How to stop overpromising and underdelivering

Do you find it frustrating dealing with people or companies who overpromise and underdeliver? We either don’t have the time or simply can’t be bothered having to tolerate those who damage their credibility or trust. Look at the share market as an example. Case in point is November 2015 when electronics retailer Dick Smith didn’t meet previously set expectations. This resulted in the market reacting savagely and slashing the share price by 50%.

It’s not necessarily just something that other people do. We need to be honest and acknowledge whether we’re also guilty of overpromising and underdelivering. Regardless of the reasons for why it happens, the external ramifications are others lose faith in us. Also, how we process it internally can be downright demotivating. You know when you get that sinking feeling that you haven’t done what you said you would?  

Alternatively, the impact on us is completely the opposite when we achieve the expectations we had set - we feel great, it’s inspiring and it drives further momentum. There’s also a level of satisfaction knowing we can be counted upon when needed.

To stop overpromising and underdelivering: 

1.   Ensure you’re as productive as possible – don’t underestimate the significance productivity has in achieving targeted outcomes

2.   Have an effective planning and prioritisation system – this is essential to managing multiple activities with conflicting deadlines

3.   Do what you say you’re going to do – real discipline is required at the start to become good at this but it gets easier once you’ve built it into your behaviours

If you’re still prone to overpromise and underdeliver then don’t wait until the last minute to communicate it. You’re better off being proactive early and resetting expectations as soon as you know about it.

Better still, get a coach or mentor to guide and hold you accountable. By embedding the behaviours of a high performer you’ll stop overpromising and underdelivering.