Author Archives: Dennis Gilbert

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What customers want

What Customers Want, They Get

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Every day there is someone selling something. It is an exchange of what someone else has for what someone else wants. Do customers get what customers want?

Your landscaping is fabulous, who does it for you?

Your car is so shiny, who details it?

Those shoes look awesome, what brand are they and where did you get them?

People Want More

When people see something that they love they want to know more. They want to know who can help them achieve a similar result or how they can get started.

The same is true with what we see on the internet. The posts, the pictures, and the videos. What people love, they want to share, and they want more of it.

What happens when they don’t?

The answer is actually easy. If it isn’t for them, they’ll walk [scroll] away, or else they’ll give it a thumbs down. If they are really unhappy and you’ve touched their emotions they may even fire back.

Digital World

This is our digital world, the digital age. Being polite is often thrown out the window and rudeness has an appeal to some.

Your customers will always let you know too. They may not post something digital, but they might. They may jump on your website, your social media page, or give you a review on Yelp.

Certainly, there will circumstances and situations where there is a misunderstanding, the product features are not understood, or your value proposition isn’t the right message. Some of those are easily fixed, some may linger or spark redesign.

What Customers Want

Customers who let you know what they want, or don’t want, are actually doing you a favor. They are telling you that they are not your market or that what you market needs some work.

Short of the inappropriate digital defamation, you should probably thank them. Now you can find the customers who love your product or service, or you can change things making you one-step closer to doing something that really matters.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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workplace contribution

What Is Your Workplace Contribution?

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Often people view their workplace as a place to earn a paycheck. Certainly for work outside of volunteering this is a truism. Should more people be assessing their workplace contribution?

Many people begin their commute with nearly the same intentions every day. Go to work, get to my work area, start my job, do a few things, and then go home. For some it is much more than that.

Building a Career

People who are engaged, those who want to make a difference, those who are building a career often have a little different viewpoint.

When career minded people go to work, they break things, they fix things that are broke, they build something, risk something, make decisions, have accomplishments, please a customer, help a co-worker, and occasionally fail in any of these attempts.

Where Is The Value

The person who is really contributing does all of this and so much more. It is work. It is called work because it is often hard and it isn’t always about what you are getting for it, it is also about what you become for it.

Perhaps too many people view their job in the wrong way. Instead of analyzing how much time you spend doing stuff, what if you measured how much value you are delivering. The most value doesn’t come from what you’re taking, it comes from what you are giving.

Where are you adding the most value? How much is that worth? Is it cost savings or revenue producing? Is whatever you are doing timely? Will it be the best prioritization of your efforts?

Workplace Contribution

Your workplace contribution matters. It should be measured because we know, “what gets measured gets done.” Value may be a bit nebulous for some, but it makes all of the difference for the organization.

Maybe it is time to start thinking about something different on your commute. Think about how you will provide the most value.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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follow through

Customer Service Follow Through and Bowling

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It may seem that we are a society of quick hits and then run. Nearly anything in business, in marketing, or running your errands is about speed. A quick hit, then you’re gone. Is customer service follow through still important?

Impressed with Service

In many of my seminars related directly to customer service I will ask participants to think about a time when they were impressed with the service they received. Not when things went wrong, not the time they were so angry that they vowed to never return, but the opposite.

Perhaps surprisingly it is often hard for some people to remember the “wow” moments as compared with the bad moments. Eventually though, people can often come up with something. The best customer service is often a surprise. It jumps out at people and creates a lasting unforgotten impression.

Trends for Speed

Nearly everyday someone tells me about the importance of customer service. Certainly, that is most likely because of the work that I do, but it is also an indication that something is missing. People are feeling forgotten, hung out to dry, or worse, that they do not matter.

Perhaps businesses feel it is about the speed. Once the task is completed, it is on to the next. Time is money and our value comes from speed.

Bowling Party

I remember when I went bowling as a kid. One of my friends Dad’s was teaching me how to bowl. He said, “You have to shake hands with pins as you let go of the ball.” At first, it seemed silly, but it became a metaphorical example that I would continue to think about forty years later.

In bowling, we have to continue through with our throw. We don’t just stop our swing when we let it go. When we are first learning it seems appropriate to just chuck it, and hope to avoid the gutter, after all anything after the let go seems like a waste. It is the quick hit and we’re done.

Follow Through

Following through is important though. Certainly, we won’t guide or steer the ball once we have let go, but it is the motion of our throw that guides the path after the let go. If we plan to stop the swing of our arm at the moment we let go we’ll have a much less effective throw.

The same is true for every sales transaction, every customer interaction or touch point. If you let go at the moment the job appears to be done, if there isn’t any follow through, if you are focused solely on the task and then stop, it is not as effective.

When you let go, make sure you continue with the follow through. It will improve your score.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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Paycheck only employees

Paycheck Only Employees and Other Cultural Blunders

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Clients often tell me, “We have paycheck only employees.” Their statement is often a cry for help. Does the available workforce, societal trends, or the culture of the organization create this situation, perhaps it is all three, and many other factors.

Facts and Myths

Certainly, there are challenges with the workforce demographics in many areas. This is not a myth it is a fact. Societal trends, certainly, yes, they also condition much of the attitude and temperament about employment.

What about the organization, is it possible that the organizational culture also affects or has responsibility for the creation of this so-called paycheck only employee?

Find What You Seek

Sometimes we find exactly what we seek. Perhaps a parent cautioned you back in the day, “Don’t go looking for trouble.” Did you listen? Most or at least many probably did. They tried hard to steer clear of what appeared to be potential trouble.

What does your organization seek? Does the help wanted ad focus on money or the job?

This doesn’t mean the amount of verbiage committed to describing the organization or the job; it means what is the attraction point and the culture? What are you advertising? Are you looking for paycheck only employees?

Driven By Emotion

People assess the environment by what they feel. Certainly, many authoritarian environments have executives urging people to remove the emotion, but emotion still guides many of the choices.

The unemotional executive probably doesn’t drive a nice car or live in a nice place, with nice things. Nice things are an emotional choice. Perhaps fulfilling some practical needs, but often also expensive. They are beyond need, they are about a feeling and are driven by emotion.

People are driven (or not) by emotion. What are the cultural indicators in your organization? When your organization offers a job, what is the selling point? Is it money? Is it about a career, a stepping stone, or just fulfilling a need?

The employee who only wants money and the organization that only offers to fulfill that need are sometimes a perfect match. The people are there for a paycheck. Caring on the other hand, that is emotional, it is also optional. You’ll expect higher turnover, you’ll get it.

Paycheck Only Employees

When the environment feels like the organization doesn’t truly care about the employee, the employee really doesn’t really care about the organization.

Advertise what you seek, be what you advertise. Deliver on the promise.

You’ll find what you are looking for, everything else is only about the paycheck.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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cultural generosity

Cultural Generosity, Does Your Organization Have It?

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You can have all of the effort imaginable but it won’t take your team or organization very far if the culture lacks positive flow. Generosity has helped millions of people with many different needs. Your organization needs a positive culture to maximize ROI. Does your organization have cultural generosity?

Cultural Generosity

What is cultural generosity? Have you ever attended a workplace meeting where nearly everyone shows up physically, but mentally they don’t really participate or contribute?

Sure, they like to have their coffee, access to their device, and will grab a couple of cookies or a donut, but are they really present?

In many meetings, you can be the person who contributes. You can be the one who is engaged, participating, and taking risks with your contributions. You are not the naysayer, the wrench thrown into the wheel, or a dark cloud hovering over an otherwise sunny day.

Your presence, your ideas, and the contributions you make add energy. You’ve reviewed the agenda, you did the homework, and you have ideas, potential solutions, and enthusiasm for improvement.

You wave your hand to show you’ll help, offer assistance, or take on the new task. You exemplify cultural generosity and are a great role model.

Fence Sitters

There are also fence sitters. Those who don’t really contribute much but they are watching. Their mission is often not to decide for himself or herself but to follow the flow of the crowd, or follow the political current seems to make the most sense.

Are they contributing to a positive culture? Perhaps, sometimes, but often in efforts that require change it is easier to find the reasons why it won’t work instead of offering reasons why it will.

The fence sitters contribution is weak at best.

Naysayers

Of course, we cannot forget about the naysayers, the passively aggressive quiet one who is cloaked in the corporate uniform but leading a different charge. There is often a smile, but don’t mistake it for agreement. When a smile becomes a smirk, it won’t be doing much to support a positive culture.

In fact, the fence sitters, naysayers, and the passively aggressive watcher are probably taking away more energy than what they are giving.

Practice Cultural Generosity

What should you do? Practice cultural generosity. Make energy, build on others ideas, and offer solutions instead of problems.

Instead of a flow of why it is a bad idea, why things won’t work, or why failure is lurking at every milestone, make a plan to be part of the fix.

The best organizational cultures have positive energy. The secret is to put in more than you take out.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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 encouragement

Career Encouragement, Is It Time To Give More?

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In the workplace, goals are often measured against management expectations, historical data, or industry benchmarks. How do goals align with career accomplishments? Do we need more career encouragement?

Winning Little League baseball teams often pop up out of nowhere from a small otherwise unknown town. The football star was just an average kid who loved the sport and played anywhere a few kids could find a patch of grass. The kid who read books all the time went on to become a PhD, a medical doctor, or an engineer.

Born or Made

In leadership seminars I often ask, “Are great leaders born or made?” Participants stop to think, and ponder this simple question. Of course, in some cultures family heritage has something to do with those in power but in US culture this is not the case.

Leadership is something built, it is learned, and the best are committed to it. Is encouragement required to become great? Does feedback affect outcomes of success or a lack of it?

Encouragement and Trophies

Encouragement became popular with the participation trophy generation. The idea may have been that more encouragement led to great things. Give every kid a trophy, it is encouraging. People forgot though that the reality of life is not always so kind.

Are you building your career? Are you encouraging someone to build their own?

History Says

In the history of the United States, there have only been forty five Presidents. For General Motors, there have only been fourteen CEO’s, and perhaps there has only been one Albert Einstein, one Wernher von Braun, and one Charles Darwin.

Do genetics, family history, or a high intelligence quotient have something to do with success, perhaps, in some ways, yes. Others may cite luck, more opportunity, and the best connections as having a hand in success. Still, success seems to pop up from anywhere.

Encouragement and Confidence

People often become very good at something that interests them. Chances are great that interest sparked and grew to flames when encouragement boosted confidence. When pleasing onlookers felt rewarding and when the responsibility perform felt achievable.

Careers are often built from self-interests and a focus on successive accomplishments across time.

Career Encouragement

Not every ball player will turn pro, and of the many who do, only very few will leave a lasting mark in the record books. Only a few will become President of the United States, few will be the CEO of a century old business, and even fewer will lead monumental discoveries in science or physics.

One thing seems certain though, the people who work for something better and who are encouraged often attain it.

A career is built, career encouragement helps those on their journey to attain it.

Now is a good time to give more.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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less than perfect

Accepting Less Than Perfect

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It is common. Many people believe they are working towards perfection. Do you have high standards? Are you willing to accept less than perfect?

Hard to Attain

The perfect product, the perfect resume, or the perfect grade on the exam and that’s not all. There is more, the perfect hair, makeup, or shoes. What about the perfect timing, the perfect email, or an absolutely perfect website. We can’t leave out all of the work the boss expects to be perfect.

Do any of these things really exist? Perfect is frustrating and on top of that it is nearly impossible to attain.

Perfect is Temporary

There is always someone. Someone who doesn’t like your social media posts, someone who criticizes your best work, and someone who has decided they dislike you and you don’t even know it.

We exist in a World that changes its mind in an instant. What was popular last month, or last week, may not stand a chance today. While you’re trying to find the time to perfect it someone else is launching something new.

Hard to Please

When you say you like the background color blue, someone will say it should be grey. If you like the Garamond font, someone else will want it in Calibri. You watch videos but someone else hates them. You only click thumbs up. Someone else trolls to give only thumbs down.

Yes, it is true, you can’t please everybody. Your commitment to achieve perfection may be pointless. Something less than perfect may be much more enjoyable.

Certainly there are moments we need the perfect parking spot, the perfect timing, and to give the perfect message. Relentlessly chasing perfection may be an addiction you should avoid.

People become addicted to perfect. A feeling of rejection may breed obsession. An obsession with the unattainable is not healthy.

Less Than Perfect

Passion for your product, whatever that is, is admirable. Passion that leaves you empty, frustrated, and questioning your ability to cope is not a good idea.

Perhaps perfect is the wrong idea. Maybe the focus should be on value instead. Value is scalable.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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Emotional labor matters

Why Emotional Labor Matters More

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The daily grind, the grit and effort it takes to go to work every day, to exist in the World of workplace politics, the boss’s pets, and a paycheck every other week. It is what millions of people feel about their job, it is laborious. Do you think emotional labor matters?

Frequent Questions

Many people have great jobs. Many people take for granted what their daily grind provides. Actually, that emotional labor that they are putting in, that is what will matter the most.

What high school did you attend?

Where did you get your degree?

Did you get your degree online?

The questions all appear to matter and they are the essence of the job applicant, the hiring committee, or the card puncher. What may really matter the most is if you have put in the emotional labor.

Attitude, Determination, and Persistence

Emotional labor answers the questions about your attitude towards work, your discipline across the long haul, and your ability to navigate shifting environments.

The questions that really need answered are more about what you’ve accomplished. How do you face adversity? What projects or teams have you led? What is your decision making style? How would you describe your level of integrity? How do you plan for the unplanned?

The online job application and your resume don’t often speak to what you are really capable of doing. The weight of who you are, your strength, determination, and the associated outcomes are not about a piece of paper, or your digital application.

Getting to the door and having it open often comes from your resume or curriculum vitae, but that is just a paper trail.

Emotional Labor Matters

What matters more is the illustration of your emotional labor. That will be the best determinate of your future success.

When people ask my opinion about what will happen next with an employee, a boss, or their significant other, I usually suggest that the best predictor of future performance is past performance.

Put in the emotional labor, it matters more.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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momentum

The Incredible Power Of Momentum

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Jokes often center on New Year resolutions. We hear about the fitness program, the special diet, or the financial savings program. Correcting our bad habits, our vices, and even the worn out tradition will stand a better chance of success with momentum.

Incredible Power

One of the best metaphors for momentum is what I call the train story.

The story is a nickel placed on the track in front of the wheel of a train before it starts moving will make it very difficult to get started. However, a nickel placed on the rail long in advance of the on-coming train and the train will crush it as if it isn’t even there.

Momentum is powerful. Get things rolling and sometimes they are hard to stop.

Momentum does require some energy though, and often care. You have to care enough about the fitness program, the special diet, or financial savings.

On The Job

The same is true for the momentum of anything in our workplace. This is especially true for organizational development endeavors, things such as training programs, coaching, and other developmental activities.

Imagine if we exercised only once every two months, or imagine if we insisted that we were on a special diet but only followed it one day a week. What would our results look like? Simple right, the results would be less than desirable.

When people think about career development, it isn’t a one and done. Anyone progressive is always continuing to learn, practice, and grow. The same is true for employee development.

Momentum

Sure, we can send someone to the workshop or seminar where all the tips and techniques are carefully delivered by an expert. However, if the employee doesn’t practice, doesn’t follow up, or doesn’t commit to continuous improvement not much changes for the long-term.

So many people and organizations treat training and development as an information source. The idea is that we need the information, so tell us. This is often true, and results do occur. Often great results. The biggest struggle though is not the knowledge transfer, it is the continuation of the effort.

We should remember that the power of momentum is not so much about knowing, it is much more about doing.

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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add energy

Add Energy Instead Of Subtracting It

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We make lots of decisions daily. While not everyone believes it, we have choices about our behaviors, situation outcomes, and what we’ll contribute. Do you add energy to your workplace or subtract from it?

Rules are rules and guidelines are guidelines, perhaps more people prefer to work with guidelines instead of rules. Rules are more matter of fact, they are black or white, typically with very little grey.

What if we changed the guidelines? What if the guidelines became more about giving instead of taking? I’m not referring to charity or forwarding a few dollars to a cause, I’m talking about just giving more.

Would Things Change

How would our workplace change if:

  1. Everyone was truthful
  2. There were more offers of help
  3. People owned their mistakes
  4. Assistance was given before the ask
  5. There was more sharing of information
  6. People Cared more about listening
  7. Promises were kept
  8. Commitments were promises
  9. We welcomed different ideas
  10. We had more learning opportunities
  11. There was was encouragement for speed
  12. Employees valued quality more
  13. Fear wasn’t the motivator for action
  14. We gave better feedback
  15. More respect was given

This is the short list. We could continue to explore more.

What about meeting the pace of the customer, could we do that? Imagine considering a draft, just that, a draft, and keeping things fluid. And simply caring more about the outcomes of others instead of paychecks for ourselves.

Certainly, nearly everyone needs the paycheck but does it come before civility?

Add Energy

I can’t think of a business that doesn’t have a human side. Even the most tech savvy, robotics driven environments still rely on having humans at the helm.

Organizations often talk about it, occasionally they throw some energy into it. What if it was part of the guidelines?

Imagine if every person had the goal to add energy? Would it change a few unspoken rules?

– 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 Respect, Navigating 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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