interactive learning and development

Are you really listening…?


Everyone deserves a damned good listening too.

So how good are you?

Often trainers describe 5 levels:-

  1. Ignoring
  2. Pretending
  3. Selective
  4. Active
  5. Empathetic

To simplify it even further and make it really “real”,  work to the model of 3 levels of listening.

Level 1 – internal listening

  • You are not entirely giving the agenda to the person
  •  You ask too many questions that you want the answers to
  • You are thinking about the next thing to say and analysing what you said before
  • Talking about yourself
  • You are focusing too much on you

Level 2 – Focused listening

  • You are in total rapport, you match each other in tone, energy and posture
  • You are following their agenda and not interrupting
  • Your questions probe and clarify and stay on the topic
  • Never giving advice
  • You summarise their dialogue so that they stay on their agenda
  • You are listening for underlying meaning and you are aware of your impact
  • You are curious about them

Level 3 – Global listening

  • Takes in everything
  • You can feel the energy in their words
  • Aware of everything at level 2, however aware of the emotion behind it
  • Skilled to take risks during the conversation
  • You use your intuition to input

The three levels of listening are from the Co-Active Coaching model.


Please do get in touch if you would like a workshop on listening or developing coaching skills.


The true definition and sense check as to whether you are being assertive, is to “say what you mean and mean what you say…”.  We often have others trying to derail us by deploying aggressive behaviour and hooking us into following them (behaviour is contagious).  We only need to articulate our view of the world and not overly exaggerate.

Being assertive is a safe haven, we use adult behaviour where everything is just as it seems.  We say it exactly as it is, no embellishment.

5 essential ingredients on how to be assertive:-

  1. Empathetic listening
  2. Show you understand the other person – summarise key points
  3. Say what you think and feel
  4. Say what you mean and mean what you say – next action is
  5. Consider the consequences for yourself and others of any joint solutions – responsible assertion





Empowering you…


We put together five workshops which form the basis of how to work with a client when coaching.  Coaching is about evoking change within an individual, empowering them to take charge of their own destiny.

The five topic areas can also be used when managing a team member, to re-engage with them.

Take stock – evaluate how are you currently working

  • Look at the roles that you have in life – how many hats do you wear?
  • Create a pie chart to see where you are spending your time and another to see where you want to spend your time

Set goals – what do you want to achieve

  • Identify 2 or 3 goals
  • Be realistic as it must be motivating and not demotivating

Boost your power – new rituals and habits

  • Identify your routines that work and don’t work
  • Achieve 3 things a day that make the biggest difference each day

Clear the decks – identify relationships/tasks that do not add value

  • Map out peole that make you feel good and others who drain your energy
  • Identify tasks that are rework

Get confident – find your authentic self

  • Being you and enjoying being you


Please do contact nuggets to deliver the “Empowering you”workshops or receive a handbook of how to work through them.


Hexagon mapping…


Becoming clear on a decision, and thinking as a group should be fun and challenging.  A lot will depend on the structure put in place to ensure everyone feels confident with the process.  Brain storming can often feel brain draining if you do not have a right brain orientation.  Traditionally left brain thinkers prefer structure, digital and organised data.  It can be a very distinct turn off to be asked for arbitrary ideas to be displayed on coloured post-its.

Hexagon mapping appeals to right and left brain thinkers.  The colour and general similarity to brain storming engages the right and the left like the mathematical structure the hexagons provide once displayed.

The system was devised by Anthony Hodgson in the 70’s his aim was better decision making through holistic thinking.

  • The process begins with a really good trigger question that all participants can engage with.
  • The second stage is to capture every single idea on separate hexagons.
  • The group should be asked for ideas individually in the same order each time until everyone has no ideas left.
  • The team should stand back from the hexagons and them cluster them if they are saying the same thing.

The process is fast and effective and appeals to all.

Please do get in touch if your team would benefit from hexagon mapping

hexagons 001

Fundamentals of caring…


The film the “Fundamentals of Caring” begins with a character completing his training as a carer with a list of fundamentals to underpin the role of the carer.  The do’s and don’ts before they begin working with clients.

In business how often do we take time to explain a role from the perspective of fundamentals.  As the definition below state, you could define the central importance of the job and attach principles and behaviours that are central to effectiveness and to your organisation.

Defining the word fundamental

  • adjective:- forming a necessary base or core; of central importance.
  • noun:- a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.

I have been working a lot on organisational culture and a lot of teams could do with the “fundamentals of caring”:-

  • How are we going to demonstrate respect to each other?
  • How are we going to value each others work?
  • How will we connect with each other each day/week/month?
  • How will we show that we care about the companies success?

At the very core of culture are values and in essences the fundamentals of how you want your team to behave.

Outlining why they matter means they don’t come across as a do and don’t list.

  • Looking smart and professional when you are being paid to look after some-ones  money it demonstrates you care.
  • Being on time for meetings when you sell software for project planning.
  • No eating at your desk when you work for a property management business as you would never eat in their property, it shows respect and care.

It is not just our jobs that need fundamentals to provide a compass or a steer.  There are many areas of life where we need structure and fundamentals to underpin what we are about.

Fundamentals of being a Mother

  • To nurture and care for her off spring
  • To be a Cheerleader at all times – triumph and disaster
  • To listen at any moment and time however awkward
  • To provide guidance on every area of life
  • To be the best taxi driver

List the roles that you have in life and what do you have to lay as foundation to those  hats that you wear.

Underpin the whole week with the “Fundamentals of caring”

Please do stay in touch and comment on the blog 



Do you judge a book by its cover?  Therefore why do so many companies lack the foresight to create a good welcome.  The word itself is important and should be displayed or used as much as possible in those crucial first minutes.

As a facilitator I visit so many different reception desks and you would be amazed at the lack of signage of the company you are visiting.

The large corporates sweep you into some enormous glass atrium where the security is so scary you think you are taking a long haul flight rather than a one hour meeting.

Large or small you can still make it personable:-

  • Does your reception areas display the word “Welcome” anywhere?
  • Do you have your company name on display?
  • Are the reception team welcoming – smiling/good eye contact and even better expecting the visitors for the day?
  • Go through security with your visitors, come down to reception, be with them
  • Always let visitors know where facilities are, however short their visit
  • Waiting areas should have relevant reading material and papers should always be that day
  • If you have a TV put the volume up
  • Provide coffee making facilities or offer a coffee

The ultimate is the reserved parking space and the sign in reception to say today we are welcoming…

Please do get in touch with your thoughts on a welcome 




I am from Generation X, delivering workshops now to Millennials.  What do I need to know?   Do I believe all the stories about short attention span, lack of commitment and even the word “lazy”.

As a facilitator you guide the thinking in the room and you would never categorise people, so do I need to understand a Millenial.  Always keen to upskill I attended a workshop delivered by Alice Burks of Adaptis and this is my summary of what I learnt:-

  • What is a Millenial? = born between 1980 – 2000
  • Interested in career waves not career ladders
  • They develop themselves for industry not a company
  • Very good at knowledge harvesting
  • Ongoing learning is crucial
  • Want to be developed and stay
  • Project variety
  • Promotion
  • Top values for Millenials are:
    • money
    • security
    • time off
    • people
  • Don’t like being told
  • Reverse mentoring – believe knowledge is everywhere
  • Millenials want to lead

The list is refreshing as it is not that dissimiliar to our own generation and certainly as a Facilitator they would be the group you would want in the room.

In summary Millenials have come of age during a financial crisis, they are more connected with a global network and have been immersed in technological change. They want to be able to work in a way that suits their lifestyle and as leaders will encourage flexibility.  Ideally they desire personal values to be aligned with company values.

Please do contact for workshops and coaching in developing yourself or your team.