• Simon Zryd

The Cost Of Broken Agreements

Updated: Oct 7


Great relationships are built on trust and respect. For us business owners, few relationships are as important as the ones among members of our team. While there is a lot of information about how to nurture good relationships, one of the most critical things we can do is to make sure we are keeping the agreements that we make with the people around us.

We make agreements every day. Some are big agreements, like promising someone a promotion or a raise. Other agreements might be smaller, like agreeing to help with a project, or to complete a report.

When we are not following through on the agreements we make, our employees, colleagues, vendors and customers begin to lose trust in us. They realize they can’t count on us, and the relationship starts deteriorating. We are perceived as a weak and unreliable. The consequences can range from a vendor’s reluctance to compromise on fee negotiations to lower employee productivity to losing treasured clients.

Depending on the circumstance, not upholding agreements can also create situations that require time, attention and sometimes a lot of money to clean up.

The Price We Pay

Members of our team aren’t the only ones affected when we fail to keep agreements. It’s us who stand to lose the most of all, because every agreement we make is one that we first make with ourselves.

When we make a commitment to do something and then don’t follow through, we start to not trust ourselves. We lose confidence in our ability to produce a result, which effects our self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect. We undermine our sense of personal power and integrity.

Even breaking a small agreement can negatively impact us. When we sit down to watch TV instead of jumping into our exercise gear when we come home (because that’s what we said we wanted to do), we create confusion and self-