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

Finding flow in pure joy…

Adam Grant wrote the article on languishing which was such a life saver to so many people. He has now delivered a TED talk to explain his own journey from languishing to flow. The route out is not a productivity task it was as simple as playing Mario Kart with his family. Something that gave him and others pure joy.

Before the pandemic he had a list of all the things not to do: –

  • No phone in bed
  • No social media in the evening
  • Not more than two screens
  • Only put the TV on when you know what you want to watch

As we know during lockdown every rule went out the window. We watched box sets scrolled social media even though none of us were doing anything. We were muddling through with very foggy windscreens. This was not depression, there was still hope and energy but we felt a bit aimless, and Grant says this was languishing. Cory Keys first coined the expression and she explained that chronic languishing can lead to depression. In time it can dampen your enthusiasm and you become indifferent to your own indifference.

Teresa Amabile says that motivation hinges on progress, so there is tremendous pressure to be upbeat and busy. Grant demonstrates that optimism is not the solution, as to randomly assign too many blessings means your optimism may run out. In the TED talk he asks for one person to say 3 good things in their life and then another to say 42 things, as you would expect the latter becomes random and not meaningful.

So during the lockdown optimism was not the solution, flow was the answer. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the psychologist who explored why flows leads to happiness.

Flow is about total absorption in a task eg. gardening, cooking or the Netflix series. However the last one is only a temporary cure as you are passively engaging a fictional world. Peak flow is about participation in the real world.

Grant found Mario Kart which connected the three ingredients:-

  • Mastery
  • Mindfulness
  • Mattering

It all started when he and his sister reminisced about playing Mario Kart as kids. They decided to play with their own families online, and soon that led to Saturday night adult Mario Kart nights. The mastery connects with the principle of progress, the momentum of the game. Mindfulness you need to give the game your full attention no other distractions. The most beautiful component is the mattering, playing as a family knowing it matters for each other.

My own journey through lockdown was starting a nuggets book club. I set the challenge of a book review each week just for 30 mins. The format was a silly icebreaker that engaged the attendees. I had to master the book through the week and during that 30 minutes I was just there being mindful of the content and the people. I really felt it mattered to me as an individual to still be motivated but I also felt it mattered to others. The book club gave me flow and so much joy.

Please do get in touch

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

Develop your resilience ad resourcefulness…

Throughout this period we have talked about being resilient, learning to work from home and how to return to the office. However resilience has a partner we now need to be resourceful as well.

We will still have macro shocks and disruption alongside the micro daily stresses and strains.

Resilience is our capacity to cope with pressure, change and stress. We need four components to ensure we are resilient:-

  • Commitment to stick with it and not give up
  • Persistence and tenacity the ability to keep trying
  • Postivity to always identify a learning opportunity and growth
  • Bounce back, the ability to reset and come back stronger

Resilience can be learnt and below are some ideas as to how you can equip yourself:-

  • Stay motivated
  • Don’t be a perfectionist “Good is good enough”
  • Grow a thicker skin – accept that you will make mistakes
  • Sit with discomfort – wait until you have the right solution
  • Stay strong in self belief
  • Focus on the positive
  • Be realistic but at the same time aim high
  • Don’t lose perspective
  • Positive affirmations – “I can handle this…”
  • Ask for help

Resourcefulness is about the creative ability to overcome problems and making do with what is available at that moment in time. Summarised below:-

  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability

We can learn to be resourceful however there is an element that is innate are ability to survive is within us already. We need to keep developing that ability to find quick and clever solutions by being more agile in our thinking.

Tools and ways of developing your resourcefulness:-

  • Evaluate situations what do you have available
  • Think creatively, adapt ideas and find fresh thinking
  • Don’t take the first no as the final answer
  • Negotiate well with a win win for either side
  • Who else can support you
  • Bend the rules if needs be
  • Dare to ask for what you need
  • Keep your options open
  • Embrace different opportunities
  • Be proactive

We are in a new arena of working where being resilient and resourceful, hand in hand will be our way forward. Working patterns will be tried and adjusted several times until we get some good rhythms that are effective.

Look at the toolkits above and practice them to ensure the core behaviours of resilience and resourcefulness are instinctive.

Please do get in touch for a coaching session

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Leadership

Your First 100 Days…

The job market is buoyant post Covid and many people are starting out on their new positions in Leadership without a clear pathway.

I have been reading and following the book “Your first 100 days” by Niamh O’Keefe. The book is practical with many top tips and ways of navigating your start.

She identifies the areas that you will be working on by creating heading as in the table below:-

Person Role OrganisationMarket 
Transition MakerContent LearnerValue AdderMarket Player 
Unique contributor Business Achiever Relationship Builder 
Team BuilderCulture Navigator 
Communications Provider

You as a Person

This is a key transition it might be your first Leadership role, on workshops we often talk about the move from Driver to Passenger. The difference between being transactional to transformational. Write down the key Leadership skills you think you will need in order to develop.

As a new person to the company or team you are a unique contributor you have fresh eyes on the business and can suggest new ideas and innovative ways of working. Keep a journal so that you capture your thoughts.

Your Role

Starting a new role there will be content that you have to understand and learn, make a development plan.

Understand what targets you need to hit and focus very much on being a Business Achiever.

As a Team Builder create a high performing team, don’t be afraid to make changes.

Communications provider to your team and to stakeholders, create a communications map of who needs to be informed and how often.

Organisational focus 

As a new Leader you are a Value adder in what you bring to the strategic direction of the company, ensure that you think big, do not get caught up at a micro level. Write down early on your vision for the direction of the whole business, do not limit your thinking.

Relationship builder, internally and externally, working networks and cultivating genuine trustworthy and meaningful connections.

Navigating a new culture is vital as this is the beating heart of any organisation. Think about ways you can enhance rather than alter straightaway.

On Market

Think about your competitors, how can you make an impact and prove that you are a Market player. Take time to conduct thorough research.


With the headings map onto a table actions that you think you will achieve by when:-

First StepsBy the end of 30 daysBy the end of 60 daysBy the end of 90 days 

“Begin with the end in mind” Stephen Covey the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Start with a vision, your legacy, what do you want to be remembered for, project five to 10 years in the future. Dream big and focus on success, when writing your vision use the present tense, use clear, concise, jargon-free language. Infuse it with passion and make it inspiring and align it with your business values and goals. A vision statement should be concise, no longer than a sentence or two.

The book is filled with checklists and the story of a new leader running alongside the text. Practical workbook for a new leader to follow.

Please do get in touch if you would like a coach for your first 100 days

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

Getting back to Positivity…

If we measure our own positivity against the average person’s positivity it is not much of a benchmark. We need to work on it ourselves and determine our own metric.

This weekend I created my own circle of negativity, which is so easy to do. Once you send one negative thought they all want to pile in!!

The power of “Yet” rather than “I will never achieve this…” Instead re-programme your brain to say I have not achieved this “Yet”. This powerful insight comes from Professor Carol S Dweck who is author of Mindset.

Shawn Achor the author of the “Happiness Advantage” explains how we need to change the lens of how we see things. First year medical students have what he describes as the medical syndrome where they learn so much about diseases in the first year that they start to embody the symptoms.

We also must be aware of judgements on other peoples happiness as we can only predict 10% of others happiness based on external factors. You have a good job and a great partner “You must be happy”. However happiness is how your brain is processing the world. We can control our own brains, but it is not going to help if some-one is telling you to be happy based only on their external evidence.

If our brain’s our processing the world which will determine our happiness, look out for the influences that affect you. At the moment we are bombarded by negativity in the media, if we let all of it penetrate we will walk around with the World’s responsibilities. How many times do you hear the news during the day, perhaps just once will keep you up to date, but continuously throughout the day might let the negativity spread?

Shawn Achor describes in his TED talk that a school that was hosting a Wellness Week, with various talks spread out over the week entitled:-

  • Adolescence depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Bullying and violence
  • Illicit drug use

He said to the school what you have outlined is a sickness week. Change the formula for the brain, rather than the negative, what could those workshops be about instead…

One of the formulas for being happy is to work to a 3:1 ratio.

  • New opportunities
  • New experiences
  • New or enjoyable interactions

Each week think of any of the above to make your 3 to counteract one negative opportunity/experience or interaction.

Train your brain to focus on the present what is the positivity you feel in the moment. Society measures success on getting better and better. If you are waiting to be happy it limits your brains potential for success. We constantly think there is a happiness horizon based on completion.

Take time to scan the positives. The chemical in the brain (dopamine) is what we release when we feel positive so measure how often you are releasing it:-

  • 3 gratitudes (what are you grateful for in your life? – focus on what you have not what you lack?)
  • Journalling – daily/weekly record the positives (think of the 3:1 ratio)
  • Exercise – getting outside gives you a new perspective
  • Meditation – take time to do nothing
  • Random acts of kindness – rewiring your brain is about being optimistic for others

By doing these rituals you will be scanning for postivity.

Enjoy the week and stay positive, please get in touch for one to one coaching

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, personal impact

Economy of Kindness

If kindness was currency and you made withdrawals and deposits, but we were all in the business of kindness, we would have such a different vibe. Stephen Covey the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People explains that every relationship we have is based on an emotional bank account. We make withdrawals emotionally and we also give deposits of support. Even the day to day living can be weighted by how much we do for each other. Emptying the dishwasher is a great deposit and then a withdrawal is when you don’t clear up the kitchen after cooking.

Kindness in business is now needed more than ever with the return to offices. Before the pandemic the focus solely on growth and profit left little room for Kindness. Companies are now recognising lives of their employees. Friday afternoons free, either billed as “Focus Friday” or simply half days set up in the summer have been extended to Christmas, giving people a longer weekend and more freedom from the organisation.

Values are being reset, how do we really want to work with each other. We want to work together and build on the stuff we care about. We are recognising that more is not necessarily better. We are looking for shared responsibility alongside shared values.

This is the time for us to adapt thrive while the Covid conscience is still memorable. The positives of the pandemic was that it taught us that we were brilliantly adaptable. Chemistry and connection of people is far more appealing than pure standalone growth.

Take 15 minutes today to watch the Mary Portas TED talk December 2019

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, personal impact, Time management

Getting to the Finishing line…

We can see the finishing line but we don’t get there, on projects at work and home. Peter Hollins the author of “Finish What you Start” explores why this happens. He describes the unfinished projects as the mental scrapyard in our heads.

We go into projects in week 1 with a surge of inspiration we are full of ideas we are literally fizzing. We have four follow through muscles:-

  • Focus
  • Take Action
  • Resist
  • Persist

The starting point is being focused on what you want to achieve being clear of those first actions and knowing what distractions we must resist in order to persist.

However in reality what happens is we weaken those muscles by either getting distracted or just deciding that the task is too hard. We then create the psychological roadblock of Perfectionism. When the task gets harder our ego kicks in and we don’t want to fail so we make the task impossibly hard to achieve. Perfectionism is insecurity in disguise, we have made the task impossibly good instead of good enough.

The sad reality is that we only learn when we have a finished product. By adopting a finishing mindset you know at the end you can look back and evaluate this is where you know that you have learnt something. You might create a terrible blog post but it is there for everyone to see and you can take the feedback and write a better one the next time. It is better to have put something out there than not have done anything.

We need to get better at finishing so therefore we need to create a manifesto (a set of rules) that we can apply when we start on a project.

  • I want – write down ultimately what you want to finish
  • I will – think of the first action, it can be really small as the momentum will lead to bigger actions
  • I won’t – in the next hour I won’t look at my emails

This rule is simple to adopt if you think when scheduling your day of packets of time/1 hour blocks and state using the want/will/won’t is going to happen.

By starting you are crushing procrastinations the most potent weapon inertia

This is an implementation intention and will triple the rate of follow through.

The second rule to adopt is the 10/10/10. We have our two selves Present and Future self. Your present self is wanting immediate pleasure and wants to avoid immediate pain at any cost so will drag down the future self into inactivity. The 10/10/10 rule is imagining the following:-

  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 minutes?
  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 hours?
  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 days?

The idea is that the 10 day procrastination will be so unattractive as a visualisation exercise that you encourage and get yourself into action. The pain and guilt of letting yourself down and others of being inactive for that long is so damaging you want to start to work those follow through muscles. You don’t want to be that person.

Finish is about learning, use those follow through muscles today and share your nuggets of learning with me

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership

Not everything has to be so hard…

This is just a taster of the content of the book Effortless by Greg McKeown.

Not everything has to be so hard – Burnout is not a badge of honour. Often we create self-imposed pressure by striving for perfection. 

We can change the dialogue in our heads:-

 Exhausting Effortless 
ThinkAnything worth doing takes effortThe most essential things can be the easiest 
DoOvercomplicate, overengineer & overthink Find the easier path
Get Burnout – no results The right results and no burnout 

Quote by George Eliot “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other” 

Imagine your brain is a supercomputer – it might not perform optimally, computers slow down if their hard drive is too full they need to be decluttered. This is the same in our heads we may well be walking around with outdated assumptions, negative emotions, toxic thought patterns, this will slow down our mental energy and we will think everything is too much effort.

When everything does feel so hard?  Have a warm meal, hot shower and a good night’s sleep and you feel less heavy. Ask the question, what if this could be easy…? As a society we think trivial things are easy – important things are hard. We use language to support this, it has to “Hard earned” or “It will take blood, sweat & tears“.

We then distrust if something is to easy, we may say “easy money”.

Think this week is there something you have been putting off, try asking the question “What if this could be easy?”

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Effortless”


Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, personal impact

Doing the right things…

Designing a course with this title and the 90 minutes I have to deliver it does not really do it justice. Doing the right things now as Leader encompasses so much. There are the basics but what about your character and how you interact and engage with your team.

  • Conducting regular one to ones
  • Being a coach and using Ask not Tell language
  • Being their cheer leader and their critic
  • Being empathetic
  • Being visionary
  • Motivating them to move forward

Doing the right things at the right time is also crucial, no-one welcomes the constructive feedback a week after the situation. A continuous conversation and a relationship built on trust not just the performance will benefit both you and the team member.

A good starting point is to think about a great Manager/Leader you had, what was it they did. When people do this as an exercise one of the key things that comes out is communication. They had regular and consistent interaction with this person.

Transparency and consistency are the two key words when you map out how you want to speak to your team members. Sharing key information with every team member and ensuring it happens regularly avoids other rogue voices filling in the gaps.

Fair and reasonable also good validating tools. Think about your behaviour was I fair and reasonable and how would I feel if some-one asked that of me.

Doing the right things is tangible eg. regular one to ones however the memory of how you did them will last longer than just doing them. Doing the right things is about embodying and playing out being the Leader you want to be.

For more details please do not hesitate to get in touch

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

You are enough…

Listening to a podcast on the Kindness Economy they were talking about the importance of the right language to sell your product. There is a skincare company called “Unconditional Skincare” which has removed all the stereotypical language used in the beauty industry.

“Quick fix”



They believe and say “Your skin is enough.

“We believe all skin has the potential to glow at its healthy, radiant best when given the live goodness it needs”

The power of the messaging and also the kindness will grow self esteem instead of crushing confidence.

Framing any message in a positive has got to be a better than starting with a negative. We are now in the business of followers rather than customers. Therefore we need listen to what they are saying. We can use our values as guides as to how we talk and share.

At nuggets we encourage and value the ability to think differently, so therefore our messaging is around what it gives you. We don’t want to fix your thinking we encourage you to see, hear and feel things differently which might ultimately make you think differently.

You are enough is such a great message to say to yourself today, you can go out there and embrace anything and everything as you are enough.

Have a great week and reach out for a coaching session

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

In the moment…

Listening to Clare Balding talking about Emma Raducanu’s performance, she said one of the keys to her success and demeanour was always being in the moment. When the two players appeared in the tunnel before the game, Raducanu was in that moment. When she had three championship points she was in at that moment. When she won had to be interviewed by the press she was in that moment.

As a professional athlete only focusing on everything moment by moment and not even thinking the unthinkable, kept Raducanu’s feet on the ground.

The right mindset of having that narrow focus is something you can learn and manage. In Steve Peter’s book “The Chimp Paradox” he talks about managing the Chimp which effectively is your emotional brain. We can manage it by rewards, or ignoring the negative self talk and when appropriate let it play and having the right emotions at the right time.

Living moment by moment can help especially in turbulent times. Last week I received some sad news, and the art of processing was to focus on the next hour. Life moves forward and to contain the emotions focusing on short bursts of time gives you the stability and courage to move forward.

The Chimp needs immediate happiness and delayed happiness. If you write a list of all the things that give you immediate happiness you can really enjoy the moment you are in with them. For example the mid morning coffee, the walk in the afternoon or the book you are enjoying before you sleep. As humans we like to look to the future and the moment you choose to write down your ideas for delayed happiness is as good as moment as any. The joy of writing all sorts of possibilities will be a lovely escapism for the mind.

My coach recently talked about your day being 21 packets of time. The packets are am/pm/evening and think about the packets as moments. Ensure 2 packets are just about you, with the things that give you joy.

Be in the moment today. Look at your schedule and be there for that meeting, ensure you are in the moment (don’t turn your screen off, be there for others and for you).

Please do get in touch if you would benefit from one to one coaching