Tag Archives: perception

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right attitude

Right Attitude, Is It About Your Mood?

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Do you have the right attitude? How would you measure that? Is attitude a mood, or is it a personality?

Describe the right attitude.

Would you suggest that means you should be friendly, kind, and have a propensity to serve?

You might.

What actions would illustrate those observable behaviors?

When you tell someone to have a nice day, in a pleasant tone of voice and while smiling does that send the right message?

It might, unless the conditions suggest that it may be sarcasm or ridicule.

When someone suggests a person has the wrong attitude it might be an observable opinion, which is much different from observable behavior.

Your mood may be a cause for your actions. Feeling angry, you may let other people know you are angry. Feeling happy, you may want to spread it around, get others involved, and share that experience.

How do you establish the right attitude or mood?

It may be what you focus on that creates the end result.

Right Attitude

Let’s assume you want to have a great day. Do you establish a pattern of actions, behaviors, and thought that conditions your day to be great?

The daily grind of your work can slowly erode the number of good vibes and replace them with thoughts of circumstances or situations that will ruin your day.

The boss is going to come look over my shoulder and tell me I’m doing this wrong.

I’m going to have to pick up the pieces and stay late because another team member is going to be goofing off all day.

The place across the street pays more, why should I stay here and have to work so hard?

How can you change this plight? How can you ensure a more positive attitude?

The simplest way may be stop counting the bad vibes and only focus on the good vibes.

You can do that by creating a win list. Write down the good stuff, regardless of how small. The act of writing it down will help replace any bad thoughts with more focus on the good. Better yet, put it on a whiteboard so the entire team can establish a similar focus.

Consistently being in a bad mood will create the perception of a bad attitude.

You can’t afford either.

-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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easy momentum

Easy Momentum, Is It Affecting You?

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Have you been anticipating easy momentum? It’s the concept that as time goes on, things get easier. Does this happen?

If you start a new exercise program, it may seem difficult at first. The expectation is that it will get a little easier if you stick with it regularly, across time.

Start a new job, it may be similar.

Put on a new pair of shoes, they may need to break-in.

Often our expectation of momentum is that once things get rolling, it will all get easier.

Is this a good perception or just a foolish lofty expectation?

Easy Momentum

If you were born in the U.S. in the early 1900s and lived at least 80 years or so, things probably got better. You survived the Spanish Influenza, the Great Depression, and witnessed technology improving lives. At least, this is the perception of onlookers.

Is the perception real?

The perception of history may be different from the mindset of those actually involved. The hardship may linger, the fear and expectations of change may not seem attractive, and the reflection in books or other media may be misleading.

Many people grow up with an expectation for improvement.

Things will get easier. Life will get easier.

Momentum is often considered a good thing, even inspirational. Once something starts, it is difficult to stop.

In sports, if you win one game, and then the next, you may start some momentum. Does that make the third win easier or more challenging? It may depend on your perspective.

In life, or in your career, as days, weeks, and months lead to years and decades does it get any easier?

Some might say, “yes,” while others argue, “no.”

Your perception of what is happening around you will have a lot to do with your expectations.

Onlookers often have belief different from those who are participating.

Momentum is often a game changer but it doesn’t necessarily mean it gets easier.

-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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happy boss

Happy Boss, Happy Life? Maybe or Maybe Not

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Do you have a happy boss? Does that make your life a little easier?

First, the boss can also be a metaphor for the customer. It could also be applicable to members of the board of directors or other stakeholders.

Are you making them happy?

Often, everyone is working hard to satisfy the boss. In simple terms, that is what you do, yet is everyone happy?

It is unlikely that in every circumstance or every situation especially when you consider the huge potential for varying degrees of satisfaction, that everyone will be happy.

Does that make it all, OK?

Probably for most circumstances we would say no.

Happy Boss

Working to please the unpleased, or the uneasy to please is a battle you take on nearly every day.

It is a metric of sorts. Outside of varying degrees of subjectivity, it is a binary situation. Satisfied or not satisfied. Happy or not happy.

What usually happens next is that it is used as a guide. Create more happiness by achieving improved results.

Your attitude may have much to do with the long-term outcomes. So will the ease or the lack thereof, in satisfying the boss.

When you are working towards creating happiness, you’ll likely find more of it. There is simply less room for the unhappy. Even for the chronically unhappy.

It is a circumstance that, when created, becomes easier to find the energy reserves to achieve. You may also discover that a happy boss always makes your life easier.

You get to choose the approach.

It even works in your personal life.

-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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improving attitude

Improving Attitude, Is It Possible Or Unlikely?

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Do you believe that improving attitude is possible? What is a bad attitude and how does it develop?

Perhaps arguable, but the perception of someone having a bad attitude is just that, a perception. It is probably a perception within the bounds of consideration for what a normal or good attitude should look like.

Attitude may be connected to values and beliefs. It might have something to do with your interpersonal network, your family, your inputs, and what is happening in the environment around you.

Emotional tensions are often like seasons. They come and go. It is the inputs and narrative that surrounds each individual that will influence behavior. Often it is a perception of right versus wrong.

For example, in a team meeting if there are differing opinions and the opinions are brought to a debate, one side wins, the other loses. That can be enough to shape an attitude.

We see it everywhere. At work, at home, with adults, and with children. It happens in government and politics and it happens anywhere there are groups of people.

Improving Attitude

There are two tricks to help shape a better attitude.

The first is, setting the expectations for how work teams will navigate disappointment. If you don’t get your way, will you compromise to give a different direction a try? Or is the perception that you fight back, you fight back with workplace politics, bullying, or bad behavior?

The second is that you have to set the expectation for attitudes and behaviors. This is best accomplished by a strong focus on the organizational purpose and by connecting each and every job task and duty to the organizational mission.

When leadership has a strong focus of commitment to the mission and purpose and emulates that throughout all levels of the organization there is much less room for a bad attitude.

Improving attitude is a skill. It’s a skill because everyone has a choice for how they will navigate. Perhaps, not everyone has the discipline, but that is self-fulfilling if there is only enough time and energy to focus on the mission.

Attitude can be improved.

-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 silence

Workplace Silence, Does It Change Anything?

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Have you ever thought about workplace silence? Have you considered the impact of silence in your communication, in your meetings, or as a cultural value?

What about words or noise, have you considered their impact?

I’m not talking about the noise coming from the production floor, the keyboard clicks, or the intercom page. It’s not the chatter at the coffee pot, the ringing phone, or the heels clacking on the hard floor.

Words or Silence?

Silence is part of our communication. Silence can command attention, it can be the pause before the punch line, it can also signal disapproval or frustration.

Words matter. Words can hurt, tarnish, and permanently disable workflow. So can the power of silence.

Noise can be a radio, it can also be in our head. Noise in our head distracts us, taking us away from the work at hand. So can silence.

Is there power in words? Yes.

Is there power in silence? Yes.

Can you use silence as a communication tool?

Workplace Silence

Silence to express disapproval may seem like a safe bet, but saying nothing may be considered acceptance too. When the vote around the room is cast, silence is typically counted as affirmative, not dissent.

Speaking to a crowd, a long pause draws attention, a great time to drive home the point. It changes the dynamic, the tone, and the atmosphere.

Silence can exist with a smile, or with a frown. It can signal emotions or create fear. We’ve been told, “No news, is good news.” In practice, no news is often viewed as bad news.

We spend a lot of time worrying about our words. The impact, the cost, and the change they’ll create.

Is there impact, cost, and change associated with silence?

Does silence really change anything?

Silence changes 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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response time

Response Time Expectations and How to Manage Them

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Perception is reality. At least that is what we are often told. It is true, what people expect or perceive is what they measure against. Internally and externally, response time expectations condition satisfaction. Are you managing them or are they managing you?

Perceptions of Response

What are your expectations for response time? It is often a critical measurement. People evaluate and judge your acceptance or not by response time.

When will the wait staff realize I need a refill of my iced tea?

How many rings until someone answers the telephone?

How long do I wait while on hold?

When I send an email how long until I get a response?

How quickly can emergency responders get to my area?

This webpage takes forever to load.

Where is my pizza?

How long until the medicine starts to work?

When will the eBay seller ship?

What time will dinner be ready?

There is an important question to ask about all of these scenarios, “What are your expectations?”

Response Time

We can go through a McDonald’s drive through lane quickly, especially once our order has been placed. The pizza delivery guy is only minutes away after the pizza leaves the oven. The on-line merchandise order is typically less than two days away, and shipping is advertised as free.

Patience may be important for the recipient but it is still based entirely on expectations. Those expectations often develop from past experiences. Fortunately, or unfortunately, those past experiences are working for or against your perceived level of service.

Today expectations are shorter, faster, or quicker than ever before. We can get a loan for very little cost, very fast. Our pizza can be hot and ready, just stop in the store. Our burger is fewer than ninety seconds away, and researching to find answers to our questions are at our fingertips in under a minute.

Managing Expectations

How does the service provider manage expectations? Typically, information will help manage expectations. It may be the notification on the technical support line of the number we represent in the queue. The same is true for the help chat.

The pizza shop will often tell us the wait time when placing an order by phone and we expect the medicine to work in just minutes.

It still remains a two-way street. Push the employee, vendor, or service provider too hard, and you’ll likely find errors or rework is necessary. While you often measure with response time, perhaps patience is another metric to consider. It is the push and pull of quality and problem resolution.

Expected Wait Time

People wait for hours in line to get the new iPhone. They tailgate at the big game for more than triple the time the game is actually played.

Not so long ago a mail order businesses (today’s dot com) once shipped in 30 days, or a call from a friend or relative only happened when they had access to a landline telephone.

When we expect an immediate response we may have to remind ourselves about our expectations. We may have to consider our patience, which often allows for better quality. A fix it once correctly is better than a fix it wrong or part of the way for two or three tries.

Information is Key

Keep communicating. Respond to email, text messages, or telephone calls. Provide updates, status reports, and historical data.

Expectations are guided by perception, perception becomes reality, it is all based on past experiences and information. When in doubt, practice patience, it matters.

Do you want to be a step ahead of the competition? Find ways to do your best work faster, it is what everyone expects.

– 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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improve customer service appreciative strategies

Looking For Ways To Improve Customer Service

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Many people will tell you that they are looking for ways to improve. Personally and professionally, people seeking to improve spend billions of dollars annually. Are you looking for ways to improve customer service or set you or your organization apart from the rest?

Funny things sometime happen when we believe we are looking. Notice that I use the word “believe.” There is a big difference between looking for something specific and just looking.

Daniel Simons has provided a lot of interesting research in the area of selective attention. I’ve been fortunate to work with leaders at many different levels on the dangers associated with self-perception and deception and to have published training material with Elaine Biech (Editor) and Pfeiffer (Wiley) in this book.

Discovering Obvious

There is a difference in looking for and seeing what we are looking for, and looking for and discovering something new, or in other cases, discovering nothing.

Can you name every picture or item hanging on your walls? Have you ever said the idiom, “If it was a snake it would have bit me.” Sometimes what we are looking for is in plain sight, but we fail to see it.

Why do people shout, “Touch Down,” or “Home Run,” when everyone watching the game is seeing the same thing? Sure, excitement is a factor, but we’re also calling attention to the obvious.

I can’t tell you exactly what is hanging on my walls in every room of my house. I also occasionally struggle to find something that I know I put in a special place.

Improve Customer Service

When you are looking for ways to improve your personal levels of customer service, or improve it for your team or business, it may be best to actually look, but look differently.

Do you want to make the moment memorable? Sometimes you don’t need to look beyond the obvious, you need to see the obvious.

– 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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Leadership and the Danger of False Perceptions

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One of the most difficult aspects of working with others might be when their perception of a situation is completely different from the popular opinion of reality. In leadership roles, this can be career stalling and occasionally career ending.

Visionary employee thinking of development

Having a formal leadership role in an organization can be a very tough spot. Of course, many people desire and work very hard to achieve the level of excellence required to not only obtain the formal role, but also to demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities.

Few people would argue that confidence is a necessary leadership competency but in some cases confidence can go too far. Has your confidence ever limited your ability to lead? How do you know?

False Perceptions

Leaders can and often do develop blind spots, sometimes to the extent that they fail to see anything but what they believe. After all, their experience is vast and they are certain of their choices, decision making skills, and even the self-assessment of their performance.

This is where the trouble begins, but often not where it ends. Leaders who are so locked in and determined (confident) of a situation or circumstance that they fail to see options or consider alternative directions sometimes make the worst decisions. Let’s face it sometimes our decisions or recommendations just don’t align with the popular opinion and that can make us either a hero, or as some might suggest a zero. 

The biggest problem with all of this is when you believe that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Or worse, you ask some of your friends or direct reports and they tell you what you want to hear, but not what the truth is.

Warning Signs

Every situation is different. Different types of businesses, different people or issues, and different places in time can all affect the most probable outcomes of any situation, but how do you know if you have some false perception issues?

Consider some of these warning signs:

  1. You feel overlooked when new challenges or opportunities are presented and you are not selected for the role or consulted in the matter.
  2. You’ve received feedback that during high stress situations you are unapproachable.
  3. When discussing strategic direction you often feel two steps ahead and are very frustrated with others slowing the progress.
  4. Team members don’t share information when they should. You often only learn of an issue when it is near disaster.
  5. You select employees for tough assignments based on those who are perceived as easy to get along with or those who will go with the flow.

Before you quickly suggest that none of this fits you, I urge you to think through this carefully. These warning signs are often discovered near the root of blind-spot problems and it only takes one to qualify.

Solutions

Leaders often face challenges of false perceptions and self-deception. Through my business practice I have frequently discovered these issues and sometimes I’m called upon to help coach leaders to overcome these challenges. The toughest part is typically getting the person or persons involved to actually believe there is an issue.

Considering this, taking the first step towards a solution exists when those involved are willing to face the problems.

In 2010, I was fortunate that some of my work in this area was published in the book, The 2010 Pfeiffer Annual : Training (pages 97-106), and is available for purchase on-line. If you are concerned about false perceptions and self-deception or if you are charged with helping someone through these experiences this resource provides a great tool to get started.

– 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 four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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What’s Inside?

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What’s inside the mysterious envelope? What’s in the box? What’s behind the shiny paper and colorful bow?

DinnerTablebyJorgeRoyan

It may not be the curiosity that gets to us, it may be the feeling of value based on the presentation. A social media profile without a picture, a book by its cover, and even a picture without a frame. We often judge based on the presentation.

People who are prepared and packaged sell more than those just loosely hanging around, even when selling isn’t their job.

It is when you get dinner with a white cotton table cloth, a bottle of wine with a cork, and jewelry in a velveteen box. The presentation conditions your judgment.

If people are going to judge you, give them a noteworthy hint.

– DEG

Photo Credit: Jorge Royan


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