False Promises

The easiest way to lose the trust of your community is to make a false promise.

False promises often originate in times of stress. Members (or a member) might be angry about something so you make a promise to fix the issue.

This placates the upset member(s), at least for a while.

However, you soon discover the issue is harder to fix than you had anticipated. It might require resources, abilities, or support that you don’t have. Technology issues are notorious for taking far longer to fix than first anticipated.

You can apologise, but you’ve still lost credibility with the community. It reflects terribly upon your organisation too.

A better approach is to provide ongoing updates. Engage the member in clearly defining the problem, explain you’re scoping out potential solutions, detail if/which can be implemented, and why they can or can’t be introduced.

Failing that, apologise for the issue, but don’t make a promise you’re not 100% sure you can keep.

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