Tag Archives: skills

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workplace disqualification

Workplace Disqualification, Does It Happen Often?

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If you are navigating outside of the boundaries you might get disqualified. Arriving too late, doing too little, or fighting the system are all matters possibly leading to workplace disqualification. Have you ever been disqualified? Do you know someone who should be?

It has happened at the Kentucky Derby, it has happened at the Olympic Games, and it has happened in baseball, golf, and racing. It happens in the workplace too.

Sometimes disqualification isn’t apparent but it is still present.

Skipped on the list of meeting participants? Overlooked for a promotion?

It may not always mean that you are not qualified, it may mean that you’re not working up to a standard.

Being disqualified likely means that you haven’t met expectations. Did you promise something that you didn’t achieve? Did you agree to do your part on the project but let others down?

You may not realize it, but you might have been disqualified.

Workplace Disqualification

The workplace is filled with lots of variants when it comes to ebbs and flows. There certainly are workplace dynamics and politics. Are you effectively navigating them? Are you winning with customers and vendors, or are you feeling short-changed?

Walk onto a car sales lot. You may find a number of people who can take your order for a car. You may only find one or two that you wouldn’t quickly disqualify.

When the boss distributes workflow. There may be several employees who are qualified, but there may be only one who doesn’t get disqualified.

It is true for on-the-job advancement or getting promoted too. Theoretically, there are a number of people who are capable, but many of them are disqualified from the beginning.

It is even true for job seekers. The interview process is not always about qualifications, that may have already been established. Often it is about finding the one or two nuggets that will boot you from consideration. Disqualified!

Aligning outcomes with expectations is where you should apply your best effort. Commit to both understanding and delivering on what is expected and you’ll be much less likely to face disqualification.

-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 certified

Getting Certified and the Hiring Manager

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Getting certified is more meaningful as a reflection of the experience, not the end product. Do you agree?

While some will quickly jump at this thought and agree, everyone should be conscious of the focal points.

The certification is the proof of attainment.

One person buys a car, either through a loan across many months or perhaps many months of saving their earnings. Another person just simply writes a check, easy money.

In both cases, a check (of sorts) is written, the final moments of the transaction happen with the validation of money as an exchange.

One person had a long time to think about the car, the car has a more significant value because the journey to attainment was different than just a quick transaction.

It’s true at the amusement park, the big coaster attracts attention. People are excited to share that they rode the “monster ride” yet the ability to say you rode it is not the experience. The experience exists in the ride.

A two-month road trip in an RV around parts of the U.S. sounds appealing to some, but the same spots could be visited faster via airplane. In either case, mission accomplished, yet the experience is much different.

Getting Certified

For the hiring manager, and for the job seeker, attainments mentioned on a piece of paper or cleverly highlighted on a digital record should not be proof of job competence. Job competence is likely better reflected through the journey of attainment.

When experiences and character matter, and most hiring managers will suggest that they do, the focus needs to be about the journey not the documented proof of the journey.

Being able to create an Excel spreadsheet is an accomplished skill. Likewise, welding, carpentry, and computer network management may be connected to skills attained.

Proof of skill attainment is not proof of character. It is not proof of workplace behaviors, integrity, or how a person performs under pressure. It is likely not proof of attendance, being punctual, or being willing to put in the extra effort.

Most of the things we enjoy are not about the proof that we did it. It is about the experience of doing it.

Getting certified and the proof of attainment is much less valuable than understanding the experience of attainment.

What you focus on, is what you’ll get. It is true for the hiring manager and it is true for the job seeker.

-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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improving attitude

Improving Attitude, Is It Possible Or Unlikely?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Improving Attitude

There are two tricks to help shape a better attitude.

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

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

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

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

Attitude can be improved.

-DEG

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


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lost skills

Lost Skills Might Just Be Misplaced, Find Them

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Have you experienced the feeling of lost skills? When you believe you once knew how do something but since that time you’ve forgotten?

During the summer I bought two American flags, they were on sale. I sent one up the pole, but by the end of the summer it had lost some of its luster. Now I’m not sure where the other new one was placed. It’s lost.

On another occasion, I bought a hand tool that I didn’t think I had. When I went to put the new tool in a storage place, I discovered that I once bought a nearly identical tool several (or more) years earlier.

I went to a closet area in my home where I discovered several cool t-shirts that I completely forgot I ever owned or wore. Likely, they were worn one time, and then a change of seasons occurred. They were forgotten, abandoned, out of sight and out of mind.

There are various ways we can lose something we have. Sometimes we may forget that we ever had it in the first place.

Lost Skills and Confidence

Many successful business people have spoken with me about workplace situations where a bad boss or a rotten culture made them lose self-confidence.

Perhaps their confidence is still there, it is just being hidden by some unpleasant memories or painful and destructive criticism.

Skills or confidence may not be lost forever.

Maybe you’ve just forgotten where it is stored, or maybe something new or different is hiding it, even though it is right there in plain sight.

Don’t lose track of where you’ve come from. Don’t allow unpleasant experiences override the good of what you bring.

Use it or lose it may have many different meanings.

It’s true for skills, it’s true for confidence.

If you’ve lost something you once had, finding it again can be very rewarding.

Look before you decide it’s gone forever. You might be surprised by what you find.

-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 accountability

Workplace Accountability Starts With Purpose

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Frustrated, many employees feel that there is a lack of accountability. Have you sized up your workplace accountability?

As an individual, team lead, manager, or the CEO, are people accountable?

In the workplace people can be accountable for many things. They can be accountable for knowledge, skills, and abilities. They can also be accountable for their time and turning in good work.

There’s still more. People should be accountable for their attitude, commitment, and interpersonal relationships.

It’s not okay to show up and do nothing.

It’s not okay to claim, “I’m a little weird.” and then refuse to engage or form appropriate relationships.

Most of all it’s not okay to blame others, waste resources, or contribute less than what is expected.

How should you hold yourself or others accountable?

Workplace Accountability

It starts with a creating a sense of purpose.

People are much more accountable when they are connected with why their work matters.

For managers and other workplace leaders, showing them that you don’t care about them is the fastest way to have them not care about you.

Often, unconscious, thoughtless, or misinterpreted actions will undermine purpose and accountability.

Leaders who can transfer the feeling of ownership, connection, and purpose to every job seem to have an easier path to accountability.

It is easier said, than done though.

Accountability Pathways

Connecting people with purpose requires time, effort, and trust. It will not work for the person who doesn’t care about building lasting relationships.

You can’t treat people like machines. If you do, they may complete the task, but the organization will suffer from the high cost of employee turnover, low morale, and bad attitudes.

Accountability might be measured on a spreadsheet, but those results are connected to the human factor.

Connect everyone with purpose. Give them ownership in the work.

Holding people accountable can be a tough job. Creating a culture that inspires accountability lessens that effort.

-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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box checkers

Box Checkers Don’t Get the Value of Expertise

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Task masters like to check the box. Box checkers often forget or fail to understand one important thing.

The value of expertise.

People sometimes view education as a box checked. Get the certificate, get the degree, check the box.

In your workplace boxes are often checked. Did the data get entered, the messages sent, responses provided, and the calendar updated? Yup, boxes checked.

It can go much deeper.

What do you have a budget for? Office supplies? OK, great let’s spend some money. Budget spent; box checked.

There are boxes checked everywhere.

When it comes to employee growth, development, and career success you may want to pay closer attention before you just check the box.

Box Checkers

Expertise has value.

If it didn’t, anyone could fix their car. Anyone could build a house, fix their computer, or understand what is wrong when they feel ill.

They could solve their own legal problems, repair a dental cavity, and cut their own hair.

It is true for workplace culture development, employee training and coaching, and for the technical aspects of every job.

That free webinar? Not much with real value is free. Someone is paying or it is a sales pitch. Is there some value? Sure maybe, but it is likely very limited.

You can probably learn how to make a smoothie, change a setting in your software, or refinish an old wooden cabinet by watching quick video or reading a blog post. Yet, you probably haven’t mastered the craft.

People can stand in front of a room, or get on a Zoom session, and talk about a PowerPoint to the audience. Are they an expert?

If your goal is to check the box, you can consider it is already done.

If the anticipated outcome is a change in the results, a gain in knowledge or skill, or the timely production of an error free product, you may need an expert.

Skills and expertise are built by learning and practicing across time.

If you’re going to skydive would you want your parachute packed by someone who just watched a video titled, “How to pack a parachute”?

Can it be done?

Yes, box checked.

You’re now good to go.

-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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Inspired employees

Inspired Employees Stand Out In a Crowd

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Look around you, do you see inspired employees? While there may be varying degrees of inspiration or motivation how would you size things up?

There are lots of paths that lead to inspiration and motivation. One sometimes challenging aspect is that people are motivated for different reasons.

Fear can motivate, although this is almost never a good idea. Money often becomes a discussion point, yet it seldom has lasting effects.

Are you naturally motivated or can you be inspired?

Here is another question to ponder, “Are leaders born, or are they made?”

I’m hopeful that you believe there are paths to more motivation and inspiration. I’m also hopeful that you believe leadership can be developed and is not just a natural talent.

Natural Talents and Abilities

Are you born with certain talents?

Perhaps it is a talent for music, for art, or for certain athletic abilities.

It may go other directions too.

You may have a talent or connection to mathematical problems, architecture, or be identified as a good book keeper. In still other ways perhaps you are mechanically inclined, exceptional with trade skills, or an incredible cook.

Do you have natural talents, or do you have skills that have been developed across time?

A good answer is perhaps, “Both.”

Developing Talent and Skills

The greatest talents often become recognized because those people work countless hours toward perfecting their craft.

You may be great with numbers, yet if you seldom exercise this capability, in a crowd you may be mediocre at best.

Perhaps you are a fast runner, or can run long distances. If you seldom run, you’ll likely be beat by someone with less natural ability.

Are you or your employee teams inspired to do more?

Inspired Employees

The key for everyone as an individual is to practice honing your craft. You must go all in, be dedicated and committed, and live up to what you are capable of delivering.

Abraham Maslow introduced us to the concept of self-actualization.

Are you all in, one-hundred percent?

When you go all in, and have the drive and determination to go all out, you may find yourself at the pinnacle of talent and skill.

Halfhearted won’t get you very far.

Especially if there is a crowd.

-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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half knowledge

Half Knowledge, Dangerous or Valuable?

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Do you decide based on half knowledge? In a World of skim, scan, and watch a short video, are people more likely to claim knowledge but lack a significant understanding of the topic?

We have a problem with our car, we watch a video, and diagnose.

Feeling a little sick, we check our temperature and search the web for our symptoms.

Workplace issues, management skills, and how to improve our career. Social media may have some answers.

It seems everywhere we turn today we seek information for self-help. People want free answers.

Free legal advice, free personal tax advice, and certainly no one wants to pay for investment or financial help.

One trouble spot for all of the free information is gaining enough depth in truth, facts, and evidence to be helpful, not hurtful.

Is having half of the knowledge more dangerous than having no knowledge at all?

Half Knowledge

Yes, it is true, that someone with some decent mechanical skills can probably fix something on their car by watching a video.

Yes, sometimes when we have a minor health concern, we can learn more from our web-based research.

We can also learn more about becoming more valuable in our workplace, enhancing our career, and working more effectively with others by self-study.

Is this valuable? Certainly, it is.

Dangerous Half

Much of the danger comes from half-study. We only understand a small piece of it and make a big mistake by not reading the fine print.

Ask someone with half of the knowledge for advice on fertilizer for your roses, you may accidentally apply a herbicide. Spread a little special formula on your lawn, and your lawn turns brown instead of green. Sorry, all you had was crabgrass.

Knowledge is power. Assumed knowledge may only be powerful until it results in a big mistake.

Know the difference between having knowledge, or having only half 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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good listening

Good Listening Requires Great Effort

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As a general rule everyone can be a good listener. Good listening is not an instinctive process, rather it is a developed skill that requires great effort.

It is funny, observations of workplaces struggling with communication challenges. The first thing they often do is attempt to have more communication.

Meetings increase in size and number of occurrences. Email lists grow, making sure everyone is copied. Time spent communicating increases but does the effectiveness?

We use the words hearing and listening synonymously. Yet, they really are not the same thing.

Assuming no disabilities, we hear sounds, noises, and people. Hearing is an instinctual process. Good listening is a developed skill.

Good Listening

Many people are lazy listeners. It is probably safe to say that most people are lazy listeners. We listen only to what we want, things that require little effort, or things we find enjoyable.

Everything else, it gets tuned out.

In the workplace, many people have already decided it is not worth the effort. Someone is complaining, someone else is blaming, and the boss, well, he or she is just micromanaging. Tuned out.

Great listening comes from high energy people. It is sparked by interest, sometimes fear, and always takes effort.

Great Effort

Effort to sort the information, qualify it appropriately, comprehend, remove bias, stereotyping, and other filters. When our emotions get activated it can enhance our listening or have us applying filters that mean we absorb the communication different from its intention.

It is not impossible to be a great communicator. It is not impossible to be a great listener.

Are you committed enough to put in the effort? Do you care enough?

More communication isn’t always the answer. In fact, it often makes things worse.

-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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