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  • Writer's pictureJim Hostler

The Power of Promise Management

In the intricate web of human communication, one particularly intriguing aspect of our language concept is promises. We are linguistic beings. Our world occurs in language. We have our world occuring to us in one of two ways: our world creates our word or our word creates our world.

With the knowledge of you creating your world with your language, understanding the fundamentals of language is a critical element to get the results - success - you want in your life. To be able to create your life. To design and live your life given by your word creating your world. And a fundamental and critical element in language to be able to have our word create our world is the power of promise management.

When we communicate with others, we often want or need something. This is also true in reverse, others need and want things from us. To have our need or want fulfilled we either make a request or an offer. Both are about coordinating actions to achieve a desired outcome - to get the results you desire.

When we operate from our word creating our world, making requests and offers we are operating in generative language. Requests and offers generate action - specific actions - that move you in the direction of fulfilling your desired results. In addition to being highly generative, requests can also be highly creative as well.

With either a request or an offer, you can choose to accept, decline, defer, or modify them. You like the offer or request as presented, great accept it. You don't like it, decline the offer or request. The offer or request may land in a way that you need to gather more information, talk to someone else, for some reason it may be of interest to you but before you accept or decline it, you need more information. This is the defer mode. You need to defer your answer until you obtain more information. Finally, you can modify your acceptance. A simple example would be to ask a different date to complete the offer or request.

All roads lead to promises. Well, almost all roads. Once an offer or request is accepted, you enter into a promise. Accepting a promise is having your word create your world. You now move into the action domain to take actions toward the fulfillment of the promise.

Promises inherently carry a sense of responsibility. Once a commitment is made, there is an implicit understanding that the speaker is now obligated to fulfill it. This accountability creates a foundation for trust in relationships. Understanding the weight of promises highlights the importance of thoughtful communication and the impact our words can have on ourselves and those around us.

To effectively manage promises, it is crucial to recognize the intentions behind the offer or request. When making an offer or request, consider the potential transformation into a promise and assess whether you are willing and able to follow through. Enter the largest domain for breakdowns in promise management: conditions of satisfaction.

Understanding specifically what conditions need to be met, be when, between the two parties entering into the promise is critical to the success of fulfilling the promise. A simple, but hugely successful, example of this is Starbuck's. Most us have enjoyed a drink from them, and if you notice on the side of their cups are the boxes they check for how you want your drink. If the barista and you agree on the checked boxes, those become the conditions of satisfaction for your drink.

Being conscious and bringing proficiency of promise management into your life leads to immeasurable results... beyond the agreed to outcomes of the promise. Embodying the learning of promise management opens the doors to possibilities for you:

1. Enhanced Relationships: By mindfully managing promises, you build trust, value, and reliability in your relationships. People will be more likely to trust your word, leading to stronger and more meaningful connections and opportunities. People that you trust are naturally also people you value.

2. Personal Integrity: Integrity comes with two definitions. First, fulfilling promises enhances your sense of personal integrity. Knowing that you honor your commitments reinforces a positive self-image and strengthens your character. The second definition of integrity is integrity as workability. To the level you honor promises and achieve results commitments becomes a direct reflection of your level of performance in life.

3. Reduced Stress: The burden of unfulfilled promises can lead to stress and strain on your well-being. The weight of incompletions and broken promises can weigh heavily on you. Effective promise management reduces this burden, allowing for a more relaxed and fulfilling life.

4. Success: In any domain in your life you are seeking success, individuals who fulfill their promises experience the fulfillment of their desired results - they obtain the level of success they desire. Managing promises, at work, at home, and with yourself, contributes to a successful life.

Having the knowledge and skill to transform offers and requests into promises is a communication skill, perhaps more than any other, that will lead to you fulfilling your desired results. By embracing promise management, you foster trust, become valued, and are seen as a person of authority. You will also experience transformational growth in one's personal and professional life as you master these skills. Ultimately, the art of fulfilling promises is a powerful tool for creating a more purposeful and fulfilling life.


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