Protecting Your Personal Integrity: Following Through in the Workplace

Protecting Your Personal Integrity: Following Through in the Workplace

Are you familiar with the term, derailment factors?

In short, they’re things that have the potential to limit your success and derail your career if you’re not aware of them and don’t manage them effectively.

One of the most common derailment factors? Lack of follow-through - saying you’ll do something in your workplace, but then not doing it/following through on it.

(I wrote about the top 12 derailment factors I see professional women exhibit, and that we unpack in-depth inside the Women Rising Program, here).

Lack of follow-through can impair trust building, break trust and have an irreparable impact on your personal brand and future career opportunities.

While derailment factors are common, they can vary significantly between individuals, so changing your behaviour first requires self awareness.

Consider:

  • What are your key derailment factors? What gets in the way of you not following through with tasks and projects in the workplace?
  • In what situations are you most likely to follow through? What factors support your success?

Now, let’s explore 5 ways you can support yourself to follow-through on your word and commitments in your workplace and in doing so, build and maintain trust, and open yourself to future career expanding opportunities.

1. GET COMFORTABLE SAYING ‘NO’

Just because a task or project is offered to/asked of you, doesn’t always mean you have to take it on.

While of course these matters must be handled thoughtfully and maturely, and you may have to provide a sufficient reason for your ‘no’, where justified, this is an appropriate and acceptable response.

2. DON’T IMMEDIATELY AGREE TO TAKING ON A TASK OR PROJECT

The next time someone asks or invites you to do something, respond by telling them that you’ll check your calendar and get back to them with an answer by COB/within 24 hours.

It can be very easy, when we’re put on the spot and feel under pressure, to agree to doing something, even when we’re at capacity or the request is outside our job scope.

Give yourself time to figure out if you actually can follow through on a request to the best of your ability before you commit, and if you have the time, energy and resources to deliver on your word.

3. OFFER AN ALTERNATIVE

Instead of declining an opportunity, where appropriate, defer the task or project that’s been asked of you to a later date.

While this can feel uncomfortable, doing it to the best of your ability at a future time is far better, and less damaging, than taking it on and being unable to deliver in the present.

4. OVERESTIMATE HOW LONG SOMETHING WILL TAKE YOU TO COMPLETE

When something is asked of you, invest and energy time into estimating how long it will take you to complete … and then add on extra time.

It’s very unusual for timelines to go to plan and giving yourself a buffer will help you to deliver on your word, even if things go awry.

5. AVOID THE URGE TO PEOPLE PLEASE

We understand that it can be very difficult to turn down a task/project if you have people pleasing tendencies, but consider this…

If you don’t follow through on your word, you are in fact doing the thing you’re wanting to avoid - letting people down.

One of the best ways we can ‘please’ our colleagues is to do what we say we’re going to do, and sometimes this means saying ‘no’ or deferring a task or project.

 

As a career woman, your personal integrity matters and one guaranteed way to protect it is to follow-through in your workplace.

Want support showing up to your work in a more boundaried and sustainable way, so you can be a woman of your word in your workplace? We explore follow-through and the 11 other most common derailment factors in lots of detail in our Women Rising Program.

The fastest growing women’s leadership program on the planet, it will support you to rise into your full potential, build a positive personal brand and open you up to lots of aligned and exciting future career opportunities. You can learn more about the program here.

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