Tag Archives: attitude

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happy boss

Happy Boss, Happy Life? Maybe or Maybe Not

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Do you have a happy boss? Does that make your life a little easier?

First, the boss can also be a metaphor for the customer. It could also be applicable to members of the board of directors or other stakeholders.

Are you making them happy?

Often, everyone is working hard to satisfy the boss. In simple terms, that is what you do, yet is everyone happy?

It is unlikely that in every circumstance or every situation especially when you consider the huge potential for varying degrees of satisfaction, that everyone will be happy.

Does that make it all, OK?

Probably for most circumstances we would say no.

Happy Boss

Working to please the unpleased, or the uneasy to please is a battle you take on nearly every day.

It is a metric of sorts. Outside of varying degrees of subjectivity, it is a binary situation. Satisfied or not satisfied. Happy or not happy.

What usually happens next is that it is used as a guide. Create more happiness by achieving improved results.

Your attitude may have much to do with the long-term outcomes. So will the ease or the lack thereof, in satisfying the boss.

When you are working towards creating happiness, you’ll likely find more of it. There is simply less room for the unhappy. Even for the chronically unhappy.

It is a circumstance that, when created, becomes easier to find the energy reserves to achieve. You may also discover that a happy boss always makes your life easier.

You get to choose the approach.

It even works in your personal life.

-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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improving attitude

Improving Attitude, Is It Possible Or Unlikely?

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Do you believe that improving attitude is possible? What is a bad attitude and how does it develop?

Perhaps arguable, but the perception of someone having a bad attitude is just that, a perception. It is probably a perception within the bounds of consideration for what a normal or good attitude should look like.

Attitude may be connected to values and beliefs. It might have something to do with your interpersonal network, your family, your inputs, and what is happening in the environment around you.

Emotional tensions are often like seasons. They come and go. It is the inputs and narrative that surrounds each individual that will influence behavior. Often it is a perception of right versus wrong.

For example, in a team meeting if there are differing opinions and the opinions are brought to a debate, one side wins, the other loses. That can be enough to shape an attitude.

We see it everywhere. At work, at home, with adults, and with children. It happens in government and politics and it happens anywhere there are groups of people.

Improving Attitude

There are two tricks to help shape a better attitude.

The first is, setting the expectations for how work teams will navigate disappointment. If you don’t get your way, will you compromise to give a different direction a try? Or is the perception that you fight back, you fight back with workplace politics, bullying, or bad behavior?

The second is that you have to set the expectation for attitudes and behaviors. This is best accomplished by a strong focus on the organizational purpose and by connecting each and every job task and duty to the organizational mission.

When leadership has a strong focus of commitment to the mission and purpose and emulates that throughout all levels of the organization there is much less room for a bad attitude.

Improving attitude is a skill. It’s a skill because everyone has a choice for how they will navigate. Perhaps, not everyone has the discipline, but that is self-fulfilling if there is only enough time and energy to focus on the mission.

Attitude can be improved.

-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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job changes

Job Changes Always Mean Opportunity

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There is always change. No matter what the calendar illustrates as the current year, there are changes. Job changes are commonplace. Are they for the better?

Everyone’s job changes. Things shift, requirements transform, and the needs of the customer often get more demanding.

That means your job will change.

Habits are hard to break. Good or bad. Chances are great that what you’ll do today is connected to a habit.

A habit is something that you are familiar with. It is often a pattern, a collection of recurring choices which lead to pathways that lead to outcomes.

People have a morning habit, a dinner habit, and even a weekend habit. Get some coffee, have some left-overs, visit the recycle center.

Regardless of how loose or how fitting, you find your life is connected to a lot of habits.

Job Changes

Do you love your job? Do you get inspired by your work? Are you hoping for more opportunity, tougher challenges, and a chance to really show what you’ve got?

When you find a reason to commit to doing your best work your interest level changes. You develop more energy and appreciate the feeling of a job well done. It can happen with your chores at home or your daily grind at the workplace.

It is about what you do. It’s your habit.

This is true because when someone tries to change your flow, you’re probably not happy.

People often say, “I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.”

Maybe they are doing it. Maybe you are doing it. Right now.

Every job change, every pivot, shift, or revamp is your opportunity.

When you commit to engagement, you’ll develop more satisfaction. When change is an opportunity, you’ll find reasons to embrace it.

It’s easy to love what you do.

-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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big attitude

Does Big Attitude Mean Big Enough to Fail?

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Charisma, confidence, and a big attitude, is that what it really takes? Selling or leading could benefit from all three, yet a big attitude could mean the beginning of the end.

Some organizations believe that they are too big to fail. They have too much in reserves, the strength of bold and powerful investors, and a market that never ceases to gobble up their products or services.

Perhaps they’ve scaled. They’ve built it from the ground up and now sit atop a high peak. Looking down they underestimate that their strength could be exactly what makes them start to tumble.

Big Attitude

It can happen to the local pizza shop. They run like a monopoly. The best pizza in town. The big attitude is, “If you don’t like it, try to find a better one.”

It can be true for the local convenience store, the car dealership, and even the specialty grocer.

Behind the scene, they make little investment. No need for a drone video, a fancy website, or a Superbowl commercial.

As profits surge, the care they started with begins to diminish.

Keep expenses low and keep the profits to yourself. The facade fades because it costs to keep it up. A new sign here, or a coat of paint over there, and it’s good enough.

Employees are tools, not an investment. Those at the top contribute less and the frontline is coerced to give more. Customers come and go, but they mostly come so who really cares?

Possible to Fail

It’s happened in business, in education, and even in healthcare.

Be on top, or you’ll be underneath. On top is easier, more rewarding, and requires a lot less time. Count the money, buy big stuff, show what you’ve got. That’s the attitude.

A big attitude can get you started. It can also take you places.

When a big attitude scales, it may mean you’re now perfectly situated to be big enough to fail.

-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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good examples

Good Examples Are More Powerful Than Bad

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Our workplaces are full of learning moments. Often the moment centers around breakdowns, missed attempts, and other failures. Are good examples more powerful?

Logically, the bad example exploitation seems counterproductive, yet many people do it to themselves and others. As a result, a pattern of focusing on negativity sneaks up on people and teams.

Learning Moments

We can have 99 good experiences, things done right, customers happy, and goals met or exceeded. If on the 100th experience something goes wrong it seems to sour all that went right.

It is because our focus is wrong. We stop the presses, hit the panic button, or go on a witch hunt, but only for what is wrong, not right.

Learning moments are not only developed from bad examples, they can and should be developed from good examples.

Fear is an amazingly powerful emotion. It can make people spring into action. It can get the job done. Fear is also a short run game. Employees won’t be sticking around if they live in fear every day.

The same is true for disappointment, ridicule, and criticism. And for the record, no, criticism is not a good idea. Constructive feedback and performance improvement feedback, will help teams grow.

Good Examples

You can show a safety video where someone loses an eye, or you can show a safety video where a broken tool is stuck in the safety glasses preventing the loss of an eye.

You can bring the sales or customer service representative into your office and play back the call that they screwed up on, or you can have a meeting with the team and play back calls that delighted the customer experience.

Authority is important and valuable. It helps break the tie when people are sitting on the fence, it should seldom be used as an attitude of ruling a kingdom.

Yes, you may be the boss. No, you shouldn’t attempt to lead with an authoritarian approach.

This is especially true for learning moments. In learning moments good examples can be much more powerful than bad.

Calling someone to your office about the mistake they made earlier in the day may create fear and anger. Celebrating the behaviors that exhibit cultural values and beliefs may be just as powerful.

Certainly, corrective action is often necessary, but good examples lead to more good examples.

-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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navigating job performance

Navigating Job Performance Within Boundaries

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Most people come to work expecting to succeed. They put a lot of effort into making a difference, fitting in, and navigating the culture. Navigating job performance often involves subjectivity and attaining successful performance can be tricky.

A member of the waitstaff team decides the menu needs some new choices. He pushes management hard continuously insisting the choices by management are poor.

A creative marketing designer decides the price is too high and she assertively expresses unhappiness when preparing new advertising materials.

The junior networking engineer repeatedly challenges the long-term CIO in departmental meetings insisting that data security infrastructure is below par.

Knowing Boundaries

Many people have an opportunity to somewhat shape their job and their career. Having open discussions, a voice in the process, and providing constructive suggestions is a great thing.

Doing it so assertively that it creates friction with the boss may not always be the best approach. Certainly, there may be a time to stand up, give a little nudge, and express opinions, but knowing the boundaries is important.

Pushing to the point that you are identified as having a bad attitude likely won’t win you the next rung on the corporate ladder.

Navigating Job Performance

You work hard because you care. Putting in extra effort increases your job satisfaction and makes you feel responsible, productive, and that your contributions matter. Great.

In some cases, you’ll be able to shape your own job. In other cases, there just isn’t the opportunity for another manager, leader, or C-suite executive.

It may be about timing, or it may be that you still need more skill building. Keep in mind that navigating the culture may be the most important non-technical skill you can build.

Your performance is observed and evaluated by your boss, peers, or even the board of directors.

Make sure you’re performing well in what they are measuring. In many cases, this is boils down to your awareness of how to get along with them.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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grit attitude

Do You Have a Grit Attitude? Should you?

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Someone may ask, “Do you have a great attitude?” What about grit? Do you have a grit attitude? What about employee engagement, loyalty, and the commitment to excellence, do you have it?

Ever Changing

Social networks have invited a societal change. So much so, that I am expecting we’ll see a new generation emerging with birth dates starting around 2009.

Societal change and the external forces that are putting pressure on people, are often overlooked. What is different now, what has changed?

Years ago fantasy was purchased from racks strategically placed in supermarket checkout lines, the tabloids.

I remember working as a clerk at a retail pharmacy in the early 1980’s. Commonplace was the customer who purchased two packs of cigarettes, a jumbo sized candy bar, and a couple of tabloids.

I guess nicotine, sugar, and some tabloid articles gave them an escape from an otherwise busy workday.

Buying the Good Stuff

Today our tabloids are micro expressions from friends, family, and frenemies on social media platforms.

When we want another hit of dopamine, we do a little thumb scrolling. What we find shapes our attitude.

We see someone trying to sell the best products, the latest invention, or some other must have merchandise. There are sales channels and pictures taunting us from our previous digital activity.

That is not all though, we see more pictures than ever before. We see selfies, pets, sunsets, and beaches. There are mountains, food, and weather reports. And still more, there are politics, religion, and alien invasions.

Mostly we see things that are tabloid ready.

Grit Attitude

Does this inspire people to work at their best? Is it a concoction of ingredients that forms a great attitude?

Can you turn it off? Will you put down the tabloid?

Sometimes you may have to. It is OK if you aren’t buying it.

A grit attitude is not always convenient, it requires tenacity. In the long run it surpasses the tabloid quick hit.

-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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Attitude everything

Is Attitude Everything or Just Something?

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Recently someone asked me what makes an employee special. The conversation was centered on a particular employee known to both of us and how he, or why he, was promoted. My suggestion was that his attitude made the difference. Is attitude everything or just something?

Skills and Attitude

Skills are important and nearly everyone focuses on skill building. Is attitude a skill? We know that hammering a nail requires a little skill and a little energy and there is labor involved. The same is true about attitude. We often just don’t understand the aspects of emotional labor.

Most jobs require specific skill. Therefore, nearly everyone has demonstrated that they have acquired the skills necessary to do the job. You don’t have to look far to find someone who has more experience, a different or better education, and perhaps even some natural talent that sets them apart.

Leverage and Labor

Recently, I was asked to speak to a small group about entrepreneurship. One of the underlying principles of my talk was about leverage. In my business, leverage is everything. Most of the work, the marketing, and the building of intellectual property, it is all leveraged.

Leverage and your emotional labor are what sets most people apart.

People pursue the degree, not a bad choice.

People work hard and for great lengths of time, which is reputable, respected.

In the workplace, people with the wrong attitude are seldom promoted.

Your knowledge, skills, and abilities are only the minimum requirements. Consider the decisions and choices that people make throughout the day, for many days, for the time that some people will call a career, this is what makes the difference.

Is Attitude Everything

When you endure the emotional labor, you’ll create something.

Prove you have the ability to navigate the political currents, adjust your habits, set your ego aside, and work to help not just to finish. Most of all, when you bring your energy, demonstrate resilience, and show up better than the rest you’ll have leverage.

Is attitude everything? Your attitude is not just something. When attitude is what you stand for, you’ll stand out.

– 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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changing organizations

Changing Organizations and Why Some Never Will

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What you like, you like. Many people like the comfort of knowing the outcome, even when it may not be favorable. What is one thing that changing organizations have in common? It may have something to do with the people, but it is more likely about attitudes and beliefs.

Same Story

Many people get up and go to work each day. They may not be particularly happy or sad, angry or excitingly engaged, they are just existing. They learned their job a long time ago. Starting the day is easy. They’ve been doing it five times per week for years.

These people have a certain attitude about change. They don’t really like it. For them, it seems to make sense to live with the known, the repetitive, and the understood. It probably started as an adolescent. Get up go to school, come home, do some homework and chores, and repeat.

Certainly, there isn’t really anything wrong with any of that, it seems like it is safe. Not really too risky, and you likely know the results. It is an attitude about how to earn a living and build a life.

Thirst for Change

There are other attitudes as well. Some people see things that aren’t working and they want to fix them. They see a goal, and they want to beat it. When they hear about a competitor’s success, they want to exceed it.

Are these different people? Perhaps you could make that argument but really, the people have different attitudes or beliefs on how to execute. This is exactly why some organizations will never change and why many will wait until it is too late or until they are beyond the energy of the curve.

Changing Organizations

Changing organizations, the ones that makes room for change, the first adopters, technology seekers, and fast trackers, they’ll have success and some failures. They experience the front side of the curve, or at a minimum they act before it is too late.

It is the organizational attitude that allows people to lead. Front-runners know how to petal and to push, and they create the ride that pulls everyone else along.

All of the other organizations are coasting. The best question may be, “How long can they coast?” The down side of the curve will only last so long.

– 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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