Tag Archives: workplace

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goals matter

Why Goals Matter For Interpersonal Workplace Change

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Change surrounds us, all of us, that is important to keep in mind. Are you convinced you need a change but you can’t get your arms around how to make it happen? Goals matter for change efforts. Do you have a goal?

Sound Familiar?

Nothing ever changes around here.

Here we go again. I’m so tired of this.

He or she will never change. 

Three popular versions of a never-ending story. Why is it never ending? Because there isn’t a goal, it is the wrong goal, or the pursuit is inappropriately or poorly executed.

Many people have a wish that their boss, their co-worker, a direct report, vendor, customer, or other stakeholder will change.

Breaking news, you most likely will not force them to change. It is nearly guaranteed.

The real effort needs to be a focus on what you can do to change your circumstances or your interactions with those people who you wish would change.

Simply put, you likely won’t change other people but you can change your reactions or interactions with them.

Goals Matter

Your goal will matter. Your goal cannot be to get someone else to change to accommodate your interests.

You can get started by answering three important questions.

  1. What do you need to be different or change?
  2. What role do your actions or behaviors play?
  3. Do you have boundaries identified and set?

Define what needs to change. This is really your goal. Sometimes it helps to state the future in the present. Establish the goal and be specific.

Next you need to understand your role. What behaviors of your own have invited this scenario or situation to start, continue, or grow?

The third important part of your change is to define the boundaries. In the workplace it may be things like the use of your time, your personal space, or even noise.

Unfortunately, many people expecting workplace interactions to change do not have any of these items defined. You can’t create change without them.

-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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workplace stories

Workplace Stories, What Is Your Story?

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Conversations are everywhere, even digital text-based conversations. Workplace stories are path setting. What is the story trending around the office, the plant floor, or the job site today?

Much of the World as we know it is based on a story. Not everyone believes the same story, but regardless there is a story.

There is a story behind our evolution, there is a story that grounds our universal coding for years (B.C. and A.D.). There are religious stories. Stories of great leaders, army’s, wealth, and devastation.

Story Incubator

In our workplace, any ordinary day may continue with the same old story. When there is a change, a shift, or the pattern of the environment slides the story may change.

There is the story of who will be promoted and why. The story of the philosophy of the new boss. And even more personal drama such as workplace romances, who is getting divorced, or who has trouble at home.

Any business that has been around for a while may have cyclical shifts in revenue. Some expected, and some perhaps a surprise. In a downturn, there will be stories about what is happening, who is to blame, and the tribe will start discussing who should go.

Many organizations set out to squash the story. Stop the discussion. They’ll attempt to break up small groups and they will disperse hoovering supervisors.

The challenge really isn’t to stop the discussion. The challenge is to change the story.

Workplace Stories

Certainly, there may occasionally be some misfortune, some economic hardship, or drama fueled rumors. There also may be growth and expansion rumors, who is getting promoted, who is getting hired, and who just got a raise.

There is one thing true about all stories. Stories drive our actions and behaviors.

Today, tomorrow, and for the legacy of your career or the organization, have you thought about the effects of the stories you tell? Keep in mind, you’ll be remembered and identified by your stories.

What is your story?

-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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trusted truth

Trusted Truth Is The Path For Consistent Success

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Persuasion seems to happen without purpose. People talk about what they like, what they saw, and how it felt. Are your messages trusted truth or just your opinions?

You have probably heard to be cautious when dealing with the used car salesperson. The used car salesperson is a stigma, a stigma often associated with getting you to buy in to just about anything that is being said.

Opinions are Slippery

In everyday life people typically speak through opinions.

We ate at the best restaurant.

We watched this movie last night, it was the best movie ever. 

I don’t go to Starbucks. I go only to Dunkin Donuts their coffee is so much better. 

In the workplace it takes on a different form.

The staff meetings are always boring.

He never completes his work on time and is always late.

I know the boss hates me. She criticizes everything I do.

All these statements may be far from fact. Are they trusted truth? Unlikely.

The best restaurant is an opinion. Words like always boring, never on time, and criticizes everything are probably nothing more than an opinion.

One of the biggest challenges for all this rhetoric is that those who are not really listening treat it as trusted truth.

It gets even worse when interactions are so opinionated that it is a truth when the message is delivered by one party, but another different party is shamed to not have any credibility with a similar message.

Trusted Truth

When you really want to make a difference in your conversations. When you want to bring trusted truth to your meetings and other workplace interactions you have to deliver facts.

Facts are much more consistent and reliable. Your operation, values, and beliefs when based on facts have greater merit. Operational systems work better and produce consistent results. Outcomes are more predictable and qualified.

Nearly always, your opinion cannot be a trusted truth.

-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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personal frame

Personal Frame and Where We Belong

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We tend to put everything in a frame. Our favorite pictures, a diploma, and even our capabilities. Others put us in a frame too. What is your personal frame and does it help or does it somehow make you less?

Work Frames

We attend meetings at work. The entire meeting and its associated outcomes are often conditioned by a frame. Some like the frame, some strongly dislike it.

The frame helps give it all structure. It may speed up processing and at the same time it may limit positive change and prolong problem resolution.

The people within the frame, are framed.

After working with others for some time we tend to have a feel for what they’ll say and how they may say it. We have an idea how they’ll interact and where they will stand on a subject.

This too, is both good and bad. There are positive and likely negative consequences.

While you are inclusive in the frame, you also have your own frame. A place they have placed you. Psychologically, they have given you a label. Smart, silly, bossy, quiet, big ego, or even a push over. People believe they know what they’ll get.

The real question then becomes what frame have you placed yourself in?

Personal Frame

Do you believe you belong in the meeting? Are you good enough, too good, or growing into it? Are you more of an observer, just wanting to have a seat at the table to keep a pulse on the action?

You’ve given yourself your own label. It is the place where you fit. As part of the group you know the ebb and flow, you will likely follow it, always.

It may be confidence, or a lack of it. Your personal frame will guide everything that happens next.

Avoid labeling yourself as not good enough, inferior, or not belonging. Chances are good you’ll live up to your own expectations.

-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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models

Role Models & Marinade, Underneath It’s Still Chicken

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Who are your role models? Many will suggest that role models are important for success. Not to be copied or duplicated, but to learn from and expand your intellect, value, and worth.

Have your role models created an unrealistic expectation?

Expectations and Reality

On social media it seems that everyone is living the dream, they have the perfect beach picture, the kiddos birthday party, and the hottest car. They also have a flawless complexion, the best smile, and the brightest eyes.

Dr. Hook always wanted to see his picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone. A sense of accomplishment, value, and worth. The feeling of, we made it.

Role models, an image, is it all that it is meant to be? Are role models a positive tactic or do they create unrealistic expectations? Is reality TV really a reality?

Confusion of fantasy and reality seems much easier to create today.

False Perceptions

Technology connected to social media helps us change images, improve complexion, and whiten teeth faster than we can get fries at the McDonald’s drive through lane.

Mainstream news channels feature anchors who are prepped with makeup, hair, and the perfect outfit. We have movie stars with capped teeth, cosmetic surgery, and what appears to be a life of glamour. Yet, they’re all just people.

Role Models

Role models are valuable. They can help us learn and grow. They can give us something to aspire to, motivation to put in the hard work, and develop a sense of pride, accomplishment, and worth.

Role models can also set unrealistic expectations, increase anxiety, and lower self-esteem.

It is always important to keep in mind that underneath all the glamour, the fame, and the clever filter used on the picture, we are all just people.

The President of the business where you work, just a person. The glamour model who looks perfect, just a person. Your friend from high school with the perfect family, kids, and career, still just a person.

You can throw some chicken in marinade for hours, it may look different and taste different, but underneath it is still just chicken.

-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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Building trust

Building Trust, Faux Harmony, and Fitting In

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Working with people you trust makes the most sense. Building trust can be a delicate pursuit. Is it really trust you are after, or are you looking for faux harmony?

Nearly everyone in the workplace will agree that they want trust. They want their co-workers to trust their ideas, contributions, and promises. Yet nearly everyone has a story of deceit, promises and contributions that weren’t kept, and how a defensive position feels safer.

Feels Safe

The concept then takes on a different goal, the goal of safety.

Challenging the status quo is not an option because you’ll end up on the list of people who are struck from advancement.

So you don’t make any waves. You navigate the system carefully and do everything that you can to fit in, quietly.

When your pursuit becomes the pursuit of safety that really means you’re goal is to fit in. Fitting in is important. Often the person with the best fit is the person who gets hired. Fitting in is a good strategy in certain situations, but it also a challenging strategy when you seek advancement.

Fitting In

The quickest way to be overlooked is to fit in, perfectly. The quickest way to start building trust is to keep your commitments, do good work, and do it consistently.

A culture of workplace trust means that people know what to expect and when. Conditioning everything you do based on fitting in doesn’t mean you’ll be trusted. It means you’ll be another face in the crowd.

A crowd that is always silent and stands for nothing is an untrusted crowd. Trust isn’t always about fitting in. In fact, those who are truly trusted probably never fit perfectly.

Building Trust

For some, the situation creates who they are, and for others they create the situation. Being trusted is more important than faux harmony. Building trust is not the same as working to fit in.

No one said it would be easy.

– 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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lucky timing

Lucky Timing and Leveraging Your Persistence

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Show me someone who is successful and I will show you someone who has been called lucky. Lucky timing seems to be one of the most popular reasons that many people cite for those who achieve success.

When you go in too early, or a little too late, the stars may not be in alignment, no alignment, no success.  Is it really about lucky timing?

Right Time

Ask around and you’ll find many people who are waiting on the right time. The right time to make an investment, buy a new car, or launch their million dollar idea. Certainly, timing has relevance, but it may not be as significant as the recognition it gets.

When you spot someone who gets more opportunities is that because of luck or persistence? Before you jump right in to the shoulder deep water and suggest that timing is everything, I would suggest only sticking in a toe.

There is a good chance that more luck will happen to people who are diligently leveraging everything they do, persistently, across time.

Let’s face it, most people who find a four leaf clover are looking around on the ground to spot one. Lucky to find one, yes maybe, but you must be looking first.

More Opportunities

Lucky timing is what you do every day to create more opportunities. It is the daily grind, the early mornings, the late evenings, the commitment of time and energy.

Sure, you’ll see the advertisements for get rich quick schemes. You will see the magnificent MLM programs promising a big return on little investment. Things that promise a work from home in your spare time or the social media business secret you should know may also seem tempting.

Lucky Timing

Las Vegas wasn’t built on big payouts at the casinos. Most get rich quick or get rich easy schemes only fill the pockets of the person in the chain of connections before you. Not always, but it is probably safe to say, most of the time.

The best way to get lucky timing is to leverage your persistence. Your grit, determination, and commitment to the daily grind are probably the best way to get lucky.

It only looks easy.

– 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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volunteering

Volunteering and a Promise Kept

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Enthusiasm is a great thing. Most workplaces praise those who are enthusiastic. Are you volunteering for things you cannot deliver? Are you just hanging out or are you offering to constructively jump in and get things done?

Fresh Enthusiasm

Sometimes it is in the heat of the moment. You hear the new idea, you feel the fresh enthusiasm and you want to be an integral part of building something great. In fact, you may see it as a legacy building moment. Something you can get your good name attached to.

Being on the committee or team means you have a responsibility. Certainly some of your responsibility is to help make good decisions and drive future direction. Do you volunteer for action items that spark your interest and imagination? Are you one of the first to raise your hand, or are you the last?

Showing up at the meeting is important and being on time helps. Being the person who jumps in to offer assistance, to volunteer, or to shout out that you’ll lead is great. Are you able to keep that commitment?

Unspoken List

There is often an unspoken but lengthy list of volunteers who offered to help, expressed a deep commitment, and after a short burst of activity, they failed to keep things moving.

If you want to lose credibility, breakdown trust, and tarnish your reputation, failing to perform after you’ve promised is a fool proof method.

Volunteering

When you view yourself on the podium, picture yourself getting the praise, or leaving a legacy that shapes the future it seems like a good idea to raise your hand. You may even be thinking about a monetary increase or job promotion. This is the fun and easy part.

The hard part is actually making it happen. When it comes to volunteering keeping your promise is more critical than most people realize.

Did you keep your last promise?

– 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 civility

Workplace Civility, Does Your Organization Have It?

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There are those organizations that don’t believe they need workplace civility. Often this is because they don’t recognize that there are differences between their culture and what the front runners know to be more civil.

While workplace civility is subjective, the results are often reflected in employee performance. Employee performance is reflected on the income statement. It may be hard to develop a metric for civility. However, it is easy to develop a metric for other areas of human performance.

The organization that practices civility is diverse. Not because they claim that they are, but because there is evidence that they are. Evidence would include employment of protected classes. However, that is really just the beginning and may be viewed as a technicality, not a true reflection of organizational culture.

Civil Organizational Cultures

Civil and diverse organizations work hard to keep everything and everyone together. Their habits are consistent with what they preach. Conflict is well managed. Patience is a core value, and if you can’t handle what is happening, a team member will be sure to help.

An underlying philosophy may be that we help each other do well and that is why we are growing.

Room for Improvement

An organizational culture lacking in civility will see things a little bit differently. They often have principles and core values connected with only the strong survive. Rewards are only at the top, bottom feeders are accepted as feeders only, and are feed just enough to prevent starvation.

There is harmful conflict. Those who can’t handle it, are not helped or reinforced, they are told to get out of the way and ridiculed for short-comings. Only the favorites or those who navigate organizational politics well are long-term survivors.

Workplace Civility

Certainly, organizations need all the demographic evidence. Evidence such as hiring across all classes including those that are protected. Yes, they’ll have the diversity posters in the lunch room and near the Human Resources offices, and of course, they’ll express no tolerance for harassment or bullying.

They’ll insist on safety, and they’ll understand that the person who occupies space at the workplace the longest is not necessarily accomplishing the most.

Meal breaks are honored, or better yet, insisted upon. Not because the organization feels that they should, but because they know it makes human performance better and the people healthier. The idea of skipping lunch means I’m working harder doesn’t apply.

Vacations are embraced, generosity is demonstrated, and the importance of family is well supported.

None of this means the people don’t work hard and none of it suggests that there is room for slackers. It is only a reflection of civility. Does your organization practice workplace civility?

A good question is, “What is your culture?”  A better question is, “What is your culture when you think no one is watching?”

– 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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