It’s important to keep your word at any age. But as you mature, your experience tends to make you a role model for those around you. Your words carry years of knowledge and growth! So you already know that words are powerful, and that to build trust, earn respect, and build influence, you need to keep your word: do what you say you will do. Be an honorable person.
How to Keep Your Word and Build Honor
Common ways people don’t honor their word
Everyone knows someone whose promises disappear on the breeze—you know, the person who says they will come to the party, but no one expects them to actually show. We’re all allowed a few free passes for when things come up or we genuinely forget, but a pattern of dishonorable behavior leads to mistrust and disrespect. Keep watch for these common ways people don’t honor their word:
- They promise to call, but forget or flake.
- They don’t show up for a personal or professional meeting, or they show up late.
- They offer to help with something (moving, setting up a party, working on a project), but disappear at go time.
- They don’t keep sensitive information to themselves.
How you can keep your word to build honor
Keeping your word builds honor and trust. When you honor your word, you’re more likely to make and keep friends, and you’re more likely to be impacted positively at work, such as through greater responsibilities and autonomy. The best news is, there are many ways to honor your word beyond just doing what you say you will do. Here are a few:
- By being reliable, you’ll be more likely to be trusted in personal situations and counted on in professional situations.
- When you are authentic, you honor your persona by sharing your true self with others instead of hiding behind false pretenses.
- By being punctual, you show others that you value their time.
- When you follow through, you do what you say you will, and you do it well.
- By keeping confidentiality, you show that sensitive information is safe with you.
- You can be honest without being unkind, which means exercising tact with your truth and knowing when it’s best not to say anything at all.
General tips to become a more honorable person
Beyond keeping their word, most honorable people have certain traits in common. Not every trait will be easy for everyone, but they are learnable, and practice makes perfect.
- When you are a good sport, you know that you won’t win at everything all the time, and you show grace and positivity when someone else wins. You might even congratulate them!
- Everyone has flaws, and you are no exception. When you accept people’s flaws, you will not constantly focus on where others are falling short&dmash;and you can work on improving your own shortcomings.
- Show compassion when someone needs help or feels low, and see how you are able to build them up. If you’re not able to help, maybe you could introduce them to someone who can.
- If you do something for someone, don’t expect anything in return, and especially don’t hold it over that person’s head. All relationships should be a give and take, but few are tit for tat, nor should they be; who wants to keep that score?!
- When you have a strong belief system, you know exactly what you stand for. Gravitate toward what’s right and away from what isn’t, especially unscrupulous or unkind behaviors.
By keeping your word and building honor, you will earn big in your personal and professional relationships!
I’m Kay Hunter, Orange County image consultant for men and women over 40. I transform mature professionals, active adults, and seniors into more successful and confident versions of themselves. By expressing yourself through style and fashion, you’ll get that boost of confidence, visibility, and value you need to get to the next level. Enhance the joy of living—because great style is ageless!