Tag Archives: goals

  • -
goals matter

Why Goals Matter For Interpersonal Workplace Change

Tags : 

Change surrounds us, all of us, that is important to keep in mind. Are you convinced you need a change but you can’t get your arms around how to make it happen? Goals matter for change efforts. Do you have a goal?

Sound Familiar?

Nothing ever changes around here.

Here we go again. I’m so tired of this.

He or she will never change. 

Three popular versions of a never-ending story. Why is it never ending? Because there isn’t a goal, it is the wrong goal, or the pursuit is inappropriately or poorly executed.

Many people have a wish that their boss, their co-worker, a direct report, vendor, customer, or other stakeholder will change.

Breaking news, you most likely will not force them to change. It is nearly guaranteed.

The real effort needs to be a focus on what you can do to change your circumstances or your interactions with those people who you wish would change.

Simply put, you likely won’t change other people but you can change your reactions or interactions with them.

Goals Matter

Your goal will matter. Your goal cannot be to get someone else to change to accommodate your interests.

You can get started by answering three important questions.

  1. What do you need to be different or change?
  2. What role do your actions or behaviors play?
  3. Do you have boundaries identified and set?

Define what needs to change. This is really your goal. Sometimes it helps to state the future in the present. Establish the goal and be specific.

Next you need to understand your role. What behaviors of your own have invited this scenario or situation to start, continue, or grow?

The third important part of your change is to define the boundaries. In the workplace it may be things like the use of your time, your personal space, or even noise.

Unfortunately, many people expecting workplace interactions to change do not have any of these items defined. You can’t create change without them.

-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+


  • 4
managing disappointment

Managing Disappointment Starts With Managing Expectations

Tags : 

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+


  • -
metric assumption

Metric Assumption and Measuring Intangibles

Tags : 

Successful leaders and organizations often cite the creation and monitoring of metrics as the tool to track progress. Does the metric always provide the correct measurement? Are you operating using the metric assumption?

In the strategy meeting someone will ask, “What is the metric here? How will we measure our progress and result?”

It is a fair question.

Of course, the other option is that no one asks at all. No one spends any energy to think about the metric, they just want to roll up their sleeves and take a deep dive.

Either scenario may achieve some results. Either scenario may involve some risk, some guess work, and need to be fluid with outcomes.

Metric Assumption

It seems we may make a metric assumption. The assumption is that when we have metrics and measurements, we can more easily assess the results. While this is likely true, does it cover everything about the project?

People are sometimes suggested to remove the emotion, focus only on the result, and everything that matters is in the KPI (key performance indicator).

Do you have metrics or measurement for the aspects of the organization that make it an organization? Have you considered the organizational culture component?

Measure Intangibles

How will you measure commitment, trust, and perceptions? Is there a metric for purpose, community, or respect? What about the building blocks of confidence, things like self-efficacy and self-esteem?

Do they have a metric?

The most successful projects, work groups, and organizations are those who have deep roots in a culture that is emotionally connected to the work at hand. Purpose is a driver and the goal may be just as important as the paycheck.

Metrics are both valuable and important, they can also be a good motivator. If you assume metrics alone are what drives the project, I hope you are including all of the intangibles.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
what happens next

What Happens Next, You Always Decide

Tags : 

There are plenty of financial experts ready to help you plan your savings, your retirement, and where you’ll invest. The idea is that in that near the end, you’ll end up where you planned. What about your career? Do you have a plan for where you’ll end up? One thing is certain, what happens next is up to you.

More Than Work

Work is more than the labor that you can see or touch. It is more than the numbers on the spreadsheet, the product ready to ship, or the size of your sales funnel. Everyone in the workplace is also processing some level of emotional labor. It’s hard to measure and hard to see, but it is happening, every day.

What do you spend ten minutes on each day, how about twenty minutes?

Imagine if you spent ten minutes each day to study something unfamiliar, what would happen? Perhaps it is about best practices for your trade, management skills, or knowing more about the healthiest foods. It could be about auto repair, landscaping, or fixing the kitchen sink.

It doesn’t really matter if it is about business skills, hobby interests, or fitness. When you spend ten minutes each day working on it, learning something new, and practicing it you’ll become better.

What happens next? If you do it long enough, most likely you can become an expert.

Expert In What

Of course, there is always the other side of how you’ll spend ten minutes. You can spend ten minutes complaining about being short changed, how things are unfair, and that the boss is a jerk.

You can spend ten minutes reminding yourself of where you came up short, the mistake from yesterday, or how much money someone else is making.

Alternatively, you could spend ten minutes asking questions about why the woman down the hall is wearing jeans, why the outside salesman isn’t wearing a tie, or how long the boss will put up with a lack of accountability.

What Happens Next

A penny, a quarter, or a dollar only seem small until you collect one each day for five years. Ten minutes doesn’t seem like much until you add it up for the week, a month, or across a year or more.

The difference between who you are today and who you’ll become is based on how you spend your time. It is conditioned by your emotional labor. The product is you. Will you end up where you planned?

Bit by bit, what happens next, is entirely up to you.

– 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 Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
will you arrive

Career Advancement: When Will You Arrive?

Tags : 

Finish school, go to college, do an internship, get a starter job, and be persistent. That is the advice of many. It isn’t bad advice but when will you arrive?

What do many people who are serious about their career do? They follow the advice of others. They observe those who appear to align with their definition of success. Perhaps in some ways they attempt to mimic or follow a similar path. Will this lead you to the point where you will arrive?

Faux Arrival

I remember in high school when I thought I had arrived. I had a full time job with benefits before graduating at the mature age of seventeen. At the time, I thought I had arrived.

Within a very short twelve-month period, I realized that I hadn’t really arrived. I needed to do something more. I enrolled in a community college, attained a two-year degree, got a full time job in my field. At the time, I thought I had arrived.

Life continued. Chasing positions, titles, and ever increasing income. Each time I thought I had arrived. Each time later, I realized I hadn’t.

As a non-traditional (thirty something) student I pursued a bachelor’s degree and got it. I enrolled in a graduate program, pursued that degree and got it. For sure, now I had arrived.

Still after each successive advancement, I felt the arrival hadn’t yet occurred. I started a business, pursued my passion, had some incredible experiences, made some money, made some mistakes, but still felt I needed to arrive.

Do you see a pattern here? It has taken me my entire career of more than thirty years to both see and understand when people really arrive in their career. When will you arrive?

Define Arrival

For everyone who is pushing, everyone who is dreaming, those goal oriented unstoppable people who are pursuing more in their career. The answer is simple.

Just like the GPS device offers, there is always another journey. Another chance, a different direction, an alternative route, the route someone else chose, the detour, the storm, the straight road, high road, swampy road, and the one with the most curves.

When you arrive, that is it. You’re finished, but only for now.

As it turns out, for many, it has never been about arriving, maybe because there is still something more, something to pursue, a goal or a bucket list.

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t about arriving at all. Perhaps it is much more about the life you lead along the way.

Will You Arrive

You can relax more when stop asking yourself when you’ll arrive. Your career really is not made upon arrival.

Your career is made each and every day you continue to pursue the arrival.

The journey is more important. You’ll arrive at your final destination only when you stop.

– 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 Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
expectations control

Expectations Control Your Future

Tags : 

Several times recently, I’ve chatted with friends and clients about expectations. Expectations really condition the feeling that we have about an outcome. Do expectations control your future?

Future Expectations

When we embark on something new, sometimes our expectations are high, the new restaurant, the new digital device, or even the new job. We often expect a lot.

Social media is an interesting example. Many people grab their phone, tap an icon and expect to be engaged by a post from a life they aren’t living. They may be looking to live vicariously.

However, social media just like many things in life do not always meet or exceed our expectations. Sometimes, or often, it is something less.

For many others their daily commute is too crowded, the internet too slow, and the weather often seems undesirable.

High Hopes

Hopes, faith, or some form of conviction, it keeps many people going. Yet nearly everyday someone will find a way to describe a dream that is shattered.

High expectations and high hopes can eventually drive a feeling of disappointment. Feeling disappointed people stop dreaming, they stop hoping and they lose faith in a favorable outcome.

Management Expectations

In management circles, workplace expectations drive goals and an outcome is produced. How is that outcome measured? Often it is measured against management expectations.

Do lowered expectations change the results? They can, but they can also shatter dreams.

Expect to Win

There may be a difference between the athlete who wants to make it to the Olympic Games and the athlete who wins. Often one expects to get there, for another, they expect to win.

We can’t lose sight though of reality. Reality is the brutal truth. It pinches us, and lowers the expectations of the dream. The feeling is disappointment, and it often goes unexpressed. It is the social media thread that only illustrates bad news, no good news.

Disappointment is part of life, growth, and ultimately a path to a happier place. Is it about expectations control?

Expectations Control

Expectations can satisfy or leave you wanting more. The trick then is learning to adjust your expectations to the reality of the situation.

You may believe you deserve better or the business goal may be too short sighted, but your expectations will help you determine what happens next.

Don’t give up on your dream. You deserve it, but the hope and faith that will keep you going is based entirely on your expectations.

– 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 Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
your performance review appreciative strategies

Finding The Truth About Your Performance Review

Tags : 

The performance review process is interesting to say the least. Despite the moans and groans that go along with it, many organizations adopt a process of an annual or semi-annual review. Is your performance review honest, effective, and well managed?

Mismanaged Reviews

I can provide dozens and dozens of stories and examples of how the process is mismanaged which ultimately leads to the belief that performance reviews are a waste of time and effort. I have to admit that if they are not well managed, they probably are not very valuable. In extreme mismanagement, they could even be detrimental.

Unfortunately, often the process is done at the last minute, or supervisors give employees who they favor accolades while blasting someone who did something wrong yesterday as if it represents an entire year of wrong doing. All of this is of course, wrong.

Do you want to know the truth about your performance review? Do you want to understand how to improve?

Your Performance Review

Consider doing the review yourself. Yes, this can be done, and if you manage it properly it can be very beneficial. You could also ask a few peers to provide some honest feedback.

your performance review

To get started the best way is ask yourself some tough questions, here are a few to consider:

  1. What have I pushed myself to learn recently?
  2. What am I doing better at?
  3. Is my communication clear?
  4. Am I listening well?
  5. Have my sales skills improved (Hint: We all sell.)?
  6. What mistakes have I made recently and what did I learn from them?
  7. Are my goals appropriate (do I have goals?)?
  8. Have I met or exceeded goals?
  9. Who have I helped and who will I help next?
  10. What value am I bringing to my job role and how can I bring more?

One of the best parts about your performance review is that you can do it often, check back regularly, and provide yourself with honest feedback.

Certainly, you may have some blind spots and it may be hard to recognize the expectations of others but if you consistently review yourself you’ll likely bring more value to the organization.

– DEG

Originally posted on January 8, 2018. Last updated on May 11, 2018.

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 Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
Vague Customer Service

Vague Customer Service Guidelines

Tags : 

Milestones and goals are always important. Many people stress how critical metrics and measurements are for the performance management process. How are you managing customer service? Do you have vague customer service guidelines?

When you attend a meeting, get involved in a committee, or volunteer to help steer the direction of a project you may insist on some goals. The funny thing about most of these endeavors is that they are built on one underlying, often-subconscious premise, keeping everything vague.

Customer Service Culture

Your organizational culture is developed from many things, including: brand, symbols, language, methods, and processes. Most of all, it is carried out by people, and is often intended to be role modeled from the behaviors of organizational leaders.

Is customer service part of your culture? Customer service shouldn’t be viewed as a department, in today’s economy customer service is about culture. Most leaders will quickly grab on to this idea, but as role models, they may leave some gaps.

Not Specific Means Vague

Positive language is often spread throughout the organization by role models, but it is often vague.

Here are a few examples:

  • Improve satisfaction.
  • Increase lifetime value.
  • Enhance the customer experience.

Anything that is vague is hard to measure.

What about the committee or project management team, how do they contribute?

Vague Customer Service

The committee will most likely leave some gaps when the leadership is vague about guidelines. Vague customer service guidelines leaves wiggle room. Wiggle room means the measurement will be subjective.

It is hard to do anything wrong in an environment with vague guidelines or goals. They’re vague, so just wiggle, but that also makes it hard to move forward.

Unfortunately, being vague is often the self-deceptive and unrealized output from the meeting, committee, or project team. What is worse, often the language is handed down and passed around. It is role modeled.

In most cases, it is not intentional. Everyone has good intentions, but vague allows everyone the opportunity to wiggle.

Wiggling isn’t winning. Vague customer service guidelines aren’t helping anyone, especially the customer.

– 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 Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
discovering customer service appreciative strategies

Discovering Customer Service More Than Once

Tags : 

In a general sense, we are creatures of habit.  Discovery takes energy, lots of energy. Have you considered that discovering customer service must happen more than once?

Once you’ve read the book, watched the movie, or completed the academic class you are done, you may feel like you don’t need more right now.

Quitting Too Soon

Yesterday I watched a football player make an amazing play. After obtaining the football during a botched play by the opposite team, he ran for sixty or seventy yards, only to slow down in the final five yards before the touchdown. An opposing player caught him and the ball knocked out of his hands in the final five yards. How ironic.

Once we’ve read the book, watched the movie, or even obtained the degree, it often reduces our interest to work harder for more. After all, we’ve done it, mission accomplished.

Sometimes you think that you have everything completely under control because you can see the finish line, and so it may be OK to slow down now, but it isn’t.

Discovery is hard work, so is learning something new. People often believe that they’ve worked hard enough, and now they are ready for things to be easier. They’ve earned it, and they deserve it.

On the other hand, seeing the end can sometimes be motivating.  Only ten more pages to read, only twelve more college credits until I earn the degree, or I see the goal and I better speed up to ensure I get there. It may be inspiring to accelerate toward the finish.

Discovering Customer Service

Discovering customer service excellence never ends. The business or organization that always continues to work hard at discovering how to make it better isn’t cruising to the finish line. Their motivation is not for the pending relaxation, it is fueled by a constant desire to improve.

There really is no such thing as perfection because that may imply that you are finished. You can’t deliver just enough to complete a transaction, and you certainly can’t slow down when you see the finish line.

Discovering customer service repeatedly may require hard work, but the best are never finished. They are always continuing the effort to discover more. It isn’t a one and done.

– 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 Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
business roadmaps appreciative strategies

When Business Roadmaps Are Useless

Tags : 

Processes are important. Systems designed to follow a standard, replicate quality, and improve efficiency are also important. All of these may be connected to a plan, a map. Business roadmaps aren’t always the right tool. Some people aren’t wandering because they lack direction.

You wouldn’t suggest using a map of the United States to help someone get across town, find the nearest gas station, or the best coffee shop. Better yet, you wouldn’t hand someone a globe at Central Park North in New York City and tell them to use it to get on the subway and go to Wall Street.

Modern technology has provided us with some easy methods to find our way from point A to point B. Many people have an electronic map, a way finder, and it is in their hand, purse, or pocket. It will likely even speak to you. Maps are useful but not for every directional purpose.

Business Roadmaps

Businesses and organizations are always trying to find their way. They go to great lengths to plan, design, and deliver a roadmap for employees to follow. They talk about timelines, milestones, and goals. All very important, but it might not help employees find their way or understand why.

Guiding the way with a roadmap is useful to those who already see the big picture and who are committed to it. Everyone else, those who are uncertain, not committed, or lack trust for the described outcomes really do not have use for a map.

Sometimes what employees need are not more directions. They don’t need more standards, a process, or a system. All of those things are useless when they don’t understand why they should go.

Pictures and Purpose

What they really need is someone to connect them with the purpose that leads to the big picture. They aren’t lost, a lack of direction is not why they are wandering.

Most people can follow a map, or have someone tell them when to yield, turn, or stop. The solution might not require more direction.

Productivity, efficiency, and quality really don’t matter that much when they aren’t committed to the purpose.

A globe doesn’t help much on the subway. Handing them business roadmaps won’t be helpful if they aren’t lost.

They’ll reach for the map when they understand why.

Have you answered the question about why?

– 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+


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. Bridging the Gap Event

    October 24 @ 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
  2. Developing Middle Managers : Part 2

    November 6 @ 8:00 am - November 8 @ 5:00 pm

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more