Tag Archives: habits

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learning how

Learning How Is Not Where Things Start and Stop

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Learning how is a good step. People often think, “When I don’t know how, someone will help me.” Learning how is important, is it most important?

Today people jump on a Google search, ask Siri, or head over to YouTube to discover some do it yourself tactics. This may work, in fact, it does work for many things. However, the home mechanic, sink fixer, or roof repair skill builders may still be too much for many people and are appropriately given to a professional.

Are there things that you should learn and then turn into a new habit?

Habits Last

Many eager people in the workplace want to learn how. They want to learn how to navigate the system, how to be a better leader, or how to improve their communication.

People go to school, they may attend college, do an apprenticeship, or get formal on-the-job training. All these things can be good and beneficial but learning how is just where things start.

What we do every day has much to do with our knowledge but knowing and doing are not the same.

It is the habits that we form that will create the most momentum. Attitude can be a habit. Approaching work with energy and enthusiasm can be a habit. What we do first, next, and at the end of the day is often based on habit.

Learning How

Learning how is important, but it is also often quickly forgotten. When we find that we need to know we’ll ask again, check the manual, or go visit YouTube. None of those are a bad plan, but they are about knowledge that isn’t retained or practiced. A habit will last.

When we make learning how a habit, and back it up with knowledge gain turned into more new habits we find more success.

Often the secret for getting along, creating a better team, and being a better leader is not based purely on learning how.

It is based on learning how and turning new skills into a habit.

-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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Never coast

Leadership Habit 47: Never Coast

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Good things happen to good people. At least, that is what we often hear. When things are already going good there often really isn’t any need to do anything different, right? Cruising, coasting, or joy riding may be a bad metaphorical position for any leader. Good leaders never coast.

When the marketing plan appears to be working, when sales are flowing and the funnel is big, and when all of teams are working together and the product or service is ready to ship, don’t coast. Coasting is one of the easiest traps for any leader to fall into.

Coasting Problems

Here are a few problems for the leader that coasts:

  • False security, no reason for action
  • Stops learning because of the feeling that all necessary knowledge has been attained
  • Listen to the bottom line, not customers
  • Opportunities go unrecognized since they aren’t needed
  • Systems age or don’t keep up leaving a technology gap

Coasting feels good. It is the confirmation bias of those that follow the idea of good things happen to good people. One problem with that thinking is that most business success, at least that which will continue to grow, doesn’t just happen.

Never Coast

Consider some changes for the trouble spots just mentioned.

  • Action is always important. No plan, or a plan without action is a plan to fail. Sooner or later.
  • Becoming smarter is magnetic. It typically creates more business. Besides, learning is a lot more fun than boredom.
  • Nothing will give you a better clue for where you’re headed than honest conversations with customers.
  • You can’t feed a family (for long) on last year’s crop. There is no room for the sustain mindset, new opportunities are always needed.
  • Prepare to change often, new technology leads the way, nothing has advanced in the last century without new technology.

Anyone can coast for a while. Sometimes the coast is long and steady, but eventually the coast will slow to a stop. In some circumstances, you eventually may start to coast backwards.

Never coast, it may feel affordable, but the true cost is always too high.

– 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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what happens next

What Happens Next, You Always Decide

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There are plenty of financial experts ready to help you plan your savings, your retirement, and where you’ll invest. The idea is that in that near the end, you’ll end up where you planned. What about your career? Do you have a plan for where you’ll end up? One thing is certain, what happens next is up to you.

More Than Work

Work is more than the labor that you can see or touch. It is more than the numbers on the spreadsheet, the product ready to ship, or the size of your sales funnel. Everyone in the workplace is also processing some level of emotional labor. It’s hard to measure and hard to see, but it is happening, every day.

What do you spend ten minutes on each day, how about twenty minutes?

Imagine if you spent ten minutes each day to study something unfamiliar, what would happen? Perhaps it is about best practices for your trade, management skills, or knowing more about the healthiest foods. It could be about auto repair, landscaping, or fixing the kitchen sink.

It doesn’t really matter if it is about business skills, hobby interests, or fitness. When you spend ten minutes each day working on it, learning something new, and practicing it you’ll become better.

What happens next? If you do it long enough, most likely you can become an expert.

Expert In What

Of course, there is always the other side of how you’ll spend ten minutes. You can spend ten minutes complaining about being short changed, how things are unfair, and that the boss is a jerk.

You can spend ten minutes reminding yourself of where you came up short, the mistake from yesterday, or how much money someone else is making.

Alternatively, you could spend ten minutes asking questions about why the woman down the hall is wearing jeans, why the outside salesman isn’t wearing a tie, or how long the boss will put up with a lack of accountability.

What Happens Next

A penny, a quarter, or a dollar only seem small until you collect one each day for five years. Ten minutes doesn’t seem like much until you add it up for the week, a month, or across a year or more.

The difference between who you are today and who you’ll become is based on how you spend your time. It is conditioned by your emotional labor. The product is you. Will you end up where you planned?

Bit by bit, what happens next, is entirely up to you.

– 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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worked yesterday

This Worked Yesterday, So It Will Work Today

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Habits are what carry most people through each day. Self-improvement experts are always suggesting that people should change their habits. If it worked yesterday, will it work again today?

Many people stick with what is familiar.

Right arm in the right sleeve first, it is the way to put on a jacket.

Coffee before any work begins.

The number four combo in the drive-through restaurant.

In the workplace people often groan about boredom. They can’t stand Monday, start a little happy dance on Wednesday afternoon, and are excited for the end of work on Friday. Included in their status quo are the grumbles about their repetitive, monotonous, and humdrum jobs.

They retire there, but before they do, in their final days, they discover something. They discover that it is their chance to leave something behind. Perhaps it is a legacy, a chance to make an impact, a chance to tell the story of how to make it better and why the work matters.

Risk Change

Some of the best companies have failed. Some of the best companies have changed.

People sometimes proclaim, “Nothing will ever change around here.” Yet it is that same story that they work for each day.

Some businesses strive for process improvement through Six Sigma, or other cleverly named methods of perfecting a process. Reduce waste, improve efficiency, and have no defects.

It is fantastic during the build. It accomplishes something. Long term it creates a mindset of perfect it, lock it in and never change. Then there is the concept of continuous improvement, but then people are at odds with the philosophy. Do we change or stay exactly the same?

Habits are micro steps to creating an outcome. They build confidence or destroy it. Lessons are learned, some should be kept and others discarded. This worked yesterday, it took a while to perfect the process, lock it in. It will work today.

What is familiar is comfortable. Habits are supposed to be the process that creates the desired outcome.

If it worked yesterday, it will work today.

Worked Yesterday

Some things never change and some shouldn’t. Some shouldn’t be the way they are, and some should never have started.

One of the best ways to start your day may be with the optimism of your first day.

I am not completely sure what is going here, but I really want to learn something new.

Maybe this is the best habit of all.

– 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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New habits

New Habits Are a Decision You Can Make

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Personal or professional change is always a topic that invokes interest. Many people consider that they want to make a change, make a difference, or discover something new. Have you considered how new habits are about decisions you make?

Wanting New Habits

Someone will suggest that they want to get more exercise, read more books, or learn more about something they have always wanted to do. What is required to make this happen? The quick and easy response is change.

Your days are likely filled with activity. Depending on your work, your personal responsibilities, and your discipline (note discipline, not motivation) you can make a change. The question you may have to ask yourself is what will you give up?

Out with Old Habits

Old habits are hard to kick. Attraction to the path of least resistance is easier than the discipline required to make a change.

I want the chocolate cake is more desirable than I won’t eat the cake because of the outcomes that will follow.

Taking a little snooze while watching some television is easier than getting dressed in some workout gear and heading to the gym.

Having a nice cup of coffee and processing emails or joining in the office chat is easier than calling some clients to ask about the recent service you provided.

Sometimes we can this motivation, but it really is more about discipline.

Requirements

New habits require at least two things. They require you to give something up, and they require you to have the discipline to continue to do the new repetitively.

When I’m coaching people they often can’t see how they will make a change. Their day is full, their time is committed, and their energy and work to life balance is set. It makes me smile because that is exactly why we are talking. They need a change.

New Habits New Steps

Recognizing the need for change is the first step. Next, you have to consider what you will give up. Will it be the chocolate cake, the television snooze, or the smooth and easy flow of what you call the daily grind?

If you’ve decided you need a change. Identify what you’ll give up and commit to the discipline to stick to it.

New habits are possible but only when you decide.

– 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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Better habits

Better Habits And Your Personal Masterpiece

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Do you need better habits? Human capability is amazing. When you study anything historical, you’ll find that the human race has accomplished astounding things in a very short period of time. What you do with your life or your career is often based on simple things called habits.

Many suggest that we are creatures of habit. We spend our lives waking to morning routines, which turn into daily routines, then evening routines, and after some sleep we do it all over again. Is it really that simple? The easy answer is, sort of.

Examine Your Habits

If you drink two or three twenty ounce sodas per day, eat cupcakes and candy bars for lunch, and have pizza four or five times per week you may want to consider some different eating habits.

If you never walk more than a handful of steps between your home, your car, and your workplace, it may be a good idea to get some additional exercise.

We can change our habits. We can eat better with more well balanced meals, we can exercise more, and we can even commit to more learning and personal growth.

The hard part is not knowing what to do. The hard part is changing our habits. Sure, sometimes knowledge is involved, but that theoretically is easy to gain.

Better Habits

What is required for a change in habits?

First, we have to consider giving up what is easy. Society seems to suggest that easy is best. However, taking the stairs instead of the elevator may be a better choice.

Think of everything you do that is easy, the elevator, the nearest parking spot, and the home cleaning service, the pool boy, the landscaper, and fast food. These things are all easy, right?

The second thing we should consider is giving up something we love, pizza or Brussels sprouts, which will it be? What are you drinking? A couple of beers, three sodas, or several glasses of water, which one will you give up?

Personal Masterpiece

Giving up something that is easy, or what we love, is probably the path to a better you. The knowledge of what is required is not hard to obtain. The ideas and paths are plentiful. Having the discipline and persistence to switch to better habits may be much more of a challenge.

You probably already know how to be a bigger contributor to your personal masterpiece.

The question then becomes, “What are you doing about it?”

Ask it often. Give honest answers.

– 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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employee training

New Habits May Come From Employee Training

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The interest in employee training often sparks from a problem. A breakdown in customer service, an incorrect shipment, or supervisors who lack skills to lead, may lead to an interest for employee training. Will it work?

Since I’m in the business, it is something that is near and dear to my heart. Training can be very effective but its impact is often conditioned on many things. Sure, you have to establish a good learning environment, you must have great content, and the flow should maintain both an interested and open atmosphere.

Those are all important, but for behavioral training and soft skill development equally important is the organizational commitment for change. How will the organization embrace new skills?

Learning and Practice

Learning is just the front edge. Much of the soft skill development is not rocket science. True, many people have room to learn more, but often the biggest value isn’t so much in the new material learned, but in replacing bad habits with good.

Establishing new habits is often critical, following up with customers, framing our meeting discussions with respect and open mindedness, and leading through inspiration instead of fear.

Practice will have much to do with success.

New Habits

If I want to get fit, I may know how, but if I only go to the gym once a month I’m probably not going to change much.

When I want a healthier diet, I may have to make time to plan, shop, and have different buying habits. It isn’t always that I don’t know how, it is about my habits.

In both cases, it is also be a commitment of time, money, and resources.

On the flip side of this there is often denial.

I’m fit enough, I’ll just wear some extra baggy clothes, or I’m not really overweight I just don’t like stairs.

This is often true in our personal lives, and metaphorically true for organizations.

Employee Training

Can employee training help my organization? Absolutely it can, it will close knowledge gaps, refresh lost or forgotten best practices, and motivate and inspire employees to make a difference.

However, both the employees and the organization will need to improve by replacing bad habits with good, then repeat.

– 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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Choose choice

Do You Choose Choice Or Not Have One?

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Have you ever felt like you didn’t have a choice? Often the truth is that you have to choose choice.

Habits control much of what happens throughout our day.

When we are under stress or pressure, we often will default to what feels natural, safe, or puts up a wall.

No Choice

People often suggest that they did it because they had no choice.

Sometimes it feels as though life happens to us. Yes things break. Yes, circumstances or situations may be beyond our control. Sometimes life doesn’t cooperate. However, much of what happens next depends on choice.

It feels safer to place the blame on circumstances, situations, or other people.

I’m not applying for that job because I don’t have the degree.

That networking event isn’t for me. I won’t know anyone there.

I don’t know how to do that, but no one recognizes my true skills.

We often imagine we are blocked at every twist, every turn. Our imagination tells us that there are obstacles, hurdles, or gaps that we can’t possibly navigate or bridge. Those are often the easy choices, not the same as no choice.

Possibilities often exist except we don’t see them. We choose not to see them because we are convinced that they are too difficult or too risky. In other cases, we may become trained that a failure means it is over, we won’t go there again.

It is the boy turned down for the dance, the runaway bride or groom, or the interview without a job offer.

The easier choice, the safe one, is to put up a wall, suggest you know the outcome, or simply claim that there was no choice.

Choose Choice

Habits often link us to safety and comfort. Following a habit is not the same as not having a choice.

Will you choose choice? Do you have a choice?

Following the easy choice doesn’t mean that there are no other options.

– 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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Performance affects your career

How Performance Affects Your Career

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Students and professionals alike are often thinking about the future of their career. Our focus often becomes about changing, learning, and growing. All of this is good stuff but is it really how performance affects your career?

Many people buy the book, they watch the video, and they pursue additional education. Certainly, those are worthwhile investments.

Short-term Events

Unfortunately, many of those same people will attempt to position what happens next based on a short-term event. Get the new job, achieve a promotion, and insist on the higher salary. All good ideas, but they are events.

Some change may occur the moment you decide you’re going to make it happen, but getting there is usually a long-term process.

Presenting Problems

Recently, a client telephoned me with an expressed need. In my line of work, we often call this the presenting problem. The presenting problem was what they viewed as a technical issue. They were seeking some technical training but expressed they couldn’t find any training programs that fit.

In reality, the technical skills were present, the workplace habits and culture was the root of the problem. We all know that a problem fixed, that isn’t at the root, is a problem that will reoccur.

Presenting problems and the real problem are not always the same. What they wanted, as commanded by the CEO, was a technical fix. What they really needed was a program related to their technical need but one that reinforces changing their habits and organizational culture.

Perhaps most important is that this organization was looking for an event that would solve their problem.

Change Process

Events may single handedly inspire change. It may create the moment that you decide. Events typically don’t yield systemic change. An event may spark it, but long-term effort is what will create it.

This is true for organizational development. It is also true for individual career growth.

Performance Affects Your Career

Change is a process that includes persistence, tenacity, and consistent effort. It is not just a one-time occurrence, or single event, but a long-term process.

Performance affects your career, but for growth, it will take more than a single event or learning a technical skill. It will be what you develop across time. It is a process of habits consistently repeated.

– 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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