Tag Archives: habits

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Good habits

Good Habits Will Change Everything

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Do you have some good habits? There is always so much discussion about changing bad habits what should you consider as good or better?

Workplaces are filled with opportunity. The opportunity to make some positive motion or the opportunity to drag things down. Everyone wants better, but how do you get there?

Habits often develop skills. When you do something repetitively, across time, you may enhance your skill.

Inciting gossip and negative drama are probably good examples. People who routinely engage in this type of activity can actually develop more skill at getting other people negatively charged.

What should you consider instead?

Creating a list of possibilities isn’t that hard. It may start with some really simple areas. Things like fairness, kindness, and being considerate of others.

It can certainly go much further and deeper.

Good Habits

Here are three items to continuously build upon:

Optimism. Optimism adds to hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams give people a goal, something to reach for. You may be surprised what people will create when they believe in something. It makes it all possible.

Connection. There is always plenty of talk about building the team. Having strong teams starts with building connections. Build connections around commonalities. Every workplace team has at least one thing in common, they are all in the endeavor together.

Responsibility. When people are responsible and accountable for their actions and behaviors there is much more possibility for understanding the value in teams. It promotes positive patterns for culture.

You have the opportunity to build the behaviors that support these actions. When you make it a choice, it becomes a habit. A repetitive habit builds the skills necessary to continue.

It’s a much better place to be.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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train tracks habits

Train Tracks and Habits Have Much In Common

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How are your habits similar to train tracks? The answer may be easier than you think.

Much of what you do each day is derived from your habits. Habits built around a schedule, the food you’ll eat, and even how you’ll communicate.

By default, most people look for the easy road. I’m certainly not suggesting they are lazy. I’m suggesting that people are wired to look for efficiency and effectiveness.

If you drive an automobile to work, what route do you take? Where do you stop for fuel or coffee? Chances are, you have some habits connected with this behavior.

The same is true in your household. How you clean, do laundry, or prepare meals. Largely, it is probably based on traditions or habits.

The work that you do, or the baseline competencies for your career are largely structured around habits. You know them to be effective or perhaps the most convenient.

Train Tracks

Prior to the explosion of the automobile, trains ruled.

The rails will carry a heavy load, they are largely consistent and you know exactly what to expect and when.

One problem is, trains operate on a fixed route. If the tracks are blocked, you’re stuck or stranded. If the train doesn’t move, there are not good options. You can’t effectively detour.

People tend to get on fixed routes too. Their tracks are built to follow the rails of a particular path.

It is a habit.

Luckily, there are other choices, should you choose to take them. You can easily re-route or change your path and direction. You can take new turns, double-back to reposition, speed up, and avoid roadblocks.

Do you want to? Do you need to?

Some habits are good and desirable, others, not so much. You may want to be selective on the tracks that you choose, or even which side of them you exist on.

Full steam ahead.

-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 streaks

Workplace Streaks Lead to Greater Success

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Does the success of any business or entrepreneurial adventure depend upon workplace streaks? What matters more, the one and done, or the approach applied often across time?

The chatter is often about habits. Break a bad habit, revise a mediocre habit, or build new habits.

Habits are often connected with persistence. A person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities put to use across time.

Luck happens. A lucky break, an unlucky situation, or sometimes people believe that their luck has run out.

Each day people enter their workplace. A plush office, a hard concrete plant floor, or a makeshift desk on your kitchen island.

Regardless of where you go, or where you stay, whether it is indoors or outdoors, in your home or across town, you likely operate from a pattern of repetitive tasks.

Some professions are more mixed than others. Some people base their day on tactical approaches to addressing the next emergency. Others analyze and crunch data, plan the next strategy, or test their theory of something new.

All of it is based on patterns. Patterns of behavior or ways of doing things.

Repetitively, over and over again.

Workplace Streaks

In sports people often look to identify streaks. Three wins in a row, or two consecutive championships.

Success in the workplace often develops from streaks. The process of applying behaviors, habits, or ways of doing things.

Workplace streaks are often not about perfection as much as they are about the pursuit. Consistent persistence. The American folktale tale of The Little Engine That Could applies even in the grown-up world.

The bigger picture across time.

In a single day, it may be hard to see change. Efforts that you’ll apply during the next year may clearly show results.

You can’t do a few pushups once a month and expect a significant change in your health or fitness. Pushups done each day for six months will make a difference.

Get on a streak. Keep it moving every day.

-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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natural actions

Natural Actions and Behaviors, Do They Change?

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What are some of your natural actions? Short tempered, poor listening, procrastination, or so many more. What do others say, or what is your self-assessment?

Your life is full of habits that you’ve built.

Evolution of Your Actions

Do you believe that you are fairly smart? It may be that you’ve learned to believe that you are. People have given you feedback that you are, or they have quickly bought into your ideas, repetitively, across time.

What about something opposite. Do you believe you don’t have enough skill in a particular area? Maybe you’re convinced that you make poor choices or are not good at math?

Are your behaviors, attitude, or skills the result of something that comes naturally, or is there some form of development across time?

Certainly, we may point to athletic skills or even IQ as an indicator of what we might call talent. It’s true we all have some of this in certain areas.

Largely though, much of your workplace or social behavior is the result of some development across time. You may label it as good or bad, but it is often developed.

Have some of your actions changed? Should they?

Professional Development

Lots of professional people participate in training.

Training on communication skills, harmful conflict reducing techniques, leadership skills, and so much more.

Is this training effective?

Hopefully, the answer is, yes.

Yet, it is still conditioned by each individual’s receptivity to the training and by the repetitive actions that guide future behavior. In other words, did they put something new into practice and keep practicing it?

Changing Behaviors

There may be blind change. We change and follow a new path or behavior because someone said so and we’ve agreed to do it.

There is also what we may call, desired change. This represents change which is often the result of at least one of two factors.

First, we’ve experienced something unpleasant or uncomfortable, we haven’t liked the outcome, so we want to change.

Second, perhaps we have observed or experienced something we like or admire and as a result, we want to change. This is exactly why leaders should be good role models.

Natural Actions

Do you believe your behaviors are the same today as when you were ten years old? What about when you were fifteen? Or, if you are older, size things up across five or ten-year spans, have you changed some of your behaviors?

In the workplace, much of your behavior, confidence level, or interpersonal skills are developed. It may seem that you are doing what comes naturally, but actually you’re often doing things based on what you’ve learned and put into regular practice.

The commitment to become a better version of you, depends mostly on you.

-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.


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memorized

Memorized Is Not Necessarily Learned

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Do you have the alphabet memorized? What about your cell phone number or your password?

One of the biggest fallacies to teaching is the assumption that when someone memorizes the answer, they’ve learned.

It’s true of on-the-job training and it’s true in the university classroom. True for online learning and true for live in-person conventional learning.

Have you ever said that someone is book smart?

Book smart may be applicable to someone who easily memorizes what is read, but cannot apply it outside of the boundaries of the book context.

Then there is always the category of comprehension. In order to prove comprehension, a person is often tested. A conventional test of multiple-choice or short-answer testing might be memorized but not necessarily learned.

Memorized, Not Learned

Leadership training, and all that it entails may be a great example. You can encourage someone to memorize the bullet points of your slide deck or handout, yet you may wonder if they can apply it.

Being a great leader isn’t rocket science but it might be artful.

Many of the concepts are very simple, yet they require some extra effort, patience, and thorough understanding. One building upon the other makes the idea of good habits come to life.

Good habits sadly sometimes go by the wayside. Not because they aren’t good but because they are hard to deploy. It requires more energy, more effort, and honestly it is easier to slip back into older less useful habits.

When we replace the concept of memorization with comprehension we’re actually getting somewhere. More thorough comprehension develops from experiential learning where thinking or action is required by the trainee. It’s reflective, hands-on, or minds-on.

Someone can memorize the right answers. How they’ll apply what they’ve memorized in the face of fear, pressure, or adversity will show you what they’ve learned.

There is a distinct difference.

-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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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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