Tag Archives: habits

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Hard decisions

Hard Decisions, Bad Habits and Your Energy

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Are you facing some hard decisions? What differentiates the level of difficulty or is it only about comfort, risk, and confidence?

Organizations often make decisions about what things will look like next. They have some level of confidence because they’ve done the math, considered options, and set the timelines.

The decision feels good because they’ve prepared.

Yet it seems that somewhere in the organization there is a gap. Someone left out information, distorted the facts for their own agenda, or acted on impulse out of fear.

Real issues are not always brought to the table. There seems to be too much at stake.

If I speak up, my boss will dislike me.

I’m not really sure. I’ve learned to keep quiet.

Everyone else believes this is the right move, so I will just agree.

The end result of the avoidance to address real issues is often poor decisions.

Was the decision easy or was it hard?

Complexity of Habits

Decisions are more challenging when there are different ideas.

Go to a restaurant with fifty items on the menu, or go to a restaurant with five items on the menu. It is easier to pick from five rather than fifty.

There is one exception. The exception is knowing what you want in advance.

If you always order a cheeseburger, and stick with it, the choice isn’t hard. It’s about a habit, not change.

People and businesses can get stuck with habits.

They can get stuck when the decision feels harder than staying the same.

Hard Decisions

It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to only half-listen. Listening is hard work and that is why so many people listen less. Because it is hard, and takes extra effort.

The same often happens with decisions. The extra effort feels like a waste energy. Energy to get through the day, put up with the nonsense, or listen during the meeting.

The hardest decisions are often the poorest decisions. Not because they were hard but because no one cared enough to put in the energy.

-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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new commitments

New Commitments Are Often Necessary

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There might be a change happening, are you aware? New commitments are often necessary and being committed will make a difference for success.

The Olympic diver needs to be committed. So does the Bob Sled team.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley had to be committed, so did NASA, SpaceX, and the Falcon 9.

Business or Personal Change

Our workplaces are experiencing massive change. It is happening in businesses, K-12, and higher education.

Are commitments necessary?

Have you asked yourself or your team recently, “What are we committed to?”

Commitment creates focus and focus will always impact results. A focus on nothing, will get you nothing.

What are you committed to?

Are you committed to a revenue goal, a project milestone, or a career path?

If it is going to happen, focus will be required.

Change often develops in the workplace from both internal and external forces. The 2020 pandemic has ensured that there are some external forces putting pressure on businesses. Change is not an option.

Successful change will require a commitment.

Are you ready? Is the team?

New Commitments

In competitive sports or a rocket launch, there is a commitment. Part of the commitment is focused on a timed event. Once the countdown clock begins there is little chance of turning back.

There is not an opportunity to hesitate or stop. Once it is go, it’s go. All that remains is to perform.

Workplace change often fails because of a lack of commitment. It is also true for the career change or better eating habits.

Maybe it is time you ask yourself if you are committed.

You better know before the countdown clock starts.

-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 choices

Better Choices Come From Better Habits

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Are you able to make better choices? Is it your job to make better decisions, to think more critically, or to choose the best path?

Chances are good that everyone has some of this responsibility. If it is true for you, how are you ensuring your choices produce the best outcomes?

“Every dog has its day.”

Nearly everyone quickly recognizes the meaning of this phrase. It is to suggest that at some point, everyone gets some luck or stumbles onto some good fortune.

Many people believe that the best of the best get all of the breaks. The view is that life is easy and good fortune is always coming their way.

It is true for the view of individuals and often also true for the view of businesses or organizations.

Lucky Breaks

Have you ever had a streak of good luck? What about a streak of bad luck? Many will tell you that bad luck comes in three’s and so you look for it to stop after a self-identified, third event.

Streaks of good luck or bad luck don’t continue on forever. That is why we call them a streak.

Studies on the concept of luck have concluded that we all have about the same amount of luck. It is how we manage our luck that determines the future outcomes.

With all of this in mind it would seem logical that your daily habits are what make the most difference.

Better Choices

Each day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, positions you to make the best choices and decisions about what will happen next.

Today you’ll make some choices. Tomorrow the path might be altered ever so slightly (or drastically) to create a new beginning.

Diets and exercise don’t change a physique on a single day. Getting better at your craft doesn’t flip the switch over night. Your career or your business venture isn’t about a single day, a single moment, or a specific spike or decline.

What happens across a career is about choices. The choices you make are connected to the habits you follow.

Today is a good day to figure out what those 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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old habits

Old Habits Can Be Like Potholes

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Not all old habits are bad, some may be good. Yet, if you’re looking for change consider what you’re repeating again and again.

On the roadway a pothole can be dangerous.

People swerve to avoid them. The vehicles suspension collapses with a harsh thump. Worse, a tire gets blown and a wheel gets bent.

All of this avoidance, or perhaps a direct hit can be costly. It could even threaten lives.

Here is the thing. The pothole wasn’t created on its own.

Across time a tiny crack, a small chunk of concrete or asphalt breaks away.

Then more tires cross the small orifice. Each successive crossing erodes the hole a little more. A slight tire spin, intense braking, or weather conditions broaden the hole.

Pothole Life

In life, we sometimes find ourselves creating potholes. A place that we continue to navigate over time that slowly but surely creates a hole. A rut, a place to slam on the brakes, blow a tire, or bend a rim.

Too many potholes and you may decide you need a new route. Yet, the habit of staying on the same road is hard to break.

It’s often hard to break because you’ve known it as the best route. The way to get to where you want to be. The fast way, the way that is fewer miles and perhaps, the safe route.

Old Habits

You still have a choice. You can endure the rough road. Perhaps slow down a little, drive with a little more caution, and be able to better navigate the rough spots.

Just because you’re still on the same road doesn’t mean you should keep the same pace. Pace may be the change you need.

Sometimes you have to go a little slower to go faster. A blown tire, bent rim, or worse, won’t help your plight.

Not all old habits are bad. Some of them just need to be navigated a little bit differently until the conditions change.

-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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work habits

Work Habits Help You Get Ahead

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Have you examined your work habits? Not the special things that happen once in a great while, but true habits?

Society is often focused on the shiny object. The person with the highest score, the prettiest face, and the most notable position. Similar to how things often go in our workplace too.

Chasing Shiny Objects

Winners are important, but sometimes the person in the spotlight is not the only person working hard. Discouragement may come to mind when everyone other than the shiny object person gets the spotlight.

It’s important to consider because only a select few get the spotlight, yet the work contributions of the many have substantial impact.

Lots of students play high school sports, only a few go on to professional sports success. There are plenty of engineers, attorneys, and PhD’s, yet only a few may be highly recognized or achieve the headliner of, “Award Winning.”

You don’t have to be a farmer to have a patio garden. You may build a dog house but not be a carpenter. Driving to work every day doesn’t mean you’re ready for the NASCAR circuit.

Work Habits

As the supervisor, manager, or team leader in your workplace you may not get as much bling as the CEO or President. The same is true for every employee. Yet, your contributions every day will matter.

The work you’ll do today and every day across time adds up. It adds up for your career, and it adds up for the success of the business or organization.

Doing what you do matters. Doing it consistently across time matters even more.

When you want to get ahead, achieving the shiny object may not be the best focal point. Recognizing the outcomes from your efforts and contributions across time may be very rewarding, without even without the bling.

See it for yourself.

Help others do the same.

-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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scaling costs

Scaling Costs or Staying The Same?

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Have you considered scaling costs? Scaling can be scary. It is true for business and true for your career.

Are you trying to scale up? What will it take for you to make a difference in the next six to twelve months?

Scale up or else you’ll scale down.

Both Business and Career

For the small business or large enterprise there are costs associated with scaling. There are expectations, forecasts, and marketing expenses. There are operating costs, infrastructure costs, and capital investments.

For the career navigator scaling costs are similar. You have expectations based on where you are at, where you want to be, and consideration for how you will get there.

One of the costs associated with scaling often not considered is the cost of not scaling.

The small business or large enterprise is built around movement. Ideally forward movement. Within the operation there are both successes and failures, but the flow of motion should be forward.

It is the same for individual careers. C-suite to front-line employees, forward motion is the objective for many.

Scaling Costs

For all scaling endeavors the cost of inaction is often the highest cost of all. This includes the costs associated with all resources, and especially your most precious resource, time.

Organizations are driven by culture, culture means people, and people means careers.

Both businesses and people are driven by habit. If the habit becomes an indecisive stall, you’ll face the highest cost of all.

Scale up because coasting only happens when you are going downhill.

-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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delayed decisions

Delayed Decisions Can Become a Bad Habit

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Do you hurry to make decisions? Is your pause something that becomes a habit? Do you feel more accurate after strategically waiting? Delayed decisions can become a bad habit.

Cool Off, Slow Down

We’ve learned about the cooling off period. If we are making a big purchase, a major life choice, or something of very high risk, a delayed decision seems appropriate.

Confidence, or a lack of, may drive how rapidly we make decisions.

Across time we may develop a learned pattern that the act of delaying decisions keeps our options open, provides more clarity, and allows our emotions to calm down. All of which may be true, and sometimes good, but is it required?

Do you have a habit of delaying decisions?

Delayed Decisions

In 2006, you may not have heard of Facebook, when you did, you may have decided to wait to join. By 2010, if you wanted engagement on Facebook, your advantages were already lessening. Sure, there were still many more people to join, but Facebook was already contemplating strategy for controlling and securing their platform.

If you wanted to be a Facebook Influencer, early adoption was a good strategy.

When we jump in early, there is often an advantage. This is true with many decisions. First on the bus, first to the fresh buffet, or first in line for the Black Friday electronics deals. All may be advantageous.

There is a bell curve of value connected with change. Decisions drive change.

As humans we are creatures of habit. We often launch, analyze, learn, change, and repeat. Sometimes we label this as a fluid process. Fluidity can be good.

At the same time if our habits drive us to hesitate, wait, slow down, and analyze more, we just might miss the bus.

Careful consideration is always valuable. Procrastination on deciding can become a bad habit.

-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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creating habits

Creating Habits That Stick

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Change out the bad habits for good ones. It is the simple expression that is believed to prompt change. Creating habits often requires a little more than a clever statement to prompt lasting change.

People are the product of what they do day-in and day-out. Habits are not always daily. They may be as much about hourly as they are about weekly.

Hanging out the holiday lights in November or December probably isn’t a habit, it is an event.

Running the vacuum a couple of times a week may be more about a habit.

Good Habits

When we want to learn more, it may be about our habits. Certainly, an open mind is part of it, but always seeking to discover more and asking yourself, “What did I learn?” may create a habit.

It is also true for drinking a couple of glasses of water each day, walking the dog, or answering all email messages within 24-hours.

Habits can become etiquette too. We sometimes refer to them as manners, yet manners are about our habits. Practice long enough and when in doubt, your habits will take over.

It is the, “when in doubt,” part that makes your habits so valuable. A change in habits means a change in you.

Creating Habits

Consider when you want to strike out with a rebuttal in the meeting. When a team member speaks and you choose not to listen. Perhaps, it is when you delay an email response because responding too soon implies, “I’m not busy.”

These are largely about bad habits. They are changeable situations. The positive change develops with practice.

You can do better work when you feel the threat of being passed over for a new opportunity, or you can adjust your habits to do something better each day.

Then make it stick.

-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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simple workplace knowledge

Simple Workplace Knowledge May Work

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Do you already know all of the key points to navigating challenging obstacles? Are you delivering on simple workplace knowledge?

In the meeting, the seminar, or while reading a book do you have a feeling that the information is really simple?

I already know all that stuff.

Oh, I’ve heard this before.

This is really just basic stuff.

The more experience we have, sometimes the more we disregard the basics.

It is easy to slip away from good ideas. Good ideas mean change. A change in style, actions, or behaviors. Something repeated, habits.

Examining Results

We can measure things that happen in our workplace, yet what actions are taken after reviewing the results?

Measuring performance may be step one. What about step two or three?

Are you congratulating results and launching the next stretch goal or are you inquiring about why things came up short?

Simple Workplace Knowledge

Accountability matters, are employee teams held accountable? It is easy to praise when expectations are exceeded. It is also easy to walk away from shortcomings without addressing corrective actions.

Maybe it is time to stop assessing what you know and start assessing what you do? Knowing what to do and when is valuable. Doing nothing ensures that it really doesn’t matter.

Don’t tell yourself, “I already know all this stuff.”

Ask yourself, “What do I practice?”

Challenge of Leadership

Identifying problems or trouble spots is often easy. Getting to the root cause and solving them is more challenging.

It is also easy to forget the role of leadership is not only to solve problems. The role of leadership includes building effective teams, creating motivation and engagement, and showing appreciation.

Keep in mind, the challenge of leadership is not always about knowledge or what you know. The challenge of leadership is often about what you do.

-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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Your culture

10 Reasons Why Your Culture is Unique

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Workplace, organizational, and corporate, it goes by many names. Your culture is always something special. The culture of your workplace is unique. Would you agree?

Your Community

In your workplace you have standards and norms, you have policies and rules, and you have all of the concepts that define who you are and what you are about.

It is your World. It is the place where people who join, and stay, follow the cultural norms. Certainly, there are rule breakers, exceptions, and those who make a choice not to stay. Largely however, it is a space of community. Everyone fits somehow.

Your Culture

Every culture is unique and here are ten reasons why:

  1. Behaviors. Those that are observable by others. Not opinions but factual observations.
  2. Standards. The standards of work flow and work process become group norms. They are connected to values.
  3. Values. What are the published values? What do people feel and see?
  4. Philosophy. You have a mission. In most cases this is published for everyone to see, including customers and vendors.
  5. Rules. There are always rules of the game. These apply to everyone.
  6. Climate. How individuals and groups interact. What is the protocol and the patterns of behavior.
  7. Competencies. Skill requirements, the unique ways of doing things that no one else may do exactly the same.
  8. Habits. Inclusive of how the group thinks and acts. Repetitive acts are often habits.
  9. Meanings. Your language. How you speak. What are the acronyms and other lingo associated with you? You may hear it everyday, yet outsiders don’t know what it means.
  10. Symbols. Could include everything from your logo, to a statue, or the architecture of your building. Even dress code, or the lack of one could apply.

If you think the company down the street, across the hall, or three floors above you has the same culture, you are probably incorrect.

Culture may change but not until the people do.

-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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