Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


The accidental commitment

I've been involved in a number of situations recently (in fact, I am responsible for creating some of them) in which commitments were made or implied out of politeness. Being polite is a good thing, of course, but politely taking on a commitment you really shouldn't have made brings trouble.

Whether you call it politeness, civility, diplomacy, or something else, I'm beginning to realize that I've been allowing politeness to trump more important values like integrity and passion.

Some of this is due to conflict avoidance, some due to the inconvenience factor or the desire to be liked. In essence, it ends up being 'conflict deferral.' 

For me, none of these commitments are disastrous but it still bugs me that I have a habit of making or implying commitments that I later regret. Obviously, this is not all that helpful to me or the folks on the other end of the commitment.

This is an insidious thing - seems so innocent at the time, seems so painful downstream. I am now resolving to be more aware of the commitments I make so I can be true to my own integrity. Now, I just need to come up with some triggers or reminders to help me recognize when I've crossed the line, so I can take some preventive action.

What about you? Ever have issues with this? How do you catch yourself in the act? I'd love to hear your stories - especially if you have some solutions.