Reliability is a pillar of trust. Become more reliable by protecting your calendar and arriving early for appointments. In this video, learn about how other people's promises may affect your trustworthiness.
- Reliability is a huge trust builder. Do what you say you will do. Jay is a technical genius, just one of the smartest guys I know, he's friendly and he cares about others. He appears to win on both the competency and warmth dimensions that are so important to trust, yet people don't trust Jay, why? He constantly misses deadlines. He frequently forgets to show up for appointments.
He says, we should do lunch, but never follows up. If I were tasked with a challenging, high stakes assignment and could pick anyone to be on my team, I don't know if Jay would make the cut. As much as I value his talents, I need someone I can count on. How would a person who's trust you want to earn rate your reliability? Are you seen as someone who has a one to one ratio of say to do? Try these suggestions for improving your reliability.
First, don't over commit. Make promises, even small ones, carefully. Don't get caught up in enthusiasm and say yes when your calendar says no. If you utter even a little promise like I'll call you back later today, write it down so you won't forget. Think twice before making a promise. When you tell someone, please hold this will just take a minute, is it really only 60 seconds before you return? Plan for time to work on each commitment you make, if you only track appointments and project deadlines you deceive yourself into thinking you have time for new commitments.
Calendar for the time it takes to work on projects. Before agreeing to anything, pause and block out time to do it on your calendar. Next be on time or early all the time. When we arrive for appointments late we send a message that our time is more valuable than others. We break a social contract. Pad your time estimates a bit. Think it will take you 15 minutes to get across town? Plan for 25.
Assume a meeting will last one hour? Better give yourself 30 minutes of wiggle room before your next appointment. Finally, recognize that you are a proxy for your organization's promises. This one can be frustrating. My friend Lisa recently worked until midnight manually extracting thousands of data points for her client because the electronic system she needed was down, but her boss had already told clients to expect the information that day.
It wasn't even Lisa's promise, but it was her trustworthiness on the line. Think of two relationships in your life that could use a trust boost. Make a simple action plan for how you can be more reliable in these relationships. Make this your motto, I do what I say I will do.
- List the two criteria people use to evaluate trustworthiness.
- Recognize the impact of unintentional bias on trust.
- Identify the five predictors of trust.
- Choose a tactful way to share accomplishments that builds perception of competence.
- Contrast ways a shared-space team and a virtual team build trust differently.
- Break down the components of a trust-rebuilding apology.