Tag Archives: value

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constructive contributions

Constructive Contributions Are Valuable In The Workplace

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Conditioning plays a role in much of what we do. As children or young adults many have learned to keep quiet, to not say anything, and just sit back and observe. However, it is constructive contributions that will have an impact on your future.

Speak Up, Listen, Contribute

Many people are afraid to speak up. It may be from ridicule, from the risk of being wrong, or because past experience has taught us it is safer without comment.

There is value in listening more, and many people should practice better listening, but what things are going unsaid?

How many times have you sat in the meeting with a thought on your mind but you failed to share it? How many times could the lost sale, lost client, or lousy performance have been prevented?

Measuring Risk

The value of constructive contributions is very high but like many high value items it is often very rare.

People often measure risk in the wrong way. What is riskier, speaking up, or watching the team go down the wrong path?

It may be alarming the number of times that things go unsaid. Of course, sometimes inaction may be the right action. How do you know what to do?

Constructive Contributions

When you paraphrase, you often increase understanding and limit miscommunication. What is the risk or the harm? Little or none.

When you build on others ideas for the benefit of the decision, there is little effort wasted and the quality of the decision improves. You also invite future contributions.

When you take a chance, leap, and risk with thoughtful, constructive contributions, you may change the outcome. You may invent something new, better, or appropriately encourage redesign.

The best job security, the highest probability for a promotion, and the insurance of a future for your organization may exist through constructive contributions.

While there may be some risk, the value is great.

Ante up.

-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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measure productivity

How To Measure Productivity Through Metrics

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Overwhelmed, too busy, and unsure of exactly how to save yourself? Join the crowd. People everywhere are concerned about improving personal efficiency. How you measure productivity is a good place to start.

Metrics

Most measurement begins with metrics. In our digital world personal productivity often includes metrics centered around email processing. Ask someone how busy they are and chances are good that their inbox will enter the conversation.

Doing whatever pops up and identifying that you are busy may be a fact. However, you shouldn’t confuse the fact that you are busy with productivity.

I had to process over one hundred new email messages.

My boss sent me six new to-do’s in the last half-hour.

I didn’t have time to answer your message, I had to process three days of backlogged email.

When helping businesses form strategy I often suggest that many individuals and businesses can get caught up in “firefighting.” This is a tactical approach to solving problems which can slowly erode strategy.

Metrics, such as the number of email messages processed may be valid, but don’t make the mistake of confusing metrics and measurements with productivity.

Keeping Busy

Proving that we have a lot of motion and that we are busy should never become a metric.

The digital relationship builder can amass new social media friends, connections, views, clicks, likes, and shares but that doesn’t necessary mean that they’ve built a single new relationship. The numbers are there. Is the relationship?

We can make metrics improve which will cause busy work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve created progress or value.

Measure Productivity

Often the most confusing part about strategy is understanding the difference between tactics and goals. Seldom is there a need to make executing a tactic a goal. That is more about motivation rather than strategy.

There is a related concept to measuring productivity. Many people believe being busy is a measurement of accomplishment, thus being better at being busy means improved productivity. It could, but often it is just busier.

Do you really want to measure productivity? You can start by measuring the value of the outputs from all of the work that you do.

Keep in mind that metric improvement may be a fact, but did you create any real value?

-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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limits

Limits or No Limits, What Matters More?

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Focus helps remind us that staying narrow, working within boundaries, and limiting distractions accomplishes goals. Should you work within limits or is it better to know no limits?

What Fits?

When we prepare a package for shipment we can only fit so much within the box. Our suitcase for the trip, same thing. Airplane carry-on rules, the same.

If we could fit everything, there wouldn’t be much decision about what to take. We’ll just take it all. When we have everything we could possibly need there really isn’t a reason to focus. No need to pick the best or the most appropriate.

If we had all of time, nothing ended, it just kept going, forever, there really wouldn’t be a need to be selective, there would always be more. What would really matter the most, perhaps no one would care.

Limits help make us choose to do something better, make something more meaningful, and discover what matters the most.

Matters More

When the car only holds five passengers, not everyone can go. The metaphorical seat on the bus (Jim Collins), not everyone will fit. It causes us to be selective. As the bus starts to fill, the selection matters more.

Certainly, working within limits can result in thinking small, but the concept that there are no limits doesn’t seem to accomplish much. It may help push the envelope bigger, but if the envelope is never filled not much really matters.

If your business could market to everyone, all the time, and there is no cost or saturation point your advertisement may not have to be that good. Just do more.

Limits

Limits make things hard. They make it hard to achieve perfection, hard to get things just right, and hard to make the best decisions because in that moment, within those limits, the decision made, is final.

The best work happens within limits. What is created with focus, precision, and just enough but not too much, creates exactly what is the most desirable.

Anything without limits has little value. It is available everywhere and all of the time.

Here is a box of stuff, now make something.

– 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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worth it appreciative strategies

What Makes You Worth It, Not Cheap

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People become so fixated on price, the price of gasoline, the price of the combo meal, and the price of your data connection. The pursuit of cheap is often a slippery slope. What makes you worth it?

Looking for Cheap

Unfortunately, some people don’t care about better, they care more about cheap. This lasts for a while, until they discover that cheap is more expensive.

I bought it on eBay, it was NOS (new old stock) but now I’ve realized it is used. It broke the first time I used it.

I grabbed the lowest priced coffee for our coffee maker. We have clients coming in today. It tastes terrible.

The repair shop gave me choices on a new battery for my car. I picked the cheapest one, now my car won’t start, the battery is dead.

So many frustrated people, the shortcut often doesn’t get you there faster and the lower price will often cost you more.

People and Organizations

This is true with nearly everything, and true with both people and organizations.

They go a little cheaper on their marketing or advertising budget. Sales haven’t been the same since. In fact, they are now worse.

Employees need training so they make it mandatory that everyone watches the video. Employees learn something new, but fail to understand how to apply the knowledge. There wasn’t an expert available to answer the tough questions. Now you have attorney fees and employees to replace.

They need a warm body to do some work, so they find the employee who will work for less. They ship the wrong product, provide poor service, and the organization’s reputation is changed forever.

Good Choices

As people, we have a choice. There are choices made and consequences of actions in every one of these examples. Is cheap worth it?

Make a conscious choice to not be cheaper, but to be worth it. Whatever you are selling, standing behind, or building a reputation on, don’t be cheap, be worth it.

Worth It

Do the hard work, work longer to make it better, stay late, come in early, provide reliability, be trusted, learn more, have some fun, and most of all, care.

The smartest people and organizations, the ones that really matter, they will notice. Everyone else is only interested in cheap.

It is a slippery slope. Be worth it instead.

– 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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workplace contribution

What Is Your Workplace Contribution?

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Often people view their workplace as a place to earn a paycheck. Certainly for work outside of volunteering this is a truism. Should more people be assessing their workplace contribution?

Many people begin their commute with nearly the same intentions every day. Go to work, get to my work area, start my job, do a few things, and then go home. For some it is much more than that.

Building a Career

People who are engaged, those who want to make a difference, those who are building a career often have a little different viewpoint.

When career minded people go to work, they break things, they fix things that are broke, they build something, risk something, make decisions, have accomplishments, please a customer, help a co-worker, and occasionally fail in any of these attempts.

Where Is The Value

The person who is really contributing does all of this and so much more. It is work. It is called work because it is often hard and it isn’t always about what you are getting for it, it is also about what you become for it.

Perhaps too many people view their job in the wrong way. Instead of analyzing how much time you spend doing stuff, what if you measured how much value you are delivering. The most value doesn’t come from what you’re taking, it comes from what you are giving.

Where are you adding the most value? How much is that worth? Is it cost savings or revenue producing? Is whatever you are doing timely? Will it be the best prioritization of your efforts?

Workplace Contribution

Your workplace contribution matters. It should be measured because we know, “what gets measured gets done.” Value may be a bit nebulous for some, but it makes all of the difference for the organization.

Maybe it is time to start thinking about something different on your commute. Think about how you will provide the most value.

– 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 performance review appreciative strategies

Finding The Truth About Your Performance Review

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The performance review process is interesting to say the least. Despite the moans and groans that go along with it, many organizations adopt a process of an annual or semi-annual review. Is your performance review honest, effective, and well managed?

Mismanaged Reviews

I can provide dozens and dozens of stories and examples of how the process is mismanaged which ultimately leads to the belief that performance reviews are a waste of time and effort. I have to admit that if they are not well managed, they probably are not very valuable. In extreme mismanagement, they could even be detrimental.

Unfortunately, often the process is done at the last minute, or supervisors give employees who they favor accolades while blasting someone who did something wrong yesterday as if it represents an entire year of wrong doing. All of this is of course, wrong.

Do you want to know the truth about your performance review? Do you want to understand how to improve?

Your Performance Review

Consider doing the review yourself. Yes, this can be done, and if you manage it properly it can be very beneficial. You could also ask a few peers to provide some honest feedback.

your performance review

To get started the best way is ask yourself some tough questions, here are a few to consider:

  1. What have I pushed myself to learn recently?
  2. What am I doing better at?
  3. Is my communication clear?
  4. Am I listening well?
  5. Have my sales skills improved (Hint: We all sell.)?
  6. What mistakes have I made recently and what did I learn from them?
  7. Are my goals appropriate (do I have goals?)?
  8. Have I met or exceeded goals?
  9. Who have I helped and who will I help next?
  10. What value am I bringing to my job role and how can I bring more?

One of the best parts about your performance review is that you can do it often, check back regularly, and provide yourself with honest feedback.

Certainly, you may have some blind spots and it may be hard to recognize the expectations of others but if you consistently review yourself you’ll likely bring more value to the organization.

– DEG

Originally posted on January 8, 2018. Last updated on May 11, 2018.

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 value

Difficulties Are Customer Service Value

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Habits are the basis for most of our work. Individually or organizationally, we tend to be creatures of habit. If we want to improve, we know the story of replacing bad habits with good ones. Do the challenges we face really create customer service value?

The path of least resistance may be the easiest one to follow. It may also be the most crowded.

Easy or Difficult?

Most people probably go for the low hanging fruit. It is the easiest to pick, uses less energy, and it may produce more than what we need or can consume. Organizations love low hanging fruit, and will pick it all day. They often end up in the path of the many.

It is hard to sell in a crowded market. Unique feels risky and is harder work, but it is probably where there is the most value.

When your business does more than what is average, more than where the crowd goes, and pursues beyond the low hanging fruit it may become unique.

In a service-based economy, where do you want to be positioned? It seems that standing out in a crowd may make the most sense.

Customer Service Value

The customer experience you create likely won’t provide great value when it is just like all the rest. Having exceptional levels of service will not be the path of least resistance, it is not picking only the low hanging fruit. Standing out will take resources, time, and will be difficult to maintain.

When we consider what is the most valuable, it is probably connected to what is scarce, not abundant. Being average is easy. It is plentiful and abundant.

Habits form the basis for our work. They are directly connected to the culture. If you want a culture that thrives in a service economy, you are going to have to be unique.

When you do the difficult work, you’ll stand out from the crowd. You may also be recognized as highly valuable, not because you are one of many, but because you are scarce.

What do customers see in a service economy? They often see little need for loyalty in a market where there is abundance.

Competing on price is a model. So is providing the most value.

– 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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understanding of customer needs

Understanding of Customer Needs and Needing Customers

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Unfortunately, it is common that something we love changes. Despite the seemingly popular love for a product or service, it is suddenly taken away or changed. Do you know a product or service that should be more understanding of customer needs, instead of chasing things because they believe they need more customers?

There is a lot of push in our society, and I’m a firm believer that we need more pull.

Bigger or Changed?

Here is a great example. How often do you go to the supermarket, places like Wegmans, Weis, or Kroger, only to find it is being rearranged, remodeled, or in some cases rebranded? This is mostly about profit, not about loyal customer convenience.

Interested in some more examples?

There is the website the changes its login, your account information tab, or easy reorder features or location and colors. Not because it doesn’t care about you, but because instead it wants to focus on new traffic.

Have you considered the small restaurant, the mom and pop, that had fantastic food and excellent service until it doubled its seating capacity?

Let’s not forget about the technical sensation at work who gave up the technical job to become the manager instead. Now he or she is trying to understand why the motivation is gone and the work fills meaningless.

All of these scenarios signal the same type of thinking. As people, we often chase what we feel we need. In business, many businesses chase what they believe that they need in order to become bigger, stronger, and better. Does it all work out?

The best answer is probably, “sometimes.”

Understanding of Customer Needs

Here is what is most important, getting bigger, rearranging for more margin, or changing it up to capture new customers doesn’t guarantee anything. If fact, it may create a loss of exactly what brought people in the door in the first place.

Just because change seems warranted, just because someone didn’t like something, or just because it seems like the coolest new trend doesn’t mean it will make anything better.

Remember where you came from and how, follow that lead.

– 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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generous customer service

What About Generous Customer Service?

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The unwritten rule today may be to give as much value as possible. Give, and give, and give, until you feel like you can’t give anymore. Generosity, like beauty, may be in the eye of the beholder. What about generous customer service, do you deliver, who says?

Generous Customer Service

Of course, we have all already figured out that getting something for nothing is probably costing someone something. Most often today, something given as free when it is on the edge of a transaction is really the underlying hope for reciprocation. As both vendor and customer, we understand.

A free baseball cap isn’t really free, it comes with the assumed obligation that you will wear it or perhaps gift it forward. The same is true for the free t-shirt with a business logo, or the stickers, magnets, or wall calendar. Everyone seems to understand, or else they really don’t care.

In our attempt to give a lot, establish the return visit, and create loyalty are we hurting our customers? Is every touch point about giving?

Do You Want It?

It might be the 24-inch long cash register receipt for the purchase of a single item. The request to go online and fill out a survey or get a coupon for a product we may want to buy on our next visit.

Could it be the extra flyers, brochures, and the new catalog that comes in the brown box, did you pay shipping and handling charges? Is free shipping really free? Perhaps but most people recognize that somehow that is built into the cost. It is an attractive gesture though.

What about the club card, the interest free loan, or the buy ten and get your next one free on your next visit?

Is It Generosity?

Are all of these things of value to us, or do we really just want the best price with quality and value that meets our expectations? Do we get what we pay for?

Do you deliver generous customer service?

Says who?

– 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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why empathy

Why Empathy Will Advance Your Career

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People show up for the job interview prepared to talk about how they are technically the best fit. They focus on the mechanics, the knowledge, and their life experiences. The truth is that those are all important but have you considered why empathy will advance your career?

Today’s job market has interesting challenges. Many employee seekers find many job seekers with more than adequate technical skills. Have you considered what might be missing?

Some suggest that job seekers are missing skills connected with Emotional Intelligence of which empathy is a significant component.

Why Empathy

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Communication. Employers want great communicators. They’ve heard repeatedly that communication is problematic from team members. When everyone is so technically skilled, businesses are looking for someone who offers something extra.
  • Understanding. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is having an understanding. Employers need team members that are able to reach across the generations and other workplace bias to create team success. Emotions drive actions and behaviors. Those with empathy skills harness it.
  • Easy is average. Demonstrating that you can play in the sandbox and consider another’s point of view that might be different from your own is not always easy. Most people do what comes easily. Empathy will positively set you apart from the crowd. Everyone else is average.

Empathy Adds Value

Additionally, businesses can outsource much of the technical skills if necessary. When projects back up there might be services and options from an external source that can get things moving again. They can’t easily outsource empathy. It must be developed or come as a package.

Do you want to advance in your career? Is it possible to be the resource that is exactly what businesses need but very few possess?

Consider your Emotional Intelligence skillset and be sure you are including empathy as a core value.

– 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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