We have all made them. We have all accepted them. We have good intent when it comes to making or accepting commitments.
However we also know the feeling of disappointment when someone does not deliver something that they have committed to. Sometimes delivered late or not as expected, sometimes with an excuse (including those quite plausible), sometimes without an excuse. Just an expectation you would know that the best was done on the day.
Years back when the first Quality Assurance certifications were being sought and I had to lead a business through the process of earning certification, the pursuit of quality was less about everything being the highest quality it could be. It was more about setting a standard of quality and then always delivering to it. Consistently, confidently and reliably.
From a branding perspective, it was proven to be much better to choose a standard that could always be delivered, than to pursue the greatest and then only sometimes reach that. Any form of inconsistency in the delivery of quality (goods or services) would plant a seed of doubt into the recipient. No longer could they rely or have confidence in the standard you would deliver. If there was doubt in the recipient, then your brand would immediately be impacted by feelings of distrust and uncertainty.
Lately I have been working with some executives on personal branding. Thinking about what they aspire to represent and then considering how well they deliver it. Identifying the behavioural gaps between what we hope to project, to what we are projecting. Identifying the gaps between what we say we are and will do and what we really are and what we really deliver.
While the subject of personal branding is much broader than any one aspect, it is interesting to observe how often people fail to see the connection between the meeting or failure to meet a commitment they have made on their personal brand. Many will make promises, or agree to deadlines, then fail to deliver or even worse, fail to reset expectations. Not every time, not even often, just sometimes. You only need to not deliver or not reset expectations once and an element of doubt automatically creeps in to the minds of those you are working or interacting with.
The good news is, this is an easy personal quality to manage once you first value your word and your commitments.
Be clear about what it is that you will deliver, when you will deliver it, identify what risks may be associated with delivering it and mentally map how and what is required to deliver to your commitment.
If anything changes in your ability to deliver what has been promised, then make sure you reset expectations. Whilst it is always safer to underpromise and overdeliver, it is much better to be honest about what is the most likely scenario and then make sure that is what you deliver. Associate reliable with trust and confidence.
If you want to be someone people trust, someone people rely upon, someone that people value and have confidence in , then really value and commit to the commitments you make.