This article was originally published on The WorkForce Blog.
Whether you’re an employee, a manager, or the CEO, your value to an organization is based on your perceived potential. In other words, what can you accomplish tomorrow? Next month? Next year? How productive will you be in the future?
Of course, there’s no way to know for sure …
Ultimately, your potential is someone else’s educated guess. It’s an assumption your employer makes based, largely, on one question: Are you consistent?
Professionals are judged by their track record.
Most people can have one good meeting, one good presentation or conference. Most people can conjure excellence every now and again. But doing so consistently illustrates something special, something valuable for employers and employees alike …
To employers, consistency is a promise. It spells dependability and longevity.
To employees, consistency is a path to trust, which leads to opportunity.
How to be Consistent
Consistency, on its face, takes time. To be consistent, you have to replicate positive behavior or performance day after day, until it defines you.
It’s a lot like building a habit …
Ready to be more consistent? Here are a few best practices:
1. Isolate one goal.
Developing consistency goes against human nature. It’s burdensome, especially at first. It takes a lot of energy, a finite resource. Don’t make the process even more challenging by trying to do too much all at once …
The trick is to pick one goal to focus on at a time.
What’s your biggest issue? What’s your most damaging inconsistency? Start there. Work at it. Stabilize. Then move on to your next goal.
2. Focus on incremental improvement.
You’re not going to develop a positive, worthwhile habit overnight. Our brains don’t work that way. In fact, new research declares that it could take months to permanently change your behavior. Months.
That’s a lot of patience and focus. That’s a lot of work.
Allow yourself to notice and celebrate the small wins, the incremental improvements you achieve along the way. They’ll keep you motivated.
3. Fight your emotions.
The brain is a taxing organ. It uses a lot of energy, which is why we sometimes feel mentally sluggish or lazy, especially when faced with a challenge, like consistency.
Sometimes we really are tired. Sometimes, though, it’s a biological trick …
Don’t fall for it. Push forward. Fight your emotions. If you don’t, you’ll stay stuck.
4. Forgive your failures.
That said, you are human, imperfect like the rest of us …
As you pursue your consistency goals, you will get tired. You will stumble:
- You’ll skip a gym day
- You’ll miss a deadline
- You’ll arrive late to a meeting
Whatever your goal may be, you’re bound to misstep from time to time – and that’s okay.
“Slipping on your habits doesn’t make you a failure,” writes consistency expert, James Clear. “It makes you normal. What separates top performers from everyone else is that they get back on track quickly.”
Forgive your failures and keep moving forward. What else can you do?
Consistency breeds trust, especially at work.
Consistent employees are dependable and predictable, comforting to managers and colleagues and customers alike.
Are you consistent?