee Trust courtesy of Business News Daily
  2. Special Report: Untapped: how to harness the potential of your unnatural leaders by Glenn A. Williams

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