In a time when even the written word can be made to be untrustworthy, the spoken word which goes forth from our mouths tends to be undervalued, despised and ignored. How sad. How much more worry and anxiety trying to ensure that reams of “legalease” are drafted in order to protect our own interests. How much fear that the powers-that-be exercise their “rights” to “interpret” what is written for their own ends. We do what we can to support legislators who act in the best interests of all, and we make sure that our own word is as good as it can get.
What do I mean by that? When you say that something will be done, do you act upon your word even if it means that you have to make unexpected sacrifices? If you caused confusion because you did not communicate what was on your mind and in your heart clearly enough, do you accept the responsibility and act to clear up the mess, make things right? Much more than all that, when you say something, are you characterized by the fact that people can actually depend upon you to do what you said you would do? If there is injustice, do you speak up to defend the weak and support the strong who are on the side of right? If you discover that your suppliers have not been paid their just dues, do you take action to remedy that even if it means higher operating costs for you?
I was once working for a training company and I was in charge of allocating trainers for training projects. There was a time when I over-catered and we ended up with one more trainer than was needed. When I was called, I apologized profusely to the trainer concerned. Then I made arrangements to meet with him and paid him what he would have received for the job out of my own pocket. I did not ask that the company pay for my mistake. By contrast, I remember full well the time when I as a trainer turned up for a job only to be told that there had been a mix-up with the dates. All I got was a cup of coffee and some platitudes for that. It didn’t feel very nice, and I determined that I wouldn’t do that to anyone.
How good is your word? Do people around you trust you to do what you said you would do? That would be a good start!