Category Archives: belief

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wishful thinking

Wishful Thinking In The Workplace Is What You Need

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Wishing someone to “get well soon” seems helpful. Depending on the results, wishing for sunshine instead of rain, or warm weather instead of bitter cold may also feel good. Does wishful thinking change the outcomes in your workplace?

You may want to start with consideration for the reality of the wish. Wishing to lose weight while consuming several donuts and a sugared-up tall coffee may not make much difference.

It may not be realistic to wish for a winning lottery ticket, for someone to do your household chores, or that all the traffic lights will be green when you approach the intersection.

Wishing for someone to have a great weekend, a happy birthday, or a happy anniversary is a generous act. It is a kind gesture and it feels good.

Does wishful thinking help create business success, or is it really only for feel-good cheer?

Wishful Thinking

In the workplace, it may be beneficial to make wishes count. Certainly, far-out wishes that are unrealistic are not useful. In fact, they may even be counter-productive.

Wishing that sales will increase is a dangerous game without a strategy and tactics to pursue it. It’s similar to wishing that the quality will be good, customers will be happy, and that everything will go exactly as you expected.

If you don’t have a good plan, it is likely that very little will happen.

Wishing is not a plan.

It’s an act that provides focus, gives people something to look forward to, and may change future outcomes.

When there is a stretch goal, wishing for it to be achieved makes it much more likely than denying it as a possibility.

When others see the potential outcome as possible, team momentum gains strength. When people remove hurdles, go around customer satisfaction roadblocks, and strive to deliver the very best, positive things will happen.

Does wishing change outcomes?

Changing Outcomes

You aren’t going to change the weather, purchase the winning lottery ticket, or magically lose weight with a wish.

On the flip side, when you have a well-thought-out and well-executed plan that includes the necessary resources, one of the best things you can do is wish for great success.

A wish may be all that it takes to make others believe that it can come true.

Wishful thinking creates focus.

Focusing on the plan may be exactly what you need.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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effort mindset

Effort Mindset is Part of Your Language

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Do you have an effort mindset? Don’t confuse effort with labor or effort with strenuous. More than anything, putting in the effort suggests a connection with the goal.

What is the fastest way to change the concept of what you can or cannot accomplish?

You change your perception of what will happen next.

There is often discussion about winners and losers, about those who did and those who didn’t, and those who had success and those who failed.

Being determined that you can, is much different from creating an expectation that you can’t.

I can’t add that to the report because I don’t have that data.

The team didn’t finish the project.

We didn’t hit the sales goal for this month.

What if you had more time? More time to seek the answers to the questions, more time on the project, or a few additional days to hit the sales number?

Effort Mindset

Deadlines sometimes signal it is over, done, finished. While a deadline is a deadline, it doesn’t mean the goal is entirely out of reach, forever.

In business, everything is a race against the clock.

Sometimes a deadline provides a reason to quit. Once the deadline is approaching or missed, it invites the opportunity to throw up your hands and call it over.

What if you changed your language?

I need a few more data segments and I will have the report ready by the end of the day Tuesday.

The team is totally immersed in the project. The end results will be better than expected.

We didn’t hit the sales goal yet, but by Tuesday we’ll surpass last months results.

Language is a powerful component of both motivation and culture.

How you talk, the words you choose, and the future that you predict may be the cultural shift that you need.

Many people quit because they believe it is over.

Many successful people see things a little bit differently.

They just haven’t finished, yet.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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negative fantasies

Negative Fantasies May Be What’s Stopping You

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Have you ever slowed, stalled, or stopped because of negative fantasies? It happens to many people and it may be happening to you.

A negative fantasy is the idea that you are imagining the worst possible outcome. Instead of fantasizing about something positive or joyful, you’re imagining what happens next will be something terrible.

Perhaps you have an important meeting this week. Your schedule is tight but you’ve made room and this is your one shot. You may fantasize that your car won’t start, traffic will make you late, or the outcome of the meeting will be the worst possible scenario instead of the best.

You may have negative fantasies about an upcoming dental check-up, a doctor’s visit, or why your boss has summoned you to her office.

Sometimes it happens before a big presentation. The slide deck might crash, you’ll trip over your words, forget what you were supposed to say, or the audience won’t get your silly joke.

It could everything from an image of a rainstorm during your outdoor party to the image that eating one cookie is going to make you obese.

Negative Fantasies

Negative fantasies may be a valuable marker that helps those who procrastinate or take situations for granted. It may help reel them in, keep them grounded, and perhaps most of all, keep them humble.

Too much fantasizing though, and it may derail performance. It may cause unnecessary worry and anxiety. In severe cases, it may cause people to hold back, stop trying, or never take any risk at all.

Risk is a fact of life. Taking little or no risk will hold you back.

Do you feel stuck or stalled? Is time flying by and when you look back, you’re fearful you haven’t done enough or accomplished enough?

Do you ask yourself why?

Your personal forecast of your future may be exactly what is slowing you down.

A positive fantasy seems much more valuable and realistic.

Try it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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old photos

Old Photos, Bicycles, and Workplace Culture

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Do old photos catch your eye? Are you a bicycle enthusiast? How could this possibly have anything to do with workplace culture?

Old photos are often cherished. A family portrait, an old black and white picture album, or even a photo of someone completely unknown. There is imagination, a story we tell ourselves, and some wonder of what it must have been like.

It’s a piece of history.

The roots of the modern bicycle date back to 1817. It was a means of transportation, less energy to get people farther, faster.

Then it was motorized in the late 1800s and very early 1900s. Once motorized there was no need to peddle. Comfort improved, so did speed.

The evolution took us from walking to leisurely rides by the 1920s and ’30s, and as the decades rolled forward there were even more improvements.

An invention that once served a purpose for low-cost transportation, became leisurely and sophisticated.

Today people ride bicycles mostly for exercise or sport.

What do old photos and bicycles have to do with workplace culture?

Old Photos and Bicycles are Culture

Culture is built on values and beliefs. It’s part of the language, the brand, and what people see.

Within any culture, the story is both real and imagined. Often there is innovation and redesign. Enhancements are welcomed to reduce effort and produce more of the same across a shorter period of time.

Most of all, there is history.

Metaphorically every workplace has an old photo. A story and imagination of how it once worked. It provides meaning, symbols, and stimulates espoused values.

Every workplace metaphorically has a bicycle. Something that was built and changed everything, effort improved, more done with less energy. Yet remnants of the bicycle often remain or are brought back, even if only for the art or the exercise.

Old photos and bicycles exist in every workplace culture.

What is your old photo or bicycle?

Should they stay or go, at least for right now?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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workplace doubt

Has Workplace Doubt Stalled Your Progress?

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Have you experienced workplace doubt? Of course you have, likely even when you don’t recognize it. Is doubt useful?

Do you feel like you have to be certain before the launch? What are the possibilities of success or failure? Will you receive accolades or ridicule?

In most cases there is always a chance. A chance that things won’t go as expected, a chance things will fall apart, blow up, or otherwise just not work. There is also a chance of success.

What odds do you require before you feel comfortable enough to launch?

Input often suggests that the odds increase. One way or another either the doubt increases or the confidence increases?

Many believe that their comfort and confidence will increase over time. Just slow it down a little, see how things develop.

Just as likely though, for some situations, doubt increases.

Is there ever analysis on the cost of the stall? Usually, not so much.

When you consider that doubt will nearly always be present, what can you do about it?

Workplace Doubt

The problem with workplace doubt is that naysayers often find a way to multiply it. It feels like there is less risk in staying the same. Largely, this is a false perception.

Change is always happening. Some change is slower than other change.

Change is often intended to be about progress. Some people aren’t wishful for progress.

Progress means more change. A change in job duties, skills, and systems.

It is easy to multiply the odds for doubt.

Seldom do people apply the same multiplier to the odds of success.

A stall often leads to a stop.

If you are going to put a stop to something, perhaps it should be doubt!

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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workplace beliefs

Do Workplace Beliefs Outweigh Documented Results?

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What are your workplace beliefs? Do you believe you and your team are doing your best work? Do believe in the quality, customer satisfaction, and the efficiencies of your goods or services?

Have you ever believed in something so strongly that you tend to ignore the facts?

People believe in many things.

Religion

Global Warming

Bigfoot

Aliens

Moon Landing

It only takes one of these to get people engaged in a discussion, and I haven’t even mentioned conspiracy theories, government transparency, and the age of the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Most beliefs are personal, that is why they are often said to be off-limits in the workplace or in mixed social settings. Religion and politics are two of the most commonly suggested to avoid.

Imagine a belief in any one thing. Imagine the belief to be so strong that you can’t see the facts, you deny the existence of evidence, and you push forward with your belief.

What effort or extremes might you go to in order to keep your belief alive?

Workplace Beliefs

Sometimes the missing element in the workplace is belief. Dreams are shattered, expectations squandered, and the future outlook appears to be more of the same.

Forcing people into a belief is unlikely at best.

It is compelling messages, forward motion, and the perception of evidence that help shape direction. Even when the data may illustrate something contrary to the belief.

You can present the facts, show the data, and tell the story. Personal commitment will always be based on belief.

People spend a lifetime trying to prove someone or something wrong. People spend a lifetime trying to prove something as correct.

Bring the documentation but it is not nearly as powerful as what each individual chooses to believe.

-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.


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emotions guide

Emotions Guide Your Work, Good or Bad

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Do you recognize how your emotions guide everything that happens next? Emotions are tightly connected to your culture whether it is realized or not.

Leaders sometimes suggest you should remove the emotion in order to make a good decision.

Certainly, there are times when that may apply. Yet, there are other circumstances or situations where emotion is what creates forward energy.

Buy-in, persistence, and motivation may all be linked to emotions. Passion for the work and caring about the customer are also connected to emotions or feelings.

Emotions Guide

Many businesses face change. The thought always is, get buy-in for the change effort.

It is easy to quickly reject the suggestion for a new path in the meeting. It may be easy to bring up all the obstacles and roadblocks in the path of making a new direction work.

Sometimes, great ideas are quickly put to rest by eager naysayers.

At the same time, ideas that gain traction are also connected to emotions.

When it seems like a good idea excitement builds, commitment develops, and those involved are emotionally connected. When people are connected at that level, they don’t want to see the project fail and they’ll work hard to overcome any obstacle that may sabotage success.

After days, weeks, or years of commitment to a path or system, people are emotional. They have witnessed the success, poured their heart into keeping it alive, and have satisfied hundreds or multiple thousands of customers.

It would have been easy to reject the system when it was only a thought. Once it comes to life is it also connected to emotion.

Sticking to a path, an idea, or even an employee is emotional.

Good or bad.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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compelling belief

Compelling Belief Is Not Necessarily a Fact

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Have you been lured in by someone stating their compelling belief? Stated with confidence and vigor, it is often easy to believe.

People have strong opinions about political issues, yet they often can’t cite the framework of their opinions.

People have strong opinions about medical concerns. The 2020 pandemic has been the playing field for so-called experts.

Still other people have strong opinions about community activities, the size and style of your home, or even what you can do with your land.

When someone disagrees, goes in a different direction, or shrugs and walks away it is not necessarily a sign of intelligence. It may be a sign of different values or beliefs.

This is exactly why the narrative matters so much.

Compelling Belief

Doing something right now may not mean it is the wrong thing. It may just be the wrong thing at this time.

Expanding the marketing plan that has fuzzy results only makes sense when you believe.

Stating that the product doesn’t feel right is a belief. It may be factual to someone and understanding the feeling will get you closer to the facts.

Everyone believes something.

It may not be a shared belief because they haven’t heard the story behind it.

Is your story compelling?

The Real Story

If the story behind it is only based on opinions, it doesn’t make the narrative any more valuable.

Stating that you want someone to believe what you believe because it is a fact, may only be a matter of opinion.

It is only compelling when it resonates with the audience.

Uncompelled people may have different facts.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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personal goals

Personal Goals Start With What You Believe

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What are your personal goals? Get promoted, get healthier, or perhaps secure your financial position? Maybe it is all of those and a whole lot more.

Do you believe in your goals?

Belief is a funny thing. Belief will often come to life based on your surroundings. Are other people in a similar place in life getting promoted? Are people building houses, working out, or starting a garden? What is happening around you?

If everyone in your network attends church on a regular basis, you might decide to attend. If nearly no one does, you might not either. When they believe in a particular political party, you may join their movement, or you may watch from the sidelines.

When people share their values and beliefs and create a lifestyle that surrounds those principles, others may join in.

You may start to believe, or if you already believe, then your beliefs may get reinforced by others believing too.

On a high level, this probably makes sense and resonates with most people.

Do you believe in you?

Is what you are planning to do or accomplish true?

Personal Goals

If you want to take a vacation of a lifetime, build your dream home, or drive a very expensive car will you make it happen? Will you make it come true?

Not all beliefs are true.

There are people who won’t believe what you believe. They may not believe getting a promotion is possible. They may insist weight loss or health gains are just too complicated. And for financial positioning, well, it may be that they believe that is only for the elite, the rich and famous.

Many people work tirelessly for their employer and they do get a promotion. There are plenty who change their eating habits, take a walk, and get better sleep. Financial positioning may not be as much about what you make as it is about what you keep.

All of those are structured by belief.

What you tell yourself or what others tell you will condition what happens next. Belief is often about your community.

Be part of one that contributes to, not distracts you from what you want to happen next.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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career narratives

Career Narratives Shape What Happens Next

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Is it really a self-fulfilled prophecy? Are you working for a career? Is your career working for you? Consciously or not, career narratives may be shaping your future.

When I go to the meeting today, no one will listen.

This is too expensive; the customer will never go for it.

I’m not getting promoted because no one see’s my value.

If any, or all of those are in your head, you might be limiting your own career.

There are thousands of other examples of the narrative people recite to themselves and the associated outcomes.

That narrative is a prediction of the future. Often a fairly accurate prediction because somehow, people allow it to unfold exactly as it was created in their mind.

There is a good chance it is based on past experiences. Even second hand experiences. Across time, these experiences have a way of stacking. They add up.

Conclusions about career directions may be true or false. Accurate or a complete insecurity.

How it all plays out, is often exactly as you predicted.

Career Narratives

If someone suggests, “You can’t be successful doing that.” You just might believe them. Of course, another route may be to prove them wrong.

The difference then is what is in your head. It is the narrative that you have created or accepted.

Every career has a narrative. It’s built from experiences, learning, and is largely invented. That is, until you bring it to fruition.

Since it is your career, you have the responsibility for its creation.

It is a great story.

If you want it to be.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. 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.


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