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Behavioral expert, Peter Quarry, knows what unreliability in a colleague can be like. He suggests first explaining to them why their behavior causes problems. If this fails, you can try appealing to their personal brand and their desire to look good, by getting them to make promises in front of others. Praise them and thank them if they deliver; otherwise hold them to account – all in front of others.

If someone's unreliability is driving you crazy, Peter Quarry suggests:

  • Give them feedback – explain why this is a problem.
  • Use the formula "When you... Its a problem for me because... In future..."
  • Encourage them to make promises in front of others and praise them when they deliver.
  • Leverage their 'personal brand' – the desire to look good.
  • Hold them to account – publicly.

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This is available as part of

2 Minutes To Success Series
A series of two minute microlearning videos from psychology experts with practical advice and techniques to help you tackle workplace problems and be more productive, less stressed, improve your image and regain control of your life. There are programs to deal with challenging people and situations,... read more
New Release
Conflict / Difficult People
Release Date
Jan 1, 2020
Video Running Time (minutes)
Course Length (minutes)
Seven Dimensions
Featured Talent
Peter Quarry
Course ID



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