Do you consider yourself a reliable person at work?
When you’re tasked with a project or assignment at work, are you sure others trust you to meet the deadline?
Do you often spend your time at work wondering why people don’t pull you in on certain things that you know you could do well?
Could it be because people don’t trust you to get things done?
I work with many people in a variety of capacities and I can tell you I encounter more people who don’t meet deadlines than those who do.
And before you pat yourself on the back because you finished up that last project on time, take a moment to really think about how reliable you are to others.
Here 3 red flags that your colleagues, boss, clients and others may consider you unreliable.
1. Others always have to come to you for status updates.
If your manager, co-worker or client, ask you to do something and they have to go out of their way to check-in on you to see if things are on schedule, you may not be as reliable as you think.
Rule #1, never make busy people think – ever. Your boss or co-worker (and especially your client) should never have to wonder about the status of something you’re doing. You should always be the one to update them. They should always know because you made sure to keep them in the loop.
Sure, you have the occasional micromanagers who barely let you take a breath without asking for their permission. But as a leader myself, I know it takes so much more energy to reach out to someone to make sure things are on track and I would much rather prefer the person I’m working with to just keep me in the loop on their own.
For example, if you’re working on a project that’s going to take 3 weeks, be sure to update your team or boss weekly so they know things are moving along. It doesn’t have to be a drawn out update. Simple, quick and causal updates are great. Just don’t let them have come to you.
2. You constantly send unpleasant news at the last minute.
Are you the type to let your team or managers know that things are not working out as planned, moments before the deadline you were given? That’s a major red flag that could hinder you from other opportunities in the future.
People want to work with problem solvers and initiative-takers. No one wants to work with someone who waits until the last minute to get things done. If you find that you often do this, you’ll probably also find that you’re rarely asked to do new things at work. And, it might be because you’re the bearer of bad news, without solutions.
If you’re working on a task and notice things are not going accordingly, be proactive. Don’t wait until the last minute.
First, think of solutions to the problem on your own. Then, either act on them or share the problem and solutions with your team and devise a plan to move forward ahead of time.
3. Others frequently offer to do the task for you.
When you’re given tasks, if you find that your colleagues or boss later offer to take the project back or take it on for you, they don’t trust you to get things done.
At this point, you probably haven’t kept your team in the loop and/or you’ve probably brought bad news without solutions. Regardless of the circumstances, the task still needs to get done.
If they can’t trust you to do it, they’ll do it on their own or give it to someone else – and that is the worst situation to be in, especially if they give it to someone else to do for you. That is clear indication that someone else is reliable and you’re not.
Even if someone ask you with a smile or friendly tone if you would like them to take on the task they gave you, still know that you are in the red zone and they’re just being polite and professional.
In moments like this, if it’s possible for you to move other things around so that you can get the task at hand done, do so. If you find that this happens multiple times, it may be time to reassess your schedule and how you’re managing your workload.
Everyone has times when they’re not as reliable.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have moments when we come up short. They are times when we drop the ball or life gets in the way and prevents us from performing at our best. Those moments are understandable. But they also separate the top performers from the average performers.
When top performers come up short, mess up or fail, they do everything they can to fix the situation. They take initiative. They bring solutions. They adjust. Reorganize. Whatever they must do to rise above their mistake.
When mediocre performers come up short, they do little to improve. They give excuses. They continue to have poor communication. They do the bare minimum to show their interest and they don’t do whatever it takes to develop themselves.
So, are you a top performer or a mediocre performer?
What about those moments when you just know that you’re going to need extra time on a deadline at work? How you communicate your request for more time can make all the difference in how the person responds and how your future opportunities and responsibilities are affected.
But I don’t even like my job…
Sure, you may be thinking, “I don’t even like my job anyway. I don’t like my responsibilities and I can’t wait to find a new job.”
I’ve been in your shoes before, I completely get it.
If you feel lost, stuck or frustrated in your current position, know that your circumstances are temporary. New opportunities are waiting for you on the other side of effort and persistence.
In the meantime, it might be time to take a moment to re-evaluate your current situation.
Chances are there are still qualities and skills from your time spent at your current job that you still need to improve or learn to become the best version of yourself in your next position. And, becoming more reliable may be one of them.
In what ways, could you be more reliable at work and what gets in your way? I’d love to hear from you.