On Ho‘ohiki: Keeping your promises


Aloha, let’s manage with aloha: Work well, live well.

This is a short and sweet post folks, but it’s important.

You should consider your credibility and your reputation with keeping your word to be one of the defining hallmarks of your character.

However life happens. There will be times when you’ve fallen short of delivering on a commitment you made.

What is the best way to make up for it when this happens?

    Own up to it, and let the person who had the expectation of you know that it didn’t happen (or won’t be happening when expected) if they haven’t discovered it on their own yet. Let them hear it from you and not someone else.

    Apologize, and simply acknowledge that the present situation is not the best state of affairs. They don’t want to hear your excuses and justifications— even when they are valid. However if they do ask why, this is a time for the truth, and for humility. What they do want to hear from you next, is that you will still

    Take care of it, and soon. Your apology doesn’t negate the fact that something still has to get done. Make a new agreement on when you’ll deliver, make sure it happens (i.e. be smart about that new agreement) and when you do deliver,

    Add more value
    . You’ve now got to make your delivery exceptional somehow. Get your cues from the other person, and ask them if there is anything else you can do.


Thank you for reading, I’ll be back next Thursday. On every other day, you can visit me on Talking Story. Aloha!
Rosa Say
Previous Thursday Column: Think “Learning” for a Better Budget.
Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business

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