Tag Archives: goals

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wishful thinking

Wishful Thinking In The Workplace Is What You Need

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Wishing someone to “get well soon” seems helpful. Depending on the results, wishing for sunshine instead of rain, or warm weather instead of bitter cold may also feel good. Does wishful thinking change the outcomes in your workplace?

You may want to start with consideration for the reality of the wish. Wishing to lose weight while consuming several donuts and a sugared-up tall coffee may not make much difference.

It may not be realistic to wish for a winning lottery ticket, for someone to do your household chores, or that all the traffic lights will be green when you approach the intersection.

Wishing for someone to have a great weekend, a happy birthday, or a happy anniversary is a generous act. It is a kind gesture and it feels good.

Does wishful thinking help create business success, or is it really only for feel-good cheer?

Wishful Thinking

In the workplace, it may be beneficial to make wishes count. Certainly, far-out wishes that are unrealistic are not useful. In fact, they may even be counter-productive.

Wishing that sales will increase is a dangerous game without a strategy and tactics to pursue it. It’s similar to wishing that the quality will be good, customers will be happy, and that everything will go exactly as you expected.

If you don’t have a good plan, it is likely that very little will happen.

Wishing is not a plan.

It’s an act that provides focus, gives people something to look forward to, and may change future outcomes.

When there is a stretch goal, wishing for it to be achieved makes it much more likely than denying it as a possibility.

When others see the potential outcome as possible, team momentum gains strength. When people remove hurdles, go around customer satisfaction roadblocks, and strive to deliver the very best, positive things will happen.

Does wishing change outcomes?

Changing Outcomes

You aren’t going to change the weather, purchase the winning lottery ticket, or magically lose weight with a wish.

On the flip side, when you have a well-thought-out and well-executed plan that includes the necessary resources, one of the best things you can do is wish for great success.

A wish may be all that it takes to make others believe that it can come true.

Wishful thinking creates focus.

Focusing on the plan may be exactly what you need.

-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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Getting certified

Getting Certified and the Hiring Manager

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Getting certified is more meaningful as a reflection of the experience, not the end product. Do you agree?

While some will quickly jump at this thought and agree, everyone should be conscious of the focal points.

The certification is the proof of attainment.

One person buys a car, either through a loan across many months or perhaps many months of saving their earnings. Another person just simply writes a check, easy money.

In both cases, a check (of sorts) is written, the final moments of the transaction happen with the validation of money as an exchange.

One person had a long time to think about the car, the car has a more significant value because the journey to attainment was different than just a quick transaction.

It’s true at the amusement park, the big coaster attracts attention. People are excited to share that they rode the “monster ride” yet the ability to say you rode it is not the experience. The experience exists in the ride.

A two-month road trip in an RV around parts of the U.S. sounds appealing to some, but the same spots could be visited faster via airplane. In either case, mission accomplished, yet the experience is much different.

Getting Certified

For the hiring manager, and for the job seeker, attainments mentioned on a piece of paper or cleverly highlighted on a digital record should not be proof of job competence. Job competence is likely better reflected through the journey of attainment.

When experiences and character matter, and most hiring managers will suggest that they do, the focus needs to be about the journey not the documented proof of the journey.

Being able to create an Excel spreadsheet is an accomplished skill. Likewise, welding, carpentry, and computer network management may be connected to skills attained.

Proof of skill attainment is not proof of character. It is not proof of workplace behaviors, integrity, or how a person performs under pressure. It is likely not proof of attendance, being punctual, or being willing to put in the extra effort.

Most of the things we enjoy are not about the proof that we did it. It is about the experience of doing it.

Getting certified and the proof of attainment is much less valuable than understanding the experience of attainment.

What you focus on, is what you’ll get. It is true for the hiring manager and it is true for the job seeker.

-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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focus approach

Focus Approach, What Has Your Attention?

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Do you have a focus approach? Do you decide what to focus on or do you allow it to simply unfold? Is it the squeaky wheel kind of focus?

Loud noises (or voices), shiny objects, and the things that are overdue. All of them may capture your attention. Are they all the most valuable areas of focus at the moment or are they distracting you from your goals?

Many people are conditioned to pay attention to the noisiest item in the room. Is that you?

Change often means discomfort. It is scary, it makes you nervous and afraid. Because of the heightened awareness, it causes you to focus on it. It is a good thing when the change is positive and can blossom from your added energy.

What about the things that never seem to change?

Focus Approach

Often the bad boss doesn’t get better, he or she simply garnishes more reinforcement that their behaviors are what gets the job done.

There are cliques at work. The drama king or queen, and those who seemingly escape the pain of effort while others suffer in silence.

What about the traffic at the intersection? The driver who turns to the left just before making that sharp right turn, or the people blocking the isles at the grocery store and causing you more frustration while seemingly wasting your time.

You may have your own list. A list of pet peeves, the things that really annoy you and yet they attract your attention. Your energy is spent on negativity as you look on with disagreement or frustration.

Do you have enough in your reserves to keep your goals in sight? Are you able to avoid the squeaky wheel that shouldn’t get the grease?

Instead of spending your energy on the co-worker with bad habits, or getting upset about the news media’s spin on a subject you feel strongly about, keep your own focus.

What if you worked harder by staying invested in the emotional labor of not being distracted from your true goals?

Whatever direction you are looking is likely where you’ll end up.

-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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Continuous feed

Continuous Feed is Persistent and Attainable

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Popular in the 1980s, continuous feed forms for computer printouts kept the information flowing. Your work and what you’ll achieve is a practice across time. It flows, one page linking to the next.

Do you realize what your cable and internet bill will cost you across the next five years?

Have you considered how many hours you’ll spend surfing eComm websites for things you’ll buy and the amount of money you’ll spend?

Have you calculated how many hours you’ll put into your craft by 2025 or 2030?

Some people consider that in every career there are dues to be paid. Across time the effort and hours stack up, costing more and more until finally a milestone is achieved.

Yet onlookers often have a different point of view. They believe that you just hang a shingle, start a podcast, or simply get lucky and success is achieved overnight.

Luck often plays a role, but how you manage luck and what happens next will have more to do with long-term outcomes than any single luck event.

Most success does come with a price. It is the price of continuous feed.

Continuous Feed

Moment-by-moment and day-by-day the persistent process of stacking one piece on top of another adds up. It is the single drop in a bucket repeated so many times you’ve lost count until eventually, you fill the pail.

What you want to attain is not so far away. You just have to feed it a little bit each day, repetitively, across time.

One other aspect of continuous feed, just like thousands of pages all connected with a perforated tear, unless you rip it apart, you’ll always be able to see where you came from.

Don’t lose track.

-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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greater expectations

Greater Expectations Change The Distance

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Expectations always condition the results. Lofty goals can be a distraction as much as an inhibitor or motivator. Should you have greater expectations?

When people expect a lot and get less there is a feeling of being let down. It impacts the perceived value or quality of the product or service.

Should expectations be lowered?

The customer with lower expectations is easily delighted. The provider with higher expectations tends to deliver more.

When you flip those around a customer may never feel satisfied or the provider may always under deliver.

In a social climate (or workplace culture) that honors and recognizes serving others, how should you position yourself?

When you want to give your best effort or position yourself for longevity and future advancement, what should your expectations be? Should you aim high or low? Should it be for the short-run or the long-run?

Greater Expectations

It often feels rare for employees to be committed to fully serving the greater good of the organization. People talk a good story, yet actions and behaviors seem to feel individualized.

When each individual chooses a path and commits to it, they become a role model for everyone else. Those with long-term commitment or the fast-trackers are often observed by others. They are being watched for clues on the culturally accepted behaviors.

That means your individual positioning matters. Regardless of your rank, longevity, or history, what you do next becomes a part of the culture and will determine your future.

What should your goal be?

When you set expectations higher for your own personal contribution, you’ll delight more customers. The customer may be external, or it may be the boss, co-workers, or the organization.

When you want to go further, set higher expectations for yourself. It brings out more of the best in everyone.

-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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personal goals

Personal Goals Start With What You Believe

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What are your personal goals? Get promoted, get healthier, or perhaps secure your financial position? Maybe it is all of those and a whole lot more.

Do you believe in your goals?

Belief is a funny thing. Belief will often come to life based on your surroundings. Are other people in a similar place in life getting promoted? Are people building houses, working out, or starting a garden? What is happening around you?

If everyone in your network attends church on a regular basis, you might decide to attend. If nearly no one does, you might not either. When they believe in a particular political party, you may join their movement, or you may watch from the sidelines.

When people share their values and beliefs and create a lifestyle that surrounds those principles, others may join in.

You may start to believe, or if you already believe, then your beliefs may get reinforced by others believing too.

On a high level, this probably makes sense and resonates with most people.

Do you believe in you?

Is what you are planning to do or accomplish true?

Personal Goals

If you want to take a vacation of a lifetime, build your dream home, or drive a very expensive car will you make it happen? Will you make it come true?

Not all beliefs are true.

There are people who won’t believe what you believe. They may not believe getting a promotion is possible. They may insist weight loss or health gains are just too complicated. And for financial positioning, well, it may be that they believe that is only for the elite, the rich and famous.

Many people work tirelessly for their employer and they do get a promotion. There are plenty who change their eating habits, take a walk, and get better sleep. Financial positioning may not be as much about what you make as it is about what you keep.

All of those are structured by belief.

What you tell yourself or what others tell you will condition what happens next. Belief is often about your community.

Be part of one that contributes to, not distracts you from what you want to happen 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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problem statements

Problem Statements Create More Clarity

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The biggest problem with problems is a lack of clarity. The unknowns cause hesitation, confusion, and weaken commitment. Are you using problem statements?

People often attempt to define problems by reporting a symptom.

I can’t connect to the internet.

I have to lose some weight.

My car won’t start.

All of these sound like problems, yet they are not getting to the root cause. When we aren’t at the root, the next move is unclear, and often the problem doesn’t get solved.

What is worse, is that an assumed solution to a symptom allows the problem to happen again. Over and over.

Symptom statements differ from problem statements. And, yes, we may often use a symptom statement to lead us to the problem.

It’s important to recognize that there are differences.

Problem Statements and Clarity

When you lack clarity with the problem definition, the goal is unlikely to be achieved.

You can’t fix it or achieve it if you don’t appropriately define it.

You probably won’t increase sales by stating that sales numbers are too low. Stating that you want or need a new job won’t make one magically appear.

Many people get stuck, they become stalled and are very frustrated because the change they seek is not happening. It may all be the result of not being clear about the problem.

When you start forward motion with a good problem statement and you are able to identify and label the root cause, you’re on your way.

Are you growing tired of lingering problems?

Perhaps you aren’t clear about what they are.

-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 red light

Workplace Red Light, Green Light, and Your Goals

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Have you ever played red light, green light? It’s a real thing, a game of sorts. Children often become acquainted with it. Are you playing workplace red light, green light?

The project suddenly gets approval and it is game on. A full green light. In what feels like only moments later, the project is stopped.

It is sometimes true for the marketing campaign, product development, and a new theory on the best way to support customer needs.

Going full speed, and then slamming on the brakes. Starts and stops.

Have you ever experienced this?

Business and People

It seems to be a thing with both business and people.

People experience it when trying to improve by using new habits. It happens with diets, exercise routines, and even with structured learning. You can’t leave out commitments for time, relationships, and even family.

Green lights often turn red.

Commitment and dedication may come to mind.

Are you committed to your personal goals? On the job, in the workplace, or for your career, are you committed?

Starts and stops are part of how you successfully make it to the finish line.

Starts can be exhilarating and stops can be difficult.

Workplace Red Light

It doesn’t change the goal. Achieving the goal means you have to abide by the rules. The rules state that you must start over if you keep moving on a red light.

Workplace red light, green light, means that you are listening, paying attention, and focused. The on and off, and then on again may feel painful at times but the goal is still to make it to the finish line.

For your job or career, you must know and understand your finish line. The game of red light, green light, is just an obstacle along the way.

Play it right and you won’t have to start over.

-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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Competitive motivation

Competitive Motivation Keeps Things Rolling

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Selling is often considering to be about winning. Convincing another party to exchange money for a good or service. It’s commerce. Do you believe in competitive motivation?

McDonald’s and Burger King might have something going on. Don’t forget about Wendy’s and Carl’s Jr., they have a few things in common. Then there is Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Marco’s Pizza.

Businesses who are front runners tend to not like the threat of another player. New players like chasing the front runner.

Could there be some motivation hidden here?

When the football, baseball, or soccer teams hit the field we recognize both are out to win, and only one will. Any kind of tie feels better than a loss, but it is still not a win. It makes overtime even more attractive.

The idea of winning is inspirational. It’s motivational.

Competition may not always be people or businesses.

Competition can be about numbers, metrics, or a system.

Employee teams can aspire to beat the previous record, exceed goal, or overcome a distinct disadvantage.

What we focus on is what we get.

Competitive Motivation

There are some interesting aspects connected to the motivation created by competition. One such aspect is that when the competition knows you’re watching it may give them an advantage.

It may bring about decoy’s, the threat of exposed trade secrets, or espionage.

It could also start a war for talent. Bring on non-compete clauses, wage hikes, and package deals.

How do you size up competitive motivation?

Chances are good that it is keeping you moving.

Roll on.

-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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