Coaching talented leaders from diverse industries gives me valuable insight into trends in the workforce.
One key growing concern of managers and executives I’ve noticed is an uptick in team members’ willingness to cancel meetings, re-book appointments, and change schedules – often with little notice.
As leaders have shared their frustrations with me, it’s with the awareness that they know they need to be flexible, yet they wonder when all the switching and changing becomes unprofessional?
Honoring commitments is one of the foundational standards of credibility. Without credibility, trust is impossible to build. While consistency can be challenging to demonstrate in any lane of our lives, especially in the context of living through a pandemic, it’s essential to your strong performance as a professional.
Are you a “sometimes person” or an “always person?” Sometimes people are those whose behavior you just can’t anticipate. Always people are those you can count on. Keep in mind, being an always person isn’t about perfection, it’s about a sincere commitment to quality. This consistency opens the doors to opportunities – high impact projects and high visibility assignments – the ones that further your contribution and career.
All of us can relate to the challenge of getting back on track after the many disruptions of the past two years. Coming back strong doesn’t mean returning to work life as it was before the pandemic. It means leveraging what you learned through the experience to bring a sense of better to who you are today as a professional and how you work best. It also means refocusing on the fundamentals. Canceling meetings and missing a call or two here and there might seem like an acceptable norm in our new world. After all, it’s happening often. Yet it’s those little misses that harm our credibility.
As you settle into life in today’s working world, I encourage you to reflect on the following:
- Do your commitments reflect what you value and how you want to be contributing as a professional? If you find yourself wanting to back out of engagements, consider how you might need to change what you are saying yes to.
- How is work working for you? What changes do you need to make to the structure or flow of your days to perform at your best?
- Do your actions at work consistently reflect a sense of care, service, and consideration for others?
- Are you working in ways that might be too self-focused and need to shift to a more collaborative focus? The isolation we experienced for health and safety reasons might have become an unhelpful habit. It’s valuable to consider how you want to collaborate better.
Your reflections will illuminate a path to greater consistency. Being predictable and reliable allows you to build trust in our ever evolving world. Staying the course on even your smallest commitments allows you significant influence.