Tag Archives: problems

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easy strategy

Easy Strategy, Jump In To Get Started

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What you accomplish today may be based entirely on a tactical approach. Roll up your sleeves and dig in, soon someone will have a “fire” for you to fight. Is there an easy strategy, or is this it?

Solving Problems

People often take great pride in being the workplace problem solver. Yet at the same time they wonder how they’ll accommodate the strategic needs that their job demands.

In truth, most things are easy to say and harder to do. As we’ve all heard, “Easier said than done.”

Saying it is critical. Chances are far greater that it will get done if it is said first, without being said, good luck.

Congratulations, so now you’ve said it.

Is Everything Urgent?

Getting out of our own way is also easier said than done. We know the urgency to close the sale, the urgency for better quality, and the urgency to ship.

For the workplace leader jumping in has never been more important, but always jumping in is perhaps not the best strategy.

Urgent problems become fewer with more strategic direction.

Easy Strategy

When we develop strategy, it consists of objectives, goals, and a tactical plan to make it all come together. Getting overwhelmed and stuck in the tactical approach isn’t part of an easy strategy.

Stuck doesn’t mean that there is an absence of motion. Motion should never be confused with reaching the objective, unless the objective is motion.

A rocking chair gets a lot of motion but it doesn’t go anywhere. The same is true for your spin class or an amusement park carousel.

Jump Correctly

If you are going in circles every day. When you are tactically putting out workplace fires, fighting the good fight, and being part of the team, you may be getting a lot of good work done, are you really aren’t going anywhere.

Considering all your commitment to ship, the easy strategy feels like you should jump in.

Jumping in often isn’t a strategy at all. It is a lot of motion that accomplishes important stuff, but it seldom solves the real problem.

Avoid confusing process with product.

-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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offload problems

Do You Offload Problems To Your Customers?

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Have you ever walked the path of least resistance? Do you look for the easy route to build product or provide services? Easy is often viewed as advantageous, in the short run at least. That advantage is less cost, but at what price? What happens when you offload problems?

It seems to be the nature of what many people and businesses do. They offload problems. They look for the short cut and the cost savings. The thought is, we will do this because the customer won’t notice or doesn’t really care. By the way, it saves us money or causes a return visit.

Customer Engagement

Our cars get a check engine light, but we have to purchase a code reader to get the code. Why doesn’t it just tell us the code?

You can put your trash in an outside a can, but you have to bring it to the curb for collection. Later you search for the lid around the neighborhood because it has blown off in the wind.

Why are there no baskets or shopping carts deep inside the store? Who is that easy for, convenient for, or designed to help? Of course, we know the answer.

Standards are Set

There are many other ordinary (for today) life scenarios. Why do I have to change the clock in my car, my cell phone does it automatically? Do I really need a frequent shoppers card, when I always pay with my same credit card?

Why do I have to have a login and provide a password for every software application? Better yet, why has my software migrated to a subscription service? When I buy a hammer I don’t have to keep buying it every month.

Offload Problems

I’ll often ask participants in my customer service seminars, “What are you doing that punishes your customer?” When you answer this question and remove the punishment, you will delight your customers. Delighted customers bring you more customers.

Every time you take a short cut in design, engineering, cost cutting, or easy for you, you sabotage your customer’s experience.

This is exactly why customer service is about a culture, it is not about a department.

– 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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Brainstorming session

Brainstorming Session and You Have a Seat at the Table

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Many engage in their job role hoping to get a seat at the table. They often wish for the chance to participate, to tell their story, and offer their idea. Have you been invited to the brainstorming session?

Seat at the Table

We know how to act when we’ve been invited to the birthday party, a holiday meal, or even when we are out for dinner with a few friends. We grab a seat at the table and we prepare to eat.

Many people take this opportunity to eat as much as they can. It is a feast. People dive deep and sometimes eat more than what they probably should, but it is not just another meal it is an event!

Chances are good that they have considered many items on the menu. Perhaps, they have even tried a few items that they were unsure about, perhaps something completely new or different.

When you grab that seat, you have an idea what is about to unfold, lots of eating. If you aren’t prepared to eat there really isn’t much reason to have a seat at the table. In fact, you probably shouldn’t take a seat at all.

A similar scenario exists in the brainstorming or problem solving session. If you are not going to dive in deep, if you refuse to consider things you haven’t tried before, or if you believe you are already completely full, don’t take a seat.

Big Problems

Most problems an organization faces that require a brainstorming session are big. If they were small and simple they would have already been solved.

The thought is that big problems require big solutions. Ironically, many of the problems that most mainstream businesses face today are not as big as they appear.

Brainstorming Session

How to ship on time, how to reduce the friction of the customer journey, or the risk associated with forecasting the ROI of the marketing campaign. All of these things are often only limited because someone is in the way. They are occupying space. They have a seat but they aren’t eating.

Many organizations get stuck, stalled, or stopped by someone sitting at the table who believes a roadblock or the status quo is better than the open road.

If you are invited, grab a seat, but only if you intend fully participate.

– 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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When Your Boss is the Problem

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You’ve probably already heard a version of this, but there is a popular phrase that has been around for years. It goes something like this, “People don’t quit companies, they quit their boss.”

041119997-tired-worker-work

I’m not sure who deserves credit for those words but many times this is an absolute truth. What you’re about to read isn’t going to take a shot at your boss or support destructive behaviors to teach your boss a lesson. There is already too much of that in our workplaces and society.

What is most important is how you will navigate challenges related to working with your boss, and do it with poise, confidence, and (hopefully) with mutual respect.

The best boss on the planet isn’t necessarily the quietest, the loudest, the sharpest, the funniest, or the most serious. A relationship that you share with your boss really depends on both of you.

If you’re reading this you probably have self-identified that there are some challenges in your relationship with your boss, so let’s look at a few common possibilities to improve your interactions.

  1. Mutual Respect. Chances are probably good that you feel you could benefit from receiving a little more respect from your boss. Giving first in order to receive is always a popular resolution gesture. While it may seem challenging at times, try to consider ways that you can show more respect to your boss, perhaps it will then come back to you. In fact, the root of your disconnect might originate with either or both of you feeling a lack of respect.
  2. Trust. Both trust and respect are critical. Do you trust your boss, or vice versa? Be forthcoming with trust. Does your boss trust you with assignments or do you feel micromanaged? Trust must often be built, if you feel somewhat micromanaged consider how you can increase your bosses comfort level (tips) with your work. If trust concerns are rooted in confidentiality then consider what has weakened this, often it is connected to behaviors or misunderstandings like gossip or body language.
  3. Listening. You might feel like your boss doesn’t listen to your contributions. You most likely won’t change the behavior of your boss so you’ll need to think about how you can adapt. Have you considered your approach? Do you email, do you make your approach in the hallway, or schedule a meeting? Change or adapt your approach to get more focus and undivided attention during your discussions.
  4. Rejection. Have you felt rejected? Most feelings of rejection associated with your job are likely more of a refusal rather than a rejection. Your boss might refuse your idea or refuse to accept some of your work but that doesn’t mean it is rejected. Any time you feel rejected consider viewing it as a right of refusal, do some re-work and try again.
  5. Mind-set. You might have a past with your boss that has led your relationship to this place. Keep in mind that your approach to all of your interactions will have a lot to do with your confidence. The more confident you are the more compelling your message will be. Consider how you might flex your style to adapt because your boss isn’t likely to change to fit your needs.

Relationships are often hard work. In other cases they might feel natural and free flowing, so much so that you can become invisible with your boss or co-workers. If you feel some discomfort in your relationship with your boss chances are good that feeling is mutual.

So the positive part of this situation is that you are likely on the radar scope, you are noticed.

Make the best use of your visibility.

– 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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Outlast It

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Weather storms build, they may start out softly, but build to a peak intensity that can be very damaging. The same is true for storms in our personal lives, with friends or family, and even while on the job.

TropicalCyclone-Wikipedia.org

As the intensity of a storm builds to its peak, the probability of damaging anything in its path increases. It is at this point the storm causes the most trouble, the biggest problems, and is the toughest to fight. If you can outlast its desperate onslaught it will eventually start to decline, weaken, and dissipate into such a small and minuscule event that you may wonder why you had so much concern in the first place.

In our workplace and personal lives storms are also the strongest right before they dissipate. The key to managing the storm is to be able to outlast it. Sometimes we forget or take for granted that the storm is building to a peak. Often we worry that we cannot outlast its fiery onslaught and we have to remember that we’ll have the hardest fight right before the winds shift, the tables turn, and the situation pivots to our advantage.

You may be facing the biggest storm of your life, it may feel like it’s getting stronger and stronger, but remember it is always the strongest right before it dissipates.

Outlast it.

– DEG

Photo Credit: Tropical Cyclone, Wikipedia.org


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