Workplace Interpretations Drive Outcomes

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workplace interpretations

Workplace Interpretations Drive Outcomes

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What are your workplace interpretations? Everyone has some. Have you considered how they drive outcomes?

It’s 2020, and we’re in the middle of a U.S. presidential election. There are lots of opinions, concerns, and hopes about what will happen next.

One person watches a democratic commercial and gets angry, a different person watches the same commercial and gets excited.

Republican commentary comes on the news. Someone will say it’s all lies, someone else will cheer for more.

And that is just connected to the election. There is more.

An on-line shopper observes a back-ordered item and believes the item has sold so well, it’s out-of-stock, what a great product and a great company. Another shopper a thousand miles away sees the same item but believes the company is lousy because they can’t build the product.

A restaurant franchise owner sees cars backing up on the street to enter the drive-through window of her establishment. She gets really excited. A passer-by sees an accident waiting to happen and believes the owner is making too much money.

The difference is in the interpretation.

Those interpretations will also condition what happens next.

Does it happen in the workplace?


Workplace Interpretations

People come to work every day. They show up, follow a routine, take a deep breath and dive in. Some may drag around for a while. Slow to get started, hesitant to give their energy.

One person will see a batch of new customer orders and be excited about the opportunity. Yet, another person will see the batch of orders as the worst part of their day.

One person will see the meeting with the boss as worrisome and stressful. Another believes it is a great opportunity.

Someone will watch the clock eager to get away from work at the end of the shift. Another worries that there is not enough time in the shift to satisfy every customer.

You will interpret something today. You’ll be energized and excited, or you’ll be stressed out and maybe a little angry.

You’re part of the culture and will help create what happens next.

Which part would you rather be?


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 or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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