Tag Archives: decisions

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better leadership

Better Leadership Makes Things Better

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Sharp turns, bumps in the road, and dead-end streets. It’s easy to give metaphorical expressions for navigating the rough spots. Maybe what we really need is better leadership.

Everyone has a chance to lead. It’s an opportunity that awaits although many don’t often pause long enough to see it.

Conditions for Leading

Busy is a condition, it’s also a great excuse. People can be too preoccupied and that can detract from their focus.

Often effectiveness is missing.

Listening matters. We hear sounds or noises. True listening involves spending the time and energy required to comprehend or understand what you are hearing.

The truth often is, people are lazy listeners.

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you’ve seen a thing or two. If you’ve been in the workforce even in the past few years, you’ve encountered a lot.

We’ve went from a raging, fantastically exciting economy, to getting knocked to our knees by the threat of a virus. Now, violence and disruption have hit our streets and shattered our communities.

Anyone can lead, and now is a great time to be involved.

Better Leadership

Better leadership is an opportunity. It is an opportunity that is needed now, and it will be continuously needed in the future.

Leading, listening, and understanding the difference between busy and effective are all leadership challenges.

Transformation surrounds everyone. The choices you make today will impact your contribution to what the future looks like.

Everyone needs to move on, move forward, or move out of the way of progress.

Lead in your workplace, your community, or for a cause that you care deeply about.

Make things better.

-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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precious workplace resources

Precious Workplace Resources and Using Them

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Marketing is a struggle spot for many businesses. So is making great choices about talent. What are your most precious workplace resources? Are you using them effectively?

Technology and automation are both king and queen in many operations. Business strive to scale. They strive to attain the most efficiency and balance it with low cost.

Time is always a factor. How much, how fast, and how great is the quality? It’s true for both goods, and for services.

Focus is a factor when it comes to resources. Focus on nothing and you’ll likely get nothing.

Businesses and people sometimes focus too broad, or the opposite, too narrow.

The broad approach is often labeled, spray and pray. You throw a bunch of stuff out there and you see what sticks. It’s often the concept of spam.

Too narrow, and opportunities are missed. Product value is weakened or doesn’t fit like it potentially could. Services don’t provide enough depth.

Precious Workplace Resources

In the workplace it is often easy for people to appear busy. Busy is not proof of productivity, efficiency, or effectiveness. It may be proof that motion is occurring, but motion in most instances is not the point.

You can walk or run on a treadmill, yet you aren’t going any place. The argument may be that your improving fitness, and that may be true, but you haven’t changed your location.

It’s true for rocking in a rocking chair, it’s true for writing a book and never publishing it. Unless your goal is that act of doing, you’re not going anywhere.

Effectively using your most precious workplace resources has several important aspects. You should figure out where you’re going, monitor progress, and pivot your plan as appropriate along the way.

Both change and utilization are about decisions and choices. Those opportunities start with awareness.

If you think a lot of motion in the rocking chair will get you across town.

You’re mistaken.

-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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Good ideas

Good Ideas and Bad Ideas Both Have Impact

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Knowing the difference between good ideas and bad ideas is priceless. How can you tell? What are the traits of good ideas?

Problem solving often includes brainstorming. A group assembles, contributes, and leverages the flow of new ideas.

During the best problem-solving efforts, no idea is a bad idea. However, blocking or not offering ideas might be.

Ideas that seek inclusiveness and not alienation are usually helpful.

Honesty matters.

Bad Things

Conspiracy theories or using a political agenda may be the root of something bad.

Harmful or hurtful is a bad idea. Which includes ideas that are purposely destructive in nature.

Risk has a place in ideas. Too much risk may be a bad, yet some level of risk is often required. Launching a branding or marketing campaign may include risk, but are likely not organization ending in one fell swoop.

Too much anger, hurt, or certain types of fear can result in bad ideas. They may also stem from carelessness or be the result of something too hurried.

Many ideas are believable. Belief is created and as such, it can exist for both good and bad.

Does belief come from evidence or theory? Does it originate from fact or opinion?

Good Ideas

Good ideas will replace bad ideas.

The goal should be stated and carefully analyzed. Good ideas are transparent with their intent. They don’t stem from illusion, a masquerade, or bait and switch.

Even a little risk can be good. The rule of, “No risk, no reward.” applies.

Decision makers need more good ideas. They’re easier to follow and the mission has good intentions. They are easily shared and become appropriately popular.

Replace bad ideas with good ones.

-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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good decisions

Good Decisions Come From Good Character

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Is it easy to make good decisions? Considering a lifetime of decisions and choices, does your character define you?

A good friend of mine asks the question, “How does someone get discovered?”

He is referring to things like musicians, authors, and even great business leaders. Evidence suggests that there are many talented people who go through life undiscovered.

Why?

Has the playing field been leveled? Are there too many in the category of average?

What will set you apart?

Wealth of Information

We live in a World saturated with information. There is so much information, so many media options, and so many opportunities worthy of consideration that nearly everyone has an opportunity to contribute or learn something.

In professional settings there are countless sources for business information. There are thousands of schools and universities, and even more books, seminars, and other learning opportunities.

It would seem that both knowledge and opportunity are everywhere.

What makes a difference for people in their career? If information and knowledge are abundantly available, what sets some apart?

Good Decisions

Setting aside the concept of luck or being at the right place at the right time your best moves probably develop from your character.

When you consider that all of the people who seek knowledge have similar resources for knowledge gain or accessibility to information, then it really comes down to decisions.

The missing skill becomes your sense of good judgment.

Every decision made today will have consequences. Some of those may be labeled as good while others may be labeled as bad.

Everything that you do and become is a part of the decisions you’ve made. Across your own lifetime, it is part of your character.

Perhaps the most scarce resource of all, is the character required to make good judgments that lead to good decisions.

Decisions made are part of who you are. How you change what happens next is part of who you’ll become.

-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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unexpected choices

Unexpected Choices Spark a Pivot.

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Decisions sometimes need to be made even when it is undesirable. Have you encountered unexpected choices during adverse conditions?

If you have, then you’ve probably recognized that freezing, seizing up, or having a reluctance to consider alternatives may result in poor choices.

People deal with the stress of the unexpected in different ways. Some immediately want to explore while others just want everything to go back to what they considered normal.

In many cases, there is not a back to normal option. The status quo is no longer available. There becomes a new normal.

People often believe that a persons environment shapes who they are and who they become. Others believe that people are who they are, regardless of any environmental observation or stimulus. There is even a psychology based term for this, it is known as the Fundamental Attribution Error.

Our environment is powerful. Situations and circumstances are powerful. Your habits, ethics, and integrity are also powerful.

What do you do or assume during adverse conditions? Are you looking for new options or do you find yourself restricted to known paths?

Innovators seek new options.

Unexpected Choices

You may discover that it is time to pivot. Time to explore the unexplored and discover a different direction.

What do you do when the store is out of your favorite brand?

How do you get to work when your normal route is blocked?

What happens when you don’t have the right tool for the job?

You improvise. Discovery of options and choices provide an opportunity to keep moving.

Everyday decisions always have an outcome. Decisions that you make under pressure or adverse conditions also have an outcome.

Certainly a decision or choice to do nothing is still a decision but the opportunity to pivot gets new things started.

It may be the unexpected choices or options which require you to go in a new direction that yield the best results.

Consider alternatives.

-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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framed decisions

Framed Decisions Condition Future Outcomes

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Everyone wants to make good decisions. Are you decisive or indecisive? Will framed decisions make a difference?

The easy answer is, they always do.

Perhaps the next question should be, how?

Without careful consideration everyone is making their decisions or choices within a frame. Framing a problem is generally constructive, it helps create focus and piece together the best possible solution. Decisions are made within the frame.

When you expand or contract the frame, the picture and outcomes may change.

“I want a new cell phone,” is very different from, “I want a new Samsung cell phone.” It’s different because the frame is different.

How are you framing the decisions that you make?

Framed Decisions

The decisions you make and the frame you place around options and choices are part of a compromise. You are compromising on future outcomes and directions based on the frame.

The compromise can make a decision come to a conclusion, or it can prolong a decision creating a lack of commitment.

Framing your decision alters the possibilities and future outcomes.

It is true for deciding what you’ll have for dinner and it is true for the scope of your marketing plan.

It is always important to establish a frame. The frame helps guide clarity and it also will limit the possibilities. Limiting the possibilities can be constructive, or if brainstorming, perhaps not so constructive.

What you do next for your career or your organization will have a lot to do with your frame.

Consider setting the size of you frame appropriate for the pursuit of your vision. No limits doesn’t always mean no limits, sometimes it means reaching beyond your frame.

-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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drama decisions

Drama Decisions Are Not Productive

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Each day you have a responsibility. The responsibility to make decisions. Are you making drama decisions, or good decisions?

When your job, at least in part, is to make good decisions have you considered the information that guides those decisions?

Obstacles and Validity

It’s common that workplace leaders hear and see a lot. People run to bosses, especially middle managers, seeking an opportunity to have a voice.

They voice their opinions. Opinions that sound like facts, but are not facts. Some may be valid and reliable. Others may be nothing more than hearsay.

Your best decisions may come from careful analysis. It may mean examining the data, asking more questions, and even having the patience to allow things to unfold a little before jumping.

Some workplace leaders find themselves sandwiched between a variety of stories with little data. These stories are often embellished versions of the real story, and unfortunately an easy management trap is to listen to a few and then the last presentation seems to win.

These are drama decisions.

Drama Decisions

Drama decisions are fueled with unproductive emotions. Often arising from jealously, envy, or spite.

Voices get loud. Frequencies increase, and the outcomes feed the drama even more.

If part of your job is being responsible for making good decisions then it may be very important to consider the characteristics of the source.

Are you listening for facts and not reacting to opinions?

Is there any data to back up the message?

What is really the root cause of the scenario being presented?

You didn’t achieve a position responsible for making good decisions by often making bad ones, but could you still do better?

Have you considered the value of thinking more critically and making better decisions?

It may be a worthwhile exercise.

-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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better choices

Better Choices Come From Better Habits

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Are you able to make better choices? Is it your job to make better decisions, to think more critically, or to choose the best path?

Chances are good that everyone has some of this responsibility. If it is true for you, how are you ensuring your choices produce the best outcomes?

“Every dog has its day.”

Nearly everyone quickly recognizes the meaning of this phrase. It is to suggest that at some point, everyone gets some luck or stumbles onto some good fortune.

Many people believe that the best of the best get all of the breaks. The view is that life is easy and good fortune is always coming their way.

It is true for the view of individuals and often also true for the view of businesses or organizations.

Lucky Breaks

Have you ever had a streak of good luck? What about a streak of bad luck? Many will tell you that bad luck comes in three’s and so you look for it to stop after a self-identified, third event.

Streaks of good luck or bad luck don’t continue on forever. That is why we call them a streak.

Studies on the concept of luck have concluded that we all have about the same amount of luck. It is how we manage our luck that determines the future outcomes.

With all of this in mind it would seem logical that your daily habits are what make the most difference.

Better Choices

Each day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, positions you to make the best choices and decisions about what will happen next.

Today you’ll make some choices. Tomorrow the path might be altered ever so slightly (or drastically) to create a new beginning.

Diets and exercise don’t change a physique on a single day. Getting better at your craft doesn’t flip the switch over night. Your career or your business venture isn’t about a single day, a single moment, or a specific spike or decline.

What happens across a career is about choices. The choices you make are connected to the habits you follow.

Today is a good day to figure out what those are.

-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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louder voices

Louder Voices Aren’t Always Smarter Voices

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Do you believe everything you hear? Are the people with louder voices saying the right things?

Everyone has a choice for what they choose to believe. It is true for politics, religion, and even our actions and behaviors in public or in your workplace.

Most people are familiar with the concept of the squeaky wheel. The notion that the person who makes the most noise gets the attention.

Is it true?

The best answer is, sometimes.

Louder Voices

Workplace leaders should always self-reflect on what sparks their ideas and directions for making business decisions. We all process information, it may be information we seek or it may be information we stumble upon.

Louder is a metaphorical expression, not necessarily connected to volume. It’s true, some people are just louder than others.

In modern circles louder often comes from the network. The community of people who come together with similar ideas, values, or beliefs. They tend to shout, sometimes loudly, and they are often heard.

When evidence seems to appear that corroborates the noise they recently received, it becomes an apparent truth.

While it is important for everyone to consider the information they give. It is just as important to consider the information you receive.

In workforce circles there is often a discussion of workplace politics. It has to do with how people navigate the boss, the circles of gossip, rumors, and the content of the secret meeting.

Louder voices seem to often get the stage and the microphone.

Just because they are louder it doesn’t mean it is smarter.

-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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