Tag Archives: motivation

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Inspired employees

Inspired Employees Stand Out In a Crowd

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Look around you, do you see inspired employees? While there may be varying degrees of inspiration or motivation how would you size things up?

There are lots of paths that lead to inspiration and motivation. One sometimes challenging aspect is that people are motivated for different reasons.

Fear can motivate, although this is almost never a good idea. Money often becomes a discussion point, yet it seldom has lasting effects.

Are you naturally motivated or can you be inspired?

Here is another question to ponder, “Are leaders born, or are they made?”

I’m hopeful that you believe there are paths to more motivation and inspiration. I’m also hopeful that you believe leadership can be developed and is not just a natural talent.

Natural Talents and Abilities

Are you born with certain talents?

Perhaps it is a talent for music, for art, or for certain athletic abilities.

It may go other directions too.

You may have a talent or connection to mathematical problems, architecture, or be identified as a good book keeper. In still other ways perhaps you are mechanically inclined, exceptional with trade skills, or an incredible cook.

Do you have natural talents, or do you have skills that have been developed across time?

A good answer is perhaps, “Both.”

Developing Talent and Skills

The greatest talents often become recognized because those people work countless hours toward perfecting their craft.

You may be great with numbers, yet if you seldom exercise this capability, in a crowd you may be mediocre at best.

Perhaps you are a fast runner, or can run long distances. If you seldom run, you’ll likely be beat by someone with less natural ability.

Are you or your employee teams inspired to do more?

Inspired Employees

The key for everyone as an individual is to practice honing your craft. You must go all in, be dedicated and committed, and live up to what you are capable of delivering.

Abraham Maslow introduced us to the concept of self-actualization.

Are you all in, one-hundred percent?

When you go all in, and have the drive and determination to go all out, you may find yourself at the pinnacle of talent and skill.

Halfhearted won’t get you very far.

Especially if there is a crowd.

-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 heroes

Workplace Heroes Can Leap Tall Objects

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People spend enormous amounts of time waiting. Waiting for a change in the weather, waiting for their accumulated vacation, and often, waiting for workplace heroes to take charge.

Instead of waiting you always have an option. The option is for action.

Nearly every axis, of every chart, has a relevant coordinate or scale for time. Time is the universal metric.

How many donuts can be made per hour?

How many customers served this month?

What does sales revenue look like this quarter?

And so, some choose to wait. They wait to see. They wait to see if the superhero will appear.

Waiting for Superheroes

It is often because people are conditioned to wait.

They wait for an answer from the boss, wait until the next meeting to bring up the problem, or wait for the customer to appear.

The truth is that it may be your responsibility for taking action, not waiting.

What happens next in your workplace is driven by culture.

Your organizational culture is created by many gestures, acts, and behaviors. Add them all up, across time, and you’ll have the vibe and pulse of the organization.

Who are the superheroes?

Workplace Heroes

Perhaps it is your next action that will create something magical. It will make the difference to leap over the obstacle or start a movement that inspires someone else to do so.

Superman may have changed his clothes in a phone booth before activating his super powers.

You don’t have to.

You just have to stop waiting.

-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 confidence

Workplace Confidence and the Reality Shared

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After some time, you get confidently comfortable with your job and skills. Is workplace confidence distracting you from doing your best work?

There is often a discussion about over-confident in comparison with being under-confident.

Confidence is Good, Right?

People often size up a lack of confidence and believe that more confidence should be gained. A good idea.

On the other end of the continuum people are working with limited stress or worry about their performance. The belief is, “I know everything I need to know.” They start each day by just gently flowing into their work.

If asked, they’ll suggest that they are doing their best. Giving what they can give and that they are devoted and loyal employees.

What if the impression of doing your best isn’t really your best?

What if you are holding back a little? Perhaps you are saving some energy for your run at lunch time. Maybe you have a painting project at home and you’re distracting about finishing it before the in-laws visit next week.

It goes deeper sometimes.

What if you consider that if you really gave it your all today, and succeeded, that you’ll have to put out that kind of work every day. Better hold back a little.

Workplace Confidence

One thing that everyone in the workplace shares is the reality that on many days they are operating at something less than one-hundred percent.

Initially, you’ll challenge that notion. Upon deeper inspection you may agree that it is true.

It is rooted in our level of confidence and comfort. Total confidence may mean that there is more left in the tank. More room for learning, growing, or helping someone else succeed.

As humans our nature is to leave a little in the tank.

We’re saving it for when it really matters.

Maybe today is one of those days.

-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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another candidate

Sorry, We Selected Another Candidate.

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Many people have heard these words, “Sorry, we selected another candidate.” The truth is, more people hear these words when compared with, “You’re hired!”

Jobs advertisements are everywhere. Hundreds and thousands of people applying. Often there is only one position, maybe two, to be filled.

Therefore, it is safe to say that most people won’t get the job. It is also true for the promotion.

Selected Another Candidate

Those applying often think about what it will feel like, how their family and friends will respond, and that satisfactory feeling of being chosen. There are opportunities that might change your life, your standard of living, or your ability to provide something more for your family.

All of it is often washed away in the moment you get the news.

Being the successful candidate means you’ve won. For the unsuccessful it is a loss.

That is exactly why it is so important to consider how you will navigate your loss. Will you blame someone else? Will you retreat back in to your shell and never take the chance again?

You certainly don’t want to create a self-fulfilled prophecy to lose, yet the statistics are almost never in your favor.

Navigating with Grace

Preparing to lose gracefully will create more opportunity. Being unprepared and losing without grace does not.

Remember all the basics. Reflect on what you’ve learned, what you can improve upon, and focus on how you might make some future changes.

Most of all, remember that persistence is enemy of complacency. Slowing down or doing nothing won’t help. You can’t coast because you’ll never coast uphill, only down.

Enter to win. If you don’t, be sure to lose with grace, dignity, and style.

Your next opportunity is waiting.

-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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false start

False Start and the Lessons You Learned

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Have you ever experienced a false start? No, I’m not talking about football although that could apply. Have you ever started to jump forward only to jump back?

In your workplace there are often questions about motivation. Does motivation come from within or can you inspire motivation in others?

A closely connected cousin is, initiative. Are you willing to take initiative or are you more withdrawn?

Often there is an expectation for jump. Yet, the rules aren’t clear.

Perhaps there is a time from your past when you took the leap only to be later be criticized for the outcome.

Anticipation of criticism causes people to hesitate, step back, and withdraw. A leap may feel within reach yet as quickly as you spring forward, you hesitate and jump back. That’s a false start.

False Start

Have you ever let past experiences or teachings from a younger age hold you back or create a false start?

We’re often taught about patience. We’re told not to jump in line, let others go first. Hold doors, make room, stand back, and that, “life is not only about you.” Valuable lessons on courtesy, etiquette, and patience. Yet, sometimes patience results in lost opportunity.

Are you missing opportunities because you aren’t taking initiative?

Do you believe that you can and should take more initiative? If so, what is holding you back?

Could it be a childhood lesson?

Past Lessons and Learning

Perhaps it was show and tell, and people laughed when it wasn’t intended to be funny. Now, you fear the presentation.

Maybe you weren’t picked for the team, so you’ve decided you won’t raise your hand in an offer to join. It is too risky to expose yourself to that vulnerability.

Maybe you started eating dinner before a prayer was said, or ate all of the potato chips when you got home from school. You were instructed not to do it again.

We’re often taught to hold back, get back, or stand back. Probably meaningful lessons at the time.

As adults, we sometimes have to shake off some of the things that we’ve learned.

-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 Energy, What Are You Bringing?

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We have choices about everything. What are you bringing to work today? Are you bringing workplace energy or merely just trying to lay low and get through the day?

Many organization leaders blame the individuals. They believe motivation is intrinsic, you either have it, or you don’t. When it comes to workplace energy, they just leave it up to the employees to decide.

Energy of Culture

It may be true that at some level our motivation is intrinsic and it may also be true that each individual has responsibility for what they’ll bring. Does organization leadership have a bigger role?

Chances are good that leadership does play a role. Leaders drive culture. Culture has a direct impact on the performance, attitudes, and even the environment that employees walk into each day.

What do you do?

Workplace Energy

Are you bringing more to your workplace? Are you striving hard, working smart, and staying engaged?

Do you seek to create a bigger impact, be responsible and accountable, and help to stimulate a positive climate?

Some people will try to lay low. Stay out of other more assertive workers way, and watch the clock.

Others will insist that their performance and contribution is industrialized and systematic.

They have set the expectation, lubed the wheels and gears, and have made sure things are efficient. As a result, they can merely arrive and monitor. Anything outside of the established parameters and they’ll take action. Otherwise, it is just roll along and collect the paycheck.

It is a decision you make.

Workplace energy is contagious. Low energy and low output is as contagious as the opposite.

High energy contribution takes more guts. Be the role model you know you should 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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workplace race

Can You Imagine The Workplace Race

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People often mention the daily grind. Are you prepared for the daily grind? Are you enthused for your workplace race?

It seems that there are two types of job deliveries. You can deliver by being present, nothing more, just showing up. The other option is to really arrive, ready, motivated, and about to slay the day.

Which one represents you?

Race Pace

In some workplace cultures the enthusiastic employee has to cut back, slow down, and take a breath. This is unfortunate because the department, team, or organization is missing out on the best work.

Navigating organizational politics can be draining. Do too much and you’re slapped back into submission. Do too little and there isn’t any real engagement, excitement, or reason to be motivated.

One of the worst parts about this scenario is that across time, the most motivated will leave for a better opportunity. The slower movers stay. They only want the paycheck, and they don’t mind hanging out while waiting.

Workplace Race

How you work is a personal choice you make. It is often conditioned by both the environment and culture. Leadership matters.

When you are having trouble navigating the culture remember the reason that you are there. Are you there to collect a paycheck? Perhaps, for now. Are you there as a career stepping stone? Perhaps for now.

Are you there to make a difference and work towards building something better? Sometimes you have to pace yourself.

Two completely different people can approach eight hours in two completely different ways. They may also do it differently depending on the culture.

Keep your eye on the prize. Remember the workplace race is sometimes a sprint and sometimes a marathon.

-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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personally

Remove the Emotion, Stop Taking it Personally

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Are people in your work group, department, or organization taking it personally? Does the theme, “Remove the emotion,” echo in meeting chambers?

Here is the rub.

The last time I checked, emotion was connected to things like passion, enthusiasm, and even motivation. Workplace energy is connected to emotion. Like it, or not, it is.

Emotions Removed?

Every time an employee is shunned by the statement, “Remove the emotion!” they are one step closer to a disconnect and disengagement.

The next time they feel excited, happy, or energized, a voice inside suggests, “Remove the emotion.”

Certainly, there are sometimes leadership decisions and choices that require a temporary disconnect from the emotion. Making it the lyrics of your corporate theme song is probably not a good idea.

Personally

Taking it personally is another trouble spot. People want to be taken seriously and seriousness is often felt to be personal.

People sometimes joke, perhaps with distaste, “It is personal, like a heart attack.” Yet, when expressions of self-reflection are offered, it seems to become too personal.

Seriousness is a fact of business. It may be part of your emotional intelligence quotient. Most would suggest, seriousness is required.

Can you be professional and take things personally? Are these mutually exclusive?

One thing is certain, emotion is often what drives us. Emotion sharpens the presentation of the professional. All of our happiness, fear, and disappointment has a way of moving us.

Personally, I would be cautious about losing the emotional drive of your workforce.

Seriously.

-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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working today

Are You Working Today?

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Life is about choices. Often so is the work that we do. If you are working today, what is your motivation?

In the United States sports are big business. One sport or another many people show up to cheer on a team or curse an opponent.

We see it in many places, American Football, Soccer, Baseball, and even various forms of Motorsports.

Have you stopped to think about, “What is the goal?”

Often it is the collective enthusiasm of beating the opponent, the competition, or winning the championship.

What is the talk in the locker room? Do you think anyone in professional sports is talking about how they will lose?

Are they talking about the controversy among the team? The mistake from two weeks ago? How a couple of seasons ago there was a bad decision?

Unlikely, unless they have a twist on those aspects to increase motivation.

Working Today?

Your job and the work that you contribute to may be similar to professional sports. Are you arriving with a plan to win?

Today I’m going to close the sale.

Let’s be sure to ship 150 packages today.

Let’s build today without any mistakes or errors. Total quality.

One aspect that is always true about sports and our work, winning today (short run) is important but winning the championship (long run) is a collection of on-going wins.

Employees cannot sacrifice integrity just to win the game.

Maintain Integrity

Closing the sale in the system in the final hours of the day with the hope that the customer will buy tomorrow doesn’t work.

Throwing a few extra packages on the truck that will ultimately be refused at the customer site isn’t winning.

Fudging a little on quality to say, “We finished it, ship it.” will come back to harm your future reputation.

Are you working today?

Go do work that matters, work you are proud of, and work that will win the championship.

-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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compelling workplace opportunities

Creating Compelling Workplace Opportunities

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Are the employee teams at your workplace motivated? Would you describe their behavior as energized, engaged, and passionate? What are you doing to create compelling workplace opportunities?

One common truth is, not everyone is motivated in the same manner. Their interests, values, and beliefs may spark engagement, or may have them heading for the door.

What are the attraction points in your workplace? What gets people engaged and moving?

It won’t take long for the idea of money to arouse attention. Certainly, inspirational stories sometimes have value. What will really stick?

Compelling Workplace Opportunities

Here are a few simple things to think about:

Appreciation. It is really this simple, people don’t like to be criticized. Observe what they are working hard at, when they are trying their best, and show more appreciation.

Accomplishment. Sometimes people are inspired by finishing the job. Have you ever said, “That’s a good job done.” Many people take pride in finishing, it is an accomplishment.

Problem Solving. Although connected to a pro and a con, problem solving is a great skill to possess. Be cautious of being overly critical as you point out problems (con), yet at the same time effectively utilize the people who love to solve them (pro).

Change. Some people are motivated for change, others shutter at the whisper of the word. The truth is that some people really don’t like risk, while others thrive on it. Find balance in the energy of risk. Help teams actualize the vision.

Competition. Comparisons can sometimes feel depressing, yet competition will often spark motivation. Manage observations of competition by starting with competing against your own past performance, then work up to surpassing the competition.

Be More Compelling

Compelling is always better than force or fear. Yes, you can force people into action by causing fear, however, force and fear won’t help you with the long-run game.

Yes, accountability matters and it is sometimes the missing link. Keep in mind though, pull is better than push.

Are you in this for the short-run or the long-run?

-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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