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 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

I am honoured…?

I am honoured that you have chosen to read my blog. The word honoured is such a great grandiose statement that as the recipient it makes you feel good. Words are so important as to how they make people feel.

When I work with clients I may say “I am delighted to be working with you or that was a great session…” however honour is so much richer.

Recently in a book “Monday Morning Leadership” by David Cottrell the mentor writes a note to the client which is as follows:-

“Congratulations for having the courage to seek advice. This step alone indicates that you have a tremendous amount of pride in your work and, more importantly that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

I am honoured that you are allowing me to share my experiences with you and I look forward to working with you”

The note is genuine and authentic and makes you want to to work with the Mentor.

Starting any relationship whether it be a coach/mentor or even a new Line Manager how do you set the scene.

Identifying with the person and recognising their commitment and what they bring, and most importantly conveying what it means to you to work with them.

If you have a new person joining your team, you want them to feel valued at the start of the journey. Try saying:-

“We are honoured you have chosen to join our team and we value the new initiatives you will bring”

Have you ever said to family members that it is an honour to be their child, sister or brother? The word contains so much respect and pride and says so much more.

So to finish today’s blog

“It is an honour that you have taken time out of your day to read my blog and I would be honoured if you shared the message and use the word today”

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching sessions or a workshop around working as a team. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, Learning

Decoding Greatness…

The book by Ron Friedman explains that we can find our own greatness not just from leveraging talent or practising more than anyone else, there is a third way.

We can reverse engineer and find our own code to greatness.

The first step is to Collect greatness, whether it be books as a writer, records if a musician or cookbooks as a chef. David Bowie had a massive record collection and Van Gogh despite his poverty state had more than a 1000 Japanese prints. Award winning chef Michelle Bernstein encourages aspiring chefs to spend what money they have on eating in fabulous restaurants.

Create your greatness library, whatever your niche. By consumings as many examples as possible it begins to give you an underlying structure, you detect patterns as to how things work. This form of learning is implicit, you are not consciously learning, but you are understanding greatness in your field.

The second step is to decode what is happening which you can do by copyworking. Write something word for word, or recreate a piece of work from memory. If you are an athlete copy and mimic the training patterns of your hero. You will begin to notice patterns and rhythms as to how they get to their greatness.

Reverse outlining is the third step. Work back from a finished piece of work and create the outline. Watch one of your favourite TED Talks if you are an aspiring speaker, identify the structure. Did they have a theme/anecdotes/main story/conclusion? Work out the % of time spent on each of the areas.

Contrasting is another way of analysing greatness. Take a piece of work from your greatness collection that is great and another of piece of work that is not so great. What is the difference? What makes one piece of work great and another not?

All this takes time and is still not your greatness, so the final step is to evolve your own style. Look outside for more inspiration, work with different people and ensure you have a broad range of experiences in your life, not necessarily connected to the thing you want to achieve greatness in.

Decoding greatness by using reverse engineering gives you a formula and steps to work with, here they are in summary:-

  • Collect – create a greatness collection
  • Decode – understand why greatness ocurred by –
    • copyworking
    • reverse outline
    • contrasting
  • Evolve – create your own greatness

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching or a 90 minute workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

The Main Thing…

“Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing” from the book Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell.

The Main Thing is people’s purpose and priorities. People have different perceptions of what the Main Thing is. If as a Leader you are not clear on The Main Thing, people will leave. People quit people before they quit companies.

Simon Sinek says “Start with Why” ask your team members “Why do you come to work? what is your driver. His argument it is not what you do? but most importantly why you do it? To create a culture of trust there needs to be harmony as to how you do it? This is where you establish core values of working together. These three areas Why/How/What create Simon Sinek’s golden circle, but always starting with Why.

To identify the Main Thing break it down by using the language of strategy:-

Vision – defining where you want to be in the future

Mission – The purpose of your business (The Why and the Main Thing)

Strategy – The direction of each department eg. Finance/Marketing/Operations – that leads you to mission & vision.

Objectives – Team and individual objectives that fit into the strategy

Tasks – things that you do everyday that lead to the objectives

Values– guiding principles of how you want to work with each other

When you define each of the areas think about companies you want to replicate and companies that you are opposed to being. Love and hate elicit powerful reactions and help position where you do want to be.

A simple team exercise is to ask every team member “What is the Main Thing…? the response to the blank space will be very varied and your role as a Leader is to get clarity.

Please do get in touch we are running the “Main Thing” workshop on Thursday 26th August 2021 @ 10.00am (90 minutes) at a cost of £40 per delegate. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, motivation

Motivation levels & Gaming

Games are designed around the basis of DDA (dynamic difficulty adjustment) the balance between ability and challenge.

What is the comparison to motivation, are we in a flow state when we get the perfect level of capability and challenge.

When you are gaming they talk about levels of immersion:-

  • engagement
  • engrossment
  • total immersion

In organisations we talk about employee engagement and almost think this is enough, however the conversation at one to ones needs to be around specific projects and levels of immersion. Understanding a team member was engrossed or having a chat around what total immersion might look like.

Motivation is described as entering a flow state and this is what gaming does for the player, takes them somewhere else. It can be a journey away from boredom or anxiety or to pure elicit enjoyment. Gaming is often associated with relaxation and escapism.

Often games are set up with static difficulty where the player has to make the decision on the level of difficulty before the game starts. Individuals do this in work, putting themselves forward for roles or not putting themselves forward. Managers need to identify potential to push team members forward so that they are not held back by their own decisions on their capabilities.

Ideally the gaming industry know there is a fine balance of Dynamic Difficulty and Static Difficulty. To retain the players engagement they have to feel that they made the choice, but they want to be immersed and in the game by the challenge.

Think about your team members and decide how many choices they have and how much challenge they need.

Please do ge t in touch for a team 90 minute workshop or one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Key ingredients for a coach…

Right Mindset

Sport is an obvious setting for a coach and very easy to understand their role, they are helping the athlete reach their full potential. The results are tangible and the competitive environment of achievement makes it a very conducive to getting in the right mindset. In business the same willingness is required of a coach to identify with the client their talents so that they can achieve extraordinary results. The goals might be less obvious but it is the role of the coach to empower and inspire the client to achieve. The coach must have the right mindset of believing in the development of the individual.

Listening in the moment

During the pandemic it has been really important to have a coach with the speed of the transformation of work. Understanding the levels of adaptability and working with other life commitments. The coach listens and understands what is important to you at that moment in time.

Empowering

Coaching definitely empowers employees to do their own thinking, by providing space and time. The coach is always listening and never uses any “tell” language, they are inquisitive and encouraging. They never judge and clear their own minds ready to listen without prejudice. Empowerment drives engagement, and subsequently self direction which is a driver to innovation. Studies show that engaged employees make companies more profitable, so therefore engagement drives performance.

Empathy

Empathy is the cornerstone of good coaching, “It is not about you!!!”. Understanding the persons perspective at that moment in time is what it is all about.

Energy

The coach must be like a battery pack, of giving the client a boost, a belief in their talents and capabilities. Their energy levels can be conveyed through their language and the levels of encouragement they give the client.

Accountability

The most important ingredient is to be there as a coach, check-in on their actions and ideas, hold them accountable to what they discussed the last time. Understand why they have not made the change and how they feel if they have made a change. This can be tangible actions and tasks, however it may well be a behavioural change which is where the Coach can play their most pivotal role.

Coaching is transformative and if you put in the right ingredients in and believe in the ability to evoke a change in anyone you will be amazing.

Please do get in touch to book your first coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Reducing Noise…

Wherever there is human judgement, there is noise, this comes from the book “Noise” by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony & Cass R Sunstein.

There has been a lot of research and talk about bias but the book explains the impact of noise. If you go to a meeting and the first speaker offers an opinion the second speaker might disagree but upon hearing the first lacks the confidence to speak up. Quickly you have a rapid conversion due to the noise. Anyone in the room who feels slightly humbled or deferential can quickly be converted and squash their opinion due to the noise attached to a stronger speaker. Noise can determine direction of judgements and suppress counter arguments or different noise.

Noise is not just what you hear, we can have noise in our heads. We make decisions when often we are not in a good state of mind. We have low energy and we hear a voice or a noise that will create a bias and noise that will sway our judgement.

The first practical step to prevent noise and having an influence is identifying situations where noise may occur.

  • Recruitment & Selection
  • Meetings
  • Team work allocation
  • Team roles
  • Promotions
  • Appraisals/Reviews

The list is by no means complete, noise is everywhere…Even ordering your food at restaurant the first person who selects may influence you as it is the first noise you hear.

After identifying that noise will happen, work through the 7 steps below to try and prevent it having an impact:-

  1. Look at the bigger picture – What patterns have occurred before what else do you need to consider contextually? Holistically look at what has happened in the past and now, think about what it would look like in the future and look at it objectively.
  2. Multiple judgements – seek out people with different judgements, ask people from other teams to help with the decision who will not have the baggage of your own team members. Fresh eyes, people that are new to your organisation think of many different angles.
  3. Judge independently – Come to your own opinion, before you go to a meeting. Think about what you understand and your own feelings before sharing with others.
  4. Seek at least two opinions – Listen to other voices, and be open minded
  5. Don’t depend on intuition – It is not sensible to just listen to your gut, as this has been influenced by noise, how you have been feeling that day mentally and physically. This is not a good judgment tool.
  6. Adopt the principles of decision making hygiene – If a Doctor examines you, they wash their hands first and after the examination. Adopt a process of how you make decisions so that there is a system and it can eliminate the noise influencers.
  7. Remind decision makers of their purpose of deciding – The purpose is often lacking at meetings why am I here to decide/to inform/to present/to educate. This is the same around decisions, what are you actually deciding and focus on the decision not the noise around it.

Noise is an obstacle to fair judgement, use the 7 steps above to try and prevent its hold on you and others.

Please do get in touch for 90 minute workshops over Zoom or Coaching one to one for an hour.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Creating rapport…

Recently on a workshop a delegate asked me to explain what I meant by rapport.

Dictionary definition:- a friendly, harmonious relationship especially : a relationship characterised by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.

Rapport starts with that lovely small talk that puts some-one at ease, and they step into your world and feel comfortable. For some it is the most natural thing in the world and yet for others it can feel contrived and clumsy.

A colleague once described it to me as creating “limbic soup” which has stuck with me as a perfect explanation of what is happening mentally and physically. If you are interacting with another person and you feel immediately comfortable, you feel safe because the emotional part of the brain the limbic mode relaxes. We also know that oxytocin’s are released, another chemical to help you relax into the conversation, creating a connection and lovely soup.

Insights from the book “How to Talk to Anyone” by Leil Lowndes gives some actual tools and techniques. She describes conversations as being similar to a game of ping pong. You serve and you expect a return and then you may have to return again.

The serve is the hardest how do you start a chat by not using the usual opening gambits which can often have the reverse affect of shutting some-one down. She suggests an acronym “WIT”- We, It & They:-

We – using we brings people closer together – we are in this together

Example: “I hear she’s a great speaker, we are in for a treat”

It – Have an “it” up your sleeve – is there a current news story that everyone is talking about

Example: “What do you think about (insert your It)?

They – Know something before you meet up, what hobbies/interests do they have

Example: They – “Bob told me you support Liverpool”

Most of us are lazy with our interactions and go for standard questions:-

“How are you?”

“What do you do?”

The first is far too wide, and you never know what is going on in anyone’s world, and chances are you will get the standard response of “fine” which is extremely hard to interpret and does not give you anything to work on.

What do you do? – is another stock question which is more often answered by talking about work, which may not be their true passion. Much better opening is:-

“How do you like to spend most of your time?”

The brain has to think about the answer it does not have a standard response and you will get a lovely insight into the person you have just met. To keep the conversation going and making it more about them, just repeat their words back to them. The last word they say with a question, just nods and provide really good positive non verbal indicators that you are interested.

Rapport is a skill and when deployed effectively can make anyone feel fabulous, be more artful in thinking about how you want a person to feel. Try different openers and really listen and make it all about them.

Please do get in touch for a communication workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, motivation, Relationships, Stress management

Employee centric culture…

“It’s not about being easy on your employees or expecting less from them. High-trust companies hold people accountable but without micromanaging them. They treat people like responsible adults” – Paul J Zak – Neuro science of Trust

The quote above gives the foundation of an employee centric culture it must come from a layer of trust. Zak outlines in his article the eight behaviours he believes create a high trust culture:-

  1. Recognise excellence – this works best when it is tangible, unexpected, personal and publicly recognised
  2. Induce “challenge stress” – a goal that is achievable, with a stretch element and you can chart progress
  3. Give people discretion in how they do their work – autonomy
  4. Enable job crafting – don’t confine people by job titles
  5. Share information broadly – no informations creates uncertainty and breaks trust
  6. Intentionally build relationships – focus on people rather than tasks
  7. Facilitate the whole person growth – adopt a growth mindset and look beyond where they are now
  8. Show vulnerability – as a Leader demonstrate humility

Zak’s work involved measuring levels of oxytocin, which gives an indication of trustworthiness. In a small rodent brain oxytocin is released if it is safe for another rodent to approach. If the animal was scared it inhibits the release of oxytocin. His studies on humans proved that stress inhibits oxytocin and the antidote is empathy. The basis of empathy is a “damn good listening to”, going beyond just actively listening to empathetically listening. This means absorbing the content intellectually and emotionally.

Brene Brown also advocates that trust is a foundation from her book Dare to Lead. She states very clearly that you can’t have courage without vulnerability. In order to run or rumble with vulnerability you have to have tough conversations, which are best placed if there is a layer of trust. Employees should live into their own values and the values of the organisation. She uses a mnemonic of BRAVING as detailed below:-

Boundaries: You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no. 

Reliability: You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities. 

Accountability: You own your mistakes, apologise, and make amends. 

Vault: You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. 

Integrity: You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them. 

Nonjudgment: I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment. We can ask each other for help without judgment. 

Generosity: You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others. Generosity is closely related to judgment and is in fact the opposite. 

In summary Brene Brown says that organisations need to cultivate a culture of brave work and tough conversations.

Think about how you are embracing trust within your culture and put your employees first.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on the content above, called “It’s good to share, talk and listen…” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Have to…or get to…!

I am delivering a Time management workshop later today and it always strikes me how much we think Time has power over us. Time is a non-spatial continuum it does not really exist and yet we think it is a “Thing”.

We have to have the right mindset and language as to how we look at Time. It must not lead us we must be able to make choices and lead our own time.

“I have to…!”

We can feel so much more empowered if that report we have to finish we say in our heads “I am choosing to work on that report this morning”, rather than “I have to…!”

If this feels a bridge too far then try “I will get to that report this morning”. This gives you momentum and moves you towards the task.

Feeling that time is controlling you, will overwhelm you and the increments of time will slip away. If you know during the waking hours what you want to achieve and split the day up you will feel so much better. Achievement underpins motivation and you will be in control.

I read a recent article that said rather than viewing a day as wasted divide the day into 3 sections. What did you get done in the morning, mid afternoon and evening? If the morning becomes a very reactive time and you do not feel you have achieved what you wanted to, make sure you pick up in the evening and then focus on the positive outcomes in stages. Never right off a whole day, in a part of it there will have been an accomplishment.

Working in teams listen to other people’s language, and see how much people believe that time has control. As a leader say to your team members when are you going to “get to that …” rather than “You have to …” pass on power.

Think about how you feel about time today? Lead it and enjoy it, we all know how quickly it passes.

Please do get in touch if you would like a Time Management workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk