Our relationships with other people are vital to our effective participation in the world. We live in a world of engagement and the language we choose to use creates a precessional power that ripples outwards. Somewhat similar to the reaction that occurs when we drop a pebble in a pond. We use language to not only describe our world but to create it. And effective communication, including keeping our commitments is central to that. Keeping commitments is a crucial factor for every family, friendship or partnership, and for every team, association, or organization. Every one of these groups is comprised of us, and others, engaging in a continuing cycle of conversations and commitments.
Of all the types of conversations we have, the most potent and productive is when we make an offer to another, or when we request a commitment from another. And when that offer or request is accepted this can be characterized as 'The Promise Cycle'. This simple act of making and managing promises then creates a mutual commitment from one person to another to take a specific future action.
And the responsibility that accompanies a promise is to do 'what' we said we would do, do it to the 'standard' to which we committed, and to do it at the 'time' we committed to. In other words, we must deliver what we promise, to the standard we promise and when we promise. The effectiveness of this process relies on the clarity of the conditions. In other words, how well formed and well expressed the commitment is, and how well it's understood by both people.
The promise cycle can be described this way. When you offer to do something for another as an: Offer + Acceptance = Promise, or when another makes a request of you as a: Request + Acceptance = Promise. In life we bind ourselves to each other through promises and we begin to drift when we don't deliver on those promises. Therefore the making and keeping of commitments is an important element of our communication. It determines predictability, certainty and continuity in all our various relationships.
Now imagine the profound impact that would occur in every aspect of life if all members of your family, your team, your associations, or your organization kept their commitments? Mutual trust would increase, and as a result efficiency, effectiveness and productivity would grow exponentially. Trust is central to our identity. Such a simple process; such a profound impact. And In an organizational setting; understanding and using this process allows team and business leaders to develop a committed, collaborative, high-performance culture.
Now think of one instance in both your personal life and professional life where you have made a promise and delivered on that promise.
Then think of one instance in both your personal and professional life when you have made a promise and not delivered on that promise.
What were the implications and results?
What could you have done, or would you now do, differently?
Make it a great day!
Lloyd Dobson :)