Dear Dan: I Over-Commit and Under-Deliver
I am the eternal optimist. I live to be of value to others and somehow always want to do more. But lately I’ve come up against some personal issues regarding my communication.
I seem to over-commit but under-deliver. When I get confronted I have a list of reasons to justify my inability to keep to what I said.
Then there is the added phenomenon that things change. Somehow I never know how long something will take.
I find it nearly impossible to communicate that things have changed. I’m late or I can’t do what I said.
I feel like a sensible and caring guy that won’t maliciously lie to people about my ability.
What can I do to be a better leader in these regards?
Congratulations for caring. It’s sad when good qualities produce negative results.
Possible root concerns:
- You’re a people-pleaser who can’t stand to make anyone unhappy.
- You’re a dreamer who doesn’t understand what it really takes to get things done.
- You let others run your life.
- You don’t know your own values and can’t set priorities.
Maybe there’s a bit of all the above in you.
Any intelligent person won’t give you an important job because you’re unreliable.
- Care so much that you refuse to let others down.
- Expect reciprocity. Say, “I’ll be glad to help, but I need a favor from you. I need to get XYZ done by Friday. Could you take care of that for me?”*
- Talk this over with a mentor who always delivers. Before taking on new projects, talk with your mentor.
- Learn what you are good at and stop doing things you suck at.
- Practice saying no with kindness. “I’m sorry. I can’t help this time. Maybe Mary can help.”
What suggestions do you have for Over-committed?
From, “Just Listen.”