Tag Archives: trust

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Trusted connections

Trusted Connections In a New Age

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Are you apprehensive about taking the call, accepting a friend request from someone you don’t know, or opening an email message from an unknown sender? Trusted connections are more important now than ever before.

In a New Age

Occasionally I will take a call from an unknown, no caller identification, inbound telephone call. It is always a moment of risk and uncertainty.

Absolutely, I won’t know who is calling until there is a form of introduction on the call. I’m often listening for the connecting click, a familiar sound that means I’m being routed to telemarketing agent.

Sometimes as a voice begins speaking, I’m uncertain if it is a real person or a bot.

For pictures or social media, there are apps that apply filters, enhancing lighting, and change our appearance.

We have to be careful of fake products, imitations, and illegally cloned merchandise. Is the Louis Vuitton real, or a very cleverly produced imitation?

Even our food is becoming different. Is the Impossible Burger really possible?

Technology is writing a new script. People call it AI, or perhaps machine learning. Some experts will advise that those are two completely different concepts, yet socially people toss around the words synonymously.

Trusted Connections

Today your brand, your image, and your reputation will matter more than ever before. Trust is becoming more nebulous and at the same time more important.

In the workplace, we often consider the trusted advisor, the political currents around the office, and the latest message about benefits or policy from human resources. Are these trusted connections?

Marketing programs test the limits, shift your thinking, and make you wonder if there is a disclaimer in the fine print. Are these real users, or only a paid actor? We know the answer, but only when we pause to think it through.

If one thing is going to matter more tomorrow, it may begin with trust. The suggestion is that connections and community represent our future.

Who will you 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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trust

Whatever You Do, We Trust You.

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Workplace trust seems like a reasonable component of any flourishing organization. What are the signs of trust? Does your team have it?

A small entrepreneurial effort may not require a lot of rules. A few people working together to add value and build a growing business, they have each other’s back. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

Workplace Trust

As organizations grow a little bigger, things often start to change. Trust often changes.

Do supervisors micromanage because they lack trust? You bet.

Are there rules of engagement, rules for decisions, and rules to track effort? You bet.

Are there rules about keeping the rules? Yes, often.

Organizations of all sizes can be wildly successful and exciting. The difference between small and large often requires more management of the organizational dynamics.

Mistakes sometimes pile up and can become a new rule.

When accountability seems to fall short, there is a new rule. There are rules to protect the bottom line, rules to protect the organization from legal actions, and likely some rules to protect the customer.

Rules Pile Up

As the rules pile up, the pace of the organization slows.

I don’t know if we can do that, check back next week.

That isn’t my job, I’ll have to get someone who can help.

Next week is our meeting, we’ll discuss it then.

Rules slow the pace.

The business owner who is a plumber and actively works in the field doesn’t need to check with the boss. The same is true for the print shop, the landscaper, and the garage builder.

Do you have a growing business enterprise? Do you trust your employees? How do you show it? What does the customer feel?

A lack of trust becomes costly in many ways.

-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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changing times

The Workplace Impact of Fear During Changing Times

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People will often quickly agree that their workplace is affected by changing times. Times, they are changing, yet what is really happening in your workplace?

Do people fear change? Largely, yes, many people are very nervous and afraid of the impact of change on their job. Everything from promotion to demotion to the possibility of being terminated.

Fear can cause action, that is an absolute. Fear as a tactic to motivate people is usually not a good idea.

Changing Times

The less people understand about change, the more likely they are to fear it. Out of fear they may suggest there are ulterior motives. Yet perhaps, they just don’t want to face the truth.

Clumped together in a group, people may feel more power to slow down the change and shift it to a different direction. The presenting factor is that the change is a bad idea, the truth may be that they fear what is proposed to happen.

A mindset of, hide in numbers, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few is their anchor.

Those who are responsible for the change have a different view. They may look for resistors. Spot them. Ask questions. Get them talking.

In this manner the resistors become known, they’re spotted, and a designated action or reaction can occur.

It is the silent resistors that are the most troublesome. They cause fear for the change leaders. The change leaders wonder, “Who doesn’t agree with this change and what do they plan to do about it?”

Truth in Change

Perhaps if there was more truth, more transparency, and more concern about the impact on human capital our workplaces wouldn’t be so harshly impacted.

People are not just a tool. They are an investment.

In a World of constant change, the status quo may carry the most risk. Protect your investment by allowing change to happen for you, not to you.

Be honest.

-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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service trusted

Is Your Service Trusted? Is There Loyalty?

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Regardless of the sector your business or organization represents, is your service trusted? What would the outsiders say? Organizations have a chance, at least one, to earn trust.

Trust is an interesting part of how organizations and individuals achieve success. Trust is likely part of your competitive advantage, or else it isn’t.

Presence of Trust

When trust is lacking productivity decreases, efficiencies decline, loyalty is out the window, and your brand reputation suffers. Trust is often taken for granted or else not taken seriously.

Many people believe that trust is about truth and lies. Sure, that is perhaps part of it. So are deficiencies in accountability, response times, and decision making.

Consistency should come to mind when you consider trust. When people know what to expect and when they are a lot more likely to trust. It is the surprises that create a breakdown.

When I order a hamburger and fries in the drive-through, I’m placing a certain amount of trust that is what I’ll get in the bag. I’m also expected a napkin or two.

When I attempt to make a call on my cell phone. I’m expecting cellular service is available.

The product I ordered online should be what’s inside the brown box delivered to my porch. I’m also expecting an email message to tell me it is there.

Service Trusted

When I make a conscious choice to engage with an organization, I have an expectation of trust.

That expectation is often connected to a person. The person who takes my call, responds to my email, or fulfills my order. It may also be the person who orders raw materials, makes my product, and inspects the quality.

Similar ideas exist for healthcare, the pharmacy, and my bank account balance.

Trust is expected everywhere. Loyalty is achieved when it is delivered. That’s service trusted.

-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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trusted resource

Are You a Trusted Resource?

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Trust is critical everywhere. Workplace trust affects everything that will happen next. It is true with customers, vendors, and employees. Are you a trusted resource?

Have you wondered why…

employees don’t seem to care;

micromanagement is rampant;

managers are unavailable;

electronic communication is preferred;

turnover ratios are high;

customers nibble on marketing but seldom bite;

vendors won’t negotiate on terms?

All of this may have something to do with trust and reputation.

Trust Expectations

Being a trusted resource is critical for efficiency, process improvement, and customer confidence.

Have you considered your customer, marketing, or brand promise? Are you living up to that or would the other side suggest that is a lie?

Are you consistent with employees and decisions? Do people know what to expect and when?

Being a trusted resource comes with an obligation. The obligation to live up to promises and expectations.

Successful organizations seem to get more of this right instead of wrong. They work on trust, realize the sensitivity and costs of a breakdown, and insist on the actions and behaviors necessary to promote it.

Trusted Resource

Consider this, has your project been on track and within budget? Is there gossip, drama, absenteeism, turnover, and a relentless focus on pay?

Are sales where they should be? Do you know your best customers and treat them with respect instead of rules? Do you have great terms and support with vendors?

What is all this costing you?

What is holding you or your organization back?

Perhaps you are not a trusted resource.

-DEG

Do you need some help with trust? Call 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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manage micromanagement

Can You Manage Micromanagement?

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Will you change the behavior of your boss or the CEO? It is very unlikely, unless of course it feels like it is his or her idea. Is it possible to manage micromanagement? The easy answer is, “Yes!”

Understanding Root Cause

The solutions for managing micromanagement can vary drastically. It always depends on the root cause.

Sometimes managers micromanage because they:

  • feel let down by previous employees;
  • don’t trust you or your capabilities;
  • once did this very same job, so they are always the expert;
  • love the work that needs completed so they want to do it;
  • are insecure about their own role and don’t want you to take over;
  • and perhaps a dozen other possible reasons.

Manage Micromanagement

Probably the first step to managing micromanagement is to understand the reason that it is happening? Solving the problem at the root is the most effective course of action.

Each reason may require a different course of action, and certainly there may be more than one reason.

Trust is a common problem. For a variety of possible reasons, the boss may not trust that the work will get finished, or finished timely and with the appropriate quality. (Tips)

When the boss loves the work, or was previously the expert who did this job, you’ll probably benefit the most by finding ways to keep them involved.

If the root cause of micromanagement stems from insecurities, you may to find ways to reassure the boss that you are loyal, respectful, and won’t steamroll him or her.

How you manage micromanagement will also relate to your personal goals. If you decide you don’t want to support your boss, that is a different conversation.

Sometimes letting someone else have it their way (right or wrong) may feel like you are losing, but in fact, you’re winning. They’ll support you more in the future.

-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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keeping brand promises

Are You Keeping Brand Promises?

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What is the promise of the hotel, the airline, or the convenience store? What have you come to expect from brands you trust? Is your business, department, and team keeping brand promises?

It is what business is all about. The idea of the product and services that you would expect. Do you expect filet mignon at McDonalds? Will you find business suits for sale at a quick stop convenience store?

The answer to either may be, “Not yet!”

Setting the concept of changing marketplaces aside, what is your brand promise and is it being kept?

Features of the Promise

It is easy to take for granted and often misunderstood. How your customer base interprets your brand promise may be exactly why you’re growing or slowing.

While it may vary from sector to sector, here are a few important promises to consider:

  • Timely. Is what you offer timely? Is it cutting edge? Fresh fruit may be similar to fresh styles, new features, or updated offerings. Keep things fresh and always be on time.
  • Personal. Many buying choices come down to an emotional decision. This is too often overlooked in B-to-B transactions. In a connection economy think about how you are keeping it personal.
  • Generous. Much of American culture thrives on generosity. Generous portions of food, large drinks, and bottomless pots of coffee. What are you throwing into the deal? What are the special discounts that give more?

These apply to nearly every business or organization. Do they apply to you? Likely, yes!

Keeping Brand Promises

Product offerings or service providers, your brand is a promise. Ask your team, “What is our brand promise?” You may be surprised with the answers.

Your brand may be exactly why you are still in business. Of course, it may also be exactly why the business is growing exponentially or falling behind.

The team cannot deliver on promises that they don’t understand or are unable to keep.

Are you delivering? Keeping promises?

-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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high call volume

Experiencing Unexpectedly High Call Volume

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Call volume can be a problem. It can also be a lie. Certainly it can be both. Have you ever called for support and heard, “We are experiencing unexpectedly high call volume, please be patient.”

The next indicator of the big lie is to promote the URL that will get you to frequently asked questions or an English as a second language untrained chat support team.

Of course, as I reread my last few sentences I must consider if I am placing guilt without a fair trial.

This could prompt another question. Does your service provider or product support team have unexpectedly high call volume for months and months? I hope this signals a point well made.

Sign Up Here

This probably isn’t the service you signed up for. It is the surprise behind the brand. It is the hope and the guess of the company you’re dealing with that this call, your call, will never occur.

In the 1990’s I managed a group that provided both technical and customer support for a variety of technology products. It was a good team, but burnout was often problematic.

Humans who work support lines (telephone or even email) have one commanding issue. Nearly all, that means 99.9% of the calls they take, are someone with a problem not kudos. It is demanding work and I tip my hat.

High Call Volume

You can understand why the call center may want to stretch the truth but it may be the slipperiest of slopes. Once the process starts, it seems like a good idea to continue. Continuance often leads to expansion. Expansion leads to a bigger lie.

Their forecast is often driven down to answering one question. What is the minimum requirement for retention? What will the customer tolerate instead of how will we delight our customers?

There is a solution to this madness. Tell the truth. Start at the beginning. Create a truthful brand and live up to expectations. Provide alternatives and be sure they work well.

A staff of one may be all that is needed for a few calls a day. A staff of ten that can’t handle another call is likely not unexpected, it is the sign of an untrustworthy brand.

-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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Handshake return

Should Commitment And The Handshake Return?

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Trusting relationships are often cited as the path for mutual success. In a World of hustle and bustle, everything digital, and artificial intelligence should the handshake return?

Many people strive to become trusted by fitting in, finding agreement, and playing the right kind of politics. It is a surface trust, a trust that often ends in a letdown, and one that only matters if both parties have a need.

In highly political workplace currents people strive not to stand out, they hunker down, and don’t bring any unnecessary attention to themselves.

Doing the opposite may threaten the status quo, upset organized labor, and get you shunned from the group. The underground consensus is, get along with the crowd to get ahead.

Commitment is Risk

Trouble often develops because the mutual need doesn’t last. The handshake is missing. What is good in the moment may not be good for the rest of the day.

Colleagues let colleagues down, they drop balls, don’t pick up their toys, and they kick down castles in the sand.

Clients and vendors are for purpose only. Win at all costs, cut everything until you win, keep winning.

Trust is about a promise, so is a handshake. When we trust, promises are kept, commitments are honored, and people do what they say.

Often our clutter is because the handshake is missing. More email messages to confirm, more phone calls to ensure its real, more anxiety because no one knows for sure.

Handshake Return

Should the handshake return? Should everyone be more committed to doing what they say and saying what they’ll do?

Making a promise you’ll keep is risky. Something better may come along. A better deal, a new opportunity, a cause for your promise to be broken.

When winning at all costs is what matters the most, the handshake feels like it carries too much risk. The extra effort and commitment required make it easier to skip or be forgotten.

Bring back the handshake.

-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 RespectNavigating 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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trusted relationships

Trusted Relationships and Other Marketing Fails

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Everyone seems to agree that trust is important for business relationships. Do you have trusted relationships or are marketing efforts slowly eroding them?

Recently I received a call on my cell phone that I wasn’t sure I should take. I didn’t recognize the number and largely I don’t openly distribute my cellular number, but it also isn’t a secret.

When I answered the call, a female voice seemed somewhat robotic, but honestly, I couldn’t tell for sure. Was this a digitized voice, an advanced form of telemarketing? I was thinking, “Siri is that you? Cortana, Alexa, is it you?”

I interrupted, asked a question, and still I was stumped. Was a real person on the other end or a computer? I stopped listening and starting trying to think of ways to trip up the caller. Finally, after I quit interacting the caller hung up. I’m still not sure.

Marketing Fails

My email inbox gets some interesting messages. First, if you want to build a business relationship with me, my name is Dennis, not Denise. This is not the same as Denny or Dennis. Denise is not my name.

Occasionally, I will get the popular, “I wanted to reach out to you personally” email, yet the content is a complete duplication of an unknown volume of email messages that many others have also received. I guess I am somehow missing the feeling of personal.

Certainly, we cannot ignore the database merge email. Do they spark anyone into action? They start off friendly because if they have the correct name in the database, and a little bit of data about you or your company, at first glance they appear sincere and trusted.

They may start off with, “Dennis, will you be at Expo 2.X in September?” or they may try to be more friendly, “Dennis, we’ve missed you.”

In a moment you feel violated. You thought they were addressing you personally. You are really just another number.

Trusted Relationships

Many people will give you the benefit of trust. You don’t always have to earn it, at least not the first time around. As we all know trust can be destroyed in a moment. Rebuilds are difficult and costly.

If you are seeking new opportunities, building a sales funnel, or otherwise trying to grow a business that you believe depends on trusted relationships, be careful how you market.

Trusted relationships take time and sincere effort. Do your efforts feel sincere?

Easy for you, may mean easy off for your target.

-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 RespectNavigating 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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