Tag Archives: confidence

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gone sideways

Gone Sideways and Self-Help For Your Efforts

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Have you ever felt like the project took a wrong turn? Have things gone sideways? Maybe you don’t even notice it, yet?

Committed people sometimes do some very strange things. Onlookers wonder why the commitment sticks even when there is evidence clearly illustrating it’s failing.

In all likelihood, there are multiple angles or points of view. One of the common yet somewhat unrealized traps is staying committed because of all the effort already put in.

It’s often hard to make the right choice. Someone wants to abort the project early and someone else wants to hang in there because, “We’ve already invested so much.”

Everyone recognizes hindsight often tells a different story, either way.

The right now is not hindsight and it’s also not foresight.

What should you do?

Gone Sideways

For the customer, you need to do the right thing. For the team and even your community, you must do the right thing.

Yes, even for yourself, you must make a good decision now.

Many people believe that every day they are in a tactical firefight at their workplace. So many things happening so fast, so many loose ends, and so much drama.

What do they do?

They fight the fire. They address problems as emergencies and face the wrath of whatever unfolds next.

Problem-solving is a key skill for leadership. If you are good at it, you should be proud. However, when tactical firefights are so commonplace that you fail to execute strategy everyone loses.

The project gone sideways either needs to stop, start again, or redirect. Stuck won’t work and neither will additional wasted effort.

The same is true with poorly performing employees.

Learning from the past is powerful. It goes hand-in-hand with knowing when to pivot.

A strategic focus needs a tactical approach.

Tactics only, without a vision for the future, are sure to send you sideways.

You don’t have to believe it now, but you will when you check your data.

Commit to the strategy. The tactics of getting there may need to be adjusted.

-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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second thoughts

Are Second Thoughts Just Part Of The Decision?

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You’re facing a big decision. You feel like you’ve decided. Suddenly you have some second thoughts. Is this a bad sign?

Some people suggest that there are always second thoughts about the marriage, if not by the couple, by the onlookers.

It is also true for the home buyer, the new car purchase, or while you wait after ordering from the menu.

People often view second thoughts as the beginning of a wrong decision. What if second thoughts are merely part of the process?

You can analyze many different angles about second thoughts. You can bring confidence into the equation and with that comes past experiences or even ignorance. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.

Have you agonized enough? Thought it through, over and over again? Listed the pros and cons, yet still feel uncertainty?

Second Thoughts

Making the best choice often comes down to belief. Do you belief in the path in front of you? For employee teams, do they believe?

One of the greatest challenges of leadership is to develop a belief in the followers. It is not trying to develop a belief in the leader, it is about trying to develop a belief in the follower. Big difference.

Things will always change. A decision to leave your home without an umbrella can turn out the wrong way later within the same day.

When you make decisions in the present, or for the future, you’ve made the best decision you can make.

At that time, at the exact moment, it often is the right decision. Sometimes later, after things have changed, it is easy to suggest it was a poor decision.

Second thoughts shouldn’t always occur. They also shouldn’t always be dismissed.

Second thoughts are often a test that you’re still on the right path.

In life and in business every day is a fluid experience. Things ebb and flow.

Maybe it really means that you’re heading in the right direction.

Keep going.

-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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restoring confidence

Restoring Confidence Means Creating Certainty

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Are you good at restoring confidence? Do you believe that confident employees and customers matter?

A lack of confidence means worry. Worry means hesitation, procrastination, and delays. Delays within employee teams and delays in meeting the expectations of the customer.

Many people are facing new challenges when navigating the workplace. And now, more than ever, more people are working from home (WFH), and as such workflow and communication have changed. Certainty is at a premium and uncertainty is commonplace.

Timelines, metrics and measurements are keys to successful navigation.

When the boss asks, “When will we get an update on the project?” or when the customer asks, “When will my order ship?” how do you respond?

I’m waiting on one more piece from the team, we’ll have something together soon.

Your order should ship out by Friday.

Neither response makes an exact commitment. The unknown is hard to navigate.

Certainty builds confidence.

Restoring Confidence

A common reaction is to stretch the truth, be vague, and hope everything works out for the best. In reality, everyone is being short-changed.

People beg for transparency, truth, and certainty. In most cases, this is a transaction. It’s a transaction that can have the outcome of restoring confidence or the outcome of uncertainty and disappointment.

When we reassure with direct, not dodged, or fuzzy answers, we have a chance to change the level of confidence, certainty, and even manage the disappointment.

Better to say that the project will be finished by the end of the day tomorrow, or the order will be on the truck on Friday. Wiggle words don’t sound the same as a certainty, and its especially unlikely that they will restore confidence.

-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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work from home confidence

Work From Home Confidence, Do You Have It?

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We all recognize the disruption and the some of the associated changes. Are you or your team working remotely? Do you have work from home confidence?

Any time we have change, we may have some discomfort. Along with that discomfort we may find our anxiety levels creeping up. When we are anxious, we typically don’t listen as well. We often don’t perform at our best, and in severe cases sometimes people can’t really perform at all.

Employee Performance

It may seem difficult to believe but many people are finding increased challenges with working from home.

Employers and managers worry about productivity, efficiency, and results.

Employees may experience various forms of motivation. Some increases perhaps, and some decreases.

The psychology of work shifts. Some people become more efficient with fewer interruptions. Others, well, they feel extreme guilt if they grab a coffee or step away from their work at home desk.

We also can’t forget about the ability to let go. When you leave your home and go to a different work space, it is also easy to pack up and go back home. When you leave, you leave work. Not always as easy when working from home.

Work From Home Confidence

As people we are observers. We are fill in the blank people. As we observe, we make assumptions.

Sometimes when you are having a good day, you don’t understand why someone else is not. When you’re having a not so good day, you wonder how everyone can be so cheery.

It is all based on assumptions.

On initial observation many believe that working from home is a dream job. In practice, it may not be.

As a manager, an employee, or a business owner, keep in mind that what you are experiencing may not be the same as what others are experiencing.

Find more compassion and make sure your team is working hard to avoid anxiety traps.

Confidence in the work that they do and the associated results matter. It matters for everyone.

Build up your team with the use of effective metrics and measurements. Congratulate positive results.

You can help.

And it will make a difference.

-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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wasteful worrying

Wasteful Worrying, What Will You Choose?

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You want to make a change, take a chance, or understand what the future holds. Uncertainty often leads to wasteful worrying. Is that where you’re at?

Worry is about choice. A choice to contemplate over and over again. A choice to wonder or fantasize negativity about a pending outcome.

Everyone Worries

It’s easy to worry. It’s easy to remember the things that went wrong. Everything that happens when you let your guard down or fail to take some advice from someone else.

Worry drives us to do many things.

A few of them may be positive. The double check, the confirmation, or reading over the draft document one more time.

Most worry is a waste of time though. It is a waste of your energy and other precious resources.

It may bring others down. Cause a stir, even a panic.

We often worry because we feel afraid. Fear causes hesitation. Hesitation sometimes results in missed opportunities, or worse, closed doors.

Some people place worry on faith. A belief that things will work out as they should.

Others will place it on a gamble. Take a chance, or throw in the cards.

Can you do better?

Will you make a better choice for the use of your time?

Wasteful Worrying

If you have no control over the pending outcome, why worry?

If you have control over the pending outcome, can you count on your knowledge and expertise? Is there a metric, a track record, or benchmark data?

Should you be more confident?

What if you committed to worry less? What if every time you felt it coming on you made a different choice about your energy allocation?

It’s easy to worry. Nothing worthwhile comes easily.

-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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Acquiring trust

Acquiring Trust Even When In Doubt

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In a thriving service oriented, connection-based economy, trust may be your most important asset or, your most significant weakness. Acquiring trust isn’t always easy, yet it is always worth it.

What does your gut tell you?

Trusting Matters

Many people rely on their gut feel or instincts to assess their level of trust. Trust with vendors. Trust with customers, and of course, trust with teammates.

The backbone of trust may come from confidence, expectations, and certainly past experiences. Insecurity and paranoia may also creep into the picture.

Trust is often about giving. Can you give trust?

If we’re going to explore giving of trust you have to consider generosity.

Trust is largely about generosity. Will your generosity be taken advantage of by others?

In discussions it may quickly turn into a slippery slope.

Let’s be realistic though. Trust only comes from generosity. We can talk about earning trust, but in reality, earning is not really the same as simply giving.

Do you have the confidence in people to give more trust? Have past experiences tarnished your future expectations?

Acquiring Trust

Knowing what to expect and when can help boost the confidence factor with trust. In other words, if you know a teammate can handle the task grant them the trust. You’re giving.

If you are in doubt based on past experiences specifically with this individual or specifically with this type of task, then explore the requirements with others involved in order to boost everyone’s confidence. Then give more trust.

One act of giving trust means that there is the opportunity to earn it.

If you want your brand, whether it is a personal brand or organizational, to go up in value you’re going to have to give more.

In our service oriented, connection-based economy you really don’t have much choice.

-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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sacrificing experience

Sacrificing Experience for Checking the Informed Box

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There is information everywhere. Every place we step, turn, or take a rest. Information is plentiful and knowledge is abundant. Are you sacrificing experience for information?

In workforce development circles the chatter is often about experiential learning. On the surface many believe this means hands-on learning.

Experiential or Hands On?

Hands-on learning is can be experiential and it is important for the carpenter, the mechanic, and the electrician.

Are there other forms of hands-on learning?

Hands-on doesn’t always guarantee it is experiential. Experiential learning is about the act of doing something and then being able to reflect about it.

In seminars, it is the debrief following the subgroup exercise. The case study with a question and answer component, or perhaps even the often-dreaded role-play.

Confused?

Understanding Information and Experience

The confusion exists because of our comprehension of the word experience.

As people we connect experience to motion. Turning the screwdriver, cutting the board to make it fit just right, or setting the torque specs for the cylinder head.

Learning to do it just right comes from experience. Because of the experience we can feel it, and reflect on it.

Today we have more opportunities than ever before to gather information. We’re plastered with information.

New age vehicles deliver more opportunities than ever. We have podcasts, social media posts, and YouTube, just to name a few.

We are exposed to information on a grand scale. Does it make us smarter? Does it improve our experience?

Sacrificing Experience

In a World full of opportunities to gather more information it is important to remember that information on its own does not necessarily improve performance. Our learning and the ability to contribute in the future often develop from experience.

We may be able to recite information but not do the job.

Having the new employee watch several hours of training videos doesn’t necessarily improve their competence. The same is true about the podcast or the technical specifications sheet.

Are you reflecting or just absorbing?

Be careful about confusing knowledge with experience.

-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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workplace confidence

Workplace Confidence and the Reality Shared

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After some time, you get confidently comfortable with your job and skills. Is workplace confidence distracting you from doing your best work?

There is often a discussion about over-confident in comparison with being under-confident.

Confidence is Good, Right?

People often size up a lack of confidence and believe that more confidence should be gained. A good idea.

On the other end of the continuum people are working with limited stress or worry about their performance. The belief is, “I know everything I need to know.” They start each day by just gently flowing into their work.

If asked, they’ll suggest that they are doing their best. Giving what they can give and that they are devoted and loyal employees.

What if the impression of doing your best isn’t really your best?

What if you are holding back a little? Perhaps you are saving some energy for your run at lunch time. Maybe you have a painting project at home and you’re distracting about finishing it before the in-laws visit next week.

It goes deeper sometimes.

What if you consider that if you really gave it your all today, and succeeded, that you’ll have to put out that kind of work every day. Better hold back a little.

Workplace Confidence

One thing that everyone in the workplace shares is the reality that on many days they are operating at something less than one-hundred percent.

Initially, you’ll challenge that notion. Upon deeper inspection you may agree that it is true.

It is rooted in our level of confidence and comfort. Total confidence may mean that there is more left in the tank. More room for learning, growing, or helping someone else succeed.

As humans our nature is to leave a little in the tank.

We’re saving it for when it really matters.

Maybe today is one of those days.

-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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best effort

Giving Your Best Effort More Often

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What happens when you give your best effort? Does something change, does a spark ignite, or does your confidence grow?

Your first day on the job and you may not even be sure where the rest room is located. After a few weeks, which quickly turn to months, you start to find a rhythm and you get more comfortable.

Finding your rhythm as an individual, a team, or an organization is often the game changer.

Improving Confidence

Confidence is built through two primary channels, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Each small successive win and your confidence grows. Make a mistake and learn to improve for the next time.

The very first time we do anything is probably not going to be our best. When we try it again, and again, things start to improve. More results pour in, more discovery, and adjustments.

It is the fluidity of the process that helps us tweak things by drawing ever closer to building it better and better.

The first time we cook a steak is hard. The twenty-fifth time and things seem easier.

It is the same for giving a presentation to the board of directors, developing a process for closing the sale, or making a cold call. Practice seems to make it easier. Success also seems to come easier.

Confidence improves.

Best Effort More Often

This is exactly why we have to give our best effort more often.

Doing so creates more demand. More demand means you’re having more opportunities and more opportunities to practice and hone your craft will make success look easy.

There really aren’t any shortcuts. The overnight success often occurs across five, ten, or twenty-five years.

On-lookers believe it was luck, fate, or personal connections. They can always help, but they aren’t as compelling as the story you write on your own.

Best effort matters. It matters more.

-DEG

Originally posted on October 3, 2019, last updated on September 10, 2020.

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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