Tag Archives: decisions

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decisions

Decisions Are Stackable, Like It or Not

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Are you making good decisions? Is every decision, every choice, a good one?

People often blame outcomes on a decision. A choice to move forward, step back, or perhaps go side to side.

Most fortunate, or unfortunate circumstances are not the result of only one good or one bad decision.

That’s because decisions are stackable.

You may be familiar with a decision tree. Perhaps a flow chart, or a graphic that helps illustrate the steps between the first and the last. Steps are stackable.

When you make a decision to enter the ice cream shop, your next decision is likely going to involve calories and sugar.

Sign up for a gym membership, and you’re probably in for buying some related footwear and clothing, then supplements.

Buy a camera and you’re going to need lenses, filters, and software to improve your images.

All of these choices and decisions are stackable.

Stackable Decisions

In the workplace or for your business, department, or team, decisions are also stackable.

It may come in the form of a good hire, or a bad one. It may be about the choice of a logo, a physical location, or the market segment you’ll focus on.

With a different twist, it could also be because you haven’t selected a logo, decided on a location, or because you’ve positioned your market approach too wide.

In some cases, you may be able to identify a single decisions that started a chain reaction. In others, it may be difficult to identify just one single choice as the culprit.

Lucky decisions or unlucky decisions are also often evaluated. The truth is, what happens next will have the most impact. Good or bad. The reason is, decisions are stackable.

You may be quick to blame a decision, yet often it is the continuous actions, behaviors, and choices that result in what you might call, the final outcome.

-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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peer approval

Peer Approval Inspires More Confidence

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Right before your big presentation did you look for peer approval? It is true for your recommendations to the board of directors and it is true a discussion among friends.

Not only will peer approval provide additional confidence it may also be what sparks change.

When the organization announces a big change, people look to their left and to their right. They are observing the reactions of their peers. They wonder, do my peers believe this will work?

People often know how they feel or what they think, but they are also often unsure if they are alone with their individual thoughts.

Change is more easily processed when the group believes it will work.

What are people looking for?

Buy-in.

Peer Approval

Groups, teams, and organizations stay stuck when they can’t decide. The lack of a decision often means that there is a lack of confidence to choose a path. The lack of confidence suggests that there is fear about moving forward.

What do politicians do? They often consult with the polls. Based on a sample, polls are supposed to illustrate what the masses believe or desire. It might be considered a form of peer approval.

Do you seek peer approval and is it a good idea?

Successful organizations are not staying the same. They are always shifting, building, growing, and finding their way. Otherwise, they may not be considered successful.

Do they consult with others?

Peer approval may come in many forms. It may come from customer response, survey tools, and in-person meetings or discussions.

Peer approval may help you find a direction and develop more confidence in the choice.

Correct or incorrect, what others believe seems to provide clarity to the choice.

-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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falling down

Falling Down Often Starts With a Choice

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Lots of things are the result of a decision or choice. Falling down happens. It happens to nearly everyone and everything in one capacity or another. What are your choices?

By now you’ve probably heard all the rhetoric.

Don’t look where you don’t want to go.

A backup plan means you’ve already failed.

Analyzing alternatives is a lack of focus.

While there may be some valuable nuggets to consider in this type of rhetoric, it may also be helpful to know when enough is enough.

You guessed it, finding the magical balance between persistence and quitting while you are ahead is ideal.

Have you ever experienced the feeling of falling down?

Consequences of Failure

The consequences of failure can be huge. With some hard work, persistence, and a little luck you might land a high-paying job or get a business rolling that yields substantial wealth.

Can it all come crashing down? Yes, and everything seems to have a beginning and an end.

Great jobs, great businesses, and great communities. They rise and they fall.

Giving up too easily is problem. Holding on too long is also a problem.

Then there is the case where you had no choice. The plug was pulled. The carpet ripped out from under your feet without any fault of your own. This too happens.

Falling Down

All or nothing is a gamble. Anything without risk has little or no reward.

Digging deep matters. Acceptance that no one is coming to bail you out might spark the fire in your belly that you need to persevere.

You made a choice where to start. It may be obvious or it may require some deeper thinking to discover the moment the decision was made. You can make a choice about where and when to stop too.

In the case where failure hit by no fault of your own, you make a new choice for a new beginning, or to crumble down in the ashes.

It’s is funny how many things happen after someone says, “There wasn’t any other choice.”

Make your next decision with eyes wide open about the consequences.

At some point, the cavalry is not coming.

Hearing this may make a difference. Experiencing it is a game changer.

-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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World view

Worldview, How Do You View It?

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What is your worldview? I’m not talking politics or weather, even though both may apply. In your workplace does your worldview change results?

You may need to make a decision. You may need to support a decision. Can you roll with a different path, even if you have some reservations or lack agreement?

What about doing the right thing? Is your view of the right thing consistent with your team or your boss?

Your life experiences are unique. How you see the world will condition your thoughts and behaviors. It will even condition what you decide to do next.

Is your view helpful or a hindrance?

Worldview

Your view can be helpful. It can serve as a difference maker.

When you share your story and you are authentic it might be attractive. It might sell.

Stories of being the victim, only having bad luck, and tales of others beating the system or having an advantage that you’ll never have aren’t flattering. They are also selling the wrong attitude. They are a hindrance.

Stories that overcome obstacles, leap hurdles and illustrate persistence are difference makers. Positive difference makers.

Consider stories that rise above the competition, stories that link mindset to product or services, and stories that warm hearts and build community.

Generous stories. Stories that give more than they take. Stories with connection and purpose. Thought starters and movers and shakers.

Your world view is about heart. It’s about what’s inside that needs to get out to inspire others.

It starts with you. It changes the way others see things.

-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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stopping pain

Stopping Pain Always Directs What Happens Next

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You may not even realize it, yet it is part of the goal. Stopping pain is what businesses do for their customers. They do it internally for the greater good of the organization, and if they’re really generous they do for their community too.

What are the problems?

They are the areas of pain. Often, they reoccur, stop the flow, and make managers and the CEO lose sleep.

The customer purchase is likely connected to an emotional choice. Rooted deep in their decision there are often some pain points. Even when the product or service delights there is almost always room for more.

New features, bugs fixed, or a problem solved.

The goal for most productive things in business then might be classified as stopping the pain.

How would you stop the pain? A miracle drug? An underground top-secret cure?

Stopping Pain

You can start by asking the right questions.

What keeps you up at night? (an oldie but a goodie)

What would make you use this product more?

Does it help you achieve your goals?

Stopping pain is your first priority. It what makes dreams come true. It builds success and shares in the process of what you tell yourself about what comes next.

You may also want to understand how it helps others. How it might change the outlook for families, financial futures, and make everyone look good.

It’s always connected to emotions and sometimes to social norms. People like to look good, feel smart, and be thrilled.

It is exactly why cost or price should be the last part of the discussion.

-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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participation costs

Participation Costs and What You Pay

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Have you analyzed participation costs? What does it cost you to participate and what if you don’t?

There are many things in life where the price listed on the tag feels like it makes it all very clear, but does it?

If you have a headache and you buy an over-the-counter pain relief medicine from the local pharmacy it has a price tag. Yet, that is not the true cost.

What about the cost of not buying it? Do you simply save the money or is there something else?

Of course, there is more. There is the pain that holds you back, keeps you down, lessens your patience and weakens your energy. What is the price of that?

On the job, you may have an option to voice an opinion in the meeting. You may get a voice about the potential new hire or whether you’ll participate in the pizza party. There is a cost if you do and a cost if you don’t.

What are the real costs of participation?

Participation Costs

Sometimes it feels hard to participate, even when there is not a monetary price to pay.

When you voice your opinion on the future direction, it costs. You are on the hook with your reputation and must face the onlooker’s opinions of your competence.

Sometimes it may feel easier to say nothing, to not get involved, or to relinquish the offer to participate.

It happens in your workplace every day. It happens when there is a political election.

Sometimes the price you pay for lack of involvement is greater than the price you pay for the hook you decide to hang your hat on.

Participation itself is often free, but not participating may present the biggest price tag of all.

-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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gone sideways

Gone Sideways and Self-Help For Your Efforts

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Have you ever felt like the project took a wrong turn? Have things gone sideways? Maybe you don’t even notice it, yet?

Committed people sometimes do some very strange things. Onlookers wonder why the commitment sticks even when there is evidence clearly illustrating it’s failing.

In all likelihood, there are multiple angles or points of view. One of the common yet somewhat unrealized traps is staying committed because of all the effort already put in.

It’s often hard to make the right choice. Someone wants to abort the project early and someone else wants to hang in there because, “We’ve already invested so much.”

Everyone recognizes hindsight often tells a different story, either way.

The right now is not hindsight and it’s also not foresight.

What should you do?

Gone Sideways

For the customer, you need to do the right thing. For the team and even your community, you must do the right thing.

Yes, even for yourself, you must make a good decision now.

Many people believe that every day they are in a tactical firefight at their workplace. So many things happening so fast, so many loose ends, and so much drama.

What do they do?

They fight the fire. They address problems as emergencies and face the wrath of whatever unfolds next.

Problem-solving is a key skill for leadership. If you are good at it, you should be proud. However, when tactical firefights are so commonplace that you fail to execute strategy everyone loses.

The project gone sideways either needs to stop, start again, or redirect. Stuck won’t work and neither will additional wasted effort.

The same is true with poorly performing employees.

Learning from the past is powerful. It goes hand-in-hand with knowing when to pivot.

A strategic focus needs a tactical approach.

Tactics only, without a vision for the future, are sure to send you sideways.

You don’t have to believe it now, but you will when you check your data.

Commit to the strategy. The tactics of getting there may need to be adjusted.

-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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meeting decisions

Meeting Decisions May Be The Hold-Up

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Is your workplace culture caught up in meeting decisions? Decisions that are always contingent on holding a meeting?

Meetings often feel necessary and certainly, many of them probably are. Meeting effectiveness matters because too many details, a lack of fact-finding, or the wrong people at the meeting can derail even the best intentions.

Most of the best work that you do comes when you find the right balance. The balance between too much and too little, too authoritarian or too relaxed, and even too fast or too slow.

Size Matters

In the smallest of businesses, the owner makes the decisions. There is a time to contemplate and study, and also a time to act. The owner can, at his or her descrestion, act fast.

Big companies have different hurdles. The decision-making process is often slower, seemingly more calculated, and often tied up with too many people having a hand in the pot.

Decision quality is often a concern. One side believes the decision was made too soon and without enough information. The other side believes there was analysis paralysis and too many details.

Who really suffers?

Meeting Decisions

Ultimately, it is likely the customer who suffers the most.

They have to deal with delays, less quality, and often rising prices.

Who has the bigger advantage? The big company or the small company?

While the big company has more market share and thus exposure and reputation, the smaller company is nimbler and more flexible. Decisions mean outcomes and outcomes mean action.

Your next decision and the time it wastes or maximizes may not only be holding you up, but it may also be holding you back.

Are you surfing the status quo or are you blazing a trail for future success?

It’s probably a balancing act.

Ending the meeting or holding one will help you find the right balance.

-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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observed success

Observed Success and Judgment Success Are Different

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A flashy men’s suit, a woman’s shoe with a red sole. A shiny high-performance sedan or a big tire SUV. Does this have anything to do with observed success?

Maybe.

Many people care a great deal about what other people think. As such, they condition nearly everything they do by what they believe other people will say, or how they’ll pass judgment on who they are.

Does it have anything to do with your ability to perform job tasks and duties? In some ways, yes, but is it all given too much weight? Too much judging and not enough focus on outcomes?

Observed Success

In the workplace, people aren’t necessarily good at a skill or knowledgeable in technology based on how they dress, where they live, or what kind of car they drive. Yet, as a society, we give a certain amount of credit or respect based on what we see.

We tend to stereotype and have bias.

The truth often is that looking the part and acting the part are somewhat different than the outcomes from the person who is actually in that job role.

Is the high school football star, the trigonometry expert, or aspiring runway model the best candidate for the job?

Many may quickly suggest that those things have little or nothing to do with workplace skill requirements. It doesn’t mean that they are good communicators, team builders, or budget managers, does it?

The things we do in life, in leisure or hobby, have a lot to do with skills that we build, yet, they may have little to do with our character, integrity, and ability to lead.

Judgment Success

It seems silly that we would allow exterior perceptions to condition job performance abilities.

Sure, all of it matters. And we cannot forget that perception is reality as observed by many in society.

Yet, you shouldn’t make the costly mistake of allowing your bias or stereotyping to have too much weight in your judgment of future outcomes.

Whether you are the business owner, the hiring manager, or the tenured employee seeking to improve your contribution, remember to apply appropriate weight to your observations.

Making a judgment is not the same as making a good decision.

-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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