Tag Archives: value

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Zoom dress code

Zoom Dress Code, Social Etiquette, and Posers

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Today you may have a Zoom meeting. If not, you may find yourself in one this week, or next. What is your Zoom dress code? Are you a poser?

It is hard to pin point an exact moment when, but somewhere along the way the selfie became a thing.

A selfie is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to show what you have, put on a big smile, or show everyone your tongue. Some selfies appear very natural, not staged, and comfortable. Others are more tense, stiff, and out of focus. Some are just plain silly.

Social Etiquette and Online Meetings

What about the Zoom meeting you have coming up? Are you ready for video to invade your home? What once was private is now on display. How will you pose?

Social etiquette is evolving and you are part of it. How you prepare and present today will have an impact on the shape of things in the future.

Engagement is often suggested as the key for online interaction. Keep the attention, keep things moving, more pictures, more interaction, bigger smiles, and make it all attractive.

Did you ever think you would participate in Hollywood Squares?

Most people wouldn’t even consider going to a workplace without appropriate dress and cleanliness. It’s appropriate.

Yet, if you’re not in your natural state are you comfortable?

Rules of etiquette have been challenged for decades, perhaps even centuries.

When it comes to your Zoom meetings you may want to find that happy medium. Comfortable is important, appropriate matters too.

Zoom Dress Code

It is not really contest. It isn’t a glamour show. Does it all matter? Certainly.

The goal of your Zoom meeting is probably not to attain the most likes when you share your Hollywood Squares picture on social media.

It’s about engagement, participation, and in some cases, learning.

When you enter the physical workplace, the office of the boss, or the conference room for a meeting are you thinking about what your photo will look like? Probably not.

You’re thinking about what is about to unfold, how you’ll engage, the questions you’ll ask and the value you can contribute.

You’ve already dressed appropriately.

You’re there to engage.

For the Zoom meeting authenticity matters. Prepare for success. Don’t be a poser.

-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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your personal brand

Your Personal Brand Is Not Everything

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What is your expertise? How do people recognize what you offer? Your personal brand is not everything to anyone.

In a general sense, we know what is on the menu at a McDonald’s or Burger King restaurant. Lasagna isn’t an option.

We can also be pretty sure that we won’t buy a new mattress at the Chevrolet car dealership. We won’t buy a new cell phone at a beauty salon, and we won’t get a freshly cooked rotisserie chicken at the office supplies store.

In the workplace, or for your career, recognizing that you can’t be everything to anyone doesn’t limit your value, it increases it.

Things that are available everywhere to anyone typically cost less.

In leisurely terms we often call these commodity products or services.

They cost less because the wide spread availability drives the price down. The economic guidelines of supply and demand prevail. Businesses selling commodity products or services largely compete on price.

Why Value Matters

What is the value add for a disposable pen? Probably not much.

What is the value if you can have your business name printed on it? Perhaps, a little more, but often this service is readily available.

Convenience stores gain some margin because of their location and of course, their convenience.

Convenience is a service, a value-add. Patrons pay a little more for the convenience.

Most married couples wouldn’t consider a convenience store for their ten-year wedding anniversary dinner. Most convenience stores wouldn’t try to offer this.

Your Personal Brand

Branding for each individual, in their job or their career, isn’t made up of being everything to anyone.

Certainly, lending a hand or helping out in a pinch is noteworthy, and sign of a positive workplace culture and caring. Great.

When your background and expertise is accounting, you may not also be in line to be the Chief Marketing Officer. If you are the CMO, you may not also be preparing for a CPA exam.

If this is not true and you cross paths of expertise often, what is your brand?

A lack of definition may make you nothing more than a disposable pen.

You can put your name on it, but is really doesn’t do much to change the value.

Build your brand.

-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 value

Service Value Is Always Determined By The Customer

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What is your product or service worth? Service value is not easily defined by the provider, no matter how hard you try.

When you live in a urban area and someone offers you a free lawnmower, or a goat, it probably is not of much value. The same may be true for gasoline engine powered hedge trimmers, a weed whacker, or a rototiller.

None of it really matters, it may be deemed not useful or of very little value.

The same may be true about two plane tickets to Montana via the Dawson Community Airport.

It is true about certain foods, books, or other resources. If there is no connection, there really is no value.

Free sauerkraut and hot dogs do not interest me. Yet, it may interest someone.

A twenty-year-old car in great condition may not seem to be worth much, but replacing it is expensive.

This concept is critically important as you face the challenge of serving your customers. What you offer isn’t always what is viewed as attractive or valuable.

Service Value

The trick for anything or everything depends on its perceived value.

Who would have ever thought that there would be a toilet paper crisis?

American Pickers look for rusty gold. Many people see nothing but junk.

The real opportunity is for the business to see everything through the lens of the customer and not through the lens of the innovator. Sometimes, yes, it could be appropriate for both. Yet, more often it is weighted in favor of the customer view.

An invention with no use is really just a floppy disk.

Or perhaps, a boiled egg squarer.

-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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untaught lessons

Untaught Lessons Are Not a Life Event Label

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Learning from experience is what many people enjoy the most. In some circles it is identified as experiential learning. Can you learn from untaught lessons?

Untaught suggests that it wasn’t scripted. It still, perhaps, could have happened in a classroom only it was a by-product of the instruction or lecture not necessarily the actual content.

Often people believe that experiential implies hands on. Such as a mechanic uses a wrench to loosen the bolt.

Experiential learning at its root is developed from reflection. When you reflect cognitively on the content, an outcome, or even the lecture, you are experiencing it.

What we learn becomes part of who we are. Often people become a label.

She is a teacher, dentist, or a welder. He is a carpenter, a salesman, or a project manager.

The labels often become applied as a result of formal studies. The degree in accounting makes her an accountant. It’s a life event label. She studied accounting and is now an accountant.

What happens with all of the untaught lessons?

Do you learn something from the by-product or residue of intentional learning?

Untaught Lessons

At the end of formal training sessions sometimes an instructor may ask, “What did you learn?”

For the individual there is reflection. For everyone else in the class there is reflection and an opportunity for learning from thoughts shared.

In many cases we experience or reflect upon what we choose.

When we make a mistake, we can learn from it. When we have some success, we can learn from it.

In life it is often our reflection on lessons that have the greatest impact.

Untaught lessons may not provide you with a life event label. Yet, life events may teach you a lesson.

-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 personal brand

Building Personal Brand Is About Value

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Mike Tyson has a different brand when compared with Sarah Jessica Parker. The same is true for Jim Parsons when compared with Daniel Tosh. Building personal brand depends on the value you are trying to create.

What is your value about? What is the image of your personal brand?

It is common when we speak about personal brand that the conversation may shift to money. Who can achieve the biggest salary, the most perks, and the best benefits?

Chances are great that there is a small local grocer who has a reputation for high quality food, friendly service, and a reasonable price. The same may be true for the hair salon, the hardware store, and the pizza shop.

People will go out of their way to get what they desire. If they are more interested in image, they may shop the trendiest place. Regardless of price or value.

For most, the workplace as we know it has been disrupted. Many are trying to reinvigorate commerce. When it comes to people and jobs, what will be most valuable now and in the future?

Building Personal Brand

You have to keep in mind your personal brand. What does that look like and who should hire you?

Employers will largely hire (or keep) based on their perceived need. From their perceived need, they’ll be considering value.

A Chevrolet Sonic will get you across town, so will a cab. You could also drive a Bentley to get there. Price varies substantially, so does the cost of ownership.

If an organization does not see the value that you bring to them, they may make a different selection.

Not everyone is a Bentley, and not every employer would want to drive one.

Remember that some organizations will make hiring decisions that don’t seem to align with price.

Perhaps because they see value as more important than price. Yet, some will see price as an identifier of value.

Choose your market and build the appropriate brand.

Mike Tyson and Sarah Jessica Parker both have something to do with knockouts. A Sonic or a Bentley will both get you across town.

You decide.

-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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better service

Better Service Is Typically Not Cheaper

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Are you prepared to deliver better service? In your workplace, at your job, for the customer, or because you care?

It sometimes appears that everyone is dumbing things down.

Does it make sense? If it does, for whom?

Doing It Cheaper

Why send a direct mail piece when you can send an email? Why walk into the grocery store when you can order ahead and pick it up at the curb? No need for a face-to-face meeting, let’s stay in our offices or cubicles and meet through technology.

Is less expensive better?

On the flip side, someone is always looking for the expensive car, the high priced bottle of wine, or a pair of shoes with a red sole.

When is better, better, and cheaper, cheaper?

The answer is pretty easy, “Always.”

For your commute to work you may not need the most expensive car. A nice tasting wine may not necessarily come with the highest price tag. And, there is a good chance you can make a great impression around the office without wearing Louboutin.

While all three may be great and make you feel like a million bucks (literally) they are not a requirement.

Better Service

There is a difference when you get to the bottom though. The cheapest of the cheapest feels, well, cheap.

We wonder why there is so much frustration with the tech support hotline. We wonder why the burger just doesn’t taste like a burger. For the business, they wonder why no quality candidates will apply for their job opportunities.

The answer is simple.

Some things are good enough and some things are better.

The lowest price is probably the wrong option.

The cheapest will always be the cheapest.

Every time.

-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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workforce learning

Workforce Learning, it Sticks and Grows

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It is all about culture. At least that is what most experts will say. Does building your organization have anything to do with workforce learning?

A couple of entrepreneurs get together and start a company. A few years later and they have a company of fifty or one hundred. And so the organization is growing, or so it appears.

What is creating the culture?

Culture and Change

Growth means change and change means learning. “Go get buy-in. Get everyone bought-in.” the CEO requests.

Yet many people struggle to understand how buy-in is achieved. Shouting about buy-in may disrupt the flow, yet getting traction often requires something different.

Marketing, advertising, and selling matter, they help spread the idea. Yet adoption of the idea may still require a different approach.

Difference Makers

Every day there is a person who sings in the shower. A person who paints a picture, and a person who demonstrates great leadership around the workplace.

Yet, the shower singer may not become an Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, or Mariah Carey. The picture painter may not become as well known as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, or Picasso. And the workplace leader may never make it to the C-Suite.

However, each one of these people bring something forward. The extent of their interactions may make a difference for someone’s day or even positively change a life, or two, or three. They help others learn, grow, and perhaps identify with a culture.

Workforce Learning

Organizational culture is made up of many things. Mostly, things that are driven by people. People who share with other people.

Buy-in is created by shared experiences. People who participate together build it together. It catches on, and it sticks. It has value and no one wants wasted effort.

Workforce learning helps people decide how they’ll shape the culture. When they discover value, they share it and then suggest that their friends try it too.

They’re bought-in, it sticks, and it grows.

-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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deteriorating image

The Value of a Deteriorating Image

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If you are in marketing or advertising you have a keen sense of brand value. If you run a business, lead a department or team, or are building a career, you should care about brand. Do you have a deteriorating image or brand?

Building your brand sometimes happens without realizing it. In some circles we may label this an image. What is your image? Have you thought about this lately?

Image Builders

If you’ve watched a few minutes of American Pickers on the History channel you may have heard Mike Wolfe talk about rusty gold. He likes old things. Things that have been used, worn, and maybe with a little rust.

Not so long ago, denim blue jeans with holes were popular. Stone-washed was, or is, the popular label for jeans that appear to have heavy wear.

A new expensive car is nice. Is there any value to one that appears to be in decent operating condition yet notably old or with heavy wear?

Is brand really about taste? Our preference for something that defines an image?

Deteriorating Image

Winter months in the Northeastern United States can be brutally damaging to our homes and vehicles. My vehicles are an integral part of how I do business.

I drive a rusty twenty-year-old Tahoe in the winter, yet, I have a nice car that is mostly only driven in fair weather. Showing up at a 5-star hotel for an event and tossing the keys of a rusty old Tahoe to the valet probably doesn’t have the image of success.

Should it matter? Well, that may be a good question. The brutal truth is, it does.

Regarding your business, your workplace department, or even your personal brand, image matters. Your brand success will depend largely on the feeling you create with those you are trying to attract.

It may be that there is a certain appeal to rusty gold, stone-washed, or old school.

Sometimes a hard-used image creates appreciation and value. It is the alternative to hardly used.

-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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dreaded performance review

The Dreaded Performance Review

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Performance evaluations and reviews are a special opportunity in the workplace. Are they clouded with inappropriate feedback? Are you about to receive the dreaded performance review?

Golden Rules

There are a few golden rules. Sadly, many supervisors don’t have adequate training or preparation to create a scenario where the review helps, not hurts, future employee performance.

Some of the rules are simple. The review should not be about a opportunity to blast the employee for poor performance or shortcomings on goals and objectives.

If this is an annual or semi-annual review those shortcomings should have been addressed long ago.

However, the review should be about goals and objectives. It should include meaningful and valuable goals that are directly connected to the larger organizational mission.

The Agony

Why do people dread performance reviews?

There are probably at least several reasons. Here are a few:

  • They’ve had a bad experience in the past.
  • The team is chattering about upcoming reviews and citing how terrible that day will be.
  • There is little or no understanding of the real purpose of the review so they see no value.
  • Setting goals and objectives makes them accountable to change.
  • Their supervisor has identified that reviews are a meaningless waste of time.

You get the picture. One or more of these characteristics have plagued or undermined the true purpose and value associated with performance reviews in many organizations.

Dreaded Performance Review

If you are a supervisor you have a responsibility. You should also have a commitment to the success of every member of the team. Future employee motivation is likely directly connected to the successful performance review.

Consider that your team will react to their review. One way or another. Do you want the next six to twelve months to show positive performance improvement?

Above all, the success (or not) of everyone will largely be based on what happens next.

-DEG

Do you need help with creating a positive culture and experience connected to the employee performance review? 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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market attention

Are You Gaining or Destroying Market Attention?

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Every time I login, I get a pop-up flash sale. When I attempt to exit, I get a different pop-up. At the networking event someone pushes the sale of a ticket. The TV commercial shows misery and asks for money. Is this helping with market attention or pushing it away?

Most people will enter your website with curiosity first. An “order now” pop-up is painful before I’ve had a chance to view the menu.

We don’t like telephone calls from someone we don’t already know.

We shy away from non-profits, even those that we share a purpose with because we’re afraid of being guilted into something more.

Although the intent is to improve, what we sometimes call marketing is driving down or driving away business.

Market Attention

There are a few simple rules for navigating market attention:

  1. Don’t assume or treat everyone the same. Repeat buyers are different from new contacts.
  2. Attempting to create a feeling of guilt with your base is the quickest way to weaken your relationship.
  3. Understand that diminishing attention means your value proposition is less attractive than it once was.
  4. Hitting your base (tribe, customers, members) harder and expecting linear (or greater) results is almost always a fallacy.
  5. Respect and reward those with the energy to engage, as much as or more than what you offer potential new customers.

Gain More

Your market is built on trust and emotion. Certainly, fairness and value are part of that process. Gouging your market is a turn off. So is the repeated invitation to subscribe when you already have.

Attempts to gain market attention and increase your base are sometimes doing the opposite.

Two steps forward, two steps back, doesn’t get you very far.

-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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