By | Nathan SV | Partner and Chief Talent Officer at Deloitte India
It was one of those moments that was he feared – a difficult conversation. This was with a manager, a good woman of great potential and someone well respected in the company. He wanted to promote her to head a unit. He had a thumbs up from the leader with whom she had to work with. On that basis he had called her and told her that she would be taking on this assignment. Just a day before the announcement the business leader backed off saying she did not have the requisite skills and strength to take on the assignment. Simply put, the deal was off.
He broke the news gently to her. It was a huge shock for her. He kept the conversation as optimistic as he could and ended by saying that it was a promise that he had broken and felt lousy about it. He said he would make amends – a weak statement in that moment. He knew he could not promise a second time. She was flustered, and said she would think about it. She left the room, but the overhang of a sad conversation hung heavy.
He tried to find a good role for her. It was his good fortune that something opened up. He was a lot wiser this time. He spoke to her of the opportunity and made her go through a couple of interviews. She cleared them with aplomb. Not surprising at all.
Now it was his turn to call her to give the good news to her. A short meeting. He congratulated her and told her that she would be heading a new business unit. The tables had changed. He complimented her on her patience and faith in the company. They both smiled and shook hands. He had his smile long after she had left and for good reasons.
Life is not about just about making promises, it is more about keeping those promises. People watch your actions not your words. In a way, the receiver pays it forward. Sometimes, it is also about the little promises that are made, and taking the effort to deliver on them. It builds trust and lays the foundation of a happy place!