Tag Archives: confidence

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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 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

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 critic

Workplace Critic And Your Safety Zone

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Have you ever felt like your next move, any move, is going to be subject to the workplace critic? Does the workplace critic help improve things or drag down the performance of the team?

Critics sometimes believe they are helping the cause. They are quick to point out the inconsistencies, the shortcomings, and the reason things are not perfect.

Their argument is often that feedback improves performance. Their delivery may need some refinement.

Improving Performance

Understanding what customers want may improve performance. Nagging on another teammate about the relevancy of his or her contribution in the staff meeting, perhaps not so much.

It seems that there are always critics eager to tell someone what they have not done or not done that made their performance less. Shouldn’t we be trying to help others make their performance more?

Do we always need a critic or is it counter intuitive to a better future?

Policy and rule breakers need to be brought into check. Chronically late for work or meetings, should be fixed. Missing most deadlines, even the most reasonable ones, probably needs fixed.

Being the meeting after the meeting critic, well, not so much.

Workplace Critic

People need feedback. People have blind spots.

Are people still people? Yes, and many of them are working hard to make a difference. Harsh critics do not help.

Some of the best people quit or give-up in the face of harsh criticism.

What is the best way to deal with the critic?

Instead of retreating to your safety zone, hone your path, take away what you can, and keep giving everything you do, your best.

-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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stretch goals

Stretch Goals and a Commitment to Achieve

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In your career, for yourself, or for your team, do you have stretch goals? Are goals something your boss decides? Do you have input? Thinking of goals is there anything you would do differently?

Winning is a great thing, it also creates new expectations.

Winning Achievements

In sports, when you win the opening game there is an expectation that you’ll win the next one too. The pressure and commitment shifts, it changes, it gets more serious.

When you close the sale, it is expected that you’ll do it again. Next time it may be bigger. Next week more, and the week after even more.

Winning streaks change things. They change the mindset of the team, the competitors, and the results. Tackling the giant is always a challenge, doubt enters the minds of those seeking to dismantle the hero. The win streak seems unstoppable.

We’ve seen it in football, in soccer, and even in motorsports. The longer the streak goes on, the more confidence that comes through.

Stretch Goals

In the workplace people are sometimes irritated with stretch goals. The salesperson thinks, “How much more can I be expected to achieve?”

The same is often true for the C-Suite reporting to the board of directors. The numbers and expectations are lofty, the likelihood of success initially feels slim.

Yet building on one success after another. Bringing in each small win adds up. There is momentum to accumulation. Actual versus goal, the gap closes, the stretch shrinks, the streak broadens.

Confidence is built one step at a time.

Commitment starts at the beginning and accelerates as the gap narrows.

A stretch too far to reach is more probable for those who quit before they begin.

-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 knowledge

Workplace Knowledge and What You Don’t Know

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Have you ever thought about what you don’t know? When you hear new information do you consider it, or quickly disregard it? Workplace knowledge is often about learning what you don’t know.

A shopper, backing her car from a parking spot taps the bumper of another car because she didn’t realize it was there.

The person in the restaurant with barbeque sauce on the side of his face doesn’t know it.

Hurried, a businessman dresses in a dark room before leaving home to board a predawn flight. He is wearing one blue sock and one black.

Knowing what we don’t know can be helpful. Yet this concept sometimes eludes workplace professionals.

What You Don’t Know

Are you quick to disregard the new information? Do you find yourself disagreeing with suggested best practices of other professionals?

An attorney gives you advice and you ignore it.

The architect claims you’ll never be able to heat it or cool it, you say, “Build it anyway.”

A marketing consultant suggests your new ad campaign has flaws you say, “Launch it, it will work.”

Making your own way in life can be valuable and important. Disregarding professional advice may be why you are stuck.

Workplace Knowledge

Two things get many people in trouble, their ego and being overconfident.

In carpentry, we know you should, “Measure twice, cut once.”

In listening, we recognize that, “You have two ears and one mouth, listen twice as much as you speak.”

When your company makes an investment in your continued learning don’t expect that you already know it all. Your ego and overconfidence may be exactly why you’ve been invited in the first place.

You have barbeque sauce on your cheek and you should change your socks.

-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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decision wait

Can Your Decision Wait? Should It?

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Procrastination about deciding is common. Especially for those big decisions, the high-risk kind. Can your decision wait? A better question may be, “Should it wait?”

The timeliness of decisions always feels problematic. Going too soon may involve some remorse later. Waiting too long, well, it may be too late.

The waitstaff may I ask, “Are you ready to order or do you need a few more minutes?”

That new car purchase, the salesperson may suggest, “Take your time. We’ve only had one other person looking at this vehicle.”

Sometimes it is the anticipation of what we may end up with or the opportunity that we might miss.

Some people will throw it out to fate, “If it is meant to be, it will be.”

Spring into Action

Emotionally we can be influenced to spring into action. It is what marketing does, the savvy salesperson, or our toe tapping friend with little patience.

Most decisions we make feel like the right decision at the time. We analyze and assess the playing field, the market, and the forecast. At the exact moment we make the decision it is the right decision.

As what happens next unfolds our decision may hold up to be good, or be bad, but at the time we made it, it was good.

Decision Wait

We can procrastinate about decisions for long periods of time. So much so that we completely miss opportunities.

If you were in business in the late 1980’s and waited long enough about the decision to purchase a fax machine, today, you’re in luck. You’ve never had to purchase a fax machine.

Be careful of the marketing that gives you a shove. Watch out for friends who suggest, “No risk, no reward.”

When the decision is yours, make a smart choice, do it with intention. Things always change. You say when.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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internal narrative

Internal Narrative, Working For You or Against You?

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Quite possibility, the decision was made because of the observations of the competition. Perhaps, the critics, naysayers, and pessimists had a hand in the outcome. What is your internal narrative suggesting?

The business enterprise, the non-profit, and even the career changer are often driven by the internal narrative. Business or pleasure, people are often good at finding something to either drive change or prevent it.

Emotions or Facts?

Fear and emotions are a good driver. Nearly any decision, any choice has emotion attached.

Sure, we can make business decisions based on the data, the metric, and the CFO’s report. There are factual aspects of the data and outcomes.

Questioning the narrative can be complex. Will sales improve, will the shipment arrive on-time, or will the competition launch before we do?

Data may tell a story but the internal narrative will drive what happens next.

Internal Narrative

Our organizational cultures and our instincts, gut feel, and experiences drive the narrative. In nearly all cases the narrative we see, discuss, and share is reflected in our decisions.

As organizations and people, we may fail to trust, fail to commit, and refuse to spring into action. Why? Largely it is about the narrative.

The narrative has two sides. One of pending doom, or one of pending boom.

Our internal narrative will drive what happens next. It is often working overtime to either cause distress or drive reassurance.

Should you work for the narrative or against it?

Better learn to assess the narrative.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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great win list

Do You Know How To Write a Great Win List?

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Friends are often priceless. Sometimes they are cheap too, but that is a different story. A good friend suggested to me that I’ve written about why, but I failed to tell how to write a great win list.

Impact Matters Most

Writing a win list may be quite different from person-to-person. Some of it really depends on how you absorb information. You must consider what is most impactful for your own learning and the degree to which you are stimulated by factors in your environment.

Some people take in the information and reflect on what it means by writing it down. They take notes, and it stimulates storage, a memory, some reflection. Others may claim they learn by watching, reading, or even just listening.

This is important for how you’ll create your win list. The idea is stimulation, a reminder of moments you are successful, and perhaps an avoidance of reliving negativity.

Great Win List

Here are some ways to consider the how:

  1. Journal. You can keep a journal of wins. A tablet, a spiral bound notebook, or even a leather or hardbound book type journal.
  2. Digital Document. You can place lists of your wins in a digital document. This could be on your personal computing device, cellular phone, or tablet device. You could even record your voice or create a video.
  3. Whiteboard. A white board is a nice place for collective wins. A department or a team may need a reminder from time to time about what to focus on. A white board win list is a nice community engagement tool.
  4. Easel Pad. In my office, I’ve used a Post-It easel pad sheet. I write down wins or messages that are positively impactful and stick it on my bookcase. I change it or remove it as necessary.
  5. Speak About It. While this isn’t necessarily the written word you can ask your colleagues, “What was your win today?” Often, we choose to talk about what went wrong but a win list is the opportunity to discuss what went right.

What is most important about your win list is that it can serve as a positive reminder. It should be the place you go to look when you are feeling off track, discouraged, or disappointed. The win list is a tool in your arsenal for confidence and positivity.

Do you want to know more about why a win list is valuable?

What Goes on The List?

Anything that could be considered a win or that sparks positivity.

Did you have a goal for the day or week? Did you improve, come closer, or gain some ground? Perhaps you hit it!

Has someone mentioned something positive to you, thanked you, or expressed gratitude? Did you make a difference for someone else?

Sometimes we can turn things around. Perhaps you didn’t close the sale, but you did achieve two new inquiries. Or, perhaps you learned how to improve on your next proposal.

It’s your list, writing it, reading it, seeing it, feeling it, recording it, all these matter for impact.

Share it.

-DEG

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

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Creating Outcomes Is Exactly What We’re All Doing

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Are you responsible for your own fate? Are you being positive about what the future holds for you? In your life or career, do you feel like you are creating outcomes?

Most people probably do this much more than they realize. Their mindset directs what happens next.

Someone coughs. “Stop spreading your germs! I better not get sick.”

Traffic is backed up. “I knew this would happen.”

Sales are down. “The marketing plan was a bad idea from the start.”

Our Vision

We get more assignments when we attend the meeting. The phone rings as soon as we get engaged in our work. We nearly the finish the project and then the boss decides it isn’t needed anyway.

It happens to us when we don’t get the job. Perhaps when the weather takes a turn we don’t like. And, it especially happens when we feel overwhelmed.

Is it coincidence, is it fate, or just bad luck?

Expectations

We get more of what we expect. Yet we’ll argue that we would never, ever, do that. In fact, we may even argue that we are being positive but bad things keep happening.

Do you talk about what’s positive? Do you recite the feeling you had when you closed the sale, drove straight through without traffic, or felt pretty good after a brisk walk? This is option one.

Option two is talking about the coworker that appears to be goofing off, how you were running a few minutes late and then traffic was at a standstill. Or, perhaps you’ll mention the scratchy feeling in your throat and worry about an oncoming sickness.

Creating Outcomes

Life isn’t always as complex as it seems to be. Creating outcomes is what we do. It all starts with our vision.

When we expect a bad day. We’ll find a reason to see a bad day. Do this repetitively and we’ll develop confidence that our vibes are correct. Our intuition is our guide and we trust it.

All of this affirms that you get what you look for, and what you look for is what you’ll get.

Stop telling everyone what went wrong. Look for what worked, what went right, what is a win. You’re not bragging, you’re not narcissistic, you are turning your life around.

-DEG

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

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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standout sensation

Why You Should Be a Standout Sensation

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Often the goal is to fit in. The successful job applicant is largely successful because they’ve convinced the hiring organization that they are the best fit. Is this the correct logic or should you be a little different? Should you be a standout sensation?

We’re not going to easily rewrite the golden rules of job applicant success. I’m not even sure we should. However, sometimes what moves us forward is not being the best fit, it is being different.

Does Different Sell?

I’m not suggesting different such as purple hair, or different such as violating every societal trend, or even different such as refusing to adapt and normalize with appropriate etiquette. Not at all.

What about being different by being a standout sensation? Does this sell? Is it valuable? Yes.

What has contributed to Zappos success? Being a standout sensation in the art of customer service.

What about Amazon, eBay, or Apple products? Whether you are a fan or not, whether you agree or not, something makes them stand out.

It is hard to get noticed in a crowd of average. It is hard to be selected when the perception of value that you bring is just like everyone else.

In nearly everything that we do, the difference may be in the testimonial, it may be in the recommendation, and in a connection economy it may be your activity within the group. Any or all of these may lead to an opportunity to stand out.

Standout Sensation

Sitting in the dark corner all dressed up at the prom is safer than busting it out on the dance floor. Until Footloose changed the perspective.

You can struggle with positioning and hide away with fear. The fear of fitting in, being accepted, or being chosen.

The alternative is putting in the extra effort, the practice, and the risk of innovation to become a standout sensation.

One will get your somewhere, the other is just part of the crowd.

-DEG

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

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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getting promoted

Getting Promoted Requires One Important Action

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You want the promotion, or the new job. You’ve put in the time, increased your knowledge, and have gained valuable experience. Are you interested in getting promoted? What are the roadblocks?

The biggest difference for those who want to tackle more and those who spring into action and get more is often confidence. Not arrogance, not being overconfident, or narcissistic, but having appropriate confidence.

Life Lessons

Since grade school we’ve likely been taught to wait to be picked. Wait for our turn. Allow someone else to go first. Be patient.

Many people apply what they’ve learned in childhood to their role in the workplace. Manners and being polite are a good thing. Regarding your opportunity to get promoted, you may need to be a bit more assertive.

Yes, some people will get picked. They’ll have what appears to be the right combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities to address a higher calling. They are noticed, visible, and are called to action.

For everyone else some choices remain. Build our confidence, take a risk, raise our hand, jump in the middle, ask, or just start doing it. What is stopping you?

The roadblock for many comes down to the fear of exposure. Exposure that we’ll make some mistakes, that we aren’t skilled with supervision, or that a lack of talent will become apparent and we’ll fail.

After all, since grade school we’ve never been the first pick for the team.

Getting Promoted

Getting promoted may begin with confidence. We need the confidence to get started and that happens by picking ourselves.

Most people don’t start a new job being over qualified. They start on the edge. The edge of being good enough to perform the work but still having significant room for growth.

Many believe the key to getting promoted is to prove what they’ve done in the past. Granted past performance is good indicator of future performance, but for the promotion no one knows for sure.

It is a bet. Start by betting on yourself.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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