Tag Archives: choices

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meeting decisions

Meeting Decisions May Be The Hold-Up

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Is your workplace culture caught up in meeting decisions? Decisions that are always contingent on holding a meeting?

Meetings often feel necessary and certainly, many of them probably are. Meeting effectiveness matters because too many details, a lack of fact-finding, or the wrong people at the meeting can derail even the best intentions.

Most of the best work that you do comes when you find the right balance. The balance between too much and too little, too authoritarian or too relaxed, and even too fast or too slow.

Size Matters

In the smallest of businesses, the owner makes the decisions. There is a time to contemplate and study, and also a time to act. The owner can, at his or her descrestion, act fast.

Big companies have different hurdles. The decision-making process is often slower, seemingly more calculated, and often tied up with too many people having a hand in the pot.

Decision quality is often a concern. One side believes the decision was made too soon and without enough information. The other side believes there was analysis paralysis and too many details.

Who really suffers?

Meeting Decisions

Ultimately, it is likely the customer who suffers the most.

They have to deal with delays, less quality, and often rising prices.

Who has the bigger advantage? The big company or the small company?

While the big company has more market share and thus exposure and reputation, the smaller company is nimbler and more flexible. Decisions mean outcomes and outcomes mean action.

Your next decision and the time it wastes or maximizes may not only be holding you up, but it may also be holding you back.

Are you surfing the status quo or are you blazing a trail for future success?

It’s probably a balancing act.

Ending the meeting or holding one will help you find the right balance.

-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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workplace options

Workplace Options, For Better or For Worse

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What are the options? Many people in the workforce are often considering their workplace options. Not only related to their career, but related to business decisions, employee decisions, and the directional decisions of the organization.

In the United States, we are in a presidential election year. Many people chatter about the presidential campaigns currently underway, and to generalize, my best guess is that somewhere around 50 percent of the population will agree on one of the candidates.

As in any election cycle, a question to consider is, “Who isn’t running that should be?”

It matters because the voters are really only voting on the best option.

Always the Best Option

Frustrated hiring managers are faced with hiring the best available option. There may be many people better suited for the job opportunity, but they either didn’t apply or perhaps the compensation package didn’t fit.

Marketing and advertising managers have to make the most of a budget. A Superbowl commercial may be effective to boost sales, yet it may not be affordable to most small businesses. Instead, they set direction best on the best available options within their budget.

Job seekers look for options. A computer science graduate may be able to earn a substantial income in technology hot spots throughout the United States, yet he or she may choose to live in a small rural town in Montana. Other options exist, but they are not suitable for their personal framework of choices.

Workplace Options

People and organizations are always living with choices. They are living with choices based on finding a balance within options.

The elected official is the best option out of those seeking the position. A candidate who gets the job is the best of the options. Advertising options are the best value within the budget. Career pathways somehow weave their way into existence as the best option within the framework of the individual.

In the workplace, there may not always be a perfect option. Waiting for one may be the biggest mistake of all.

For better or for worse.

-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 choices

Personal Choices Reflect Professional Brand

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Is it personality or is it about choice? Perhaps, it is both. Your personal choices for workplace behavior will illustrate your professional brand.

In the meeting, you hear what you perceive as unfavorable news. Perhaps, even threatening for your job role.

The night before you didn’t sleep well. You feel cranky.

You make a mistake but decide to blame it on the circumstances.

It’s all about choice.

Personal Choices

You have a choice regarding your behavior. It is not about the choices that others make, it is about your choice.

You can choose to learn more, do more, and give more. Giving more works for knowledge, empathy, and patience.

You have talents and abilities that you’ve acquired through years of devotion and commitment. Will you share or selfishly hoard?

Have you made a conscious choice to build things up, or are your actions and behaviors more about tearing things down?

Do you jump on board when someone starts to criticize others, or do you move towards some constructive action, search for solutions, or offer a different perspective?

Is the path you choose one of comfort and ease or is it more about overcoming obstacles, exceeding a personal best, or being willing to explore something new?

Professional Brand

If you make a conscious decision to stop learning, stop growing, or to always seek the easiest path, you’ve made a choice about your professional brand.

Someone will always try to beat the system, take a shortcut, or achieve something better at the expense of others.

That’s not a brand you want to represent.

That isn’t you.

-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 Difficult People

Navigating Difficult People Is Seldom Easy

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Have you ever faced the challenge of navigating difficult people? What did you do?

Workplaces are filled with challenges. They’re also filled with emotions, bias, and mistrust.

A Few Basics

There are a few general practices that can help guide people in most situations. One of the first and perhaps the most fundamental is to recognize that it is often your own behavior that you can control, not the behavior or personalities of others.

There is a difference between navigating peers and navigating your boss, or perhaps even the boss of your boss.

What about all of the picky people, the perfectionists, or the boundary busting critic?

Then there are the annoying people. The loud, the rude, and the obnoxious.

When we recognize that we have a choice for how we react to every situation it makes navigation a little easier.

Some of it is based on your own expectations.

What are the expectations of others? Are they too high, too low, or inappropriately aligned for the circumstances?

Once again, each person has some ability to gauge their actions and reactions.

Navigating Difficult People

A picky person may feel difficult, yet when we realize and develop a greater understanding of their expectations, their values, or beliefs, we can better navigate. We can change our interactions and lower our expectations on his or her behavior.

On the other hand, a truly difficult person may enjoy being difficult.

If you suggest blue, they want green. Show them green, and it should have been orange. Tomorrow or next week, it all changes.

In some cases, you have a choice about who you interact with, in other cases you must find a way to navigate when interaction is required. Even when it is uncomfortable.

Improving your own situation starts with thinking about the choices you’ll make and how you’ll choose to interact.

Having big expectations for others that they should change is probably unrealistic.

You can change, just don’t expect it from others.

-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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better leadership

Better Leadership Makes Things Better

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Sharp turns, bumps in the road, and dead-end streets. It’s easy to give metaphorical expressions for navigating the rough spots. Maybe what we really need is better leadership.

Everyone has a chance to lead. It’s an opportunity that awaits although many don’t often pause long enough to see it.

Conditions for Leading

Busy is a condition, it’s also a great excuse. People can be too preoccupied and that can detract from their focus.

Often effectiveness is missing.

Listening matters. We hear sounds or noises. True listening involves spending the time and energy required to comprehend or understand what you are hearing.

The truth often is, people are lazy listeners.

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you’ve seen a thing or two. If you’ve been in the workforce even in the past few years, you’ve encountered a lot.

We’ve went from a raging, fantastically exciting economy, to getting knocked to our knees by the threat of a virus. Now, violence and disruption have hit our streets and shattered our communities.

Anyone can lead, and now is a great time to be involved.

Better Leadership

Better leadership is an opportunity. It is an opportunity that is needed now, and it will be continuously needed in the future.

Leading, listening, and understanding the difference between busy and effective are all leadership challenges.

Transformation surrounds everyone. The choices you make today will impact your contribution to what the future looks like.

Everyone needs to move on, move forward, or move out of the way of progress.

Lead in your workplace, your community, or for a cause that you care deeply about.

Make things better.

-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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precious workplace resources

Precious Workplace Resources and Using Them

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Marketing is a struggle spot for many businesses. So is making great choices about talent. What are your most precious workplace resources? Are you using them effectively?

Technology and automation are both king and queen in many operations. Business strive to scale. They strive to attain the most efficiency and balance it with low cost.

Time is always a factor. How much, how fast, and how great is the quality? It’s true for both goods, and for services.

Focus is a factor when it comes to resources. Focus on nothing and you’ll likely get nothing.

Businesses and people sometimes focus too broad, or the opposite, too narrow.

The broad approach is often labeled, spray and pray. You throw a bunch of stuff out there and you see what sticks. It’s often the concept of spam.

Too narrow, and opportunities are missed. Product value is weakened or doesn’t fit like it potentially could. Services don’t provide enough depth.

Precious Workplace Resources

In the workplace it is often easy for people to appear busy. Busy is not proof of productivity, efficiency, or effectiveness. It may be proof that motion is occurring, but motion in most instances is not the point.

You can walk or run on a treadmill, yet you aren’t going any place. The argument may be that your improving fitness, and that may be true, but you haven’t changed your location.

It’s true for rocking in a rocking chair, it’s true for writing a book and never publishing it. Unless your goal is that act of doing, you’re not going anywhere.

Effectively using your most precious workplace resources has several important aspects. You should figure out where you’re going, monitor progress, and pivot your plan as appropriate along the way.

Both change and utilization are about decisions and choices. Those opportunities start with awareness.

If you think a lot of motion in the rocking chair will get you across town.

You’re mistaken.

-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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traveling forward

Traveling Forward Is Your Only Path

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It’s your only path because you cannot go backwards. When you recognize traveling forward is your only route, embracing it becomes less difficult.

You can’t freeze time. It doesn’t stop. Fix a telescope on the constellation Orion and it keeps moving. In our view of the sky, so does the Sun and the Moon.

Returning to Normal, or Not?

There are certainly many lessons being learned during the spring of 2020.

One that perhaps hasn’t been fully considered is that there is only one path forward. You can’t stay exactly the same because you can’t freeze time. You can’t go back either.

There is not going to be a return to normal. A new normal perhaps, but not a return to the old normal. Things are different now.

Changed for a long time, if not forever, people will think differently about social gatherings. Commerce will be different. Certain fears are new or older ones rekindled or solidified.

Will there be an “all clear?”

Even if there is, or when there is, many people still won’t believe it. Some don’t believe it now, and some won’t believe it later.

Fear will impact the quality of decisions. There will be fear of a virus, fear of legal issues, and fear of the unknown.

Fear is always a motivator. Unfortunately, being fearful isn’t the design of the most successful organizational cultures.

Traveling Forward

Forward is your only choice. The cause and effect of decisions you make will affect today and tomorrow, but not yesterday.

Expecting that there will be a return to normal is thoughtless. It’s an assumption based on desire not on practicality.

Tomorrow will be different from today. Even if you tried to stop tomorrow from happening it’s still coming.

When you accept that traveling forward is the only path you should also consider asking yourself what you’ll change.

You have a chance every day to make tomorrow better than the day before. Assumptions about normal are simply a state of 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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good decisions

Good Decisions Come From Good Character

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Is it easy to make good decisions? Considering a lifetime of decisions and choices, does your character define you?

A good friend of mine asks the question, “How does someone get discovered?”

He is referring to things like musicians, authors, and even great business leaders. Evidence suggests that there are many talented people who go through life undiscovered.

Why?

Has the playing field been leveled? Are there too many in the category of average?

What will set you apart?

Wealth of Information

We live in a World saturated with information. There is so much information, so many media options, and so many opportunities worthy of consideration that nearly everyone has an opportunity to contribute or learn something.

In professional settings there are countless sources for business information. There are thousands of schools and universities, and even more books, seminars, and other learning opportunities.

It would seem that both knowledge and opportunity are everywhere.

What makes a difference for people in their career? If information and knowledge are abundantly available, what sets some apart?

Good Decisions

Setting aside the concept of luck or being at the right place at the right time your best moves probably develop from your character.

When you consider that all of the people who seek knowledge have similar resources for knowledge gain or accessibility to information, then it really comes down to decisions.

The missing skill becomes your sense of good judgment.

Every decision made today will have consequences. Some of those may be labeled as good while others may be labeled as bad.

Everything that you do and become is a part of the decisions you’ve made. Across your own lifetime, it is part of your character.

Perhaps the most scarce resource of all, is the character required to make good judgments that lead to good decisions.

Decisions made are part of who you are. How you change what happens next is part of who you’ll become.

-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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unexpected choices

Unexpected Choices Spark a Pivot.

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Decisions sometimes need to be made even when it is undesirable. Have you encountered unexpected choices during adverse conditions?

If you have, then you’ve probably recognized that freezing, seizing up, or having a reluctance to consider alternatives may result in poor choices.

People deal with the stress of the unexpected in different ways. Some immediately want to explore while others just want everything to go back to what they considered normal.

In many cases, there is not a back to normal option. The status quo is no longer available. There becomes a new normal.

People often believe that a persons environment shapes who they are and who they become. Others believe that people are who they are, regardless of any environmental observation or stimulus. There is even a psychology based term for this, it is known as the Fundamental Attribution Error.

Our environment is powerful. Situations and circumstances are powerful. Your habits, ethics, and integrity are also powerful.

What do you do or assume during adverse conditions? Are you looking for new options or do you find yourself restricted to known paths?

Innovators seek new options.

Unexpected Choices

You may discover that it is time to pivot. Time to explore the unexplored and discover a different direction.

What do you do when the store is out of your favorite brand?

How do you get to work when your normal route is blocked?

What happens when you don’t have the right tool for the job?

You improvise. Discovery of options and choices provide an opportunity to keep moving.

Everyday decisions always have an outcome. Decisions that you make under pressure or adverse conditions also have an outcome.

Certainly a decision or choice to do nothing is still a decision but the opportunity to pivot gets new things started.

It may be the unexpected choices or options which require you to go in a new direction that yield the best results.

Consider alternatives.

-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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drama decisions

Drama Decisions Are Not Productive

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Each day you have a responsibility. The responsibility to make decisions. Are you making drama decisions, or good decisions?

When your job, at least in part, is to make good decisions have you considered the information that guides those decisions?

Obstacles and Validity

It’s common that workplace leaders hear and see a lot. People run to bosses, especially middle managers, seeking an opportunity to have a voice.

They voice their opinions. Opinions that sound like facts, but are not facts. Some may be valid and reliable. Others may be nothing more than hearsay.

Your best decisions may come from careful analysis. It may mean examining the data, asking more questions, and even having the patience to allow things to unfold a little before jumping.

Some workplace leaders find themselves sandwiched between a variety of stories with little data. These stories are often embellished versions of the real story, and unfortunately an easy management trap is to listen to a few and then the last presentation seems to win.

These are drama decisions.

Drama Decisions

Drama decisions are fueled with unproductive emotions. Often arising from jealously, envy, or spite.

Voices get loud. Frequencies increase, and the outcomes feed the drama even more.

If part of your job is being responsible for making good decisions then it may be very important to consider the characteristics of the source.

Are you listening for facts and not reacting to opinions?

Is there any data to back up the message?

What is really the root cause of the scenario being presented?

You didn’t achieve a position responsible for making good decisions by often making bad ones, but could you still do better?

Have you considered the value of thinking more critically and making better decisions?

It may be a worthwhile exercise.

-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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