No one likes to disappoint someone and it’s even worse when it’s a colleague or customer who has put their trust in you. But, as we all know, life happens and situations change. When those changes happen and we can’t fulfil our commitments, how do we handle it?
What is the best way to communicate that what was originally promised won’t be happening now?
This article will discuss compassionate methods of self-coaching yourself through these complicated situations. With practice, you can maintain your integrity, forgive yourself, and continue to build trust with others.
What Should I Do if I Didn’t Honor a Commitment?
Usually, people go to the worst-case scenario when their commitments in the workplace fall through. This is because we tend to be quite harsh on ourselves when we don’t follow through and are the first to call out our failures. Sometimes, that harshness is projected onto others and can be quite destructive to a working environment if not handled properly.
The first step of dealing with this situation is to forgive yourself for not being able to live up to your commitments. As long as you are focused on making it right with the people who have been affected by what has changed, you are doing the right thing and have permission to take your own pace towards resolve. Let go of any resentment you have towards yourself, and instead focus on making things better, even if it is just one thought or action at a time.
Next, identify and understand your motivations for not completing your work task. Ask yourself why you didn’t follow through on the commitment and what caused those changes. You may have taken on too much responsibility in the first place, or you may just not like the task you had agreed to complete.
Whatever the case may be, getting some clarity on your motivations will help you figure out why it happened and how you can avoid it happening again. It will also help you to be more gentle with yourself and acknowledge that just because a commitment wasn’t met doesn’t mean you are a failure as a person.
Finally, negotiate with yourself. Make a plan for what you will do instead and how this new course of action will benefit the company or team. Make sure your solution is a win-win, meaning it will benefit your workplace as well as your personal needs. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need to compromise, but you should intuitively feel right about or at least capable of implementing your solution.
When you share your plan with your coworkers, clients, or customers, make sure to do it with confidence. They will appreciate your honesty and transparency, as long you are confident that this new path is better for everyone involved. This will help them to trust you in the future, and to understand that your earlier mistake wasn’t intentional or malicious.
Why Is Keeping Commitments in the Workplace Important?
There are many ways in which keeping commitments can enrich our lives. Overall, it makes us feel aligned with our values and our sense of integrity. It also gives us a feeling of empowerment because it shows that we are capable and responsible people, who can be counted on to do what we say. Here are some additional benefits of honoring commitments for you to consider:
Your Coworkers, Clients, and Customers Will Trust You More
It’s important to be trustworthy, because you want people to know that your actions are aligned with your values. When they know that you will follow through on what you say, they can have more confidence that your decisions are made with their best interests at heart.
It Can Help You To Get Ahead in Your Career
When you are known as someone who is responsible and accountable, it will help others to see your career advancement potential. You can be promoted into higher roles, or be contracted for more work when people are confident that they will not have to manage you.
You Will Find Interesting and Creative Solutions
When you are determined to honor your commitments, you’ll begin to think of new and creative ways to meet your goals. This is because commitment-oriented people have a strong sense of curiosity, which leads to new and innovative ideas.
You Will Increase the Value of Your Own Worth
When you honor your commitments, it’s an indication of your professional excellence and competence, which makes you feel more valuable internally. As you begin to see yourself as more valuable, you will begin to expect more from yourself and others. This is a positive cycle that can lead to increased earning potential, among other things. You might also consider using these self worth affirmations during the process.
What Is a Strong Commitment?
A strong commitment is one that you are personally motivated to keep and are willing to fulfill no matter what. It is something that you believe in and feel a sense of integrity around. When your commitments are strong, it means that your commitment to them will outweigh the difficulties it will take to fulfill them.
Some ways to make sure your commitments are strong include:
- Being clear on why you made the commitment in the first place. This will help to remind yourself of what it is you are trying to accomplish.
- Having a deadline for when your commitment needs to be completed by, which will help you prioritize and give the task the attention it deserves.
- Having multiple plans for fulfilling your commitments, so that when one avenue doesn’t work out you can go with another option.
Asking why is an essential step for developing strong commitments. When you are clear about why you are making the commitment, it will help to keep your motivation up. Make sure to write down your “why” once you determine the root of why your commitment is important. Place this in an area where you can easily access it if you’re having a challenging day and need a reminder.
How To Improve Your Commitment Skills
It can take some time to learn how to be more committed and honor your commitments, but here are a few things you might want to try:
- Write down your commitments and the reasons behind them. This will help you to clarify what it is that you are committed to, which can then motivate you when the going gets tough.
- Find a mentor or someone you want to be like and set up a time (or several) to have a chat. This can help give you perspective on how they prioritize and honor their commitments.
- Practice and make it a habit. When you practice honoring your commitment and stick to what you say, eventually it will be easier for you to honor the commitments you make.
- Use affirmations to practice redefining yourself as a person who can be depended on and is highly valuable.
- Think of what happens when you don’t honor your commitment. This will help to motivate you into doing things differently next time around.
- Ask yourself what you need. This may seem counter-intuitive when you’re trying to serve others, but it is actually essential that you take care of your needs first if you reasonably want to fulfill your commitments.
- Go into retreat. While it may seem counter-intuitive to step away from it all when you want to better honor your commitments, it’s actually necessary to have periods of time where you let go and recharge.
Making Small Changes To Help Keep Your Commitments in the Workplace
Here are some great tips for how you can make small improvements to your work environment that will make it more supportive, which in turn can help you to honor your commitments:
- If you work in an office, suggest a team meeting where everyone can prioritize their work and help each other out.
- Check in with your coworkers or clients periodically through a project. Sometimes providing small updates is much less pressure than solely waiting to communicate on a deadline.
- Focus on working with more efficiency during your day. Think of small ways you can free up even 5 minutes in your day by doing a task more efficiently. If you can do this in 4 areas of your work-life, you’ve earned yourself 20 minutes to get ahead or take a rest.
When Is It Okay To Break Your Commitment?
It’s important to address this topic, since distinguishing between commitments and unreasonable demands is an important boundary-setting skill. Here are a few situations where breaking your commitment is the best idea:
- You are sacrificing your mental or physical health for the sake of fulfilling a commitment.
- Your life is in danger if you stick to the commitment.
- There is no other way to fulfill your commitment and it will take an unreasonable amount of time.
- You can’t be reasonably expected to honor the commitment because you didn’t have the information or resources to fulfill it at the time of making it.
It’s okay to break your commitment if there are circumstances that are out of your control or if it will put you at risk. You may want to take a pause before making your commitments to make sure you’ve really considered the above factors and that you’re making decisions with respect for yourself.
While it is important to honor your commitments, there are times when they just aren’t reasonable or possible. Maintaining a flexible mindset can help you to be open to the different possibilities that exist in fulfilling your commitments. Forgiving yourself and avoiding perfectionism will allow you to move forward in a happier way.
Just by reading to the end of this article, you have proven to yourself that it matters to keep your commitments, so have trust in faith in yourself to be able to do it! Stay positive, be gentle with yourself, and know that you can do it!