Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and Your 'No,' 'No.'

This morning, Seth Godin posted "Little Lies and Small Promises" about how companies that make an attempt to keep small promises have less trouble keeping the big ones.  You know what I'm talking about - those comments that a waitress drops, "I'll be back in just a moment" or a customer service phone message stating, "Your call is important to us, we'll be right with you" - knowing full well that neither of them is true.
I cringe when I hear those types of statements being made.  "Thank you for calling, I will be with you in a second."  A second?  A second?  I just counted three of those and you are no where near me.

When Carol, Mom and I were in training to open our business, this must have been something that drove our trainer crazy.  Over and over she emphasized to us how important it was to not make promises we couldn't keep.  At some point, people would quit believing us. 

We had a press maintenance guy who did that to us regularly and I don't know that I've ever been quite as frustrated as I was by that man.  We'd call him with a problem and he'd tell us that he would be right over.  It didn't take long to figure it out - his 'right over' meant 6 hours.  But, more often than not, he would give me a time that he could be there by and when that time came and went, two more hours passed and everyone was ready to go home for the day, he would call and promise to be there first thing the next morning.  Could I show up 1/2 hour early so that he could get into the shop?

By golly, he had the audacity to be upset if he had to wait for us to get there in the morning.  He never did any of this on purpose.  He had the best intentions, but the problem was that he could not get his world to line up with his good intentions, so he frustrated everyone including himself.

Small promises broken, no trust left.

This is one of those things that makes me nuts.  I think it made Jesus a bit crazy as well.  In Matthew 5:37, he teaches "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."

If you promise to be somewhere at a certain time, be there.  If you promise to take care of something, do it.  If you organize a meeting, be prepared and ready to go on time.  If you promise to return a call, make the call.  If you promise to write a letter, get it done. 

Our trainer for the business told us again and again that it made customers happier to have a longer deadline and then be pleasantly surprised when completion came early than to have a short deadline that was never met on time.

Good intentions don't get things done, don't keep people happy.  Little promises made but never kept won't make people believe in you.

Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no,' 'no.'

1 comment:

Dianna said...

Funny, we had this verse in church on Sunday. I wonder if God's trying to tell me something?