This is an easy topic to cover. Never make a promise you cannot keep. It is as simple as that. I have been promised many things throughout my life (mostly in my work career) that were never fulfilled. That is wrong, and it is a good way to lose trust and credibility with employees, friends, or family. I too fell into this trap when others perceived I was making a promise on a couple of occasions. This happened when employees that worked for me interpreted subtle suggestions that I made as a promise. Most of these failures in communications occurred with individuals that were from other nations, and they translated the English language differently. I have learned my lesson. That is why I am always clear when making statements or discussing hypothetical future possibilities with others. I always clarify whether it is a promise or not regardless of whom I am talking with.
Breaking a promise is a common mistake that corporate and national leaders do much too often. Worse yet, they break promises they never intended to keep. For example, how many promises do politicians actually keep when they get in office? A politician that keeps half of their campaign promises is actually doing pretty well. That is why the American public does not have a high opinion of politicians. When politicians do not keep campaign promises the public no longer trusts them. Unfortunately, playing politics is not limited to politicians. Corporate leaders and employees use politics to get ahead in the work place. Hence, they too make promises they cannot keep. People use politics and failed promises in almost every aspect of human life. Any time a person uses a promise that they have no intention of keeping to manipulate a situation or another person, is nothing more than a liar and is playing politics at its best. This type of conniving, manipulative, and malicious behavior is becoming the norm in our society. In fact, most business classes I took through my employer such as Dale Carnegie taught us how to use this repulsive behavior. They teach you how to manipulate others to get your way at any cost. They also taught me that I should never disagree with my supervisor for any reason. Our growing intolerance to work with people that have different opinions forces many to make false promises. This way they can manipulate or trick others into agreeing with their point of view.
In most cases politicians break promises because opposing political parties will not let them enact their points of view. This can be good, but it could also be bad. We should not dismiss another person’s promise or point of view without at least hearing them out. I moved to a small town in Colorado to get away from the hustle and tussle of big city politics. However, small towns are not immune to fights over politics. The city counsel and Mayor have had a few disagreements and now the counsel is trying to remove her from office. Regardless of where we live there is little tolerance for people with alternative view points. This is sad, especially when people use any type of deceitful and manipulative behavior, such as breaking promises to get their way. When we fail to listen to others with different view points or fail to speak our mind, it benefits no one. This is how we learn and educate ourselves to make good sound decisions. We should be encouraging different points of view instead of trying to cover them up and destroying the people who have them. Does this behavior sound familiar? Carrie Prejean and Sarah Palin are excellent examples of people that had different opinions so the media tried to destroy their image. America was not made great by adhering to the status quo. Our intolerance towards other view points is not only dividing this nation, but our plight to mediocrity is becoming apparent. The once mighty United States now falters as our auto and airline industries fail. We also continue to fail to gain energy independence. The United States lead others nations into the industrial revolution, now we are a follower behind other world powers. Not only are our inner cities and national infrastructure systems for energy and transportation decaying and crumbling, so too is our ability to think and innovate. All of this because we are intolerant and closed minded to different view points. What is even more concerning is the orders of magnitude we will go to stifle different view points instead of being open minded about different ideas, issues, or solutions to a problem. For example, the Democrats tackled health care reform and did not include Republicans in the debate.
My Book: Is America Dying? (Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com)