A proven track record can be favourable or disadvantageous.
We tend to think of a proven track record as being a predictor of future behaviour when making a new appointment; the assumption being a positive outcome. Beware of developing a negative track record! It’s quicker to build a reputation for being unreliable and failing to deliver on promises.
To recognise ill-considered behaviour we must first be able to define and then measure responsible behaviour, which implies a presence of ownership. So, how do we know when someone is doing the right thing by us?
Often, it’s an absence of action; an oversight or omission. Although, one of my suppliers has let me down badly and the irresponsible behaviour was a conscious act. Therefore they must have been aware of the impact on me. I was disappointed to say the least.
This experience prompted me to question the underlying cause of such behaviour:
A LACK OF FORESIGHT: Do they fail to anticipate what their clients might need from the system in future? And does that reflect disorganised behaviour or a simple disinterest in others.
NO INTEGRITY: We’ve all lost clients; no doubt for many and varied reasons. When that happens do we act with dignity and grace or would you go out of your way to make their transition difficult?
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE: Problems can arise where viewpoints differ on who’s responsible and for what. Some are quick to blame other people, systems and processes for failure; whilst others are the first to step up and assume responsibility for everything.
I fall into the latter category. I was taught that honesty is the best policy and on occasions I’ve learned that we can take that too far! There is a middle ground that allows people to own their mistakes without fear of judgement.
The experience reminded me that assumptions are dangerous! We cannot expect others to treat us as we would treat them. So, if there’s a next time I’ll act on the early warning signs – they were there – and save myself the angst later on.
I will also dig deeper to discover their ‘track record’ before engaging a new provider. That’s an automatic part of the process when recruiting employees, along with personality profiling.