Author Archives: Dennis Gilbert

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mindful decisions

Mindful Decisions When The Decision Really Counts

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Businesses and individuals alike struggle with decisions. Whether you have the tea berry ice cream cone or the chocolate isn’t a huge decision. In life or business though, decisions are often tougher. Are you making mindful decisions?

Past Reflections

The first and perhaps biggest trouble spot with decision making is the reflection on the past. In business it may be sales data, customer returns, or other services or product quality issues.

In our personal lives it often comes down to reflection. People tend to dwell on or obsess about how their vision of things should have turned out, but didn’t.

In either case reflection on the past is okay. It may help to validate our future decisions. The problem becomes when you can’t make future choices because the past is crippling your clarity.

Granted the past may not be what you expected, what you wanted, or a fulfillment of your dreams, but a constant focus on it will keep you stuck.

What Is Gone

It often comes down to time, money, and resources spent. Things that feel wasted, lost, and can never be replaced. Admitting the reality once, is fine. Dwelling on it is a waste that keeps you from moving forward.

Instead of a focus on the unchangeable do something about the future. It won’t be comfortable, because what you thought you was the best direction is gone.

Don’t expect the future to be perfect either. There will be trouble spots, risk, and most of all, discomfort.

What you must decide is what choices you will make with options that are available. The past is not an option.

Mindful Decisions

Imagine if you arrive at the rental car counter late, your choices may be limited. There is no benefit to focus on the ride you wish you had. Focus on choosing the ride that makes the most sense from those available.

Otherwise, you can walk, Uber, or rent a bike.

Can you make a mindful decision? What are the best options in front of you?

Never stay stuck, and stop looking back. Choose one and go with it. Move forward.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating a Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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career decisions

Career Decisions, Life Decisions, and Things That Move Us

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Many willingly admit that it is hard to pick a career path during your mid to late teenage years. Even people with decades of experience are making important career decisions. How do you make good choices?

Available Advice

Advice is always available. Everything from, do what your love and don’t worry about the money, to you must do this because that was the path of everyone in your family.

For good measure you can throw in the advice of, “You are too smart for that choice,” or “That will require you to make a life decision about where you will live.”

Tough choices, all of them. How do you know the correct path?

There are at least three philosophies on these choices:

  1. Let someone else make the choice. It sounds silly but it happens all the time. Parents have helped you save and guided you for a particular school. Now you feel you have no choice of your own. So, you follow a prescribed path.
  2. You are not good enough. You want to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, but it has been reinforced across the years that those jobs are for the elite. You’re not in that crowd so avoid it, you’ll never make it.
  3. Stay with the family. I’ve had personal conversations with dozens and dozens of people about career choices that involve maintaining continuity with the family unit. It may be a family business, a geographic area, or generations on a family estate.

Do you see any problems with these philosophies? Is there a pattern?

The pattern is simple because the input is consistent with others guiding the outcome. None of these are allowing you to choose for you.

Career Decisions

There is a key to most career outcomes. You must decide what you want to live with. Not everything is about money, education, or the dreams of someone else.

Some people make a life of making others happy. That is great. Other people wish to take the family crest to a new level. That too, is great.

Your career decisions, whether you are seventeen, or forty-two, may not be so technical. It really boils down to how you want to live, because that is really what you do.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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why cooperation

Why Cooperation Is The Better Path

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A popular workplace complaint. People can’t seem to get along. Often the trend is to take a different position, go against the flow, cause some havoc and get noticed. Have you considered why cooperation beats opposition?

Everyday Challenges

Diversity challenges us every day. When you break it down the real challenge with diversity is that we see differences as the other side, an opposition.

We often don’t agree, but believe we should. We believe we are practicing diversity. It is true across generations, sexual orientations, and protected classes of people.

This often breaks down to the agreement to disagree. That’s opposition, not harmony, not collaboration, and not teamwork.

Leadership and Connections

Individuals who are supported by the leadership style of some people move up while others move down creates an energy. Is that energy constructive?

Hierarchy has value and is important. So is respect and even authority. In a connected economy has that changed?

People often throw around buzz words. Things like servant leadership, emotional intelligence, and six sigma. Certainly, many components of these practices work. Do all components?

The climate of the organization conditions success.

Whether we like it or not we are living in a networked world. People converse all around the globe quickly, easily, and by desire. New contacts and relationships are made and older ones are reinvigorated or repaired.

Why Cooperation

Much of our lives and economies are being stimulated by connection. Push marketing still has value and deep roots, but the connected economy is much more about pull.

So when we see something different in our workplace and psychologically label it as the other side, we lack connection. Agreement to disagree is not a win-win.

Every moment as the organization moves across time, something new is created. What does that look like in the connected economy?

Cooperation reminds us of the value of connections. It reminds us that differences are not the opposition, but opportunity. Within any culture some differences are not tolerated. They never enter the system, or at least they shouldn’t.

The climate of your organizational success has an opportunity.

To become a force for the market, you must have a force within.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating a Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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commodity services

Commodity Services And The Race To The Bottom

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Everyone wants a good price. In fact, everyone wants the best price. It is seldom that someone wants to spend more than their neighbor or competition for a similar product or service. Have you ever felt like commodity services are really a race to the bottom?

Price Strategy

Many selling efforts consider the basic economics of price. Sell more at a lower price and we’ll get more money. Sometimes this may make sense.

Selling services has some differences when compared with selling raw materials or products. The value of the product is in the spec. Anything meeting spec may only come down to one thing, price.

Services have some differences. Businesses that treat services like raw materials or products, pushing vendors for the lowest price as compared to spec, may get less than they expected.

Race to the Bottom

When you are selling a service that is based purely on spec you may be selling commodity services. Yet your value will be judged on the expected quality.

It will need to meet spec which includes quality, but the quality of a service subjective.

This is even true for most jobs. When you negotiate a salary, it typically starts with spec. Ultimately though you will not only be evaluated compared with spec but your performance will be compared with price.

One of the challenges for the service provider is to apply enough margin to consistently exceed expectations.

While everyone is racing to the lowest price and trying to sell more, the intuitive path seems to include cutting operating costs to keep margins. Service quality often declines. Promises are broken.

Commodity Services

One trouble spot with services is that they often aren’t remembered for price. They are remembered for the feeling after the service.

The best lawyers, surgeons, and accountants may have to meet spec, but spec isn’t that relative to price. The service promise and the resulting expectations have more relevance.

If you were in trouble legally, would you hire the cheapest attorney? The spec may be, have the credentials to practice law. The promise is to keep you out of jail.

Here is a promise. The cheapest service may meet spec, but it will often be remembered as an inferior product.

A race to the bottom.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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constructive contributions

Constructive Contributions Are Valuable In The Workplace

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Conditioning plays a role in much of what we do. As children or young adults many have learned to keep quiet, to not say anything, and just sit back and observe. However, it is constructive contributions that will have an impact on your future.

Speak Up, Listen, Contribute

Many people are afraid to speak up. It may be from ridicule, from the risk of being wrong, or because past experience has taught us it is safer without comment.

There is value in listening more, and many people should practice better listening, but what things are going unsaid?

How many times have you sat in the meeting with a thought on your mind but you failed to share it? How many times could the lost sale, lost client, or lousy performance have been prevented?

Measuring Risk

The value of constructive contributions is very high but like many high value items it is often very rare.

People often measure risk in the wrong way. What is riskier, speaking up, or watching the team go down the wrong path?

It may be alarming the number of times that things go unsaid. Of course, sometimes inaction may be the right action. How do you know what to do?

Constructive Contributions

When you paraphrase, you often increase understanding and limit miscommunication. What is the risk or the harm? Little or none.

When you build on others ideas for the benefit of the decision, there is little effort wasted and the quality of the decision improves. You also invite future contributions.

When you take a chance, leap, and risk with thoughtful, constructive contributions, you may change the outcome. You may invent something new, better, or appropriately encourage redesign.

The best job security, the highest probability for a promotion, and the insurance of a future for your organization may exist through constructive contributions.

While there may be some risk, the value is great.

Ante up.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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scarcity

Why Scarcity Should Be An Abundant Career Philosophy

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Influence and persuasion are popular topics in consultative sales. Today it seems we often must have a good reason to make a business deal. There must be a need, but what really closes the sale? Scarcity may be the nugget you’re missing, especially related to your career.

Philosophy of Scarcity

There has been a lot of work on the sales process and the power of influence and persuasion. One of the front runners is Dr. Robert Cialdini, who is a leading authority on these subjects.

Dr. Cialdini, has included as one of six principles of persuasion the concept of scarcity. He is not the only person to study these concepts and many sales and marketing leaders live by the value of scarcity connected with selling.

Scarcity is a simple concept. The product or service is worth more or needs to be acted on now because if you don’t, you’ll miss the opportunity.

It is the road sign with, “Last gas for 150 miles.” or “Next rest stop 68 miles.” Suddenly, you’re considering your needs.

There is more spin off. The idea that the price will increase, there will be a rush on demand, or it will never be offered again.

In these cases, the value seems to increase. It’s an opportunity to close the sale and get good margin.

Why Scarcity

Scarcity should be important for everyone. It should be important for the commission sales person, the savvy marketer, and even for individuals who aren’t directly in the front-line sales process.

Because scarcity drives value it reinforces your need for skills. Not everyone is an Industrial Psychologist, not everyone is a Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA), and not everyone is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

While these occupational credentials may not be extremely hard to find, not everyone has them. As a result, businesses will pay more for their expertise.

When was the last time you considered the uniqueness of what you offer?

If you’re a commodity, easy come, easy go.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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best career path

Are You Taking The Best Career Path?

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It is the question that people ask before they start, the question along the way, and sometimes the question asked as they near the end. “I am on the right path?” The best career path has many variables. What is your path?

Time Matters

We hear it often and sometimes we say it. Life is short. Your career is even shorter. If your career or earning a respectable living is important to you here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Most paths are fluid. Many people describe career shifts or changes throughout their lifetime.
  2. Career paths are not always linear. Different than staying fluid, sometimes you may have to navigate sideways, or for a short time backtrack, to get to where you’re going.
  3. While any career may at times feel painstakingly difficult, staying on the wrong path costs more than changing paths.

Best Career Path

What is the best career path? It is may be as simple as suggesting that it is the path you are currently pursuing. People often express the significance of their journey as providing more value than what they experience after arrival at the destination.

Destinations can change. If you leave New York in a car planning to drive to San Jose, California, you can change your mind in Cheyenne, WY and go to Santa Rosa, CA instead. Doesn’t really matter.

On the other hand, leaving New York, and driving to Tarpon Springs, FL, and then deciding your real destination should be Portland, OR, could be more problematic. The longer you are in the wrong direction, the costlier things become.

If you are a carpenter, deciding you want to be a heart surgeon when you are 45 years old is probably going to be difficult.

So, the best thing may be to make sure you are on a road that seems to support your general direction. Know where you don’t want to be.

Everything else may be just part of the journey.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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getting promoted

Getting Promoted Requires One Important Action

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You want the promotion, or the new job. You’ve put in the time, increased your knowledge, and have gained valuable experience. Are you interested in getting promoted? What are the roadblocks?

The biggest difference for those who want to tackle more and those who spring into action and get more is often confidence. Not arrogance, not being overconfident, or narcissistic, but having appropriate confidence.

Life Lessons

Since grade school we’ve likely been taught to wait to be picked. Wait for our turn. Allow someone else to go first. Be patient.

Many people apply what they’ve learned in childhood to their role in the workplace. Manners and being polite are a good thing. Regarding your opportunity to get promoted, you may need to be a bit more assertive.

Yes, some people will get picked. They’ll have what appears to be the right combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities to address a higher calling. They are noticed, visible, and are called to action.

For everyone else some choices remain. Build our confidence, take a risk, raise our hand, jump in the middle, ask, or just start doing it. What is stopping you?

The roadblock for many comes down to the fear of exposure. Exposure that we’ll make some mistakes, that we aren’t skilled with supervision, or that a lack of talent will become apparent and we’ll fail.

After all, since grade school we’ve never been the first pick for the team.

Getting Promoted

Getting promoted may begin with confidence. We need the confidence to get started and that happens by picking ourselves.

Most people don’t start a new job being over qualified. They start on the edge. The edge of being good enough to perform the work but still having significant room for growth.

Many believe the key to getting promoted is to prove what they’ve done in the past. Granted past performance is good indicator of future performance, but for the promotion no one knows for sure.

It is a bet. Start by betting on yourself.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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workplace stories

Workplace Stories, What Is Your Story?

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Conversations are everywhere, even digital text-based conversations. Workplace stories are path setting. What is the story trending around the office, the plant floor, or the job site today?

Much of the World as we know it is based on a story. Not everyone believes the same story, but regardless there is a story.

There is a story behind our evolution, there is a story that grounds our universal coding for years (B.C. and A.D.). There are religious stories. Stories of great leaders, army’s, wealth, and devastation.

Story Incubator

In our workplace, any ordinary day may continue with the same old story. When there is a change, a shift, or the pattern of the environment slides the story may change.

There is the story of who will be promoted and why. The story of the philosophy of the new boss. And even more personal drama such as workplace romances, who is getting divorced, or who has trouble at home.

Any business that has been around for a while may have cyclical shifts in revenue. Some expected, and some perhaps a surprise. In a downturn, there will be stories about what is happening, who is to blame, and the tribe will start discussing who should go.

Many organizations set out to squash the story. Stop the discussion. They’ll attempt to break up small groups and they will disperse hoovering supervisors.

The challenge really isn’t to stop the discussion. The challenge is to change the story.

Workplace Stories

Certainly, there may occasionally be some misfortune, some economic hardship, or drama fueled rumors. There also may be growth and expansion rumors, who is getting promoted, who is getting hired, and who just got a raise.

There is one thing true about all stories. Stories drive our actions and behaviors.

Today, tomorrow, and for the legacy of your career or the organization, have you thought about the effects of the stories you tell? Keep in mind, you’ll be remembered and identified by your stories.

What is your story?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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managing disappointment

Managing Disappointment Starts With Managing Expectations

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Are you working hard for an outcome only to later become disappointed? Have you given your best effort but someone only expresses their perceived shortcomings in your work? Are you effectively managing disappointment?

It may happen today, perhaps it happened yesterday, or maybe it even feels like a chronic pattern. What is the root cause of disappointment?

Great Expectations

It seems that the root cause is linked to expectations. We have a goal, or someone sets a goal for us. It could be related to vision. A great cake to me is chocolate, but a great cake to someone else may be vanilla.

Misunderstanding expectations are sometimes to blame. Differences in opinions, values, and beliefs may also be a cause. “When I discovered her political views, I was disappointed.”

So, the root cause probably exists in expectations. What is expected compared with what is received.

I worked so hard on that assignment, but I only received an 80% for my grade. 

I’m disappointed in my meal. It looked nothing like it did in the picture. 

My hair looks terrible. It came out completely different than I expected. 

Society is constantly shaping many of our expectations. Social media, traditional or digital media, and other informational sources are constantly changing our expectations. 

Today many of us have a camera in hand. The photographs are processed immediately, and are also easily filtered, adjusted, and cropped. What does this lead to? It could be higher expectations.

Managing Disappointment

Perhaps the best thing to always ask yourself about disappointment is, “Compared to what?” When there are feelings or expressions of disappointment you may have to consider the expectations.

If you work with your supervisor on goals, be sure of the expectations. When you get a new project, understand the expectations.

We tend to place too much emphasis on what didn’t work as compared to what did work.

Instead of assessing the output and being critical, consider how you will build on what worked.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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