By Colleen Harding
We seem to have become a society of people who have good intentions but regularly change our plans without notice. Perhaps something comes up or something doesn’t sound as fun or convenient as when we committed to it. Regardless, we abandon the plan without notice. This is bad manners!
It sounds very simple. If you tell someone you are going to be some place, you should be there. If you tell someone you are going to do something, you should do it. When you verbally commit to something, you are not saying you will complete this task if you still feel like it. You are not committing unless something better comes along?
If you are one of the many fickle people who justifies not staying on task … stop. Your commitments affect other people. If you are unable to complete a task in the originally agreed upon time frame, let the other individuals involved know.
I have personally experienced several situations recently that have left me questioning what is going on. Even our court system is a disappointment when it comes to deadline.
Why is it so difficult to do what we say we are going to do?
Individuals who are true to their word are becoming scarce and our children and young people are watching. They will emulate the behaviors they see and experience. Have we become a society that automatically assumes it is OK to go back on our word?
In the protocol arena, the answer is NO. It is never acceptable to purposely waist someone’s time. It is unacceptable to be late without explanation or not show up if you have committed to be present.
Think about how it makes you feel when someone stands you up? It is simply common courtesy to be true to your word.
Colleen Harding is a protocol coach and the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. She can be reached at (216) 970-5889 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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