Tag Archives: focus

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your list

Your List Is Your Treasure, Unless It’s a Bad List

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Competition excites many people. It positively excites me. I like analogies connected to winning and being appropriately assertive. People sometimes suggest that they are, “taking names.” Who is on your list?

Taking Names

Many connect the concept of taking names to mean you’re creating a list. Likely, it is a list of people to be excluded, removed, or otherwise outperformed. There may be a few other variations, but I think you have the picture.

Your list is something you may keep track of, stew over, and get angry about. The question to ask then is, “Are you keeping the right list?”

People often want to track those who work against them. They want to be sure that when opportunity knocks, the list will be pulled out, and someone is going down.

I remind people all the time that what you focus on is what you get. A focus on negativity will produce more negativity. You can count on it.

If you are making a list, would it make more sense to keep a list of people who are helping you succeed?

Is there more value to creating a list of the people who support you? The people who really have your back. Those people who are giving of time, attention, and spreading goodwill?

Your List

You may not owe anybody anything, but reciprocity still always has some value.

When you use your time to focus on a list of negativities you’re not only hurting yourself but you’re not honoring those who honor you.

The next time you offer up that you are taking names, make it a list of the good people. Remember their consideration, caring, and unbridled support.

If you are going to have a list, make it worthwhile.

List the good ones. Tell others, find more, build connections, and start a tribe.

You’ll be more successful. Your list is your treasure.

-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.

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more time

More Time, Is That What Everyone Needs?

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Time crunch, needed it yesterday, or we missed the deadline. Have you ever felt like you needed more time? What about productivity or efficiency, do you have those boxes checked?

More Time

Many people believe that they need more time. It is a reason that many executives cite as causing a gap between what is, and what could be. Is time really the problem or is it more about managing behaviors?

It is important to immediately address one common fallacy. Multi-tasking is not a time saver, it can in fact, be a time-waster. Sure, we may walk and chew gum at the same time, but when it comes to brain power or concentration forget it.

Many workplace professionals waste so much time with distraction, they could easily take an extra vacation or two each year. What are some of the biggest time wasters?

  • Distractions
  • Interruptions
  • Poor planning
  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination

You may have been expecting to see things like phone calls, email, or meetings. These items can be a distraction, an interruption, or fall under several other categories. Why aren’t they at the top of the list?

Imagine the importance of your job if you received no calls, no email, and never had a meeting? It is hard to imagine much value in your job if there is no cause for action. The bigger catalyst then becomes about your planning and management habits.

Leadership Efficiency

What about the executive? The President or CEO, that is hyper-engaged in the business? Are they productive?

Some of the biggest time wasters for the executive (supervisor, manager, director, et al) are poor delegation skills, a lack of trust in employees, and perfectionism. The root causes? It all falls back to established habits.

Many workplace professionals feel that there just isn’t enough time.

Maybe, there just isn’t enough focus.

-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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idea strategy

Idea Strategy and Keeping The Best

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Strategy is often cited as one of the most significant factors for success. Certainly, strategy is important, without it people and teams tend to hop from one thing to the next often without any focus. How do you manage the best ideas? Do you have an idea strategy?

It Starts Early

It probably starts for us at a very young age. We keep what we want and we throw away what we don’t.

Your mother or father told you to eat your vegetables, but you may have discarded them, hoping to never see them again.

It may have happened with the coolest t-shirt, the hottest sneakers, or even trends with how we style our hair.

We keep what may be popular, what seems to fit in, or what makes a great new statement. Anything else would seem ridiculous.

As grown adults in the workforce we must navigate political climates, generational challenges, and closely monitor our career path. Does this affect what you or the team decide to do about strategy?

Idea Strategy

The choices often become about keep or throw away. It is a debate of the idea, the concept and interpretation of what will work. It may be about what is trending, hot, or the competition is now exploring.

We attend meetings and strategy sessions. Sometimes we leave there thinking, “Didn’t we suggest that during the last meeting?” or “Didn’t we bring up a few months ago?”

When ideas are thrown away, it may only be temporary. Perhaps instead of throwing them away we need an idea strategy. A method to keep them close at hand. In this case ideas are only set aside for this circumstance, at this time.

Is There Proof?

I remember my great aunt in the early 1980’s suggesting she should have kept her shoes from the 1920’s, the style was popular again.

Who would have thought you could grow to love peas, lima beans, and broccoli?

In grade school I could have never have imagined that shaving your head may one day become cool.

For strategy, keep all the ideas close at hand. Even the bad ones. What may be a bad idea today could be the hottest trend tomorrow.

-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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positive focus

Positive Focus – Find Ten Reasons Why

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People often suggest that they are going to focus on the positive and that they are committed to a more positive outcome. Do you have a positive focus or are you really a naysayer?

Thoughts and Words

A positive focus starts with what you think. It is confirmed, broadcast, and replicated by what you say.

When you start your day at the office, the plant, or any job site talking about the negativity that surrounds your life, you do not have a positive focus.

When you enter the boardroom, attend the strategic planning session, or participate in the meeting you do not have a positive focus if your only contribution is to recite problems.

Naysayer Syndrome

The naysayer wants company, and so does misery. It seems to me it is much easier to build the fear of failure into the equation and be wrong, than it is to risk bringing the solution. Naysayers believe they win either way. Say it will not work and if you’re wrong it is still alright.

This is the naysayer. Whatever others contribute, the naysayer offers why it is a bad idea, why it won’t work, and why to avoid taking the path.

The best way to have a positive focus may be to do the exact opposite of the naysayer.

Be Different

When the naysayer comes to the table, he or she brings with them all the reasons why not. Therefore, your job is to bring all the reasons why it will.

A positive focus comes from bringing ten reasons why it is worth a try. Even if it has been tried in the past. Everything may be different now. The circumstances and situations are different. They players may be different, the timing is different, and yes, even the presentation may be different.

Positive Focus

Do you have a positive focus? Become the person who brings the reasons why. Be farsighted and encouraging. List why it will work instead of setting up roadblocks with why it won’t.

Nearly anyone can find someone to turn to when they want confirmation of doom and gloom. You are the opposite, you confirm that it just might work.

A positive focus starts with the reasons why.

Try it.

– 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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being everything appreciative strategies

Why Being Everything Doesn’t Matter Much

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There is a simple concept that many follow in business, “If we don’t have it we can get it.” That may go along with; we can build it, create it, or do it. Does being everything matter?

It seems logical, feels intuitive, we don’t want to lose the customer or the sale so we broaden our offering. On the job, we’re mostly taught to fill in, lend a hand, and learn something new. Does this make us more valuable, or less?

Like many things in life, some of this may be situational. It probably helps a lot of people most of the time, but when we really want to stand out or do our best work it may be the wrong approach.

Focus and Risk

We may call this our focus. What are the things that we do really well? What are our core competencies? In what ways or areas do we deliver our best work, build the best product, and set higher standards with our talent?

Focus feels risky. When we say we can’t do that, get that, or make that, it feels like business lost. It may be, and most can’t afford to give up anything, or so that is the feeling. On the other hand, when someone needs an expert, a specialist, and the best who will they call?

There are plenty of analogies about why focus makes sense. For example, for those who are industrial minded there is the torch that cuts metal. A broad flame isn’t concentrated, it doesn’t get as hot, a finer flame focused on a specific spot will cut through the metal.

Depending on backgrounds, industries, or even rural versus urban demographics there are analogies of the shotgun approach, spray and pray, or stories of you can’t be all things to all people. Is being everything smart?

Being Everything

When your focus is too wide, when you try to be everything to all people and all situations you might be lessening your value. In fact, you might accomplish much less. You may start a lot of work but you can’t seem to finish anything.

I’m certainly not suggesting you don’t lend a hand, build something custom, or order the one thing that is hard to get for your valued customers. At the same time, keep in mind that hauling a wider load doesn’t make the trip cost less or get you to the destination faster.

– 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, Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours!, 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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help a perfectionist

How to Help a Perfectionist

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Many people might quickly agree that the drive to do things right is a good quality to have. Can it go too far? How do you help a perfectionist?

Many psychological studies have found that perfectionism correlates with depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Interesting stuff, but for the most part I’ll leave that to the professionals in that field.

Perfectionist at Work

Perfectionism is an interesting part of our workplace. While it is almost always important to strive for exceptional quality we are also challenged with time, efficiency, and meeting the demands of the bottom line.

Perhaps the hardest part for the perfectionist is letting go. At least that might be the presenting problem. The real problem though might be overcoming fear.

Here are three common problems for workplace professionals and perfectionism:

  • Productivity. Time management is often out of balance for the perfectionist. They spend so much time perfecting the work that they lose track of the delicate balance of exceptional quality and speed.
  • New Projects. Often there is a reluctance to start new projects. Not only does the perfectionist feel a loss of control over the work, but they are extremely fearful that the outcomes might not be good enough.
  • Delegation. When they recognize how hard they have to work to produce the quality they feel is required, they might feel certain others won’t measure up.

Help a Perfectionist

Helping a perfectionist has its challenges. Getting them to let go is important but it is not the act of letting go that has to be overcome. It might be quelling their fears about negative outcomes.

Try illustrating these points:

  • Sometimes there is value to releasing work for additional feedback. This is most helpful before spending hours on something that might be rejected, or worse no longer needed. Think draft.
  • Professional growth often doesn’t come from just from their individual contribution but more from replication and team efforts. Others can learn to do the work. Teach them.
  • Encourage them to consider that perfect is more about creating exceptional results in minimal time. Therefore, mastering the balance of quality and time is the true perfection. Release more work.

Sometimes the best way to help a perfectionist in the workplace is to give them something different to focus on.

– 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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Coaching Yourself to Achieve Your Next Goal

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There are large numbers of people who chit-chat about their next goal. They have some ideas, talk about them, and perhaps give some fuzzy deadlines. Will coaching yourself work?

coaching yourself

Goal setting helps with vision. When you move forward step-by-step you are taking action. Action creates results, and you’ll need to actualize your vision.

Whenever you set a goal and actually put your body, mind, and heart behind it your chances of accomplishing something increases, dramatically. What sometimes stops people is that you also increase the chance of failure, setbacks, and disappointment.

Goal setting can sometimes be kind of funny. The bigger your vision the easier it is to make an excuse to quit. Better yet (actually worse yet) you might choose to just never get started in the first place. Sometimes people would just rather not face any disappointment and stay stuck.

Coaching Yourself

Here are a few points to keep in mind as you pursue any goal:

  • Make it realistic. What can you do to start the process moving forward? Monitor baby steps. Allow enough time.
  • Put time on your side. Disappointment often sets in because we hear about flash diets, short cuts, and quick fixes. There are none, be patient.
  • Be sincere with yourself. “I think I can,” is different from “I will do this.” If you want to program yourself to get there, don’t use wiggle words.
  • Focus on the next step. Sure you want to see the finish line, but you’ll never get there without the next step. If you only look towards the finish you leave room for doubt about the next step.

Talking about change or transformation is easy, making the pivot is harder. Often people find ways to talk themselves out of action instead of into action. If you’re coaching yourself you still have to pay the price of commitment.

– 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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A Bad Mood Ruins Everything, Lose It!

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Do you notice when someone is in a bad mood? Do you notice when people appear to be in a good mood?

bad mood good

You’ve probably heard it before, “Attitudes are contagious!” The same might be true for people who are in a bad mood.

People often find what they are looking for. Are you looking for an argument, you’ll probably find one. Are you looking for others just as angry as you are, you’ll probably find some. Stop.

A bad mood ruins everything.

In my profession, I hear about people with bad moods often. If you want to stifle workplace energy and motivation throw someone with a bad mood into the mix.

Can we change our mood? Absolutely, and it often begins with understanding a little about emotional intelligence. How we perceive our workplace environment, the culture, and other people will typically have a big impact on our mood.

Here are a few tips to help replace a bad mood, with a good one.

  1. Focus on tasks at hand. Bad moods often develop by reliving a negative experience. Stop dwelling on it and move forward. You’ve got work to do, stay focused.
  2. Recognize benefits. What are the benefits of being in a bad mood? I can’t think of any. What are the benefits of being in a good mood? More relaxed, less stress, helps others, and so many more!
  3. Stop comparing. Many people feel that someone else has it better. A better life, better relationships, and a better job. Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead compare yourself to your next goal.
  4. Realize that life is short. If you’re often in a bad mood at work or about work consider that as a person you only have so much time, why waste even a minute of it being in a bad mood. Be thankful for your job or find a new one.
  5. Look for good mood people. Have a sense of curiosity and appreciation for good mood people. They’re out there but you might have to change your own mood first. Next, find two or three of them and then act like a crowd.

Perhaps nothing will zap your energy, give you a headache, cause you harmful stress and burn you out faster than when you are in a bad mood.

Good moods mean everything.

You might consider that moods happen, but you’ll decide if you stay with it. One answer is to grow your levels of emotional intelligence allowing you to spot the negativity and replace it with positivity before it brings you or others down.

You might not be able to control what happens in your environment but you can control how you react to it.

Put yourself in a good mood.

-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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Blind Spots Can Be Managed, Right?

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How do you recognize blind spots? It seems realistic that you don’t know what you don’t know, but what should you do?

managing blind spots

Everyone probably has some blind spots. Something with their personality, their drive, or their leadership ability that they just don’t see or else they fail to acknowledge.

First Steps

If you’re looking for personal improvement you might consider that you have at least two areas to assess. You’ll have to manage what you know that don’t know, and you’ll have to learn more about what you don’t know that you don’t know.

Sounds a little tricky but consider thinking about it like this.

You might recognize that you need to learn more about being an effective communicator or managing conflict. You’ll also probably recognize that you’ll have to set some specific goals to improve your skills and reduce wasted time, effort, or other inefficiencies. This is what you recognize that you don’t know, or that needs improvement.

Blind spots are different because they represent something you don’t know or recognize. Otherwise, they fall into the first category and they aren’t really a blind spot, right? Blind spots might require you to become more socially aware, ask others for feedback, or consider some careful self-reflection.

Recognizing Blind Spots

In the workplace we might have some common areas for blind spots. Here are a few of them:

  • Ineffective Decisions. You jump in too quickly, or you fail to consider data, input, and benchmarks. Of course the opposite can be true too. You overanalyze or inappropriately anchor to input, observations, or past experiences.
  • Goal Management. You set unrealistic goals or goals that might be attainable but only with increased resources, capital investments, or time, none of which you might have. This results in chronic failures, setbacks, and reduced morale.
  • Perfectionism. A belief that you have to be perfect at everything. Causing burn out for yourself, your team, or creating a feeling of nothing is ever good enough. Time might be wasted or misused.
  • Poor Listening. Failure to solicit input from others, or a belief that others have little to offer. Failure to discern fact from opinion. Listening to respond instead of listening to understand.
  • Wrong Focus. A chronic focus on issues or problems that aren’t directly connected to the goals or mission. Perhaps being concerned only with a personal agenda instead of what is best for the group.

Managing Blind Spots

No joke, the first step might be admitting or recognizing that a blind spot exists, this is often half of the battle. Once you know of a blind spot you’ll need to take the appropriate corrective action.

Consider how you might learn more. Find articles, books, podcasts, or videos that relate to appropriate corrective actions.

Attend workshops, seminars, or select related sessions at an annual conference or convention. Too often people attend sessions that they like which may not be what they need.

Get coaching, mentoring, or otherwise seek feedback and recognize that although sometimes painful, others might have a point or they might be right. Stay open minded and reflective, not all feedback is well constructed or appropriate but be receptive to listening more.

Be committed that there is more to know and ways to grow. Focus on developing your greatest talents while also improving some weaknesses.

Can blind spots be managed? Yes, when they are recognized.

– 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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5 Tips To Spice Up Your Motivation

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Do you ever wonder how some people find the energy or motivation to keep pushing? Have you ever felt like you were once very motivated but now not so much?

business people in a meeting at office

Motivation has much to do with your mind-set and your mind-set is created, built, or maintained by your reactions or interactions with everyday life. Would you like to spice up your motivation or bring back the pep to your step?

Here are 5 tips that will help:

  1. Change your input. As a one-time computer programmer I remember the days when we talked about GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) and the same is true for your motivation. If you are chronically plagued with naysayers and negativity it will be difficult for you to break free to become more motivated. Consider reading a book that excites you, watch a movie or YouTube video, or subscribe to a blog that gives you daily motivation and inspiration.
  2. Celebrate others. Sometimes you might find yourself feeling a little trapped and unable to break free from what seems like your fate to underachieve. Look around you and find others who are experiencing emerging success. Instead of feeling envy, help them to celebrate their success, congratulate them, and build them up. You might be surprised to learn their achievements have not come easily and you’ll find new ways to achieve more.
  3. Focus on your purpose. Consider why you do what you do or why you are pursuing your goals and objectives. For example, the purpose of your job might not be about earning money, it is about providing for your family or paying for the house or that car you love so much. Find meaning in what you do, go deeper to understand why, and consider that sometimes your purpose is about the journey not the end result.
  4. Talk with others. I sometimes joke with people that they should find two people who are motivated, join them, and act like a crowd. You can walk into a room and feel the energy, or you can feel the defeat. Surround yourself with people and situations that are uplifting not downshifting. When you feel a bit of their excitement it will often renew your own.
  5. Take a break. Persistence is something that will definitely make a difference for your life, but like most living things we also require sleep, nourishment, and sometimes a mental or physical break. Doing things in smaller pieces instead of all at one time not only helps to keep things in perspective but it also improves the quality. Consider where you’re going, and that you probably can’t get there in one fell swoop, so step back from time-to-time, get some rest, and refresh.

Motivation is a very individualized process and sometimes people get very motivated by pushing harder, working harder, or even focusing on things that they don’t like or that make them angry. The great news is that it is your choice, and you get to decide what motivates you the most, or motivates you in a particular situation.

If you get a burst of energy from proving you can do 25 pushups because somebody told you that you couldn’t, then go for it. If you get a burst of energy from watching a Rocky Balboa marathon on television, then watch it. If you feel alive and excited by making a difference for someone else that might be in greater need than you, then do it.

– 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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