Tag Archives: engagement

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workplace contributions

Workplace Contributions Change Everything

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Are you a good contributor? What about your team? When we think of workplace contributions it is largely about the behaviors you model.

Role models are valuable. Essentially role models create, shape, and reflect what the future will look like.

They do it in a compelling and convincing way. They create more pull and give less push.

You have a decision to make. You can be a positive contributor and help lead the way to a better path, or you can model less than desirable behaviors.

Which one is for you?

Workplace Contributions

What you contribute today will have an impact for tomorrow.

Good contributions can help someone think deeper, appreciate more and gossip less. There is a choice to value teammates, build trust, or recklessly undermine necessary change.

Co-workers or customers may not be able to avoid the exposure. They are in the vicinity, passing by, or standing beside. Once seen, they cannot forget it or pretend that it didn’t occur.

What the group looks like to others, their perceptions and their expectations, creates what many believe is the cultural norm. The filters used or the ones forgotten are both contributing factors.

Learning often occurs and innovation might follow, or it may all get swept away with a slip of the tongue, a harsh look, or an obscene gesture.

Every day people are building a brand. Their brand, and perhaps yours.

If you want to change anything, remember that your contributions change everything.

Make good choices about what you’ll contribute.

-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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Great work

Great Work Means Someone Likes It

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Are you doing great work? Have you received a compliment on the quality of your contributions? Is your work inspiring to others? Is the customer satisfied? Do you believe your boss is happy?

Great work has many variables. Certainly, it is very subjective.

Subjective Opinions

In winter months in many parts of the United States it snows. Snow and ice often mean chemically treated roads. Cars get filthy. Do you go for the low-cost drive through car wash or professional detailing?

Which wash is better?

I’m a pizza junkie. I love almost any kind of pizza. I can buy a frozen pizza from the grocery store, or I can buy a handmade pizza from the pizza shop.

Which pizza is better?

Consider these pairs:

Peloton or Echelon

Apple or Android

Ford or Chevrolet

Duluth or Carhartt

Nike or Puma

Pen or pencil

Beach or Mountains

Cash or Credit Card

What if someone asked you to highlight or circle which one is better?

Assume you made your circles. Do you think others would completely agree?

The level of great may be in the eye of the beholder. It may also depend on situations and circumstances.

Do you think you’re doing great things or creating great value?

Great Work

Many employees are always striving to do great stuff. Acknowledgement of their creations may go unnoticed or be highly praised.

When their contribution is not recognized it may not mean that it is lousy work. It may not mean it is great work.

Many people quickly associate motivation with money.

You would be surprised how hard many people will work when they recognize that their effort is appreciated.

Do you want to improve morale and engagement?

Show more appreciation.

People are waiting to be chosen.

-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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inspiring role models

Inspiring Role Models Make a Difference

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There are role models and then there are inspiring role models. The latter is a step above or goes beyond. Are you a role model and if so, which type?

Our workplaces are filled with role models. When we break things down, we could suggest that there are good role models and bad.

Good role models are an icon. They represent something that stands out, sets a standard, and is an example to be followed.

A bad role model may be someone who is creating an image, establishes some following, or models aspects of a culture inappropriate or not aligned with the organizational mission.

What about inspiring role models?

Inspiring Role Models

Inspiring role models are a good role model who brings everything to life.

In many organizations we have those people who have been around for a while. They have lots of experience, expertise, and formally or informally stand out as an icon of the organization’s principles and values.

They’re a good role model.

Employees can look around and see them, point them out, and others see them too. They’re real life and factual.

Inspiring role models are a cut above the rest. Not only are they represented because they are the image of what the organization wants to be, they bring it to life.

This advanced level of role model reminds everyone of what is possible. They see opportunities in adversity, they change the working environment with their energy and presence. They often turn struggle spots into triumphs.

In some ways, perhaps, everyone is a role model. If so, you will decide if you are bad, good, or inspiring.

-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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exciting workplace change

Exciting Workplace Change Means Energy

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Things are going to change. Are you experiencing exciting workplace change?

A few months to a couple of years into your job and you may face boredom. The monotony of the day in, day out, repeated over and over again across time. Enthusiasm and energy often decline.

Many people have a favorite movie or a favorite song. They watch or listen to it many times. Eventually, nothing changes and the great hit is still a great hit but they need something new.

Everything you do on the job probably has a reason. It has a specific outcome that is necessary to create the product or provide a service that is of great value.

Is the team motivated? Are they engaged? Why is the energy of the new employee so high?

We know there is often apprehension about change. The fear of the unknown or the fear of future outcomes.

Will my job be eliminated?

What if I don’t like things this way?

I’m not sure this way will work.

Exciting Workplace Change

Changing just for the sake of change may not be the best idea. At the same time though, staying exactly the same until boredom sets in may be problematic.

Do you think things in society, technology, and perhaps even in values and beliefs are changing? Have you found yourself believing, “Everything in the World around us is changing.”

Could it be true?

One thing is probably always true. The longer we stay exactly the same the riskier our work becomes.

-DEG

Change, focus, and persistence, just a few of the reasons why I wrote this book. Grab your copy on Amazon.

Pivot and accelerate

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace curiosity

Workplace Curiosity and Why You Should Have More

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Do you have workplace curiosity? Is the culture creative, interesting, and inclusive? Are there good listeners?

Have you ever felt so busy that you completely miss something happening right in front of you? You are concentrating so hard that you don’t even notice?

That could be a very positive and intense level of focus. It could also be a signal that you to dig a little deeper in your patience reserves and pause for long enough to notice.

Work and Curiosity Matter

Businesses are about work. They work to create a product or service that is attractive and compelling to their audience. They may also serve society or do something for the greater good of mankind.

Yet, work is still about work. There is a job to do and it is always measured against time.

Productivity, efficiencies, and profit matter. So does your organizational culture.

Are you genuinely curious about what is happening in your workplace?

Workplace Curiosity

I’m not referring to drama filled destructive behaviors, political views, or what happened last year. I’m referring to curiosity about the work at hand, the difference to be made for the customer, and the things that could improve efficiency while also creating more opportunities.

Some of the best cultures have the most curious listeners. Those that listen with their ears, head, and heart. Hearing is not necessarily listening. Listening needs intellect and it needs heart.

Are you engaged with what is happening around your workplace? Do you listen for understanding and not to refute? Are you appropriately generous with your time?

Workplace curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, it builds the culture.

Be genuinely curious.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace race

Can You Imagine The Workplace Race

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People often mention the daily grind. Are you prepared for the daily grind? Are you enthused for your workplace race?

It seems that there are two types of job deliveries. You can deliver by being present, nothing more, just showing up. The other option is to really arrive, ready, motivated, and about to slay the day.

Which one represents you?

Race Pace

In some workplace cultures the enthusiastic employee has to cut back, slow down, and take a breath. This is unfortunate because the department, team, or organization is missing out on the best work.

Navigating organizational politics can be draining. Do too much and you’re slapped back into submission. Do too little and there isn’t any real engagement, excitement, or reason to be motivated.

One of the worst parts about this scenario is that across time, the most motivated will leave for a better opportunity. The slower movers stay. They only want the paycheck, and they don’t mind hanging out while waiting.

Workplace Race

How you work is a personal choice you make. It is often conditioned by both the environment and culture. Leadership matters.

When you are having trouble navigating the culture remember the reason that you are there. Are you there to collect a paycheck? Perhaps, for now. Are you there as a career stepping stone? Perhaps for now.

Are you there to make a difference and work towards building something better? Sometimes you have to pace yourself.

Two completely different people can approach eight hours in two completely different ways. They may also do it differently depending on the culture.

Keep your eye on the prize. Remember the workplace race is sometimes a sprint and sometimes a marathon.

-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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personally

Remove the Emotion, Stop Taking it Personally

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Are people in your work group, department, or organization taking it personally? Does the theme, “Remove the emotion,” echo in meeting chambers?

Here is the rub.

The last time I checked, emotion was connected to things like passion, enthusiasm, and even motivation. Workplace energy is connected to emotion. Like it, or not, it is.

Emotions Removed?

Every time an employee is shunned by the statement, “Remove the emotion!” they are one step closer to a disconnect and disengagement.

The next time they feel excited, happy, or energized, a voice inside suggests, “Remove the emotion.”

Certainly, there are sometimes leadership decisions and choices that require a temporary disconnect from the emotion. Making it the lyrics of your corporate theme song is probably not a good idea.

Personally

Taking it personally is another trouble spot. People want to be taken seriously and seriousness is often felt to be personal.

People sometimes joke, perhaps with distaste, “It is personal, like a heart attack.” Yet, when expressions of self-reflection are offered, it seems to become too personal.

Seriousness is a fact of business. It may be part of your emotional intelligence quotient. Most would suggest, seriousness is required.

Can you be professional and take things personally? Are these mutually exclusive?

One thing is certain, emotion is often what drives us. Emotion sharpens the presentation of the professional. All of our happiness, fear, and disappointment has a way of moving us.

Personally, I would be cautious about losing the emotional drive of your workforce.

Seriously.

-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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compelling workplace opportunities

Creating Compelling Workplace Opportunities

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Are the employee teams at your workplace motivated? Would you describe their behavior as energized, engaged, and passionate? What are you doing to create compelling workplace opportunities?

One common truth is, not everyone is motivated in the same manner. Their interests, values, and beliefs may spark engagement, or may have them heading for the door.

What are the attraction points in your workplace? What gets people engaged and moving?

It won’t take long for the idea of money to arouse attention. Certainly, inspirational stories sometimes have value. What will really stick?

Compelling Workplace Opportunities

Here are a few simple things to think about:

Appreciation. It is really this simple, people don’t like to be criticized. Observe what they are working hard at, when they are trying their best, and show more appreciation.

Accomplishment. Sometimes people are inspired by finishing the job. Have you ever said, “That’s a good job done.” Many people take pride in finishing, it is an accomplishment.

Problem Solving. Although connected to a pro and a con, problem solving is a great skill to possess. Be cautious of being overly critical as you point out problems (con), yet at the same time effectively utilize the people who love to solve them (pro).

Change. Some people are motivated for change, others shutter at the whisper of the word. The truth is that some people really don’t like risk, while others thrive on it. Find balance in the energy of risk. Help teams actualize the vision.

Competition. Comparisons can sometimes feel depressing, yet competition will often spark motivation. Manage observations of competition by starting with competing against your own past performance, then work up to surpassing the competition.

Be More Compelling

Compelling is always better than force or fear. Yes, you can force people into action by causing fear, however, force and fear won’t help you with the long-run game.

Yes, accountability matters and it is sometimes the missing link. Keep in mind though, pull is better than push.

Are you in this for the short-run or the long-run?

-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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building workplace interest

Building Workplace Interest and Engagement

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Are you seeking more engagement from your workplace teams? Are you building workplace interest or just rolling through each day?

Things only roll one way, downhill.

Choice of Engagement

Looking at my well used desktop keyboard, I notice that many keys are polished, some even missing the letter representation. Yet there is an entire row of shortcut keys that I have never touched.

Recently, I drove a friend to lunch. He complimented my car. I mentioned that it is just short of ten years old. He thought it was newer. Later I realized that in nearly ten years I’ve never explored all the electronic features.

There are millions of groups on social media channels. Business or pleasure, hobbies or special interests, yet millions of users never engage.

Some people never take public transportation. Some never go to the visitor attractions in their own town.

Why?

Engagement at Work

In the workplace we have similar attention challenges. There is talk about change, what will work better, and how to have less waste.

Yet, many will never engage.

They’ll never touch the shortcut keys, they’ll never check out all the features, and they’ll never get involved in optional groups.

Building Workplace Interest

Workplace leaders often try to push. They use polite forms of force to apply pressure for engagement. Backs turned, there is often little or no interest in doing anything new or different.

The challenge does not involve pushing harder. The challenge is creating a compelling environment where the people are pulled. When you gain more true followers there is more reason to join the movement.

The word spreads. The features work, they make life easier, and the engagement keeps paying off.

Engagement by force is a short-run game.

Building more interest feels harder than applying force. It requires careful thought, effort, and transparency. The risk is different, bad ideas don’t sell.

Illustrating why is much more powerful than commanding why.

-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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leadership ego

The High Cost of Leadership Ego

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Ego has many faces. Sometimes it is blunt and obvious, other times it is disguised as a workplace objective.

Sometimes it goes unrecognized. Simple acts that derail workplace engagement, disable loyalty, and disregard simple respect. Is leadership ego getting in the way?

Leadership Ego

Here are some leadership actions that should speak louder than words:

  • Hiring low or under skilled employees. Apparent because there is no succession planning within the organization. Employees are tools.
  • Never getting your hands dirty. (It’s a metaphor.)
  • A new organizational leader bringing in talent from a previous employer. Often to illustrate that everyone wanted out and will gladly follow for a new (better) opportunity.
  • Introductions that include, “He works for me.”
  • Rules only apply if you get caught. Especially true for harassment, diversity, and ethics.

Some employees only want paychecks. Yet, humans are surprisingly motivated by purpose. Yes, a paycheck can be a purpose, but likely it is not the organizational purpose.

Ego Derails Respect

People are problem solvers. They want to fix, repair, and accomplish. They also have a universal truth, they want respect. Respect may be defined differently by everyone, but without respect they’re only working for a paycheck.

Perhaps nothing derails loyalty more. Show your employees that you don’t respect them and they won’t care about you or the organization. Their underground rule will be, “Every person for themselves.”

Leadership is not about authority. Yes, authority matters and can be helpful. No, authority is not what makes you a leader.

Employee turnover, lawsuits, and disengaged employees cost organizations millions each year. In addition, stuck organizations or those with very limited frames often cannot get out of their own way. Look to leadership and culture as a potential problematic area.

What costs more, good leadership or bad?

-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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