This may just be my pet peeve, and I readily admit it at the outset. I think it stems from my years running a charity. I do know that ever since those days I am more particularly aware of it, It being my irrational over the top reaction when someone says they are going to do something and then they never do it. I remember it and every time I see that person it is like a big black X on their forehead.
I mean I just don’t get it. Why open your mouth at all? You certainly don’t have to. No one is making you. There is nothing wrong with sitting silent or simply saying, I wish I could help or contribute, but I just don’t think I can. Done. But No. These people open their mouths and make promises and commitments that they have no intention of fulfilling. Annoying. In the case of the Charity this left others scrambling to pick up the slack and make up for the person not performing the task they said they would. In the business world it leaves one waiting for an introduction that is, in all likelihood, never coming. Or if it is a committee or team setting that individuals share of the work not being done, that portion of the presentation falling short of the mark, causing the overall presentation to be far less effective than it could have been if all parts had been working equally. In the case of a charity you cannot fire a volunteer, you just have to make do.
In business you have a different issue. When you cannot believe in a person that they will actually follow through with what they say they will do, it is a terrible situation. It leads to having to set up a shadow plan to cover the person’s tasks (just in case). This is not only unfair to everyone else. It is actually dysfunctional. It is as if this were a family unit and everyone is trying to hide and make up for “Mom’s little secret”. Whether this is in a small business or a sales team or a division. I implore you to end it now. First of all, you are not fooling anyone. Second of all, you are not helping the person you think you are. Thirdly, you are all hurting yourselves and your careers. If this individual cannot do the work that they commit to, then they need to go.
Lastly, if it is just someone you meet networking and they make a load promises to introduce you to this person and that person and you never hear from the guy again. This is when the Black X appears on the forehead for me. Why not just say nice to meet you I’ll think about who I know who might be a good fit for you and move on. Why say I’ll make these specific connections? Why enumerate them and go into detail about each one and then do nothing? What is up with that? I would rather you just shut up, say nice to meet and leave. I do not get it. My point, and I do have one, If you are going to say that you are going to do something, then do it. End of story. Otherwise keep your mouth shut. You do not get points for saying you are going to do something and then never doing it. It only counts if you follow through and actually do what you said you were going to do. Sounds so simply, so why is it so hard?