Imagine this…an important event is coming up tonight, one that you have been waiting a long time for, and your best friend said they would be there to pick you up at 6:00. Tickets were $20 each. Happy hour is from 6:30 to 7:00 and the meal begins promptly at 7:00. You snack a little, but you don’t eat supper because the meal is supposed to be fabulous. You spend all of your extra spending money for the week on a new outfit, and getting your hair and nails done. You text your friend at 5:00 and tell them how excited you are for tonight, but you don’t hear back. You text again at 5:30 and ask them what they are wearing, but you don’t hear back. You finish getting ready and wait. At 6:00 pm you call and get their voice mail. By 6:15 you are starting to wonder but you mostly trust your friend and worry that something might have happened to them. 6:30, 6:40 and 6:50 pass you by as your adrenaline begins to flow. You call and leave another message on your friend’s voicemail. Is it anxiety, anger, frustration, disappointment, or all of them wrapped into one big emotional mess? Evidently your time, money and happiness were not very important to your friend. What do you do at 7:30 when the place is 20 minutes away and the meal is already over? Will you ever depend on that friend again? Probably not.

Dependability is the quality of being trustworthy and reliable. It is an important quality for a member of society to possess, whether it is in the workplace, a group of friends or in a family setting. Knowing that someone will not only show up, but show up on time, helps us trust each other. Following through on our promises is a way that people know that they can trust and depend on us. Being dependable and reliable tells others that their time is important and that we respect them.

Our friends and family need to know that they can depend on us to be there when we say we will be there. They need to know that we will do what we say we will do. They also need to know they can trust us to stand up for them. The quality of dependability tells our friends and family members that we love them and respect them. After all, don’t we want to be able to trust them back and know that we can depend on them as well? Having friends and family in our lives that we can count on is one of the most important things to have in life.

What about workplace dependability? If we are dependable at work and not only show up every day but always show up on time, our employer will notice. If we consistently produce quality work and care about our job, our employer will notice. If we are responsible at work and always follow through with our responsibilities, our employer will notice. If our employer does not notice and never lets us know that they appreciate our dependability and hard work, then maybe our employer is not very dependable and our qualities might be best served elsewhere. This is the number one reason good employees leave a job and go to work somewhere else. Employers take notice and let those good employees know how much they are appreciated.

So how can we improve our dependability? We need to do what we say we will do. We need to be timely and show up when we say we will show up. We need to be responsive to those text messages from our friends asking us where we are and to the emails at work from our coworkers. We need to get more organized and keep a calendar of events handy if we are forgetful. Our actions, or non-actions, have an impact on others. Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Be there, be consistent, be reliable and be accountable.

Now, go be dependable. After all, someone is counting on you.