Business musings

Articles and thoughts about all things innovative and strategic

15
Mar
Posted by Matt Stocker , stored in: Business Excellence  Leadership  Performance Improvement  

Do What You Say You Will Do When You Say You Will Do It

Also known as…

DWYSYWD WYSYWDI

I know, you’re looking at this thinking, “That’s an entirely unmemorable acronym!” and I agree. It’s completely forgettable and unpronounceable in fact! Except, the person who introduced me to this acronym was one of my university lecturers who also happened to be Welsh. So, when he first wrote the acronym on the board, we all assumed he was writing in Welsh! But, for all its superficial forgetableness, the unusual nature of the acronym has enabled me to remember it all these years later.

So why am I introducing dwysywd wysysdi to you now?

On the surface, dwysywd wysywdi looks rather innocuous. What’s the worst that happens if you don’t dwysywd wysywdi? Nothing? No big deal,right? In reality, when you don’t dwysywd wysywdi, it’s rare that nothing happens. Generally a lot happens—but it’s probably not the stuff you want to! From people losing trust in you, to customers walking away, to losing that promotion. Dwysywd wysywdi is a critical skill in all areas of life.

Business and personal benefits

Develop and retain trust

When you dwysywd wysywdi, people will see that you are person of your word. They will learn to trust you. Not doing wysywd wysysdi can cast doubt as to whether you are a safe pair of hands, whether you can be trusted and even whether you are a person of integrity. Although you may have good reasons, there is a danger that these end up being seen as just excuses. Doing wysywd wysywdi develops and retains trust—with your colleagues, your customers, your suppliers, your friends and acquaintances.

Enable those around you

Doing wysywd wysywdi also reduces frustration and enables those around you to do their jobs better. The phrase ‘no man is an island’ is especially true in business. Colleagues rely on you as part of a team—to provide them with the decisions, information and support they need to do their jobs well. It can be hugely frustrating waiting for a promise that never materialises. And not knowing can sometimes be more stressful than knowing with certainty that something isn’t going to happen. That’s not to mention all the time people waste continually chasing. Of course things come up and priorities change but if you communicate these as soon as you know, then you enable others to adjust their plans accordingly. A team following dwysywd wysywdi functions like a well-oiled, productive machine.

Become more profitable

Ultimately, you could argue that dwysywd wysywdi is a more profitable approach, both personally and in business. Personally it facilitates better relationships and certainly won’t hurt your career prospects: you’ll be seen as a person of integrity and will be more likely to be given exciting opportunities. From a business perspective, organisations full of dwysywd wysywdi people get stuff done—and customers trust and reward that. It’s not rocket science that if a business gets an enquiry somone should answer it. Yet, amazingly, this is often not the case. Doing wysywd wysywdi leads to happy customers, great testimonials, word of mouth referrals and, in turn, higher revenue.

Why people don’t dwysywd wysywdi—and what to do about it

When it comes to reasons for not doing wysywd wysywdi, there are many. In reality, the excuses are a smokescreen for the real issue. The real issue is WYS: What You Say. If you can’t do something, say so. If you’re too busy, say so. If something else comes up, let anyone know who will be affected. You’re the one who is responsible for setting the expectations that others have of you—with your words and promises. If you set realistic expectations from the outset, your words and actions will match.

That said, if you’re consistently letting people down despite your best intentions, it’s likely you need to spend time introspecting to really understand the dynamics that are at play. Are your estimations consistently over-optimistic when in reality tasks always take longer? Are you afraid of confrontation and worried about reactions? Are you eager to please leading you to over-promise and under-deliver? Do you simply forget to let others know that the situation has changed? Are you operating outside of your skillset? Be honest with yourself and, without apportioning blame, seek to make those corrections needed so you can be fair to both yourself and to those around you.

No excuses!

Finally, don’t promise yourself you will change if you aren’t prepared to start right this instant. After all, what has this article been about? Dwysywd wysywdi—starting today!

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