Tag Archives: skill building

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assessing competition

Assessing Competition, What Is Your Comparison?

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Do you have a habit of assessing competition? When you look at what is out there, compared to what you do, how do you rank? Does it matter?

I remember November in grade school. Right before the United States celebration of Thanksgiving, we made construction paper turkeys. It all started with placing your hand, palm down, and tracing around each finger on brown construction paper.

Everyone followed a template, a model, as instructed by the teacher. Yet, everyone had their own work. Right before the holiday, you got to take your turkey home to your parents. I remember my mother acting so proud of my accomplishment.

My accomplishment was a huge success. Perhaps because I followed the model or perhaps because of what it was compared to.

At home, it was only compared to my last best work. It wasn’t compared to every construction paper turkey in the County. It wasn’t compared to every similar project in the State or the US.

My project was compared to my best previous work. I was a winner because I was growing, achieving, and delighting my mother with my school work.

Assessing Competition

The best work that you’ll do this month should be a comparison of the best you’ve delivered so far.

When it delights the customer, you’ve accomplished something. It may be the best in the US or the best in the World, but it may be hard to determine because the relevance is what is happening right now, right in front of you.

What matters is that you’re solving problems, producing or providing something better than your last work. When it meets or exceeds customer expectations then it is work worth doing.

There are millions of undiscovered song writers, chefs, and engineers. It’s also true for healthcare workers, truck drivers, and backroom graphic artists.

The work that you do should always be compared to your personal best. It is how you’ll continue to delight someone, even if it is only a small group in a small town.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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strengths work

Strengths Work, Are You Capitalizing On Them?

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Have you forgotten to focus on your strengths? Does a focus on your strengths work?

I should brush up on my accounting skills, you never know when you’ll need them.

I’m looking for a good book about marketing. Do you know of any?

My experience should speak for itself, but I think I could benefit from some higher-level management skills.

Does any of this sound like you? Are any of these close to some of the questions you ask yourself?

Building More Skills

Skill and knowledge expansion is wonderful. Seeking to understand more by reading or participating in a seminar or course work is also fantastic.

Nearly everyone who is career or goal minded believes that more knowledge is better. They work to fill gaps and fix weaknesses.

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is a great idea!

There is a looming question though.

Have you considered your strengths?

You probably didn’t get hired because of your weaknesses. You may not have been hired because of gaps in your knowledge base.

Most likely, you were hired because of your strengths.

Academia works to give you a well-rounded education. The further you go with education, the more well-rounded you hopefully become. While there is a focus in your course of study, electives and other curriculum are built into your degree.

It makes sense. All of it.

Yet, have you ever considered putting more focus on your strengths?

Strengths Work

We’re so often taught about fixing weaknesses that sometimes we forget about being the absolute best with our strengths.

Learning and growing is an investment. It’s an investment in you.

Most people aren’t hired, picked, or recommended because they are average.

Analyze strengths, weaknesses, and strive to fill gaps.

Don’t forget though, building more strength may be the fastest way to get selected.

Selected for anything.

-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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Skill building

Skill Building Is Asset Creation For You

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Are you skill building? Right now, today, for your job and your future, are you building more skill?

We know that one person’s trash may be another’s treasure. We’ve heard it many times. Perhaps we’ve even collected some of it.

When it comes to knowledge, skills, and abilities many people only want them when they are necessary on their resume.

Do you recognize skills as an asset or something to build only if you must?

Colleges and universities to try sell you an asset. Workplace training and continuous learning should also be considered an asset. Is that your view?

Malcolm Gladwell, has suggested that committing to 10,000 hours of work in a particular subject or discipline may make you an expert.

When you need your car repaired, an electrician for your home, or visit a doctor, you expect a pro, correct?

Being an expert or a pro is an asset. You build that asset. Across time, with discipline, and continued interest.

You likely string together many hours, make a few sacrifices, and leave the scene sometimes very tired and hungry. It’s growth, it requires effort and energy.

What if you don’t?

Skill Building

If you find learning to be a nuisance, a disruption, or a waste of time because there is other, real work to be done, then you probably are not on the road to becoming an expert.

In the workplace, it is common for the technical expert to get promoted to supervisor or manager. Does she have the skills required?

Technically, for the discipline of the trade or activity, probably, yes. However, the skills necessary to be a good supervisor or manager? Probably not so much.

The opposite can be true as well. Not every trade, production, or service area requires a manager who has the technical skill. In many cases it is just as effective to have a well-skilled, expert supervisor who can learn a little about the skills required for the work at hand.

What are your assets? Are you building them?

Waiting until you think you need a skill is too late.

Think about what you are spending your time doing and about the asset you are building.

If you don’t want to grow then don’t expect to be promoted or hired.

-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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building skills

Building Skills Comes From Persistence

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Are you good at what you do because of raw talent or is your success based on persistence? Building skills may be a combination of talent and learning. Persistence will make you better.

Some people are known to have an eye for art. Others are said to be great with their hands, a fast runner, or have an amazing voice. Is this talent, or skills built?

The person with the fanciest cell phone who seemingly works magic, is that a talent?

A person who knows seemingly endless amounts of historical information is that a talent?

Talent or Persistence?

People are often described as having talent when they have capabilities that appear above average. Yet, sometimes it is not so much a talent as it is persistence in getting better.

Most basketball players are tall, yet arguably, that may not be directly related to their ability to shoot the ball from beyond the three-point line.

Horse jockeys are small, not a talent. Distance runners are not overweight, not a talent.

We often confuse talent with persistence.

Building Skills

Someone who is good with numbers may be related to how they’ve been taught to think about math.

An archer gets better with practice. The same is true for good students, house painters, and gardeners.

What you work hard at, you’ll do better. You’ll build more skill.

In some cases, there are somewhat natural limitations. Being short in basketball is not an advantage, and perhaps no amount of persistence can overcome a short stature.

For most things in life, and for most professional careers, it is much more about persistence than it is about talent.

A great lawyer, works at it. So does a home builder, an engineer, and an accountant.

Persistence makes the difference.

Build more skill.

-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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Do You Deserve A Raise?

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Ask five people if they would like a raise and chances are pretty good all five will say yes. It’s a good bet, but should you ask for one?

Man Counts Money

Before doing anything, have you considered all aspects of what makes investing in you a smart choice for your organization? Most strong organizations are managing from the bottom line, meaning that they are always looking to improve or appropriately manage their financial position. Money spent is often viewed as an investment, an investment that expects a return. Are you a smart investment?

You can begin by asking yourself a few important questions. 

  1. Have you protected the organization? Let’s face it; an organization is about being an organization. While you might believe your department, team, or the entire operation revolves around you it probably doesn’t. You are a part of making everything work and supporting the ebb and flow of the organization. Protecting its brand and image is part of your responsibility.
  2. Have you been a team player? Teams matter, and if you are not supporting, cooperating, and effectively working with other team members this could be a flag to onlookers that you are not so valuable after all. In fact, you could be a worry in the back of their mind. Demonstrate how you integrate with team efforts.
  3. Are you an example for exceptional customer service? Remember that customer service, or what is sometimes being phrased as the customer experience, is critical for every organization. What is surprising to some is that customer service always has an internal component. You must be sure you are a great example of both the internal and external customer experience.
  4. Have you learned anything new? The best organizations offer or in some way support learning opportunities. They recognize that being smarter is one of the best ways to prevent falling behind. Ask to be a part of learning opportunities and to continue developing your skills. Make sure you are always learning something new.
  5. Are you a smart investment? Employee turnover is costly; hiring high end expertise to join the organization from the outside is expensive too. Most employers get an advantage from promoting from within, but they have to have internal candidates who are role models of their [the organizations] future. Be a smart investment for them by continuing to invest in yourself.

There are many factors that can make it difficult for organizations to continue to give raises to each employee year after year, but smart organizations know that they need to grow their best talent. Remember that timing is always critical, and you should consider all aspects of value that the organization brings to you, especially those that don’t appear on your pay stub. Sometimes staying the course even when a raise is not possible will pay off much bigger long-term. 

Do you deserve a raise? Perhaps, but let me ask you this, are you a smart investment?

– 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 Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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