Be someone people can depend onBy Nancy Marshall, The PR Maven®

Do you have a friend who always cancels plans at the last minute? Well, I do. It’s so irritating. You save time in your busy schedule to go somewhere or do something and inevitably they back out at the last minute.

In business, having a personal brand that includes dependability is critical to earning people’s trust and loyalty. Be the one that other people can count on. Here are my tips for making dependability a big part of your personal brand:

  • Don’t show up on time. Show up early. Every time. Use alarms on your phone or your clock to remind you when to leave the office or home in order to be on time. If something happens that prevents you from being on time, call the person you are meeting and explain why; but it better be a good excuse. Don’t email or text because you won’t know if they will get the message. Use the telephone and call.
  • Respond to phone calls and emails promptly. If someone needs an answer in order to make their plans, they want to hear back from you.
  • Do what you say you will do. If you promise to get back to someone with some information, or a phone number, or an email, or whatever, follow up quickly and with complete information.
  • Hold confidences. When someone tells you a ‘secret,’ honor their confidence and keep the secret to yourself.
  • Don’t make a promise you cannot keep. If you don’t think you can deliver on your word, then don’t offer to do something. Better to underpromise and overdeliver than to overpromise and underdeliver.
  • Say thank you when someone does something nice for you. Show them that you honor their time and effort and appreciate that they did something for you. Faithfully saying thank you is part of the brand called dependability.

We are all human and sometimes things come up that prevent us from being 100% dependable. If that happens, be sure to apologize promptly and do what you can to fix your mistake. If you promised to pick something up at the store or bring something to a meeting or gathering, and somehow you forget, be sure to apologize and offer to make it right.

In my mind, if a person is dependable, I am much more likely to want to continue my relationship with them whether in my professional or personal life. I know that my time is valuable and I do not like it when people take my time for granted by showing up late, backing out of plans, or not doing what they promise to do.

The brand called dependability, in my humble opinion, is one of the most important personality traits in life.

  • Maureen Duggan says:

    Right on the mark, as always, Nancy!