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Why Choosing Words Carefully Will Earn You Respect

August 1, 2014  |  Men's Coaching Blog

Have you ever noticed that some people have your immediate respect while others do not? And have you observed that some people have great ideas but nothing happens with them? Do you know people who say they will do something but never do it? Do you say that you’ll do something while you’ve no intention of doing it? Or do you often say that you’ll do things out of politeness, but know that you never will do them?

When we say that we’ll do something,

we create an expectation in our listeners. If I tell you that I’ll call you at a certain time, I’m setting you up to expect my call. If I say that I’ll call and have no intention to call while saying it, I’m false or too cowardly to tell things straight. I mean well, of course – I want to be polite because I’ve no reason to tell you that I don’t want to call you…

But if I have no intention of calling, would I not be far more polite and respectful if I didn’t say anything if I couldn’t bring myself to say that I wouldn’t call? If I tell you that I’ll call and don’t, I’m projecting the image that I’m not trustworthy. You cannot count on my word in future. I’m downgrading the weight of my word and placing myself in the crowd of sheeple who do the same thing. This may seem harsh, but if it describes your familiar habit, this article helps you see its consequences. I used the example of calling you for the purpose of clarity. Of course, this principle applies no matter who the recipient of your call be or what the action be.

What can you do to gain respect?

If you want to be credible and respected, only say that you will do something if you are genuinely committed to doing it. Hold your breath and count to 10 before spouting out impulse-driven sentences that others will take as your word of commitment. Make this a rule and follow it. If you have to miss a deadline, communicate a new deadline as soon as possible. This will earn you a lot of respect and trust from everyone.

Details and the big picture

One of the most important gifts you can give yourself if you want to be successful is to identify where to place your attention. People often get lost in the details when making decisions and lose sight of the larger stakes. In our context the larger stakes are that if you don’t do what you say you’ll do, you’re losing respect, trust, credibility.

Options and procedures

When people focus on options, alternatives, and possibilities, they struggle to complete commitments. These folks tend to be very creative, but often do not follow through what they say they will do. If someone prefers a step by step process when he does things, that person is more likely to follow through commitments. Language such as “the next step, then, after that, process, how to get to the end goal” will highly likely indicate that the person is committed to doing what he said he would do. To improve your ability to really do what you said you’d do adopt a procedural mode. An easy way is to schedule in your calendar when you will call someone. And use your calendar to guide you.

Delegate: If you still suck at doing what you said you would do, hire someone and give them the task. Obviously, if your commitment was to call or make love to your partner, delegating this might lead to undesired consequences. Lol.

The power of commitment contributes to respect

When you only say that you’ll do something, you have power! Others trust you and treat you with respect. But you get the things you want from life because you did what you said you would. Say only what you’ll do, do it, and achieve what you want every time. Or say that you won’t do something if you don’t want to do it. People will respect and admire your courage to say things straight. That’s a trait of strong characters. Do you want to be one?

If you do, why not start today?


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