Tag Archives: facts

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expert opinions

Expert Opinions Are Still Opinions

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Some people should be advising no people. As the saying goes, everyone has an opinion. Expert opinions matter, yet are they opinions or something rooted in facts?

One theory about expert status is that it is granted to anyone who has spent 10,000 hours practicing their craft. Lots of hours can lead to lots of experience. That experience may be considered good or bad.

All experiences can be learning moments. Good experiences may guide the way for what worked. Bad experiences may guide the way for what didn’t or identify things to avoid.

Compelling Information

Opinions on anything can be compelling. It often depends on the delivery, confidence, and if the story is compelling. Is the story believable?

Opinions are readily available on social media channels. They are often delivered with the flair that they contain expert advice.

Saying that the stock market will drop is somewhat of a guarantee. The question may be when or how much?

Suggesting that taking vitamin supplements will improve your health is hard to measure. Like politics, there is a good chance that at least fifty percent will agree.

Having the answers to everything may not be a sign of intelligence but more of a sign of having a strong opinion.

Expert Opinions

In marketing, loud sells.

In this statement, loud is a metaphor for density or impact. A thirty second ad on television in a local market has some reach. A three-hour news slot that is airing internationally has much more reach.

It’s louder.

It doesn’t necessarily condition a difference between fact and opinion. Experts may be self-proclaimed in either case. They may even have their 10,000 hours under their belt.

What it does mean is that with more reach, you’ll find more people who agree. More people who agree or even those who disagree may decide to share the information.

Every day there is additional value to understanding the difference between fact and opinion. It’s true regardless of how loud the sound is, or whether it is coming from and expert or amateur.

-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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observable Behaviors

Observable Behaviors Are a Fact

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When you look around your workplace you may discover something new, or something different. Are observable behaviors factual?

The task force meets weekly to monitor progress. They are checking data collected against predetermined metrics and measurements.

These are the facts.

Yet, are they really? Is the data a real representation of the truth? Is the data valid and reliable?

Embellished Stories

Let’s assume for the same task force meeting, that Tom arrives late. He misses the beginning.

Before he arrives someone asks, “Where is Tom?”

Someone else replies, “Let’s just get started. Tom is always running late.”

Always?

Every day we are confronted with the challenge of scrutinizing the data set. We ultimately have to decide if the data is valid and reliable.

Stories repeated across time often become embellished. It is the big fish story. The walking to and from school, uphill, in a snow storm, both ways.

Was the fish really that big? Was that really what walking to school was like? Is Tom really late for every meeting?

False-perceptions and self-deception is often commonplace, especially as confidence and experience grows. What we observe, we know to be truth. Our experience justifies our assumptions.

Some may describe this as confirmation bias.

Often the biggest challenge for experienced leaders is to let go of their ego. This may be as much about internal awareness, as it is about a flashy, boastful narcissist.

Observable Behaviors

Are you asking more questions? Either through internal self-talk or through open discussion?

Our observable behaviors are always conditioned by our thoughts and our filters. They may also be conditioned by what we are looking for.

When we are watching for who arrives late in order to keep the score, we may miss the opening comments of the meeting. Not because we are not physically present but because we are emotionally absent.

Be careful of what you believe to be fact. It may be more subjective than you realize.

-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 opinions

Workplace Opinions Determine Fit

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Opinions, we all have them, right? Do your workplace opinions fit, or are they out of place?

For clarity, there is a difference between opinion and fact.

That’s a Fact

Suggesting that the pizza shop on the west side of town has the best pizza is an opinion. Unless, of course, the statement is, “Antonio’s Pizza won the best pizza in Clifton contest for the third year in a row.”

When we suggest that getting to work early is better than staying late, it is an opinion. The same is true for taking breaks, having background music in the office, and whether or not to have Hawaiian shirt Friday’s.

Opinions help form the culture. They help form what is symbolic about the organization, what stands out, and how outsiders remember or connect.

When you want to join the Facebook group, or when you choose to join an organized club or association, there is an expectation of conduct and fit.

Individual attitudes and perceptions help shape the image. They’re often based on opinions, not facts.

Workplace Opinions

There is more than a statement in, “This is the template for all corporate slide decks.” It is true for how visitors are treated, response times for customers and vendors, and how the pecking order of the parking lot works.

Organizations often promote the idea of change. Yet, largely, their opinions and beliefs about whether the clock pendulum ticks left before right, or right before left, is deeply rooted in the culture.

Opinions often determine fit. Opinions also tend to steer the direction of culture.

The next time you give a presentation to the C-Suite, request a lunch appointment with the CEO, or decide to wear flip-flops on Friday, you may want to check the culture for fit.

If it is important that you fit, it is best to develop an understanding of the cultural opinions first.

-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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facts matter

Have You Wondered if the Facts Matter?

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Nearly every moment of every day is a chance to tell a story. The story of the big fish, the trophy you won, or the co-worker who consistently turns out bad work. Do the facts matter or is the drama more valuable?

Workplace Stories

Stories often get embellished. Worse yet, they grow in drama bit-by-bit nearly each time they are told. The basis of the story may be founded in evidence and truth, but the way it is told magnifies the sweet spots.

Around the workplace people often find themselves living for the drama or wishing it didn’t exist. The culture certainly plays a role. When we inquire and investigate it is a chance for someone to tell their story.

Culture often decides what we will spend more time to investigate, understand and adopt, or what it will choose to ignore. The investigative process itself may be a cultural attribute. If the focus on work to be completed feels more important, less opportunity exists for stories.

Facts Matter

The story often told, and the story we hear, is a story riddled with opinions. The emphasis becomes about the wrong doing, the unfair act, and the less than truthful analysis of others.

Opinions are what we often share.

She never shows up on time and doesn’t care

He never does his part and is highly overpaid.

Opinions embellish the story. They shift the facts ever so slightly, or in some cases alter the truth in the message.

Listening requires energy. Hearing the message is not the same as listening to the message. We hear a voice talking, but listening takes things to higher level.

Down on energy from the work at hand we only listen when there is great interest. If we aren’t careful, we’ll process opinions as facts.

Now you are reminded, facts matter.

-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 truth

Trusted Truth Is The Path For Consistent Success

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Persuasion seems to happen without purpose. People talk about what they like, what they saw, and how it felt. Are your messages trusted truth or just your opinions?

You have probably heard to be cautious when dealing with the used car salesperson. The used car salesperson is a stigma, a stigma often associated with getting you to buy in to just about anything that is being said.

Opinions are Slippery

In everyday life people typically speak through opinions.

We ate at the best restaurant.

We watched this movie last night, it was the best movie ever. 

I don’t go to Starbucks. I go only to Dunkin Donuts their coffee is so much better. 

In the workplace it takes on a different form.

The staff meetings are always boring.

He never completes his work on time and is always late.

I know the boss hates me. She criticizes everything I do.

All these statements may be far from fact. Are they trusted truth? Unlikely.

The best restaurant is an opinion. Words like always boring, never on time, and criticizes everything are probably nothing more than an opinion.

One of the biggest challenges for all this rhetoric is that those who are not really listening treat it as trusted truth.

It gets even worse when interactions are so opinionated that it is a truth when the message is delivered by one party, but another different party is shamed to not have any credibility with a similar message.

Trusted Truth

When you really want to make a difference in your conversations. When you want to bring trusted truth to your meetings and other workplace interactions you have to deliver facts.

Facts are much more consistent and reliable. Your operation, values, and beliefs when based on facts have greater merit. Operational systems work better and produce consistent results. Outcomes are more predictable and qualified.

Nearly always, your opinion cannot be a trusted truth.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Start Listening For Facts, It Might Change Your Career

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People talk, and sometimes people listen. Have you ever truly considered what you are hearing? Are you listening for facts?

Listening for facts

One of the biggest struggle spots with our communication, or perhaps miscommunication comes from our listening skills. Of course this is not a surprise but have you ever stopped to consider how you are speaking or what you are hearing?

Listening is not the same as hearing. We hear sounds, noises, and even voices. Hearing is instinctual, it comes naturally. Listening is a developed skill.

Speaking With Opinions

Many people speak with opinions. They offer their beliefs, values, or understandings as being factual even though they might be nothing more than their opinion.

  1. We went to the movies last night and saw the best movie ever!
  2. Try the peanut butter pie at Frank’s Restaurant on the corner of 4th and Elm. They have the best peanut butter pie.
  3. Sally is such a morning person.
  4. I’ve known Jack for years. He is a really nice guy.
  5. Please email me the report when you are finished. I need it sooner rather than later.

While we are navigating our life or our workplace, we often accept what we hear as being completely factual. In addition, misunderstandings often happen when our message is not clear.

Listening For Facts

Let’s consider the statements just presented, only this time, let’s look for them to be more factual.

  1. We saw a great movie last night. I thought it was the better than most because in the end the underdog came out on top.
  2. I’ve had peanut butter pie at many restaurants, the one I like the best is at Frank’s Restaurant on the corner of 4th and Elm.
  3. Sally always gets to work in the morning before I do.
  4. Whenever I see Jack he smiles and shakes my hand.
  5. When you finish with the report please email it to me. I need it before my 9:00 AM meeting tomorrow.

Clearer, more precise, perhaps a little longer sometimes, but speaking with facts helps everyone develop a better understanding. One problem is that many of us not only speak with our opinions, but we try to make it very compelling so the listener is accepting it as being factual.

Career Changer

There is great value in understanding more about facts and opinions, especially when buying or selling. When you are selling, you’ll want to be very compelling. Even when it is just your ideas being sold to your boss or the board of directors.

Listen to yourself, be aware of the messages you are sending. We might have strong feelings about many things in life, but if we want accuracy we should be more careful about how we communicate.

Consequences for not understanding the difference between a fact and an opinion can be big. Miscommunication and misunderstandings are costly for businesses and perhaps costly for your career.

When we are hurried or trying to do two things at once, we often don’t listen well. That is a fact.

Take the time, or make the time. Start listening for facts.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Generational Differences–Myth or Fact?

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Everything from climate change to philanthropy many people seem to have an opinion about what each generation will do or how they will respond. We are flooded with information about jobs, advertising campaigns, and the financial behaviors of the various generations. Some argue that the generations are a myth, that it is all about age and as time moves forward so do your viewpoints on life, others disagree and place blame entirely on generational differences.

Joyful group

Here are a couple of myths and facts to consider:

Myth: Everyone who is identified by birth year to be included in a specific generation will have the same values and beliefs as those of that same generation. This is a myth because other contributing factors exist such as those espoused by family or geographic variances such as rural versus urban living.

Fact: Generational frameworks are driven by changes in social economic conditions, technology, and war. Those having different life experiences in any of these three categories will likely see the world and their life differently.

Myth: Some generations know how to communicate better than other generations. Methods of communication vary and are changing; technology is driving much of this change. There is a tendency to combine communication methods with social norms, while related they are likely not inclusive.

Fact: Some values and beliefs will shift with age, top priorities and concerns for a 20 year old will be different from a 60 year old. This was true 50 years ago and will likely hold the same truth 50 years in the future.

Generational differences are a fact when you consider the drivers and segregation of commonly accepted generational frameworks, they are a myth when you place the emphasis on values and belief systems based on age.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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