Being dependable means people can trust and count on you to be there for them through thick and thin.
But how can you recognize whether someone is dependable or not?
Well, you’re in luck because, in this article, I’ve assembled a list of 10 characteristics that define a dependable person. Let’s see what they are.
1) They’re honest and don’t make excuses
I firmly believe honesty is a crucial part of being dependable. Honest people are transparent and show it in their daily communication.
Sometimes they face difficult situations, and how they act here really matters. But it all boils down to this; if you’re honest in your actions, you will build trust with others around you.
My previous work taught me so many things. But one that really stayed with me was that if you’re honest, people will value that and help you even more.
We all worked on a big project, and my colleague faced some technical issues and couldn’t complete the task on time, and you know what? He was freaking honest about it.
He didn’t nod his head in front of our supervisor and pretended everything was ok.
He was honest about the situation beyond his control and said he would be delayed in completing the task.
This person was always on time for everything. But this time, he faced difficulties and didn’t want to compromise the project by being late.
Our supervisor really appreciated it, and he got extra team help, and what happened? We completed the project on time.
By being honest about your challenges, you allow your team to adjust their expectations and help you achieve your and the team’s goals.
2) They take responsibility
At work, at home, and even during fun activities, for some people, responsibility isn’t easy. It hits them hard, especially when they need to admit mistakes and take responsibility for their actions.
On the other side, dependable people take responsibility by admitting they forgot to do something, or if they did something on purpose, they own what they did.
They don’t throw others under the bus for their actions or inactions. They hold themselves accountable for their promises. By taking responsibility, they also try to solve problems they caused.
I always take a few steps back when taking responsibility after I do something wrong to make myself accountable.
Of course, I don’t intentionally make mistakes, but we’re all human.
3) They’re a good team member
Dependable people work together by supporting team goals. They also support their colleagues, communicate openly, and contribute by doing their part.
Examples would be participating in team meetings and discussions, brainstorming ideas, and sharing their thoughts.
They also don’t hold their knowledge back but share it and show a can-do attitude.
Being a good team member means you respect others and their unique skills but also give feedback and a bit of well-intended criticism when needed.
You see, dependable and reliable people solve problems by helping others and showing appreciation for their work.
“I like what you did here…” and “Thank you” go a long way.
This brings me to my next point.
4) They’re consistent in everything they do
I think dependable people show patterns in their behavior but also their actions.
A good relationship depends on the consistency of everyone involved. For example, your partner, child, friend, or colleague.
If you consistently remember and acknowledge important dates and milestones in your relationships, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and other meaningful events, you’re showing that you’re reliable and that you care.
You also consistently approach conflicts with respect toward everyone involved, and with that, you show you understand others.
Above all, by being consistent in what you do, you establish a sense of trustworthiness and structure within your work, family, and friendship.
5) They’re reliable
What is reliability? We sure throw that word around quite often.
Reliability is when you consistently deliver on your promises and commitments. Your family and your friends can count on you to fulfill your obligations.
Although I’m swamped these days, I promised my son to take him to the beach. That meant I had to wake up at 5 am and start my work way earlier to finish with my work so I could fulfill my promise and we could go the beach.
Being reliable means you’re committed, punctual, and pay attention to details, but also, you help others, and by that, people can count on you.
6) They’re trustworthy but transparent
Many times, people share sensitive information with us. It could be their marriage problems, health issues, or something incredibly uncomfortable and shameful.
They count on us keeping them a secret and not spilling the beans to others, even our partners.
But that’s how we build trust between ourselves and others. It’s an integral part of life.
But remember, not all information should be kept a secret. You still have a moral and often legal obligation to share information that involves criminal activity or threatens someone’s safety.
For example, if your friend shot the sheriff, but he didn’t shoot the deputy. Should you report it?
All kidding aside, you have to be transparent in what you do. Knowing someone’s fraudulent activities and keeping them secret doesn’t mean being trustworthy.
7) They adapt to challenging situations
Life is wildly unpredictable, and how we adapt matters.
Let me tell you a story about my friend’s wedding day. My friends are the perfect example of adapting to challenges and setbacks.
The wedding venue was flooded the day before, and my friends didn’t make a big fuss about it.
They didn’t have a wedding organizer and were responsible for most of the wedding organization, and so they reacted quickly.
After working closely with venue staff, they found an alternative location nearby and made everyone aware (guests, flower people, caterers, etc.).
Imagine that a day before your wedding. They managed to maintain a positive attitude, and they found a solution. They adapted, and we were all happy with the outcome.
They showed dependability to themselves, the guests, friends, and family. To this day, this was one of my favorite weddings to attend (besides my own, of course).
8) They show initiative
Dependable people act proactively and take the initiative. This means they don’t need constant supervision. They take action, identify what’s wrong and find solutions.
I’m sure at some part in your life, you found yourself living with a roommate, and thanks to a busy schedule and life in general, your apartment sometimes got messy.
But you showed initiative and started the cleaning and organizing process yourself, and by that, you set an example for your roommate.
You also communicated issues and possible solutions and shared tasks based on your preferences and how much time you both had.
In the end, you both started cleaning more often. You depended on each other and together created a great space to live in.
9) They show empathy
Dependable people also show empathy. How, you ask?
Well, they listen, and they listen well. They don’t keep an eye on their phone and listen to every third word that comes out of your mouth.
They try to understand and consider others’ feelings. They focus on what the person is saying and let people know their feelings are heard.
Dependable people easily put themselves in other people’s shoes and try to imagine how the situation might affect them emotionally.
They respond in a supportive way and try to show compassion, and with that, they show they care.
We should all aim to be more empathetic as we don’t always know what’s happening with other people.
By doing that, they can rely on us even more. Isn’t this what being dependable means?
10) They communicate well
When I think of a dependable person, I think of a good communicator.
This person keeps others informed and doesn’t make excuses when something needs to be done.
Dependable people respect others and their time and share updates about progress, changes, and challenges that might happen so everyone understands.
They also, and this one is important, follow up. Yes, follow up. They don’t just say what they have to say. They also return to what they communicated before and re-evaluate.
We all aim to be dependable people and strive to have someone dependable in our lives.
We need that sense of belief at work and home. It has a great impact on ourselves but also others around us, especially the ones who count on us the most.