I was speaking with my good friend Tom the other day. Tom is a business owner, and the definition of a straight shooter. He doesn’t tolerate people who waste his time or who don’t deliver as promised. We were speaking about a few things on the phone, and he shared a story of a contractor he was working with who never, ever seemed to be able to meet a deadline. And Tom’s point to me was simple… “Just manage my expectations.”
This is a huge point that applies to all of us. Expectations and perceptions matter, and both contribute directly to your credibility as a professional or business owner. People want to work with professionals who simply deliver what they say they will deliver. We respect people who do a good job, and who meet deadlines, and if a deadline needs to be missed, who will communicate directly and manage the expectations.
People hate working with professionals who just cannot ever deliver what was promised, in the time frame it was promised. If you develop a reputation as someone who never finishes things on time, or who always promises the unrealistic and then always disappoints, you will be constantly chipping away at your own credibility. And eventually that will hurt you in the wallet. It will cost you a job or a promotion or a project lead. A loss of credibility is like playing the house in blackjack. You may get ahead for a little while, but eventually the house always wins. You need your credibility if you want to accomplish anything. And it is hard to have any credibility if you always disappoint.
We’re focused on simple ideas this week at The Beacon Blog. And on a beautiful April Monday, we’re thinking about honest communication that manages expectations. And we’re encouraging you to think about being a professional who not only does good work, but who delivers it as promised, or who communications clearly and proactively when that becomes impossible.
Think about how powerful that would be for your professional brand.
Have a great day.
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