Tag Archives: culture

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workplace talk

Workplace Talk and What You’ll Get

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What is the chatter about? What is the workplace talk? Culture develops from the people. It includes the interactions and reactions of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Nearly everyone influences someone. People are role models. Your workplace is a great place for observation and duplication.

What is the image of your organization?

What is your workplace culture?

Reputation and Brand

The marketing program that suggests the focus is on the customer doesn’t sell when the actions and behaviors are not illustrating that focus.

When the managers behavior is, do as I say, not as I do, there is a problem.

Anytime you have bait and switch, at any level, trust is disrupted. Sometimes, it has long-lasting or permanent affects.

In every workplace, you get what you focus on.

Behaviors, talk, and reputation will set expectations. Expectations are created from perceptions. Perceptions are regarded as reality.

You build a brand.

Workplace Talk

What happens next for everyone is what is being talked about right now. It creates the focus, the drama, and guides the future outcomes.

Think carefully about what you say. Consider the chatter, and your contributions.

Doom and gloom are easy to find if that is what you’re looking for. You have a choice to create more too. Just choose to discuss it over and over again and it will appear.

Making a difference for something better starts with setting expectations.

Care about the culture you’re creating.

Focus on what you want things to look like in the future.

-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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cultural pressure

Cultural Pressure Shapes What Happens Next

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Every workplace has cultural pressure. Even teams that work remotely instead of in the same physical space have cultural pressure. It is what causes the shape and flow of what happens next.

What is your form of cultural pressure?

Observations Impact Culture

We’ve all witnessed some pressure during the pandemic of 2020. Aspects of group dynamics, fear, and government rules shape the current culture.

Stay home.

Wear a mask.

Wash your hands.

Those who do and those who don’t are observed. They are judged. Judged as conforming, abiding, and doing the right thing. Or, judged as a rule breaker, an outcast, or a threat to preserving the prescribed approaches.

People who talk about what is happening add to the pressure. The news media, social media, and friends and family. This becomes a dynamic, a following, and a sense of belonging or not.

Every workplace has cultural pressure. Some of it may include ground rules, government regulations, and the modeling of leadership behaviors.

The employee teams ultimately decide what they will embrace. Pressure to conform increases when the percentage participating rises. Sometimes we call it peer pressure. Sometimes it has no label at all.

It becomes a factor in decision making, problem solving, and critical thinking.

Cultural Pressure

What happens next will be conditioned on the hysteria of the people. The mix between a desire for what they once sought after as normal, their fear, and the culture of those around them.

So called role models will have an impact. They’ll carry responsibility for shaping behaviors in public and to a lesser extent in private.

Everyone will have a choice. A path to follow or a path to abort.

Keep in mind others are watching.

You’ll be modeling your own future.

-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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inspiring role models

Inspiring Role Models Make a Difference

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There are role models and then there are inspiring role models. The latter is a step above or goes beyond. Are you a role model and if so, which type?

Our workplaces are filled with role models. When we break things down, we could suggest that there are good role models and bad.

Good role models are an icon. They represent something that stands out, sets a standard, and is an example to be followed.

A bad role model may be someone who is creating an image, establishes some following, or models aspects of a culture inappropriate or not aligned with the organizational mission.

What about inspiring role models?

Inspiring Role Models

Inspiring role models are a good role model who brings everything to life.

In many organizations we have those people who have been around for a while. They have lots of experience, expertise, and formally or informally stand out as an icon of the organization’s principles and values.

They’re a good role model.

Employees can look around and see them, point them out, and others see them too. They’re real life and factual.

Inspiring role models are a cut above the rest. Not only are they represented because they are the image of what the organization wants to be, they bring it to life.

This advanced level of role model reminds everyone of what is possible. They see opportunities in adversity, they change the working environment with their energy and presence. They often turn struggle spots into triumphs.

In some ways, perhaps, everyone is a role model. If so, you will decide if you are bad, good, or inspiring.

-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 generosity

Workplace Generosity and What It Means for the Team

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If asked, could you honestly suggest that there is generosity in your team? Workplace generosity is often suggested as a core value, but what actually occurs may be something different.

Generosity is an interesting aspect of organizational culture.

Giving Culture

Many people believe that every day they are giving. Giving, giving, and more giving, but never receiving in a reciprocal manner or amount.

This is the first fallacy of generosity. Generosity is about giving first, and not expecting something in return.

People can give in many ways. Most of them are not monetary.

We can give our attention and be a good listener. We may give new ideas or give valuable advice. In some cases, we are even giving respect, transparency, and appropriate consideration for others contributions.

These are all generous aspects of your culture.

Workplace Generosity

Do you view your teams as being generous? Are they giving on a supportive and emotional level? Are they keeping commitments and are they authentic?

Reciprocity is a nice compliment to generosity, yet if reciprocity is expected it changes the value.

When the cultural value is giving without reciprocity, and everyone participates, it seems that giving comes naturally and reciprocity may simply be a residue from the effort.

Be sure you’re using the correct labels. Generosity does not mean reciprocity. Reciprocity has an exchange expectation.

If generosity is your goal, give without conditions. Most of all, stay consistent and carry out the values that you are suggesting.

Your employee teams will thank you for it.

-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 sharing

Workplace Sharing Starts with Compromise

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Are you involved in workplace sharing? Do you negotiate for resources? Is everyone willing to share and compromise?

When we don’t agree in the meeting, we may feel the correct path is to compromise. Many believe that compromise means you’re getting less, you’re breaking things into pieces and distributing only part of the whole.

What if the part is the whole?

When FedEx delivers a package, it contains something of value inside for the recipient. Another person standing nearby, may need a corrugated box.

The person who needed the contents doesn’t need the box and the person needing a box doesn’t care about the prior contents. Is this sharing, compromise, or negotiation?

Some may suggest it could be all three.

You may share a bite of your dinner with your dog. Afterwards, you may also share a blanket, but likely not the water bowl. You share what provides value, you may both enjoy the blanket, but the water bowl is off limits.

Workplace Sharing

In the workplace we are always operating through frames. We condition what we’ll accept or reject based on the frame. The frame is largely defined by the organizational culture.

Sharing, compromising, and negotiating are part of a successful team. That team will be both effective and efficient when they are happily operating within their frame.

Sharing will matter. It matters for workflow and job duties. It matters for resources and the work that gets done. Sharing is framed by the culture.

One of the most important things to share is the idea that sharing is essential for team success.

It starts with you, or it may never start.

-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 conspiracy plan

Workplace Conspiracy Plan and Your Involvement

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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.


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service expectations

When Service Expectations Get Set

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Who decides about the quality of service? Hint: The customer. When do service expectations get set? Hint: Usually long before the product or service is received.

Are you conscious about expectations and outcomes? They matter for service, they matter for workplace change, and they will matter for everything connected to your culture.

Service Expectations

Traveling on Interstate 80 you can go from New Jersey to California. If you take this journey, or only some of it, and you’ll see road signs and billboards. Some of those will be for rest stops, food, and fuel.

If you make a choice to eat at a restaurant franchise, you have an idea of what to expect. You’ll make your decision to enter the establishment with your expectations already set.

If you make a choice to eat at an unknown restaurant, perhaps a mom and pop, upon entering you may not be sure what to expect. You’ll decide on your expectations quickly though, it often starts with the sign along the highway.

This is true for nearly everything about service.

It is why we decide we’ll trust some websites and others not so much. It is how we’ll make decisions about the shoes we buy, the clothes we wear, and the car we’ll drive. The expectations are set long before the sale.

Beyond products and services, it applies to your workplace too.

Connecting Service Internally

Certainly, in the workplace there are internal services. We know we can trust Sally with the project, yet we’re still not sure about James.

We’ll use our senses, our intuition, and our life experiences to decide.

The change handed down from the C-Suite will feel safe or it will feel conflicting. Work teams will decide to embrace it, move it forward, or perhaps slow it down.

It is true for the exit we’ll take from the highway. It is true for the change we need in the workplace.

Service expectations are the best predictor of outcomes.

-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 attention

Work Attention and Why It Matters for Culture

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Is work attention making a difference for your workplace culture? The psychology of work is important and it makes a difference for your culture.

Absolutely, yes, people still concentrate. Some claim that they are required to do it by multitasking.

For the record, many researchers believe cognitive multitasking is a myth.

Waiting and Focus

There are claims about ADHD, or in more relaxed forms it may be labeled ADD. Largely the medical community identifies this as a proven disorder, yet some naysayers disagree.

Regardless of any diagnosis, attention is harder to come by these days. The lure of attention to something more interesting is hard to break.

Anytime there is waiting, attention starts to drift. It drifts to a Smartphone or even to simple day-dreaming.

It happens before meetings, during meetings, and immediately following meetings. There is checking of email, text messaging, and social media feeds.

Often, the question for organizations or for the basis of workplace culture is, “How do we get more attention?”

Quest for Attention

Clever marketing programs, social feeds, and even television commercials spar for attention.

The quest for attention in the workplace is often attempted by force.

Turn off your cell phones.

Put your phones away.

No cell phones beyond this point.

In some cases, it is presented as a security threat, or a threat to intellectual property. In other cases, it is designed to create focus or allow for more concentration.

Work Attention

Everywhere you go people are jockeying for attention. It is true for the internet search algorithm and it is true for human-to-human message reception.

For organizational culture, attention is more important now than ever. It is much better as a pull attribute instead of push.

When your message is compelling enough to capture full attention without a push for attention you’re winning.

Maybe it is even delivered via a device.

-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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storytelling

Does Storytelling Work For You?

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Have you used storytelling in your repertoire of workplace skills? Storytelling can make a difference. What is in your stories?

Some people quickly scoff at the idea of a story. They consider stories to only be a fairy tale, an extreme embellishment of the facts, or just plain boring.

In some cases, people connect stories with the sales process, and, it might be true.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Everyone is in sales.”

What is important for your story?

Workplace Culture and Stories

Telling stories in the workplace can have a positive impact on not only performance, but organizational culture as well. People will often connect with stories. They have been hearing them and learning from them starting at a very young age.

Workplace motivation and culture are best connected with a compelling call-to-action. This is often defined as the difference between push and pull. Pull is much more powerful and a good story pulls the listener in.

Stories should draw connection points and can include many characters, including yourself. Always remember though, that for the listener it needs to resonate in a connection.

Storytelling Captures Attention

When you capture the attention of a listener through a story told the impact will make a difference. If the story causes the listener to self-reflect and builds a connection, you likely have experiential learning.

Attention is hard to capture in today’s fast-paced World. Pause for a few moments and phone surfing begins. A commercial in the middle of the television show, more surfing. A small group discussion that isn’t resonating and more surfing.

Your story, whatever it is, needs to capture the attention of the listener. Should it be embellished and dramatic? Should it be funny? Could it be sad? The easy answer is, “Maybe.” Know your audience and feel your way through.

Everyone is in sales and some stories are unforgettable.

Tell a good one.

-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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exciting culture

Exciting Culture and What Makes It a Good Time

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Do you have an exciting culture? Do people show up for work, the conference call, or the staff meeting pumped up and ready to go?

There is always the, “One in every crowd.”

One who brings in the motivation, enthusiasm and passion.

There may also be the one who drags their butt around like they walked 100 miles to get there.

The desirable, of course, is the engaging passion for what is about to happen next. How is that created?

Always Up to You

When you attend the meeting, the workshop, or the convention, what makes the difference? Does the power of one change the atmosphere and outcomes?

Like many things in life, it seems that you only get out of it what you put into it.

It is true for learning. If you don’t read, study, and experience something deeper you probably aren’t going to pick up much.

It is true for the artist, the researcher, and the chef, the effort you apply will have a direct correlation to what spins out of it.

Does your contribution affect culture?

Exciting Culture

Think about this when you attend the next event that involves other people. How you show up will have a lot to do with what others will experience. Your enthusiasm, like attitude, is contagious.

The culture then, which by the way is a long-run game, depends on how the vibes are spread. Are you springing into action or dragging around like you just walked 100 miles?

You always have an opportunity to make a difference.

The question then becomes, “Will you?”

-DEG

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


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