Tag Archives: workplace

  • 0
storytelling

Does Storytelling Work For You?

Tags : 

Have you used storytelling in your repertoire of workplace skills? Storytelling can make a difference. What is in your stories?

Some people quickly scoff at the idea of a story. They consider stories to only be a fairy tale, an extreme embellishment of the facts, or just plain boring.

In some cases, people connect stories with the sales process, and, it might be true.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Everyone is in sales.”

What is important for your story?

Workplace Culture and Stories

Telling stories in the workplace can have a positive impact on not only performance, but organizational culture as well. People will often connect with stories. They have been hearing them and learning from them starting at a very young age.

Workplace motivation and culture are best connected with a compelling call-to-action. This is often defined as the difference between push and pull. Pull is much more powerful and a good story pulls the listener in.

Stories should draw connection points to what is in it for the listener. A story can include many characters, including yourself, but it needs to resonate in a connection for the listener.

Storytelling Captures Attention

When you capture the attention of a listener through a story told the impact will make a difference. If the story causes the listener to self-reflect and builds a connection, you likely have experiential learning.

Attention is hard to capture in today’s fast-paced World. Pause for a few moments and phone surfing begins. A commercial in the middle of the television show, more surfing. A small group discussion that isn’t resonating and more surfing.

Your story, whatever it is, needs to capture the attention of the listener. Should it be embellished and dramatic? Should it be funny? Could it be sad? The easy answer is, “Maybe.” Know your audience and feel your way through.

Everyone is in sales and some stories are unforgettable.

Tell a good one.

-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.


  • 0
remember endings

Remember Endings Follow Beginnings

Tags : 

Excitement for the beginning is great. It unleashes the energy and gets things rolling. Every customer order, every project, and even your career has a beginning and an end. Remember endings have just as much importance as the beginning.

When things start, it is often hard to keep in mind that things will end. The optimism and excitement of the beginning often gets everyone engaged in the flow. Flow means momentum and momentum is hard to stop.

After the Beginning

Your latest personal technology device is super cool on the first day or week. Eighteen short months later and it has often lost some of its luster.

It is similar for a new outfit, a pair of shoes, and a car. Awesome at first, but later not so much.

Certainly, it is similar for your job or your career. Even the greatest start is followed by an ending.

Unless it is the finale of something great, like a fireworks display, the end is often not desirable or attractive. In fact, it is a distraction.

At the same time having the foresight and recognition that often even the best things come to end is important for your career.

Remember Endings

Endings follow starts.

Starts are important, so are first impressions. Yet across time impressions and opinions often change.

How you navigate between the beginning and the end will continue to shape your reputation and your personal brand.

How you end will be remembered.

While you’re navigating your day keep in mind that what you do becomes part of the reputation that follows you. The beginning, the journey, the end.

It’s true for this day, and every day thereafter.

-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.


  • 0
understanding navigation

Understanding Navigation and Where You’ll End Up

Tags : 

Understanding navigation may be more difficult than many workplace professionals quickly recognize. Yes, it is often about what we do and how we react and that defines how we navigate.

Just last week someone annoyed you in a meeting. Someone else didn’t complete a task, delayed the project, or simply decided not to show up.

This week there are schedule pressures. An update meeting with the boss and a report to complete.

There are countless opportunities to get annoyed in our workplace. Opportunities to see stress, feel stressed, and worry. Was anything different last month, last year, or at your old job?

Navigating The Same Stuff

Some things have probably changed but yet in reality you worried last year about stuff that just doesn’t matter this year.

You worried about sales being off, the budget not being balanced, or that a co-worker was trying to undermine your project.

You worried about what you said in the meeting, how you said it, and when the boss may have hinted (although you aren’t sure) that you aren’t measuring up.

None of those things matter this year. Although now you have an entire new set of somewhat similar challenges.

Are you navigating differently?

Understanding Navigation

Sure you may have grown. You attended the seminar, read a book, and listened to a few podcasts. You’ve chatted with colleagues, asked for feedback, and with some apprehension, listened to the critics.

Being stressed and worried doesn’t accomplish much. Feeling annoyed and getting irritated does not really serve a useful propose.

What happened last week or last month may have some impact but largely our career and the work that we do is about what is accomplished across decades of commitment and navigation.

Last week you weren’t a novice, an amateur, and now you’re an expert. It took you time, lessons learned, and navigation.

Don’t overestimate the impact of a single experience and don’t underestimate the value of the culmination of a decade.

-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.


  • -
workplace mind changers

Workplace Mind Changers Are Often Necessary

Tags : 

Do you need to try something new? Are you seeking to pivot into a new or slightly tweaked vision? Workplace mind changers may be required.

What people do every day can be connected to the concept of habits.

Workplace habits can be hard to break. People come to work and do the same routine.

Leaders often take for granted the ease of which people flow with the norm. Whatever the culture suggests as the norm, seemingly happens with little motivation being required. It’s the norm.

Changing Minds is Marketing

When you want to change something, you sometimes have to change minds.

We see it in marketing. A new iPhone is being released, is the new phone needed or is it the marketing that prompts a quest for something more?

Seasons change, and as such, it may be time for new clothing or household items and decorations. What drives what is purchased? Often it is based on advertising and marketing campaigns.

Employees sometimes want a new chair, a new computer, a company supplied laptop or something fixed or replaced. They can simply ask, or develop a small marketing message to spark change.

Your marketing finesse is incredibly valuable.

Workplace Mind Changers

Often, you are not just giving ideas, your selling them. Your sales efforts are passively designed to change minds.

You create the compelling message. You establish reasons why, and connect them to business efficiency, productivity, or long-run gains.

Establishing buy-in for a budget proposal, additional workforce, or technology change starts with selling. If the need isn’t apparent nothing will change.

Becoming apparent starts with some data, and better yet, a story.

Workplace mind changers are also great marketers.

-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.


  • -
workplace experiences

Workplace Experiences Shape Your Future

Tags : 

People will sometimes ask, “What did you learn?” Our workplace experiences guide nearly everything that happens next. They tear down, create new, or expand organization culture.

Likely, no one experiences the experience in exactly the same way. On a trip to Disney, individual experiences are different. A trip to the beach, the mountain resort, or last evenings sporting event, no two people have exactly the same experience.

It is the same for what we read, watch on TV, or learn in the seminar. It is always shaped by our individual thoughts and past experiences.

Experiential Learning

This is exactly why the concept of experiential learning matters in workshops and seminars. You can tell people many things, when you prompt them to reflect on ideas as an experience it is much more powerful.

In many regards, it is why the keynote at the convention is impactful, or perhaps why it is not. Ask a few people what they thought, you’ll likely get some different answers. No two people will experience it exactly the same way.

The stories that are told and the stories that are heard may be two different things.

Workplace Experiences

The hope then, of the story teller, the workshop leader, or the CEO is that his or her involvement will create the kind of impact desired.

The desire to shape futures, pivot directions, or do more of the same will be based on the behaviors that are led by our experiences.

We all rely on stories to shape what happens next. Biblical stories, historical accounts, and, “the way things are done around here.”

-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.


  • -
desirable learning

Desirable Learning and Workplace Impact

Tags : 

Desirable learning is different from learning that is forced. Most workplace skills come from learning which results in competence. Is that competence attractive and desirable?

A good friend telephoned me yesterday. He often phones with philosophical questions. He is a hobbyist researcher, always seeking the facts (or a population to survey) to determine probable outcomes, answers, or solutions.

Yesterday his question was about motivation. He was trying to consider all angles of motivation and especially how it helps determine career paths. His work is always interesting to me.

Workplace Impact and Careers

When it comes to workplace learning, organization development, and career paths it often boils down to motivation. Motivation to learn a new skill, up your game, and do better work. Arguably some of that motivation may be based on desire.

Can you learn to be a salesperson, an accountant, or a graphic designer?

Can you learn to be a computer network technician? What about being a Python coder?

Do people learn how to be a good manager, vice-president, or CEO?

Is learning based on desire to perform the work?

People often discuss talent. You may hear someone suggest that the painter, musician, or actress is very talented. Did those skills come naturally or did they practice their craft over and over again until they honed their skills above the average?

If they developed that talent, what compelled them to devote so much energy to that development?

Desirable Learning

In your workplace or connected to your career is opportunity. Sure, there may be some lucky opportunities here and there, yet you have to appropriately manage your luck.

The best way to manage any opportunity is to be prepared. You develop the skills and competency to be both proactive and reactive to your environment through learning.

Do you believe you could learn to paint on canvas? Can you learn to become a Python coder? What about being a chef, a welder, or an FBI agent? Can you learn these things?

The question is, “Do you want to do it?”

We often limit ourselves, or not, based on our own desires. Desire may be driven by self-efficacy, feedback, or personal interests.

It is probably safe to say that most people can learn nearly anything.

Do they find the opportunity desirable?

-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.


  • -
workplace promises

Making Workplace Promises Bigger

Tags : 

A promise is not just about confidentiality. A promise is often about a commitment to doing your best work. Are you making workplace promises that you will keep?

Trust is element often discussed during leadership training. Trust is critical for our communication, teamwork, and is critical for organizations to realize their true competitive advantage.

Changing Outcomes

Trust often begins with a promise. Sometimes it is a verbal commitment, a head nod, or a hand shake. In other cases, it is assumed. Attend the meeting and you’re on the hook for assignments.

Workplace promises may be a force that tugs against the micromanager. When there is greater trust, there is less oversight. Less oversight means more freedom of movement, creativity, and innovation.

As a result of promises kept, things tend to go far beyond trust. Promises make a difference for outcomes of the organization and will help individuals build better careers.

Are you making promises? Can you make them bigger?

Workplace Promises

Professional growth often starts with a promise. When the promise becomes bigger, more meaningful, and delivers with greater impact your credibility increases. Done repetitively across time, a sense of consistency develops.

More credibility, greater consistency, and well managed communication will mean you are becoming a trusted resource.

Making bigger promises will test your vulnerability, improve your ability to assess risk, and perform at a much higher level.

We often write our own story. When you are committed to making promises that you will keep, you’re making a difference for everyone. Including yourself.

Make bigger promises. Keep them.

-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.


  • -
workplace culture denial

Workplace Culture Denial Will Cost You

Tags : 

Do you have a great workplace culture? Are you the CEO, a front line employee, or somewhere in the middle? Is your assessment honest or are you in workplace culture denial?

Blind spots can be devastating. When we fail to see or to accept things that are happening right in front of us, the outcomes won’t be favorable.

There is a lot of talk from CEO’s in small businesses about the challenges they face with hiring, employee retention, and finding the best talent.

The trendy answer is connected to blame. Many blame it on low unemployment numbers. Mathematically there is some justification for this, it looks good, and if you lift the covers for a peak at the data it seems to justify it.

Is that all of the problem?

Have a Meeting

I see media reports of government agencies holding roundtable discussions, events, and panel talks. They play the blame game and keep asking CEO’s what they need.

Soon the conversation will shift to culture. Proud CEO’s boast about everything from installing televisions and a pool table in the lunch room, to putting in skylights, or having a nature trail behind their building.

Do these things matter? Certainly, they matter and can be valuable. Yet, these material things on their own are not a culture change.

Culture Rich Means People

Some of the most culture rich organizations I encounter don’t have any of those things. Yet, they seem to get a lot of great resumes, have good choices for hiring, and are growing their business.

Here is the thing. In a very general sense, the best people don’t want to work for an organization they want to work with an organization. It is not inclusive of everyone, but largely this is about the mindset and culture.

CEO’s who believe the path to productivity, efficiency, and revenue are accomplished with robotic contributions, need to invest in that equipment. It is not a bad idea. It just isn’t a people oriented idea.

Workplace Culture Denial

People aren’t tools and tools aren’t people.

Technology is amazing. It certainly is our future.

Invest, invest, and invest! Then invest some more.

Yet you can’t expect to treat people like robots. You’ll find some who will work like that, but others will go to an organization where they feel valued and not like a tool to get the job done.

You can’t be in denial about culture.

The culture is what you make it. Largely it is connected to the highest leadership roles, yet people in the middle or front line can make positive contributions even if there is some denial in the C-Suite.

Install your skylights, brighten the work area, and build a nature trail. It really doesn’t matter if the feeling of the people stays the same.

-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.


  • -
workplace culture leverage

Workplace Culture Leverage Means More

Tags : 

Mankind discovered the advantage of the lever in the stone age. Sir Isaac Newton receives credit for framing the concepts associated with gravity. Does workplace culture leverage matter?

When asked about culture, many businesses will tell a story about their environment. They’ll mention their recent remodeling efforts, break rooms, or nature path that is around the back of the building.

These things all add value and may be important, yet they are really about shaping the environment which may have little or nothing to do with building a better culture.

Culture Contributions

Your culture includes contributions from many different angles. It is somewhat about the physical environment, yet it is also about people, communication, and symbols.

When the CEO says, “Let’s have a meeting outside of the office and be sure to BYOD (bring your own device) we’ll be accessing things during the meeting.” A segment, if not all of those receiving the invitation will get excited. They get excited because it is new, different, trendy, and gives them bragging rights about the greatness of the organization where they work.

This is leverage.

Workplace Culture Leverage

Each time organization leadership promotes or engages in emotion building activities or events, it stimulates culture. Culture is about people. Leverage is about moving something in a direction with more ease.

Organization culture is much easier to build when there is a compelling reason to participate. Pushing cultural values or creating fear is a short run game with little or no future leverage.

Avoid the mistake of assuming that culture is more about objects or material things than it is about people. Culture is created through our experiences and emotions. Passion, motivation, and the interest to build community all happen as a result.

Building something is always about more than the money that is involved.

Leverage everything that connects people.

-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.


  • -
workplace currents

Workplace Currents and Getting To The Other Side

Tags : 

Do you find navigating workplace currents a challenge? Are you fighting upstream, going with the flow, or simply trying to get to the other side?

What strategy for navigating workplace currents would you recommend?

Survivalists Message

Survivalists claim that the best way to cross a stream in waist deep water is to face directly across the stream. They suggest you shouldn’t face upstream, or downstream, but you should stay focused on an exit point on the other side.

The logic seems to be that facing upstream could cause you to slip, lose your balance, and topple backwards, possibly drowning. Facing downstream may get you across but not where you need to be as you would slowly be drifting away from your exit.

Is this similar to navigating workplace currents?

Workplace Currents

Certainly, confidence and approaching obstacles head on has its value. Yet, going with the flow feels like the easier route.

Perhaps it depends on the goal. For many, career growth is very important, yet it may feel like a catastrophic failure will seal your fate.

Sometimes surviving the workplace current is the most important aspect. You still want to thrive, but first you have to get through the current.

Much of what happens next depends on how you choose to navigate. Our belief systems and what we tell ourselves will have a significant impact on the outcomes.

So will the idea of keeping your eye on the prize.

Sometimes the hardest part is not the obstacle itself, it is the concentration and focus required to stick with your goal.

-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.


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more