Tag Archives: confidence

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talent bar

Talent Bar or Skills Gap, Which Is It?

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Has the talent bar been set too high? Do you have the talent required to do the job, to fit in, or to become a success?

There is a belief, and likely strong evidence, to support the idea that sometimes people give up too soon.

Children in sports are often encouraged.

Nice arm!

That kid is so fast!

Great eye on that one!

Chances are slim for the millions of young people who engage in adolescent sports to become professionals. Even rarer is that if they turn pro, that they will become an all-star.

It is also true for academic studies. True for the assessment of math skills, reading, or comprehension. Yes, of course, some think and achieve differently, yet the bar for success in most job roles is much lower than the academic requirements.

Is the bar about talent or developed skill?

Talent Bar Surprise

In most workplace roles, the concept of talent is given too much emphasis. Just like the Netflix movie suggestion you received from your social media feed, it is overrated.

A focus on developing the appropriate skill is much more appropriate.

Something strange develops from work that you focus on every day. Showing up and doing your part always builds experience.

You may not always get the kudos you feel you deserve or the reaction to your work may receive harsh criticism. Yet with every teeny tiny success, you can raise the bar on your personal levels of competence.

Most work isn’t a one and done.

It’s not a talent bar or a skills gap.

It is a persistent focus on cranking out your best work, day-after-day across time.

-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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lost skills

Lost Skills Might Just Be Misplaced, Find Them

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Have you experienced the feeling of lost skills? When you believe you once knew how do something but since that time you’ve forgotten?

During the summer I bought two American flags, they were on sale. I sent one up the pole, but by the end of the summer it had lost some of its luster. Now I’m not sure where the other new one was placed. It’s lost.

On another occasion, I bought a hand tool that I didn’t think I had. When I went to put the new tool in a storage place, I discovered that I once bought a nearly identical tool several (or more) years earlier.

I went to a closet area in my home where I discovered several cool t-shirts that I completely forgot I ever owned or wore. Likely, they were worn one time, and then a change of seasons occurred. They were forgotten, abandoned, out of sight and out of mind.

There are various ways we can lose something we have. Sometimes we may forget that we ever had it in the first place.

Lost Skills and Confidence

Many successful business people have spoken with me about workplace situations where a bad boss or a rotten culture made them lose self-confidence.

Perhaps their confidence is still there, it is just being hidden by some unpleasant memories or painful and destructive criticism.

Skills or confidence may not be lost forever.

Maybe you’ve just forgotten where it is stored, or maybe something new or different is hiding it, even though it is right there in plain sight.

Don’t lose track of where you’ve come from. Don’t allow unpleasant experiences override the good of what you bring.

Use it or lose it may have many different meanings.

It’s true for skills, it’s true for confidence.

If you’ve lost something you once had, finding it again can be very rewarding.

Look before you decide it’s gone forever. You might be surprised by what you find.

-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 solutions

Workplace Solutions Are Better Than Problems

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What are you bringing to the meeting? Are you bringing workplace solutions or are you bringing more problems?

There are many purposes for meetings.

Some meetings are informational, some are for brainstorming, and there are some that are specifically for planning. Other types of meetings include meetings for making decisions, following up on previous decisions, or even team-building types of meetings.

Do you come to the meeting prepared to drag in some additional problems or do you come with the intent to suggest solutions? Many might quickly suggest that their intent is to do both.

There may be some risk, though.

Is everyone willing to show their hand?

Workplace Solutions

In a game of cards it is often expected that eventually you’ll show your hand. Timing seems to matter, and so does the idea that what others don’t know gives you more power.

Showing your hand in the workplace may mean you have to risk something. You might risk that your idea will be stolen, that the boss will take credit, or that future outcomes will favor a different team.

It may be the fear of success that halts forward motion. Giving others the power of your idea feels unsafe.

Do you still show it?

Many people are quick to bring forward a problem for discussion. Perhaps it is a good idea to put the same effort into providing possible solutions.

Showing your hand is more than just the right thing to do.

Solutions are more powerful than problems.

Bring some to share.

-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 doubt

Has Workplace Doubt Stalled Your Progress?

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Have you experienced workplace doubt? Of course you have, likely even when you don’t recognize it. Is doubt useful?

Do you feel like you have to be certain before the launch? What are the possibilities of success or failure? Will you receive accolades or ridicule?

In most cases there is always a chance. A chance that things won’t go as expected, a chance things will fall apart, blow up, or otherwise just not work. There is also a chance of success.

What odds do you require before you feel comfortable enough to launch?

Input often suggests that the odds increase. One way or another either the doubt increases or the confidence increases?

Many believe that their comfort and confidence will increase over time. Just slow it down a little, see how things develop.

Just as likely though, for some situations, doubt increases.

Is there ever analysis on the cost of the stall? Usually, not so much.

When you consider that doubt will nearly always be present, what can you do about it?

Workplace Doubt

The problem with workplace doubt is that naysayers often find a way to multiply it. It feels like there is less risk in staying the same. Largely, this is a false perception.

Change is always happening. Some change is slower than other change.

Change is often intended to be about progress. Some people aren’t wishful for progress.

Progress means more change. A change in job duties, skills, and systems.

It is easy to multiply the odds for doubt.

Seldom do people apply the same multiplier to the odds of success.

A stall often leads to a stop.

If you are going to put a stop to something, perhaps it should be doubt!

-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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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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