I think that having something (or someone) be unpredictable is worse than having something be consistently bad. 

If service at a restaurant is lousy every time you go there, it won’t be long before you stop going. But if service is mixed, you may keep going and wind up alternately frustrated.

If your supervisor is sometimes in a good mood and other times not, you come not to trust the positive encounters. You know the winds could shift at any moment and you could fall out of favor, so even when things are steady you don’t have faith that it will last.

If a computer performs well at times, but not so much during others, you become skeptical of it all the time, and hesitate to do anything of significance without obsessively backing things up.

Whether with products, services or relationships, consistency is a core component of trust. We don’t like politicians who “flip flop” and we don’t appreciate it in other people or machines either. The emotional back and forth wastes energy and crumbles the foundation when people don’t believe the reliability will remain.

Take great care to have congruence in your actions over time. Nobody wins when your behavior or service is as fickle as blowing wheat.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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