Tag Archives: workplace

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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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Career encouragement

Career Encouragement, Is It Time To Give More?

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In the workplace, goals are often measured against management expectations, historical data, or industry benchmarks. How do goals align with career accomplishments? Do we need more career encouragement?

Winning Little League baseball teams often pop up out of nowhere from a small otherwise unknown town. The football star was just an average kid who loved the sport and played anywhere a few kids could find a patch of grass. The kid who read books all the time went on to become a PhD, a medical doctor, or an engineer.

Born or Made

In leadership seminars I often ask, “Are great leaders born or made?” Participants stop to think, and ponder this simple question. Of course, in some cultures family heritage has something to do with those in power but in US culture this is not the case.

Leadership is something built, it is learned, and the best are committed to it. Is encouragement required to become great? Does feedback affect outcomes of success or a lack of it?

Encouragement and Trophies

Encouragement became popular with the participation trophy generation. The idea may have been that more encouragement led to great things. Give every kid a trophy, it is encouraging. People forgot though that the reality of life is not always so kind.

Are you building your career? Are you encouraging someone to build their own?

History Says

In the history of the United States, there have only been forty five Presidents. For General Motors, there have only been fourteen CEO’s, and perhaps there has only been one Albert Einstein, one Wernher von Braun, and one Charles Darwin.

Do genetics, family history, or a high intelligence quotient have something to do with success, perhaps, in some ways, yes. Others may cite luck, more opportunity, and the best connections as having a hand in success. Still, success seems to pop up from anywhere.

Encouragement and Confidence

People often become very good at something that interests them. Chances are great that interest sparked and grew to flames when encouragement boosted confidence. When pleasing onlookers felt rewarding and when the responsibility perform felt achievable.

Careers are often built from self-interests and a focus on successive accomplishments across time.

Career Encouragement

Not every ball player will turn pro, and of the many who do, only very few will leave a lasting mark in the record books. Only a few will become President of the United States, few will be the CEO of a century old business, and even fewer will lead monumental discoveries in science or physics.

One thing seems certain though, the people who work for something better and who are encouraged often attain it.

A career is built, career encouragement helps those on their journey to attain it.

Now is a good time to give more.

– 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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Emotional labor matters

Why Emotional Labor Matters More

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The daily grind, the grit and effort it takes to go to work every day, to exist in the World of workplace politics, the boss’s pets, and a paycheck every other week. It is what millions of people feel about their job, it is laborious. Do you think emotional labor matters?

Frequent Questions

Many people have great jobs. Many people take for granted what their daily grind provides. Actually, that emotional labor that they are putting in, that is what will matter the most.

What high school did you attend?

Where did you get your degree?

Did you get your degree online?

The questions all appear to matter and they are the essence of the job applicant, the hiring committee, or the card puncher. What may really matter the most is if you have put in the emotional labor.

Attitude, Determination, and Persistence

Emotional labor answers the questions about your attitude towards work, your discipline across the long haul, and your ability to navigate shifting environments.

The questions that really need answered are more about what you’ve accomplished. How do you face adversity? What projects or teams have you led? What is your decision making style? How would you describe your level of integrity? How do you plan for the unplanned?

The online job application and your resume don’t often speak to what you are really capable of doing. The weight of who you are, your strength, determination, and the associated outcomes are not about a piece of paper, or your digital application.

Getting to the door and having it open often comes from your resume or curriculum vitae, but that is just a paper trail.

Emotional Labor Matters

What matters more is the illustration of your emotional labor. That will be the best determinate of your future success.

When people ask my opinion about what will happen next with an employee, a boss, or their significant other, I usually suggest that the best predictor of future performance is past performance.

Put in the emotional labor, it matters more.

– 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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wants and needs

Wants and Needs, Which One Will You Get?

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We often use the words interchangeably. In our real world experiences there is a difference between wants and needs.

This is always important for those who sell and for those who buy.

We may want the most expensive shoes, the coolest looking car, or the house that offers the most luxury in the greatest neighborhood. Are those the things we really need?

About Sales

Chances are good that by now you’ve already become acquainted with the idea that everyone is in sales. Even the people who are not directly in a sales role are really in some form, part of sales. We all sell something. We sell our ideas, our work, and our skills.

It seems that the sweet spot for the buyer is always based on value.

In the workplace, organizations have the right to choose. They can choose between wants and needs. Potential employees are often selling themselves through the interview process, trying to match what they can offer with the highest price. Is that what the organization wants?

The easy answer of course is, sometimes. Sometimes the budget for the position and the expectations are high enough that the employer shops for the expensive, the smartest, and the talent that they expect to propel them higher.

In other cases the organization may shop only for the minimum. They shop for the lowest price and hope to achieve the highest value. Are they ever disappointed? You bet.

Wants and Needs

It seems logical then that we may not always need what we pay for, but in contrast sometimes we may want more than we what we are willing to pay.

This is why price should not come first, but come last. When you find exactly what you need and it is also exactly what you want then you know you are willing to pay the absolute most your budget will allow.

When we start with price, we tend to confuse the wants and needs.

– 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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apologies improve performance

Do Apologies Improve Performance?

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Apologies are important but they shouldn’t be a crutch. Do you have to apologize often? Do you believe apologies improve performance, or the perception of performance?

Excuses and Dropped Balls

In business or our workplace relationships, we often hear excuses for poor performance or dropped balls.

I forgot about that, I’ll do it right away. 

Sorry I missed you on the email distribution I must have been very busy when I sent it.

If I don’t call you back please reach out again. I’m really terrible about getting back to people.

Certainly, everyone has a slip up here or there, unfortunately sometimes this procrastination and faulty service becomes a habit, a very bad habit.

Relationships Matter

In workplace relationships, internally with the team, or externally with customers and vendors we have an obligation to support others. Sometimes this obligation is contractual and sometimes it should just be a common courtesy.

Relationships matter appreciative strategies

Good habits are hard to form and bad habits are hard to break. When you chronically come up short and provide an excuse that seems to let you off the hook what will you do the next time?

The best indicator of future performance is often past performance. It is true in business agreements, professional relationships, and even with personal matters.

Do Apologies Improve Performance?

Not a chance, always consider that your future success will depend on your business relationships. Just because you’re friendly or have known someone for a long time doesn’t mean you have an excuse for poor performance in business matters.

When you’re really sorry and you care about your professional image you’ll accept that you came up short, apologize, and change your behavior for the future.

Apologies won’t improve your performance, but a commitment to shift to better habits will.

– 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 role model

Being a Workplace Role Model

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Great role models are hard to find. What may be even harder is to replicate them. Are you a good workplace role model?

Certainly, role models may be situational. The role model lifeguard is likely a much different skillset when compared with a role model at the local factory, hospital, or burger joint.

Admiration and Leadership

Role models are often admired for leadership traits. How well do they lead under pressure? What keeps them driven and yet well-grounded every day? How do they stay motivated and professional at all times?

People have many common characteristics. One person likes to have some down time as much as the other. Many have interests or hobbies that are outside of the normal scope of their work.

Discipline and willpower may guide some of the best role models. What are some things that great role models don’t do?

Great role models don’t:

  • act on impulse
  • tell other people off
  • show up late
  • lose interest easily
  • complain

This is a short list the entire list is long. They are often great role models because they are masters of control, are willing to endure emotional labor, and care about the outcomes of their actions and behaviors.

Workplace Role Model

A great workplace role model doesn’t show up only when someone is watching. They are always watching for the next place to show up. They arrive and walk in like a pro. There is something in the air about their presence, not just when it aligns with something they love, all the time, good or bad.

The truly great ones will keep their promises, they don’t need to tell you that they are great, it shows. They are authentic, valued, and respected.

They do they work they don’t feel like doing, the work that is old, tired, and boring. Listening is important so they do it twice as much as talking.

Are you a good workplace role model?

– 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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Future Career Appreciative Strategies

Your Future Career Depends On You

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All the work that you do requires decisions. You make the choice to go to work, at some level, what you’ll wear, and how you’ll arrive. Certainly, you’ll make the choice about attitude, commitment, and effort. What you do today and tomorrow will impact your future career.

In my business I will occasionally hear stories of, “I can’t” or “we can’t.” Not so long ago I was working with a client in a facilitated training event and someone responded to a question by saying something along the lines of, “We can do this, or we can do that, but we can’t do both.”

Honestly, I was somewhat surprised by the comment since this person was in a room full of peers and some senior management. Then it hit me, this person was reciting a thought embraced the culture. It wasn’t shocking to some. It was a belief.

Limiting Beliefs

My reaction to the comment was that this segment of the discussion was critical and I reconnected with opening comments of the session about how businesses change and succeed.

I took advantage of a comment made a few moments earlier and suggested that being average is easy, becoming better is hard. My intent was to solidify concepts connected with hard work pays off. A period was put on the discussion with, “It won’t be easy, it will be hard, and that is why we call it work.”

Culture is very interesting, because those deeply engaged in their culture don’t really see it any other way. They are limited by the idea that they “can’t.” Although they are trapped in the mind-set, they honestly believe that it is a truth that they won’t change.

Everyday Choice

Every employee who comes to work each day makes a choice. Your future career will depend on the choices you make today.

One mind-set is that you will do just enough to get by. You won’t work too hard or too fast. You’ll occupy space for the required impression of hours on the job and join the ranks of those who speak with pride about the hours spent.

Nebulous Measurement

In this mind-set the measurements and metrics connected with your job are fuzzy and are likely a spillover from the last person who held the same role. Or, now that this job is the combination of two previous jobs you can’t possibly overachieve.

You are often encouraged by others to do the least, or work within the effort of limitations set by everyone else.

Different Choice

You do have another choice. This choice is not directly connected with pay. It certainly is not directly connected by others who want you to move slower, at their pace, or to be patient and put in your time.

Today the most important choice you make about your career is not about on-the-job tradeoffs. It is not about I can do this, or I can do that, but I can’t do both. It is more likely about finding a way to balance both.

Here is the reality, when you don’t, someone else will.

Your Future Career

This is true for organizations and it is true for individuals. In many workplace cultures, this part of story is never told. Across time, the culture of effort and productivity has leveled itself to the output of averages.

When every day is embraced as an opportunity you’ll make the choice to do enough to get by, or you’ll do more than what is required because it may be the last or only chance you’ll get.

This may be the most important decision you’ll make. It will determine the future of your career.

– 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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get over mistakes

3 Ways to Get Over Mistakes in the Workplace

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Nearly everyone will tell you that they’ve made some big ones. In the moment it might feel like all hope is lost. How do you get over mistakes?

We can often see two sides or two camps.

The first camp is the camp where you feel like all hope is lost. You feel like you will never recover from this one, or that you’ll be blacklisted forever.

The other camp is the camp where you really don’t recognize the severity. You down play it, or you blame someone else. If you think you might be in this camp, carefully self-assess.

Recognize and Accept

We often hear things like, “Learn from your mistakes,” or “it wasn’t your fault.” We certainly should be asking ourselves what we can learn. Often blame is not important or is irrelevant, think more about what happens next or now.

If you recognize that you’ve made a big mistake, you might first remember you are not alone. There are others in your camp.

How do you get over mistakes?

Here are a few things that might be important to keep in mind:

  1. Beating yourself up really isn’t going to do much good. Certainly, we should recognize the error and take any corrective action seriously, but continuing to beat yourself up about it will not change the situation.
  2. Focus on what you will do different the next time. It might mean keeping quiet and being patient. It might mean you need some additional skills. Perhaps it means that now you are fully armed and more capable than ever before to get the job done.
  3. Recover as quickly as possible by focusing on moving forward. Reliving the mistake for learning purposes is okay, reliving to keep the mistake alive is probably not productive. Move forward, you’re going to do better work now.

Get Over Mistakes

One of the most interesting points to remember about mistakes is that those who have made them and have learned how to improve are perhaps better than those who never made them at all.

Do better. Get over it. Move on.

– 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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being polite appreciative strategies

3 Reasons Why Being Polite at Work Matters

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Recently I’ve heard a lot of chatter about manners, being polite, and proper etiquette. Being honest, much of that chatter stems from conversations about our workforce generations. However, I’m not convinced that it is a generational issue, does being polite at work matter?

Some might argue that work is work and just doing your job is all that is important. Does doing your job mean that you are not social, courteous, and polite?

Of course, in some very specialized circumstances perhaps you can work in a vacuum or behave like a robot. A word of caution though, if you want to behave like a robot then you might very well be treated like one.

Polite Matters

Politeness matters and it is often connected with the concept of rude behavior, an image or stereotype that every business or individual should choose to avoid.

Here are three of many reasons why being polite at work matters:

  1. Greetings. Greeting people with a kind, friendly, and caring attitude is important for sales and for customer service. Every business needs people (internal and external) who can be friendly with their greetings. It is important for networking, for revenue and profit, and simply put, it builds a good image and strengthens professional reputations.
  2. Reduces Anxiety. People sometimes joke about anxiety medication, but in many real life situations, people have high anxiety in the workplace. When our anxiety levels go up our communication skills go down. We might stop talking, start reliving past negative experiences or simply stop listening.
  3. Improves Decisions. Everyone makes decisions every day. In our workplace roles, we often encounter important decisions that condition business results. When the culture and atmosphere is more polite and courteous it keeps people from being hung up on non-productive issues which dramatically improves the decision making process.

Being Polite

Is being polite part of your performance measurement? It probably should be, even if it is not formally connected to job performance. It is something that every individual should strive to deliver.

Jokes about needing coffee, or not being awake yet, or accusations that someone is too chipper in the morning should be minimized. They are all poor excuses.

There are other behaviors too. For example, meeting etiquette is often problematic. Expressing that meetings are boring, showing up late, and having side conversations while someone else has the floor are all signs of poor professional etiquette.

Have you witnessed behaviors that should be improved? Do you believe being polite at work matters?

– 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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done through culture appreciative strategies

Getting Things Done Through Culture

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Teamwork and teambuilding were once popular words and so were TQM (Total Quality Management) and TIM (Total Improvement Management). Some of the names may have changed but many organizations continue the search for getting things done through culture.

Organizations want to have a dynamic, engaging, and productive culture. Sometimes however, the cultural norms lead to their own destruction.

People

Cultures have symbols, espoused values, and even their own language. Everyone knows what they are and most abide by the rules of the game.

Workplace culture might be one of the most powerful tools of the organization. It might be considered full of peer pressure, pride, and for many thriving within it, motivation. Workplace culture might also be the catalyst for change. Exist within it, follow or you’re out.

Most workplace cultures aren’t about fear though. In fact, they’re probably about the opposite. They hold the comfort and energy that keeps things going. It is what everyone believes in and how they keep the faith during the toughest times. It is people getting things done through culture.

History

Cultures branch out, they change, they grow and move along. Some cultures succeed while others might fail.

History tells of Khufu, Tutankhamen, and Ramesses the Great in Egyptian history. We also know of Easter Island and the Mayan civilization.

In American management, we might recognize names like Henry Ford, Peter Drucker, or Jack Welch.

Pyramids, cars, or other outputs they all got things done through people. Your workplace culture might be the only way to pivot, create lasting positive change, or during challenging times stop the bleeding.

Done Through Culture

It might not matter what you call it or even who the legacy belongs to. I don’t see anything great happening without culture.

Getting anything done, or nothing, probably has something to do with the people, the people who form the culture.

The best question though might not be about who. It might be about why.

What is your pyramid?

Why will it get built?

– 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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