Much is said about committing to your word in business. It’s always been important and has become increasingly so in today’s transparent world.

While most of us want to keep our word every day, we sometimes set ourselves up for failure by promising too much, too soon. When working with the media, your team, or your clients, your word is everything! 

Committing to your word:

If a new project or opportunity comes along, think about whether or not you really want to do it. If you don’t, you’ll have trouble sticking with it and honoring your commitments. If you don’t light up at the thought of taking on a project, let it go and leave room and time for the things that will. My experience in my business has been that when we pass on what’s not right for us and refer those people to other firms, great new clients appear.

Once you’ve taken on a project, commit to it 100%. (Obvious, yes, but does it always happen?) Anticipate that there may be some unforeseen delays when estimating delivery times on your projects so you can provide a realistic timeframe to your clients. Even with the best intentions, things can happen that make it impossible for you to deliver on a promise or meet a deadline–natural disasters, power outages, flight delays. If you can’t keep your word to someone, explain why you can’t do so, preferably before they expect you to deliver on your promise. People are usually more understanding when they’re told what’s going on. If you’re thinking that you just don’t feel like doing something you’ve committed to, consider this:

  1. Would the other party be happy to change the commitment? Sometimes that person you’re supposed to meet for dinner is just as tired as you and is hoping you’ll cancel. Call and discuss it.

2. Why don’t you want to keep your commitment? Have you changed your goals? Are there other changes in your life that make it impossible to do so? Or, are you just taking the easy way out?

3. What happens if you don’t keep your commitment? Will you disappoint someone? Will you disappoint yourself?

4. How will you feel if you commit to something and really go for it, full-on? What if you do whatever it takes to meet your commitments to others and yourself? How powerful and confident would you feel then?

When you think about the commitments you make, whether or not you keep them, and how you honor them, remember that your word is really all you have. When people trust you because you’ve demonstrated that you keep your word, they will be more likely to give you money, business, referrals, friendship, and love.

Your word is like spiritual currency. Spend it wisely.


Here are a few other useful links:

Does the Way You Talk About Yourself Help or Hinder You

Media Training Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

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Communication Matters logo; newsletter by Communication Expert, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Investor Pitch Coach Lisa Elia
Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos, and provides executive and team communication coaching.

With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.


To arrange a complimentary consultation with Lisa, click here.

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