Tag Archives: change

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career story

How Are You Creating Your Career Story?

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Everyone has a story, right? What is your story? I hear a lot of stories about doom and gloom. I hear a lot of embellished stories, and stories that may not even be real. What is your career story?

Career Story

If you aren’t happy with your story, the good news is that you can change it. It really doesn’t matter if you’re early in your career, mid-career, or even in the sunset. Your career is about your story.

We have stories all around us. There are biblical stories, stories of the land before time, and stories about developing nations, economies, and intellect. Your career is not about a single moment. It’s built across time.

If you don’t like how your story is starting you can change it. If you don’t like the flow, or the emerging ending, you can change it.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle is understanding your career is not a job. It is not a place, a city, a town, or an industry sector. It is something you’re building.

Seeking Change

If you feel that you need to do something different, don’t wait. You’re going to have to get involved. Make changes, grow your network, find more moments that build your story.

It may begin with what you’re telling yourself. Have you assessed your competencies? Do you need new skills, retraining, or updating? Perhaps.

Keep in mind however, that many people get the opportunity of a lifetime in an area that they aren’t so skilled. And now you’re asking, “How?”

The answer is easy, they have some boxes checked, but they are using their relationships (networking) to create the next opportunity.

What is your next moment? What if you look for the next part of your story, instead of a job. Invest in doing something that feels natural, feels good, and creates connection?

It’s time to build more of your story. People are waiting to hear it.

-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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scowl face

Scowl Face Won’t Create The Change You Seek

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People unconsciously become convinced that moods get results. Act out, act up, be unwilling to compromise or meet halfway, these are the tactics of children. Are you wearing a scowl face in an attempt to create change?

Sometimes children get their way with the scowl, arms crossed, and foot stomping. In the workplace, this still brings people to action, sometimes. If it is the boss, there may be a good chance.

Scowl face sometimes feels appropriate, but it likely never is. The impression created from childhood that this is the way for change is not so realistic in the grown-up world.

Change Adverse

Largely, people are change adverse by nature. Change makes them feel uneasy, nervous, and afraid.

It isn’t the way it was always done, it’s not the tried and true method. Change has failed before, the thought is, it will continue.

When we understand that people don’t like change, we can also understand that the change being sought may not be personal.

Changing the process, doesn’t mean it is a personal attack. A change to better connect with customers, it isn’t personal. Rearranging teams, employees, and altering policies, it probably isn’t personal.

Scowl Face

If we are leading change, or are a part of the change, or both, we’re not going to get very far with a scowl face. It may send a message, but it is the wrong message. It may create short-term action, but the long-term consequences are undesirable.

In the workplace, for the employees, for the groups, departments, and teams, don’t try scowl face.

If you’re going to create the kind of change you need, you’re going to need everyone on board.

Creating action is sometimes the biggest illusion that you are creating the change you need.

-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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difficult change

Why Your Difficult Change Is Not Impossible

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Change sometimes feels impossible. The obstacles too big, the chances too small, and the time required not worth it. Confronting a difficult change is not impossible when you have a good plan.

What is your plan?

Where to Start

When we need to straighten up the closet, clean out the garage, or make a positive change in our life or career we may decide that we don’t know where to start.

Not knowing where to start doesn’t mean the change is impossible. It doesn’t necessarily mean the odds are stacked against you. Time may be required but appropriate patience and balance will bring it to fruition.

Too often people stop before they get started. They visualize the obstacles, the roadblocks, and the pain and effort required. The gap seems too broad or the road too long.

Difficult Change

There are three simple rules to learning how to get started and how to make a difficult change become a reality.

  1. Vision. A well-defined vision or goal works best. What will things look like in the end? What does it feel like and where will you be? Tidying up a closet is different from discarding eighty percent of the contents.
  2. Steps. When we see the challenge in steps it helps bring the reality to life. The bigger picture is sometimes too far away, it feels impossible. For the closet, we may consider one shelf at a time, or hanging items first. Apply this same logic to any change.
  3. Persistence. Many people talk with me about writing a book. They just don’t know where to start. By creating a vision and breaking it into steps they are underway. Replicating a little effort each day or each week adds up. In the early stages, count accomplishments more than the gap, as the gap closes shift reflection to what remains.

There is a big difference between difficult and impossible.

Leaping across the Grand Canyon in a single bound may be impossible. Getting to the other side is not.

-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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awaiting change

Awaiting Change or Making Change Happen?

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What will be different today? Will something change? Many people feel excited about the possibility. They are awaiting change.

Is this what will spark change or do we have to engage deeper, in a more meaningful way?

Constant Change

Most would agree that we are in a World of constant and rapid change. Some live for this exhilarating feeling, others want to climb back into their box.

On the other hand, many people and businesses feel stuck, trapped, or worse, going backwards.

We are all responsible for change. Change seems to happen more when the reason for change is clear. When there is purpose, direction, and vision.

Awaiting Change

One trouble spot often is, people are just waiting. They are waiting to be inspired, waiting to connect with what matters to them, and looking for clear vision, a roadmap they can follow.

Today perhaps we’re all marketers. We all must sell, promote, and create connection. Like it or not, we’re in a connection economy. As the digital age shoves more data in front us things don’t get clearer, they get more nebulous.

In a fuzzy world, we resort to instinct, our instinct resorts to trust. We ask someone.

The testimonial is more important now than ever. The people you meet, they have value. What they say will have impact on your direction. When we listen, we’re building our own vision.

What To Do

Ask yourself, “What would the savvy marketer do?”

Launch a new OOH campaign, engage with video, build an incredible and resourceful website? One thing is certain, they are going to try to connect with emotion, a purpose, and a vision.

When you recognize what matters most and stop waiting you’ll start changing.

Connect yourself or your team with authenticity, respect, and high ethical standards. Maybe it is what people are waiting for. Maybe it is what matters the most.

Stop waiting, start connecting, promote the vision, and listen. Things will change.

-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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self-reflection

Self-Reflection May Be Your Stumbling Block

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Assessment is one of the most fundamental ways we seek to understand gaps. It is important for the speaker at the conference, the trainer helping to develop the team, and the coach who helps you change. Self-reflection, a form of assessment, may also be your biggest stumbling block.

Social Anxieties

Do you enjoy browsing on social networks? Why does it interest you? Do you engage, or quietly observe? Do you stalk, secretly looking to see what others are doing?

What do you find attractive about shopping? Whether it is online or in a brick and mortar store?

What are some of your favorite movies? What television series attracts your attention?

Why does the song or music resonate with you? What makes you feel it, helps you escape, or excites your emotions?

The answer to nearly all these questions has something to do with you. Individuals are striving to understand, feel, or compare. Their vision, thoughts, and feelings are a vicarious trip to the future, or an opportunity to relive the past.

When we look at the old yearbook photo, we seek first to find our own reflection. What were we wearing, how did we look? Too skinny, too fat, or why did we choose those clothes?

Why do so many selfies get adjusted? Add some dog ears, and a cute little nose.

All of this is not about everyone. It is however about someone. It is about you.

Self-Reflection

Self-reflection will always condition what happens next. It will condition your choice to spring into action or to fall back, hide, or regroup.

People are attracted to social networks because they are finding themselves. They may seek to find sympathy, regret, or someone to share in their sorrow. Maybe things aren’t that bad, or maybe they want appreciation for being the victim.

Other times they seek the energy, the excitement, the happiness, and the possibilities. They relive the best and think fondly of the past.

One truth about self-reflection, it is the thought we have right before what we become next.

-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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forced change

Forced Change Doesn’t Work As Well As Consensus

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Change surrounds us. It may be hard to find an argument with that idea. However, does forced change ever really work? Can you force a change?

Certainly, there are external forces of change. We have technology forcing change, government regulations may force change, and even shifting economic conditions are likely to force change.

Managing Change

How do you manage forced change? Can it be managed? Does forced change happen internally?

There are always both external and internal forces putting pressure on organizations to change. The outcome of pressure applied is reactionary change.

We all realize that reaction may not be as good being proactive.

When we present ideas, concepts, and new directions we are hoping for change. Does the debate at the water cooler invoke change? What about the private discussion after the staff meeting? Does that bring about change?

Fighting for Change

It is easy to find disagreement. It is easy to pick a fight.

A culture of, “We fight about it.” may bring about some change, but it may not be the change you had in mind.

While external forces cause change for organizations, internal change or buy-in may require a completely different strategy.

Decision by consensus is different from persuasion, it is different from majority vote. Forced ideas seldom lead to consensus. Debates, arguments, or fights seldom create buy-in.

Forced Change

Some people will always go with the flow. They’ll follow the crowd. Fence sitters can go either way but often watch for the path of the majority. People with strong views can transition to extreme views as their influence grows.

Picking a fight and creating a divide is likely not what you have in mind. Forced change is often only the residue from the attempt, the bitterness that teams harbor and relive over and over in their minds.

If you want positive change and an intact team you’re going to have to use skillful navigation to create the buy-in. Forced change doesn’t work.

-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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Discipline leads

Why Discipline Leads To Change

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Are you disciplined? Do you do things when you don’t really want to, when it is not ideal, or when it feels like you have no energy? Do you believe discipline leads to change?

Being committed, being disciplined in your approach will nearly always lead to change.

Saying no to the chocolate cake.

Going for a run even though it is raining.

Working extra hours to finish the job on time.

All of these are leading to change. What does it all mean?

Meaningful Change

It means that when you don’t want to work on the spreadsheet, but you still do, the work gets finished. That’s change.

It could also mean that when you don’t want to have a conversation about the project, but you do, the outcomes become clearer. That’s change.

Perhaps when you want to speak out, strike out, or quit, but you don’t, the collaboration becomes easier and the work of the few is more powerful than the work of the one.

All of this is change, it’s showing you the value of discipline. It means you’re taking a different approach. It means that you’re putting in the emotional labor to get the results. Could it be that the bottom line will also improve?

Discipline Leads

The power of discipline is often underestimated. Discipline transforms from the power of the push, to the power of the pull. It makes the work a compelling argument, not one to be avoided. No more push, all pull.

Discipline and commitment are attractive. Attraction breeds more community and engagement. In a connection economy you couldn’t ask for more.

When was the last time you were tested for discipline? When were your buttons pushed? What about your energy, do you have the emotional stamina to work beyond adversity? Will you feel the pull?

The next time you absolutely don’t want to do something think about what will change. If it will create a positive impact find the discipline and you’ll see the change.

You’ll pull through.

-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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safety zone

Safety Zone and The Status Quo Approach

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Safety is something that most humans covet. It’s an inherent part of our evolution. We like to feel safe. Is operating in your safety zone or the status quo holding you back?

Safety and the status quo tend to keep everyone stuck.

Status Quo is Sticky

We don’t speak up at the meeting. It is safer to just observe. It saves embarrassment, perhaps revealing a weakness, or worse, getting blacklisted or fired for a bad idea.

We don’t apply for the new job. Maybe we aren’t that good. Maybe we’ll fail, or maybe they will decide they don’t like me so I better stay put. It is safe.

It is often suggested to represent the evidence of loyalty, commitment, or how we do it here.

Gradually, across time, our jobs and workplaces create the feeling of safety and security. There is a feeling of comfort in the status quo.

The Paradox

Yet, every day organizations are mostly looking to serve more, do more, create new, get bigger, be stronger, and last longer.

The contrast between safety and change is sometimes nearly invisible to the employee, yet the lingering feeling is often a cause for discomfort.

It is ever present in the job change. The increased workload. Picking up the slack for another person or workgroup, or the message from leadership that the economic climate requires change.

Safety Zone

It is ironic that the best organizations are the ones operating on the edge. The very edge of in control versus out of control. The organization that pushes the button, finds ways to become more efficient, and takes big leaps while others stand wishfully pondering the edge.

Everything is changing. Changing rapidly. The status quo is not safe.

True for the organization. True for the individual.

Excitement, engagement, and growth happen just on the other side of the safety zone.

-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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nomophobia

Nomophobia, Workplace Anxiety, and Motivation

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Human behavior is a factor in our workplace every day. Behaviors and habits shape decisions and choices from the moment our eyes open until the moment we sleep. Have you heard of nomophobia?

While I’m not sure, and I’m not confident in the origin of the word, its existence is real. At least as early as 2014, Psychology Today, published an article about nomophobia. In the article it states origins to the year 2010.

Nomophobia

Nomophobia is defined as an anxiety associated with the fear of being without your cellular telephone, or at least without its use.

Many people can probably relate. Forget your phone on your way out the door and you would think you left a pan of bacon cooking unattended on the stove. We impulsively want to run back to change our situation.

Is nomophobia real? Of course it is real. Fear will drive human behavior. Afraid of what we’ll miss, who may call or text, or simply being disconnected from our friends and family will alter our behavior.

As with any phobia, anxiety increases. Desirable performance will likely decrease. What we should be doing shifts, we change. Our human reaction to fear and panic is now in control.

I’ve often wrote about the cautions associated with fear as a driver for motivation.

Do this or get fired. 

Sales are down and we’re going to have to cut back.

Next week we are installing a brand new software system. 

Fear in the workplace will change performance. It may also change buy-in, communication patterns, and certainly fear will change the end results.

Habits Move Us

People are creatures of habit. The habits that we have every day will drive the outcomes of our performance. Change your habits, you’ll change your performance.

This is true with eating, exercise, and what happens (or doesn’t) for our career.

When something that has become a habit suddenly becomes unavailable, goes away, or changes, there will be a reaction. The ultimate question is, “Will the reaction be productive or counterproductive?”

What you remove may be exactly what was keeping it all together.

-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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goals matter

Why Goals Matter For Interpersonal Workplace Change

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

Sound Familiar?

Nothing ever changes around here.

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

He or she will never change. 

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

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

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

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

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

Goals Matter

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

You can get started by answering three important questions.

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

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

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

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

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

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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