Insight Shorts

Finish what you start to build trust

Jan 18, 2023 | Insights

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We are often good at starting and possibly not so good at finishing, which is a pity as unfinished business destroys hard-earned trust.
Our plumber was at our house the other day to remove some worn-out bathroom fittings and plumb in a new sink. He did a good job and didn’t stop or disappear on another job whilst he was here.

However, the real icing on the cake occurred a week later when he returned to check that the new plumbing and fittings were working well (which they were and which he probably already knew).

It was a simple thing. It took just a few minutes, and our plumber was probably passing our door anyway, so not a big thing as far as he was concerned. However, from our point of view, it was brilliant. Finally, here was someone who not only completed the job well and on time, but came back to check his work.

Loose trust by not finishing

If this is a little unusual, consider the contrasting circumstances (which we have probably all experienced) where a friend or work colleague does not finish what they promise (and possibly does not even start, but that is for a different post). It’s in these situations that trust begins to disappear.

Results matter. Unfinished business is usually short on results – and trust. It diminishes you in the eyes of the other person and, importantly, does not create the sense of meaning and fulfilment in you that you had anticipated. Worse, it will leave you with a guilty conscience, a sense of something left undone (says he, writing from experience here).

It’s a simple thing, but if you want to create the trust in others that is so necessary to be the one chosen to create change and make a difference, then you need to be known as someone who does not “down tools” before finishing the job.

Have the skills and courage to finish

Finishing takes time, so a bit of time management will be helpful to ensure you finish what you started before going on to the next thing. It is said, with some justification, that if you want something done, go to a busy person.

And, of course, it’s not just about time management. Agatha Christie finished over 100 books, and, as any author will tell you, the most challenging bit is instructing your publisher to go ahead. It helps if you also have the mindset, willpower, and courage to finish what you started – essential ingredients to leading a fulfilled and meaningful life by creating change and making a difference.

Attributions and references

Photo by Aubrey Odom-Mabey on Unsplash

Taking it further

Cloud, Henry. Integrity : The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality. New York, Harper, 2009. Dr Cloud’s book considers six necessary qualities for success, trust and integrity, including finishing.

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