Tag Archives: information

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report data

Does Report Data Stand On Its Own?

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Have you examined the report data? Does it make sense, does it add up? Can it stand on its own?

Not without a story.

You’ve Been Informed

The technical conference wouldn’t really be a conference if the data could stand on its own. Everyone would just get the report and everyone would be informed.

Information overload feels like a chronic problem to many people. So much data and so little time for the empathy required to make sense of it all.

Stories change that for us. It changes it for you, and it changes it for me.

People often wonder, “What’s in it for me?”

That is precisely why data doesn’t stand on its own. Data needs a narrative, an executive overview, or a deep story to put it all into perspective.

Certainly, the story guides the belief and the future outcomes. It is a slippery slope when you consider how bias or stereotyping affects the story. Then the data may also come into question.

Data may be reliable, yet is it always valid? Consistent data doesn’t guarantee it is authentic, accurate, or valid.

Report Data

The information we receive is always brought to life through a story. The authenticity or belief behind the narrative guides the thoughts and opinions of those receiving the information.

Is this brainwashing? Someone may suggest, yes, it is. Others will argue that it is merely a presentation of the facts.

I guess it really depends on your personal narrative. What is the story that you tell yourself? What do you choose to believe?

Does your “gut feel” have something to do with your life experiences? Some will label it as instinct. Yet, what we know as instinct is also rooted in life experiences. Touch the fire, you’ll get burnt.

Report data doesn’t stand on its own. It is the narrative in front of the data that suggests how you’ll interpret its value or meaning.

Honest, unbiased observation is the key for the integrity of the data. It develops from the story.

-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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bad data

The Consequences of Bad Data

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A data driven society? Yes, it’s likely we can apply that label. If we have a data driven society what happens when we have bad data?

As I write this, it is winter. Early February, in Pennsylvania. We’ve recently had some very cold temperatures, snow, and of course, ice.

In the winter months I mostly drive my 20-year-old Tahoe. Winter roads in the Northeast are not kind to vehicle life. I’m thankful for my Tahoe. It’s a trusty rusty machine.

Bad Data

Yesterday, it was around 60 degrees. Snow and ice melting rapidly. I jumped in my Tahoe to proceed to an event. Inside the vehicle it felt so warm, I had to crack a window.

Once underway and rolling down the highway, I glanced to my rearview mirror where there is a digital thermostat. It was displaying minus 36 Fahrenheit, then minus 37, eventually hitting minus 40. Should I trust these numbers?

At the event, I overheard people discussing the local temperature. Comparing the past week, to the current week. Funny how many different temperatures were being reported. Are these facts?

During the event, there was additional information exchanged. Opinions shared, research claimed, materials produced, and notes taken. People processing data.

In a recent workforce meeting I attended, an organization cited an employee turnover ratio of 56 percent. I thought, it must be incorrect, perhaps a decimal problem, or some other error. I asked, “Is there a decimal problem?” The answer was, “No.” Good thing I asked.

Part of the Solution

Our workplaces are often outlined and highlighted with data. Numbers, reports, infographics, facts, opinions, statistics, and presentations.

Be careful with your data. Know what you are presenting. Do appropriate research. We can be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution.

Everyone has a responsibility with data.

-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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filtering information

Are You Filtering Information, Should You?

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What is your understanding of information filters? Should we be filtering information? If yes, what or how should we be doing it?

When you shop online, browse eBay, or look for a book on Amazon, do you use filters? The information filter in these cases helps us to narrow our search, be more precise, and find the stuff we really want.

We may find the shoes we like, the good deal on something gently used, or be sure that we are reading what we want to read. The same is true for the podcast listener and video watcher.

Filtering information may make it easier, better, and faster for us to get right to the information we want. Is this a great thing or a limiting factor?

Easy Filters

What if we only listen to what we agree with? Imagine we only read what makes complete sense or suggests a position that favors our perspective. What about when we only watch news or access videos, movies, or documentaries that we are comfortable with and believe to be the truth?

Are these filters helpful? Information gets in our head, it helps steer us in a direction. It likely guides or persuades our buying patterns, the brands we love, and our view of life as it should be.

Challenging Filters

On the other hand, sometimes we need a different filter. We need to remove the unhealthy criticism, the social media aspersion, or the feedback that breaks us down instead of builds us up.

We need to get out of our head, stop reminding ourselves of failures, setbacks, and unlucky situations. A filter can prevent us from reliving past bad experiences that create a harsh negative fantasy of the doom that awaits or lingers.

Filtering Information

The truth is that filters can help make us believe everything is right, good, and provide the confirmation that our ideas are correct, spot on, and the way it should be. These filters are easy, comforting, and inspire confidence.

The other filters, the ones that cause us to question our judgment, assess our position, or force us to think differently are harder to work with. They test our character, integrity, and ethics. We may feel a pinch, some discomfort, and want to look away. Perhaps we can learn something or should we just ignore it all?

As We See It

We probably need some of both kinds of filters, but remember most of us are not seeing the world exactly as we should.

Occasionally every filter needs cleaned or replaced.

Listen more, care more, and learn. It matters for doing your best work.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Does Good Negotiation Require Big Risk?

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Negotiation skills and managing risk are critical in many job roles. During my career I’ve met plenty of people who are energized by risk, and plenty of people who are so risk adverse that despite having tremendous talent, they achieve very little. If you are going to be successful at negotiation do you need to have the audacity to take big risks?

Diverse-Business-Team-Shaking-Hands-1090857

We often see negotiation scenes in movies. We see it in movies based on true stories like the deal slaying stock broker film, The Wolf of Wall Street, (2013). We also see it in the high intensity hostage negotiation film, Bridge of Spies, (2015). While both of these films are based on true stories, any risk associated with real world negotiation should be carefully calculated.

In business transactions whether it is negotiating on salary or closing a multi-million dollar deal the best negotiators always examine risk compared with the benefits or potential gain. Sometimes the benefits will be measured in short-term value, in other cases it might be long-term value, or in still other cases it will be some combination of both. In nearly all cases the benefits cannot be fully realized without extensive information which makes the evaluation of risk a carefully calculated process.

Information and Risk

The risk factor lessens with more information, but more information is about quality and is always balanced with timeliness and effectiveness, as most would quickly realize too much information can create analysis paralysis. Managing information wisely, you can evaluate whether it supports your direction or it does not. If it doesn’t, you probably don’t want to take on too much risk. On the other hand, if you have information that does support your direction you may make what appears to be a big move, but because it has been carefully calculated the risk is not really as big as it seems.

Any information and past experience used for effective negotiation needs to be based on facts. Listening skills and other factors definitely come into play when considering risk. Often when people speak they are speaking more in terms of opinions instead of facts. Discussions in negotiations are often subject to judgment by those involved. The more compelling the discussion, the more factual it may feel even though the expressions may be those of opinions and not facts. Keep in mind that good negotiators focus on building a win/win outcome, not capitalizing on or intending to create a win/lose opportunity.

Big Risk

Big risk in negotiation should most likely be left for the movie scenes. Good negotiators are very calculated and have extensive experience, and while experience builds confidence it does not necessarily improve the negotiators effectiveness. In the best negotiations whether it is for annual salary, sales, or the boardroom, negotiators are using a variety of skills, experience, and information to create winning (win/win) deals.

Based on my experiences, good negotiation requires calculated, not necessarily big risk.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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