As a beauty business owner, it’s important to demonstrate reliability and integrity to your clients, team members, and other industry professionals by keeping your word.
While most people will understand if you can’t deliver on your promises once or twice, doing so consistently or not handling a situation properly can damage your reputation.
Not keeping promises can break trust, create disappointment, and lead to undesirable long-term consequences.
We can avoid letting others down, including ourselves by cultivating greater awareness and understanding our own limits.
How To Keep Your Word
Keeping your word is much easier if you eliminate factors that could prevent you from keeping a promise. It is human nature to want to help others, but before you commit, follow this checklist.
- Get organized: before making a promise, check your schedule to ensure that you have enough time to do what is promised.
- Find your motivation: identify reasons why you make certain promises. You’re more likely to take action and keep your word if the outcome is meaningful to you.
- Consider the long-term implication: when you make a commitment, you’re putting your honesty, dependability, and reputation on the line. Your reputation is “currency” for long-term business success.
- Don’t default to “yes”: many people, especially women, are afraid to say “no.” even though it will be difficult to make good on their word. However, in many situations, if you had said “no” to begin with, you’d have earned more respect.
- Don’t commit right away: if you need some time to think about what you’re promising, be upfront about it. Tell the other party that you need some time to look up your schedule or consider the situation.
What To Do If You Can’t Keep Your Word
No matter how hard we try, things happen… promises get broken and disappointment is real. How you handle the situation if you can’t keep your word, can make the difference between damaging your business relationships and demonstrating your integrity.
Doing the right thing takes courage but it’s worth the effort in the long run. It’ll not only avoid undesirable conflicts but also help you build stronger relationships.
Here’s what to do if you can’t keep your promises:
- Make the communication personal: telling someone you can’t keep a promise is uncomfortable but don’t hide behind a text or email. Text or email may be perceived as impersonal. Nuances could get lost in translation and lead to misunderstanding or distrust. Whenever possible, have an in-person conversion. If you can’t be face-to-face, then a phone call or video call is second best.
- Be honest and apologize: whatever causes you to break your promise, you need to be honest about it – even if it’s your fault. People can tell the difference between excuses and reasons! Instead of hiding behind a bunch of excuses, just be honest. Apologize and be sincere about it!
- Respect other’s time: if you know you can’t keep a promise, let the other party know sooner rather than later. You can avoid stringing them along, which could mean even more wasted time and opportunity for them.
- Remember why you made the promise: sometimes we forget why we made a promise. Revisiting the reason or the motivation may help you recommit and make good on your word.
- Buy back the trust: when you break a promise, see what you can do to “buy back” your character, reputation, and integrity. You may have to go above and beyond the original commitment but doing so will help you regain the trust, reinforce your reputation, and become a better person.
The Beauty Industry Is a Relationship Industry
One important thing I have learned after being in business for over 27 years is that the beauty industry is built on trust and trust is built on relationships.
Even if you manage to keep your word 99% of the time, breaking just one promise – especially if it’s something that means the world to the other person – can do lasting damage to your business and reputation.
Being a leader in the beauty industry requires you to cultivate empathy and mindfulness so you can handle different situations and relationships with grace and integrity – and keeping your word is key to building trust.
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