Useful Tips

How to promise and not screw up: 5 proven rules


Your boss is not keeping his word? There are those types of executives who show rewards for work but never keep promises. For some time, it may seem that your boss is about to change, but soon the desire to work at full strength begins to disappear, since all promises remain only promises. It is not easy to communicate with such bosses correctly, but try to make him answer for his words with written confirmations and regular reminders. Keep track of your progress and don't let yourself be offended. Learn to find new opportunities.

What should be the promises of a leader?

In the work of a manager, situations inevitably arise when he is forced to make promises to his superiors, colleagues, subordinates, customers and business partners. Despite the fact that such promises are made voluntarily, the manager often does so under the pressure of circumstances. The voluntariness of promises and their detachment from the main tasks are often relaxing. May consider them an optional addition to the main work, which may entail unexpected unpleasant consequences.

Promises of the leader often become the basis of manipulation. On the one hand, management promises can help increase employee loyalty, make team relationships more trusting and reduce anxiety. On the other hand, the leader can use the promise as a lever of influence by imposing his conditions on the petitioner. Public promises often put the manager in an unpleasant situation when he overestimates his authority and ultimately does not fulfill the promise.

Failure to fulfill a promise by a manager cancels all employee expectations. Managers often use promises as an incentive, not backing them up with any action. This worsens the situation in the team and deprives the leadership of the trust of their subordinates. It is very difficult to get rid of such a negative assessment in the future.

How to keep promises

It is important for any person (and to a more senior position) to be able to avoid difficult situations because of promises. Remember these five rules for managing promises:

1. Do not promise rashly

The optimal response of a manager to an employee’s request is evasion. It is better to translate the request into the framework of everyday activities, to make the joint team work a condition for its implementation. A competent leader does not promise anything immediately: any promise must be carefully considered.

2. Specify requests

Before making a promise, clarify the request. It is necessary to clarify all the details in order to know exactly what you are going to, giving this or that promise. Take your time to promise and remember: you are judged by the number of promises made, not by the amount of data.

3. Promise within your authority

Promises must be made on the basis of real authority. They are determined by their place in the management hierarchy, job responsibilities, company status, and corporate culture. A competent manager will surely calculate all possible options, including refusing a request. If the authority for this request is not enough, making a promise is at least unreasonable. Such situations should be negotiated with the exact wording of the terms of the promise.

You will find even more interesting materials on the topic in the section of the site “Human Resources Management Psychology”.

4. Keep your promises.

The leader should make every effort to fulfill his promises so as not to tarnish his reputation. Unfulfilled obligations will cause many unwanted problems. If, for one reason or another, you find yourself in a position where the promise is not feasible, warn about it as soon as possible or suggest changes in terms and results.

5. Evaluate Results

The leader should track the fulfillment of his promises and the degree of satisfaction of the person to whom the promise was made. Such an analysis will protect against possible mistakes in the future and protect against the adoption of unnecessary and deliberately impossible obligations.

What to do if an employee has not kept his promises?

Broken promises are a common mistake made by employees. For example, tackling projects that are too complex do not complete them on time. In this case, the employee runs the risk of facing the consequences of his mistake. He probably overestimated his strength or he simply did not have enough competence. In some cases, subordinates take on an excessive amount of work simply to satisfy their ambitions and prove their professionalism. As a result, it is exhausted, fatigue from processing appears, or even the effect of “burnout”. Work, however, remains incomplete, and obligations unfulfilled.

What to do with such an employee? The manager needs to remember that discipline is a necessary condition for an employment agreement between the employer and the employee. Punctuality and responsibility should be part of the corporate culture of the company. Employees need to explain in advance the consequences of not fulfilling a promise and set reasonable deadlines.

If the employee did not fulfill his promises on time, first of all, it is necessary to find out the reasons for the situation. Of course, a subordinate can get a chance to fulfill his obligations, albeit with the support of colleagues or a manager. If necessary, the leader can organize additional training for the subordinate in order to avoid difficulties in fulfilling obligations in the future. If the failure to fulfill promises turns into a system and the employee does not have good reasons for his defense, then the reason for this behavior, unfortunately, is the lack of discipline. You will have to ask such an employee, because there are no guarantees that he will not let the company down again.

For more information on how to analyze which of the employees you can rely on, read the material "How to evaluate the ability of employees to keep promises".