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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Do you keep your word?

Do you keep your word?

Words by Francis Kahihu

Why do clients keep flocking the offices that are already too busy when there are others with similar qualifications and services in the same neighborhoods? What is this that makes one person stand out in the practice even with this great competition? One of the indicators has been found in the soft skills and values that people posses and exhibit through their lifestyles.

Many claim that they are reliable hence others should feel comfortable doing business with them. We say how reliable we are when it matters and even commit to go an extra mile just to fulfill the needs of others. But the question that begs a response is just how reliable are we at a personal level?

The workplace presents a perfect opportunity for us to be tested with regard to reliability. It is an environment that presents us with the longest duration of interaction with other people, either as colleagues or clients. As much as we can afford to hide part of our true self to strangers, it becomes tiring to pretend at work. We have numerous opportunities to live our lives as they are. Our true selves find expression in a matter of weeks hence the need to appreciate the fact that the who we are from within is what gets the external expression.

When you are given tasks to undertake by the boss or clients, do you keep your word. Can people go home assured that having you take up a task rests their minds that the work will be done. Might you be among those who gladly take up every task on offer knowing so well that you will create an excuse for not completing the task?

I have heard it over and over again that the best fundi is the barber since they have to clear with your hairdo before undertaking other tasks. You may have had experiences with tailors, carpenters or farm workers who promise to undertake certain tasks within a given time even when they know so well they cannot deliver within the stipulated time. Since they do not want to lose any client, they pick on every available customer promising everyone that their task will be given priority. This is a self defeating attitude. Instead of taking up all tasks knowing so well you have no capacity to complete spoils future business for you. The best way to know whether you have satisfied a client is determined by the percentage of return clients. If no one comes to you a second time should send alarm bells ringing about your quality of service.

The test of time is one key challenge many people perpetually fail. When meetings are set to be held at a certain time, many people postpone other commitments to be there on time. Are you a chronic late comer or are you punctual at meetings and other engagements with people? When you tell others that you will be at a certain place at a certain time, can your word be taken seriously? Or are you among those who would indicate they would be at a meeting and people automatically add an extra hour to your expected arrival since you are known not to respect time?

Failure to respect other people’s engagements is tantamount to disrespecting them. Appreciate the fact that by not keeping time, you inconvenience others and this does not build relationships.

Finally, as we seek for financial support from friends and family, we find opportunities to ask for support from those who care about us. For people to support you, they over go other pressing concerns bearing in mind that you would replenish their purses as promised. Experience however shows that many people casually fail to meet the deadlines and have to be followed to repay soft loans.

Reliability is a trait that builds relationships. Seek to keep your word even when it hurts so that you can maintain lasting relationships at work, family and with wider society. You may not want to have your name synonymous to unreliability.

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