Tag Archives: decision making

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drama stories

Drama Stories Create More Action Than Realized

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Are you telling drama stories? Do you recognize when you are doing it?

Likely, a story isn’t a story until you add a little drama. Painting the picture might be drama. Exaggerating the moment with body language, sounds, or using props might add a little drama.

Comedians get greater impact and connection by animating the story. Sometimes it is funny without any words. A well-placed moment of silence can add a little drama.

Many stories are a reenactment of sorts.

Then of course there is selling. Selling the product, selling an idea, or even selling yourself in a job interview or as a professional services provider.

A good attorney has stories. A medical doctor might have a story or two.

Drama isn’t just gossip or rumors, sometimes it is factual.

Does the story resonate better with a little spice added?

Drama Stories

People make decisions. Decisions often involve emotion. Even when someone suggests to remove all emotion.

Buying a new car? Your decision might be based on emotion. Otherwise, if it is truly only about transportation you might pick only the most economic means to get from point A to point B.

Perhaps, that is no car at all.

Finding a great hotel, hiring a new employee, or where to have dinner on date night. Much of the activity in your life is bought and sold based on drama.

Do you tell yourself drama stories? You might seek to feel the moment. Moments of success, luxury, or pride. Decisions might be made in favor of short-term, long-term, or that are better for your family.

The truth of it is, there is a lot of drama.

-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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head or heart

Head or Heart, Which One For Business Decisions

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Head or heart has been something of consideration for centuries, what should you follow? Critical thinking and decision making is often not to be taken lightly. Does the path you choose depend on the circumstances?

No two circumstances or situations are exactly alike. The intricacies of scenarios can leave plenty of room for doubt.

The character of Dicky Fox had something to say about head and heart in the movie Jerry Maguire (1996).

The subject of feelings sometimes makes business people a little squirmy. It is often closely followed by a reference to holding hands and singing Kumbaya.

There is a certain importance to feelings. Relationships and trust are deeply rooted in feelings and effective leadership requires trusted relationships.

Many business situations contain emotions. The last I checked; passion is closely connected to your emotions. For starters, a passion for the work, the product, and delighting customers comes to mind.

There may be times when decisions may require setting aside some of the emotions. There may be times when what is good for many may mean that it cannot be good for every one.

Sometimes people believe multiple choice is a nice option and suggest bringing your options to the meeting.

Which one will you follow, head or heart?

Head or Heart

What you are passionate about will condition most of your decisions. Emotion’s guide many buying decisions.

Do you buy a nice car or something that gets you from point A to point B? The same may be true for your home, your clothing, or the tools you buy.

Decisions are often made with feelings of comfort, control, or passion. Sometimes they are made for health reasons, such as the food you eat or exercise.

Business decisions require critical thinking. Critical thinking isn’t necessarily about gut feel or having the most experience. Both matter, but it is the critical side that is often the deal breaker.

People often bring the concept of luck into the equation. Good luck or bad, how you manage your luck will have plenty to do with the final outcomes.

Don’t be fooled about head or heart.

The best leaders are including some of both.

-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 scarcity

Workplace Scarcity Causes More People To Act

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“It was important because it seemed like it was our last chance.” Sound familiar? Workplace scarcity often drives people to action. Is that a good thing?

It seems like the U.S. economy is thriving on the concept of scarcity. Everything from home appliances, to building materials, to canning jars. Nearly every day someone has a story to share about something that they wanted to buy only to find little or no supply. I think it all started about a year ago with toilet tissue.

Fear compels people to do irrational things. It encourages quick decisions that are sometimes thoughtless and reckless.

When it comes to sales, the principle of scarcity is not a stranger. Sales teams often thrive on the principle of scarcity.

You can even observe it in television shows such as American Pickers and Pawn Stars. These shows often illustrate that the price increases when there is a belief that the item in question is scarce.

Does it affect behaviors and decisions in your workplace?

Workplace Scarcity

Almost everything is a rush. There is a race against time to produce faster, newer, fresher, and always be the first to ship. It doesn’t matter if it is services or products, it is a race.

The pace of business today often results in a lack of patience for decisions. Patience is not the same as procrastination, and a lack of patience is often created when there is a feeling of scarcity.

We need to hire someone fast.

Stock up, there is going to be a shortage coming soon.

Rumors are that the only supplier on the east coast may go out of business.

Through advertising we often see things implying scarcity.

Hurry, last one.

Limited collector’s edition.

This item won’t last long.

Is scarcity working for you or against you? Are there issues connected to trust when it comes to scarcity?

Have employees been scared into hasty decisions so many times that they are immune to the thought? Does it create a failure to act when action is required?

Acting fast is often important. Acting right now, may imply a different spin.

Scarcity can be both a sword and a shield. It can be the difference between saving a situation or costing you dearly.

Awareness of how scarcity springs people to action is important. It is as important as trust.

Leaders are role models for behaviors. How you communicate, advertise, and make decisions will become part of your culture.

If you’re thriving on selling with scarcity tactics you can expect the same with your team as they make decisions and choices for what happens next.

One thing often follows scarcity.

Buyers remorse.

-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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data facts

Data Facts Seem Compelling, Are They Valid?

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Decision makers and analyzers often seek the facts. When presented with more information confidence seems to rise. Data facts matter but are they really painting the true picture?

People anchor to data. Often wrongfully so. Historical data is not the same as benchmark data. Data may appear factual but only based on what is presented.

Often, it is not the complete picture.

In the workplace, some employees are loud about their accomplishments. It is a way of tooting their own horn. It’s not all bad and it is sometimes required but seldom does anyone ask, “What’s missing?”

What’s missing may be work performed by others who are not shouting. Work that is easily overlooked internally but greatly appreciated by the external customer.

If it is not spoken and isn’t sought out, does it matter? Of course, it matters but it is often overlooked.

Data Facts

What is reported in the news isn’t everything that has happened. It is only what is being reported.

Awareness of the data source and the depth is seldom considered. The expectation is trust.

Many business decisions are made only by the data that is presented. The quest for differing opinions, deeper investigation, or alternative views are seldom considered desirable. Largely, they are rejected, silenced, or ridiculed.

Data that doesn’t fit the narrative is unwelcomed.

When data aligns with the prescribed suggestions it is considered good enough. It passes the test or satisfies the wishful expectations and the information stops.

Meanwhile valid data is often being omitted or overlooked.

Compelling doesn’t always mean accurate, and it seldom means that the entire picture is on display.

-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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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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character depth

Character Depth Will Determine Leadership Decisions

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Life experiences matter, so does formal education, the deeper your knowledge and understanding the better decisions you can make as a leader. Character depth will matter, because it is part of who you are.

Character may be described as a sum of your values, beliefs, and knowledge. It is also connected to how you apply all of those. It shows itself through your words, behaviors, and responses.

Everyone’s path in life may be different. What people read, espoused values from family and friends, and formal education will have an impact. Today, beyond just reading we have other vast influences, such as video, television, and even virtual realities.

Your life choices and decisions will shape how you navigate the future.

This is why learning is so important.

Are You Learning?

People learn in different ways. Some argue that they don’t need a formal program of study. Perhaps, that is true. Yet, at the same time if their learning is limited to only their immediate surroundings or culture their depth is limited. Their frame may be too narrow.

There are also differences between reading, studying, watching videos, and listening to podcasts, when compared with learning directly from an expert.

In life, people drop out of high school, they drop out of college, or never finish other types of educational programs.

There are unexpected pregnancies, loss of loved ones, or loss of a job.

Many twists, turns, and surprising outcomes.

Does this matter? The easy answer is, yes.

It is not so much about what happened, but more about what you learned.

What you learned from any experience will drive what choices or actions you’ll take next.

Did you learn?

Character Depth

Nearly every day I hear stories about formal leaders making difficult choices.

Some stories are about bad choices and some are about not understanding options. Go a little deeper and it may be that so-called leaders don’t even have the understanding that they should be making a choice. They do nothing.

Doing nothing may be an option, yet if it is not a conscious choice it may be problematic.

Leadership often circles back to expertise. While much of the expertise may be technical in a given field, it also requires great depth in the human side of things.

In the workplace, great leaders understand the technical as well as the psychology of work. They understand people.

Those who lack formal expertise, those who lack education, are limited. When their frame is very narrow, of course, they lack depth.

Depth becomes part of your character and the decisions you’ll make are limited by the information (knowledge/expertise) that is within your reach.

Sometimes there isn’t a video to watch. Sometimes there isn’t a podcast to listen to or a book to read.

The best leaders build their character across time from a wide range of experiences and learning.

How deep are 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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multiple choice decisions

Multiple Choice Decisions Frame the Outcomes

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Remember the last test you took? Did it include multiple choice answers? Multiple choice decisions make the assumption that the best answer is inclusive, is it?

Decision making is often much more complex than people realize and critical thinking plays an important role.

Make a list of pros and cons.

Let’s do a fish bone diagram to make sure we understand the root cause.

We need a brainstorming session.

The truth of it is, all of those may have value but only when you are operating within the correct frame.

In school, I often liked the short answer test questions. I often felt that I could express my reasoning and logic better, demonstrating that I had a grasp of the material. It didn’t always work.

As people we tend to want to fill in the blanks. When we don’t understand an action or behavior, we often fill in the blanks for a reason why.

The boss wouldn’t make eye contact, she must not have liked my question.

John was late for the meeting this morning. He must have overslept.

Cindy didn’t answer my email, she must not agree with my suggestion.

When something doesn’t seem to fit, we come up with a reason why.

Multiple Choice Decisions

In the workplace, meetings are held. Some are informational. In these meetings the information tends to flows in only one direction.

Other meetings are for problem solving. The idea is often about creating solutions.

Be mindful of the solutions generating meeting (problem solving) that is delivered with multiple choice options. Is the best possible answer in the group of suggested solutions?

People are directed each day, or not, by the frame in which they operate.

Sometimes what happens next should not be driven by the list of recommended choices.

That is what we often call, “Being framed.”

-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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data listening

Data Listening, Do You Have This Skill?

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Data is out there, it is everywhere. We have lots and lots of data but what does it all mean? What about the opinions from friends, coworkers, or clients? Are you effective at data listening?

When we hear the word data we often think about numbers. We think about the financial statement, the metric for production efficiency, or the results from a scientific study. Sure, that is data, but so is the information that surrounds us.

Data Trouble Spots

Several trouble spots with data often plague organizational team members. It may be the CEO, or it may be the front-line team lead. It happens in stand-alone decisions or in the group or committee. Are you listening to the data? Should you?

Here are a few trouble spots:

  • Biased listening
  • Inappropriate frame
  • Too much data
  • Too little data
  • Opinions not facts

Often the more experienced we believe we are, the less effective we are at data listening. As leaders grow and elevate their status they may also start to listen with less efficiency and more bias.

Self-perception or deception is often problematic. Leaders make choices based on gut feel, or what seems to be the most mainstream point of view. Worse, they sometimes do it for future positioning or self-interest.

Data Listening

Some listening deficiencies are easily improved. Others are harder to identify or address.

Framing is a significant problem. Simply put, people don’t know what they don’t know. Every decision we make is based on our frame.

While the origins are obscure, the idiom, “Think outside the box,” is often attributed to John Adair who studied critical thinking in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Watch out for the frame you place around your decisions.

Information and data are everywhere, it is the art of exceptional listening that makes a difference for what happens next. Thinking alike is often just as problematic as it is good.

Sometimes the best way to see the data is with a different set of eyes.

-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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data driven decisions

Data Driven Decisions or Emotional Choices?

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Many professionals look to the data to help make decisions. Data is important and critical for executives, scientists, and engineers. How does data affect your business? Are data driven decisions used or is it more based on emotions?

I remember sitting in a community college classroom in the mid-1980’s, our instructor challenged our thinking with a concept. “If you travel 8 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit coming from fewer than 20 miles away will you arrive at class earlier?”

Most quickly suggested that, yes, you would. The instructor pushed for additional thinking about stop signs, streetlights, and even the possibility of waiting for a train that crosses near the entrance.

We live in a world of data. Data that might make a difference or it might not.

Powerful Numbers

Two pieces of hand sliced bread, three apples from the produces section at the market, or a coffee refill by the wait staff at your favorite breakfast spot. Which bread slice is bigger, which apple weighs the most, or did I get the most ounces coffee for my money?

Millions of people play the lottery even though the chances of winning are known to be very small.

Data is important but it might not tell the entire story.

Do you use data to make decisions? Nearly everyone does. Are you anchored to that data? Is the data accurate? Does a single number provide the guidance or is it more about a trend?

Data is probably important for decisions, but it doesn’t mean that people will make smart choices.

Emotions Sometimes Drive

The feeling of faster, bigger, and most value for your dollar is important. So is feeling lucky.

Consider though that all of those are about feelings and emotions. Fitting data to your emotions is commonplace. It might be easy to find an example.

What about the average, mean, or statistical probability, do any of those prove your choice will be the best?

Data Driven Decisions

Trends and probabilities are probably better than any single number.

Data designed to fit or provided as proof is probably not a trend.

Be careful of data, it might be guided by hope and emotions.

One number matters much less than the trend.

– 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 four-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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