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Keeping Commitments Through Utterance

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Keeping Commitments Through Utterance
November 10, 2018

Keeping Commitments Through Utterance

Making and keeping commitments is central to the performance and productivity of your personal and work lives. Your lives work because of the commitments you make. It’s at the heart of how your lives function. Commitment is key to the performance and productivity of your personal and work lives. Requests and promises are made in interactions every day, whether in one’s personal or professional life. Coordinating action can be viewed as a set of different speech acts and different types of conversations that can be effectively used.

Stage 1 of Keeping Commitments

Your requests generate the commitment of other people. The first stage of the cycle of different speech acts is to set the context. Clearly identify the breakdown that you need to address or commit to resolving. There are three linguistic acts in this stage: assertions, assessments, and declarations.

Assertions are spoken to describe what has or has not happened. At least three key assessments can be made in a certain situation: (1) an assessment that something is missing, (2) an assessment that a concern or concerns are not being addressed, and (3) that successfully dealing with the issue will be expedited with the assistance of another (or others).

There are two important declarations characterizing these assessments. These apply even when they speak in silent conversations. The first declaration is to do something about the issue and the other is to call upon others for assistance.

Stage 2 of Keeping Commitments

Stage 2 of the cycle is about gaining commitment. This is a critical stage. A promise signifies a mutual commitment to action. Then, one a person makes a request or offer for the purpose of securing a declaration of acceptance.

A negotiation process may be involved at this point if the responses are either a counteroffer or a commitment to commit later. When you make a slippery promise, there are two big dangers in the conversation. These are assumptions that both understand the nature of the request (or offer) and the assumption of commitment. A conversation for clarity ensures for mutual understanding of the commitment, and can also be crucial during this stage.

Stage 3 of Keeping Commitments

Stage 3 is about performance and conversations for completion. The first part of this stage is about the other party accepting the request, and the second part is when they indicate they have already completed the required action. Most of the time people miss the second stage. They either miss out on giving feedback for actions done or they fail to inform the person they promised the action to when they haven’t done it. When they do the latter, they move out of integrity.

Stage 4 of Keeping Commitments

Stage 4 is assessment and conversation for appreciation or complaining. In this stage, the requester would assess whether the doer performed the action satisfactorily or not. The building of the relationship, the development of trust, or the room for performance improvement takes place at this stage. One must express either a positive or negative assessment of the action done.

Final Thoughts on Keeping Commitments

Remember, we can express a positive assessment in a conversation for appreciation. How many times have you forgotten to say “thank you”? It’s important to express gratitude when you experience satisfaction with the action done. We often underrate this stage in the conversation in the home, social, and even in the work life. However, without this, people end up feeling taken for granted or undervalued.

A negative assessment moves the cycle back to Stage 1, for there has been a breakdown. Something is missing and requires action, and you must make a request to deal with what is missing.

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