Though the title may suggest one’s need to follow through on New Year’s resolutions, that is a topic about promises we make about and to ourselves. What we are considering here are promises we have made or plan to make to others and applies throughout the year and not just at its outset.
Keeping the promises you make is perhaps the most obvious and direct method to improve your relationships with others – family, friends, clients, customers – anyone you deal with, whether that dealing is seldom or often. Examine your own experience with promises made to you by others: Do you regularly hear people say they will do something and/or will get back to you on a particular question, action or request? Probably very often as most of us make those promises with regard to a variety of actions.
Now ask yourself, how often are those promises kept? By keeping a promise, I mean something more than mere lip service. Was the follow up meaningful based on the promise made? Was it timely, relevant, actionable? For example, when there is a question to be answered or an action to be taken, does the promisor follow through or are there delays, vague responses, or worst, silence?
All of us want to feel that we have some importance and relevance to those people we have dealings with, whether business or family or friendship. If we feel neglected when a promised action or contact does not take place, think of how someone else might feel if we do not follow up with them as we have said we would. Keeping the promises, no matter how simple or mundane, is a critical step to maintaining the relationship. That, in turn, makes our work and interactions more pleasant and fulfilling and our results more successful.