Tag Archives: value

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standout sensation

Why You Should Be a Standout Sensation

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Often the goal is to fit in. The successful job applicant is largely successful because they’ve convinced the hiring organization that they are the best fit. Is this the correct logic or should you be a little different? Should you be a standout sensation?

We’re not going to easily rewrite the golden rules of job applicant success. I’m not even sure we should. However, sometimes what moves us forward is not being the best fit, it is being different.

Does Different Sell?

I’m not suggesting different such as purple hair, or different such as violating every societal trend, or even different such as refusing to adapt and normalize with appropriate etiquette. Not at all.

What about being different by being a standout sensation? Does this sell? Is it valuable? Yes.

What has contributed to Zappos success? Being a standout sensation in the art of customer service.

What about Amazon, eBay, or Apple products? Whether you are a fan or not, whether you agree or not, something makes them stand out.

It is hard to get noticed in a crowd of average. It is hard to be selected when the perception of value that you bring is just like everyone else.

In nearly everything that we do, the difference may be in the testimonial, it may be in the recommendation, and in a connection economy it may be your activity within the group. Any or all of these may lead to an opportunity to stand out.

Standout Sensation

Sitting in the dark corner all dressed up at the prom is safer than busting it out on the dance floor. Until Footloose changed the perspective.

You can struggle with positioning and hide away with fear. The fear of fitting in, being accepted, or being chosen.

The alternative is putting in the extra effort, the practice, and the risk of innovation to become a standout sensation.

One will get your somewhere, the other is just part of the crowd.

-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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great value

Great Value Is More Meaningful Than Price

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We know better, but we still do it. Every time we are about to make a big purchase we excruciatingly get stuck on the price. Great value is what we should really be assessing.

We may grab a snack from the convenience store, a coffee at the trendy shop, or feed a dollar or two into the vending machine and think nothing of it. Bigger ticket items often cause us to pause.

Value In Action

Yesterday, I joked with some friends on social media about buying a new Range Rover. The most consistent part of several threads across a couple of days was price.

Price can be an easy way of saying “no.” Why is that so easy? Often because no one is considering the value.

What are you or your organization buying? What are the big-ticket items that have your attention? How will you prepare your personal or departmental budget for the coming year?

Price, although often negotiable, is very apparent. We see the numbers and analyze the fit. Is it affordable? Will it work?

The CFO or your CPA may choose some deeper analysis. What is the anticipated life, the costs associated with ownership, and what will it do, if anything, to the balance sheet? Smart people.

Great Value

All these things matter, but many of them are more connected with price than value. Is value important?

Truly the Range Rover should be about value. The purchase of a personal computing device should be about value. Our home, our furniture, about value.

In the workplace when we bring on a new employee, about value. When we invest in employee training and development, about value. That large capital equipment purchase, it should be about value.

Beyond the technical or mechanical evaluation of price, there is often the intangible part of value.

One thing is certain. Be cautious of low price, it is often not connected with great value.

-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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balancing customer service

Balancing Customer Service or Tipping The Scale

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People often suggest that most things in life require balance. Are you balancing customer service? Does the harsh outweigh the delight?

Doing your best work matters. Doing your best work and being recognized for it may feel like it matters even more. What happens when your best work is criticized?

Show Appreciation

Every day employees, business owners, and people helping other people try hard to create satisfaction.

When a compliment is received, it feels pretty good. A referral, a handwritten note, a smile, a nod, or even an email can make a difference for your day, perhaps your week. If it is really great, it may last a lifetime.

We tend to welcome comments and gestures of appreciation. Without much thought we accept the gratitude, grow through it, and work hard for more.

It makes the effort feel worthwhile. Justifies the labor and is satisfying.

No Appreciation

The other side of the coin is when we put in the labor without recognition. When we hold the door, give the smile, and lend a hand and no appreciation is shown. Nothing recognized, no gestures, and no take away.

It happens when people are judged. When biases lead the conversations, and when what is done well or done right is what was expected and for that, no gratitude.

When the extra effort, or even the required effort goes unnoticed, unrecognized, and underappreciated it feels like our work lacks value. A lack of value makes us question the reasons for the work in the first place. No appreciation, no reason to do the work.

Balancing Customer Service

Lack of appreciation is a deal breaker. It can ruin the moment, the day, and leave a lasting undesirable impression. Good news travels fast, but bad news often travels faster.

For everyone that you serve and for everyone that is serving you, is there balance? Are you balancing customer service efforts? Internal or external, are you providing motivation or disengagement?

If you’re going to tip the scale, tip it by providing more value. It’s appreciated.

-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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constructive contributions

Constructive Contributions Are Valuable In The Workplace

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Conditioning plays a role in much of what we do. As children or young adults many have learned to keep quiet, to not say anything, and just sit back and observe. However, it is constructive contributions that will have an impact on your future.

Speak Up, Listen, Contribute

Many people are afraid to speak up. It may be from ridicule, from the risk of being wrong, or because past experience has taught us it is safer without comment.

There is value in listening more, and many people should practice better listening, but what things are going unsaid?

How many times have you sat in the meeting with a thought on your mind but you failed to share it? How many times could the lost sale, lost client, or lousy performance have been prevented?

Measuring Risk

The value of constructive contributions is very high but like many high value items it is often very rare.

People often measure risk in the wrong way. What is riskier, speaking up, or watching the team go down the wrong path?

It may be alarming the number of times that things go unsaid. Of course, sometimes inaction may be the right action. How do you know what to do?

Constructive Contributions

When you paraphrase, you often increase understanding and limit miscommunication. What is the risk or the harm? Little or none.

When you build on others ideas for the benefit of the decision, there is little effort wasted and the quality of the decision improves. You also invite future contributions.

When you take a chance, leap, and risk with thoughtful, constructive contributions, you may change the outcome. You may invent something new, better, or appropriately encourage redesign.

The best job security, the highest probability for a promotion, and the insurance of a future for your organization may exist through constructive contributions.

While there may be some risk, the value is great.

Ante up.

-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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measure productivity

How To Measure Productivity Through Metrics

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Overwhelmed, too busy, and unsure of exactly how to save yourself? Join the crowd. People everywhere are concerned about improving personal efficiency. How you measure productivity is a good place to start.

Metrics

Most measurement begins with metrics. In our digital world personal productivity often includes metrics centered around email processing. Ask someone how busy they are and chances are good that their inbox will enter the conversation.

Doing whatever pops up and identifying that you are busy may be a fact. However, you shouldn’t confuse the fact that you are busy with productivity.

I had to process over one hundred new email messages.

My boss sent me six new to-do’s in the last half-hour.

I didn’t have time to answer your message, I had to process three days of backlogged email.

When helping businesses form strategy I often suggest that many individuals and businesses can get caught up in “firefighting.” This is a tactical approach to solving problems which can slowly erode strategy.

Metrics, such as the number of email messages processed may be valid, but don’t make the mistake of confusing metrics and measurements with productivity.

Keeping Busy

Proving that we have a lot of motion and that we are busy should never become a metric.

The digital relationship builder can amass new social media friends, connections, views, clicks, likes, and shares but that doesn’t necessary mean that they’ve built a single new relationship. The numbers are there. Is the relationship?

We can make metrics improve which will cause busy work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve created progress or value.

Measure Productivity

Often the most confusing part about strategy is understanding the difference between tactics and goals. Seldom is there a need to make executing a tactic a goal. That is more about motivation rather than strategy.

There is a related concept to measuring productivity. Many people believe being busy is a measurement of accomplishment, thus being better at being busy means improved productivity. It could, but often it is just busier.

Do you really want to measure productivity? You can start by measuring the value of the outputs from all of the work that you do.

Keep in mind that metric improvement may be a fact, but did you create any real value?

-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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limits

Limits or No Limits, What Matters More?

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Focus helps remind us that staying narrow, working within boundaries, and limiting distractions accomplishes goals. Should you work within limits or is it better to know no limits?

What Fits?

When we prepare a package for shipment we can only fit so much within the box. Our suitcase for the trip, same thing. Airplane carry-on rules, the same.

If we could fit everything, there wouldn’t be much decision about what to take. We’ll just take it all. When we have everything we could possibly need there really isn’t a reason to focus. No need to pick the best or the most appropriate.

If we had all of time, nothing ended, it just kept going, forever, there really wouldn’t be a need to be selective, there would always be more. What would really matter the most, perhaps no one would care.

Limits help make us choose to do something better, make something more meaningful, and discover what matters the most.

Matters More

When the car only holds five passengers, not everyone can go. The metaphorical seat on the bus (Jim Collins), not everyone will fit. It causes us to be selective. As the bus starts to fill, the selection matters more.

Certainly, working within limits can result in thinking small, but the concept that there are no limits doesn’t seem to accomplish much. It may help push the envelope bigger, but if the envelope is never filled not much really matters.

If your business could market to everyone, all the time, and there is no cost or saturation point your advertisement may not have to be that good. Just do more.

Limits

Limits make things hard. They make it hard to achieve perfection, hard to get things just right, and hard to make the best decisions because in that moment, within those limits, the decision made, is final.

The best work happens within limits. What is created with focus, precision, and just enough but not too much, creates exactly what is the most desirable.

Anything without limits has little value. It is available everywhere and all of the time.

Here is a box of stuff, now make something.

– 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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worth it appreciative strategies

What Makes You Worth It, Not Cheap

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People become so fixated on price, the price of gasoline, the price of the combo meal, and the price of your data connection. The pursuit of cheap is often a slippery slope. What makes you worth it?

Looking for Cheap

Unfortunately, some people don’t care about better, they care more about cheap. This lasts for a while, until they discover that cheap is more expensive.

I bought it on eBay, it was NOS (new old stock) but now I’ve realized it is used. It broke the first time I used it.

I grabbed the lowest priced coffee for our coffee maker. We have clients coming in today. It tastes terrible.

The repair shop gave me choices on a new battery for my car. I picked the cheapest one, now my car won’t start, the battery is dead.

So many frustrated people, the shortcut often doesn’t get you there faster and the lower price will often cost you more.

People and Organizations

This is true with nearly everything, and true with both people and organizations.

They go a little cheaper on their marketing or advertising budget. Sales haven’t been the same since. In fact, they are now worse.

Employees need training so they make it mandatory that everyone watches the video. Employees learn something new, but fail to understand how to apply the knowledge. There wasn’t an expert available to answer the tough questions. Now you have attorney fees and employees to replace.

They need a warm body to do some work, so they find the employee who will work for less. They ship the wrong product, provide poor service, and the organization’s reputation is changed forever.

Good Choices

As people, we have a choice. There are choices made and consequences of actions in every one of these examples. Is cheap worth it?

Make a conscious choice to not be cheaper, but to be worth it. Whatever you are selling, standing behind, or building a reputation on, don’t be cheap, be worth it.

Worth It

Do the hard work, work longer to make it better, stay late, come in early, provide reliability, be trusted, learn more, have some fun, and most of all, care.

The smartest people and organizations, the ones that really matter, they will notice. Everyone else is only interested in cheap.

It is a slippery slope. Be worth it instead.

– 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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workplace contribution

What Is Your Workplace Contribution?

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Often people view their workplace as a place to earn a paycheck. Certainly for work outside of volunteering this is a truism. Should more people be assessing their workplace contribution?

Many people begin their commute with nearly the same intentions every day. Go to work, get to my work area, start my job, do a few things, and then go home. For some it is much more than that.

Building a Career

People who are engaged, those who want to make a difference, those who are building a career often have a little different viewpoint.

When career minded people go to work, they break things, they fix things that are broke, they build something, risk something, make decisions, have accomplishments, please a customer, help a co-worker, and occasionally fail in any of these attempts.

Where Is The Value

The person who is really contributing does all of this and so much more. It is work. It is called work because it is often hard and it isn’t always about what you are getting for it, it is also about what you become for it.

Perhaps too many people view their job in the wrong way. Instead of analyzing how much time you spend doing stuff, what if you measured how much value you are delivering. The most value doesn’t come from what you’re taking, it comes from what you are giving.

Where are you adding the most value? How much is that worth? Is it cost savings or revenue producing? Is whatever you are doing timely? Will it be the best prioritization of your efforts?

Workplace Contribution

Your workplace contribution matters. It should be measured because we know, “what gets measured gets done.” Value may be a bit nebulous for some, but it makes all of the difference for the organization.

Maybe it is time to start thinking about something different on your commute. Think about how you will provide the most value.

– 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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your performance review appreciative strategies

Finding The Truth About Your Performance Review

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The performance review process is interesting to say the least. Despite the moans and groans that go along with it, many organizations adopt a process of an annual or semi-annual review. Is your performance review honest, effective, and well managed?

Mismanaged Reviews

I can provide dozens and dozens of stories and examples of how the process is mismanaged which ultimately leads to the belief that performance reviews are a waste of time and effort. I have to admit that if they are not well managed, they probably are not very valuable. In extreme mismanagement, they could even be detrimental.

Unfortunately, often the process is done at the last minute, or supervisors give employees who they favor accolades while blasting someone who did something wrong yesterday as if it represents an entire year of wrong doing. All of this is of course, wrong.

Do you want to know the truth about your performance review? Do you want to understand how to improve?

Your Performance Review

Consider doing the review yourself. Yes, this can be done, and if you manage it properly it can be very beneficial. You could also ask a few peers to provide some honest feedback.

your performance review

To get started the best way is ask yourself some tough questions, here are a few to consider:

  1. What have I pushed myself to learn recently?
  2. What am I doing better at?
  3. Is my communication clear?
  4. Am I listening well?
  5. Have my sales skills improved (Hint: We all sell.)?
  6. What mistakes have I made recently and what did I learn from them?
  7. Are my goals appropriate (do I have goals?)?
  8. Have I met or exceeded goals?
  9. Who have I helped and who will I help next?
  10. What value am I bringing to my job role and how can I bring more?

One of the best parts about your performance review is that you can do it often, check back regularly, and provide yourself with honest feedback.

Certainly, you may have some blind spots and it may be hard to recognize the expectations of others but if you consistently review yourself you’ll likely bring more value to the organization.

– DEG

Originally posted on January 8, 2018. Last updated on May 11, 2018.

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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customer service value

Difficulties Are Customer Service Value

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Habits are the basis for most of our work. Individually or organizationally, we tend to be creatures of habit. If we want to improve, we know the story of replacing bad habits with good ones. Do the challenges we face really create customer service value?

The path of least resistance may be the easiest one to follow. It may also be the most crowded.

Easy or Difficult?

Most people probably go for the low hanging fruit. It is the easiest to pick, uses less energy, and it may produce more than what we need or can consume. Organizations love low hanging fruit, and will pick it all day. They often end up in the path of the many.

It is hard to sell in a crowded market. Unique feels risky and is harder work, but it is probably where there is the most value.

When your business does more than what is average, more than where the crowd goes, and pursues beyond the low hanging fruit it may become unique.

In a service-based economy, where do you want to be positioned? It seems that standing out in a crowd may make the most sense.

Customer Service Value

The customer experience you create likely won’t provide great value when it is just like all the rest. Having exceptional levels of service will not be the path of least resistance, it is not picking only the low hanging fruit. Standing out will take resources, time, and will be difficult to maintain.

When we consider what is the most valuable, it is probably connected to what is scarce, not abundant. Being average is easy. It is plentiful and abundant.

Habits form the basis for our work. They are directly connected to the culture. If you want a culture that thrives in a service economy, you are going to have to be unique.

When you do the difficult work, you’ll stand out from the crowd. You may also be recognized as highly valuable, not because you are one of many, but because you are scarce.

What do customers see in a service economy? They often see little need for loyalty in a market where there is abundance.

Competing on price is a model. So is providing the most value.

– 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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