Tag Archives: performance

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workplace critic

Workplace Critic And Your Safety Zone

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Have you ever felt like your next move, any move, is going to be subject to the workplace critic? Does the workplace critic help improve things or drag down the performance of the team?

Critics sometimes believe they are helping the cause. They are quick to point out the inconsistencies, the shortcomings, and the reason things are not perfect.

Their argument is often that feedback improves performance. Their delivery may need some refinement.

Improving Performance

Understanding what customers want may improve performance. Nagging on another teammate about the relevancy of his or her contribution in the staff meeting, perhaps not so much.

It seems that there are always critics eager to tell someone what they have not done or not done that made their performance less. Shouldn’t we be trying to help others make their performance more?

Do we always need a critic or is it counter intuitive to a better future?

Policy and rule breakers need to be brought into check. Chronically late for work or meetings, should be fixed. Missing most deadlines, even the most reasonable ones, probably needs fixed.

Being the meeting after the meeting critic, well, not so much.

Workplace Critic

People need feedback. People have blind spots.

Are people still people? Yes, and many of them are working hard to make a difference. Harsh critics do not help.

Some of the best people quit or give-up in the face of harsh criticism.

What is the best way to deal with the critic?

Instead of retreating to your safety zone, hone your path, take away what you can, and keep giving everything you do, your best.

-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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getting promoted

Getting Promoted Requires One Important Action

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You want the promotion, or the new job. You’ve put in the time, increased your knowledge, and have gained valuable experience. Are you interested in getting promoted? What are the roadblocks?

The biggest difference for those who want to tackle more and those who spring into action and get more is often confidence. Not arrogance, not being overconfident, or narcissistic, but having appropriate confidence.

Life Lessons

Since grade school we’ve likely been taught to wait to be picked. Wait for our turn. Allow someone else to go first. Be patient.

Many people apply what they’ve learned in childhood to their role in the workplace. Manners and being polite are a good thing. Regarding your opportunity to get promoted, you may need to be a bit more assertive.

Yes, some people will get picked. They’ll have what appears to be the right combination of knowledge, skills, and abilities to address a higher calling. They are noticed, visible, and are called to action.

For everyone else some choices remain. Build our confidence, take a risk, raise our hand, jump in the middle, ask, or just start doing it. What is stopping you?

The roadblock for many comes down to the fear of exposure. Exposure that we’ll make some mistakes, that we aren’t skilled with supervision, or that a lack of talent will become apparent and we’ll fail.

After all, since grade school we’ve never been the first pick for the team.

Getting Promoted

Getting promoted may begin with confidence. We need the confidence to get started and that happens by picking ourselves.

Most people don’t start a new job being over qualified. They start on the edge. The edge of being good enough to perform the work but still having significant room for growth.

Many believe the key to getting promoted is to prove what they’ve done in the past. Granted past performance is good indicator of future performance, but for the promotion no one knows for sure.

It is a bet. Start by betting on yourself.

-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, 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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results driven performance

Results Driven Performance and How To Get It

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Talk to a few people about change and you’ll certainly find a few people who express opposition to doing something new or different. Does this same mindset contribute to your performance? Do you have results driven performance?

It seems ironic that so many businesses want to test their product before the full release. It is true for software, fast food franchises, and anything prototype. The idea may be to ease in, get some feedback, fine tune, and release the best.

People Challenges

The challenge for us as people is that we often get stuck on doing things that are in our comfort zone. Doing the things we understand, the things that we believe work, and the things that someone recommended a long time ago.

We often don’t really stop to think about the output. We don’t put it out there for feedback, or we quickly discount feedback that is not consistent with what we like to do consistently.

For the onlookers, they have advice, they may suggest the popular phrase, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”1 We’ve all heard it and can often see the relevancy.

Yet many people continue day-in and day-out to do the same thing over and over. They go to a job for years and expect things will change. People eat wrong, exercise wrong, and approach both work life and personal life, stuck.

They exist day-by-day with the same logic, and yet don’t understand why the problems continue.

Results Driven Performance

The answer for real results exists in the ability to analyze outcomes and make strategic changes that will create different results. To be clear, different approaches, mindsets, and tactic driven strategies, always analyzing the results and adapting.

Many people believe that they are on this path, but the truth is they seldom make big changes. They may get a different job, they may move or relocate, they may read a book or ask for advice. Do they change?

Results driven performance seems to work for many new product launches. Get it out there, get feedback, assess effectiveness, change, adapt, and sell.

-DEG

Reference

  1. Albert Einstein is often credited for this, or a similar statement, yet many scholars are not so sure. The investigation of the origin of this statement continues. 

 

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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comparing performance

Comparing Performance, Is That The Best Way?

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People who shop for a new car often compare feature by feature with a competitive brand. The same is often true for buying a television, a washing machine, or the new techie gadget. Do you believe comparing performance is important for your career or is it mostly counterproductive?

Amateur or Professional

Professional business coaching is an interesting skill. So many amateur coaches want to dive right in and give the textbook representation for what to do next. The reality is that it isn’t that simple. Each person is different, at a different place, with different needs, and as such, they need different coaching.

I love it when I talk with people trying to start a practice. They’ve often invested in training, but their training seldom teaches them that one size does not fit all. If there is an attempt to teach it, the students apparently fail to learn.

It happens with the fitness coach. Pick up that kettle bell and swing it until you puke.

And the change coach. You must let go of your fears. It is fear that is holding you back.

The truth of it often is that this is the recommendation that they use for themselves or something that has worked with a different client or is found on page 35 in the textbook. It is helpful and appropriate to some, but not all.

Data Comparison

The problem may be in the comparison. Data can be a great resource, but when the data is not used appropriately, it is not good data.

Many people find themselves comparing their performance to an expectation. That expectation may be based on observable data, past performance, benchmark data, or in some cases the expectations of others.

It may be that we are at a place where finding ways to be disappointed has never been easier. Some will compare their vacations, their home, or their eye makeup on social media. Others may observe job titles, inflated salaries, and someone’s MLM selling skills.

Their data is entirely based on their network of people, and frankly, it is easy to become disappointed. What many never consider is that the very data they compare to is exaggerated. It isn’t necessarily real. Of course the data may be real, but its origins and authenticity are questionable.

Those with research skills may quickly suggest that it is not valid or reliable.

Comparing Performance

Perhaps for your own individual performance the best comparison is against your own data. What (supposedly) worked for someone else may not be best for you. Try comparing performance against where you are at right now. Establish your own baseline and create goals appropriate for you.

It is easy to find someone else who has a better car, a better job, or is in better physical shape. What is the point of that? That isn’t your data, and you don’t even know if it is real.

Sometimes the best part about their data, is that it provides motivation. Motivation is good, just be sure to compare your performance to your own realistic goal.

– 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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apologies improve performance

Do Apologies Improve Performance?

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Apologies are important but they shouldn’t be a crutch. Do you have to apologize often? Do you believe apologies improve performance, or the perception of performance?

Excuses and Dropped Balls

In business or our workplace relationships, we often hear excuses for poor performance or dropped balls.

I forgot about that, I’ll do it right away. 

Sorry I missed you on the email distribution I must have been very busy when I sent it.

If I don’t call you back please reach out again. I’m really terrible about getting back to people.

Certainly, everyone has a slip up here or there, unfortunately sometimes this procrastination and faulty service becomes a habit, a very bad habit.

Relationships Matter

In workplace relationships, internally with the team, or externally with customers and vendors we have an obligation to support others. Sometimes this obligation is contractual and sometimes it should just be a common courtesy.

Relationships matter appreciative strategies

Good habits are hard to form and bad habits are hard to break. When you chronically come up short and provide an excuse that seems to let you off the hook what will you do the next time?

The best indicator of future performance is often past performance. It is true in business agreements, professional relationships, and even with personal matters.

Do Apologies Improve Performance?

Not a chance, always consider that your future success will depend on your business relationships. Just because you’re friendly or have known someone for a long time doesn’t mean you have an excuse for poor performance in business matters.

When you’re really sorry and you care about your professional image you’ll accept that you came up short, apologize, and change your behavior for the future.

Apologies won’t improve your performance, but a commitment to shift to better habits will.

– 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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customer expectations

Customer Expectations and Top Performers

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Being deeply connected with the customer experience is much more than identifying that you’ll take care of the customer. Often forgotten or easily misunderstood is that customer expectations are set by everyone they interact with, not just you or your organization.

Customer Expectations

When you are accustomed to being asked, “Did you save room for dessert?” You might not order if you aren’t asked.

When your packages arrive in two days or less, anything longer might be too long.

Experiences set customer expectations. It is not a slogan, tag line, or your mission statement.

The same is true internally in organizations. The boss or the department that you serve will base every interaction on the best experiences they have had. If they have had excellence before you, the bar might be set high.

Opportunities to Perform

Some might suggest that customers are trainable. The quality, speed, and value that they receive repeatedly will likely become their expectation. They learn what to expect, when, and how.

The organization that follows through, is appropriately fast, and provides the greatest value might also be the one that customers use to compare with everyone else.

Your performance in your job role might also be held to a similar comparison against other top performers.

What this really means is that every interaction, every touch point, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity that will be measured against what they expect. Any person or organization who sets the bar higher might become the one to beat.

Best Performance

Your customer service is not is good as what you say it is. It is only as good as what the customer expects.

In a world of fast paced, technology driven performance the best scenario might be having to meet or exceed your previous best performance.

Otherwise, you’ll have to live with the expectation set by someone else.

– 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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job loyalty appreciative strategies

Job Loyalty, Replacement, and Scaling

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Are you loyal? Most people want job loyalty and claim that they deliver but often fear it is not reciprocal. Is everyone at the risk of replacement?

You’ve probably heard it before, “Everyone is replaceable.” Sure, in the right context that is probably true.

Occasionally, I will hear stories of people being replaced by technology or very popular during the past four or five years was the movement of early retirement incentives.

In some regard, these things are rooted in truth. It might be about a numbers game. Improving the bottom line, decreasing expense, and having less business risk, they all seem to make sense.

You have to wonder though, are businesses making the switch for cheaper or for better?

Most businesses intend their decisions to result in making the business better. Some might quickly suggest that businesses will do both, go for cheaper and better.

Replacement or Scaling

The truth might be that the combination of cheaper and better is hard to find, unless the scaling is off. When the scaling is off, businesses will commonly right size.

If you are concerned about your employer being loyal to you, you might need to consider your cost of performance. Is your cost as compared to benefit a good business decision?

You might replace your television with one that is bigger, better, and with more features. Your car might be replaced with one that is better, rust free, and more mechanically sound. A cell phone, the same thing, better with more performance. All of these, unless the scaling is off seem to make sense.

The cost of ownership might change, you might pay less than you did when the technology was first introduced, but truly, you are making a purchase that has more bang for your buck.

Job Loyalty

It is common to see employees pursue continuing education that is not specifically relevant for their job. In addition, it is common to see employees pursue nothing insisting that their experience is worth more. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but it also may not signal job loyalty. (See other thoughts on this.)

Most businesses don’t replace people with cheaper. They replace people according to performance or scale. It is a value proposition.

You’ll replace your television, car, or cell phone, likely based on value and cost of ownership. You want better, or you are right sizing.

It might beg the question, “Are you loyal?”

– 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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Measuring Job Performance by the Numbers?

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In business we’re often taught to measure accomplishments or success with a number. The principle idea behind measurement is to trend towards a goal. Do you measure job performance or business success by the numbers?

job performance

Goals and the pressure associated with accomplishing them can stretch the boundaries of people’s ethics and integrity. Extreme pressure to achieve the numbers can also affect how people perceive and measure risk.

Performance Measurement

Years ago I worked in a mail order business. The company had reasonable success. They had a strong sales force and strict guidelines for performance.

If you were in sales, you occupied an expensive seat, a cubicle equipped with a telephone, a computer terminal (workstation or terminal as they were called in those days) and a calculator. There were only so many cubicles and they were required to be occupied with the highest performing sales representatives.

As a sales representative you were responsible to achieve monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. If you didn’t measure up you risked termination and the odds of long term success weren’t all that great.

I recall that one of the hiring strategies was to bring on fifteen new sales representatives with the hope that three to five might actually make it for at least three to six months.

Some did quite well, but the pressure to perform and acquire high volume repeat corporate customers was intense. As a commission sales representative your success was predominately measured by your dollars in sales, but did it really work?

Beating the System

Unfortunately several ethically challenged sales representatives found a way to make their numbers.

They discovered that they could send out product to random customers without their consent by using a shipping method known as C.O.D. (collect on delivery). Their sales were recorded (for measurement) in the computer system and their paycheck was calculated. If they achieved a high enough number a bonus was also applied.

The problem of course was that the customer never placed the order. The shipping company would attempt to deliver, the customer would refuse the shipment, and within about a week the product would end up back at the warehouse.

Not only was this entirely unethical but it cost the company time and money, the shipping company time and money, not to mention the terrible effect on the customer experience.

I think you get the idea. This was bad, really bad, but what caused this problem?

Challenges of Measurement

Certainly the persons who participated in this type of behavior had some ethical challenges, but then again did the company they worked for push things too far? Was the pressure to achieve the numbers and the witnessing of sales representatives getting hired and fired seemingly without care or concern for them as people a contributing factor?

Could it be that the culture adopted a feeling of, “I don’t care about the company because the company doesn’t care about me?”

Measuring success by the numbers is important but at what point does it cross the line? Do some exert too much pressure causing the employees to inappropriately assess risk and make very bad decisions for themselves and the company?

There are plenty of examples in business history. Companies such as Adelphia, Enron, and more recently Wells Fargo have all experienced ethical issues in part created by measuring by the numbers.

What to Measure

Using numbers as a measurement often brings with it the idea that more or higher numbers are better.

What if your automobile mechanic measured by the number and frequency of your visits, your dentist measured by cavities filled, or your doctor by knees replaced? Do they? They might.

Does the highest volume in ticket sales for the latest movie measure the best movie? Is a bestselling book the best book?

Are the highest sales numbers the most important or is the quality of the product, service, or customer experience a better measurement?

Measuring by the numbers probably works but the KPI’s (key performance indicators) need to be measuring the proper metric. What we measure and how, can have a significant impact on organizational health.

Companies who measure the right thing might be those with the best reputation. Those with the best reputation probably hire the best employees, they have the best training programs and they are most likely to have a low employee turnover ratio.

There is also a pretty good chance that they have the highest customer satisfaction ratings and will outlast their competition.

Are you measuring job performance by the numbers? Which ones?

– 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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How Do You Prepare To Gain Confidence?

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More confidence is something that so many people seek. If you’re inspired to gain confidence, it should never suggest that you are not already confident, but when we step out of our comfort zone we might need to find some more.

Gain confidence

One of the most important factors to make a difference will be how you prepare. So many professionals feel rushed with schedule pressures and effective time management. Procrastination can often lead to individuals denying the necessity for preparation and taking the approach that they will deal with things as they come.

Less Confidence

You might be familiar with the phrase, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Unfortunately I don’t know who to credit for these wise words but they are very applicable for those seeking to gain confidence.

Here is why. Perhaps nothing will more adversely affect your future confidence than your past performance. When you make a blunder, get tripped up, or have some type of performance failure you can grow from it, or you can set self-limiting beliefs which might make you feel less confident.

Gain Confidence by Preparing

Much of our confidence has roots in feedback or expectations that have been set by others. Our confidence might also be closely connected to self-efficacy and self-esteem. The best way to build more is to be prepared for any actions you are about to take or encounter. Here are a few tips to help you prepare.

  1. Visualize. Whatever you are about to do, whether it is giving a sales pitch, starting a new job, or giving a presentation to a large group imagine yourself in action. Really visualize what you might say or do. What the room or surrounding environment might be like, and most importantly visualize the positivity you will illustrate as you deliver. Visualize the event or situation in its entirety with you nailing it as you finish strong.
  2. Rehearse or practice. Practice in your mind (as part of visualization) or consider physically going through the motions depending on your circumstance or situation. Give yourself a test, do what you have to do to get it right, every time. Working out any kinks or bugs and connecting what you’re practicing to positive end results is important.
  3. Double-check. In the fable of Santa Claus he makes a list and he checks it twice. Consider everything you will need to have or do. In a professional role you might think about things like business cards, marketing materials, a tablet and a pen. In some cases you might think about the type of shoes you’ll wear, the possibility for bad weather, or changing temperatures. You might think about how you will visualize any distractions and you might also consider your nourishment, meals, and the timing connected with eating and resting.

Over Prepared?

Yes, it might be true that you can over prepare. Preparing too much can set you up to underestimate the intensity required for your success. For example, if we rehearse too much it might make our interactions appear unnatural or not authentic. It is also possible that your level of confidence is so high that it creates self-deception about the reality of the circumstances or situation you face.

The most confident people are probably the most prepared, the depth of their preparation will be conditioned by both the specific situation and their level of experience.

What about you, are you prepared? What is your level of confidence?

– DEG

See also: 5 Actions to Build More Confidence

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Being Your Own Coach

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Coaching can be a very tricky situation. Often the goal is to help the coached person see new opportunities, close a skill gap, or re-channel energy and effort to be the best that they possibly can be.

Smiling professional business man and woman

Improve, make life easier, job performance better, or obtain new levels of competence and success, a good goal for anyone, or everyone.

After many years of helping people through training and coaching efforts I find that there are often two things stopping anyone from improved performance; the failure to see the difference between current performance and excellent performance, or the conscious or unconscious act of blaming someone else. People who can’t self-assess, are self-satisfied (seeing no need to change), or believe that others own the entire responsibility, may be working hard but going nowhere.

Hard work doesn’t mean it’s the right work and no one likes wasted effort.

So if you consider that the problem is not entirely someone else, but could in part be our own individual reactions to our environment, it seems that the best energy might not be spent on trying to change the other person. The best energy might be spent on changing our reactions to the environment around us.

Sometimes, you can be your own coach.

-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 DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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