title:Joey P?s ON PAR System: Reliability author:Gary Whittaker source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_5126.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

Why are Japanese cars consistently beating North American brands in the own backyard? Why is there a Geyser in Yellowstone National Park a major tourist attraction? Why is the Maytag repairman always alone? One word answers those 3 questions: Reliability. People love what they can count on. This is the cornerstone into how the Joey P system works. You can have all the gimmicks and magic tricks in the world, but if the people lose faith in you, it is almost lost for good. Being tagged as unreliable is like being corporately bankrupt; it will take years before you can come out of its shadow. The key here is to develop a system that will keep you looking responsible even during moments of crisis or backbreaking workload.
One way to develop an aura of reliability is to maintain consistency in various visible aspects of your job. The ?Early Bird? approach is one of the best ways to be noticed from a management perspective, and a great way to show a commitment to your job. If you can go in about 30 minutes before the majority of the staff comes into work, then this adds to your image. Your boss? will feel like they can send you notifications of tasks to do early in the morning before you arrive if ever there is an emergency, and you will be there to get it done. Most importantly, (especially today where we are overloaded by emails), you get a chance to catch up without the disturbance of new messages, instant messages, or phone calls. There is also the ?Night Owl? approach, but we don?t recommend it for a variety of reasons. There is sometimes the stigma attached when people think that you are just waiting 5 minutes after everyone else is gone to leave; there is the fact that you are invading into time space that should be reserved for your family; and lastly, get a life!
If your work place has a policy of allowing you to work from home, only do so if solitude is needed to complete a specific project or task. Being visible at the office is very important, since being seen as working has a more lasting impression than just getting a few emails throughout the day. Should you be unfortunate enough to have to carry a pager, making it a point to respond promptly to pages is one option, however it should not be done at the expense of a meeting you may currently be attending. People in those meetings want to feel that you have their full attention, so taking 2 minute during a meeting to call someone back may not be the best policy. What you can do is make it a point to not let the day go by without at least calling someone back. If it must be on your commute back home, then so be it. What helps is to make sure that not only should your voicemail indicate that you are currently unavailable, but your email as well. Most people will usually try one or the other before paging you, and if they know that there will get an indication from either as to your unavailability, they will continue to rely on those updates.
Should you find yourself in one of the more hectic jobs at your company, you may want to invest either time or money into certain tools that will help keep you organised, since organisation is the lynchpin of reliability. BlackBerry?s, Palm Pilots, Microsoft Outlook?s calendar or the good old fashion agenda, make sure to find ONE source to compile all of your weekly activities and daily tasks. If you do not have back-to-back meetings, then try scheduling them about 15 minutes before they actually start. One recommended action would be to review all of your meetings about one week ahead of time. Any tasks that you would have to complete in order to be ready for the meeting (could be reading up on material, completing a leg of a project, talking a subject over with a colleague) should also be scheduled accordingly so as to ensure your preparedness for the meeting. It is not enough just to make sure that you show up, but also that you can provide input and feedback. With those actions being taken consistently, you should have no problem proving to your boss that you are indeed reliable. The only potential obstacle in today?s world where downsizing is as common as the emails letting you know there are more layoffs coming, having to manage the workload of 2 people is common place. Remember, if you are having trouble, then so are most of the people with whom you are working. If a meeting must be postponed because you have reasonably ascertained that the work required will not be done in time, than make sure you let the person responsible know this ahead of time. This is not a bad thing, but something that must be done for the benefit of all. Worse case, if there would be some priorities that should be pushed aside, then sitting down with your boss to push some other tasks or projects can be done instead. Bottom line, you always want to appear in control of your environment, even if that sometimes means that you admit that there is too much happening in it. Your reliability will only be enhanced when you can demonstrate

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