Tag Archives: skills

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scarcity

Why Scarcity Should Be An Abundant Career Philosophy

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Influence and persuasion are popular topics in consultative sales. Today it seems we often must have a good reason to make a business deal. There must be a need, but what really closes the sale? Scarcity may be the nugget you’re missing, especially related to your career.

Philosophy of Scarcity

There has been a lot of work on the sales process and the power of influence and persuasion. One of the front runners is Dr. Robert Cialdini, who is a leading authority on these subjects.

Dr. Cialdini, has included as one of six principles of persuasion the concept of scarcity. He is not the only person to study these concepts and many sales and marketing leaders live by the value of scarcity connected with selling.

Scarcity is a simple concept. The product or service is worth more or needs to be acted on now because if you don’t, you’ll miss the opportunity.

It is the road sign with, “Last gas for 150 miles.” or “Next rest stop 68 miles.” Suddenly, you’re considering your needs.

There is more spin off. The idea that the price will increase, there will be a rush on demand, or it will never be offered again.

In these cases, the value seems to increase. It’s an opportunity to close the sale and get good margin.

Why Scarcity

Scarcity should be important for everyone. It should be important for the commission sales person, the savvy marketer, and even for individuals who aren’t directly in the front-line sales process.

Because scarcity drives value it reinforces your need for skills. Not everyone is an Industrial Psychologist, not everyone is a Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA), and not everyone is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

While these occupational credentials may not be extremely hard to find, not everyone has them. As a result, businesses will pay more for their expertise.

When was the last time you considered the uniqueness of what you offer?

If you’re a commodity, easy come, easy go.

-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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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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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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Attitude everything

Is Attitude Everything or Just Something?

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Recently someone asked me what makes an employee special. The conversation was centered on a particular employee known to both of us and how he, or why he, was promoted. My suggestion was that his attitude made the difference. Is attitude everything or just something?

Skills and Attitude

Skills are important and nearly everyone focuses on skill building. Is attitude a skill? We know that hammering a nail requires a little skill and a little energy and there is labor involved. The same is true about attitude. We often just don’t understand the aspects of emotional labor.

Most jobs require specific skill. Therefore, nearly everyone has demonstrated that they have acquired the skills necessary to do the job. You don’t have to look far to find someone who has more experience, a different or better education, and perhaps even some natural talent that sets them apart.

Leverage and Labor

Recently, I was asked to speak to a small group about entrepreneurship. One of the underlying principles of my talk was about leverage. In my business, leverage is everything. Most of the work, the marketing, and the building of intellectual property, it is all leveraged.

Leverage and your emotional labor are what sets most people apart.

People pursue the degree, not a bad choice.

People work hard and for great lengths of time, which is reputable, respected.

In the workplace, people with the wrong attitude are seldom promoted.

Your knowledge, skills, and abilities are only the minimum requirements. Consider the decisions and choices that people make throughout the day, for many days, for the time that some people will call a career, this is what makes the difference.

Is Attitude Everything

When you endure the emotional labor, you’ll create something.

Prove you have the ability to navigate the political currents, adjust your habits, set your ego aside, and work to help not just to finish. Most of all, when you bring your energy, demonstrate resilience, and show up better than the rest you’ll have leverage.

Is attitude everything? Your attitude is not just something. When attitude is what you stand for, you’ll stand out.

– 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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Your Best Work

Doing Your Best Work and Getting Your Card Punched

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Chances are good that the job market in your area is very competitive. It may also be a possibility that opportunities for advancement within your organization are highly competitive. Are you doing your best work?

Career minded individuals certainly believe that they are.

Honing Your Skills

You work hard to hone your presentation skills. You intentionally put effort into networking and building relationships. In many cases you are continuing your education either formally or informally.

Simply put, you are career conscious and focused on growing.

All of this work. All of this effort seems like the right thing. You get your card punched every step of the way. You have the mechanics of career improvement covered, you’re positioned.

What often happens next is that you start worrying about the wrong things. You worry if you said something wrong at the luncheon. Perhaps you didn’t give enough kudos to the boss, or when the CEO asked a question you jumped in to answer but later felt that you gave a silly response.

Your Mission Objective

Your mission has been to build all the key ingredients and then get visible. It is a good plan. The only problem may be that it is the plan of many. So many that now you just blend in. You aren’t exceptionally special, unique, or the perfect fit. You are the same fit as everyone else.

As a result, you are not standing out. You are blending in.

Maybe it isn’t that hard. Maybe the card punch isn’t as important as you once believed.

Your Best Work

You might get hired without the degree, without the certification, or even without the perfect resume.

Sometimes getting the card punched is not as important as doing the work that you do. It is probably always a good idea, but it doesn’t make you stand out.

Great work on the other hand, usually does.

– 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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career patience appreciative strategies

Career Patience and Emotional Labor

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People interested in career advancement get pretty excited, they typically don’t lack motivation or drive. When is career patience important and how do you endure it while time passes by?

Your career is important. It is often how people measure their worth or success in life. Today many people have multiple careers. They may change from fire fighter to schoolteacher, or from sales person to a marketing expert, or any other role change you might imagine.

Employment recruiters and human resources professionals can tell you a lot about job seekers and career changers. They can share popular trends, what to look for, and even about how long to expect to wait before a change.

Although the earliest of the baby boomers weren’t big on career changes. Today career changes, job changes, and advancement seem almost necessary. People sometimes feel like it is a requirement to prove your worth.

Not so fast though, don’t jump too far ahead. Sometimes the best moves involve more patience.

Career Patience

Right sizing your patience is important. After joining an organization or team how long do you wait for advancement? Trends might be different depending on the type of work, but chances are great that the trends are shorter now as compared to forty years ago.

Senior leaders might question if you are ready. They might argue that you haven’t paid your dues. Often the suggestion is to have more patience. Is that good advice?

When we join a team we are often hired with a minimum skill or education requirement. We are framed to be competent because of our expertise, proven record of accomplishment, and qualifications. Job hops are evaluated and an interview or two tries to determine your character, attitude, and your ability fit.

Do you want to grow in your position? Are you ready? Have you proven yourself?

Your career is often not about just showing up. It isn’t even about your technical skills, your education, or your track record. It may have more to do with emotional intelligence and even emotional labor.

Emotional Labor

When you have to have patience yet be assertive, and when you have the skills, qualities, reputation, and experience, what is missing?

Sometimes we have to be willing to be patient. Patience is emotional labor. It is the work that we do without a manual, a technical skill, or background check.

Emotional labor is what we endure. It is the dress for success, speaking the language, and effectively representing where we want to be. It might be developing into the perfect fit.

We don’t always get the new job or advancement and then grow into it. We might have to grow out of the job we currently have first.

Demonstrating career patience may be the most hurried thing that you do.

– 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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mentor and coach

The Difference Between Mentor and Coach

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In a recent article I wrote about how to find the right mentor. It sparked some additional questions. One important question might be what are the differences between mentor and coach?

When you are considering the idea of having a good mentor or coach in the workplace it is important to think about the end result. What are you really trying to achieve?

Outcomes and Experiences

You might want to use a mentor when you are trying to create any of the following:

  • Job shadowing
  • Developing specific skills
  • Learning the ropes
  • Following in the footsteps
  • Replicating

A coach on the other hand would be somewhat different. Consider a coach to help create the following:

  • Breaking new ground
  • Discovering alternatives
  • Exploring choices or direction
  • Replacing old habits with new
  • Connecting with purpose

Mentor and Coach

Mentoring might assume that the mentee is ready, willing, and able to take on a new job role. It would be used when you are trying to transfer the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the mentor to the mentee. In some ways you might also connect these same concepts with an internship or apprentice.

Coaching is different but it also assumes that the person is ready and willing to be coached. In some cases it might be viewed as an opportunity to get on the right track. In other cases it is to inspire growth. Coaching typically is not show and tell. It is more about discovery and direction.

Skill Sets

A mentor needs to know and understand the job requirements. They need experience in that role, or to be a good professional role model. A mentor would likely use examples of actions and behaviors that lead to job success. I sometimes suggest that it is an advanced form of job shadowing.

A coach may or may not have specific experience in the job. The coach often needs to be able to help the coached person discover alternatives, different paths, or new directions. Show and tell is less important. The ability to illustrate and ask without being seen as condescending holds more value.

Do some mentors use coaching techniques? Do some coaches have the ability to mentor? The answer to both is yes.

– 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, 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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Great Technical Skills, Lousy Leader

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You hear about this often, someone who was a rock star technically was promoted to the manager position. Now things are falling apart. People with great technical skills are the best candidates for internal promotions, right?

Great technical skills

It seems like the easy answer is, yes. The caveat is that throwing the best technical people into more advanced positions often requires advanced training.

Great Technical Skills

A best-in-class engineer isn’t always prepared to be the Manager of Engineering. A mechanic who can fix nearly any car might not understand how to be successful as the Shop Manager, and of course, the best machine operator might not have the skills required to become the Manufacturing Supervisor.

None of this means that they can’t do the job. They are probably fantastic candidates, but they also might require some training to really be successful.

Most noteworthy might be the skill requirement differences between being a successful technical employee and being one who leads and manages other people.

Technical Employee Skill Requirements

  • Dependable
  • Knowledgeable
  • Accountable
  • Thorough
  • Accurate

Leadership Skill Requirements

  • Good communicator
  • Critical thinker
  • Delegator
  • Change agent
  • Conflict management

Perhaps everyone would benefit from some of both, but often the greatest technical people aren’t as skilled at being a leader.

It is a natural flow for any business or organization to advance their greatest front line people. Of course, it makes sense to promote those who have proven themselves with engagement, commitment, and the knowledge of what the business is, and does.

Most of all, it makes sense to give them the opportunity to advance their skillset through training and development. Since they are an investment, prepare them for the challenges that they’ll face when they move from a technical position to a more advanced role.

Otherwise, you might consider that failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.

Big Surprise

What is most surprising about all of this? Nearly everyone understands this simple concept, but it seems commonly overlooked in practice.

Have you ever encountered someone who was superb technically but then failed as a leader?

– 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 Skills for Transitioning Supervisors

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You have to start somewhere and probably most of today’s best workplace leaders were once just part of the crowd. Transitioning from working as a peer to becoming a supervisor isn’t always easy, but with some energy spent in the proper areas new supervisors can make it look easy.

Visionary employee thinking of development

It happened to me, one day your just part of the team and the next, well, you’ve become a boss. While there is a certain amount of pride and admiration associated with your new role, there is also a lot of fear and the possibility of conflict when supervising those who you previously worked with as peers. There are many skills that should be addressed and there are numerous books, seminars, and coaching or mentoring experiences available that can save you time and a lot of frustration. This is important not only for the person transitioning to supervisor but also for those who are now direct reports.

While it is difficult to highlight only a few, below are five skills that every transitioning supervisor should master:

  1. Ability to build trust. Everybody seems to understand the need for trust, but very few put in the hard work required to create it. Trust is often challenging to build and can be taken away in a moment. Work with your team to minimize complaining and blaming, make a commitment to decisions and actions, be available, and be consistent. These are considered to be some of the most fundamental building blocks of trust, know them, do them, and you’ll be on your way to a more trusting environment.
  2. Use empathy. Many new supervisors feel a lot of schedule pressure; they are often still doing much of their previous role only now they are also responsible to supervise. New supervisors are sometimes reluctant to get involved in problems because honestly, they don’t believe they should have any. Remember that empathy is not sympathy, empathy means that you don’t necessarily agree or disagree but that you have some understanding of a situation or problem. Being more empathetic means improving your listening skills.
  3. Become a better listener. Listening is not the same thing as hearing, it is a developed skill. Listen with the intent to develop an understanding. Make time to listen, listen to learn and not just to formulate a response. Make every attempt to break down barriers, filters, and stereotypes. Often when we feel that we really know someone we formulate our opinion before they speak, this is known as framing, and if you do it, stop.
  4. Purposely collect feedback. As much as you may feel some discomfort in your new role, those who now report to you also have to get a feel for this new environment. Be very open to feedback, in fact, work to collect it whenever possible. Place value in conversations and avoid chronic use of electronic (email) communication. Connect face-to-face, through video tools, or by telephone and develop the new relationship as a supervisor and direct report.
  5. Have conversations not confrontations. Make all of your communication clear, open, and honest. Always work from facts not opinions and base any difficult conversations on observations and not hearsay. The use of vague language or glossing over issues only contributes to the problem. Praising an employee is easy, addressing difficulties may be more challenging but when the communication is open and timely it reduces the feeling of confrontation.

It’s important for supervisors to commit to the time and resources required to advance their skills. While sometimes the method of transition is to merely give a title, a small salary increase, and turn you loose, it is never too late to work towards improving your supervisory (managers, directors, et al) skill set. Every strong supervisor today started someplace, never forget where you came from, but it is where you are going now that might be most important.

Transition wisely.

– DEG

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

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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The Principle of Patience

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We want it when we want it, and we want it now. Drive through restaurants, television and music on demand, and online purchases with overnight shipping.

050698495-teamwork

Much of the urgency is often cited as a millennial or generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen) trait, a characteristic that illustrates a lack of consideration for anything other than I get what I want when I want it. This is not exclusive to the youngest generations and people from every generation have developed expectations built with urgency in mind.

Should workplace teams consider patience as a guiding team principle?

Consider that teams often experience a lack of patience when the workload is distributed unequally and only a few team members carry a majority of the load. In these cases, the desired short-term goal is achieved but long-term consequences can, and often do, emerge. The consequences of an uneven balance of workload can destroy employee motivation when team members compare individual contributions and determine they only want to work as hard as the person who is doing less.

It doesn’t end there. The person who has fallen behind and had their contribution (or portion of distributed workload) completed by a faster moving employee often doesn’t develop the commitment or buy-in since they are not as connected to the work or project. No buy-in often means a significantly strained, or worse, a failed project or change effort.

Fast, now, or overnight is certainly desirable, as long as the principle of patience guides the work.

– DEG

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

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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