Guest blog by Dennis Bridges, MBA

How many promises, big or small, do you make in a day?  Promises to yourself, or to others.  How many of those promises do you keep?

  • Today, I’m going to the gym…
  • We should get together for a coffee/lunch sometime…
  • I’ll call you back in a few minutes…
  • I’ll forward it to you this afternoon…

Generally, when we make a promise to ourselves, and don’t keep it, it affects our mood.  When we don’t keep a promise to a friend or colleague it affects our relationship.  The interesting thing is that the effect is not directly proportionate to the importance of the promise.  Particularly when we meet someone for the first time breaking a small promise can have a huge impact on their perception of us, and our relationship with them.

A few days ago I attended a networking event and ran into someone I used to go to school with.  We had the usual “what are you up to now” conversation and it led to an interesting discussion about marketing as she is now working in that field.  She mentioned an article that might help me make a decision I had been contemplating for some time, and told me she would pass it on.  After our brief conversation the evening carried on and we didn’t speak again.  In the morning I checked my email and there was the article, not only that, but it was a great article!  Yesterday I found myself recommending her to a contact of mine, solely based on the fact that she seemed clever, well informed and reliable.  Had she not kept her promise I likely wouldn’t have thought much of it, but the fact that she did left a great impression and she was at the front of my mind when the conversation turned to marketing.

The idea here is that although keeping the big promises is really important.  The little promises can have just as big an impact on a relationship, good and bad, but more often than not they are much easier to keep, it’s just a matter of discipline and awareness.

Have you kept all the promises you’ve made today? How could you be more aware of the promises you are making and more disciplined about keeping them? If you can keep all the little promises you make in a day, I promise you, you will build stronger relationships and be more successful in both your personal and professional life.

What are your thoughts on a promise?  We would welcome your comments.

Comment below….


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