Tag Archives: fear

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fear success

Do You Fear Change or Fear Success?

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We know change is happening, sometimes to our liking, and sometimes not so much. Fear change or fear success, which one do you fear, or is it both? What causes you to think twice about your next move?

Growth is Success

Years ago, I planted one hundred tiny twigs (Ligustrum amurense) in a row across the front of my property. It was going to change the front of my property. Privacy, beauty, and a lot of work.

Successful growth of the plants meant change. Cutting, trimming, care along the bottom, and care on the top. A great place for leaves to pile up in the fall.

Was there some fear of success? Certainly, I had an idea what was coming. There was going to be a lot of work and care involved. I planted them, it worked, things changed.

Fear Change

Any time we start something new, any time someone suggests a change, the fear of success may be just as important to consider as the fear of failure.

Most people blame the fear of failure as the reason people don’t like change. Certainly, failure is a possible outcome, but so is success.

The status quo is comfortable. People know and understand the workload. Groups have normalized (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Bruce W. Tuckman) and are performing. The outcome is generally known, the atmosphere feels stable. There is a sense of safety.

When a change is about to occur, the stability is threatened. There is new risk with an unknown outcome. Of course, if the change fails, not much will really be different.

Considering that change you see coming, do you fear success?

Fear Success

Vinyl, imitation clapboard, is popular for modern suburban home siding. It doesn’t change as often as the wooden clapboard of yesteryear. There is less fear of maintenance. A change that is desirable, no fear of more work, things stay stable longer.

The kids want a new puppy, with a new puppy comes change. Sure, who doesn’t love a cute puppy, but with the puppy comes a lot of care.

A house with a bigger yard, an apple tree, and a swimming pool would be nice. Well, on second thought, that seems like a lot of work.

Change is scary, it is really scary when it works.

-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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need training

They Need Training, As The Leader I Don’t

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More common than you may think, the finger is pointing the wrong way. It seems pretty silly, but authority often gives the power of the point. Pointing to this, or pointing to that, and proclaiming a lack of change is the problem. Does your organization need training?

Adapt or Change

One often forgotten part of training is that training means change. Sometimes the boss will point out who needs training, but in his or her mind that means everyone else needs to adapt to their style and way of doing things.

This could be a great idea. It could also be a voice that screams divide and conquer. Conformity under duress is not consensus.

Scorned Employees

Many organizations have scorned employee teams. Employees who have been punished for trying a new way, expressing a different thought, or not abiding by the directions of the boss. Certainly, this may be a balancing act for any employee, and for their boss.

The best path, the one that feels safe, is the path of not too much or too little, just the right amount.

Why are employees sometimes punished for trying to make things better? Is it fear that causes the punishment?

Fear of Inferior

I will never forget the boss who wouldn’t participate in the playful online IQ test. The boss who shared with me how he will have to, “knock her down a few pegs,” because she spoke out of turn in a meeting. And a boss who advised your only role in the meeting is to listen, not contribute.

Another all-time favorite for the list are the bosses who want assessments for the team but are absolutely not interested the same assessment for themselves.

There are countless times that a business owner has recommended training when the front-line team is not the only place that training is needed.

Need Training

There are so many ways to engage, to inspire, and to lead. The small business owner, the boss, or the otherwise noted workplace leader should recommend training and be open to employee development. Not doing so would be such a waste.

One question the leader should always ask, “Are WE getting better?”

Training applies to everyone.

– 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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Customer Service breakthroughs

Customer Service Breakthroughs Are Limited By Fear

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Often we are told to confront our fears, try something new, something different and to break bad habits or worn out traditions. Could it be true that customer service breakthroughs are limited by fear?

In a service driven economy, the most important cultural value for your organization may be customer service. Many organizations say that they are excellent at this, no need to really change or improve, we’ve got this.

The reality is that the organization never decides about good or bad. They never decide about effectiveness or satisfaction, the customer does.

Best Work

The best organizations do the best work because they care. Not because they say that they care, but because they show that they care. It isn’t really a token, a free item, some coupons, or a survey. It is what the customer feels.

Creating exceptional customer service programs comes with a price. Often organizations know what needs to be done but they are afraid to absorb the cost. There is fear that the cost will not yield the return on investment.

Organizations consider that they could:

  • Wash the customer’s car after servicing it, but that costs.
  • Gift-wrap special purchases, but that costs.
  • Turn up the heat, or turn on the air conditioner, but that costs.

Good Service Costs

The fear in any of these scenarios is that once you start you have to continue. Often there is consideration in doing it for the exception, which seems like a good return on investment.

That is our best customer. Wash her car before she picks it up.

It is the holiday season; ask customers if they want gift-wrapping.

The temperatures are going to be really high today maybe we should run the air conditioner but only during the dinner hour.

Customer Service Breakthroughs

Organizations feel that they care, but when they only care sometimes, the customer often doesn’t share in that feeling. For the organization when it is a one and done, it feels okay, but replicating it over and over again feels like too much risk.

What your organization does next to create a culture of caring will not have much to do with what it knows how to do.

It will have everything to do with what it fears.

– 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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Fear become habit appreciative Strategies

Can Fear Become a Habit, Should It?

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Workplace motivation is stimulated by many factors. Leaders in the workplace are striving for good habits that have positive reinforcement so that success is achieved. Fear is an emotional response and is often an inappropriate motivator. Can fear become an inappropriate habit?

Fear is powerful. There really shouldn’t be much confusion about that. We see fear in action as a motivator all the time.

A storm is coming, better get to the store.

Get the flu shot; you don’t want to get sick.

I’ve heard sales are down, make sure you look busy.

All three of these examples may have relevance and the intended action may even be a good idea, but what is the motivator? Yes, exactly, it is fear.

Facing the Truth

Sometimes facing the truth can be fearful, but often fear will cause action. It is an emotional choice. We may confuse it with a business only (no emotion) decision, but it is still about fear.

Fear isn’t always a bad motivator. Sometimes we have to face our fears in order to achieve more. When we risk little or nothing about the same amount of growth will occur, little or none. Risk involves fear.

Fear and Growth

Admitting the risk, accepting the fear, even saying it aloud may not be a bad thing. Writing it on the white board during the meeting may be exactly the point you need to make. Groan through it or grow through it, warriors on your team will choose growth.

Scaring people into performing with threats is probably never a good idea. Facing fear for growth is powerful.

Should Fear Become Habit?

Moderation may be the key for success. Telling yourself or your team repeatedly to be afraid may make fear become a habit. It may signal the habit of, never leave the comfort zone because it is far too scary. This is likely a habit you’ll want to avoid.

Be brave, speak of the challenge, accept it and grow. Fear as a habit will likely leave you behind.

– 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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Motivation moments

Motivation Moments, Fear, and Desire

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Motivation is really interesting. People sometimes argue about motivation, what works, and what doesn’t. I often suggest that in the workplace people can be motivated through fear or inspiration. Of course, we should be compelled to motivate through inspiration. Have you thought about motivation moments?

Fear or Desire

Consider some of these of moments:

  • The biggest order you’ve ever received
  • Watching a co-worker being escorted off the property
  • A colleague being promoted
  • The CEO being fired
  • Announcement of hiring 10% more staff
  • A new computer system
  • It’s Friday, or Monday
  • A birthday party for Susan, but not for Jack
  • Anger about receiving too many phone calls
  • A calendar appointment for a four hour meeting
  • Your annual review is today
  • You just received your annual bonus
  • The company has been sold
  • People in business suits hanging around that you don’t recognize
  • You job description was changed

Motivation in the workplace has much to do with the organizational culture and climate. It is the actions and behaviors of the group that produce the results. We may ask the question, “What is our focus?” Recognizing that what we focus on is what we get.

Movement is important, so is momentum. Your workplace should be filled with action. What may be most important is understanding the triggers for action. Fear drives change, but so does the hope, faith, and belief in positive change because it is admirable or desirable.

Motivation Moments

People may hurry across the train tracks because there is a something they are excited about on the other side. They may also move fast to get across the tracks when they see a train coming, not thinking or caring about what is on the other side.

Organizational leaders should think carefully about how they motivation moments. The message sent becomes part of the culture. Perception is reality, and fear as well as the desire for positive gain are both motivators.

Keep in mind that fear may cause action, but people sometimes discover what is on the other side is not desirable.

What motivation moments have you spotted recently?

– 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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holding back your career

3 Common Fears Holding Back Your Career

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Many people work hard during their career. Some believe that they are focused and committed to achieving more. Some believe they are creating their own legacy. Others feel stuck or stalled. Which one are you? What is holding back your career?

There is always a lot of chatter about fear and what holds people back. Some recognize their fear, look it in the eye, and overcome it. Still there are others, unfortunately, who claim to be the victim of wrongdoing, tough breaks, and unfair treatment.

It seems that there might be plenty of all of that to go around. Are there fears holding back your career?

3 C’s of Career Stall

Here are three common fears that hold people back:

  • Competition. Competition motivates many people and that is a good thing. Other people really don’t want to compete. It might be easier or safer to hold back, to not face the risk, and just move along. Recognizing competitors is exactly what many career stalls need to get jump-started.
  • Critics. If you are doing anything, achieving anything, making moves and getting noticed you’re definitely going to have some critics. On the highest level, it may be worth listening to a few of their comments, just to keep you moving in the right direction. However, much of it should be left behind or sent to the curb with yesterday’s garbage.
  • Change. Stable, normal, the same—are all within our comfort zone. Change makes us uneasy, nervous, and afraid. You might always order your favorite dish at your favorite restaurant, and that is OK. In order for you to really reach for something more you’re going to have to give up something you’re comfortable with and replace it with something new.

Holding Back Your Career

Honestly, fear more than anything else holds people back. It isn’t a lack of talent, intelligence, or opportunity, it is fear.

We might convince ourselves that we aren’t worthy. The timing might be wrong, the situation not quite right, often it is our own narrative that holds us back from progress.

Let go of any negative fantasies. Use competition and critics as a motivator. Be willing to give up something that you are holding on to.

Cut the cord, break the chain and unleash all that you have.

Stop holding back.

-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 four-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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change readiness appreciative strategies inquiry

Change Readiness, Are You Prepared For Change?

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Ask around, you can find many people who will tell you that they want change. Asking about the desire for change might not be the best question though. You might want to ask them about change readiness.

I often speak to groups about change. I’ve encouraged people to think differently about change in my book, Pivot and Accelerate. It’s common that when I ask people if they want to change or if they are committed to change, they tell me that they are.

It’s interesting though because when it comes to giving up something to replace it with something else they are often not so eager to let go. Perhaps it should be more like an episode of Tiny House Nation, where people are forced to let go of things they might not need.

People who believe that they are interested in changing their future need to discover what they will let go, after all, they want their future to be different, right?

Change Readiness

While there are many things to consider about change here are three important things to think about:

  1. Path of least resistance. This path or something close to it might be what we are naturally drawn towards. There is a good chance that this path won’t produce the kind of change you truly seek.
  2. Test of time. People often cite the test of time. “We’ve always done it this way.” is commonplace when discussions of change pop up. The test of time has relevance, but when you want different results, the test of time might be exactly what is holding you back.
  3. More than one method. A specific course of action is good. It might mean your strategy has focus. Remember though that there is often more than one-way. Insisting on a specific method might limit the potential for a necessary breakthrough.

Fear of Failure

The next time someone brings up the fear of failure, remind them that they really might be more afraid of success.

If you’re serious about discovering more success and you’re willing to give up something to make that happen. Things are about to change.

Are you ready?

– 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 four-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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leadership is patient

5 Reasons Leadership is Patient

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Fast-paced is used to describe the action of many businesses today. In a fast-paced, no wait, needed it yesterday world the best leadership is patient.

Other Side of Fast

We often skip or completely forget about the other side. The side where values and traditions shape the culture for what might be known as the long haul. Certainly, you have to survive the short term to make the long haul but without a healthy culture any future might be questionable.

One of the finest qualities of the best leaders might not be their exceptional pace in the face of pressure. It might be their innate ability to understand the value patience.

Leadership is Patient

There are many reasons that the best leaders value patience. Here are five of my favorites:

  1. Shared effort. When we recognize that buy-in is created by shared experiences the value shifts from fast to patient. A team of eight shouldn’t be a working team of five while three observe. Shared effort means everyone is engaged.
  2. Enrollment. A team isn’t a team without enrollment. Moreover, enrollment is necessary for culture. Individuals enroll to participate. Participation and patience means they’ll stay.
  3. Reduces fear. Poor leadership assumes that one of the biggest motivators for fast is fear. Leaders who are patient understand that the closest hurdle isn’t the last one. Sprinting between hurdles is important but there is more than one leap.
  4. Far sighted. The future of the organization means that there is a future for the tribe. Individuals are best motivated through purpose and they’ll care more about the outcomes when they understand the vision for the future. Patience creates a future.
  5. Doesn’t blame. Blame is the game for fast stops or crash, then burn. Having patience to process through trouble spots and learn from those experiences means that there really isn’t much room for blame.

Patience might feel more difficult, even risky. It isn’t for the short run, it’s for the long haul.

Long hauls require the best leadership of all.

Leadership is patient.

– 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 four-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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Did You Create Buy-in?

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If you have ever been involved in a workplace change effort, you probably already realize the significance of creating buy-in. CEO’s to front line staff often feel responsibility to encourage and support change efforts and buy-in is a significant part of the change process.

Business man at team meeting point flip-chart

Recently I wrote about tips for creating buy-in for change efforts but this leads to additional questions about understanding if, when, or even how to know if buy-in has been achieved. Perhaps worthy of exploration is to consider what are some of the factors that would indicate a lack of buy-in?  Here are a few:

  • Chronic expressions of why the change won’t work
  • Silence or only one-way communication (no feedback) regarding the change
  • Limited or no discussion about any problems or roadblocks, only criticism for the solution
  • Extremely low morale and lack of enthusiasm, poor attitudes
  • Tardiness, absenteeism or worse, employee turnover

If you are a change leader, you’ll quickly recognize that some of these problems are a natural part of the process but that isn’t where it ends. Often one of the biggest challenges for change leaders is not so much about facing the problems, it is the thought or belief that there should never be any. Problems will occur and so will some resistance. Welcoming and carefully analyzing all feedback, not just the feedback that you really want to hear helps change leaders measure not only levels of buy-in but also provides a gauge for progress. Keep in mind that sometimes buy-in is obtained by selling the problem, not by selling the solution. 

Have you achieved buy-in?

Unfortunately I’ve witnessed many change leaders connecting observations of workplace behaviors to success, when in fact these behaviors might be more representative of a deepening problem. Here are a couple of good examples:

“People are just working, there isn’t any conflict.”

“Lately, I haven’t heard of any problems or issues.”

Certainly both of these can be very positive observations, but make no mistake about it that sometimes a lack of conflict really means a lack of commitment and often signals a presence of fear. Fear of retaliation or fears of job loss are two of the most common examples. When you ask people privately, they’ll tell you they are, “just doing my job” or “I not saying a thing, I’m not getting fired.” Any of these circumstances are representation of a lack of buy-in and a lack of commitment to achieve the future vision. Sometimes people are going through the motions, but there is no forward progress.

Buy-in definitely has strong linkages to motivation and inspiration. Individuals and teams that are bought-in are energized. There should be chatter, smiles, and an intense focus on achievement. Change doesn’t always mean that we will like it, but when we understand it we can more easily commit to it.

Levels of buy-in.

Can there be different degrees or levels of buy-in? Sure, there probably can be, and most buy-in is not on or off like a light switch. Many people will give change a try, the key is sustaining efforts that are in support of the vision. Feedback is going to be critical and those involved in the change need to help each other actualize the vision. This is most often achieved by building on each success, no matter how small. There will be obstacles, hurdles, and likely some mistakes, but when the correct path is being followed the intensity of buy-in will grow.

A closing thought, it is often easier to measure the hard costs (tools, equipment, and front end capital) of a change initiative than it is to measure the time required for an organizational (people, culture, values and beliefs) transition.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, 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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Is the Fear of Success Real?

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Nearly everyone recognizes the idea of being afraid of failure. Some people are so intent about never failing that they always play life extremely safe, never really taking any risks. Other people love the idea of risk and don’t worry much about failing. They recognize the possibility of failure but only at a level that keeps them pushing towards the pursuit of their goal. They also accept the idea that sometimes failure does occur and they are prepared to manage it.

040639451-business-people-talking-front-

On the other hand, there are also people who fear success. Sometimes when the suggestion of a fear of success emerges, people struggle to form the connection with success and fear. Is the fear of success real?

Fear of Success

Like its opposite partner, the fear of failure, the fear of success comes in various levels and for various reasons. Based on research and my experiences working with people, especially in coaching roles, here are five of the most common factors associated with having a fear of success.

  1. Maintaining a higher standard. The fear is that you’ll be unable to keep things up at this level. Because the standard will have become so high you will forever have to work that much harder. It feels easier to stay where you are comfortable.
  2. I’m not worthy or don’t deserve it. Self-esteem and self-efficacy are the two most important building blocks for self-confidence. If you’ve been told many times that you’re not worthy, or you can’t do it, or that it’s impossible. You may believe you are not worthy or that you don’t deserve to achieve your goal or obtain a higher level of success.
  3. I’ll lose friends and create enemies. Envy from others can be a major setback for those who have achieved more success. People may resist the idea of becoming more successful because they fear losing friendships or creating enemies. 
  4. Success requires great risk or luck. Many people don’t like the feeling of risk and believe that they are never lucky. Luck and risks are very different, but some believe they are unlucky at everything because they “never win.” The idea is the more successful I become the more my fate rests in risk or luck, so I’m afraid to become more successful.
  5. I don’t like being in the spotlight. This fear is rooted in the idea that the spotlight makes the person uncomfortable, if you don’t like to draw attention to yourself or your achievements you may try avoid excelling at anything or everything.

Surprising to some, the fear of success is real. While it is often deeply rooted in other unrelated circumstances or situations the fear may be enough to make people consciously or subconsciously avoid any scenario that may position them for additional success.

Do you fear success?

– DEG 

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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