When Giving “Your Word” Means Little

Years ago, giving someone your word meant something. When someone gave their word in the olden days, people knew that the word was as good as in print. Today, there is little that can be said for giving someone their “word.” If you need an example, when people tell me that they will do something, rarely do I believe them. I had a situation at work where a tenant needed assistance with something broken at the facility, and our staff told her that they would handle it in a certain amount of time. They finally got there yesterday to fix the problem, but it took a lot of pushing them to come through, and the woman lost three days of pay getting it straightened out. There’s a difference between giving someone your word and communicating when you have trouble meeting the objective.

Everything falls back on communication. If we as people don’t communicate when we have promised someone that we will make things happen, then we come out looking like liars. It may not be intentional, but the damage occurs, and faith in people diminishes. What so many people forget is that giving our word to someone is power. When we keep our word, we become dependable in other people’s eyes. There’s a lot to be said for accountability. How we say things matters to people too. For instance, if I say that I’m going to write a blog five days a week, I have folks who expect me to keep my word.

We all have struggled to keep our word sometimes, and that’s a part of life. But is it too difficult to communicate that we might not keep a promise because of unforeseen circumstances? It shouldn’t be, but in reality, it happens more times than people care to admit.

So as we enter this Labor Day weekend, let me leave you with a thought if you tell people that you will do something, either do it or communicate with that person if complications arise. It’s not too difficult. Who knows? You might gain more respect along the way. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

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