Always Do The Right Thing - Even If You Think It
By Sandy Geroux
How often do you find yourself in the
situation where you're asking yourself:
Why am I doing this?
Why did I agree to this?
I'm not getting paid for this, so why should I bother
going “whole hog”? I'll just do enough to get by - or
Forget it; I can’t get it all done - I'll just forget
importantly (and more stressful), how many times have you had to pick
up the slack for someone else who has apparently made the decision not
to do something they promised to do, but hasn’t informed others of
that decision? Whether we’re sitting on a Board, serving on a
committee, or simply doing a favor, someone is counting on us to do
what we promise. If we don’t, we cause added stress for
everyone else involved.
noticed that I am obligated to pick up the slack for more and more
people recently in my own experience - and I wonder why this
trend is occurring...
I’ve heard a lot of excuses, including:
The hurricanes in our area (Florida) (while this was valid for months after they hit; they are not still
valid an entire year later)
I’ve gotten very busy at work
I can’t get reliable transportation
The same holds true for other areas in our
lives. Many of us join networking and leads groups to further
our careers and make our presence known in our markets.
Do we make it a habit to arrive on time? To arrive
at all? To fulfill our role, if any, that day?
Do we leave early?
If we do have to miss a meeting, do we let someone know
- or just “no show”?
Do we take phone calls throughout the meeting?
(whether or not we leave the room to take the call)
What inadvertent messages do we send by
Our time is more precious/important than that of other
The group is not as important as callers trying to reach
This meeting is not important enough to attend every
They don’t deserve the courtesy of a call if we’re
not going to show up
there are exceptions to every rule, extending as much courtesy as
possible in every situation goes a long way toward establishing our
reputation within our community. And while we all have
occasional problems meeting commitments, there are ways to
appropriately handle these situations, such as:
Telling people ASAP if you will be out of commission for
a while (even if you don’t explain why, giving notice helps them
Helping them find replacements to take over your
duties while you’re away
Not saying “yes” in the first place if you know you
just can’t do it - or do it well. Many times I’ve had no one
to blame but myself because I couldn’t say “no”! (I’ve
now started saying “no” more often, when necessary)
All of the
above are acceptable ways of
the right thing, even when you can’t fulfill a role
the group asks you to fill. After all, it’s unreasonable for
any group to expect that we can always
do what they want. We need to be able to say yes or no, at
the right times, and have everyone be okay with that. What is not
acceptable is saying “yes”, then doing
Think about this: If you don’t do the
right thing when it comes to “volunteer and/or networking”
groups, and I only see you
there (when it “doesn’t matter”), how do I know you will - or
even can - do the right thing when it does
messages do we want to send? If we’re not sending the right
ones, we’d better take a look at the inadvertent “bad” marketing
we’re creating in these situations... Start sending the right
messages. People will notice and work with those who always (or
at least usually) manage to do the right thing.
Read other articles and learn more
about Sandy Geroux.
the author for permission to republish or reuse this article.]