Actions Matter: Do As I Do, Not As I Say

Why do people say one thing and do another? Why do they make promises one second only to break them minutes later? Why do people say they care when it’s so obvious they couldn’t care less?

Can’t they see the potential damage to their credibility? Why would they torpedo a relationship that’s taken them a lifetime to build? The next time they say something, people may doubt what they say or second-guess their intentions –– simply because they’re no longer trusted. No one’s going to stand up and shout, “You just lost my trust and respect!” but the silence will be deafening

You send a message with what you say and what you do. If words aren’t supported with consistent actions, they will ring hollow. People will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.

If your words aren’t consistent with your actions, you’re not only confusing the listener, you may also be causing irreparable damage to your own credibility.

Your reputation reflects the words and actions that you send during the life of a relationship. In the early stages of a relationship, we extend ourselves in small ways and observe responses to our actions. Then we take appropriate action, engaging further or withdrawing a bit each time, until a level of trust is formed. Once we get to know someone, we look for regular and consistent patterns of behavior because the more predictable people are, the more comfort we have with them.

When you “walk the talk,” your behavior becomes a catalyst for people’s trust and faith in you. And it also emphasizes what you stand for.

So, any time you make a claim, no matter how small, and display inconsistent behavior, you shatter the comfort zone –– and weaken your bond of trust with others. As a result, anything thought to be predictable in the future may be treated as suspect. The fact is, everything you do in life sends a message. So, make sure to practice what you preach. Well done is better than well said.

Summing-up: Trust is not guaranteed, and it can’t be won overnight. Trust must be carefully developed, vigorously nurtured, and constantly reinforced. And, although trust may take a long time to develop, it can be lost through a single action –– once lost, it can be very difficult to re-establish.

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