Tag Archives: outcomes

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workplace stall

Workplace Stall Is Often Where It Begins

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What does it take to keep moving? Does forward motion carry too much risk or is it really just a workplace stall?

There are always risks associated with action. There are also risks associated with inaction. Which one creates change?

The easy answer is, both.

A better question is, which one costs more?

Delay or Stall?

Waiting on the proper weather pattern before launching the SpaceX rocket isn’t really a stall. It is a necessary action in order to create success.

The same is true for a cake baking in the oven, a watermelon growing in the field, or the traffic light that is glowing red. Likely, none of these represent a stall.

Stalling is more of a form of procrastination.

Maybe it would be better to wait until tomorrow.

Next week I start my diet.

There is still a lot of time to finish the project.

Are you guilty of the workplace stall?

Workplace Stall

Workplace stalling is more than a waste of precious time. It often allows other inferior work to continue to occur in the meantime. In many cases, the opportunity window may close.

Managers often stall when faced with employees needing performance improvement guidance. They stall because of the fear of conflict or because they are unsure of future outcomes.

Advertising teams often stall because they claim that they want to get the creative right. Someone needs to write copy, direct the photo shoot, or double check with the client.

People stall with continuing education, they stall with committing to a new car purchase, or they just can’t seem to find the time to schedule the dentist appointment.

Sometimes the invented roadblocks that create the stall are really about to cause something to begin.

It may be the beginning of the end.

There is a cost of both action and inaction.

Stalling often costs more.

-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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focus matters

Focus Matters and Changes the Outcomes

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What are you focused on today? Do you believe that focus matters? Will it change the outcomes?

When your work is very scattered it is hard to know where things start, stop, and how to measure progress. Time and effort are always wasted in the act of engagement, disengagement, and reengagement.

Focus Matters

When there is a problem or a crisis on the job, it becomes an all hands-on deck situation. Everyone jumps in to fight the metaphorical fire. They’re focused and it makes a difference.

Focus is often connected with a timeline. It is notable in many of life’s events. On graduation day, everyone is focused on the ceremony, the totality of the grind that brought graduates to the moment. It is also true for major surgery, a wedding, and an election.

When all the stakeholders are rounded up and focused, everything else stops until the event is over.

The long-term outcomes may be more significant. What will the graduate do now? Will the heart surgery prolong life and what will that look like? Weddings are in the spirit of a lifetime and election results last for years.

Resulting Outcomes

The focus is often short-lived when compared with the outcomes. The culmination of the process leading up to the event and what follows are the outcomes of a lasting endeavor.

Never taking the moments necessary to focus, without interruption, in order to create what happens next is often the problem of a failed action.

The real-life firefighter doesn’t put down the hose to browse his or her cell phone, have a snack, or chit-chat about neighborhood drama.

Perhaps what everyone needs is a little more focus and a little less procrastination or interruptions.

Focus is efficient and effective. It matters.

-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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participation costs

Participation Costs and What You Pay

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Have you analyzed participation costs? What does it cost you to participate and what if you don’t?

There are many things in life where the price listed on the tag feels like it makes it all very clear, but does it?

If you have a headache and you buy an over-the-counter pain relief medicine from the local pharmacy it has a price tag. Yet, that is not the true cost.

What about the cost of not buying it? Do you simply save the money or is there something else?

Of course, there is more. There is the pain that holds you back, keeps you down, lessens your patience and weakens your energy. What is the price of that?

On the job, you may have an option to voice an opinion in the meeting. You may get a voice about the potential new hire or whether you’ll participate in the pizza party. There is a cost if you do and a cost if you don’t.

What are the real costs of participation?

Participation Costs

Sometimes it feels hard to participate, even when there is not a monetary price to pay.

When you voice your opinion on the future direction, it costs. You are on the hook with your reputation and must face the onlooker’s opinions of your competence.

Sometimes it may feel easier to say nothing, to not get involved, or to relinquish the offer to participate.

It happens in your workplace every day. It happens when there is a political election.

Sometimes the price you pay for lack of involvement is greater than the price you pay for the hook you decide to hang your hat on.

Participation itself is often free, but not participating may present the biggest price tag of all.

-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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greater expectations

Greater Expectations Change The Distance

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Expectations always condition the results. Lofty goals can be a distraction as much as an inhibitor or motivator. Should you have greater expectations?

When people expect a lot and get less there is a feeling of being let down. It impacts the perceived value or quality of the product or service.

Should expectations be lowered?

The customer with lower expectations is easily delighted. The provider with higher expectations tends to deliver more.

When you flip those around a customer may never feel satisfied or the provider may always under deliver.

In a social climate (or workplace culture) that honors and recognizes serving others, how should you position yourself?

When you want to give your best effort or position yourself for longevity and future advancement, what should your expectations be? Should you aim high or low? Should it be for the short-run or the long-run?

Greater Expectations

It often feels rare for employees to be committed to fully serving the greater good of the organization. People talk a good story, yet actions and behaviors seem to feel individualized.

When each individual chooses a path and commits to it, they become a role model for everyone else. Those with long-term commitment or the fast-trackers are often observed by others. They are being watched for clues on the culturally accepted behaviors.

That means your individual positioning matters. Regardless of your rank, longevity, or history, what you do next becomes a part of the culture and will determine your future.

What should your goal be?

When you set expectations higher for your own personal contribution, you’ll delight more customers. The customer may be external, or it may be the boss, co-workers, or the organization.

When you want to go further, set higher expectations for yourself. It brings out more of the best in everyone.

-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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fresh starts

Fresh Starts Happen Every Morning

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Are you ready for today? Even if it is a Monday? Fresh starts are part of what keep people energized.

Going back to work, or continuing on after a long stretch without a day off has something to do with how you’ll start.

Time to get back to work.

Back to the grind.

I have to get something done today.

Those are the words of someone who isn’t ready to really make a difference. Trudging onward isn’t the same as leaping forward.

Often the difference in motivation between something that you want to do and something that you have to do is what you tell yourself about the outcome.

The decision about the outcome often happens before you get started.

Sometimes people lose sight of where the real magic is created. They get caught up in how many customers served, the revenue for today, or the number of boxes shipped.

Those things matter but they don’t always feel magical. They feel the same. Day after day.

Fresh Starts

If you want to live the dream, maybe it has something to do with what you imagine.

Day after day you have a chance to view what happens next as the opportunity, not the grind.

Opportunities aren’t always made in the same day, the same week, or even in a year or more. Opportunities and open doors are attached to what others see as creating their magic.

The new car shopper versus the tired car salesperson.

A nice fresh haircut versus the barber with two people waiting.

The person looking out the window or checking the tracking updates of their package, versus the delivery driver with thirty more stops on his or her route.

Every day is an opportunity for someone to make a difference.

Maybe it is time to decide what the grind really means.

It’s why fresh starts matter.

-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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observed success

Observed Success and Judgment Success Are Different

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A flashy men’s suit, a woman’s shoe with a red sole. A shiny high-performance sedan or a big tire SUV. Does this have anything to do with observed success?

Maybe.

Many people care a great deal about what other people think. As such, they condition nearly everything they do by what they believe other people will say, or how they’ll pass judgment on who they are.

Does it have anything to do with your ability to perform job tasks and duties? In some ways, yes, but is it all given too much weight? Too much judging and not enough focus on outcomes?

Observed Success

In the workplace, people aren’t necessarily good at a skill or knowledgeable in technology based on how they dress, where they live, or what kind of car they drive. Yet, as a society, we give a certain amount of credit or respect based on what we see.

We tend to stereotype and have bias.

The truth often is that looking the part and acting the part are somewhat different than the outcomes from the person who is actually in that job role.

Is the high school football star, the trigonometry expert, or aspiring runway model the best candidate for the job?

Many may quickly suggest that those things have little or nothing to do with workplace skill requirements. It doesn’t mean that they are good communicators, team builders, or budget managers, does it?

The things we do in life, in leisure or hobby, have a lot to do with skills that we build, yet, they may have little to do with our character, integrity, and ability to lead.

Judgment Success

It seems silly that we would allow exterior perceptions to condition job performance abilities.

Sure, all of it matters. And we cannot forget that perception is reality as observed by many in society.

Yet, you shouldn’t make the costly mistake of allowing your bias or stereotyping to have too much weight in your judgment of future outcomes.

Whether you are the business owner, the hiring manager, or the tenured employee seeking to improve your contribution, remember to apply appropriate weight to your observations.

Making a judgment is not the same as making a good decision.

-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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competitive challenge

Competitive Challenge and Processing the Outcomes

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No one wants to be a loser. Who would want that label? Are you facing a competitive challenge and are feeling a little nervous about the potential outcome?

You’re not alone.

People face challenges of various types every day. It may be a challenge to get motivated, it may be to get through traffic without road rage, or it may be an attempt to gain buy-in from the committee on your new idea.

There are other challenges too. Like, closing the sale, getting hired, or coping with a significant setback or failure.

The loser label is a significant fear. Your pride, your hard work, the embarrassment and the insults, no one wants it.

Facing the outcomes in a competitive situation can be tough.

Reality of Outcomes

You’re not always going to close the sale, you won’t always get buy-in from others, and, sometimes you won’t be the selected candidate for the job.

Most people feel like they can accept one or two losses. Even in professional sports, perfect records are very rare.

It is often the stacking that gets people down.

Like a stacked pile of books sitting on the floor, as the stack gets taller, the weight and pressure get progressively worse. Some books may suffer from damage or get crushed.

The stacking of problems, feelings of rejection, and the sometimes self-imposed labels hurt.

There are lots of ways to get out from under the stack.

One way is to quit. Which brings up another label, quitter.

For many things in life, there is a time to move on. Forget any labels. There is a time. However, that doesn’t mean it is this time.

Competitive Challenge

Better candidates do appear, the committee doesn’t always like the proposal, and losing the sale to the competition does suck.

The best thing is to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and analyze your efforts and results.

Was there personal improvement? Did you really put in the right kind of effort to be successful? Did you self-defeat, lack appropriate confidence, or illustrate a beaten down persona?

What about the homework? Did you do it? Including the research, proof reading your work, and asking the right questions?

Even if you feel like you did everything right, the outcome still may not be what you wanted.

It might be about timing, or maybe they just don’t know you.

Maybe they don’t realize how persistent you are, how hard you’ll work, or the tremendous pressure you will endure.

It’s never over until you say.

Sometimes the most competitive challenge is with yourself. Keep building, keep growing, and stay persistent.

I don’t think it’s over.

-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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professional contributions

Professional Contributions Will Change Outcomes

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There is always a choice at the meeting. Will you deliver professional contributions or just what feels required to get by?

The first time with a seat at the table and you may choose to just observe. Once acquainted with the audience you may proceed with caution but you’re optimistic. It is placing a toe in the water.

What is your long-term contribution?

Meeting Performance

People don’t know what they don’t know.

We’ve all heard, “Ignorance is bliss.”

There may be some truth to that idea. When you don’t know the background, the skeletons, or what has been sent to the graveyard and by whom, you’ll just openly contribute. You don’t know the history.

Your intentions are often good, yet, sometimes you learn that the outcomes are not so good. You regroup, hold things tighter to the vest, and become more calculated.

In other cases, you learn what people want you to say.

In the meeting, you respond to the affirmative. You agree, you do not tactfully challenge or question.

Decisions are made. It seems everyone agrees.

After the meeting, in a more private conversation, you truthfully admit the decision seems like a bad idea.

Why did you agree?

Professional Contributions

You have at least three choices.

The first choice is to arrive unfiltered. Arrive with innocence and express your best thoughts. Enter with the excitement and enthusiasm of involvement without the history.

It is the spirit of the novice. Sometimes, it is refreshing.

Your second choice is to arrive as a professional, making professional contributions.

You’ve studied the data, you know the history, and you’ll be brave enough and vulnerable enough to take greater risk. The risk isn’t personal, it’s professional.

Risk means you’ll push for what is right, do the right thing, serve the client, ask the customer, and deliver what is promised.

Unfortunately, sometimes the third option is the easiest. Just agree and move on. Meeting over.

Doing what is right is worth more than doing what is easy.

-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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good decisions

Good Decisions Come From Good Character

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Is it easy to make good decisions? Considering a lifetime of decisions and choices, does your character define you?

A good friend of mine asks the question, “How does someone get discovered?”

He is referring to things like musicians, authors, and even great business leaders. Evidence suggests that there are many talented people who go through life undiscovered.

Why?

Has the playing field been leveled? Are there too many in the category of average?

What will set you apart?

Wealth of Information

We live in a World saturated with information. There is so much information, so many media options, and so many opportunities worthy of consideration that nearly everyone has an opportunity to contribute or learn something.

In professional settings there are countless sources for business information. There are thousands of schools and universities, and even more books, seminars, and other learning opportunities.

It would seem that both knowledge and opportunity are everywhere.

What makes a difference for people in their career? If information and knowledge are abundantly available, what sets some apart?

Good Decisions

Setting aside the concept of luck or being at the right place at the right time your best moves probably develop from your character.

When you consider that all of the people who seek knowledge have similar resources for knowledge gain or accessibility to information, then it really comes down to decisions.

The missing skill becomes your sense of good judgment.

Every decision made today will have consequences. Some of those may be labeled as good while others may be labeled as bad.

Everything that you do and become is a part of the decisions you’ve made. Across your own lifetime, it is part of your character.

Perhaps the most scarce resource of all, is the character required to make good judgments that lead to good decisions.

Decisions made are part of who you are. How you change what happens next is part of who you’ll become.

-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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desperate hustle

Desperate Hustle And The Path It Leaves Behind

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Are you good at hustling? Are you assertive and spring into action conquering sales and navigating corporate environments in a single bound? The desperate hustle may leave behind some unfavorable consequences.

Businesses like people who can make things happen. It is a good trait. Sales and marketing professionals often thrive on the hustle. A good hustle, not a crafty snake oil bait and switch. Just a good hustle.

The hustle often has positive effects. Bringing in revenue, building the brand, and weakening the position of the competition.

Desperate Hustle

Then there is the desperate hustle. This often develops after a period of sleeping, complacency, or internal change where the biggest hustle becomes a version of hustlers, who are hustling for a new job with a new employer.

This desperation or corporate push means that people are in fear of their job, their livelihood, and how they’ll support their family. They become desperate.

The consequences of this behavior can have very negative long-term effects. When the mindset is divide and conquer without worry or concern about what or who is in the way. Watch out.

The mindset may become, as long as I’m winning, I don’t care.

This is dangerous and a sign of faulty leadership.

Future Outcomes

Sometimes the workplace objective is met, yet the path of destruction in its wake is devastating.

Clients get burnt, vendors hosed, and interpersonal workplace relationships may be damaged beyond repair. After the revenue is counted, the future actually becomes bleak.

Being a strong hustler is good. Leaving behind a path of destruction is not.

Find the balance. You’ll do your best work there.

-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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