Category Archives: positive

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workplace aggravation

Workplace Aggravation, Are You Creating More?

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How does your day start? Is it a mix of workplace aggravation? Are you a contributor?

Some people like to stir the pot. Ramp up the drama, or just get people negatively fired up.

They consciously or subconsciously want to create destructive tension. Sometimes the belief is that it is fun to aggravate people. In extreme cases it becomes a playful way of the culture.

It’s not a good thing.

Have you experienced this?

People may ask:

I wonder if Mark will leave early again today?

Has the boss made his micromanagement rounds yet this morning?

Did you notice Abigale is wearing flip-flops again today?

Will any of this launch the start of a positive outcome?

Unlikely.

Workplace Aggravation

These conversation starters don’t create connection or focus on anything positive. They add to the tension, build more stress, and work towards a cohesive environment of negativity.

Does the tension serve to create anything positive? Will it build something better for your customer or will it impact morale in a positive manner?

Are you adding to or detracting from negative tension?

Why do people want to stir the pot? Has it become part of the culture?

Building on Positivity

There are plenty of ways you can contribute negatively, and just as many ways to contribute with more positivity.

Our customers will love this.

I want to beat last week’s goal.

The new way is definitely better, it’s saving us a lot of time and wasted energy.

You have a choice about how you’ll contribute. Words are often used to create action and sometimes thoughtless words ignite anger, build negative tension, and derail positive performance.

Don’t waste anyone’s time.

Create something worthwhile.

-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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responsible emotionally

Being Responsible Emotionally Is Your Choice

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Each day presents a new opportunity, yet you only have it for just this one day. Tomorrow is another new day. Are you being responsible emotionally for yourself or your team?

What difference would you like to make today?

People often mention attitude. The discussion seems to center around either having a good attitude or a bad attitude. Everyone quickly recognizes that attitude is a game changer.

The new day opportunity is to construct our emotional state around how we want to feel, how we want things to look, and the outcomes that we seek.

Unless you’ve somehow been hiding under a rock for two months, you recognize that there is a problem right now. Disruption is everywhere and everyone knows it.

You still have a choice about how you’ll approach the day.

Responsible Emotionally

People often identify a good day as one without pressure, without worry, or without havoc. Are these days about choice?

Perhaps, in some regards. In other ways, circumstances and situations arise that are often beyond your control.

On these days you have a choice. You can put your energy into a reaction, some anger, or viewing it from the position of the victim. This takes energy.

Another choice is to use your energy to focus on how want to feel. Choose to believe in a different outcome and start by modeling the behavior that represents the outcome you desire.

There is a benefit. A big benefit. The benefit is not only about how you’ll feel but also about how you appear to others.

Today will only happen once. Tomorrow is another day.

Make your best choices about how you will represent on this day.

-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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think improvement

Think Improvement When It Is Less Than Perfect

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Is perfect possible? Some might quickly suggest that it is. Are you ready to think improvement instead of perfect?

When someone offers to schedule the meeting within your preferred time slot you may respond with, “Perfect.”

It is a kind gesture and also sounds a little energetic. All of that is great.

As time goes by, you may decide that time slot wasn’t so perfect after all.

Your project slipped. You hit a roadblock, or the client just asked for more within the same timeline. Now it’s not so perfect anymore.

Doubtful About Perfect

We often wish for perfect. We wish for the perfect day, the perfect vacation, or even for the perfect relationship or marriage. Although, somewhere in the back of our mind, we’re doubtful about the possibility of perfect.

Because of our doubt, we don’t want to compare today’s accomplishments, we don’t want to discuss our plans for a stay at home vacation because it just sounds unattractive. For our relationships, we put on a good face, we smile, and say things are great.

Having something less than perfect shouldn’t be a reason to feel embarrassment. It shouldn’t be about a comparison to others, and honestly, the lack of perfection may just keep it all real.

Think Improvement

If we have something less than perfect that means there is an opportunity.

There is opportunity for more gratitude, more patience, and deeper listening. Opportunity also means there is a chance to evaluate the positive and to think about how to do more of exactly those things.

When you worry less about perfection and focus more on improvement life seems to offer a little more appreciation. On top of that, everything seems a little less stressful.

Think improvement not perfection.

-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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new workplace venture

New Workplace Venture And How To Start

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Boredom may be the leading cause for a job or career change. Are you considering trying something new? Does the idea of a new workplace venture excite you?

It should.

The most important part is that it doesn’t always mean you have to jump ship. You may be able to get started with your current job.

Three Year Itch

Are you not feeling it in your job? Is it not all that it’s cracked up to be? Sometimes this starts to unfold around year two or three.

There are at least two choices. First, you can dig deep, turn over a new leaf, and make some motion towards rediscovering positivity. The other option is that you get out of Dodge.

If you are considering exploring a new opportunity by leaving your existing one, it may be a bit secretive. On the other hand, embarking on a new venture while staying right where you are doesn’t have to be.

Have you ever witnessed the energy of the new hire? They come on board, motivated, fired up, and ready to make some things happen?

They don’t have any history with the organization and everyone is on their best behavior? Sometimes we call this the honeymoon period. Everything seems rosy.

Is there a chance that seeing your existing role through a new lens could change things? Is there a conversation that needs to occur, some wiggle room or more tolerance in your navigation, or is there an apology required?

Do you think it’s possible?

New Workplace Venture

Perhaps the best way to turn over a new leaf is to start. Sometimes it is that simple. You-just-have-to-start.

It may begin with a conversation with your boss, with your team, or with your peers. It may begin without any conversation, just a renewed attitude, a fresh look through a different lens.

What if you were starting the job for the first time today? What energy would you bring? Would you be excited?

There may be many ways to get started. One of the best is to establish a new commitment and then, begin.

-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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professional seminars

Professional Seminars, Sit Through It or Grow?

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Continuous learning, lifelong learning, what is your approach to professional seminars? Some of the approaches I hear are comical.

If I have to sit through it, you’re going to sit through it too.

I’ll sit through it, but I probably have more important things to do.

I don’t think I need this but I’ll sit through if it makes everyone happy.

Sit through it?

I’ve heard these and dozens more as training is being organized or as people assemble for the event. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, “What kind of attitude is that?”

Fear of History Repeating

Then I remember. I remember sitting through slide after slide of someone reciting the work of someone else. I remember the endless barrage of slide decks with words, paragraphs, and executive summaries you are expected to read. In another unfortunate twist the presenter will read it for you.

It doesn’t stop there; we also have charts. Not a simple pie chart or bar graph but five years of key indicators data that is in font size 8 or 10. Huh?

Participants have a choice. A choice about sitting through that or doing something better. The presenters have a choice also. Their choice is about what and how they’ll present.

Professional Seminars

Just this week I presented three different seminars in three different towns. I heard and felt some of the grumbles and groans before the start.

When finished, I welcomed and appreciated the handshakes and kind comments. I am always grateful and sometimes humbled by the generosity of eager and inspired participants. It is my biggest reward.

My suggestion is not new, but still relevant. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or in this case don’t judge a seminar before it starts.

Most people don’t care for just sitting around. Professional seminars will inspire you to grow.

As a participant you have a choice. You can come prepared to just sit through it, or you can come prepared to grow through it.

There is a saying which I don’t know who to give credit. It goes something like this, “If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.”

-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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positive focus

Positive Focus – Find Ten Reasons Why

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People often suggest that they are going to focus on the positive and that they are committed to a more positive outcome. Do you have a positive focus or are you really a naysayer?

Thoughts and Words

A positive focus starts with what you think. It is confirmed, broadcast, and replicated by what you say.

When you start your day at the office, the plant, or any job site talking about the negativity that surrounds your life, you do not have a positive focus.

When you enter the boardroom, attend the strategic planning session, or participate in the meeting you do not have a positive focus if your only contribution is to recite problems.

Naysayer Syndrome

The naysayer wants company, and so does misery. It seems to me it is much easier to build the fear of failure into the equation and be wrong, than it is to risk bringing the solution. Naysayers believe they win either way. Say it will not work and if you’re wrong it is still alright.

This is the naysayer. Whatever others contribute, the naysayer offers why it is a bad idea, why it won’t work, and why to avoid taking the path.

The best way to have a positive focus may be to do the exact opposite of the naysayer.

Be Different

When the naysayer comes to the table, he or she brings with them all the reasons why not. Therefore, your job is to bring all the reasons why it will.

A positive focus comes from bringing ten reasons why it is worth a try. Even if it has been tried in the past. Everything may be different now. The circumstances and situations are different. They players may be different, the timing is different, and yes, even the presentation may be different.

Positive Focus

Do you have a positive focus? Become the person who brings the reasons why. Be farsighted and encouraging. List why it will work instead of setting up roadblocks with why it won’t.

Nearly anyone can find someone to turn to when they want confirmation of doom and gloom. You are the opposite, you confirm that it just might work.

A positive focus starts with the reasons why.

Try it.

– 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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positive attitude appreciative strategies

Using Questions to Develop a Positive Attitude

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Every job has its challenges. Each day we might have to get started, face adversity, and be resilient. In the face of challenge and struggle can you develop a positive attitude?

Some people might suggest that attitude is what we think about or how we approach any situation. Attitude is about mind-set.

Questions Change Attitudes

Here are a few questions to consider anytime you need to be more positive:

  1. What brings you to work each day?
  2. What is the purpose behind the task?
  3. Who is the customer?
  4. What does the customer truly need?
  5. What would improve this product or service?
  6. What would be a pleasant surprise for the end user?
  7. What will get others on board?
  8. What is hard that you can make easier?
  9. What habit will evoke positive change?
  10. What makes this contribution special?
  11. What makes this work valuable?
  12. Is this work part of the legacy?
  13. What will make this change stick?
  14. How will others connect with this work?
  15. What will be important tomorrow?

Any question that you can’t answer immediately might be tempting to just skip. However, if it is truly difficult to answer it might mean it’s worth spending more time to understand.

Positive Attitude

Developing a positive attitude typically doesn’t come from stating that you are going to be positive. It comes from understanding what makes your effort worthwhile. Sure being respected and appreciated for a job well done will always make carrying the load easier, but is that all?

Do you understand the value of the work that you do?

Do you have a positive attitude?

Sometimes in life it is not about the questions that should be answered, but more about the answers that should be questioned.

It might change your attitude.

– DEG

Mindset, it conditions everything that happens next. It is why I wrote this book:

pivot Dennis Gilbert CSP

Buy now on Amazon

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Build Relationships through Positive Self-Talk

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You want to build stronger business relationships but you’re not always sure if it’s working. It’s common for many business professionals to wonder if they have formed a connection. Do you build relationships or watch opportunities slip away?

build relationships appreciative strategies

Lack of progress towards your goals is often not rooted specifically in your actions. That’s not the root cause. The root cause is that your actions often develop from your mind-set.

Foundation Skills

Negative self-talk is easy to get validated. Pick anything that you think can go wrong and you’ll likely find someone with a matching opinion. Immediately, your negative thoughts are validated.

Relationship building has this same challenge. Many people are fearful that a potential contact won’t have interest.

The fear is that they might not be into what you are into. Perhaps they won’t see the value in building a relationship. Worse yet, you might believe you’ll say something silly that will turn them off entirely.

I’ve heard a few speakers suggest that building business relationships is like dating. Certainly most people can see a few similarities. We might call these, fundamentals. The great thing about fundamentals is that they form the foundation for what happens next.

It’s true, once you have the fundamentals down, and believe in them, the rest will come pretty easy.

Positive Approach

Here are several important pointers:

  1. Positive Self-Talk. If a little voice inside your head is giving you all the reasons why it won’t happen, you have to change that. Sure a little praise from someone else will help, but you can’t count on it. Mostly because if you’re being negative you won’t accept it. Give yourself positive affirmations, endlessly!
  2. Confidence. Find every reason why this will work. Confidence is built from self-efficacy and self-esteem. When you flood your thoughts with positivity about how it will work, why it will work, and picture the positive end result, you’ll leave little room for doubt.
  3. Be interested. Many believe they must sell themselves. They push hard for that. The key really is that you must be more interested in the other party. Less pushy on selling yourself. Ask more questions. Learn about them and their needs. They’ll appreciate you more and the sell will happen naturally.

Build Relationships

If you have any doubts, you’re going to have to get rid of them.

Use positive affirmations in your self-talk. Lots of them, flood your mind with all the reasons why. Leave no room for negativity.

Be positive, be confident, and most importantly be more interested in them!

-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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Stay Positive If That’s What You Want

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Make no mistake, everyone runs into tough situations from time-to-time. Do you find ways to stay positive? Is that what you really want?

stay positive

In my business the idea of being positive, staying positive, or becoming more positive is a common discussion point. Businesses want their workforce to be motivated and engaged. Some people believe that motivation is entirely intrinsic. Others believe that motivation can be built or developed.

Being positive is probably connected with motivation, at least in some ways. It also might be connected with energy levels, enthusiasm, and persistence.

Two Types

Over time I have discovered that there are at least two types of people who express interest in staying or becoming more positive. There are those who are willing to work towards a more positive direction and there are those who express strong interest but are reluctant to make changes necessary to correct their path.

Recently someone expressed to me that they were struggling, having a tough time, and trying to navigate some difficult situations.

Certainly this person is not alone. Many people feel the same challenge. When I expressed several suggestions for corrective action they really didn’t appear all that interested. This person was more interested in complaining, feeling miserable, and looking for others to join the club.

If you truly want to stay positive, you have to want to get there and then to make it stick.

Positive Environment

Most people can see a correlation to the environment that we live, breathe, and work in, and our mental state. Not necessarily mental health, but our outlook. Are we more positive or are we leaning towards more negativity?

I’m not sure of the latest research by social scientists but many people believe that we are a product of our environment. Likely, whether consciously or not, this is why so many businesses are concerned with levels of positivity.

If you want to stay positive or if you are looking for ways to improve morale and positivity in your workplace you might want to consider starting with a question.

Do you, or the persons involved, want to be more positive and stay positive, or do you want to linger in the world of negativity?

Staying stuck and complaining is likely easier than taking action. Being distracted from the work at hand might be easier than staying focused, and for some, being the victim almost always feels like a good excuse.

Stay Positive

If you really want to stay positive or help others become or stay positive here are a few things to consider.

  • Bumps in the road. We all hit obstacles, hurdles, and setbacks. Some might be work related, some personal, and sometimes we might be dealing with a little of both. Expressing your difficulties with others can help you see things differently, but reliving the ugly memory time and time again does not help your cause.
  • Energy is required. We’ve heard the expression many times, “Get a good night’s sleep.” Your brain needs rest, your body needs rest, and you also need to have good nutrition. Don’t underestimate the challenges presented by a lack of sleep or not eating. Make sure you are eating and sleeping.
  • Learn something. You might be surprised with the number of people I meet who want to have a cocktail or two to relax and unwind, they see a correlation. On the other hand they won’t pick up a book or read anything in any format to learn something new. There are lots of ways to learn something, it doesn’t have to be a book, but you need to make a conscious effort.
  • Look forward. You cannot stay stuck in the past. Everyone has heard this, but only some will navigate out of the pit. Learn from things, yes, absolutely, but you cannot predict every future experience will result in tragedy. Clean the slate, wipe the white board, or think, <File> <New> but do not stay stuck.

Do you want to be more positive, or help others become and stay more positive, or is it more fun to stay stuck?

The choice is yours. Your outcomes will be conditioned on your next move—or not.

– 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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Constructive Thinking Makes Your Day

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Many people rise every morning with the intent of having a great day, but some will rise every day with their first thought being about everything that will go wrong. Constructive thinking is part of our emotional intelligence, but it only makes a difference when we use it.

constructive thinking business people

It might help to understand the differences between constructive and destructive thinking. Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.

Destructive Thinking

There are many things that might bring on destructive thinking, and unfortunately people sometimes become hooked on such patterns, patterns then become habits, and it’s hard to break free.

When does destructive thinking get life? Here are a few possibilities, when you:

  • are hurried;
  • feel angry or dislike;
  • are embarrassed;
  • have tight deadlines;
  • get unfavorable feedback.

Of course there are many other scenarios that might play out to put you on a path of destructive thinking.

You might not close a sale or opportunity you’ve been working on, you might be uncomfortable with people you work around, or you are highly stressed by multiple and growing demands of your time or attention.

Constructive Thinking

One of the keys for more constructive thinking is to minimize or not allow any room for the destructive stuff, replace destructive with constructive and perhaps most important, make it a habit.

Give yourself some new patterns of thinking. Here are a few opportunities.

  • Being optimistic. Instead of seeing how your worst thought or fear might come true consider what are the good things that might happen next? Look for opportunity in a roadblock and get excited about pursuing things from a different (better) approach.
  • Build a positive prophecy. See the future as happening for you, not to you. See the end result as a positive outcome. Eliminate questionable thinking. Think, “I am strong and I am successful,” instead of “I’ll try hard and I will become better.”
  • Live in today, not yesterday. We learn from mistakes, let downs, and failures, but that doesn’t mean that we have to re-live them. Grow from past experiences but don’t keep reliving negative or unwanted outcomes. See yourself in a better place.

In the heat of the moment we can also take a break, some deep breaths, and discipline ourselves to replace harsh unwanted thoughts with something more constructive. In challenging relationships we might need to establish a plan or a course of action that will allow us to break patterns of negativity.

Additional Considerations

Consider what you talk about, what you share with others. Sometimes people claim they are very positive, but all they speak of is negativity. Certainly everyone might need to vent occasionally but minimize this activity because it only keeps you reliving the unwanted.

Last, but certainly not least, sometimes we might have to consider if there are other explanations for what is happening. Are you misunderstanding the circumstances or situations? Are you assuming too much or too little? If you were in someone else’s shoes would you view this differently?

Constructive thinking might be one of the most powerful things you can do to turn things around.

Go ahead, make your day!

– 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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