Tag Archives: respect

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stressed out talk

Stressed Out Talk Is Different From Normal Talk

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A short fuse. That is a common descriptor for when our patience, energy, or control is right on the edge of a snap. Is your stressed-out talk different from when things are more calm or mild?

Everyone has a guideline that they operate from. It’s a way that they conduct themselves or their business. It is tempered somewhat, not exactly what may be brewing on the inside, but a more controlled and socially responsible version.

When people get tired, pushed, or otherwise stressed out, sometimes the Kraken comes out.

He blew up.

She lost it!

He totally freaked out!

While fuse length varies and is conditioned by many factors, nobody wants this to happen.

Is there something in-between the blow-up and the totally in-control you?

Stressed Out Talk

Authenticity matters but for everyone looking to lead there is a fine line or a balancing act for what you deliver.

When you set out to deliver your best you are probably being very tactical in your approach.

You may be conscious that you need to be kind, be patient, and have empathy. You might also be thinking about how to be more respectful, more generous, or mindful of navigating the rough spots.

It works for many, most of the time.

Yet there are occasions when the time feels short, something is overdue, or expectations have been thrown out the window.

That’s when our somewhat rigid structure of self-management begins to break down and slip out.

It’s not viewed as the normal you.

Interactions and behaviors are always about conscious choice.

An apology for a slip-up is a good idea. Behavior tempered, even when the fuse is short is much better.

Make conscious choices and have self-awareness. As a leader, you’ll contribute better with the proper intentions. It’s always better than needing to make an apology.

-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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Drama habit

Drama Habit, Do You Create More Of It?

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Do you have a drama habit? What about members of the team, do they seem to thrive on it? Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that people like to have more of what makes them feel comfortable.

Did you grow up eating breakfast or skipping it? What about lunch, have you made a habit out of skipping lunch or do you always eat?

The same questions might apply for morning beverages, after hour beverages, or even when you brush your teeth.

Workplace Drama

Many workplaces are full drama.

Drama about how to get the next customer or close the next sale may not be a bad form of drama.

Drama about what Susan is wearing or whether Jack will use micro-aggressions with the boss today may not be healthy.

Certainly, it may go deeper than that. The drama may be about workplace romances and who does what during their off-work time. It may even dip into discriminatory patterns with racial undertones, gender issues, age, and many other areas.

Can you stop it? Should you?

Drama Habit

It is a truism that many people do what they do because they are seeking comfort. Consciously or subconsciously, this is often the case.

People reposition in their chairs, follow a specific daily routine, and seek comfort in repetitive social patterns.

In 2020, you probably started to have a meeting or two either via Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft teams. In other cases perhaps you were still meeting in the conference room, only everyone was wearing a mask. Was this different? Was it comfortable?

Workplace drama can come and go. When a drama topic starts to slow down and interest is less, surprisingly, or not so much, new drama will take its place.

If you have witnessed this you may be wondering what can you do? Is there anything you can do? Is drama here to stay?

Plan for Change

A plan by workplace leaders to be a catalyst for shifting the drama may be the best approach. If drama is here to stay, shifting it to more constructive approaches may be your answer.

In short, if all of the talk, the focus, and the chatter are about production, services, and helping the customer there is much less room for negative, degrading, and disrespectful drama.

Communication is everyone’s responsibility. Consider what your communication consists of and how to regain focus on what matters the most.

Are you part of the problem? Creating drama about the people who are the most dramatic may mean you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

It probably isn’t about the flip-flops Susan is wearing or whether Jack is bashing the boss behind her back.

Change the discussion and leave less room for all the stuff that doesn’t really 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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ego stumble

Ego Stumble and Getting Out of Your Own Way

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Have you ever had an ego stumble? One of those cases where you let your emotions guide your choices and it didn’t end well?

Emotion is critical in the workplace. Passion is an emotion. So is the excitement of launching a new marketing campaign, closing the sale, or achieving the goal. Emotion is important, yet it can also go wrong.

One of the biggest problems in the workplace with harassment claims is that ego got in the way.

A problem between two peers and you may find that ego played a role.

Supervisor to direct report, or the opposite, direct report to supervisor, and ego’s may be involved.

Leading by Inspiring

Leading today in a social environment that is much less about authority and much more about inspiration can be challenging. Inspiration means emotion and emotions are sometimes difficult to navigate.

When you make a choice about attending the meeting, participating in the meeting, or workplace respect you can bet that ego is involved.

Ego may feel like the right choice. Consider supervisor to direct report interactions. The supervisor, who clearly has the authority should lead, right?

Most would quickly say, “Yes.” However, the way we lead today may look a little different. Leading should be more pull and less push.

Navigating social climates and workplace culture has never been more challenging. We sometimes label this experience, workplace politics.

Yes, workplace politics, many people don’t like that game.

Ego Stumble

Blowing off the meeting may be about ego. The same is true for who gets credit for the project, the promotion, or even who gets the pay raise.

Sometimes you have to get out of your own way.

Making waves with the new hire, or the old regime, may feel satisfying for the moment. Yet, leading is going to require buy-in and buy-in is created by shared experiences.

If what you are sharing is mismanaged conflict there will be fewer opportunities for your future.

Don’t get in your own way.

-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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leadership ego

The High Cost of Leadership Ego

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Ego has many faces. Sometimes it is blunt and obvious, other times it is disguised as a workplace objective.

Sometimes it goes unrecognized. Simple acts that derail workplace engagement, disable loyalty, and disregard simple respect. Is leadership ego getting in the way?

Leadership Ego

Here are some leadership actions that should speak louder than words:

  • Hiring low or under skilled employees. Apparent because there is no succession planning within the organization. Employees are tools.
  • Never getting your hands dirty. (It’s a metaphor.)
  • A new organizational leader bringing in talent from a previous employer. Often to illustrate that everyone wanted out and will gladly follow for a new (better) opportunity.
  • Introductions that include, “He works for me.”
  • Rules only apply if you get caught. Especially true for harassment, diversity, and ethics.

Some employees only want paychecks. Yet, humans are surprisingly motivated by purpose. Yes, a paycheck can be a purpose, but likely it is not the organizational purpose.

Ego Derails Respect

People are problem solvers. They want to fix, repair, and accomplish. They also have a universal truth, they want respect. Respect may be defined differently by everyone, but without respect they’re only working for a paycheck.

Perhaps nothing derails loyalty more. Show your employees that you don’t respect them and they won’t care about you or the organization. Their underground rule will be, “Every person for themselves.”

Leadership is not about authority. Yes, authority matters and can be helpful. No, authority is not what makes you a leader.

Employee turnover, lawsuits, and disengaged employees cost organizations millions each year. In addition, stuck organizations or those with very limited frames often cannot get out of their own way. Look to leadership and culture as a potential problematic area.

What costs more, good leadership or bad?

-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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respected employees

Respected Employees are Engaged

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Based on data from numerous surveys the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has often reported about the importance of respect in the workplace. Are respected employees more engaged?

Motivation and Engagement

When you start the discussion about motivation, positivity, and employee engagement you often hear about the money factor. Yes, money matters, and no, money is not everything.

The next factor that comes into play is the conversation about motivation being intrinsic or extrinsic. Does it come from within or does it come externally? If you really want to dig deep, you’ll also entertain the discussion point about the fundamental attribution error.

Cutting right to it, if you are a workplace leader you will assume some responsibility for a motivated and engaged workforce. Your team is not just motivated or not. The workplace climate and culture will matter.

Respected Employees

People are motivated by results, by a sense of accomplishment, pride, and how they are perceived by others. These and many other factors are directly linked to respect. There is more to motivation but respect is often overlooked or taken for granted.

Leadership egos sometimes get in the way of respect. This happens when leaders need (and take) credit for the work accomplished by their teams. It happens when the leader flexes her muscle by reminding others about their pecking order.

I’ve turned this organization around.

This is my secretary.

He works for me.

When you start to wonder about worker engagement you should start to question the impact of leadership egos. One of the most important aspects of leadership is effective self-assessment. Awareness is the first step for change.

Does respect matter to you?

-DEG

Do you need help bringing respect back into your workplace? Contact me.

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 thinking

Does Workplace Thinking Still Occur?

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Trying to think through the best path to close the customer deal is exhausting. It is too hard to remember the entire product line. I can’t forget to leave for the meeting at 2PM. Are you committed to workplace thinking or would you rather just brush it off?

Physical work can be tiring, so can intense mental effort.

When we listen to all the problems, the issues, and the drama, we may grow tired. Tired of thinking, tired of worrying, and tired of working.

Workplace Thinking

What we do cognitively can be exhausting so we sometimes brush it off. We ask questions, because we want quick responses that don’t require us to think.

Does Part A fit with Part B or do we need to sell Part C too?

What is the policy on blue jean Fridays?

Does our insurance cover a specialist without a referral from our regular doctor?

Likely, someone will answer. Sometimes people are too tired or lazy to find the answer for themselves. Certainly, helping seems like the right thing to do.

Our memory is important, and sometimes requires energy.

Remind me to lock the door before we leave today.

Don’t let me forget to send that customer order before 3:00 PM.

I have the meeting on my calendar for next week, which day is it?

Tired of Thinking

Our workloads, physical or cognitive, can tire us out. Some people will push harder, own the situation, and be considerate of the load on others. Yet others will try to dump that load on someone else.

We live in a World of creating more ease. Staples has an EASY button. We can order McDonald’s through an app, and we can watch our floor get vacuumed by a Rumba.

Does workplace thinking still occur? Do your teams have the energy, consideration, and respect for others, or are they just dumping work?

-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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force respect

Can You Force Respect or Only Earn It?

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Respect is a commonality. Respect is something that nearly everyone wants yet often there is struggle to attain. Can you force respect?

People will do things for many different reasons. Fear is a big driver for action. We may fear future embarrassment if we don’t act, we may fear being removed from the team, or we may fear that we will be fired.

Short Game, Long Game

Motivation through fear is probably not a good idea for the long game. It works in the short game, but typically fails in effectively building relationships.

When the boss says, “We need to ship all of these orders today or corporate is going to close our facility.” that is a statement of fear. Certainly, it may spring people into action, but in the long game, it breaks down loyalty and commitment.

The feeling often becomes, “The Company doesn’t care about me, so I don’t care about the Company.”

Motivation and respect are often closely connected. You can insist someone must do something, and perhaps they will. What about respect, can you force respect?

Force Respect

I may not respect a hot stove, until I touch it. Telling me to respect it is valuable, but until I live it there may be some doubt.

Some people will give respect freely. Their values and beliefs direct them to respect first and obtain the supporting evidence later. In other cases, people may expect you to earn it, it is never just given.

How should you navigate this in the workplace?

You can try to force respect. However, it is likely an illusion. Respect works best when it is earned. It is part of the long game. It is a relationship built across time.

Forcing anything is a short run game.

-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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best customers

Best Customers Are Not Every Customer

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It is common, a new rule, something to prevent or curve off potential losses. Unfortunately, many businesses think about customer service as a department, a place that is the caretaker of rules. Be careful what you do to your best customers.

Every Customer

A good friend of mine is avid Harley Davidson guy. He dumps all his pocket change on playing with his Harley Davidson motorcycles. He is known at several dealerships and regularly drops a couple of hundred bucks on a visit.

Recently, he decided to order some new parts. The person at the parts counter explained that he needed to prepay. He never prepaid before.

The parts counter person advised, “It’s a new rule, all customers must prepay for non-stock items.”

He responded back, “Come on, you know I’m good for it.”

The counter person suggested that he didn’t make the rules, but that it applies to everyone.

My friend prepaid, he has the money. The problem is, he felt disrespected, he felt like there is mistrust, and the shop just weakened a previously very strong relationship.

Best Customers

I use a lot of printing services in my business.

My black and white copy business primarily goes to one vendor. It has been that way for many years. I send them a file via email, they know me by name and normally they have a good idea of the specs for my print job.

Recently, I had a job requirement that wasn’t normal, there was also a pending holiday. I wasn’t sure of their business hours or when the job would be finished. In addition to my normal email, I telephoned ahead for clarity.

When I arrived to pick up my finished order, I noticed a new sign. The sign read something like, “All print orders must be prepaid, no exceptions.” Yet, back on the shelf, clearly labeled with my name, my print job was complete and ready to go.

I felt respected. My order mattered. I was important to them and my years of being a good customer made a difference.

I’m not an average customer at the print shop, neither is my buddy at the Harley shop.

Remember your best customers, they are not every customer.

-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 engagement

Workplace Engagement Starts with Respect

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The chicken or the egg? Everyone wonders. Workplace engagement isn’t as challenging, but it may not always start in the manner that you think.

I didn’t like green beans as a kid, probably because they weren’t sweet enough. Today, I value their importance in a well-balanced diet and I’m sure to eat a few.

When it comes to the work at hand, people are often not sure whether they will like it or not. Can there be situations where after they explore it, check it out, and give it a try, they’re interested to do more?

Workplace Engagement

Engagement doesn’t always start with the notion that it will be fun and engaging, sometimes people grow into it.

It’s common for someone to dislike the new software release. “It’s awkward. Where is my old screen that showed everything near the top?”

The same is often true for the process change. “We’ve never done it this way. I don’t think this is going to work.”

Engagement doesn’t always start by making it attractive enough. It doesn’t always begin with confidence and a roaring stream of energy.

Sometimes engagement develops by getting ingrained in the process. Passion develops from the understood purpose. The feeling of accomplishment.

Many people want to understand that their work will make a difference, that it matters, and as people, they are needed and valued because it does.

Connect with Respect

Dressing up or sugar coating that there is work to be done and let’s get motivated about it doesn’t guarantee engagement. In fact, once that excitement wears off, people are waiting for you to excite them again. And bigger this time.

Respect will go a long way towards the gratitude of the offer for work to be done. Consider, “We could sure use your expertise on this one.”

Engagement forms when there is a connection to the contribution. It all starts with respect.

-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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customer service better appreciative strategies

3 Reasons to Make Customer Service Better

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Everyone is a critic. People are often critical about customer service when they are expecting to receive. What if everyone worked to make customer service better?

One of my professional speaking colleagues has a slogan, “Because we can!” Jeffrey Hayzlett, is a professional speaking rock star and I love his slogan.

While I believe the intent of Jeffrey’s slogan to be motivational and inspirational from the aspect of hard work, determination, and relentless pursuit, it might be applicable in other ways too.

Make Customer Service Better

Should our personal and professional interactions with other people have more customer service flair? Can we make customer service better? Sometimes I think so and other times I know so.

Here are three great reasons why we should:

  1. Fair. Sometimes it just seems like life isn’t fair. If we can help balance the scale, right the wrongs and turn things around why shouldn’t we? An even better question might be, why wouldn’t we? If there is a shortcoming, make it better. Make it fair.
  2. Generosity. Certainly the bottom line is important and any business transaction should be two-way, not just one. Can your offer be more generous? Will generosity cause more reciprocation? In a world that would benefit from improved customer service, I think being more generous is part of the process.
  3. Respect. It seems that recently there is a lot of chatter about respect. Respect across the generations, respect in political circles, and certainly respect to our customers. Time, value, and money they are all important and let’s not forget that we should deliver with the utmost respect.

Because We Can

In business, we often size up the competition to see what they are doing. We consider their offers, value, and price. Competition might drive us to do things because we feel that we have to.

What if we did it for a different reason? Imagine if we changed the philosophy.

Should we make customer service better?

I think yes, because we can!

– 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.

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