Reliability is one of the most desired attributes of any of good business. And it stands to reason that a reliable company is the sum-total of reliable individuals who work within it.
Reliable people easily establish relationships, build deeper connections, are given more responsibility in their work and most of all, are considered trustworthy. When we have the trust of our employers, our colleagues and our customers, we have the foundation to really thrive.
The great thing is about reliability is that it is achievable. It’s not rocket science. All you need it is commitment and dedication to become a more reliable person. With unreliability being the single biggest career-limiting habit, it’s time to stop the excuses and focus on 2019 being the year to become a more reliable person. Here are 2 simple steps to start becoming more reliable straight away.
- Manage your time well.
Being realistic about your time and what you can achieve timeframes in crucial. We tend to underestimate how long tasks will take. Couple this with our tendency to want to please others and be agreeable, we run the risk of over promising and under delivering on tasks.
Try to use more discretion when you make commitments to others. Next time you feel the urge to say ‘yes’ to something, stop and take the time you need to consider if the commitment is realistic and what sort of timeframes you need. Consider how it fits in with our other commitments. It is a priority? It’s much better to negotiate deadlines and timeframes upfront, than to agree to something only to have to let the person down later on. As the saying goes it is better to under promise and over deliver.
Remember that almost nothing goes as smoothly as you initially think it will in the workplace. We need to plan for the unexpected, for delays, for disruptions. As a rule of thumb, think about how long the task should take and then double it. This will ensure you can comfortably meet your deadlines, deliver on your promises, remain reliable and build trust.
- Manage others’ expectations of you.
Make sure you stick to your word. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Implement daily disciplines to sharpen your focus and strive for everyday excellence by doing the very best you can at that moment and always looking for ways to improve.
Be mindful that things don’t always go to plan. Surprises happen. Even the most reliable of us can’t make a meeting or meet a deadline for unforeseen circumstances. Of course, try to limit situations in which you need to cancel, postpone or push back on deadlines. In those instances, you can’t avoid it, let your colleagues know as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute to tell them that you cannot do it. Don’t leave people wondering; with technology today, there is no excuse not to call, text or email to let people know if you are running late.
When things do happen to prevent you from delivering on your promises, avoid making excuses or blaming others. It’s best to take responsibility and simply own up to it. Be apologetic and then make it right. If needed, address the issue later to ensure it doesn’t happen again and re-enforce that you are committed to it not reoccurring.
It’s also a great idea to respond to emails within 24 hours, even if it’s just to say “Thanks. Noted. I will get back to you next week on this one”. If you know someone wants to meet with you but it is not a priority, take a few seconds to let them know it is important to you, it is something you intend to do, but you just have some crucial deadlines to meet this week.
If you are consistently reliable, your work colleagues will feel confident in your abilities and will trust you with more and responsibility and authority. Reliability and trust are crucial building blocks for strong and thriving relationships. No matter how smart you are, how capable you are and how good you are at the work you do, you will limit your career progress by being unreliable. Take action today to become more reliable in all aspects of your life and be the very best version of you.
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