Tag Archives: future

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career narratives

Career Narratives Shape What Happens Next

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Is it really a self-fulfilled prophecy? Are you working for a career? Is your career working for you? Consciously or not, career narratives may be shaping your future.

When I go to the meeting today, no one will listen.

This is too expensive; the customer will never go for it.

I’m not getting promoted because no one see’s my value.

If any, or all of those are in your head, you might be limiting your own career.

There are thousands of other examples of the narrative people recite to themselves and the associated outcomes.

That narrative is a prediction of the future. Often a fairly accurate prediction because somehow, people allow it to unfold exactly as it was created in their mind.

There is a good chance it is based on past experiences. Even second hand experiences. Across time, these experiences have a way of stacking. They add up.

Conclusions about career directions may be true or false. Accurate or a complete insecurity.

How it all plays out, is often exactly as you predicted.

Career Narratives

If someone suggests, “You can’t be successful doing that.” You just might believe them. Of course, another route may be to prove them wrong.

The difference then is what is in your head. It is the narrative that you have created or accepted.

Every career has a narrative. It’s built from experiences, learning, and is largely invented. That is, until you bring it to fruition.

Since it is your career, you have the responsibility for its creation.

It is a great story.

If you want it to be.

-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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one chance

Just One Chance To Tell Your Story

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Actually, there are many chances but there is only one first chance. If you had only one chance, what would your story be?

Your resume might be a story. Perhaps you tell a story in the job interview. Your reputation is a story and so are the things that keep your friends interested in what’s next.

Your life is full of stories.

There are the stories that you tell yourself as you start your day, the story in your mind before the meeting, and the story you consider as you check your progress on your goals.

Everyone around you has a story too. Some will listen to yours and some only want to tell their own.

The news media has a story. So does the politician, the financial analyst, and the meteorologist.

For every person what happens next depends on their story.

Perhaps the life lesson is to learn how to listen to your own story.

One Chance for Your Story

It is possible that you could tell a better story? How would that shape what will unfold for you tomorrow? What about overmorrow?

The story that you tell depends on you. If you want a better story can you create one? Do good stories lead to more good stories?

When you care about your story it may be important to consider how you’ll tell it better. What will make it more powerful with greater impact. Will it be a catalyst for others on a similar quest?

If you care about what happens next it might be wise to listen to your own story.

-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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wrong assumptions

Wrong Assumptions, What Are They Costing You?

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Most people are inquisitive. When you don’t know, you want to know. Have you ever considered what wrong assumptions are costing you or your workplace team?

Assumptions are closely linked to stereotypes and correspondence bias. It is often connected to what some may know as, the fundamental attribution error. The FAE is a common factor in workplace conflict.

People make assumptions. People make assumptions about other people.

What we see is often translated into our own experiences. It is analyzed based on our knowledge, what we’ve read, past interactions, and a whole lot more.

Our understanding of any situation is often based on an assumption.

When you see a speeding car on the highway, what do you think?

She must be late.

He is careless and is going to cause an accident.

He or she must believe that they are something special, entitled, or too cool to drive at a safe speed.

Of course, there are other possibilities too.

Wow, that is a cool car. I want one.

My car is faster, I’ll prove it.

The truth is, we don’t know the driver’s situation. We don’t know what they are experiencing and how our assumptions may change if we understood.

What if that driver just received a telephone call that their child was seriously injured, their spouse had a heart attack, or another loved one was moments from passing away at a hospital located just off the next exit?

Would it change how you felt about that speeding car? It might.

Wrong Assumptions

In the workplace, we make assumptions every day. Whether we are working in close physical proximity or whether we are WFH (working from home).

We could be driving, flying, or even on a train. It could be early, late, or during a lunch hour.

People are always making assumptions.

We’ll never hit this goal.

Tom is working from home again. He is probably goofing off.

Where is Susan? She should have been here an hour ago. She’s always late.

All of the work that you do and all of the interactions you have condition what assumptions you’ll make.

Often our assumptions appear to be reality. If our assumption is not proven to be wrong or false, or worse, if it gets confirmed, our beliefs on the matter grow stronger.

What assumptions have you made today? How are those assumptions conditioning what happens next?

-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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bright futures

Bright Futures Start With Your Story

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Are you a product of your story? The easy answer is, yes. Bright futures start with the story you are telling. Without a good story, the future may be dim.

The interesting aspect of any story is its purpose. We tell stories for warnings, pleasure, humor, advice, branding, fear, and especially to promote change.

Think about your conversation yesterday, and the one you’ll have today. What is its purpose? Is it for preparation, strategy, or change?

Social media tells a story. So does the mainstream news.

Your co-workers have a story, what are they telling?

Your boss has a story, so do the investors.

There is a story at the barber shop, a story on the radio, and a story in your email in-box.

Certainly, it makes sense to stay on top of some news. It also makes sense to think for yourself about the information you receive. Question the motive, the reason, and the purpose.

Everyone claims to want a bright future, yet what is their story?

Bright Futures

Is fear more attractive or interesting than success?

Is anger more desirable than peace?

What is your top story? What are you going to talk about today?

Maybe the story you want to tell isn’t the story that will help create the path to the future you desire.

Whatever narrative you are listening to, or telling, it will have a lot to do with what happens next.

What is your language describing? Does it matter?

Bright futures start with a story.

What is your story?

-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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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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workplace talk

Workplace Talk and What You’ll Get

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What is the chatter about? What is the workplace talk? Culture develops from the people. It includes the interactions and reactions of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Nearly everyone influences someone. People are role models. Your workplace is a great place for observation and duplication.

What is the image of your organization?

What is your workplace culture?

Reputation and Brand

The marketing program that suggests the focus is on the customer doesn’t sell when the actions and behaviors are not illustrating that focus.

When the managers behavior is, do as I say, not as I do, there is a problem.

Anytime you have bait and switch, at any level, trust is disrupted. Sometimes, it has long-lasting or permanent affects.

In every workplace, you get what you focus on.

Behaviors, talk, and reputation will set expectations. Expectations are created from perceptions. Perceptions are regarded as reality.

You build a brand.

Workplace Talk

What happens next for everyone is what is being talked about right now. It creates the focus, the drama, and guides the future outcomes.

Think carefully about what you say. Consider the chatter, and your contributions.

Doom and gloom are easy to find if that is what you’re looking for. You have a choice to create more too. Just choose to discuss it over and over again and it will appear.

Making a difference for something better starts with setting expectations.

Care about the culture you’re creating.

Focus on what you want things to look like in the future.

-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 decisions

Good Decisions Come From Good Character

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Is it easy to make good decisions? Considering a lifetime of decisions and choices, does your character define you?

A good friend of mine asks the question, “How does someone get discovered?”

He is referring to things like musicians, authors, and even great business leaders. Evidence suggests that there are many talented people who go through life undiscovered.

Why?

Has the playing field been leveled? Are there too many in the category of average?

What will set you apart?

Wealth of Information

We live in a World saturated with information. There is so much information, so many media options, and so many opportunities worthy of consideration that nearly everyone has an opportunity to contribute or learn something.

In professional settings there are countless sources for business information. There are thousands of schools and universities, and even more books, seminars, and other learning opportunities.

It would seem that both knowledge and opportunity are everywhere.

What makes a difference for people in their career? If information and knowledge are abundantly available, what sets some apart?

Good Decisions

Setting aside the concept of luck or being at the right place at the right time your best moves probably develop from your character.

When you consider that all of the people who seek knowledge have similar resources for knowledge gain or accessibility to information, then it really comes down to decisions.

The missing skill becomes your sense of good judgment.

Every decision made today will have consequences. Some of those may be labeled as good while others may be labeled as bad.

Everything that you do and become is a part of the decisions you’ve made. Across your own lifetime, it is part of your character.

Perhaps the most scarce resource of all, is the character required to make good judgments that lead to good decisions.

Decisions made are part of who you are. How you change what happens next is part of who you’ll become.

-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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future forecast

Future Forecast and the Reality of Accuracy

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What is the future forecast? Do you have a prediction?

Ask around, most people have something to say about what the future will hold. They have a prediction about the fate scheduled for tomorrow or the next day.

Some see opportunities, some see bigger challenges, and some will predict total doom and gloom.

There are parallels to the weather forecast.

When you get it correct:

See, I told you so.

I knew it.

This is exactly what I said would happen.

When you get it wrong there may be a tendency for silence, some withdraw, or keeping a low-profile.

What is your percentage of accuracy?

Future Forecast

Most people are always forecasting the future. Consciously or subconsciously they are making predictions about what will happen next.

Certainly, some things are beyond our control. Yet, in other cases we control our future. Perhaps, it is a little of both.

What would happen if you put a good plan into action? What would happen if you followed the plan, monitored it, and kept a fluid approach making changes as necessary?

Imagine if everyone just dug in, dug deep, and put forward the best that they could possibly do?

Is the underdog ever a hero? Yes.

Do people sometimes get the positive benefit of a little luck? Yes.

Are there opportunities to create the future you have been imagining? Yes.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply work towards the goal.

A strange thing often happens.

As you work towards the goal you realize that the gap isn’t as big as it once was. You realize that through effort and hard work the future has started to shape itself.

Don’t lose sight of what you can build today and tomorrow. You just might create the reality of accuracy.

See, I told you so.

-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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big changes

Big Changes Start with Small Pivots

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Do big changes start with small, almost invisible pivots? Often, they do, unless of course there is large scale disruption. Yet even after a large disruption, small pivots still lead to big changes.

People often identify drastic changes in their life as being connected to a significant event.

After my car accident I changed my driving habits.

When I watched the safety video, I realized the importance of safety equipment.

Seeing what happened to my friend made me stop the bad behavior.

The events seem big and the impact lasting. It is the event that sparked the change, or in some cases solidified the need for it.

Big Changes

Many may suggest that their change happened in a moment. That very second that the impact registered, change occurred.

It is true for some things. Yet for other things, such as daily habits, or how we communicate, who we trust and when, and even the giving of responsibility or respect, it happens across time.

Our World has entered a giant disruption. We could argue for a long time about media hype, medical research practices, or even conspiracy theories, but the disruption has happened.

This disruption may be the event that sparks significant change.

If the future of physical gatherings calls for more distance, it may mean fewer people can attend. If work spaces need to be more spread out, then fewer can enter the building. The sign on the elevator with a capacity limit may change, not because of weight, but because of space.

It seems like it is a time for technology to make another leap forward. Not because of a new invention but because more people will adopt its use.

Small Pivots

Each moment that someone tries something new a change is born. Every day a problem presents and a solution or work around is likely to follow.

It is all like a bad habit.

Some things start to change in a moment. Some of those moments will result in long-term change that creates the new normal.

People suggest, “I can’t wait to get back to normal.”

What they don’t realize is that there will be a new normal. The new normal will develop as people adapt to change. Small pivots will get them there.

People are permanently impacted by what they saw or experienced with the car accident, the image on the safety video, or the punishment of an act of wrong-doing.

They develop a new normal.

The 2020 pandemic disruption is a change maker.

What do you see for the new normal?

-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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leaning forward

Leaning Forward or Falling Backward?

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It is a difficult time, for everyone. The choices you make now will definitely make a difference. Are you leaning forward?

I’ve participated in many Zoom meetings recently. I watch a little bit of news, and read a bunch too. Ask anyone, you’ll probably hear that it is not a good time.

You still have choices though. You have the choice about whether you will act or react, follow or lead, or simply stay stuck.

Many people have suggested that it is not about how many times you fall; it is about how many times you get back up.

Here are a few important tips for navigating this difficult time:

  • News Sparingly. Watch, read, or listen to the news sparingly. Don’t completely avoid it, and don’t binge watch it. Get updates and get out of it.
  • Plan. Plan for what will happen next, and I’m not talking about doom and gloom. There will be another side to this pandemic. Where and how will you position yourself?
  • Appreciate. If you have some down time, use it wisely. Stop the music for a few minutes and just take life in. Consider what is precious, dear, and most meaningful about life. Cherish what you have and take a deep breath.

When you limit the negativity entering your mind you will find that you think clearer, have less anxiety, and can focus on what is in front you.

Leaning Forward

The very near future may look a little rough. However, what you focus on now will define what happens next.

Everyone has a choice to believe. It will guide what happens next for you.

I’m leaning forward, ready to accelerate.

What about you?

Make the choice for leaning forward.

-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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