This week I had an incident occur, that really brought home to me, yet again, the fundamental importance of integrity. It is really crucial in every area of your life, whether it be business, your relationship especially with your spouse or kids, or to yourself.
We went to a professional for a service, and they quoted a price. We had shopped around and had a budget, so when they quoted a price, we accepted it paying our deposit. Long story short, this professional didn’t know some of the basics of his own trade, and underestimated what some of the parts were going to cost, and how they were going to fit together properly. So he came back telling us we needed to pay nearly 25% more than the original quote. By this time we had wasted three weeks, going back and forth, while he still couldn’t get his act together.
In this three week period, another professional could have completed the job, and he hadn’t even begun yet. Not only was this ‘professional’ being rigid about the extra money needing to be paid, he was not instilling confidence in his abilities to us. In the end, out of sheer frustration, I bypassed him and spoke to his partner, who offered to take over the job. He also compromised to meet us most of the way on the original agreed price, also making the job urgent to get it complete.
Why did he do this? Why did he fix someone else’s mistake?
This particular business has been respected in the local area for over thirty years. He knew a situation such as this could seriously tarnish their reputation. I have since discovered that the first partner, has made many errors in the past.
In every industry I have ever worked in, and in my personal dealings with people, I will not give my word, unless I can do what I say. If I am unsure, I will say so, or tell them I’ll get back to them on that. I make it a policy to fulfil my word, as it is my bond. It is a reflection of who I am, and people come to trust that about you.
Have I ever made mistakes?
Of course. But I will always try to correct them and clean up the situation. If I make an error after I’ve given my word, it’s on my dime. Always under promise and over deliver.
If you have children, they don’t do as you say, they do as you do. Not only does it affect their self-esteem when you don’t keep your word to your kids. But it also teaches them there is no value in keeping your word, and they can say whatever they wish and not follow through. It may even wrongly be teaching them there are no consequences to that. This is not only irresponsible, but it doesn’t set a good standard for them to grow up to.
What about your self-esteem?
How do you feel when you break a promise or don’t do what you say? You probably feel fairly badly about that, which often confirms some deep seated thoughts you have about yourself.
This week, pay attention to what you say. Make a concerted effort to follow through on your word. Let your word be your bond, and sleep soundly at night knowing you are building character by having integrity.
Have a positive week