How is your reliability? Do you do what you say you’ll do? Are your actions in alignment with your words?
We’ve all heard the saying “Actions speak louder than words” (Abraham Lincoln).
While that is true, I recently came across another quote from Abigail Adams, wife of American President, John Adams, who said:
“We have too many high-sounding words and to0 few actions that correspond with them.”
While that was written 245 years ago, it got me thinking about what we do in business today. It’s more than about being reliable.
I believe there are three ways to look at and interpret Abigail Adams’ quote.
High-sounding words could be complex multi-syllable words that the average person doesn’t use on an everyday basis.
Equally, it could be the use of jargon, terminology or abbreviations which aren’t well known or understood.
In “accountants-speak”, like many industries, we have lots of abbreviations. How well do you know what these are to name just a few: NOA, ICA, Equity, HNW, PSI?
On the tip side, I read articles with words I don’t know what they mean and see abbreviations that I have no idea about.
The challenge is that your reader, listener, potential or existing client, won’t know what you’re talking about. Many don’t want to admit they don’t understand and will keep nodding their heads, adding in a few yes’s and ok’s for good measure.
If they’re reading your website or other content, they may skip on past.
The lesson: keep it simple. Listen to yourself talking, review the wording on your website, brochures and so on. Are you using words that are easy to understand?
If you’re using abbreviations, have you provided an explanation of what it stands for thus educating the reader and making them more knowledgeable as they read your content?
Strip out the fancy words which you think make you look smart. They don’t. They just confuse your reader.
While I have no intention of making any political statements here, I would argue that very little has changed in that arena since Abigail Adams wrote the sentence…
From a business perspective, though, are you doing enough, or are there actions you need/want to be taking but haven’t?
I know I harp on about this, but I’m going to say it again.
When you’re dealing with cash flow, one of the key components is getting paid. Are you taking too few actions to ensure prompt payment of your invoices? Or do you have in place a process or procedure that is followed regularly and consistently?
Do you show your reliability with these procedures?
I read an article recently on the Xero blog about the impact of late payment of invoices. While the article referenced a study in the UK, I do not doubt that the results would be the same the world over. Not only that, but the impact is far greater than identified in the article.
Late payments impact the family of the business owner, their team and their families, their suppliers and their families and the wider community in which the businesses operate. The ripple effect and impact on the economy is enormous.
This is the obvious interpretation of the quote.
Do you do what you say you’ll do? Whether this is the way you follow up outstanding invoices or whether this is the speed in which you complete a project, return a phone call or email.
The question is the same.
When your actions correspond with your words, you show your integrity, your reliability and your honesty.
Actions that align with words will scream out your values to those in your circle of business. Consistency is also key.
Be the person who says what they say they’re going to do. And if you’ve agreed on a deadline and find that you can’t achieve it, talk about it before the deadline and reset it.
There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with a business which says one thing and then does something else.
Of course, if you do better and exceed expectations, you’re definitely in a class of your own.
Do what you say you’re going to do whether it’s in your business or your personal life. Be that business which is known for its reliability and dependability. This could be the key to your ongoing business success.
Originally published on www.smallville.com.au