Ever heard the phrase:

 

“Your word is your bond” ?

 

I am sure you have, or at least some variation of it.

 

And for the most part I have to agree. When it comes to customer service, friendships and relationships, I consider my word to be precious. If I commit to something, I see it through.

 

But what happens when you just can’t do it?

 

Life has a funny habit of getting in the way sometimes. Circumstances arise where you just can’t honor your word. What do you do?

 

I recently encountered this situation when circumstances outside of my control took hold and I just could not meet a business commitment that I had made.

 

And man, did that bother me.

 

Oh, the guilt.

 

The feeling of letting someone down is truly horrid for me.

 

But… in this particular instance, there was nothing I could have done.

 

It took me a few days to allow myself to forgive myself… and then there was the repairing of the damage that needed to be done.

 

Here’s how I did that.

 

I took the time to put myself in their shoes. I tried to really get a grasp of what it was like on the other end of this experience, and understand the other point of view.

Then, I picked up the phone, and connected, empathizing and explaining the circumstances, and of course apologizing.

However, actions speak louder than words, so I followed up with an action plan on how to resolve this issue together and followed through.

 

We are all human, and mistakes happen. Circumstances outside of our control occur. The hardest part in all of this? Forgiving myself. After all, if my word is my bond and I break it, what do I have? But I am human. And life happens. Sometimes, totally rubbish situations occur, and we do the best we can with what we have at the time. And that sometimes means, letting others down, or breaking your word.

Time to forgive, empathize, apologize, repair and take action.

Have you ever let someone down, or had to go back on your word? How did you manage the situation?

 

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