This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

The Trust Equation is a deconstructive, analytical model of trustworthiness. It includes four variables: credibility, reliability, intimacy, and self-orientation.

Reliability has to do with actions. A colleague might say about you, “If he says he’ll deliver the product tomorrow, I trust him, because he’s does what he says.”

Reliability is rooted in consistency, predictability, and a feeling of familiarity. Reliability brings with it a certainty that people know they won’t be surprised by you.

Ways to boost your reliability include following through on the promises you make (and communicating when you won’t) and respecting your partners’ norms and customs.

Bonus: Making it Real

This week, choose one aspect of your reliability to boost and one practice to boost it.

For example, you might

  • Document the promises you make and regularly provide status to those who were promised (try the ol’ index-card-in-the-pocket approach)
  • Assess and prioritize your to-do list every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  • Make three small promises a week and consistently follow through
  • Create a new routine in at least four relationships (such as regular meetings, status emails)
  • Arrive five minutes early to every scheduled meeting

Pick something from this list, or create your own reliability practice.

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Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).