1. Be Careful What You Promise
The value you place on your commitments will determine your dependability. Recognize the seriousness of giving your word. When you agree to meet someone for a friendly lunch, for example, your punctuality demonstrates your value of your friend. When you set a project completion date, make a realistic estimate. Promising more than you can deliver only prevents coworkers from believing you in the future. Recognize what your words mean to others, and keep your word, even if circumstances make it difficult.
2. Clarify Expectations
Ask questions in order to clarify each party’s expectations before you make an agreement. Know your everyday responsibilities at work, and identify the responsibilities that come with your roles as a citizen, spouse, parent, neighbor, or friend. Do not leave your life to assumptions. Get the details you need to do the right thing.
3. Get It Done
Good intentions will not make you dependable. Think through the process; gather the information, supplies, and expertise needed; and get started. Take initiative to work through the difficulties you encounter along the way.
4. Correct Mistakes
Even if your job description does not include quality control, your credibility with coworkers and supervisors will depend on your commitment to excellence. A dependable person recognizes mistakes and takes responsibility to correct them, even if no one else notices the problem. Stay alert throughout the whole process so that you can make quick adjustments and stand behind your work.
5. Have a Good Attitude
Few things create organizational drag like coworkers who whine when a job requires more than anticipated. When a situation changes or others make unexpected demands, do not make the problem worse by complaining. Overcome the new challenges and do what needs to be done.
Dependability Application Discussion Questions
Break into small groups. Have each group read one of the five keys above and discuss the corresponding question below. Share answers and personal applications with everyone.
- Name someone who demonstrates consistent dependability. How do his or her words and actions show trustworthiness?
- When did your assumptions get you in trouble? What questions can you ask in order to clarify issues and goals?
- What are some unexpected sacrifices you have made in order to get a job done?
- What steps do you take to correct mistakes? How should you respond when someone corrects you?
- How can you keep a good attitude when circumstances make your life harder?