Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Colourful coaching…

At nuggets we deliver colourful coaching, a visual map of the clients words and their thinking by using different coloured post-it notes.

I qualified as a CTI Co-active coach and was very happy with the techniques, however I wanted to put my nuggets stamp on it. I have worked with Coaches myself and the ones that resonated with me were the ones who used visuals.

Not everyone is visual although everyone needs a reminder a memory snapshot for the coaching to be effective. Coaches make notes during or after the session and sometimes they capture the essence, my belief in the colourful coaching methodology is that it works brilliantly as it is in the here and now.

Coaching is all about the quality of listening and being sure to hear the words the client uses, just a change of one word can alter a meaning. Using the word “rubbish” and “terrible” definitely have different levels of impact. We listen with our eyes and our heart and can ask about the emotion behind the words but only at the right moment.

The relationship between the coach and the client is like a dancing partner. The client always chooses the dance and always leads the dance, however the coach is there as a partner on the dance floor. As a partner you can help navigate around other people on the dance floor and ask how they are feeling and if they are enjoying the dance or do they want to do another. The rhythm and movement of the coach and client must be comfortable and enjoyable.

The best coaches are the ones that are outside of the company and industry, the lack of knowledge is beneficial in giving guidance and opinion when appropriate that does not come with any hidden agenda. “You can reach for the stars” in a coaches eyes as they do not have a vested interest in your performance they are being paid to coach you, so that you can reach the potential you desire.

Colourful coaching is one hour and currently via Zoom. The first two sessions need to be within a fortnight of each other so that rapport is established, and going forward the Client can determine how often they need to meet up. In the virtual world of Zoom it is advisable to meet more often.

Using a board the post-it notes are displayed behind the coach creating a journey of the session. The board acts as a great summary and most importantly a record of the session. Photos of the post-its are sent to the client.

We ask before the next session the client sends their nuggets and actions. nuggets are the key learnings which will make the most difference.

The cost of colourful coaching is £100 and we would love to start working with you on any of the following or something that is relevant to you now:-

  • How to be effective working from home…? self motivation/discipline
  • Beating procrastination and being effective
  • Self confidence
  • New to Leadership
  • Presentation coming up – want some guidance on how to have impact
  • Career change

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

The essence of the 7 Habits

Many know the best selling business title “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey. People live by the habits and can name them easily, although how many remember the first part of the book the very essence.

Covey could see that much had been written about Personality Ethic in self help books, how to improve time management, communication and other outside skills. He believed that you needed to start from the inside, you needed to change your character first.

The book starts with him describing him and his wife worrying about their son. They can see that he is not doing well academically or on the sporting field. They realise after a long period that there is nothing wrong with their son, it is their perception and other people’s perceptions. They need to work on their own characters to see their son differently. It took a long time of understanding that they were looking at the measure of success for parenting shared by others and themselves and not loving their son’s uniqueness.

Real change comes from the inside out. Trying to master external techniques without altering your thinking and yourself as a person, will not bring many fruits.

Other examples of working on the inside out approach are:-

  • To create a happier marriage, be the person who creates the positive energy needed to create a happier marriage instead of empowering negative energy
  • If you want to have a more cooperative and pleasing teenager, be a more understanding, empathic and loving parent.
  • If you want people to trust you more, be more trustworthy to people.

The inside-out approach says that it is futile to try to accomplish better relationships (something external) without having changed the internal (your character).

The character ethic is based on the idea that there are fundamental principles to live your life by eg. 10 commandments. Values are more personal and also define your character.

An example:-

  • Thou shall not steal – (principle)
  • Honesty (value)

We can work on our attitudes and behaviours, however Covey says far better to look at paradigms “perceptions, assumptions our frame of reference”. Another way to look at paradigms is to see them as maps. They can be split into two categories “The way things really are “Reality”…and “The way things should be …”Values”.

We see our own paradigms not as it is but as we are. What we see is highly interwoven as to who we are. Being is seeing. We can’t go very far to change our seeing without simultaneously changing our being.

In order to improve ourselves we look within and work on our character and our paradigms. To make a major change we may need a paradigm shift. If the paradigm is the lens through which we see the world the shift might be instant or it maybe slow and deliberate process.

Examples of paradigms shifts:-

  • email replacing the way we communicated before
  • Photographic film to digital

The book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is about a principle centred, character based “inside out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness. “Inside out” means to start with self, your paradigms, your character and your values. It is futile to put personality ahead of character, you will never improve a relationship unless you improve yourself first.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation

Measuring happiness…

Happiness can be interpreted in different ways by all of us, and is it possible to measure it? We have a good idea when we are happy as the chemicals in our brain release the endorphins, however do we ensure that it is happening regularly.

The first step is to recognise what does make you happy.

Dr Steve Peters the author of the Chimp Paradox gives a really easy way to look at:-

  • Immediate happiness
  • Delayed happiness

Make a list of everything that immediately makes you happy:-

  • Cup of coffee
  • Glass of red wine
  • Long walk (with or without the dog)
  • Watching your favourite TV show
  • Reading a good book

Everyone will have a list unique to them, and worth taking time to reflect on what does give you immediate happiness. The joy is that you can adjust your quickly, and the fact you have it on the list is that psychologically you recognise it is an activity that you enjoy. At the end of the day how many times have you rewarded yourself with immediate happiness.

Delayed happiness is events that you plan, so might look something like this

  • Meeting up with some mates for coffee
  • Walking with a friend
  • Game of tennis/golf/squash
  • Cinema (outdoor currently)

The delay creates anticipation and often the wait makes it all the more enjoyable. It is good to create your own delayed happiness not just the planning of others that you buy into.

Start to be action orientated around making yourself happy, as no-one will do it for you.

Tracking each day as to what has made you happy will reinforce the behaviour. Start by journalling the days events this may well give you new items to add to your list.

Make yourself happy and measure it constantly…

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Goals, Learning, motivation, training

Back to school…

Using “Back to school” as a metaphor for business what does it mean for us…

New Uniform

We might well be staying the same, as per working from home, therefore do we need a new uniform. It is not just about the clothes we wear it is the mindset we put on every morning. Do you feel positive about the future and do you believe that you are still developing and growing. Every morning you wake up you choose the attitude you decide to put on. Susan Jeffers quoted in her book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” if you wake up in “pain” you will stay in “pain” all day. Whereas if we decide to pop “power” on, we will have a very different day. Think about what you need to look good inside and outside and remember you make the choices.

New Timetable

September is a good time to change your schedule, the days are changing it is already getting darker earlier, therefore do you start the day earlier? What new routines and rituals are you going to factor into your week. Map out the month of September and decide what will be a weekly or a daily discipline. Most importantly remember to write it down.

New Teachers

Who are you going to work with in September? Reach out to new Clients and new businesses that you have never reached out to before. Try different sectors and industries, be open minded about who you want to work with.

New Subjects

What new skills and development do you want to start? Think about mind/body and soul, develop your whole self. Set yourself a monthly goal to ensure that you remember to focus on it. James Clear the writer of “Atomic Habits’ says remember it is important to start, it is better to run for 10 minutes than to not run at all. Get started and you will then begin to embody the identity of the habit you wish to develop.

New Friends

Existing colleagues and new colleagues, reach out of your comfort zone and attend new webinars, virtual workshops and new meetings. See if you can meet a new person each week or month, set it up as a challenge.

Please do contact me if you would like to attend the nuggets book club starting this Friday at 10.00am when we will be reviewing the book “Eat that Frog”.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Learning

Getting to know your Chimp…

The excellent book by Dr. Steve Peters “The Chimp Paradox” explains the principal of mind management.

In essence Peters explains how we have three areas of the mind:-

  • The Human
  • The Chimp
  • The Computer

The Human brain is the area of the Prefrontal where logic can be applied and rational thinking . The limbic part of the brain is where your Chimp lives. The Human and Chimp have very different minds.

The Chimp is a Chimp, it can be good and it can be bad it thinks independently, it is an emotional machine and you have to learn how to manage it.

Brain scans can show us where blood supply goes in certain situations and you can see from these scans who is in control. If you are highly anxious the blood supply goes to the limbic brain where your Chimp is. Feeling calm and rational you will see the blood supply in the prefrontal part of the brain.

The Chimp is a bit like owning a dog you are responsible for its behaviour but not for its nature. The secret is to learn how to live with it and manage it.

The Computer is the balance of the two minds, it is where experiences are stored and the memories are saved. This is extremely helpful for both the Chimp and Human to remember what worked and what didn’t work.

The Human has a personality centre where you work with facts and truths. The Chimp has a jungle centre where it works with emotions and feelings. The Chimp Paradox is the fact that your Chimp can be your best friend or your worst enemy, you have to live with it and manage it.

Posted in Bite size learning, Stress management, Time management, training

Eat that frog…

Eat that frog … and fight procrastination, the book by Brian Tracy, gives really practical steps as to break free from limiting patterns of behaviour:-

  • Be clear about what you want to achieve
    • How much money do you wish earn a month?
    • How much is guaranteed income?
    • Do you know how much money comes in and out?
    • What do you cost a day?
    • You must value your time and others will to…!
  • Remember why you are doing what you are doing
    • Photos of your family
    • What is the money for…?
    • Give the dream a number…!
  • Break it down
    • Bite size chunks – never eat a banana whole
    • The next action is – keep the momentum
  • Everything has a deadline – impose it
    • Give everything a date
    • Remember accountants have fines
    • Make the deadline public
  • Be serious
    • Work at the best time for you
    • Be in the zone – focus
    • Be serious about yourself and others will be as well
  • Plan in advance
    • What do you want to achieve each day?
    • Decide on a start and end date
  • Be tough
    • Book time with yourself
  • Just do it
    • Eat that frog – always best to swallow whole if eating a live frog
    • Remember to grade your tasks – A/B and C’s
    • C’s rarely get done – that is OK

Go on “Eat that Frog” today

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Learning, motivation, training

Make learning stick… why does it matter?

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught” – Churchill

Make learning stick, why does it matter, if you can learn something in your short term memory and ace a test is that all that matters.  Why does learning something long term really matter? 

As in the Churchill quote we can all recall a bad learning experience, the teacher spoke at you and your brain drifted with the result none of the information was retained.

My own experience of learning can possibly explain why it matters and why I try so hard to make learning stick for others.

I did not learn to read until I was 10 years old, it just did not stick.  The concept did not seem fun and no-one really explained what it would give me.  There is an assumption that you understand what reading will give you, however at infant school age, painting a picture or diving into the dressing up box seemed to me far more enticing.

I started on the Peter and Jane books and then seem to spend an eternity on some Pirate books.  I am not even sure to this day why the Pirates were used and if I am honest I don’t think I even knew fully what a Pirate was.  

We were encouraged to take the book home and practice with our parents, there was no diary to monitor whether this happened and therefore no structure.  As you can imagine those Pirate books stayed in my bag and were only read at school.

Once you have hindered your own development you get labelled very quickly.  My lack of reading made all my other subjects harder and before I knew it I was in the “Learning difficulties group”.  I can now laugh at the title, but at the time they used to call that title out openly in the class “All those for the Learning Difficulties Group follow Miss Webster…”).  

Over a period of time you then develop a fixed mindset around your experience.  I was the third daughter “the creative one”, I did not need to be the clever one, so it was OK not to be fantastic in class.  Professor Carol Dweck’s brilliant book on Mindset explains that it is easier not to stretch yourself if that is the role you are fulfilling.  Whereas some-one with a growth mindset will constantly put themselves at stretch and reach out for new opportunities and risks. 

The reasons I was not mastering reading could be summarised as follows:-

  • The benefits were not understood 
  • The concept was not fun 
  • The resource (books) were of no interest
  • Fixed mindset around reading 
  • No structured practices 

I guess you are now all wondering whether I am still on the Pirate books and how I turned it around.

I was very lucky as there was that one teacher who made it her mission to get me to read.  Instead of sending the “Learning difficulty group” out of the class she focused on them within the class.  We all had times with her where we read out loud whilst the others were working with a gentle hum, therefore no public humiliation.  She set up the right space and comfort level to make it happen.

With me specifically she commented on how expressive I was, and how good I was at reading out loud.  She had spotted a talent within the confusion of interpreting the words.   She also selected books specific to each child or encouraged us to bring books into school.

The book that made it all happen ironically was “George don’t do that…” by Joyce Grenfell.  It was funny and was littered with illustrations and somehow just clicked, it was the first book I read on my own.  

I now understood what reading could give me and I have never been without a book a testament to the struggle to get there.

What was it that finally made the learning stick?

  • Being encouraged and identifying a talent other than reading
  • The right environment, making learning comfortable
  • Being given choices and making it relevant to me (individualised) 
  • Regular practice and a routine that became normal and comfortable
  • Developing a growth mindset (where would reading take me) 

Making learning stick is all about the experience, the memory and the relevance.

Posted in Bite size learning, motivation, training

Giving you insight to classic titles…nuggets bookclub is returning

Do you find that you don’t have enough time to keep up to date with your reading?

When lockdown started in March, nuggets set up a bookclub which ran every Friday for several weeks. The commitment was 30 minutes every Friday and classic business titles were covered.

The format of the sessions were:-

  • Welcome with an interactive exercise related to the book content
  • Book summary – structured around the key themes from the chapters
  • 3 key questions
  • nuggets – key takeaways from the book to be applied to life

We are going to start again in September, with the same format and new titles that will still be classics and chosen specifically for the times we are living through.

There is never any pressure to read the book, as nuggets is saving you time by giving you an insight as to what the book is covering and most importantly practical tips as to how you can apply the content.

The sessions take place over Zoom and where possible they are as interactive as they can be. The feedback from the first series was great:-

Really liked the synopsis at the start of the sessions to explain the principles of the book”

“The colourful diagrams diagrams helped to visualise the content of the book”

“The simple-ness of the concept and being Friday morning”

“Every session had an exercise to engage the attendees”

“Bite size chunks worked well”

To get you ready for our next series these are the books we will be reviewing:-

  • Friday 4th September 2020 – “Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy
  • Friday 11th September 2020 – “Chimp Paradox” by Dr Steve Peters
  • Friday 18th September 2020 – “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey
  • Friday 25th September 2020 – “Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi
  • Friday 2nd October 2020 – “To Sell is Human” by Dan Pink
  • Friday 9th October 2020 – “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown

Please do get in touch if you would like more details bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals

Better & Better decisions…

“Thinking in bets” is the book by Annie Duke a professional poker player. The exercise of decision making under conditions of uncertainty aligns with the game of Poker where you make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

High quality decisions are like investments in life.

View every decision as a bet and you become more open minded.

“Are you certain you will enjoy the book?” – some-one wants to bet with you that you won’t. You then begin to challenge your beliefs, what information do I need or what am I missing? What does this person know about the book that I don’t?

Suddenly you are more open minded as you have so much more information about the book, favourable and unfavourable. You have lost your bias and you have made yourself more open to new information.

This approach to decisions, beginning to look at them like bets, means we embrace objectivity and we make better decisions.

Duke’s other principle is to think about expected value. Calculate the expected reward and the outcome. Is it worth watching the film for 2 hours or meeting a friend for coffee for 1 hour and then exercising for the other hour. Think about the time, money and attention and committ with confidence if the expected value works for you at that moment in time. Assess your decision by how much you are investing Vs expected value.

We get better decisions if we evaluate their success and their failure. We could make a terrible decision and get good results by being lucky. However if we have just haphazardly got lucky this would not be a good pattern to follow.

We should evaluate the positive and the negative, so if you make a decision and get a good result, think what two mistakes you made. This creates the mindset of process focused rather than results focused.

“What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process” Annie Duke

We are making decisions in uncertain times so what can we apply from Duke’s theory:-

  • Make a decision imagining it is a bet – ignore your bias and be open minded
  • Weigh up the expected value with how much time or money you are investing
  • Evaluate all decisions – it is the process not the result

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership

What next…?

There is no new normal as everything is new, so therefore what next…?

We have developed new habits and even new skills to adapt to our new working environment and changes to our business. We have reinvented products and services to fit the climate we are in. Following successful brands we have evolved and adapted to the new compass and the new direction we have been forced to follow.

Going forward there are three main areas that will keep us on track:-

  1. Pivot to customer
  2. Agile
  3. Trust & transparency

1. Pivot to the customer has been a buzz on blogs and social media, however what does it actually mean. We have to put the customer at the centre of everything and we literally move around them (pivoting) to every need demand they desire. My own example would be, my coaching sessions reduced to one hour and were conducted over Zoom, as this is what worked for the customer. nuggets workshops are also only one hour over Zoom and the customer chooses the time of day.

We also pivot by being innovative with our products and service. You cannot deliver in this climate the same service you did before so you adapt it. My workshops used to be highly interactive with flip charts and lots of colour. The changes I have made are colourful PowerPoint slides and interaction of a verbal kind using very imaginative exercises.

The expression pivot also has a financial connotation, how quickly can you alter your fees. Your expenses might be less in this climate so therefore you can optimise what you have and make it a financially attractive. This is smart pricing, you get a lot for your money but it is at a fair rate.

A customer centric business is personal you foster loyalty by sharing how you have made the business accessible to them and affordable. You make it very clear that you are there for them whatever the situation globally.

2. Agile everything…the principles of agile are not exclusive to software development and can be applied to any business. There are 12 principles of Agile that fall into three main categories:-

  1. Clarity and transparency delivery – the system of work
  2. Learning and leaning – improve and optimise performance
  3. People focus – autonomous and engaged culture

Part one the clarity and transparency is all about having regular milestones and measurements which align with a vision and goals. There must be clear intent and direction so that you always understand what is valuable to your customer.

At nuggets I have a white board in the office which clearly shows how many coaching sessions, workshops happen each month. The overall vision of nuggets is to “Help people think and work differently…”. After every workshop or coaching session individuals send their nuggets (key learnings) so that I know that I am on track with my vision and I have added value to the customer.

The second part of Agile is learning and leaning. We have to look deep into our processes and systems to minimise waste. Repeat tasks to spot if you can make any incremental changes. Review all the work you do as quickly as possible so that you have a very short feedback loop.

The third and final phase of Agile is the people focus. Ensure you recognise effort and you have collective ownership over tasks and projects. Empower your team to improve together and collaborate regularly. Drive processes through as much communication as possible.

3. Trust and Transparency finally on the journey of what next..? Trust underpins every relationship you have, you may have deep foundations of trust with some and very weak ones with others. In the current situation we are in, they need to be solid and robust. Take time to build relationships, it is as important as the job itself. Without people you have no business and people are human.

Transparency is how are business is conducted, we operate fairly with no hidden costs or hidden agendas. We share our vision and our products and services and how we want to work with our customers.

In summary the “What next…?” will be intelligent agility, retaining excellence and above all taking time to understand our customers.