Tag Archives: story

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one chance

Just One Chance To Tell Your Story

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Actually, there are many chances but there is only one first chance. If you had only one chance, what would your story be?

Your resume might be a story. Perhaps you tell a story in the job interview. Your reputation is a story and so are the things that keep your friends interested in what’s next.

Your life is full of stories.

There are the stories that you tell yourself as you start your day, the story in your mind before the meeting, and the story you consider as you check your progress on your goals.

Everyone around you has a story too. Some will listen to yours and some only want to tell their own.

The news media has a story. So does the politician, the financial analyst, and the meteorologist.

For every person what happens next depends on their story.

Perhaps the life lesson is to learn how to listen to your own story.

One Chance for Your Story

It is possible that you could tell a better story? How would that shape what will unfold for you tomorrow? What about overmorrow?

The story that you tell depends on you. If you want a better story can you create one? Do good stories lead to more good stories?

When you care about your story it may be important to consider how you’ll tell it better. What will make it more powerful with greater impact. Will it be a catalyst for others on a similar quest?

If you care about what happens next it might be wise to listen to your own story.

-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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report data

Does Report Data Stand On Its Own?

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Have you examined the report data? Does it make sense, does it add up? Can it stand on its own?

Not without a story.

You’ve Been Informed

The technical conference wouldn’t really be a conference if the data could stand on its own. Everyone would just get the report and everyone would be informed.

Information overload feels like a chronic problem to many people. So much data and so little time for the empathy required to make sense of it all.

Stories change that for us. It changes it for you, and it changes it for me.

People often wonder, “What’s in it for me?”

That is precisely why data doesn’t stand on its own. Data needs a narrative, an executive overview, or a deep story to put it all into perspective.

Certainly, the story guides the belief and the future outcomes. It is a slippery slope when you consider how bias or stereotyping affects the story. Then the data may also come into question.

Data may be reliable, yet is it always valid? Consistent data doesn’t guarantee it is authentic, accurate, or valid.

Report Data

The information we receive is always brought to life through a story. The authenticity or belief behind the narrative guides the thoughts and opinions of those receiving the information.

Is this brainwashing? Someone may suggest, yes, it is. Others will argue that it is merely a presentation of the facts.

I guess it really depends on your personal narrative. What is the story that you tell yourself? What do you choose to believe?

Does your “gut feel” have something to do with your life experiences? Some will label it as instinct. Yet, what we know as instinct is also rooted in life experiences. Touch the fire, you’ll get burnt.

Report data doesn’t stand on its own. It is the narrative in front of the data that suggests how you’ll interpret its value or meaning.

Honest, unbiased observation is the key for the integrity of the data. It develops from the story.

-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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internal narrative

Internal Narrative, Working For You or Against You?

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Quite possibility, the decision was made because of the observations of the competition. Perhaps, the critics, naysayers, and pessimists had a hand in the outcome. What is your internal narrative suggesting?

The business enterprise, the non-profit, and even the career changer are often driven by the internal narrative. Business or pleasure, people are often good at finding something to either drive change or prevent it.

Emotions or Facts?

Fear and emotions are a good driver. Nearly any decision, any choice has emotion attached.

Sure, we can make business decisions based on the data, the metric, and the CFO’s report. There are factual aspects of the data and outcomes.

Questioning the narrative can be complex. Will sales improve, will the shipment arrive on-time, or will the competition launch before we do?

Data may tell a story but the internal narrative will drive what happens next.

Internal Narrative

Our organizational cultures and our instincts, gut feel, and experiences drive the narrative. In nearly all cases the narrative we see, discuss, and share is reflected in our decisions.

As organizations and people, we may fail to trust, fail to commit, and refuse to spring into action. Why? Largely it is about the narrative.

The narrative has two sides. One of pending doom, or one of pending boom.

Our internal narrative will drive what happens next. It is often working overtime to either cause distress or drive reassurance.

Should you work for the narrative or against it?

Better learn to assess the narrative.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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career story

How Are You Creating Your Career Story?

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Everyone has a story, right? What is your story? I hear a lot of stories about doom and gloom. I hear a lot of embellished stories, and stories that may not even be real. What is your career story?

Career Story

If you aren’t happy with your story, the good news is that you can change it. It really doesn’t matter if you’re early in your career, mid-career, or even in the sunset. Your career is about your story.

We have stories all around us. There are biblical stories, stories of the land before time, and stories about developing nations, economies, and intellect. Your career is not about a single moment. It’s built across time.

If you don’t like how your story is starting you can change it. If you don’t like the flow, or the emerging ending, you can change it.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle is understanding your career is not a job. It is not a place, a city, a town, or an industry sector. It is something you’re building.

Seeking Change

If you feel that you need to do something different, don’t wait. You’re going to have to get involved. Make changes, grow your network, find more moments that build your story.

It may begin with what you’re telling yourself. Have you assessed your competencies? Do you need new skills, retraining, or updating? Perhaps.

Keep in mind however, that many people get the opportunity of a lifetime in an area that they aren’t so skilled. And now you’re asking, “How?”

The answer is easy, they have some boxes checked, but they are using their relationships (networking) to create the next opportunity.

What is your next moment? What if you look for the next part of your story, instead of a job. Invest in doing something that feels natural, feels good, and creates connection?

It’s time to build more of your story. People are waiting to hear it.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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building customer service appreciative strategies

Correctly Building Customer Service Culture

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Everyone knows that in the business world there isn’t really any standing still. You are either moving forward or falling behind. In the midst of our service economy, smart organizations are building customer service cultures like they never have before. Are they doing it correctly? Will it last?

Many are familiar with the fictional Iowa corn farmer who repeatedly hears, “If you build it, he will come.” Is your team hearing a voice from beyond? Is this type of thinking true for building customer service culture?

Foundational Stories

Surprising to some, much of the impact and learning moments of our lives are founded in stories. The stories may be factual or fictional but they often solidify learning. The greatest thing about a good story is that it is repeated. It is shared, valued, and trusted. Most important it is told over and over again.

The foundation of your customer service culture needs to be a story worth telling. It should be able to form connections, and move and inspire others. If the story isn’t worth telling the likelihood of repetition will drastically decrease, no matter how hard you push.

Once you have a story, or at least believe that you have a story, you’ll have to assess its value. You can ask yourself or your team, “Is this story something that anyone will care about? Will it move people by causing positive actions and behaviors?”

If no one sees or feels a benefit from the suggested outcomes, no one will care. If no one really cares, there is little chance for a viral experience. Even throwing money at it won’t change things much. End of story.

Symbols Shape Culture

Your story, metaphorically or literally, will condition what happens next. The story may be deeply rooted in values and traditions. It may be illustrated through words, phrases, and symbols.

Surprisingly, it may even be a song. It is hard to imagine the true (and lasting) impact when people sing your song. Coca-Cola did this so well.

Building Customer Service Culture

You’ll have to ask yourself and your team, “What will we do to create lasting impact and keep the story alive?”

Organizations often have a good plan. They may even have a good story, one that has some value in telling. The mistakes they make are not in the design. They are in the build.

Correctly building a customer service culture that matters will require you to show up, support it, live it, and tell it. Not once or twice, not just at the quarterly meeting or annual retreat, but every day.

Design will be important, but you’ll also have to lead.

– 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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