Tag Archives: habits

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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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Changing Habits

Changing Habits By Making Room

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We are all creatures of habit. Our daily routine, the work week, the weekend, what we do is based on habits. Changing habits is likely important for success but what will you give up?

Habits Produce Results

What we do this week won’t completely shape what we achieve across the next six months.

One small landscaping project tackled at our home on the weekend may improve things, but there will still be maintenance across time to keep it up.

Our daily work habits across the next twenty-six weeks will shape half of the year. What happens across the next three years will be based on the habits of each week of those years.

We do something every day. In fact, we may do many things each day. We occupy twenty-four hours. Eating, sleeping, working, and living life.

When it is time for a change, we must make room. Something goes and something takes its place. We may sacrifice some free time, some TV time, or some phone surfing time. Room must be made.

Ultimately, the question becomes, “What will you give up?”

Changing Habits

Changing habits means you’re going to have to make room. The choice is more important than you may think.

If you give up sleeping, eventually you’ll burn out. Eating or skipping meals, same thing. You recognize that somethings you can’t give up because that supplies the opportunity to achieve other goals.

Everything is a tradeoff.

Setting up your garage with home fitness equipment sometimes seems like a reasonable approach. Only, now you don’t have a place for your car. Worse, if you give up your workout routine the space is completely wasted. You gave up both, everything for nothing.

Making room for new habits is important. Something must change. Give up something.

Just be sure the something doesn’t cost you everything.

-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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nomophobia

Nomophobia, Workplace Anxiety, and Motivation

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Human behavior is a factor in our workplace every day. Behaviors and habits shape decisions and choices from the moment our eyes open until the moment we sleep. Have you heard of nomophobia?

While I’m not sure, and I’m not confident in the origin of the word, its existence is real. At least as early as 2014, Psychology Today, published an article about nomophobia. In the article it states origins to the year 2010.

Nomophobia

Nomophobia is defined as an anxiety associated with the fear of being without your cellular telephone, or at least without its use.

Many people can probably relate. Forget your phone on your way out the door and you would think you left a pan of bacon cooking unattended on the stove. We impulsively want to run back to change our situation.

Is nomophobia real? Of course it is real. Fear will drive human behavior. Afraid of what we’ll miss, who may call or text, or simply being disconnected from our friends and family will alter our behavior.

As with any phobia, anxiety increases. Desirable performance will likely decrease. What we should be doing shifts, we change. Our human reaction to fear and panic is now in control.

I’ve often wrote about the cautions associated with fear as a driver for motivation.

Do this or get fired. 

Sales are down and we’re going to have to cut back.

Next week we are installing a brand new software system. 

Fear in the workplace will change performance. It may also change buy-in, communication patterns, and certainly fear will change the end results.

Habits Move Us

People are creatures of habit. The habits that we have every day will drive the outcomes of our performance. Change your habits, you’ll change your performance.

This is true with eating, exercise, and what happens (or doesn’t) for our career.

When something that has become a habit suddenly becomes unavailable, goes away, or changes, there will be a reaction. The ultimate question is, “Will the reaction be productive or counterproductive?”

What you remove may be exactly what was keeping it all together.

-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+


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more time

More Time, Is That What Everyone Needs?

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Time crunch, needed it yesterday, or we missed the deadline. Have you ever felt like you needed more time? What about productivity or efficiency, do you have those boxes checked?

More Time

Many people believe that they need more time. It is a reason that many executives cite as causing a gap between what is, and what could be. Is time really the problem or is it more about managing behaviors?

It is important to immediately address one common fallacy. Multi-tasking is not a time saver, it can in fact, be a time-waster. Sure, we may walk and chew gum at the same time, but when it comes to brain power or concentration forget it.

Many workplace professionals waste so much time with distraction, they could easily take an extra vacation or two each year. What are some of the biggest time wasters?

  • Distractions
  • Interruptions
  • Poor planning
  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination

You may have been expecting to see things like phone calls, email, or meetings. These items can be a distraction, an interruption, or fall under several other categories. Why aren’t they at the top of the list?

Imagine the importance of your job if you received no calls, no email, and never had a meeting? It is hard to imagine much value in your job if there is no cause for action. The bigger catalyst then becomes about your planning and management habits.

Leadership Efficiency

What about the executive? The President or CEO, that is hyper-engaged in the business? Are they productive?

Some of the biggest time wasters for the executive (supervisor, manager, director, et al) are poor delegation skills, a lack of trust in employees, and perfectionism. The root causes? It all falls back to established habits.

Many workplace professionals feel that there just isn’t enough time.

Maybe, there just isn’t enough focus.

-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+


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small errors

How Small Errors Become Big Problems

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It is common for big problems to be linked to big errors. Often though the big problem developed from small errors that grew over time. Are small errors worth fixing, or should they be ignored?

Bad Habits

It often feels natural to skip over the little mistake. Many believe it is perfectly fine to procrastinate about the task at hand, brush it off, and save it for later.

Habits are formed this way. The habit may be to shrug and walk away. Place the blame on other circumstances or situations. Ask who was the last person who touched it and suggest that the starting point exists somewhere else. After all, you’re too busy.

Wrong Directions

We were late because of traffic.

The guy on the corner gave us bad directions.

The signage is simply not adequate on this road.

If you are lost, do you keep driving hoping to pop out at the right place?

Certainly, this may work if you’re close. As in, close to having the right directions, but if you are traveling North when you should be going South, good luck. Your problems are compounding with every mile.

Most of the time our wrong turns, bad choices, and faulty data are not because of an isolated incident. They are the result of compounded issues that grow with each successive twist or turn. They grow bigger and get faster. Worse yet, they get further away and harder to come back to.

The result is a bigger problem.

Small Errors

A messy customer experience doesn’t get better when you wait. Often the issue festers. While it festers the same experience can be inappropriately duplicated.

The problem grows over time. More people affected, more costs eroded, and a brand that sours.

It seems likely that sometimes the best way to deal with big problems is to deal with them when they are small errors. Casting blame, looking away, or denial of an issue doesn’t let anything slip away except more time and money.

Next time there is a small error consider fixing it before it grows into a big problem. It is the right kind of habit.

-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+


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