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September 9, 2013
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MacDonald: Always keep your word


Raise your hand if you wouldn’t mind having a bit more confidence to really go after what you want. Do you aspire to have the people you lead possess more confidence? What would be possible in your organization if you could move the needle on the confidence scale for yourself and others?

Confidence does give rise to success and fulfillment. Integrity breeds confidence, and keeping our promises grows our integrity.

To build confidence and to expand our sphere of fulfillment and productivity, we must strive to improve our promise-keeping quotient. The simplest way to do that is make only promises you can keep and then keep every promise you make. Simple and perhaps not so easy.

The catch is most people are pretty good about keeping their promises to others. It’s keeping the promises they make to themselves that is the saboteur of their hopes and dreams.

Even though promises are empty unless they are completed by performance, empty promises can be a heavy burden to bear.

The incompletion causes an empty loop from which valuable energy escapes. Close the promise loops you have floating out there and get your energy back.

One perspective to help carry out the promises you make is to follow the advice of Norman Vincent Peale. He said, “Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once.”

There is a payoff to taking expedient action while the energy of the commitment is high. The longer we wait, the more our commitment may wane.

Another awareness that can boost the promise- keeping quotient is to stop playing the over-commitment game and learn to say “No.” Many people just take on too much because they are not in touch with their incapacity to carry out their commitments, or they fear offending others if they decline to carry out a request. You may not need to say “No.” You can always negotiate with what you are really willing to do for others.

In his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Steven Covey says, “The commitments we make to ourselves and to others, and our integrity to those commitments, is the essence and clearest manifestation of our proactivity.”

Proactivity is a great measure of our social equity. Let’s face it. We are more attracted to people who are dependable. Dependable people tend to gravitate toward greater opportunity.

Seek to improve your promise-keeping quotient and watch your social equity rise.

Make it up, make it fun, and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.


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The Union Updated Sep 9, 2013 12:30AM Published Sep 17, 2013 11:18AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.