Tag Archives: decisions

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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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pressure decisions

Pressure Decisions Often Result in Costly Outcomes

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Do you make pressure decisions? Those that are hurried while being supported and cheered by peers? Will the outcome be good?

People often hesitate to make decisions. They’ve been burned before, slipped up, and didn’t think things through completely. Now, they hesitate.

There are at least two time factors connected to decisions. The assumed cost of making the decision too fast and the assumed cost of making the decision too slow.

Everyone making an important decision faces the analysis of the short run, the long run, and their own bias.

There are threats of poor information, peer pressure, and manipulation.

Are you making good decisions? What are the consequences?

Pressure Decisions

Stress and pressure seem to force decisions.

In the moment that you make an important and calculated decision, it is the right one. All of your information, analysis, and experiences draw you to decide.

After that moment, things can change. You can close on a mortgage and by the end of the week lose your job. When you made the choice, it was OK, suddenly, now, not so much.

It can be true about offering the price of a big contract to a client. True about seeing a medical professional if we just don’t feel quite right, or true about the best timing to buy a new car.

The pressure we face when making decisions has the consequence of the outcome. We also know the clock is ticking. Wait too long and bad things can happen, do it too quickly and bad things can happen.

Outside forces and gut feel often condition the decisions you make. Learning to control both can make a difference.

Yet, you’ll never escape the pressure of time. Too fast, too soon, or too slow and too late.

Sometimes you’ll get it just right.

Just right doesn’t last very long.

Learn to navigate time, not be pressured by it.

It costs less.

-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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bad decisions

Bad Decisions, How Will You Support Them?

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Empowered people make decisions. In the workplace, sometimes bad decisions are all that you have to work with. What should you do?

Leadership often has an interesting way of unfolding.

It’s common that employees at lower levels of the organization are faced with enduring the outcomes of poor decisions.

It’s about leadership, at all levels.

In many workplace scenarios, decisions are made by executive leaders and the middle managers are stuck with rolling out the new direction. When most agree with the direction, things can go well. Of course, the opposite is also true too.

If you are faced with supporting a decision you don’t agree with, what should you do?

Leadership has responsibility. Leadership comes from all organizational levels.

You should lead.

Navigating Bad Decisions

Some decisions are deal-breakers. Ethically challenged decisions or legally challenged decisions, those need to be weighed differently.

In most cases, your concerns over decisions or choices should be voiced. They should be voiced constructively and tactfully with those involved.

Once that opportunity, if it exists, is over, then your support will be required.

As an individual you should consider two high-road choices.

First, you can appropriately support a decision that you lack some agreement with and seek out the best possible results. Conduct business constructively and with a supportive attitude.

The second option isn’t as easy. If it is a major change and you completely believe this is the beginning of the end, you may have to make it the end by removing yourself.

Fighting what you feel is a bad decision with poor behavior and compromising team efforts, organizational culture, and lowering morale are destructive. Perhaps more destructive than the bad decision.

Great leaders at all levels navigate these scenarios tactfully and constructively.

Everyone wants middle ground on these two roads. Sometimes there are shades of grey. In other cases, it is straight forward, black and white, no grey.

The road you choose is a decision.

Make it a good one.

Two bad’s don’t make a good.

-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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Hard decisions

Hard Decisions, Bad Habits and Your Energy

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Are you facing some hard decisions? What differentiates the level of difficulty or is it only about comfort, risk, and confidence?

Organizations often make decisions about what things will look like next. They have some level of confidence because they’ve done the math, considered options, and set the timelines.

The decision feels good because they’ve prepared.

Yet it seems that somewhere in the organization there is a gap. Someone left out information, distorted the facts for their own agenda, or acted on impulse out of fear.

Real issues are not always brought to the table. There seems to be too much at stake.

If I speak up, my boss will dislike me.

I’m not really sure. I’ve learned to keep quiet.

Everyone else believes this is the right move, so I will just agree.

The end result of the avoidance to address real issues is often poor decisions.

Was the decision easy or was it hard?

Complexity of Habits

Decisions are more challenging when there are different ideas.

Go to a restaurant with fifty items on the menu, or go to a restaurant with five items on the menu. It is easier to pick from five rather than fifty.

There is one exception. The exception is knowing what you want in advance.

If you always order a cheeseburger, and stick with it, the choice isn’t hard. It’s about a habit, not change.

People and businesses can get stuck with habits.

They can get stuck when the decision feels harder than staying the same.

Hard Decisions

It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to only half-listen. Listening is hard work and that is why so many people listen less. Because it is hard, and takes extra effort.

The same often happens with decisions. The extra effort feels like a waste energy. Energy to get through the day, put up with the nonsense, or listen during the meeting.

The hardest decisions are often the poorest decisions. Not because they were hard but because no one cared enough to put in the energy.

-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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professional contributions

Professional Contributions Will Change Outcomes

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There is always a choice at the meeting. Will you deliver professional contributions or just what feels required to get by?

The first time with a seat at the table and you may choose to just observe. Once acquainted with the audience you may proceed with caution but you’re optimistic. It is placing a toe in the water.

What is your long-term contribution?

Meeting Performance

People don’t know what they don’t know.

We’ve all heard, “Ignorance is bliss.”

There may be some truth to that idea. When you don’t know the background, the skeletons, or what has been sent to the graveyard and by whom, you’ll just openly contribute. You don’t know the history.

Your intentions are often good, yet, sometimes you learn that the outcomes are not so good. You regroup, hold things tighter to the vest, and become more calculated.

In other cases, you learn what people want you to say.

In the meeting, you respond to the affirmative. You agree, you do not tactfully challenge or question.

Decisions are made. It seems everyone agrees.

After the meeting, in a more private conversation, you truthfully admit the decision seems like a bad idea.

Why did you agree?

Professional Contributions

You have at least three choices.

The first choice is to arrive unfiltered. Arrive with innocence and express your best thoughts. Enter with the excitement and enthusiasm of involvement without the history.

It is the spirit of the novice. Sometimes, it is refreshing.

Your second choice is to arrive as a professional, making professional contributions.

You’ve studied the data, you know the history, and you’ll be brave enough and vulnerable enough to take greater risk. The risk isn’t personal, it’s professional.

Risk means you’ll push for what is right, do the right thing, serve the client, ask the customer, and deliver what is promised.

Unfortunately, sometimes the third option is the easiest. Just agree and move on. Meeting over.

Doing what is right is worth more than doing what is easy.

-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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boss decides

The Boss Decides How Service Will Look and Feel

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Front-line employees are expected to follow the path created for them. The boss decides what that path will look like and how it should be followed. Does this system work?

Sometimes.

Largely though, the path created has some flaws. There are unexpected obstacles and hurdles. The flow chart reaches decision loops and dead ends.

Systems and People

Consequences for a failed system are shown on the income statement, or dealt with by the front-line, or both.

A system working in the black doesn’t mean that the system is working, at least not as completely or effectively as it could.

What could go wrong? It’s designed by the boss.

Businesses are comprised of a system. They’re also comprised of people.

Are investments made in the people?

What is the hiring practice? Hire a friend of a friend? The bosses relative? Are these the best choices?

Are people in the system listening?

Does the system allow for empathy and compassion?

What is the culture? Are employees trained and invested in, or are they viewed as a tool to accomplish a task?

The Boss Decides

Most workplaces are held to a standard.

There is always a culture and likely sub-cultures. Those components are developed by the boss. The boss decides what the organization looks like.

Most employees only have a few choices.

They can role model exactly what the culture illustrates, in a failed system or failing culture they can attempt to role model something better, or they can leave.

When the employees care enough to try to make a difference will anyone listen?

The boss decides.

-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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certainty

Certainty Is What You Are Looking For

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What decisions are you trying to make about the future? If you are looking for a slam dunk of certainty, you may not find it. Of course, you may be surprised how certain you really are.

Unprecedented times. You’ve read the headlines, heard it in the news, and watched it on TV. You’ve also been living it, every day since sometime in March 2020.

Most decision makers are trying to make comfortable decisions. Decisions that come with a guarantee. If no guarantee, you probably have a backup plan. A chance to punt, regroup, or pivot direction.

One of the reasons that many people and businesses lack action today is because they can’t decide. They are not confident in choices or directions. There seems to be no certainty of what will happen next.

What will you do? How will you spend your time? What is certain?

On a personal level, you could update your LinkedIn profile. You could make some new connections, rekindle some older ones, or find an article or video that provides some inspiration.

For your department you could look at your budget, compare it with expenses, and determine if your project or contributions are still making sense.

For the small business owner or entrepreneur, you could update your website add some new options or change something that has grown stale?

Are any of these things a waste of time?

Discovering Certainty

Some may argue.

LinkedIn has too much sales activity and I’m not looking for a new job.

Our department is here, we’re working, we’re just waiting to see what the new direction is going to look like.

Why update the website, it is hard to know what direction things are going to go.

Uncertainty.

Yet, one thing is likely for certain.

You’re still going to desire a LinkedIn network in the future.

Your department may benefit from right-sizing expenses with budget and impact given what you know today.

That glorious website can always be better, more attractive, and provide higher value.

Those things are all, certain.

-DEG

H/T to my friend Mike Moran for igniting the idea of certainty for me.

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 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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