Caleb: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life. Stacy Pursell is a Certified Employee Retention Specialist and a Certified Personnel Consultant.
Today, we’ll be talking with Stacy about the core value of reliability in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.
Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I’m glad to be here with you today.
Caleb: Stacy, in our previous podcast episode, we discussed the core value of integrity. We’re continuing our series about core values today, are we not?
Stacy: Yes, we are. Today’s episode is part of a larger series of episodes that deal with core values. And actually, the values that we’re discussing are the core values of The VET Recruiter. We have all of our core values listed on our website, if members of our listening audience want to check them out. The website address is www.TheVETRecruiter.com.
As I mentioned last week, there are values that many people in the job market and the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession share. As a result, I believe that it’s relevant to explore them on our podcast within the context of people’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.
Caleb: Stacy, we’ve talked about reliability on the podcast before, isn’t that right?
Stacy: Yes, that’s right. We discussed it in relation to personal branding. One of the best ways that you can brand yourself is by being reliable. Since that’s the case, it’s easy to see why reliability can be an important core value, as well. The thing about reliability, though, is that it’s not a “sometimes thing.” It has to be an “all the time thing.”
Caleb: Can you explain more about that?
Stacy: I can. If you’re only reliable half of the time, then you’re not really reliable. Even if you’re reliable 75% of the time, is that enough to brand you as reliable in the minds of other people? Probably not. People would likely not turn to you with help on something that was extremely important if you’ve been reliable 50% or 75% of the time.
Caleb: So, are you saying that people have to be reliable 100% of the time?
Stacy: Obviously, people are not perfect, so it would be difficult to be reliable 100% of the time. However, you should strive to be reliable 100% of the time. This is a case in which good intentions are what matter. If you have the mindset that you’re going to try to be 100% reliable, then you’re in a good position to brand yourself that way in the minds of other people.
Caleb: Stacy, I know that we looked at the definition of integrity in our previous podcast. Will we do so again with reliability?
Stacy: Yes, let’s do that. According to the dictionary, reliability is “the quality of being trustworthy or performing consistently well.” And actually, I think that definition is a little backwards.
Caleb: What do you mean by that?
Stacy: I mean that “performing consistently well” should be first in the definition, because it’s only when you perform consistently well and you do so over a period of time that you can build trust. Building trust and branding yourself as trustworthy takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Caleb: What about reliability in the workplace? How important is it there?
Stacy: When you think about it, reliability is important everywhere, in both your personal life and your professional life. Face it: everyone needs people who they can count on. In your personal life, you want to be able to count on your significant other, your family, and your friends. In your professional life, you want to be able to count on your employer, your boss, and your coworkers. Not a lot happens without a certain level of trust. If no one trusted anyone, then I guess nothing would get done and nothing would happen.
Caleb: That makes sense. If a person didn’t trust anyone, then I guess it would make life more difficult all the way around.
Stacy: Absolutely. And reliability is essential to employee performance. Reliability consists of the extent to which an individual may be counted upon to do what is expected of them.
Caleb: Stacy, do you have some examples of what people may be counted upon to do?
Stacy: I do. Some examples of being reliable include showing up for work on time, completing tasks in a timely manner, and fulfilling promises. And of course, these are just a few of the ways that people can brand themselves as reliable in the short term and trustworthy in the long run.
Caleb: What are some other ways of being reliable? Do you have other examples?
Stacy: Yes, I have a few more, starting with “being present.” This means not being easily distracted. As a society, we’ve become borderline addicted to our smartphones and the 24-hour news cycle that seems to be everywhere. It’s become difficult for us to focus on whatever is happening right in front of us. To build and create relationships you must “be present” in the moment.
It might seem like a small thing, but it does deal with being reliable.
Caleb: I can understand that. What’s another example?
Stacy: Another example if active listening, which is actually related to being present when you’re interacting with others. That’s because when you’re present and not distracted, you’re better able to listen. And active listening is not just waiting until the other person is done talking so you can speak. It’s actually listening and considering what the other person is saying. It’s paying attention to the person you are with at the moment.
And on top of that, active listening is apparently in short supply in the workforce right now. Hiring managers have told me that this is the case.
Caleb: That’s not good that active listening is in short supply. It is an important skill to have.
Stacy: Something else that people struggle with is next on our list, and that’s communication. Not a lot of people know how to communicate truly well. Communication is one of the soft skills that employers value a great deal. What I recommend is to try to over-communicate, because when you try to over-communicate, what happens is that you usually communicate just enough.
Caleb: Do you have any other examples, Stacy?
Stacy: I have a couple more, and the first one is having a positive mentality attitude. And when I say a positive attitude, I’m not talking about a “pie in the sky mentality” that ignores the things that are happening around you. Instead, it should be a positive attitude based in realism, but also anchored in the consistent expectation that good things are going to happen.
And our last example is the desire to increase your personal productivity, including through being more efficient. When it comes to efficiency, you may have heard the phrase “Work smarter, not harder.”
Caleb: Yes, I’ve heard that phrase before.
Stacy: Being more efficient and more productive does not necessarily mean working longer hours, even though sometimes that might be the case. From a purely practical point of view, this is important because the more productive you are, the more productive your employer is. And when you’re more productive, you’re more valuable as an employee.
Caleb: And more reliable, too.
Stacy: Yes, if you do any of the things I just discussed on a consistent basis for a considerable amount of time, then you’re considered to be more reliable and trustworthy. You can be counted upon to do these things.
Caleb: Stacy, one thing that I’ve noticed during our discussion about reliability is that one of the main factors involved is time. Can you elaborate on that?
Stacy: I certainly can. Time is factor in terms of reliability because it takes time to prove yourself to other people. If it only took doing something one time for other people to think you were reliable, then everyone would think everyone is reliable.
Caleb: And that might set some people up for disappointment.
Stacy: Right! Because clearly not everyone is reliable and not everyone is reliable to the same degree. There are those who are more reliable than others. But this illustrates the two important aspects of reliability that I’d to discuss as we wrap up today’s podcast episode. Both of these aspects pertain to the core value of integrity, too, which we addressed last week.
Caleb: Which aspects are those?
Stacy: First, just like having integrity, being reliable is a choice. You must make a conscious decision to do what you say you’re going to do. This is one of the things that make it a core value. Many core values require individuals to make a conscious decision about it. It’s not going to happen all of a sudden, out of nowhere, as if it’s magic.
Second, branding yourself as reliable and being reliable takes effort. You have to keep working at it. And let’s face it, being reliable is not easy, especially in today’s fast-paced world. It seems like everyone is overworked already and doing a million things. That’s why one of the important factors when it comes to reliability is to not commit to something unless you know for sure that you can follow through with it.
Caleb: Is that kind of like “biting off more than you can chew”?
Stacy: Yes, it’s exactly like that. Caleb, have you heard the expression “Under-promise and over-deliver”?
Caleb: Yes, I have.
Stacy: Well, that statement applies to making commitments and being reliable. The opposite of that is over-promising and under-delivering. This describes a situation in which a person “bites off more than they can chew.” That’s because they’ve promised to do something and then they didn’t do that something, either because they weren’t able to for whatever reason or they just didn’t want to. They did not deliver.
On the other hand, in terms of a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career, it’s better to “under-promise and over-deliver.” This means only making a commitment if you 100% know that you can keep that commitment and also exceeding expectations, whenever possible, when you fulfill the commitment.
Caleb: So, there’s definitely a lot that goes into being reliable and branding yourself as reliable, isn’t there?
Stacy: Yes, there is! And that’s one of the reasons why reliability is so valued in the workplace and the workforce and why it’s a key to professional and personal success.
Caleb: Stacy, we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s podcast episode?
Stacy: Yes, the last thing that I’d like to mention is another way in which integrity and reliability are similar. When it comes to both core values, they are difficult to build and easy to destroy.
Caleb: What do you mean by that?
Stacy: It takes a long time to convince others that you’re both a person of integrity and that you’re reliable. You have to be consistent in these areas over a considerable length of time. The analogy that I like to use is making deposits into people’s goodwill accounts. By being a person of integrity and being reliable, you deposit one coin into their account, over and over and over. But if there ever comes a time when you are not a person of integrity, or you’re not proven to be reliable . . .
Caleb: Then the person withdraws a bunch of coins and not just one coin.
Stacy: That’s right! That’s what I mean by it’s difficult to build integrity and reliability, but easy to destroy it. This is why people must carefully guard these core values as part of their Animal Health or Veterinary career. Either you’re actively branding yourself as a person of integrity and a reliable person, or you’re not.
Caleb: And as you said earlier, it’s a choice that everyone has to make for themselves.
Stacy: Yes, that’s right! Ultimately, the choice is yours.
Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about the core value of reliability and a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.
Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, Caleb, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!
Caleb: For hiring managers in our listening audience today, if you have hiring needs for your Animal Health company or Veterinary Practice, reach out to Stacy Pursell at www.thevetrecruiter.com For Animal Health or Veterinary professionals who want to explore other career opportunities reach out to Stacy at www.thevetrecruiter.com There are current Animal Health jobs and Veterinarian jobs on The VET Recruiter website. We look forward to seeing you next time on the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!
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