Tag Archives: expectations

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hope

There Is Something Different About Hope.

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You’ve heard it before, “Don’t give up hope.” Hope may make the difference between dreamers and achievers.

One thing about hope is that it leaves room for disappointment.

I hope…

I’ll win the lottery.

It will be perfect weather.

My flowers will bloom.

There is always some room for things to come up short. The anticipation feels empty after coming up short on expectations.

Extra Effort

Some people give up too soon, too easily, and set their expectations too low.

Not because it is impossible, but because they make it impossible. If you don’t think that you can, you probably won’t.

When you insist that there will be limits, there will be. If you see the opportunity as too risky, it will be.

When you arrive at your job and believe it will be a painful experience, you’ll find evidence to support it.

Disappointment is part of life. So is your commitment for choosing how you’ll play it.

Without a little risk, without the extra effort, without a commitment to endure, what have you accomplished? What was the journey?

Realistic Hope

Hope should be realistic. Hoping that your horse becomes a unicorn seems silly and ridiculous.

Being committed to finding more energy in a time of need may start with hope. It may be similar for the outlook of health or happiness. In some cases, it may even change your situation for wealth.

Giving up hope is the first step to finding the limit. When you don’t risk disappointment there is little enthusiasm for the journey.

-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 favors

Asking For Workplace Favors Has Limitations

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Have you ever needed a hand? Have you asked for help or asked an employee to do something appropriately professional, yet not in their job description? Do you believe that asking for workplace favors has limitations?

You probably should.

Wells Run Dry

A free drink refill at your favorite restaurant may not be a bottomless opportunity.

Asking your neighbor to hold the garage door while you install a new screw isn’t acceptable every day.

Expecting employees to work late or come in on their scheduled day off should be something less than the norm.

Sometimes, enough is enough. There probably are limitations.

The limitations that guide us are based on our expectations. The measurement that guides the expectation is often based on our individual values and beliefs.

Hence the story, “I walked 10 miles, uphill, in the snow, to school when I was a kid. Both ways!”

Society has insisted on showing us that values and beliefs are not universal.

Workplace Favors

There are plenty of fully performing employees who just want to work their shift and go home. If you are in a leadership role in the organization you may desire to work extra hours, even when you’re salaried. That doesn’t always mean that your expectation should be the same for others.

There is a race to the top and a race to the bottom. Expecting the performance and beliefs that propelled you up the ladder to be delivered by the average fully performing employee may be a big mistake.

Delivering on respect and being committed to workplace relationships are vital competences for today’s leader. They guide the organizational culture.

Going to the well too many times is never a good idea. A race to the bottom often starts as the well begins to run dry.

Don’t expect too many favors.

-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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trusted resource

Are You a Trusted Resource?

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Trust is critical everywhere. Workplace trust affects everything that will happen next. It is true with customers, vendors, and employees. Are you a trusted resource?

Have you wondered why…

employees don’t seem to care;

micromanagement is rampant;

managers are unavailable;

electronic communication is preferred;

turnover ratios are high;

customers nibble on marketing but seldom bite;

vendors won’t negotiate on terms?

All of this may have something to do with trust and reputation.

Trust Expectations

Being a trusted resource is critical for efficiency, process improvement, and customer confidence.

Have you considered your customer, marketing, or brand promise? Are you living up to that or would the other side suggest that is a lie?

Are you consistent with employees and decisions? Do people know what to expect and when?

Being a trusted resource comes with an obligation. The obligation to live up to promises and expectations.

Successful organizations seem to get more of this right instead of wrong. They work on trust, realize the sensitivity and costs of a breakdown, and insist on the actions and behaviors necessary to promote it.

Trusted Resource

Consider this, has your project been on track and within budget? Is there gossip, drama, absenteeism, turnover, and a relentless focus on pay?

Are sales where they should be? Do you know your best customers and treat them with respect instead of rules? Do you have great terms and support with vendors?

What is all this costing you?

What is holding you or your organization back?

Perhaps you are not a trusted resource.

-DEG

Do you need some help with trust? Call 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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needs improvement

When “Needs Improvement” Is All You See

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The best question to ask may be, “What are your expectations?” The answer can often be confusing. If you, your department, or the entire organization needs improvement what should you do?

We find out in the meeting. “This is a good start, but needs improvement.”

On the performance evaluation, “Work is satisfactory, but there are some areas that need improvement.”

“Next year your goals are higher.”

Needs Improvement

The role of many workplace professionals is to make improvements. That is what we’re always striving for, improve the process, become more efficient, and delight the customer. It is a constant effort to improve.

Yet we often face barriers and roadblocks, obstacles and hurdles, the so-called challenges of change. Most of the things in our pathway to improve are a residue of the organizational culture. The way the organization gets things done.

The management team is supposed to push, encourage, and perhaps passively shout to get the work done. Change is proposed, an action plan put in place, and people are watching and waiting.

You are only on the team because you fit, yet the design calls for change. Things are supposed to improve, yet we only do it our way, the way it has been successful in the past.

The organization seeks outside resources, advertises for new hires, yet whoever signs up doesn’t fit, so they are disregarded.

Clever words are selected, the mission is published and public. The branding video was expensive and demonstrates what it should. Everything is set.

Yet, on the inside, things haven’t changed. Cultural change is supposed to happen fast, but feels impossibly slow.

Things Have Changed

Since the industrial revolution, there has been a lot of change. Largely, we’ve addressed many of the “needs improvement” areas. If the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, the last 200 years have been phenomenal.

Don’t lose sight of the changes you’re making. Work hard and lead through the challenges. “Exceeds expectations,” is happening. It’s happening right before your eyes.

Seeing is believing.

-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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Customer satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction May Start With a Promise

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An easy question to ask but a harder one to answer is what promotes customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is based on an expectation, a perception, and a feeling during or after an interaction. What is your promise?

The Promise

Brands have promises. Cadillac, BMW, or Jaguar may have a brand promise. So does Hyundai and Kia.

A dinner out at an Outback Steakhouse carries a different expectation from McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s.

An employee earning $90k annually has additional expectations when compared with the employee who earns $35k.

Similar expectations exist for a cup of coffee, a bottle of wine, or pair of shoes. Price sets precedence for the expectations and it elevates the factor of risk for customer satisfaction.

The lower the price, the lower the brand promise, theoretically making it easier to satisfy.

Are more people satisfied with a low-price experience as compared with a high price experience?

It would be hard to guess with so many factors conditioning any potential outcome. However, most would agree that a big price with poor outcomes is remembered long after the experience is over.

A low price with a bad experience is easier to forget. We may think, “I didn’t get much, but I didn’t expect it either.”

What is your commitment? Are you making big promises? Are you commanding a higher price?

Customer Satisfaction

It seems that is easier to give less, do less, and provide less because the expectations are lower. On the flip side of that, if we are always providing less is our customer satisfaction truly high or are we short changing the customer experience?

Does a $75 per hour employee work harder than a $14 per hour employee? Theoretically no, both should be 100% effort for one hour of work, but the expected value of the $75 per hour employee is much more.

What are you doing about customer satisfaction? Taking big risks with big promises, or just delivering the easy stuff.

It’s a choice and a mindset. It’s your brand promise and it starts with culture.

-DEG

Our actions, behaviors, and outcomes are driven by culture. So is customer satisfaction. It is why I wrote this book:

customer satisfaction

Buy now on Amazon

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Career Quick Fix

Career Quick Fix, Shortcuts, or Give Up?

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Fast paced is commonly used to describe the intensity of today’s work environment. Rapid change, accelerated change, and speed are also commonly mentioned. Are you looking for a career quick fix, a shortcut, or else you’ll just give up?

People often talk about change. They talk about the unfairness of life. How things didn’t work out, didn’t go their way, or they how they are being overlooked. I’m not doubtful that these situations occur, but what should you do?

Be Realistic

As a society we seem to have become more convinced if things don’t happen fast, they either aren’t going to happen or they aren’t worth pursuing. They are, a waste of time.

Imagine that you start a new diet today. You eat healthier, cut a few calories, watch out for sugars, carbs, and appropriately balance your meals. Is the scale going to be noticeably different tomorrow? Will the mirror reflect a new you?

The same is true for a fitness program. You go to the gym. Move a few weights around, get on the treadmill, step on the scale and look in the mirror. What’s changed?

Our expectations for a quick fix are often unrealistic. There really aren’t many shortcuts. Should you give up? No, we all know it takes time, consistency, and persistence.

Career Quick Fix

The same is true for your career. It is true for your promotion, true for your new job opportunity, and true for your success at nearly anything.

You’ve been working hard for a couple of years, or ten, or even twenty. Have you grown? What has changed? Can you prove it?

Most career minded individuals can prove it. It is in the continuing education, the advancement here and there, and some metrics or measurements that illustrate growth.

Daily, the quick check in the mirror, doesn’t show much. Yet, something is happening, things are changing, new opportunities (or proof) are popping up.

Don’t give up. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

-DEG

What happens next is based on expectations, consistency, and persistence. Need a coach? Contact 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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consistency

Consistency May Be Exactly What You Need

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People spend a lot of energy being persistent. They also spend a lot of energy being persuasive or influential. Those ideas are important but is consistency what you’re really missing?

For the marketer, the pizza shop, and the career builder, being consistent may be the most important factor you are overlooking.

Consistency matters in nearly any profession. It matters for your personal brand. It certainly matters for product quality and reputation.

Importance of Consistency

Why is consistency so important? Here are three of my favorite reasons:

  1. Trust. Consistency builds trust. When people know what to expect and when they are more trusting. It is one example of why surprises aren’t necessarily fun. It is also why the boy who cried wolf got in trouble.
  2. Accomplishment. When you have a confirmed path for a solution, consistently applying the process will allow you to achieve the goal. It is the deviation from the process, or a lack of consistency, which often slows results or creates a less desirable outcome.
  3. Promises Kept. Connected with trust, but not always the same, is keeping your promise. Your brand has a promise. You make a promise to complete the work, have high quality, and deliver on time. Insisting on consistency means expectations and perceptions become reality.

Not Scattered, More Focused

For your business or for your personal brand, consistency is sometimes overlooked or underrated. Being too scattered or lacking a focus may be exactly why your product is not chosen or the job opportunity is missed.

Consistency helps everyone understand and identify exactly what is in the box. It builds confidence. Confidence is connected to our emotions, so is the choice that buyers or hiring agents make.

Is consistency exactly what you need?

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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filtering expectations

Filtering Expectations Can Be Harmful To Your Wealth

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Did you get exactly what you expected? It is likely that much of our cognitive behavior is the result of filtering expectations. What filters are you using? Does it help or just limit and hide the unwanted?

It may be debatable. The idea that we get what we look for and see what we want to see. People may argue profusely that they are not conditioning their reactions or data with their environment. Think twice.

Seeing Is Believing?

What do you expect about your workplace? What are the norms, the cultural climate, and the anticipated outcomes?

You have meetings, what are the expectations, how are you filtering what is presented and discussed?

You interview job candidates. They are heavily filtered. Often by assumed characteristics of backgrounds, stereotypes, and your expectations.

Sometimes you are surprised. Sometimes what you see is not what you get. The filters didn’t catch it, they didn’t self-identify, and now you have a different result.

Filters or Blinders?

We use filters all the time. We often filter our searches online. When we shop online, browse, study, read, and even to get caught up on the news.

Filters can become problematic. Not that we misread the results, but that they also serve as blinders.

Ignore it because it isn’t real. Look the other way because this data is easier to digest.

Deny the data, suggest it isn’t real because it doesn’t align with the path you wish to see.

Filtering Expectations

Are you filtering expectations? Are you using life experiences to drive your vision to a path that aligns with the idea of your vision instead of a path that aligns with reality?

This may be creating false perceptions and self-deception.

We think we know what is in the box. However, we can’t see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, or hear it. Occasionally what is inside the box doesn’t match the picture on the outside.

This is true for your next meeting, the potential new hire, and choosing the most successful path.

Filters can be helpful, but sometimes they block something really great.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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managing disappointment

Managing Disappointment Starts With Managing Expectations

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Are you working hard for an outcome only to later become disappointed? Have you given your best effort but someone only expresses their perceived shortcomings in your work? Are you effectively managing disappointment?

It may happen today, perhaps it happened yesterday, or maybe it even feels like a chronic pattern. What is the root cause of disappointment?

Great Expectations

It seems that the root cause is linked to expectations. We have a goal, or someone sets a goal for us. It could be related to vision. A great cake to me is chocolate, but a great cake to someone else may be vanilla.

Misunderstanding expectations are sometimes to blame. Differences in opinions, values, and beliefs may also be a cause. “When I discovered her political views, I was disappointed.”

So, the root cause probably exists in expectations. What is expected compared with what is received.

I worked so hard on that assignment, but I only received an 80% for my grade. 

I’m disappointed in my meal. It looked nothing like it did in the picture. 

My hair looks terrible. It came out completely different than I expected. 

Society is constantly shaping many of our expectations. Social media, traditional or digital media, and other informational sources are constantly changing our expectations. 

Today many of us have a camera in hand. The photographs are processed immediately, and are also easily filtered, adjusted, and cropped. What does this lead to? It could be higher expectations.

Managing Disappointment

Perhaps the best thing to always ask yourself about disappointment is, “Compared to what?” When there are feelings or expressions of disappointment you may have to consider the expectations.

If you work with your supervisor on goals, be sure of the expectations. When you get a new project, understand the expectations.

We tend to place too much emphasis on what didn’t work as compared to what did work.

Instead of assessing the output and being critical, consider how you will build on what worked.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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