Making a promise you can’t keep

It is one thing to make a promise to a friend that you can’t keep; they will usually understand or know you are good for it. But to make a promise to deliver something at work, and then fall short – is a completely different story. Here are two tips to keep you on top of your career and keep your promises.

  1. Under promise, over deliver. It is important to understand your limitations. It is better to ask for more time or extra information if you think you need it, and then let your boss or client be pleasantly surprised when you complete your task early and with an exceptional level of effort.
  2. If you do make a promise and then fall short, make sure you have a plan to meet the task deadline shortly after the due date. While your boss or client may not be pleased, showing up with a plan is better than showing up empty handed.

The best advice is to be honest. If you cannot meet your deadline or task, explain the reason and provide a solution. This will help you get out of a sticky situation.