There is the promise that the sun will come up every day, whether we see it or not. There is the promise that air is all around us for us to breath and stay alive. These are true promises.
One of the best ways to win respect is to keep your promises.
Promises are easy to make and sometimes challenging to keep. It is not a good business practice to make a promise lightly. In fact, it is not a good practice for anyone to make a promise lightly. The manager to whom you have blithely promised improved results will not forget it quickly if you fail to produce. Neither will the associate who you have led to expect a pay raise you can not deliver.
Why are we all so quick to make promises? The reason most likely is that it is so simple to do. Promises are a quick, easy and painless way to motivate people and to get them to do what we want. Eventually, however, the time comes when we have to make good on our promise. This is where the difficulties show up.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with making promises...provided you observe a few precautions:
How sure are you that you will be able to deliver the promised outcome?
Do you honestly intend to keep your promise?
Are you particularly careful not to mislead a person?
Do you make a practice of delivering all that you have promised?
Are you overly optimistic and tend to get carried away and promise things out of enthusiasm and, most likely, make a promise you have no control over?
When under pressure, it is easy to promise a person something and then forget all about it or you hope the other person will forget about the promise. Unfortunately, they won't forget and more likely, they will be thinking about the promise constantly.
Forcing a person to settle for something less than you let them to expect will leave a bad taste in their mouth. Always settle in full!
Those who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.
The best practice is to be slow in making a promise and to be faithful in its deliverance.