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

Life and a mobile phone…

This weekend my phone suddenly switched off, and my daughter said “It’s too cold”.  Suddenly the phone did not seem that dissimilar to us as humans.  The functioning capacity was directly affected by adverse weather.

Therefore taking the mobile phone as a metaphor how similar is it to the life you live.

  • It often recharges at night, as we do with a decent 8 hours if we are lucky.
  • When we are lost it is very good at getting us to where we need to get to.  Having goals and a clear direction in life often means you find the path you have chosen.
  • If we have too many Apps/windows open at one time it drains the battery.  This can be compared with too much going on in your mind and losing the ability to make good decisions.
  • Phones can be unpredictable, switching themselves off and always running out of battery when you least expect it.  We often have mood swings which can be triggered by something personal or as simple as a change in our working environment.
  • The immediacy of a phone for communication is good and bad, it is always there.  We are the same with our powers of conversation, we can speak at any moment in time, however the skill of choosing the right time and when to be silent.
  • When a phone is in Airplane mode we can use the functions, but we are not in contact with the outside world.  Should we be in Airplane mode when with our family, we are functioning but not being disturbed by the outside world.
  • Rarely do we go for the full shut down on the phone.  This could be the time when we are on holiday, there is no signal on the beach so why not put yourself into total shut down.

Just like mobile phones we do have the ability to control the choices we make in life, we are the operator of our lives.

Please do contact for 1:1 coaching or a workshop on communication.

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Learning, Management, training

Colourful learning…

When I set up nuggets I wanted to create a “wow” factor the moment people entered the room.  I wanted to show that I had made an effort.  If you came to a party at my house I would ensure that my house looked fabulous.  You are the host to an amazing experience it is not “just a training course”. My heart always sank if I entered a workshop and there was the biro on a lined pad.

The brain needs to be alive the moment the course begins and you can do that by bringing as much colour to the room as possible. As the Facilitator I always wear colour and I ensure that I display flip charts around the room with lots of colour.  This can only happen by using “Mr Sketch” markers you need more than black, blue, red and green. Post-its and even fiddling toys provide the colour and texture needed to get the brain ticking.

Colourful learning is not just about the colour, you need minds to come alive and think in a colourful way.  The brain always has to answer a question and needs space time and input from others to help.  Creating exercises where the group can move around room working together gets them to think differently.  Colourful thinking is creative thinking, when you have new answers to existing situations.

nuggets works on modules, bearing in mind that the concentration rate on average is only 45 minutes.  The preferred route is weekly or monthly interventions of 90 minute workshops.  This provides an entrance on a topic where you have created a “Disturb” of the delegate wanting to learn more and action more.

The residential Management programmes are costly to companies and do they give the return on investment.  Learning that is practical and applicable with less time away from the desk is where the training future is.

Please do get in touch with for leadership and management workshops covering many topics.

We are currently promoting “Making email work for you…”



Posted in Leadership, Management, Relationships

Team briefings…

Organisations often change their strategic direction, sometimes due to external factors or to their own internal changes.

External could be a price reduction due to competitor or the overall economic landscape.  Internally you might have lost several key skilled workers which means reallocation of tasks.

Communicating to your team strategic changes is vital and you should have in place regular team briefings or meetings.

Preparation is key to delivering announcements to your team.

You must be able to deliver the key points in a consistent and professional manner and be able to handle general questions and answers effectively and confidently.

When you have briefed your team you need to clarify their understanding of the message and the next steps.

As a checklist see below:-

  • Effectively covered opening statement points.  Got to the point quickly but sensitively.  Positioned the local picture in the wider context.
  • Showed respect and empathy whilst maintaining focus and formality.
  • Responded to questions effectively and listened actively.
  • Show understanding & handle any emotional reactions effectively.
  • Check for understanding and give helpful and factual explanations.
  • Give a personal commitment to support the team.
  • Make sure you write up action points and that you circulate.

To summarise the things to include:-

  1. Introductory statement & purpose
  2. Content and context of announcement
  3. Explanations
  4. Q & A
  5. Review & close

Please do contact for a workshop on conducting team briefings.

Posted in Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, personal impact

Manager to Leader…

Promotion to management is initially great, business is good, new trips, making big decisions and learning a lot. Team are performing well and results being achieved, so much so that you take your eye off their performance.

You try really hard to still be one of the team, you want them to like you, so that they want to work for you. You attend dinner and drinks and even share with the team some of the issues you are facing.

You even comment on Senior Management, saying that they could do a better job.

The economy changes and results are harder to achieve and the performance issues you ignored are now becoming a problem.

You work longer hours to cover the performance issues and your team are unhappy and the results reflect this.

You seek help outside from a business mentor.

The first thing the mentor does is reassure you that you are not alone. Making the transition from Manager to Leader is hard and often being liked has to be put to one side, and instead being respected for the right reasons.

“If you want to be extraordinary you have to stop being ordinary”.

Your team needs to like you for the right reasons, being fair, consistent, empathetic and positive. If they like you for the free drinks and the dinners and the gossip on Senior management, you are in the wrong position. Making tough decisions will get harder if they are your friends.

Remember when you first learnt to drive, naturally you were excited and confidently proclaimed you would be the best driver ever. Sadly that over confident attitude led to an accident, no-one was injured but why did it happen?

It was the difference in responsibilities between being the driver and being a passenger.

Passengers are free to do a lot of things the driver can’t do. As a driver your focus needs to be on the road and not on the distractions. As a driver you no longer have the right to mess around, playing with the radio, texting and eating snacks.

The same principle applies when you become a leader. You are no longer a passenger you are the driver. Even though your responsibilities increase when you become a leader, you lose some of the rights or freedoms you may have enjoyed in the past.

If you want to be successful you cannot join criticisms of Senior Management. You lose the right to blame others for a problem in your department, you are now responsible for everything. You even lose the right to some of your time because you are responsible for other peoples time as well as your own.

The opposite of accepting responsibility is to find some-one or something to blame for the issues you are facing. There is always some-one or something to blame, but a real leader spends his time fixing the problem instead of finding who to blame.

“What happens when you place blame is that you focus on the past. When you accept responsibility you focus on the future and you can create actions to achieve your objectives.”

Be a Driver:

  • Until you accept total responsibility – no matter what – you will not be able to put actions in place to achieve your objectives.
  • Transitioning from Manager to Leader requires that you make different decisions.
Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management

Managing change…

Change is inevitable in the business world, clients change orders, suppliers let you down or you change a process to be more efficient.  Teams are reluctant to embrace change as whatever is occurring a loss is involved somewhere. It can be minor to major, however the emotional reaction can be managed with a clear formula.

John Kotter’s book “Our iceberg is melting” tells the tale of a colony of penguins and their need to move as their iceberg is melting.

The change you may be involved in, might not be as dramatic, however follow Kotter’s steps to smooth the way for your team:-

  • Create a sense of urgency – help others to see the need for the change
  • Pull together a leading/guiding team to provide guidance for others
  • Decide what to do – create a vision or strategy so everyone understands
  • Make it happen – communicate for understanding and buy in
  • Empower others to act
  • Acknowledge short term wins – celebrate the small stuff
  • Make it stick – ensure this is a cultural change so you are ready for the next change

In the book the penguins realise icebergs will always melt and that is true of the world of commerce, prices go up and down and we always need to adjust our business.  Creating a culture of change is more sustainable than just managing reactively.  Your team will feel more secure and more adept towards change if they have a plan and a process as Kotter’s book demonstrates.

Please do contact  for a 90 minute workshop on Change.



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

Cultural change working for you…

We all need to reinvent our ways of working, refresh how things are going.  Look at your bottom line, what can you do differently to generate more revenue.

Organisations invest in workshops around cultural change, to reignite motivations and most importantly incorporate different working practices.

Stop and think about what changes you need to make even as an individual by taking the headings of a Cultural Change Ladder.


What do you need to happen in your environment?

  • Describe your current situation
  • How is it a reflection of you and your company?
  • What are your insights and what will you do/change?


What changes do you need to make in your behaviours?

  • What habits do you notice?
  • What do you tend to do daily/weekly/monthly?
  • What reactions do you notice in others of the impact of your behaviour?
  • What will others see/hear/feel to know you have made changes in your behaviour?


What capabilities do you want to change?

  • Which skills and capabilities are you currently using?
  • Do you have any skills or capabilities that are under utilised?
  • What do you need to do more of?
  • What are challenges are head of you, and identify the capabilities required?


What beliefs do you want to have about yourself?

  • What do you currently believe about yourself?
  • What is important and positive and what is negative?
  • What will you need to believe in yourself to make changes happen?
  • What values will you need to draw on to change the beliefs you have now?


To make this blog practical, answer the questions and create an action list.  For further support please contact

Posted in Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Stress management

The right attitude…

Last Monday I was fortunate enough to attend a talk by James Shone from the charity

“I Can and I Am”.

James has an amazing story from being a House Master to applying to be a Head and in his words landing the “dream” job.  Part of the selection process was a medical, where James discovered he had a brain tumour.  Surgery and a journey of recovery began with the “dream” job disappearing, James found a new purpose.

He set up the charity, “I Can and I Am” to inspire confidence in secondary school children through inspirational talks.

He started on Monday by sharing his own story and then talking to us as parents about how we can work with our children to give them the confidence to believe they can do anything.

His first top tip UFO Vs DBI, the abbreviations stand for Up, Forward and Out and Down, Back and In.  If we always look up and forward and out, we can see the big sky with all the possibilities.  Down back and in, begins that self limiting inner dialogue and where we over analyse events.

As a teacher he was keen for us to understand the progress made by teaching being evaluated by outside influence e.g. Ofsted.  However we are still focusing very much on a funnel all the good stuff goes in, however the system only focuses on that very tight tube at the end of the funnel, academic results.

Teenagers today are spending so much time on their phones which as we know releases the addictive Dopamine in our brain.  We need to unlock other passions and all of this can start at 14 years of age.

As parents we can look to a 3B continuum:-

  • Between – controlling (when they are young and dependent)
  • Beside – journey with them (understanding their life and the gradual steps of independence)
  • Behind – I am here if you need me – the ultimate interdependence

Every child needs a confidence boost and James used the example of an ordinary balloon.  We can either choose to inflate their confidence or deflate, knocking their self worth.  If they are constantly deflated it is like driving a car with a flat tyre, progress is slow and damaging.

There are four things we can ensure:-

  1. Belong – do they feel part of something, do they have a role
  2. Valued – embedding a growth mindset (Carol Dweck) “I can’t do it” should become “I can’t do it yet…”
  3. Good at something – look at the multiple intelligences by Professor Howard Gardner.  We all have strengths in areas that need to be uncovered by the people around us
  4. Future secure – setbacks are viewed as a springboard.  We may fall down but how quickly do we get back up and focus on the future.

We must give our teenagers authentic praise by ensuring we say:-

  • “I noticed…
  • “I heard…
  • “I saw…

Firsthand commentary of what they are doing well and it is our job to build those affirmations in their heads.

We have responsibility to demonstrate our own love of life be the role model with the right attitude.

We might not have a story as big as James Shone, however we can ensure that we smile and dance when we put the dishwasher on.  Talk about your work with passion and share your life with your teenagers.  Behaviour is contagious lets get them talking and off the screen.