Productivity Expert Laura Stack Offers Tips for Rehabilitating a Reputation for Unreliability

When it comes to workplace reputations, no one wants theirs to be synonymous with anything negative, but it doesn’t take much to be marked “unreliable.” Laura Stack offers tips on restoring a tarnished workplace reputation.
It's hard to shake a reputation for being unreliable once it's been earned.
It's hard to shake a reputation for being unreliable once it's been earned.
Nov. 6, 2012 - PRLog -- DENVER, Colorado, November 6, 2012 It’s easy to take a good reputation for granted, but not so easy to undo the damage once it’s been tarnished. Time management and productivity expert Laura Stack says that reliability ranks high on the proverbial “taken for granted” list of life’s success factors. A reputation for being unreliable at work is a big impediment to future success once the impression has been made. In her latest blog, “No More Mr. Unreliable,” (, Stack discusses the value of reliability in the workplace, how to avoid becoming marked us an unreliable team member, and how to undo the damage if it’s already been done.

Stack says that everyone taking part in a team’s workflow process, from the boss on down, must be consistently reliable. She points out that most people simply assume their coworkers can be trusted to get their jobs done. In fact, since most people trust their coworkers to do their jobs, there are no rewards for being reliable; it’s simply assumed.

But once colleagues begin to let others down by not completing their share of the work, trust quickly erodes, and it’s a challenge to get it back.

“Your name should be synonymous with Mr. or Ms. Reliable, especially when others’ work depends on your output,” Stack says.

But no one is perfect, and for a variety of reasons, many people drop the ball at some point in their career. Stack offers five tips for rehabilitating a reputation as Mr. Unreliable (or avoiding the label in the first place).

1. Get organized. Adopt a simple, consistent method of tracking and filing all the information that crosses your desk. Document everything and store information in your personal time management system.

Track all the important events in your life on one calendar, from client meetings to birthday parties and deadlines to project milestones,” Stack says. “You should never require more than a minute or two to locate any file.”

2. Keep your promises. Once any team member commits to something, it must be seen through to completion, even if it turns out to be more than was bargained for.

“Do everything humanly possible to meet your obligations, even if that means working your tail off,” Stack says. “But you can’t let this happen often, or you’ll lose any semblance of a real life.”

3. Learn to say no. Many people lapse into unreliability because they take on too much work to begin with. Eventually it adds up and something has to give. So begin with saying “no” to adding tasks to an already-overflowing plate.

“If you have enough on your plate and don’t think you can handle a new task, don’t say “yes” to people just to placate them,” Stack says. “Be honest, so you won’t disappoint others later if you can’t produce.”

4. Promise less than you deliver. Instead of piling too much into an already over-packed schedule, build in some wriggle room. Pad time estimates a bit, just in case something unexpected occurs. If everything goes smoothly, there’s a little extra time to play with.

“Then you can dazzle your colleagues and bosses by over-delivering on your promises,” Stack says.

5. Address your mistakes. When the ball has already been dropped and your reputation has taken a beating, individuals should address the failure right away, and then begin the task of regaining the trust of the boss and colleagues.

“Apologize to the people you’ve let down, accept their frustration, and ask what you can do to make it up to them,” Stack says.

Stack reminds her readers that no one is expected to perform flawlessly all the time, and no one is expected to take on more than their share of work. For anyone who has begun making damaging slips because they are taking on too much, Stack recommends taking proactive measures to preserve a reputation for reliability before it’s blown.

“But if you already have damaged your reputation, you can fix it if you work hard and put these pointers in play,” Stack says.

For information on workplace productivity, visit, Email, or call 303-471-7401.

About Laura Stack:

Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.

The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books:  “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent” (2010); “The Exhaustion Cure” (2008); “Find More Time” (2006); “Leave the Office Earlier” (2004). The 2011-2012 President of the National Speakers Association and recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, Stack has served as a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, Xerox, and Office Depot and is the creator of The Productivity Pro® planner by Day-Timer. Widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of employee productivity and workplace issues, Stack has been featured nationally on the CBS Early Show and CNN, and in USA Today and the New York Times.
Source:The Productivity Pro
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Tags:Time Management, Productivity, Reputation Building, Workplace Productivity
Industry:Business, Human resources
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