Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, personal impact, Relationships

How to never eat alone…?

Keith Ferrazzi wrote the book “Never eat alone” back in 2005 it laid out the steps and the inner mindset he uses to reach out to colleagues, friends and the thousands of people who have helped him. Originally the books was going to be called “You can’t get there alone”

Ferrazzi was the son of a steelworker and a cleaner who wanted him to have the best start. He was able to advance to Yale, Harvard and several top executive posts. The most remarkable part of his achievements was the network he created from Washington to Hollywood.

His form of connecting was based on the generosity of helping friends connect with other friends. He distinguishes this as genuine relationship building not the crude glad-handing associated with networking.

These are just some of his thoughts and tips:-

  • No-one can achieve their goals without others
  • To build relationships over a lifetime – you will need intimacy, generosity, candour and accountability.
  • You can’t get very far alone.
  • Treat your life as one big event, relationship building (not networking)
  • Give before you receive
  • Follow up quickly within 12 or 24 hours of that initial meeting
  • Be you
  • Be of service – “how can I help you…?”

The book is divided into four sections which give you a great compass as to how to get to the level of relationship building of Ferrazzi.

  • The mind-set
  • The skill-set
  • Turning connections into compatriots
  • Trading up and giving back

To understand more about the book, please do come to the nuggets book club this week, for more details please get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Leadership, Bite size learning, Decision Making, Change management

Tough Calls

Tough calls by Allan Leighton was written in 2011 however the book is so timely now and could really do with a update to help decisions people have been making during the pandemic.

Leighton starts the book, with his own personal tough call, as to whether to take a position with Asda after 18 years with Mars.

As a leader it is almost always the difficult decisions that end up on your desk. If everything is ticking along nicely most people don’t need to bother the Leader. It is only when things get choppy that people turn for help and that generally happens at 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon.

Leighton explains how decisions can be broken into categories:-

Radical decision – when things within an organisation’s control have gone badly wrong and urgently need addressing

Crisis decision – external factors takeover and you are hit by a challenge or a disaster

Opportunity decision – there is a potential takeover or merger

Progress decision – smaller scale decisions that businesses face everyday

These categories of decisions form the basis of part one of the book. The second section is all about “road testing a tough call”. Testing the vision, and deciding whether leadership Vs consensus is the right approach. Most importantly as a leader the moment when it is right to change your mind.

Part three of the book, is “Seeing it Through”. Have you got the right people on board and have you won hearts and minds. Finally are you communicating on message.

We all make decisions everyday. Most of them are pretty straightforward, but every so often there are some really tough calls. In business the choices that executives make can make the difference between success and ongoing prosperity or failure and financial disaster.

We will be reviewing Tough Calls at nuggets book club this Friday at 10.00am. Please do send me an email if you wish to attend bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Speaking to yourself as you would to a friend…

I recently reviewed the book “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi who explains how harsh we are on ourselves. She says you would not be that fierce with a friend so why are we with ourselves. This morning I came across this story which completely reinforces her theory.

In his book, Feeling Great, Dr. David Burns recounts a conversation with a carpenter, Frank, who was painting his house. One day, upon returning home, Dr. Burns noticed a change in Frank’s usually sunny disposition and asked if he was feeling alright.

“I’m getting old,” he confessed, fighting back tears. “My body won’t be able to keep up the same pace for much longer. I’m worried that I might not have enough money to support my wife and me when I retire. “I’ve never accomplished anything meaningful or significant in my life.”

Feeling bad for Frank, Dr. Burns asked if he could try something helpful called the double standard technique.

Here’s how he describes it,

“When we’re upset or fall short of our goals, we tend to beat up on ourselves with harsh criticisms. But if we were talking to a dear friend with the same exact problem, we’d do so in a far more compassionate, supportive, and realistic way. Once you’re aware of this, you can ask yourself if you’d be willing to talk to yourself in the same compassionate way you’d talk to a dear friend.”

After asking what he would say to a friend in his position, Frank replied that he would remind that friend that he and his wife would have a decent retirement and be fine even if he decided to retire someday. Moreover, he would assure his friend that he had never once received a complaint about his work, not even once, nor had he ever cheated anyone—and that’s as meaningful as it is significant.

Much to Frank’s surprise, his sadness wasn’t caused by his age, nor his fear of financial hardship come retirement, but rather, his negative thoughts.

The story resonates for the times we are in at the moment we all need to be kind to each other and give more feedback than usual. We need to give authentic praise that has true value within it. Say what the person has done well, but substantiate with evidence and make it specific to that individual. Most importantly try giving yourself some value based praise, we all need a boost.

Please do get in touch with nuggets for a short workshop or coaching by contacting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Time management

Nuggets to get you through November…

We have one month of lockdown come Thursday, so what does your November look like?

Map out your month by using the number 4, as we have 4 weeks to focus on:-

  • Plan 4 weekends – create special meals/home cinema night/family Zoom calls/cocktails
  • Select 4 people you wish to connect with this month
  • Focus on 4 work goals – that will make the biggest difference
  • Identify 4 big exercise routines
  • Read 4 books (one a week)
  • Think of 4 house projects that have been outstanding for a while
  • 4 ways to relax or simply 4 ways to be on your own

Traditionally monthly planning would ask you to think about the following as well as your Power of 4:-

  • Note any special dates (any Birthdays etc…)
  • Check your project list
  • Meal planning and shopping lists
  • Schedule your household chores
  • Bills to be paid
  • Schedule time for you

The other way to check whether you are on track, is to use Stephen Covey’s Habit 7 from the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Sharpen the saw. He says to ensure that we are functioning on all cylinders think of your mind/body/heart and soul. So for the month of November map it out using this key:-

  • Mind – what activities this month will grow your mind, reading, learning and acquiring knowledge
  • Body – how much exercise will you do this month, and have you created a ritual or a routine to make sure it happens
  • Heart – Who will you connect with this month? on a one to one basis outside or virtually
  • Soul- What do you need to do to find space? – silence/meditation/outside/nature

To help get through November get in touch with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk – happy to provide (reasonable rate) one off coaching sessions through this lockdown

Posted in Uncategorized

Journey of on-boarding…

With so many new starters beginning their working lives virtually we need to ensure that you have a really good structure to your on-boarding.

Journey of on-boarding
  1. Clarity

Before they even take the position are they absolutely clear about what it involves do they have total clarity. Do they understand the “Overall Purpose” of the organisation and more specifically as an individual do they know the answers to the following questions:-  

1.What am I here to do?

2.What do I have at my disposal to do it?

3.What do I need to know to succeed?

4.Who are my key stakeholders?

5.How am I being measured?

6.What behaviours are rewarded in this culture? What behaviours are looked down upon in this culture?

As an organisation you will need to share the vision for the role not just the company vision. Can you put into one paragraph the overarching problem the person is being hired to solve or overall objective. Have you created a document that covers the roles and responsibilities, an overview. Identified the KPIs – key performance indicators that will give the new starter the key to their success. Mapped out how many milestone check points you will need and how often to meet. 

Connections

The first 30 days will be crucial to see that your new starter connects with the right people.

Who would you like them to meet as the Welcome meeting (virtually how many team members do you want on that first call). Who is best to host the Culture overview meeting to explain “They way things are done around here…”. The IT department is a crucial connection to ensure they have set up everything. Meeting with the line manager purely on role and responsibilities, and timings set up for milestone meetings. Discovery meetings with others departments so that their overview of the company is not limited to their department. There will always be things that can’t be covered by others so provide relevant reading material.

Comprehension

By 60 days does the new recruit, understand all products and services. Have they put together a strategy, compilation and review of what they are going to do. Set them a date to formally present their ideas. The presentation will explain their developed solutions and ideas. They will outline an implementation plan and the results they are expecting.

Confidence

By 90 days the new starter will have had some early wins, therefore there is now work that can be evaluated. Confidence in selling products & services should be well underway. The individual should feel secure in their position within organisation. Depending on level should have a strong relationship with leadership team.

Contribution

What have they added to the team, have they enhanced your company culture. What return have they provided in terms of revenue contribution. What is the reaction from clients in levels of rapport and numbers.

The next step is for them to plan next 90 days 

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

Spinning “role” plates…

Do you know how many roles and titles you have in life? If you imagine some spinning plates with all of them labelled with your roles in life you would get a sense of your life. We invest time in certain roles and then sadly as we over invest on certain plates others may wobble and some may sadly crash to the floor.

We have to carefully keep them all spinning with a steady and calm momentum in order to help our own mental well being.

The starting point is to work out what roles we have:-

  • Mother
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Friend
  • Work colleague
  • Line Manager

You will notice that I have included your work roles as well as our life roles. We all put on a certain demeanour depending on the role we are playing and therefore we need to see the full extent of our plates. By including all your roles you get a sense of scale and the emotional investment you are going to need.

It is hard work to keep it all spinning, but life is better if the rotations are calm and steady. I have these last few days only been spinning one and I find that I have lost touch with who I am. Just focusing on that one role has in a way left me slightly disarmed as to who I am.

My spinning will begin again this week and luckily none of my plates were totally neglected so I will not be sweeping up crockery, however it has been a wake up call as to who I am and my many roles.

Please do get in touch with identifying your roles in life bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Key takeaways from Dare to Lead

Brené Brown’s book “Dare to Lead” leads on perfectly from Daring Greatly to explain how vulnerability can be a strength in leadership and develop much healthier cultures.

She identified within organisations unhealthy behaviours and cultures.

  • Avoidance of tough conversations
  • Polite culture (not really addressing issues)
  • Passive aggressive
  • Too much time managing difficult behaviours
  • Diminishing trust
  • Too much shame and blame
  • Values not being lived
  • Perfectionism

When she asked participants to identify brave leadership they struggled and were not sure whether courage was a skill or a trait. She also needed to address the myths attached to vulnerability eg. its not a weakness it is a strength. Her studies showed that you cannot get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability.

When speaking to the Special Forces she asked did you feel vulnerable at a time of high risk and uncertainty and emotional exposure, one guy put up his hand and said he had been on three tours and felt that every time. This gave Brown her best example of courage sitting alongside vulnerability.

Vulnerability is not winning or losing it is all about the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome. To love someone is the ultimate example of vulnerability.

Everyone needs a square squad the group of people who love you for all your imperfections and your vulnerability. They are called the square squad as you write their names on a square piece of paper one inch by one inch, and carry them with you.

Clear is kind and Unclear is unkind. You want to give some-one feedback however you are reticent so you “fudge it” and end up talking to others rather than being clear and direct. Tough conversations are never easy but they are much kinder when they are clear.

Tips for your meetings to demonstrate bravery, use Brown’s technique of permission slips, what behaviour or intent do you want to bring to a meeting. For example I would like permission to listen with passion and I want to stay open minded. As a group writing down your intentions is powerful and a shared experience.

“Turn and learn” another technique for your team, when you experience unrealistic time lines or very different views on budgets. Brown’s team use the methodology of “Turn and Learn” when a timeline has to be agreed, they all write their prediction on a post-it note and on the count of 3, they all reveal at the same time. This prevents everyone following the crowd and original thought.

Guiding us through leadership and life should be our values which we need to live into. Brown says that we should only have 2 core values, and whilst this seems harsh you find that once they are recognised they do fit with decisions, behaviours and every aspect of your life. The 2 that she lives her life by are faith and courage.

It is tricky to know what comes first being vulnerable or trusting another person:-

How do I know if I can trust some-one enough to be vulnerable…?

How to build trust without ever risking being vulnerable.

The book uses the mnemonic of BRAVING as a tool to use with your team on developing trust.

B = Boundaries

R = Reliability

A = Accountability

V = Vault

I = Integrity

N = Non-judgemental

G = Gratitude

If you were to use the inventory on yourself, it might well read something like this.

Did I respect my boundaries, did I rely on my self or my self talk, did I not share anything inappropriate, did I choose courage over discomfort, did I ask for help when I needed and was I generous to myself”

The final part of the book is the ability to learn to rise, therefore learning how to fall before you jump. The first lessons that sky divers learn is how to fall without a harding landing. We must rise from failure and be experienced with falling and rising.

The last word has to go to Brown “Choose courage over comfort, choose whole hearts over armour and choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid at the same time.”

Please do get in touch for any nugget workshops or colourful coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Marble jar friends…

This Friday we will be reviewing the best selling book “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown.

The story from the book I want to share is about trust which features in both books Daring Greatly and Dare to Lead. It explores why we have low trust in organisations and sometimes with our friends. Working from home we can feel isolated so how do we reach out and show that we are still very much there for our friends and colleagues and build trust.

Brown describes a system that her daughter’s school teacher created called the marble jar. If the class as a group made a good decision they had a marble added to a clear jar that was visible to all of them. If they made a bad decision then the marble was taken out. The transparency of the marbles showed whether the classroom had a good “vibe”, was it a nice place to be.

In the book Brown’s daughter comes home from school after an incident where some of her friends shared something she did not want them to share. Brown used the marble jar as an example and asked her daughter – “Who are your “Marble Jar Friends?” She asked her daughter to talk about the “Marble Jar Friends” and say what had they done to earn her trust and friendship, (and a marble).

Her daughter came back with the smallest of ways:-

  • saving a seat at lunchtime
  • remembering the names of her grandparents

Brown found this a revelation that Trust is not gained by the big gestures in can be incremental as above, and it can be the small behaviours that will matter the most.

In her research Brown said that participants described trust as slow building and a layered process that happens over time. The chicken and egg scenario- do we need to trust to be vulnerable or do we need to be vulnerable in order to build trust.

Think over the last month what have your friends done that have earned marbles in your jar of accumulating trust. Colleagues may well have reached out to you even though they are not in your team, but just wanted to put a marble in your jar.

If you are leader how many marbles do you give out and do you track the marbles you receive from your team. Trust underpins all of our relationships so get with the currency of marbles…

Please do come to the book club this Friday @ 10.00am, send me an email and I will get you booked in bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact

My week with the – The Kindness Method

Last week the nuggets book club reviewed “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi. As I prepared for the event on the Friday I undertook the exercises myself so that I felt the content had landed and that I understood how to implement the theory.

The author Shahroo Izadi studied psychological sciences and then psychology becoming an assistant psychologist at an NHS substance misuse centre. However the most relevant fact about Shahroo is her battle over her weight which lasted for two decades. It was not until she implemented the Kindness Method on herself that she lost 8 stone and most importantly she has kept it off ever since.

My own journey last week started with the “Snapshot Letter” this is the first exercise where you asked to right a letter to yourself explaining what is going on now. My own personal perspective was around the discipline of work, being healthy and not being overwhelmed by worries around my family.

The main tool that the book draws on is mapping thoughts. You put the central theme in the middle and populate the map with everything that comes to mind.

  1. Ways I’m Happy to be – the first map which you fill with characteristics of yourself, the book provides suggestions, and the advice is go for quantity. Here are a few of mine:-
    • Warm
    • Creative
    • Loving
    • Positive
  2. What I’m Proud of – things that you have achieved from any size, some of mine were the nuggets brand to staying positive through lockdown.
  3. When I’m in the zone – this map should be filled with all the times you have been truly “on it” where were you, what were you doing, why did everything feel so right? On the back of this map answer these 2 questions:-
    • Do these situations you have put on your map have anything in common? If so what are they?
    • Based on what you have written down to create your perfect conditions what would you have to alter about your normal routine now?

These 3 maps put you in a great positive mindset and they are your starting point of change.

4. What hasn’t worked – This map is beginning to identify your resistance, my two big AHA moments were brave and thinking BIG

5. Conversations about me – This is a hard one to write. What have you heard said about you, what have you said about yourself, what do you think about yourself? We are really cruel and this is where you can write it down and hopefully leaves your head landing on the paper. Here are two of mine:-

  • I am not bold or brave enough to change the business
  • I am not focused enough

6. Some-one I love – What would you say to some-one you love? Of course it will look nothing like the cruel dialogue we say to ourselves. I chose my daughter who has just turned 18 years old and I filled the map with all the things I wish for her now and dream of for her. It was the easiest map to complete!

7. This is not a map but key questions to try and get you to focus in a nutshell what it is you need to work on or change:-

I want to do more of…

I want to less of …

I want to be more…

I want to be less…

I want to start…

I want to stop….

In a nutshell – in one sentence say what all the answers are saying:-

I will think big about the business, learning and developing new material all the time by delivering more workshops and coaching.

8. What’s the Harm? – if you don’t change what will happen. The business will look the same next year and the year after.

9. Why haven’t I changed already? – most of my answers had the word “small” in them which again kept leading me to this overall change in thinking. Think Big and talk Big.

10. Developing new strategies – studying the map of “Why I haven’t changed already?” makes you realise that it is you and only you that can make the change. My realisation that my lifestyle and childcare made it very easy to think small. I am aware that everything is comfortable and entering a world of discomfort has been putting me off.

11. Journalling – Take responsibility for what is happening in your life by recording the days events. What are you grateful for? What tested you? How would you respond in the future? This has been my morning ritual for over a month and it pays dividends in a sense of calm and well being, an observer of you and all that you are grateful for.

12. Worry snapshots – capture those tiny little niggles even say them into your phone, once you say them out loud they have gone…

13 What will test me – back to the maps, what will really test your resolve

14 How it’s most important for me to be? – This is a summary of how important this is from a strangers perspective or your family, or even an imaginary film star playing you… I chose to hear what my family would say in 6 months. This was the turning point of the week, I got really excited about what I wanted them to see and hear from me. It really mattered and I really wanted it to start now!

15. Life if I don’t make the changes – dated (6 months time)

16. Life if I do make the changes – (6 months time) – don’t just write the opposite think about what you want it to look like. My big is not about the size on monetary aspect of the business my big is about the depth – meaningful work, making a difference and understanding that is a huge selling point and enormously rewarding (BIG language)!!!

17. Affirmations – that support your change, and saying them out loud everyday

  • My business is thriving
  • I am kind to myself and others
  • I will challenge myself to think BIG all the time

18. The Plan – What are you committing to, capture and log a review date of 3 weeks time.

19. No more excuses – another map to recognise some of your inner dialogue that has been trying to stop you

  • Covid
  • The business is OK – why change
  • Energy/Age

20. Testing myself on purpose – we all have those habits that we know are going to derail so be ready for them and put yourself in the frame to test yourself.

In summary my week of living with The Kindness Method made me feel good about myself and my business. At times it felt very indulgent however the mindset and outcomes are superb. The Plan started on Thursday and nuggets and I are thriving.

Please do get in touch if you would like one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Please do watch the video of the book review: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2PGtK9Kijs&t=19s

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

Colourful coaching…

At nuggets we deliver colourful coaching, a visual map of the clients words and their thinking by using different coloured post-it notes.

I qualified as a CTI Co-active coach and was very happy with the techniques, however I wanted to put my nuggets stamp on it. I have worked with Coaches myself and the ones that resonated with me were the ones who used visuals.

Not everyone is visual although everyone needs a reminder a memory snapshot for the coaching to be effective. Coaches make notes during or after the session and sometimes they capture the essence, my belief in the colourful coaching methodology is that it works brilliantly as it is in the here and now.

Coaching is all about the quality of listening and being sure to hear the words the client uses, just a change of one word can alter a meaning. Using the word “rubbish” and “terrible” definitely have different levels of impact. We listen with our eyes and our heart and can ask about the emotion behind the words but only at the right moment.

The relationship between the coach and the client is like a dancing partner. The client always chooses the dance and always leads the dance, however the coach is there as a partner on the dance floor. As a partner you can help navigate around other people on the dance floor and ask how they are feeling and if they are enjoying the dance or do they want to do another. The rhythm and movement of the coach and client must be comfortable and enjoyable.

The best coaches are the ones that are outside of the company and industry, the lack of knowledge is beneficial in giving guidance and opinion when appropriate that does not come with any hidden agenda. “You can reach for the stars” in a coaches eyes as they do not have a vested interest in your performance they are being paid to coach you, so that you can reach the potential you desire.

Colourful coaching is one hour and currently via Zoom. The first two sessions need to be within a fortnight of each other so that rapport is established, and going forward the Client can determine how often they need to meet up. In the virtual world of Zoom it is advisable to meet more often.

Using a board the post-it notes are displayed behind the coach creating a journey of the session. The board acts as a great summary and most importantly a record of the session. Photos of the post-its are sent to the client.

We ask before the next session the client sends their nuggets and actions. nuggets are the key learnings which will make the most difference.

The cost of colourful coaching is £100 and we would love to start working with you on any of the following or something that is relevant to you now:-

  • How to be effective working from home…? self motivation/discipline
  • Beating procrastination and being effective
  • Self confidence
  • New to Leadership
  • Presentation coming up – want some guidance on how to have impact
  • Career change

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetoflearning.co.uk