Tag Archives: psychology of work

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finding certainty

Finding Certainty Is a Never-Ending Position

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Finding certainty is one way to spend your energy. In an ever-changing world, it seems that certainty may be hard to come by. Yet, there still may be some things that you can be certain about. Change is one of them.

Many people set out to be certain. Low-risk is attractive but with little risk often not much is gained.

Confidence may be considered an aspect of certainty. Removing doubt and installing belief all seem to have linkages to being certain.

It is difficult to maintain the power of confidence while facing extreme criticism or ridicule. When there is a constant stream of new information, the difference between truth and lies, facts and opinions, and those who seek to see, in order to believe, all become blurred.

What is stopping you right now? Is it a lack of information or a lack of certainty?

Finding Certainty

It may be easier to find than you think.

A three-dimensional image is different from a two-dimension image. How things first appear are sometimes different after closer examination. The autostereogram is a perfect example.

Complexities surround human nature. The psychology of the work that we do is often hard to understand.

Driven by perceptions, expectations, and life experiences decisions are made and outcomes are realized.

What may be certain about every endeavor is that there will be an outcome.

In an uncertain world, doing something that produces a new outcome may be better than doing nothing at all.

If you live in South Carolina and you want to get to California by car, driving somewhere in a westward direction will put you closer. It may be driving to Nebraska or Texas, but one thing is certain, both of those are closer to California than South Carolina.

Certainty often exists in what you see and what you believe.

Sometimes the trick is having more confidence than doubt.

Often, that is where you find certainty.

-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 scarcity

Workplace Scarcity Causes More People To Act

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“It was important because it seemed like it was our last chance.” Sound familiar? Workplace scarcity often drives people to action. Is that a good thing?

It seems like the U.S. economy is thriving on the concept of scarcity. Everything from home appliances, to building materials, to canning jars. Nearly every day someone has a story to share about something that they wanted to buy only to find little or no supply. I think it all started about a year ago with toilet tissue.

Fear compels people to do irrational things. It encourages quick decisions that are sometimes thoughtless and reckless.

When it comes to sales, the principle of scarcity is not a stranger. Sales teams often thrive on the principle of scarcity.

You can even observe it in television shows such as American Pickers and Pawn Stars. These shows often illustrate that the price increases when there is a belief that the item in question is scarce.

Does it affect behaviors and decisions in your workplace?

Workplace Scarcity

Almost everything is a rush. There is a race against time to produce faster, newer, fresher, and always be the first to ship. It doesn’t matter if it is services or products, it is a race.

The pace of business today often results in a lack of patience for decisions. Patience is not the same as procrastination, and a lack of patience is often created when there is a feeling of scarcity.

We need to hire someone fast.

Stock up, there is going to be a shortage coming soon.

Rumors are that the only supplier on the east coast may go out of business.

Through advertising we often see things implying scarcity.

Hurry, last one.

Limited collector’s edition.

This item won’t last long.

Is scarcity working for you or against you? Are there issues connected to trust when it comes to scarcity?

Have employees been scared into hasty decisions so many times that they are immune to the thought? Does it create a failure to act when action is required?

Acting fast is often important. Acting right now, may imply a different spin.

Scarcity can be both a sword and a shield. It can be the difference between saving a situation or costing you dearly.

Awareness of how scarcity springs people to action is important. It is as important as trust.

Leaders are role models for behaviors. How you communicate, advertise, and make decisions will become part of your culture.

If you’re thriving on selling with scarcity tactics you can expect the same with your team as they make decisions and choices for what happens next.

One thing often follows scarcity.

Buyers remorse.

-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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normal people

Normal People Work Here, At Least We Think So

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Do you work with a bunch of normal people? Is the place where you work normal, or is it filled with a daily dose of abnormality? Is your team productive, efficient, and successful?

Could it be? Should it be?

Hiring managers are always striving for fit. The house builder probably has to be prepared to work in various weather conditions, understand foundations, lumber, and blueprints. When he or she does, they are probably considered normal and may likely be a good fit.

In the business of politics, someone representing the democratic party isn’t going to fit well in the republican party. Sure, people change their minds and their beliefs, yet in simple terms the fit just isn’t there.

Onlookers at the dynamics of groups of people will often see normalcy. At the same time people within the group see outliers. They see the outspoken, the shy, the backward, they see differences.

What is normal?

Normal People

Many things in life can be explained through a bell curve. A place where something starts, grows, gains momentum, and ultimately declines.

A new product has a life-cycle. It has a start, growth, and decline.

What happens in the middle is often what people call normal. The beginning and the end are uncertain, but during its peak, there are plenty of people both willing and interested to be a part of the norm.

Normal seems desirable, attractive, and a place to get comfortable.

By most descriptions, there are normal weather patterns, normal cars, homes, and clothing.

Normal is normal, until it isn’t. Until something changes or pressure is applied. Chaos may even be normal, and then serene is different.

You and your team may be more normal than you think. Even in a group of differences, that may be normal.

If you’re normal, right now is the best time to make something happen.

-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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reasonable work

Reasonable Work Always Sells Better

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Are you creating reasonable work? Do the employees and the customer find value in the output? Some things sell themselves while others never sell at all.

Many twenty-year olds are not focused on retirement savings. It doesn’t really matter to them, yet.

What is missing is the link or connection to why starting early might matter later. There are plenty of people in their 40’s and 50’s that aren’t really into it either.

Is it reasonable to do it early and most of all to consider that showing up late to the concept is better than never showing up at all?

What’s the Purpose?

The company or organization you work for has a purpose. It has a mission statement, even if it is somewhat informal. There is a reason why it exists.

Someone wants to buy the output, someone values the service, or both. Connection for the customer and connection for the employee is the image of a great organization.

The effort has reason and value.

Why Care?

Connecting people with your idea matters most when they see the value. It is true for the customer and it is true for the employee.

A product or service without value won’t be very successful with sales.

Employees who see little value in what they are creating will resort to only working for the paycheck. Disrespected, neglected, or driven by fear, the only value they may find is in the money that helps them provide for their way of life.

Their focus is the paycheck.

Is that reasonable?

Reasonable Work

The equation is simple really.

A connection with purpose creates engagement.

On either side, a product or service without a connection to purpose won’t get noticed. It won’t sell or scale, and most of all, the people behind the behind the production could really care less.

Producing reasonable work, work with reason, is the key for building a sustainable workplace culture.

If it doesn’t work, it won’t 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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shared knowledge

Shared Knowledge, Are You Using It?

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Do you move through your day by analyzing or utilizing shared knowledge? Is the knowledge you seek or use, universal? Is it manipulated?

Many people accept what they discover in writings or pictures as valid and reliable. It’s been a universal truth for thousands of years. Belief systems develop from the amazement of things that can’t otherwise be explained.

It is certainly nothing new.

Do you remember something from when you were five years old? What about ten years old, or just three or four years ago?

Do you member what you did during this month last year?

Memory Recall

Humans are blessed with the ability to learn and recall. The power of your mind is amazing. Your mind can also play some tricks on you. You might remember details a little bit differently across time.

Like the big fish story, your memories once recalled get stored again. When you store them for the second, third, or one-hundredth time, that memory might be a little bit different from the original.

What we learn and believe is based on information. Information shared from others or searched for and discovered.

What is being shared?

Shared Knowledge

The story that you tell in your workplace today is something you’ve shared. It may be something you don’t even realize that you’ve shared. How you dress, interact, and set the example. What you do or how you react to pressure, stress, and the unexpected.

Recognized, or not, you’re sharing something.

Across time in your workplace all of the daily interactions whether they are considered good or bad, become part of the culture.

What you pass along, pass down, hand down, or teach, has an opportunity to become shared knowledge.

What people remember and how they remember it may shift or drift from its original meaning. The written word, pictures, signs, and videos may be searched for and honored or subject to ridicule and disbelief.

It’s not really anything new. It’s been happening for many centuries.

How you use information will determine its value.

Be cautious of information that has been manipulated, misunderstood, or misused.

What you share comes with responsibility.

-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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culture transformation

Culture Transformation Is Always Happening

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Is your workplace experiencing a culture transformation? It might be happening right before your eyes and yet, you don’t see it.

Every conscious action, those that are readily observable even by an untrained eye, has an expected outcome.

We plant a tree in the park. In five or ten years it will be much bigger, but its growth is not really observable from day-to-day.

A new car, and if possible, we park it in a shady spot or a garage. The paint and interior will last longer. Hard to notice across just a few months, or a single year.

Someone acquires a new pet, a dog, or a cat. At the moment it feels like the pet will be with them forever, yet eight, ten, or twelve years later the pet is in a geriatric state.

When you pause to think about it, things that seemingly go on and on with little to no change are still changing. When there is no conscious effort to illustrate or showcase the change you really don’t see it.

It is on display but no one notices.

Culture Transformation

In workplaces everywhere there is a similar change, there is cultural transformation and it is happening right before your eyes.

Leadership is responsible.

Leaders are working hard behind the scenes.

They are trying to convert the skeptics, create a stronger environment of listeners, not commanders, and most of all develop a harmonious experience of individual talents serving the greater good of the organization as a whole.

They strive for more “we” and “us” instead of “I” and “me.”

Budgets and money matter, a penny here or a nickel there. Across time the ideology is for a positive shift. A pattern of growth. A building of assets, revenue, and profit.

Perhaps most of all they are learning more about the customer. Exploring new things, discontinuing old, phasing in and phasing out.

Questions are asked and answers are sought. A solution is offered. Some are accepted while others are rejected.

The business of yesterday is not the business of tomorrow.

Transformation is happening, you can see it, or not.

-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 habits

Good Habits Will Change Everything

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Do you have some good habits? There is always so much discussion about changing bad habits what should you consider as good or better?

Workplaces are filled with opportunity. The opportunity to make some positive motion or the opportunity to drag things down. Everyone wants better, but how do you get there?

Habits often develop skills. When you do something repetitively, across time, you may enhance your skill.

Inciting gossip and negative drama are probably good examples. People who routinely engage in this type of activity can actually develop more skill at getting other people negatively charged.

What should you consider instead?

Creating a list of possibilities isn’t that hard. It may start with some really simple areas. Things like fairness, kindness, and being considerate of others.

It can certainly go much further and deeper.

Good Habits

Here are three items to continuously build upon:

Optimism. Optimism adds to hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams give people a goal, something to reach for. You may be surprised what people will create when they believe in something. It makes it all possible.

Connection. There is always plenty of talk about building the team. Having strong teams starts with building connections. Build connections around commonalities. Every workplace team has at least one thing in common, they are all in the endeavor together.

Responsibility. When people are responsible and accountable for their actions and behaviors there is much more possibility for understanding the value in teams. It promotes positive patterns for culture.

You have the opportunity to build the behaviors that support these actions. When you make it a choice, it becomes a habit. A repetitive habit builds the skills necessary to continue.

It’s a much better place to 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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communication rhythms

Communication Rhythms May Be Where To Start

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What are your communication rhythms? When are the meetings, how long, and how often? Do you call, email, send text messages, or leave post-it notes?

Many workplace professionals express the need for more effective communication. Have you really thought about what you communicate and how it conditions everything that happens next?

It matters for identifying priorities, it affects the sales funnel, the supply chain, and even involves stalled work and dead ends.

Sometimes knowing where to start gets its start by simply starting something. It may be as simple as picking a place and digging in.

A good place to start improving your workplace communication may be by developing a more thorough understanding of exactly how it works and what it impacts.

It impacts everything, but how?

Communication Rhythms

What gets discussed sets the tone, the mood, and the energy. This is the building block for how it works.

Are your meetings spent talking about wrongdoings, shortcomings, and poor behavior? Are they spent talking about why sales are down instead of where the next opportunity exists? Is there an analysis of gossip, rumors, and drama?

Certainly, all of those things are a part of the culture. Make them the smallest piece instead of the largest.

Focus on behaviors that are connected to where you want to be, not where you are now, and especially not where you were last month.

What you talk about, whether you are leading or following will be what develops as the focus. It creates a mindset for what happens next.

If you’re struggling and don’t know where to turn, it might be time to change your rhythm.

Get a new beat.

-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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systems culture

Systems Culture And How You Are Part Of It

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Do you believe in a systems culture? Is everything in the workplace about a system?

Some would quickly say, yes. Others might just as quickly denounce that everything is a system.

Likely, the real situation for most is somewhere in the middle.

Human behavior may be hard to place within a system.

By design the system is a set of rules, specifications, and prescribed outputs. Do it correct once, and do it correct the next million times. It is a system.

One problem with the system is that often the mindset develops to resist change. There is so much effort and so much focus on doing it exactly this way, never waver, never stray, do it this way, and always this way. Mentally, it is an antonym for change.

It Is Culture

Every workplace has a culture. Promoting and standing behind systems may be just one of the methods.

Certainly, there is great value to systems. You may have a system of how you get up and get to work each day. You arrive, just like everyone else, but how you did it might be a little different.

In the workplace, not everyone’s values and beliefs are identical. However, everyone you work with is part of the culture.

In some businesses, watching the clock is part of the culture. Who is on the clock the most? Who puts in the most hours? It is part of the culture, developed over time.

It is true for complaining and blaming, it is true for all of the ground rules and it is true for everything from dress code to lunch breaks.

It is also true about productivity and success.

Systems Culture

Many people believe that they are resisting the culture and as such they are not a part of it. The truth is that the resistance has been part of it all along.

You may or may not be a systems fanatic.

If you are part of an organization you are a part of the culture.

Your belief in how work does, or does not get done exists within it.

The trick then is to get more people on board with the purpose of what you do. Which will make doing it right matter more.

Instead of it happening to you, it is happening for you.

It’s the culture, you matter, you’re a part of it.

-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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burned trust

Burned Trust and What It Might Be Costing You

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Have you burned trust through your workplace actions? Trust may even be burned by inaction. What does this cost the organization?

Trust is a tricky part of any business endeavor. Everything from negotiations to getting work done. Unfortunately, many workplace leaders and frontline employees fail to recognize or have poor awareness about the implications of trust.

Imagine the busy manager. Struggling to prioritize and get things done that result in positive momentum for the team. What should she do?

Delegate, right?

Burned Trust

What if she doesn’t trust anyone on the team to handle the project?

What if she only trusts one key team member?

This form of limited trust that has long-term consequences.

In the short-run things get accomplished. In the long-run, the key team member begins to feel used and wants to back off of the high-output he normally delivers.

Why? Because he has arrived at the conclusion that he only needs to work as hard as the lowest-performing employee.

Why do more while others goof off?

5 Tips to Restore Team Trust

The manager, with an unwillingness to work towards building more trust, simply moves around the issue. Blame for this inaction is often placed on a very precious resource, time.

It seems easy to place the blame on time. In addition, many busy executives easily buy-in to this story. Shipping the order now is better than a delay. It’s a (long-term undesirable) short-run game.

Trust can be burned in many ways from many different angles.

Have you unknowingly burned trust?

More Than Just Team Members

Shortcomings on trust with customers and vendors are costly too.

Advertise a product or service but deliver something less and it burns trust.

Negotiate so hard with vendors that it threatens their view of your value as a customer and they’ll fail to be there, perhaps exactly when you need them the most.

Burning trust is often easy to do and hard to recognize.

The most successful organizations, the ones that stay on top, value trust as a part of their competitive advantage.

It doesn’t mean they get everything right, all of the time. It means that they work hard to keep the scale on the heavy side of trust.

-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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