Tag Archives: learning

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filtering information

Are You Filtering Information, Should You?

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What is your understanding of information filters? Should we be filtering information? If yes, what or how should we be doing it?

When you shop online, browse eBay, or look for a book on Amazon, do you use filters? The information filter in these cases helps us to narrow our search, be more precise, and find the stuff we really want.

We may find the shoes we like, the good deal on something gently used, or be sure that we are reading what we want to read. The same is true for the podcast listener and video watcher.

Filtering information may make it easier, better, and faster for us to get right to the information we want. Is this a great thing or a limiting factor?

Easy Filters

What if we only listen to what we agree with? Imagine we only read what makes complete sense or suggests a position that favors our perspective. What about when we only watch news or access videos, movies, or documentaries that we are comfortable with and believe to be the truth?

Are these filters helpful? Information gets in our head, it helps steer us in a direction. It likely guides or persuades our buying patterns, the brands we love, and our view of life as it should be.

Challenging Filters

On the other hand, sometimes we need a different filter. We need to remove the unhealthy criticism, the social media aspersion, or the feedback that breaks us down instead of builds us up.

We need to get out of our head, stop reminding ourselves of failures, setbacks, and unlucky situations. A filter can prevent us from reliving past bad experiences that create a harsh negative fantasy of the doom that awaits or lingers.

Filtering Information

The truth is that filters can help make us believe everything is right, good, and provide the confirmation that our ideas are correct, spot on, and the way it should be. These filters are easy, comforting, and inspire confidence.

The other filters, the ones that cause us to question our judgment, assess our position, or force us to think differently are harder to work with. They test our character, integrity, and ethics. We may feel a pinch, some discomfort, and want to look away. Perhaps we can learn something or should we just ignore it all?

As We See It

We probably need some of both kinds of filters, but remember most of us are not seeing the world exactly as we should.

Occasionally every filter needs cleaned or replaced.

Listen more, care more, and learn. It matters for doing your best work.

– 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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learning customer service

Learning Customer Service Is Important

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There is always a critic about customer service. People say hindsight is twenty-twenty. Is learning customer service important?

Talk to anyone long enough and they’ll share a bad customer service experience. It is easy to analyze the game after it is over.

Customers Matter

It is in the mission statement, the plague on the wall, and clever meme that is on the poster. Organizations always claim that customer service matters.

Show the customer that we care.

Take care of the customer.

Our customers are number one.

Understanding the Critic

The critic does not represent the truth about customer service or the customer experience. What the critic knows, says, or does is not representative of the knowledge of the team.

Knowing how a screwdriver works and being able to use one with precision are two different things.

Delivering exceptional customer service is a skill. When we understand that it is a skill then we also recognize that it can be built, developed, and shaped.

People often quickly scoff at the idea of learning more about customer service because they believe they already know it, and after all, they can point out all the mistakes of others.

The loudest critics may need the most development. Not because they don’t know what it is, but because they aren’t on the field delivering.

Learning Customer Service

Sometimes the learning part is not about what the tool is used for, but it is about how the tool is used. This includes when, where, and the management of circumstances and situations.

There is a difference between screaming from the bleachers, yelling at the television, or commanding it from the C Suite.

Organizational commitment and a culture of the service experience starts with learning but it is only made possible from action on the field. It will take more than knowing what the tool is used for and being a critic when the tool slips.

Learning customer service is always important. It starts inside the organization long before it is delivered outside.

– 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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copycat customer service

Avoiding The Copycat Customer Service Trap

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When you want to become better, you often look for a role model. Someone may call it training, another person learning, and someone else may refer to it as coaching. Training, learning and coaching are a good idea, but make sure you aren’t falling into the copycat customer service trap.

Consciously or subconsciously sometimes we mimic what we believe is working. When we believe what we are already doing isn’t working, we often seek answers from what we believe someone else is doing to make it work.

Copycat Customer Service

When you aren’t sure which button to push on the new soda machine at the popular fast food restaurant you watch what someone else does. When you encounter a detour in an unfamiliar area while driving your car, you may decide to follow the direction everyone else appears to be going.

Some of these behaviors may lead us to get what we want, but in other cases, it may be the wrong path. Perhaps the person you chose to role model has it all wrong.

When we learn by watching, by reading, or by doing, it doesn’t guarantee that it is the right thing. In customer service, someone may be doing just enough to get buy. Is that the height of the bar you wish to achieve?

What is the height of your bar? Are you following the crowd? Do you do what others who have come before you have done?

Differentiate and Dominate

Winning the race by a tenth of a second is enough, but is that really much different from second place?

When you follow the leader the best you can hope for is second place.

The bar shouldn’t be yours to raise one notch higher than the competition. It should be yours to raise as high as possible.

You probably wouldn’t challenge an Olympic sprinter to a foot race, the bar is too high. However, you may challenge someone who with a good effort you believe you can beat.

Have you considered that being just a little better than the competition leaves a lot of open ground and invites others to join in?

When you want your brand to be known as the best make sure you avoid the copycat customer service trap. You may be able to jump higher than you think; which is completely different from jumping high enough to win.

– 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 lessons

Ongoing Customer Service Lessons

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Lifelong learning is a popular concept in many circles. Yet many people quickly disregard the thought of new learning because they believe it is no longer necessary. Are you learning more about customer service? What are your customer service lessons?

People sometimes believe that learning is no longer necessary. It is often the story of the manager, the person with tenure, and sometimes the recent graduate.

The belief may be that the learning is over and what happens next is only about action. Additional training, learning, and even reading only provide a distraction from future accomplishments.

Constant Change

Customer service involves working with people. People and society, values and beliefs, they are always trending, shifting, and repositioning. Products and services fulfill needs and desires which don’t remain the same they constantly change.

The truth is that it is only over for those who stop learning and growing, not for those who consider that there is still more to do. The engineer, doctor, and CPA, they all have continuing education requirements. Not because they haven’t proven their knowledge, but because there is more to learn.

Not One and Done

Many people believe that practicing customer service is simple, easy, and something they’ve already mastered. Stepping closer to reality it might be something that they feel they can easily figure out, so it is a waste of time. It’s the I’ve learned it and I’m finished mentality.

We don’t eat just one meal and we’re set for life. We don’t do one push-up and were physically fit, and just because we can ride a bicycle doesn’t mean we’re ready for a triathlon.

Rocket science might be important but it is not always necessary. Knowing how is much different from practicing how. The best of the best, they insist on more learning, more customer service lessons, and exploring future possibilities.

Customer Service Lessons

Learning comes from the questions you ask, the seminars you attend, and the books that you read. It also comes from bad starts, weak finishes, and failed attempts. It doesn’t stop with what you’ve already learned.

Taking a shower today might be a good idea. It doesn’t mean you won’t need another one tomorrow.

The best don’t develop to then stop. They stop wasting space and time because they’re continuing to develop.

It’s not about what you already know. It is about what you’ll learn and practice next.

– 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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Learning is too hard appreciative strategies

When Learning Is Too Hard

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Have you ever considered how many people want to learn something new but drop out because it feels too hard? What do you do when learning is too hard?

The data indicates that as recently as 2013 more than 2.4 million guitars were sold in the United States. How many new guitar players are still using their instrument one year later? Did they ever learn?

What about a foreign language, how many copies of Rosetta Stone are sold annually? How many people want to learn a discipline of dance, how to cook, or the best ways to exercise?

How many people give up?

We can make many arguments for the cause of giving up. We can blame a lack of desire, a lack of interest, or even a lack of money (or resources) to continue the pursuit. These are all potentially valid reasons, but do some people give up because they find learning too hard? Do they feel intimidated?

Learning Is Too Hard

While it might be an excellent research study here are a few things I’ve discovered that are very important about adult learning.

  • Small steps, big results. Take small steps and continue to build. Stretch goals are great but it is important to balance the feeling of success and accomplishment with the harsh aspects of a relentless push. Big steps might be too volatile and the resulting failure discouraging.
  • Actualize the vision. Anyone who is serious enough to make the investment in money and effort might still need to see and feel the progress they are making. Goals are critically important. No goal, no accomplishment, keep the vision alive and move towards it.
  • Reinforcement. Continue to use all of the foundational skills to build more. Don’t allow space for knowledge relapse. A nice report card is valuable, but use it or lose it still applies.

It seems to me that there are many factors connected with desire and motivation, but getting discouraged might signal the beginning of the end.

Make It Easier

Most people discover that their talents emerge from things they enjoy. They lose interest when the price of effort exceeds the value of the reward.

Make the learning simple enough and people will have more fun.

They might learn to play the guitar, dance, and cook something great!

– 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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learning is fundamental

Sometimes Learning is Fundamental

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Career minded individuals are always interested in learning. Do you believe learning is fundamental?

Many people read books, participate in seminars, or attend a university.

There is little doubt that there is great value in all of those activities. Is that where the best learning takes place?

Perhaps this is good for some things in life. Perhaps this type of learning expands our knowledge, and we know that absorbing more information can be beneficial, even powerful. Is that all there is to it?

Learning from Results

I can still remember when I learned how to tie my shoes, count money, and ride a bike.

I learned by someone showing me the way, giving me encouragement, and maybe a little push. On the surface I guess it would seem that I learned by doing it.

Looking back though, it probably wasn’t by doing it. It was by learning from the missed attempts. I learned from the knots in the strings, getting the math wrong, or by the scratched up knee.

I didn’t tie the strings right the first time because I first had to listen and see the way.

Counting the money correctly was challenging, because first I needed to learn the denomination represented by each coin.

I couldn’t balance the bike, peddle, and steer all at the same time, but I watched others do it and immediately knew it was something I wanted to try.

All of those were components of my success, but they didn’t create it.

It wasn’t until I tried it for myself. Until I risked something, made myself vulnerable, and was willing to accept failed attempts.

Learning is Fundamental

It’s really no different today. Gaining all of the fundamentals are important, but if you’re really going to do something worthwhile you’re going to have to put in a little bit more.

You’re going to have to make yourself vulnerable, accept some risk, and be prepared for failed attempts.

More importantly, you’re going to have to learn from them.

– 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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Do You Have Generational Wisdom?

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Considering your job performance and setting aside the idea of formal education, the number one priority for most people is experience. When we consider having a balanced workplace culture and we set aside the feeling of belonging, happiness, or purpose, our number one desire might be gaining or keeping respect.

Millennial traditional

Working across the five generations that are active in our workforce today we often find that the earlier generations place a significant value on experience while the most recent generations place more value on knowledge. We can also consider that we gain both experience and knowledge when we are learning from each other, regardless of the generation you represent. Traditional’s and boomers can learn much from the millennials and generation Z and vice versa, and that is without even mentioning the savvy generation X people.

Any workforce generation should be interested to learn more about:

  • What are we doing different today, as compared to last year [quarter, month]?
  • What worked well when we most recently met or exceeded our goals?
  • What organizational culture attributes are most consistent and meaningful for our success?
  • Are we implementing new and innovative ideas that are cost effective?
  • How can we better utilize technology?

Your biggest gain won’t come from comparing differences (a common cross-generational challenge) or focusing on problems, it will come as you and your organization gain wisdom. There is something excitingly special and respectful about an organizational culture that asks good questions, listens well, and is willing to learn. They capitalize on opportunity.

The opportunity for wisdom.

– 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.


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Generational Learning

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Working across the generational continuum has its fair share of challenges. Sometimes it feels like more people are just seeking a reason to avoid workplace synergy rather than create it, to find drama instead of eliminating it, and to focus on what doesn’t work instead of what does.

At meeting

When it feels like we just can’t get along and people become weary of interacting with or managing the backlash created by reaching across the generations it might be time to consider how each person you are working with (or against) adds value. When we focus on the value of people instead of concerns, commonalities instead of differences, and see opportunities instead of barriers, we’ll likely position ourselves for greater success, both individually and organizationally.

Many traditionals, baby boomers, and even Gen X employees often believe the most value comes from life experiences while many millennials and Gen 9/11 (Gen Z, iGen) believe the most value comes from knowledge. The longer term employees see weakness in a lack of experience and the more recently educated see weakness in a lack of knowledge or technology skills.

What would you rather do?

Spend a few hours a week learning a few tried and true methods,

spend a few hours a week learning how technology can improve workflow,

or spend a few hours a week discussing what your cross-generational team members don’t understand about the workplace and life?

While this isn’t a love story, it does remind me of a great Meatloaf song [circa 1977], Two out of three ain’t bad.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, 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.


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What Did You Learn

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Do you ask a lot of questions? People are often afraid of questions. They don’t have confidence in how to respond, they don’t know if they should respond, or perhaps they are afraid of the outcomes when they respond.

Planning work

Of course there are people who never ask questions and yet there are people who start conversations with questions. They may ask questions like:

  • What did you do today?
  • What is for dinner?
  • Where are you at?

Sometimes we ask more direct and personal questions, especially if we are friends. Some common questions may be things like:

  • Did you get the promotion?
  • Do you still work at ________?
  • Is your boss still driving you crazy?

Questions are good. I believe questions get people thinking, they express interest, and they ignite conversations. The question I wish more people would ask is:

What did you learn today?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker that specializes in helping businesses accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. Reach him through his website at http://DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Rerun

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The past 150 years tells us there has been a lot of change, the past month or day may not be so obvious. Many would agree we need change, but many would argue about what change is needed. Still others may argue they like things exactly as they are, and no change is necessary.

Gym-CasaVelasHotel

The irony of a world of change is this. When you tell yourself you should change your way of thinking, get rid of bad habits, lose weight, eat healthy, get fit, have goals, continue to improve, or simply learn something new; you may discover that things haven’t changed that much at all.

Sometimes we feel that we have been around the block, across the highway, and down the road, but find ourselves right back to where we started. We do it to ourselves and often we do it without intent.

If you’re going to change something, make sure what you show for your efforts is not going to be a rerun.

– DEG

Photo Credit: Casa Velas Hotel


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