“A promise made must be a promise kept”, Aristotle

Word in at the heart of human relations. As a result, promises turn out to be essential in them as they build trust, responsibility and reliance between humans. Word and promises have a great power as they involve actions towards others.

The first question that comes in my mind is : “Is there a difference between promise and commitment?”. A promise is a word that testifies a desire. We can’t evaluate a promise by the yardstick of its realisation but by the yardstick of its immediate effects. Commitment is different. Indeed, a commitment pawns yourself, a commitment challenges you to keep your word. Consequently, commitment is less indulgent than promises. Promises commit the one who believes them and commitments commit the one who take them.

However, promises are much more complicated because promise involves de facto a commitment toward others. We can promise to be on time at an appointment, to be faithful to one’s spouse, to observe the law of one’s country, to follow the precepts of a religion. We can promise many different kind of things, from the most trivial to the most sacred. But in every cases, promising is committing oneself to do what we promised. As a result, promises subject our action to our words. Promises create a duty towards others to act in accordance with what we have said we will do. Promising gives us the capacity to commit oneself. Nonetheless, the fact of promising asks another question. You can promise to keep your promises and you can also promise to detail the promises you are going to make. Are promises about saying before what you are going to do after ? The answer is a bit uncertain this time.

This introduction enables us to understand the difficulty of promising as we are totally involved and subjected to our words. and as the way to promise can be qualified. Promises have a great power. What has been said must be done. Because promises are building on trust, and trust makes relation with others. All in all, promises are a form of commitment because the subject is being involved by its word toward its peers. Promising stakes the responsibility of the person who made it. This the reason why keeping our engagement is important. How can we keep our promises and engagement then?

1- Accepting to say “no” because the commitment is not closed if we respond “yes” when it is necessary to say “no”. This causes some resistance in itself and it is possible that we resist passively in a aggressive way by procrastination.

2- Learning to properly evaluate the time needed to fullfil the actions necessary for the project that we committed to carry out. it is therefore best to add a safety margin and preserve the vital time beaches to keep time for yourself and your relatives. This must be taken into account for all our occupations and vital needs.

3- Affining the evaluation of the time necessary to realize the project. Adding a safety margin and maintaining a certain freedom of maneuver is very important.

4- Clearly defining the goal to be achieved and the means available before engaging.

5- By establishing a recall system to avoid oublists. Have a clear vision of what you want to complete is of paramount importance here.

6- By organizing yourself effectively. Get the best results with low energy and be productive.

7- Bearing in mind all its commitments before accepting a new commitment.

8- By having confidence in its capabilities.

Promises are complex and must be watched and made with attention. In the corporate and professional world, it seems to me that it is more appropriate to speak about commitments rather than promises. In companies that are increasingly open to diversity, it is important to understand the essence of the meaning of engagement in order to be more productive with the firm’s projects. For instance, in Asia, the words pronounced have much more importance than in the western world, that prefers writings things. However, the very essential notion of promises and commitment are the same and a word pronounced involves de facto the responsibility of the person.

Categories: ShareThoughts

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