Posted in Leadership, Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Decision Making, motivation

Add an egg…

In the 1950s General Mills launched a line of cake mixes under the name/brand “Betty Crocker”. The cake mixes included everything in a powered form milk/eggs etc… All you needed to do was just add water, mix and then pop in the oven. It saved everyone time and effort and was error free.

The product did not fly off the shelves. General Mills decided to bring in some psychologists. They needed to work out why consumers were not purchasing the product and the short answer was “guilt”. People felt bad using the product despite its convenience.

General Mills could have spent more money on advertising promoting the benefits of the time saved instead they made it less convenient. The product was revised with the addition of a “real”egg as well as the water. They relaunched the product with the slogan “Add an egg”. Sales of Betty Crocker soared.

By adding the egg, it took away some of the guilt, still saved time and most importantly the egg symbolised ownership and effort so the cake maker was invested.

The significance of the egg is relevant in so many ways at work:-

  • When delegating allow for team members to add their egg (their ideas and input)
  • Leading a team invite “eggs”
  • Motivating yourself, add an egg, make a task slightly harder
  • Measure yourself against the egg metaphor – how invested are you in the project
  • Team meetings ask for eggs don’t tell

The egg is such a powerful story and shows how we can motivate and empower our team members by asking for their input. Never present or delegate a project step by step, you will have presented a complete powder mix. The enlightenment and the novelty comes from the “real egg” which means team members connect as they can see their input.

Please do reach out and share your stories about adding an egg – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, Learning, Problem solving

Fixedness…Think differently

nuggets is all about getting people to think differently and at a start of a New Year it is a good time to evaluate how you look at things. We have worked on projects the same way and have the same rituals and routines, we get stuck in our ways.

The psychologist Karl Duncker discovered a version of “Functional Fixedness” when he posed his famous candle problem. Duncker asked participants to attach a candle to a wall, with the following materials, box of thumbtacks, a box of matches and a candle. Some tried pinning the candle to the wall with the thumb tacks, others tried melting the wax to get the candle to stick to the wall. There were only a few that used the thumbtack box by tacking it to the wall and thus creating a candle holder. These innovative thinkers had got past the fixed usage of the box and its function. The same exercise was repeated with the box presented empty and there was greater success as the participants could see the box out of context not holding any contents and were more ready to use it. Visualising something as a possible solution means that you have to stop being fixated on its functionality.

The experiment is all about a problems with functional materials, but what about looking at the way you work or the services you offer. You will have become fixed on the way you doing things and have created a fixed view.

Try this week to think about what could you look at differently within your company services or the way you work. Imagine a TV without a screen, or a lightbulb without the filament, to make this leap you have to accept that we all look at objects in a traditional way, as we all suffer from fixedness.

Share your ideas or book a workshop with nuggets in 2022 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Review of the year…

This will be the last post of this year and so a good time to take stock of the year. I send this to all coaching clients so they can see what has happened and begin to focus on the year ahead.

Review of 2021

Best 5 days of 2021 (think of your whole life, where were you and who were you with?)

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

People who were important to you in 2021:-

Achievements x 3 (in or out of work)

1.

2.

3.

How are you feeling December 2021:- (start with an adjective and then explain why you have chosen that description)

Looking ahead to 2022

Big Goals (work or home)

1.

2.

3.

Days & Events in 2022  (significant Birthdays/events such as Weddings/Anniversaries etc…)

Have a lovely Christmas and please do ask others to follow my Blog and I look forward to connecting with you again in 2022. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Letting go…

Getting a sense of who you are does not have to be quite as dramatic as the route of Jay Shetty the author of “Think like a Monk”. Shetty spent three years living as a Monk to understand why they are so happy and centred, he discovered at the core of their life was their ability to master the art of letting go.

First step we can take is to let go of external expectations, which have evolved via our parents/friends and society at large. Shetty says we can take stock of what we value in life and then practice choice awareness against our values. Think daily do you want to spend that time or money doing what you are doing. You have the power of choice and if there is no value attached to the outcome is it the right choice. Attending a conference to learn, or alternatively attending as you have been told to, both give you different choices.

Letting go of negativity towards others, especially if you are holding onto them for a long time. You have a row with your partner which may take you 1% of your time to reach resolution and yet 99% of the time is left with negative thoughts swirling in your head. Shetty says that we should forgive without waiting for the person to apologise, and we should also get into the habit of well wishing, passing and sharing our own happiness. We should delight in other’s success be genuinely happy for them.

Letting go of attachment is possibly the one I found most poignant. If you think in life that everything is borrowed you will enjoy the moments you are in so much more. As an example, in the book he explains you rent a luxury car and you enjoy every moment of the experience as you know it will not last and you don’t own the car. Imagine taking on this mindset for everything. You are only borrowing your family for periods of time. Detaching from people and things makes you love them even more and then when you are attached to them in moments of time, they are all the sweeter.

In summary:-

  • Let go external expectations
  • Let go of negativity towards others
  • Let go of attachment

Please do get in touch to book nuggets for coaching or bite size workshops bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Starting new things…

When we start something new we are incredibly vulnerable, and we are excited that we are trying some new things. Sadly awkward and uncomfortable comes after the excitement. Brené Brown’s definition of vulnerability, is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

Don’t let being afraid of the vulnerability mean you stop trying, if we don’t have the expertise we don’t want to try, but this will limit us.

If we stop growing – we stop living. You need to feel the discomfort of being a new learner. The awkwardness will pass as the more we do it the more we can try normalise the discomfort. To feel unsure and uncertain is courage.

Brown names starting things for the first time “FFT” which stands for “F*#-@$+” First Time, the out of control moment. By naming it, you take back control in effect language is a handle!! By naming experiences and feelings its gives you power and you have a hold on it.

The FFT can also be called TFT if the first F is offensive – Terrible First Time

Just by saying out loud “This is Terrible it is my first time…”

or “This is a “FFT”

There are 3 parts to the FFT:-

Normalise it – this is discomfort but I have to accept it, name it and work with it
Perspective – you will not feel like this forever – this will not be new forever
Reality checking – know where you are

The pandemic was new to us all and we all felt a FFT together.

  1. Normalise it – we don’t know how to do it, we had never experienced anything like it before so it was OK to be anxious and OK to name it and own it. For our children we needed to be modelling what uncertainty looked like – name it and feel it
  2. Perspective – we don’t know when this will end, however this will not last forever.
  3. Reality checking – to be patient and to listen with the same passion as you want to be heard and to ask for what you need

This week push yourself with a FFT, thrive in the discomfort as you are growing and being vulnerable is far more courageous than avoiding something new. Please reach out to bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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.

Planning

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 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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