• Utilizing the Promise Timeline to Sustain Trust

When I was first introduced to the “Promise Timeline”, it was 12 years ago at one of my organizational learning and coaching conferences with Newfield Network. I wondered how a simple model can eloquently describe the profound impact our everyday agreements have on our relationships with others. The “Promise Timeline” will make you reflect and provide insight to answers to the underlying questions you may have, such as: Why you trust some people and not others? Why in certain situations you avoid asking for help? Why some people trust you and others don’t?

Yes, the “Promise Timeline” will definitely shed a light about how your present trust behavior has been formed up until now. As much as I encourage the reflection, my sincere hope is that after reading this article, you utilize the “Promise Timeline” as a tool for sustaining trust in your relationships. So let’s get started.

What is the “Promise Timeline? It is a timeline that begins when you make a promise to someone that you will do something for them and ends at the agreed upon time the promise is supposed to be fulfilled. Promises that are referenced in the “Promise Timeline” have two required characteristics:

  1. Beneficial action to another person
  2. Stated fulfillment date

These promises are very similar, if not the same as the everyday agreements we make at work: “Bob I should have the department trends report on your desk by tomorrow at 5:00pm, so you can prepare for the board meeting on Monday.” Let’s use this example and walk through the “Promise Timeline” graphic below. Let’s say I made this promise to my boss, Bob, at 9:00am today.

  1. X represents today at 9:00am
  2. Y represents tomorrow at 5:00pm

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