Tag Archives: communication

  • -
measuring information quality

Measuring Information Quality and Outcomes

Tags : 

Are you a good communicator? Are you or the people around you measuring information quality, and if so, how?

There is a tendency to measure information quality by its likability factor.

In other words, if you like what you hear or read, it is good information. If you don’t agree or dislike the information it is bad.

Information should not be judged by its likability.

Quality Judgement

In the workplace people tend to lack comfort in the meeting that puts them on the spot. The meeting that makes them more responsible and accountable, or the one that examines performance.

The information exchange in these cases may be considered good or bad, yet it is often judged by the likability factor. If you like it, it was good, otherwise it was bad.

If your doctor suggests losing some weight, or the dentist has to recommend a root canal. Was this bad information?

Quality should not be a measurement of its content.

Measuring Information Quality

Workplace leaders can and should take special care when delivering information. Especially information that may be unpopular or performance improvement oriented.

Telling people what they want to hear may create a happier moment, yet it is not sustainable.

The best communicators are able to deliver all information, good or bad, with professionalism.

They often do this with honesty, integrity, and with high levels of transparency. Trust becomes a long-term factor for information quality.

If you’re judging the quality of information by the likability factor, you’re going to face a lot of disappointment or the consequences of misleading those around you.

What is worse? Trust will diminish or be non-existent.

Measure information quality by its honesty and integrity. Consider the professionalism involved in both the passion and compassion of the message.

Care about the quality.

-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.


  • -
louder voices

Louder Voices Aren’t Always Smarter Voices

Tags : 

Do you believe everything you hear? Are the people with louder voices saying the right things?

Everyone has a choice for what they choose to believe. It is true for politics, religion, and even our actions and behaviors in public or in your workplace.

Most people are familiar with the concept of the squeaky wheel. The notion that the person who makes the most noise gets the attention.

Is it true?

The best answer is, sometimes.

Louder Voices

Workplace leaders should always self-reflect on what sparks their ideas and directions for making business decisions. We all process information, it may be information we seek or it may be information we stumble upon.

Louder is a metaphorical expression, not necessarily connected to volume. It’s true, some people are just louder than others.

In modern circles louder often comes from the network. The community of people who come together with similar ideas, values, or beliefs. They tend to shout, sometimes loudly, and they are often heard.

When evidence seems to appear that corroborates the noise they recently received, it becomes an apparent truth.

While it is important for everyone to consider the information they give. It is just as important to consider the information you receive.

In workforce circles there is often a discussion of workplace politics. It has to do with how people navigate the boss, the circles of gossip, rumors, and the content of the secret meeting.

Louder voices seem to often get the stage and the microphone.

Just because they are louder it doesn’t mean it is smarter.

-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.


  • -
remote team connections

Remote Team Connections Still Matter

Tags : 

Are you staying connected? Remote team connections will matter because not only do they keep everyone up-to-date, they create camaraderie that is irreplaceable.

Human interaction has mattered long before we had sophisticated systems that enable commerce opportunities. Long before quality was measured and before customer service became a thing.

As modern people we rely on the people that serve us.

It may be friendly help at the hardware store to make sure we get the right kind of screws. It may be the pet food supplier who gives us comfort that we’re giving our pet the best. Perhaps it is our medical doctor who pauses long enough to really listen and make us feel that someone understands.

In your workplace, there is often more happening than just the art of the actual work performed. There is the fulfillment of other human needs that may not be what the CEO is directly paying people to accomplish.

Remote Team Connections

People working together accomplish more than what a single standalone person may achieve.

There are different talents and abilities, backgrounds and education, and even motivation and team enthusiasm styles.

This is the root why connections still matter. Sure, there are many other aspects of your connections. However, when things split apart and more and more people are working remotely for the greater good of the organization, those relationships are still going to matter.

People are disrupted, disconnected, and many are afraid.

It is during times like this when reaching out, doing the hard and exhausting work, listening, caring, and demonstrating empathy make a difference.

During a disaster or major disruption connections take center stage.

-DEG

Two important webinars are happening soon. Managing Remote Work Teams and Mastering Work From Home.

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.


  • -
purposeful remote communication

Purposeful Remote Communication Is Responsible

Tags : 

Are you providing purposeful remote communication or are you really just adding to the clutter? Communication can be tricky and easily misunderstood. Now is your opportunity to get it right.

Would you communicate differently in the workplace with ten, thirty, or five hundred colleagues than you would on a social media thread?

Most people realize that using all caps in written text implies yelling. Many people are also familiar with LOL and a smiley face. Is this different from live, face-to-face interactions?

Of course it is.

Now more than ever people are working remotely, working from home, and the way they traditionally communicate has been disrupted.

In a traditional office meeting, a workplace huddle, or strategy session people gather together to communicate. Sometimes there is an agenda, sometimes they are free-wheeling.

Traditional environments don’t really have a time delay, there isn’t any video problems or degradation. People can sense you want to speak by a change in body position, a raised hand, or a clearing of your throat.

Most people remain polite. One person speaks at a time. The conversation happens at an appropriate pace. Not too slow, and not too fast. Questions and two-way communication are usually offered even though it isn’t always embraced.

Purposeful Remote Communication

Remote communication is different. Whether it is written, provided over the telephone, or happening via a video-based chat. It is different because the physical environment is different. People expect similar etiquette, yet sometimes there are additional challenges.

Consider this, every time you add, remove, or change the methods and means of communicating the risk of miscommunication increases.

Written is different from verbal. When we receive the contract, we ask for an explanation.

In writing lasts longer too.

A video recording may provide additional clues and even come with a transcript.

Work related communication should be intentional. It should be purposeful and carefully constructed. Reading, writing, listening, and professional etiquette also matter.

All communication is not the same. Working remotely makes the challenges different, the perceptions more subjective, and the outcomes more nebulous.

Errors and misunderstandings have high costs.

Everyone has a responsibility for effective communication. Communicate concisely, on purpose and with purpose. Make it a two-way street.

-DEG

Interested to learn more about working and communicating remotely? Join in upcoming working remote webinars.

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.


  • -
workplace conspiracy plan

Workplace Conspiracy Plan and Your Involvement

Tags : 

Do you have harmful conflict in your workplace? Is someone throwing you into their workplace conspiracy plan?

What is the drama floating around the office, in the breakroom, or on the plant floor?

People are often consciously or subconsciously trying to get you involved. Should you?

They ask you a question, target your emotions, and hope that you’ll provide a response and spread the word.  

You are expected to offer an opinion, pay closer attention to the drama, and get others interested.

Do you put it on your agenda? Consciously or subconsciously? When someone tells you some juicy gossip do you start working for their cause?

Workplace Conspiracy Plan

People often wonder how the rumors start and why others choose to engage? Unknowingly, many participate.

One way to stop the conspiracy is to choose not to participate.

Stay focused on results. Focus on the metrics, the comparison to the goal, and stay focused. When you drift into giving the gossip traction, by giving it attention, you are a contributor.

Things often don’t seem to get better when we give gossip and harmful conflict more attention.

Certainly, managing conflict requires more than one approach. It requires a big toolbox of skills that allow graceful and resilient navigation.

The last thing you want to do is be a contributor. A carrier, the mule who totes around the conspiracy to derail real workplace performance.

When you choose to do things that matter rather than do things that are harmfully juicy you’ve made the right choice.

Choose what you get involved in carefully.

-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.


  • -
marketing perspective

Marketing Perspective and the Change You Seek

Tags : 

Change is always happening. It is happening in front of you, of me, and your neighbors and friends. Is change somehow based on a marketing perspective?

You’ve heard before that we all sell. Guess what? We all market too. We advertise what’s happening, what the direction is, and which path to follow.

Not everyone agrees, and sometimes that is the beauty of it all.

Throw something on the wall and what sticks may be what matters the most or at least is the hardest to remove.

Change and Pivot

The change, pivot, or transformation that you are in right now is conditioned by marketing. Yes, of course, it may be some form of push marketing, but it may also be compelling. Pulling others along.

Marketers, all of us, are responsible for what happens next. The narrative we tell, the examples we give, and the expectations of future outcomes that we set. We’re all involved.

Marketing is a powerful tool and with great power comes great responsibility.

You have a responsibility to do the right thing.

Is the change you’re involved with right now, the right thing? Is the jury still out?

Marketing Perspective

Sometimes the best change takes more time. It isn’t a light switch with a full on or full off. Things aren’t always black and white. In some cases, step A and B need to materialize before the end result of C reveals itself.

You don’t want to get a bad rap for being a bad marketer. The perspective that you create, the one wrapped around your presence and wisdom is the one choice you will always have.

Be sure you are doing the work that matters. The work that creates the kind of change that makes you and others proud.

Sometimes all we need is a little more marketing perspective.

-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.


  • -
feedback listeners

Feedback Listeners Improve More

Tags : 

There is a good chance that feedback surrounds you. Feedback listeners will improve more, be better prepared, and build stronger relationships. Should this be you?

We often think of feedback in a very formal sense. A performance review, a meeting with your boss, or even asking a friend for some reflection on your project or performance.

We don’t always like what we hear and there may be a time or a place when feedback, or should I say, mismanaged feedback, can derail performance.

Feedback is Everywhere

You probably get more feedback than you realize.

Nice tie.

Love your purse.

Let me finish what I have to say. (May imply you tend to cut people off or finish their sentences for them.)

This may happen in what feels like a normal conversation. That’s because it is, it’s just a normal conversation. Yet, there is feedback happening.

Sometimes we get positive feedback when people recognize we tried really hard. Even if the performance or end result was off a bit, there is the recognition that repeating this behavior will be helpful and may become masterful.

In other cases, it may be what is missing in feedback that is the true feedback.

You painted the room yellow. That is an interesting shade.

This of course could be identified as they love the color, or it could mean they don’t find it attractive.

Roll these concepts into the workplace. It matters for the career minded workplace professional. It matters a lot.

Feedback Listeners

Feedback can spark encouragement or it can derail future efforts.

It is important to keep this in mind the next time you’re offering your ideas, opinions, or suggestions. Think about how you can be helpful and generous with the information you are providing.

It is also important to keep this in mind as the listener. What is in the message for you? How can you gain important insights to improve your performance or relationship?

Feedback sometimes seems unappreciated. Perhaps it isn’t the right timing or perhaps you haven’t managed it well. Anything connected to the word criticism (such as “I have some constructive criticism.”) is not going to work.

-DEG

Do you or your employee teams struggle with feedback? Contact me or check out my books.

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.


  • -
conversation starters

Why Conversation Starters Still Matter

Tags : 

Do you still use conversation starters? Do you have enough interest, time, and determination to own the launch of a discussion? Many people seek the pattern of ease instead of the pattern of meaningful.

It isn’t new, it has been happening for two decades. It is the shift of convenience, the effectiveness of time, and the lower price that is driving change.

What is Traditional?

Most fast food restaurants still have inside dinning. Yet, the drive through is popular.

Many traditional retailers have shipping services while they still maintain some presence with a store front.

People movers in airports are popular, yet some people still walk to either side.

In some circles there is the argument against reading. “Who reads anymore, I just watch a video.”

We don’t have to physically run and hunt to get our food. Yet some people still do both.

In modern society, convenience often stands out when compared with the traditional.

Conversation Starters

Communication is not losing its effectiveness so much as the options for delivery are vastly increasing.

As the societal value of convenience, ease, and the selfishness of control slowly erode traditional systems will conversation starters still matter?

Some people still want to dine in the restaurant, even for fast food. Some still enjoy the experience of shopping in stores instead of using a computing device. Reading still matters to many and some believe it is the most valuable path to increasing intellect.

Conversation starters still matter for the feeling of belonging, security, and what most believe to be important for survival.

Society will change, so will the scope of conversations. It is hard to imagine the shape of tomorrow without starting a conversation.

-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.


  • -
good listening

Good Listening Requires Great Effort

Tags : 

As a general rule everyone can be a good listener. Good listening is not an instinctive process, rather it is a developed skill that requires great effort.

It is funny, observations of workplaces struggling with communication challenges. The first thing they often do is attempt to have more communication.

Meetings increase in size and number of occurrences. Email lists grow, making sure everyone is copied. Time spent communicating increases but does the effectiveness?

We use the words hearing and listening synonymously. Yet, they really are not the same thing.

Assuming no disabilities, we hear sounds, noises, and people. Hearing is an instinctual process. Good listening is a developed skill.

Good Listening

Many people are lazy listeners. It is probably safe to say that most people are lazy listeners. We listen only to what we want, things that require little effort, or things we find enjoyable.

Everything else, it gets tuned out.

In the workplace, many people have already decided it is not worth the effort. Someone is complaining, someone else is blaming, and the boss, well, he or she is just micromanaging. Tuned out.

Great listening comes from high energy people. It is sparked by interest, sometimes fear, and always takes effort.

Great Effort

Effort to sort the information, qualify it appropriately, comprehend, remove bias, stereotyping, and other filters. When our emotions get activated it can enhance our listening or have us applying filters that mean we absorb the communication different from its intention.

It is not impossible to be a great communicator. It is not impossible to be a great listener.

Are you committed enough to put in the effort? Do you care enough?

More communication isn’t always the answer. In fact, it often makes things 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.


  • -
workplace success

What Do You Know About Workplace Success?

Tags : 

How would you describe success? Does everyone describe it the same way? Workplace success may be as individual as soda, pop, or cola.

Communicating in your workplace has its share of challenges. We are all experiencing things like too much, too little, and misunderstood communication.

Are the words you use effective?

Choose Wisely

We use words to communicate meaning, yet there are times when we blur those lines.

Someone says, “I need a pencil.” Then someone hands them a pen.

“I’m stopping for coffee.” May be as different as hot and black is to
mocha caffe latte, iced.

Most people wouldn’t dare to think about wearing (only) underwear on the beach. (I know I wouldn’t.) Yet, a bikini seems just fine. There seems to be something visually different, is there?

We use words to convey meaning. When we are thinking about the meaning of workplace success, there is more than one meaning.

Workplace Success

Success, respect, and good, all depend on your individual definition. We attempt to use the words to convey meaning, yet the image in everyone’s mind may differ.

Prepare for the meeting.

Arrive early.

Make sure you do it right.

We think communication is easy. We talk, we write, someone listens, and someone reads.

All our words, phrases, and especially our body language and tone matter.

When you suggest that your team should engage and communicate to create more success what is the meaning?

Success for some people is about a position, a title, or their paycheck. Still there are others that view success as the completion of a task, a reached milestone, or appreciation from the boss.

Sometimes the difference between what you want and what you get is based on the words you chose.

Define success. Do it carefully, descriptively, and with the correct image.

-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.


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. PACD Management Summit

    September 2 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more