I am not a Trekkie (although I’m married to one) and yet somehow I’ve coined the phrase “Say-Do Continuum” in observing my fellow humans. The Say-Do Continuum is a phenomenon when a person actually does something as he promises to (Do) and tells you (Say) what he’ll do truthfully at all times. Basically it’s someone who keeps his or her promises.
I looked for this simple quality in my mate, I cherish it in my friends and most of all, I actively seek clients who have the Say-Do Continuum. You can bet that your clients are also judging you by the same yardstick. Here are a few things to look out for:
Can’t keep a promise?
If you’re often cancelling dates (no matter with whom, your mom, bff or potential client), you rarely deliver something when you promise it, you forget promised introductions to your networks or you find it much easier to disappoint and ask for forgiveness rather than to say ‘no’, then– you my friend suck at the Say-Do Continuum.
Get a mirror
My first question to someone who sucks at the Continuum is whether they’re even aware of this problem and its consequences. Sometimes people need a figurative (and sometimes literal) mirror to see that this is a pattern and a problem.
In order to get to the bottom of this most annoying habit, you need to understand what’s at the core of it. It could be anything—a need for security, acceptance, popularity, inability to manage your time or self, or all of the above. Pick the most persistent and hairiest reason and start there.
Break the cycle
How do you get back on the Continuum? You need to get some help. For example, a client who has consistent time management problems now sets an alarm to track her planned schedule. Another client who has trouble completing promised coaching homework uses his girlfriend to remind (nag) him to do it. What resource can you find to help you get over this horrid cycle?
I feel that a person who has CONSISTENT Say-Do Continuum is perceived as a genuine, reliable and invested person in their interactions with the world. When I’m with such a person, I feel as if they give a damn and that I’m better off for my interaction with them.
Such a person who sucks at keeping their word is probably also having trouble keeping clients. I know because I’ve been disappointed in vendors, joint venture partners and coaches who failed to live upto their promises.
So do yourself a favour if YOU suck at the Say-Do Continuum. Take stock and take a step away from the dark side (that’s Star Wars territory now isn’t it!)
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