Tag Archives: decisions

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team agreement

Team Agreement or Agree to Disagree?

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When you’re seeking buy-in do you get team agreement or are people agreeing to disagree?

Chances are really good that any time you have two or more people working together eventually you’ll disagree about something.

When working with groups and teams on conflict I always suggest that conflict is a natural part of people working together. How they choose to manage conflict will determine if it becomes harmful.

Team Agreement

Why do we disagree?

It is an interesting dynamic because many businesses claim that they are seeking to hire employees who are the perfect fit. Often the expression of fit is not about competencies or skills, it is more about values, beliefs, and perspective.

Boards of directors often take a similar position. They often seek people for board seats because they want to achieve agreement on difficult issues. When the board approves a motion, it must be the correct decision. Board members with differing opinions need not apply.

Yet, the pull to the push is that diversity of opinion may make us stronger.

Decision by consensus may quickly come to mind. True decision by consensus is not about majority vote, it is not popular opinion. Decision by consensus means that a group has complete agreement about the decision.

As you may quickly realize, true decision by consensus is often hard to attain.

Should we agree to disagree?

Agreeing to Disagree

I believe that agreeing to disagree is a good temporary patch to a disagreement that may be about to explode in to a harmful argument. One important aspect of agreeing to disagree is that it is not a win-win solution.

What do you do when the team cannot agree? Are the minority members shunned into silence or forced to vote to the affirmative?

We can suggest that some group members may lack experience, understanding, or that they simply have a closed-mind. Most commonly, we suggest that they are wrong.

Achieving team agreement may be a delicate balance of give and take.

Decide on where you will give.

-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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complicated stories

Long And Complicated Stories Affect Decisions

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About to make a big decision? Do you find yourself stuck behind long and complicated stories? What stories are you telling yourself?

When someone asks you about a project, a situation, or a surprising outcome that they’ve heard through the grapevine is there a story behind it?

In many circumstances, there is.

Whenever you are facing a challenging decision, especially one that appears to have long-term effects on the future, there might be a story.

That doesn’t make the situation any more unique. It does often mean that there are numerous pros and cons. So many, in fact, that it makes the choice that much harder.

Big Decisions

In decision making many people will often suggest listing the pros and cons.

When you make a list, you can more clearly see the appropriate direction. This does sometimes help, but what often happens is that this exercise brings more focus.

When you focus on the main point. The area that may seem to have the most benefit or worst consequence the story gets shorter. Shorter means you have less anxiety and less pressure on the decision.

Complicated Stories

Sometimes the decision that has been chronically delayed needs to narrow down to one point on either side. The reason for and the reason against. Everything else is just making it more complicated.

There is often a third point though, and that third option is to stay on course, don’t make a new or different decision.

Choices can be tough. Big decisions feel hard to make.

You always want to be sure you make the right one.

Sometimes it helps to consider that the next big decision you make will absolutely be the right decision at the moment you make it.

Life is fluid. Don’t over complicate 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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assumption decisions

Assumption Decisions Are Made In Every Meeting

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Meetings are often about decisions. They are also about information, thinking, and often about assumptions. Are you making assumption decisions?

At the very start of every meeting there are assumptions. The assumption about why Jane is missing, why Bob looks worried, and about how the meeting will evolve.

Most meetings expect reflection. Reflection is part of experiential learning and it is part of being a participant and contributor.

What are you reflecting upon?

Meeting Anxiety

Are you wondering what will happen when you’re asked to verbally contribute? Will you be called upon to vote, respond, or is the expectation to simply nod your head?

What is the elephant in the room? Is the elephant your imagination or do others feel the same thing?

Everyone knows that we shouldn’t make decisions based upon assumptions. However, when the data is lacking, when we’re lazy, or when our experiences tell us it is safe, we do it.

Technology and data are helping us get better. We have gauges and sensors that help eliminate assumptions.

The temperature in the room, made known by a gauge. A tire with low pressure on our car, known by a gauge. The amount of storage used on our computing device, yes, of course, known by the data or gauge.

Is valid and reliable data better than making an assumption?

Assumption Decisions

All of our modern conveniences help us do better by being smarter. We make better choices because the information seems irrefutable.

Occasionally, an assumption will get in the way. We’ll either choose to ignore the data or we’ll take a different path because the path appears more consistent with our gut feel.

What assumption decisions are you or your team making? And the outcomes, how have they worked out?

-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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culture decisions

Culture Decisions Determine the Future of Fit

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There is little room for doubt that your organizational culture determines what happens next. Culture decisions drive what will become the future.

Culture is part of the long-run game. Or it could be the impact of numerous short-run games that build a long-run game picture.

One thing is certain, workplace dynamics vary a great deal from the manufacturing business in the industrial park, to the non-profit association across town, or to the new healthcare facility on the west side.

While many people and organizations believe that their culture is the best or perhaps the most appropriate, social trends will have something to do with the cultures that are most successful.

Different Cultures

One business believes that being a little gruff, leading with an authoritarian approach, and strong disciplinary actions for anyone coloring outside the lines is the secret formula for culture. It is a throwback to, “My way or the highway.”

Another business believes in open floor plans, building a community of employees, and being considerate of employees needs while maintaining accountability and of course profitability of the operation.

It may seem hard to find where these lines cross. If they even do, or if they even should.

Leading in our modern times has challenges, that is nothing new. The diversity aspect of navigating leadership roles continues to challenge the best cultures.

Leadership makes culture decisions. Known or unknown, it is happening around you.

Culture Decisions

The decision you’ll make today about accountability, responsibility, and a respectful (or not) workplace will shape tomorrow. Revenues, profit, and customer relationships are inclusive.

There is an old saying, “People may not remember what you said but they’ll always remember how you made them feel.”

This is true about your culture. People are human, not a machine. Societal trends will determine many of the feelings surrounding your business culture.

In a low-unemployment economy people are going to work at the best places.

-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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historical performance

Historical Performance is not Benchmark Performance

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It often starts with, “What did we do last year?” Many people and organizations set a course to measure future performance against historical performance. Win or lose, exceed the previous, or met expectations, is that high performance?

Measuring performance is always relative. Whichever team wins the championship has a different history when compared with the team who didn’t make it to the playoffs.

Historical Performance

Often people and organizations measure against their last performance or recent performance.

It is an anchor. Where we place the mark.

As people we tend to anchor to data. Initially people often frame according to the record. The record high jump, the fastest time, or the longest distance. Guinness has a book of records.

These records are valuable and important. A point of origin, a starting place, and a remembrance of achievement.

Is the act repeatable? Was it luck?

Benchmark Performance

Benchmark performance is considered to be different. A collection of data that specifies the approximate.

The average time for a marathon, lap times at a Motorsport event, and in golf, par.

There are many ways to set performance standards. Some of them feel more important than others.

Performance measurement may depend on what is trying to be accomplished. If the goal is to improve or get better, it may be connected to history.

The problem with historical data is often in its assumption of accuracy. Is the lap time unbeatable? Can you score under par?

Weighing a pound less on the scale after your workout is perhaps a good measure.

Bringing in one dollar more in sales revenue this year when compared with last year is better, but it is unlikely the limit. And, likely shouldn’t be the goal.

Becoming better or the best is often determined by the anchor.

-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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delayed decisions

Delayed Decisions Can Become a Bad Habit

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Do you hurry to make decisions? Is your pause something that becomes a habit? Do you feel more accurate after strategically waiting? Delayed decisions can become a bad habit.

Cool Off, Slow Down

We’ve learned about the cooling off period. If we are making a big purchase, a major life choice, or something of very high risk, a delayed decision seems appropriate.

Confidence, or a lack of, may drive how rapidly we make decisions.

Across time we may develop a learned pattern that the act of delaying decisions keeps our options open, provides more clarity, and allows our emotions to calm down. All of which may be true, and sometimes good, but is it required?

Do you have a habit of delaying decisions?

Delayed Decisions

In 2006, you may not have heard of Facebook, when you did, you may have decided to wait to join. By 2010, if you wanted engagement on Facebook, your advantages were already lessening. Sure, there were still many more people to join, but Facebook was already contemplating strategy for controlling and securing their platform.

If you wanted to be a Facebook Influencer, early adoption was a good strategy.

When we jump in early, there is often an advantage. This is true with many decisions. First on the bus, first to the fresh buffet, or first in line for the Black Friday electronics deals. All may be advantageous.

There is a bell curve of value connected with change. Decisions drive change.

As humans we are creatures of habit. We often launch, analyze, learn, change, and repeat. Sometimes we label this as a fluid process. Fluidity can be good.

At the same time if our habits drive us to hesitate, wait, slow down, and analyze more, we just might miss the bus.

Careful consideration is always valuable. Procrastination on deciding can become a bad habit.

-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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Wrong people

Wrong People Are Often Right

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People worry about the risk of being wrong. Taking a chance, exploring an opportunity, what is the real cost? Wrong people are often also the same people who get it right.

What is the risk for you? Is it your image, your reputation, or the thought that you might be fired?

Statistics on Right

It is Little League World Series time in Pennsylvania. A time each year when thousands of people descend upon the small city of, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

How many pitches will be thrown? How many strike outs, bases loaded, and catches dropped? What about base hits, home runs, and runs batted in?

Baseball is often much like our workplace life. The more chances we take the more chances we’ll have some success.

The statistical aspect of chances taken are what probably matters the most. One risk, one correct choice, seems easy. Looking deeper beyond the statistics you may ask, “How risky was that?”

Wrong People

It happens at the start of every brainstorming meeting. “No idea is a bad idea,” someone will proclaim. Yet, participants in the meeting will still wonder about the consequences before they speak.

Taking the risk of being wrong is the first step to taking a risk of being right.

Wrong people are not wrong all of the time. The trick is being right, at the right time.

Perfect scores, perfect seasons, and businesses and organizations on the move don’t happen without a few mistakes. The people who can live with being wrong are the same people who thrive on being right.

-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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training time

We Can’t Afford Training Time

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Does your company provide or encourage continuous learning? Is training time viewed as an investment or only an expense?

There are many small businesses with organizational leaders who scoff at the idea of training. One of the best excuses that leaders say, create, or allow, is that there is not enough time for training.

Certainly, the dollars spent for training can be a stumbling block, yet organization leaders may blame it on time.

Stuck, Stalled, or Stopped

Small businesses (and leaders) grow to the size or capability of management and then get stuck. They often get stuck because the theories and concepts they’ve grown accustom to only work up to a certain size.

The small business with fewer than ten people has a different dynamic from the business that employs one hundred and ten thousand. Leadership principles in these organizations are similar, yet strategic and tactical deployment may be different.

Examining costs for training in any business should not be based only on dollars spent or time made available for training. There are many other intangible costs that should be considered.

The list is long but here are a few:

  • Rework
  • Drama
  • Customer Experiences
  • Technology
  • Employee turnover

Some organizations that get stalled, stuck, or stopped, never recover. They stay there and slowly decline.

Training Time

I remember a rather successful CEO saying to me, “If we suggested people go to training right now, they would say they don’t have time and they wouldn’t be able to focus on the training because they would be too worried about the operation.”

On the surface it is hard to argue with that statement, yet, underneath the surface you have to question the culture (leadership) that drives that mindset.

Of course, there are times when every operation (especially small ones) need every hand on deck. The challenge may be determining when these times are real and when they become an excuse.

The real story here is that untrained employees are always more expensive than trained employees.

Trained employees will make decisions, they will make better decisions, quality will improve, commitment, engagement, and loyalty will all be better.

Training time may be the smallest price to pay.

-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 trusted

Is Your Service Trusted? Is There Loyalty?

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Regardless of the sector your business or organization represents, is your service trusted? What would the outsiders say? Organizations have a chance, at least one, to earn trust.

Trust is an interesting part of how organizations and individuals achieve success. Trust is likely part of your competitive advantage, or else it isn’t.

Presence of Trust

When trust is lacking productivity decreases, efficiencies decline, loyalty is out the window, and your brand reputation suffers. Trust is often taken for granted or else not taken seriously.

Many people believe that trust is about truth and lies. Sure, that is perhaps part of it. So are deficiencies in accountability, response times, and decision making.

Consistency should come to mind when you consider trust. When people know what to expect and when they are a lot more likely to trust. It is the surprises that create a breakdown.

When I order a hamburger and fries in the drive-through, I’m placing a certain amount of trust that is what I’ll get in the bag. I’m also expected a napkin or two.

When I attempt to make a call on my cell phone. I’m expecting cellular service is available.

The product I ordered online should be what’s inside the brown box delivered to my porch. I’m also expecting an email message to tell me it is there.

Service Trusted

When I make a conscious choice to engage with an organization, I have an expectation of trust.

That expectation is often connected to a person. The person who takes my call, responds to my email, or fulfills my order. It may also be the person who orders raw materials, makes my product, and inspects the quality.

Similar ideas exist for healthcare, the pharmacy, and my bank account balance.

Trust is expected everywhere. Loyalty is achieved when it is delivered. That’s service trusted.

-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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decide soon

Decide Soon, Waiting Wastes Time

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Are decisions really connected to productivity? They are, which is exactly why you should decide soon.

Certainly not all choices are the same. Some choices become better with a slower decision. We access more information, the picture gets clearer, the decision improves. What about your daily productivity?

Are You Productive?

An email response in haste may result in a bad decision. Emotions are often higher, the message riskier, the results sometimes misunderstood. On the positive side, you didn’t procrastinate, you did it immediately. Time saved or time wasted?

You can only put off the wait staff so long. They may advise, “I’ll give you a few minutes.” Yet, you still know you must decide quickly. They can’t wait too long and your friends and family are ready to order.

In the meeting you hesitate to speak. You have an idea, a point to make, or some additional information. Is the timing right, will the people understand, will you get blacklisted for making such a ridiculous suggestion?

Decide Soon

The truth often is that we waste time by waiting. Yes, not every decision should be made in haste, but the outcomes are not altered on many of your choices. Time is wasted and productivity is decreased.

What if you receive one hundred emails a day? How many do you glance at, open, close, and come back to later? How much time is spent in thought, consideration, and a careful response? Your conscientiousness is important and valuable, yet there is relevance to the speed.

One of my favorite time wasters? Deciding that responding too soon implies that you are not busy.

Decide soon, your decisions probably won’t change much, but your productivity does.

-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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