Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

Keep being Resilient…

The final push through lockdown could be our toughest job yet, knowing that freedom is within touching distance how do we keep on being resilient.

We wake up each morning and decide on the level of energy we wish to deploy. In the book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers says we should use the pain to power continuum. If you see a line on a piece of paper with those two words, decide how near to pain you are and how near to power you are. We want to be near power however a poor nights sleep or a genuine illness might pull us towards pain. She says we have the choice and whatever we deploy at the start will set the tone for the day and potentially the week.

Our mindset is another conscious choice we make although we might have carried beliefs from childhood into adulthood which might not be helpful. Professor Carol S Dweck’s book on “Mindset”, explains we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. If you were told as a child that you can’t sing, can’t draw or that you are poor at sport this is something you have decided to fix and lock in. These items we lock in are not good for our resilience levels. Also success can be deliberating, she explains often once something is achieved, people with a fixed mindset stop trying this is not good in an environment where we have no control and we need to continuously think of new ways to work and adapt.

The word resilient means for a person to be able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. To know that resilience is about bouncing back what are the components that you need to work on to ensure that you do recover. If you imagine a table, it has four legs and a top, and without one of those vital pieces the table would feel unstable and fall. We need each leg of our resilient table to be firm and secure.

Leg One – Mental toughness – making decisions and using all your logical thinking to way up pros and cons and be aware of problems as they arrise

Leg Two – Physical energy – staying strong and to be able to attend several back to back virtual meetings still with a smile

Leg Three – Emotional balance – A support for others and ourselves the right level of empathy, and measured responses.

Leg Four – Social skills – Naturally adept at making others comfortable and comfortable in your own space.

Table Top – Sense of purpose – meaning to what you are doing, the core of who you are.

Create your own “Resilient Backpack”. If you were going on a hike you would pack a rucksack with essentials for the trip. We are still on the journey of lockdown and decide what you need in your resilient backpack, here are a few ideas:-

  • Favourite music
  • Friends
  • Books
  • Favourite meal
  • Walking
  • Running

Identifying a dip in your resilience eg. which part of your table is unsteady or is it a mood that you can recognise as a sign. Anxious, antagonistic, defensive, snappy, withdrawn etc… We will all have our own indicators, the trick is to get to know yourself and know when something is becoming a pattern. Take something out of your backpack to make yourself feel better or work on a leg of your table, or make a choice to have a growth mindset.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Being Resilient – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Staying true and staying in touch…

A client last week shared a brilliant story about why they go to one Fish and Chip shop rather than another that is cheaper and closer to their home. It is all about their brand integrity and the product/service. The Fish and Chip shop only uses fresh fish never frozen, they are not the cheapest, however they have queues outside the shop. It made me think about what defines everyones business “quality of fish” and also how you engage with your customers during lockdown. This restaurant undoubtedly has returning customers due to the quality of their product, this ensures they have people returning.

We will recognise companies that have been imaginative during this time, changing their product or service and making it more accessible. Restaurants like Wagamama sharing their recipes and setting up an online cookery school. ASOS adapting their stock to accommodate the demand for casual clothing, this repositioning of their offering shows they understood the customers need.

Communication is key, the right level of messaging and the right tone. Even on shop windows the positivity of a simple message “opening soon” or the longer ones thanking everyone for their loyalty. Speaking to the hearts and minds of who you want to stay in touch with.

During the time out the companies who have made their products and services even better or adapted their offers will be recognised. I was predominately a learning and development business, with a coaching offering. nuggets is now an online coaching service with workshops. Recognising the need for learning and development to be more intimate and more immediate has lent itself far more to coaching, therefore I have adapted my services.

The lockdown has made it necessary for firms to engage with their customers in new innovative ways and prioritise their happiness. Loyalty schemes need to be personalised therefore even more data capturing and more artificial intelligence to understand what really will make their hearts sing.

The road ahead is still going to be long, however the more we take the time to stay true to our brand integrity eg. quality and communicate with our customers the more secure our businesses will be.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to facilitate a brainstorming session on your key offerings and how you are communicating with your clients. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

In the “Grip”…

This is the terminology for being out of character, not quite ourselves and it comes from Myers Briggs, the personality self assessment tool. The expression seems so apt at the moment as we are all drifting into being “In the Grip”.

What does it actually mean and what does it look like to us all individually?

In a nutshell it is the version of ourselves that puzzles us, we can feel irrational, out of control, unstable or even just a little crazy. These temporary episodes at the time literally grip us, however we have to recognise that they are actually healthy and demonstrating our adaptability.

This side of character is most likely to occur during times of stress, fatigue and illness.

The first step to moving out of the grip of these out of character behaviours is to perhaps identify times when we our feeling naturally ourselves and when not.

  • What are you like when you are most yourself? – what qualities best describe you or define you? examples might be – optimistic, careful with details, concerned about others or future orientated
  • What are you like when you are not yourself? – how are you different to your usual way of being?
  • What aspects of your work are most satisfying?
  • What aspects of your work are most disatisfying?
  • How do you typically deal with chronic stress?
  • What new things have you learned about yourself as a result of out of character experiences?

My own personal example is as recent as Friday. My normal disposition is to be very positive and optimistic and to be more future orientated. I recognised signs of feeling a bit despondent so decided to cheer myself up by buying a new outfit which normally would be quite a good idea. In the past this would be a trip to shops and visualising where I would wear the outfit in the future. However during lockdown this meant shopping on line, I got locked “in the Grip” there was too much choice and I found it really hard to visualise. Came out with an outfit, missed the detail aspect now have an outfit on the way to my niece as did not change the delivery address from Christmas.

One of the main reasons we get locked in the Grip is down to energy levels. We are awaiting news about lockdown being lifted however my advice is to still maintain good energy levels so whatever the news you don’t behave out of character. Set your own agenda and don’t be influenced by “stuff” you can’t influence.

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Networking in the remote world…

Last week I was asked to discuss the difference between networking face to face and the shift to the remote world.

I always have standard features and, using the word “Welcome” harks back to my days at Disney. The word is a smile within itself and as a host it is so important to make everyone feel welcome as soon as possible. To foster warmth instantly over a screen you have to use the right tonality as well as the right words. I attended a webinar recently where the host was very shouty and I felt intimidated even sitting in my own home.

Try and be original with introductions, just as we hated the round the table we also hate round the screens. Ask people to hold up pictures or give a word to describe how they feel at that moment, who is their favourite actor or actress…be adventurous!

Decide whether to have a waiting room or no waiting room. The benefit of not having one is that you can host some small talk before the event begins. The formality of a slide or holding screen can be appropriate, or it might create a barrier.

Engaging with people is about staying on screen, so minimise your slide deck and use break out rooms as when necessary.

Your own background rather than a beach in Miami, exposing your home makes you authentic. Everyone loves to see a dog or child in the background, its “real” and all an extension of you.

Networking is relationship building, it is not about attending to be seen on screen, it is about getting to know each other and if you set up appropriately and warmly it can happen very easily.

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

Please visit our website http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Mental & Physical Rhythm…

As a coach I am always keen to steer my client towards healthy habits, rituals and routines. These are normally behavioural choices and not necessarily centred around physicality.

Last week I heard a talk by Dr. Zarrin Shaikh about the importance of well being from the cardiology perspective. Dr Shaikh qualified as a Doctor and for many years worked on the frontline of NHS in cardiology.

She is now focusing on lifestyle cardiology, prevention of heart disease. She shared a great mnemonic “Fresh” which is something I will share with my clients:-

F – food

R – relaxation

E – exercise

S – sleep

H – honesty

The last letter H for honesty is about your own self awareness about whether you are being kind to yourself. The four other categories are great pillars for life and well being which we need to track continuously.

In my coaching sessions during lockdown I have been advocating rituals, like having a break at the same time each day, beginning and closing the day at the same time. During her talk Dr Shaikh confirmed that biological patterns are really important.

A recent conversation with a Leader who shared the need for her team to get into a rhythm with each other. Remote leadership is hard but the more rituals you can put in place the more likely your team will get in sync with each other. I have a client every Monday at 9.00am and I love the discipline of an appointment at the start of the week.

Journalling is a ritual I do everyday to review and assess my development. I set out what I want to achieve each day and take great joy in highlighting tasks accomplished. I have a break in the morning at the sometime each day. Think about how you can create your own rhythm mentally and physically, is it the right beat and volume, and is it sweet to your ears.

Please do get in touch for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Time management

Time to focus on time…

Time is a non spatial continuum, so what are we focusing on…

We can build a relationship with it by asking some key questions to ensure we are maximising our use of it.

  • What did you do with the last hour yesterday?
  • How do you feel about it today?
  • If you had more of it, what would you do with it?

Think about your answers, most of us waste our last hour of the day and the second question normally challenges everyone. How do I feel about time, do I treasure it, do I have any feelings around it? Start to care about time and have feelings around it, guarantees you will make better decisions if you care. We all wish for more time, however unless you write down some goals that you want to achieve will you know what you are going to do with more time. Goals will be accomplished if they are written down and you will find the time.

We have peaks and troughs throughout the day and if you identify your “Prime” time you can ensure that is the time you get your best work done. It has been proven that there is an hour that is best for you. Protect it and ensure that is the time you get your work done that needs the most concentration.

Dan Pink’s book When looks at the science behind time, he explains that there are three phases throughout the day peak/trough and recovery. Analytical and detailed work is best tackled in the morning at the Peak and then when you hit the Trough you should work on procedural/administrative jobs that require little thought. Late afternoon we hit a creative period where we can brain storm and have some of our best abstract thinking this is late afternoon/evening, known as our Recovery time.

To have a better relationship with time, see it as a skill that you need to work on and a behavioural shift you are making a conscious effort to focus on. Try new planners, to-do lists and see how each new system feels until you hit a ritual or pattern that works for you. Extra time cannot be purchased but greater focus and clarity on what you are doing with it can help you achieve better results.

Here are some key nuggets around time:-

  • Identify when is your prime time is during the day
  • Devise new working patterns to include breaks
  • Write down what you are going to achieve each day
  • At the end of the day acknowledge your achievements
  • Get your most important task done first thing – don’t over think
  • Prioritise your to-do list
  • Decide whether a task is important or urgent
  • Try new planning tools and techniques
  • Create a space for productivity – put your phone out of sight
  • Clear your work space – focus on what you need to focus on
  • Don’t overwork and waste time “good is good enough”

Please do get in touch for a 90 minute workshop on Time Management bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

24 hours…

We start each day with 24 hours and how do you ensure that you make the most of the 24.

If you were working on a project there would be a debrief meeting and an evaluation/review of what went well and what you could do differently or anything you would stop doing.

Look at today or tomorrow and write down what you did in your 24 hours.

We all need a decent night sleep that will cut into a large part of your allocated 24. Keep a log of what your average sleeping time is, you might see a pattern of when you are sleeping well, is 7.5 hours perfect, or are you more alert after 8 hours.

We all are craving structure and have realised in lockdown we need to create our own timetable however are we using the time to its optimum.

Be realistic about work, break it into manageable chunks, look at one hour periods at a time. If you scheduled 3 hours for a project, guaranteed the last hour will be phone surfing, reading the news feed or tidying the pens on your desk. Far better to cut the project into small chunks with breaks.

We lose the most hours when we decided to watch TV in the evening and even worse if we eat and watch. We have more time than we have had before, so making eating, just eating and make watching just watching. Be discerning about what you watch and schedule how long you are allocating, otherwise we realise we have lost 3 hours of our precious 24 and if you were to ask what we had watched we cannot remember.

Exercise can be chunked as well, far better to do something for one hour, instead of doing nothing, which can easily happen if we have not worked effectively with our 24.

Be indulgent with your 24, in the middle of the day read with a coffee and rest assured you will look back on that 1 hour and see it as a good investment.

Just because we are at home, we can still see the people we want to see, with the power of technology. Write a list of who you want to see? The is will be a good allocation and even the time to set it up and reach out will be worth the feel good factor for you within 24.

Log what you do with your 24 hours and look at patterns and ask yourself did you maximise the “24”.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Finding a purpose…

We set our agenda whilst working from home so therefore each day we set the path of intent. Find a purpose in everything you do, from a micro level to macro level.

Having a purpose is liking having a compass in your head. You know for the day the direction you are heading and therefore you set off with a good mind set.

Write down each day what your overall purpose will be and then look to the tasks that connect with that overall purporse.

Example:-

Overall purpose – To write and submit a report

  • Map out a plan
  • Collate research
  • Start the report

Alternatively if you decide your purpose for the day is to be healthy, think of all things you can do that connect eg. eating well, exercising and going to bed early.

When we have decided on our purpose, achievement follows closely and underpins motivation.

Ideally if you have purpose at a macro level you have a clear idea of why you do what you do everyday it make is much easier to set tasks at a micro level.

Ask yourself key questions to discover your overall purpose:-

  • What are you trying to achieve in life?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you selling/or giving others?
  • What story are you telling?

Start to get inquisitive about why you do what you do? Having a clear purpose even when conducting the smallest of tasks is a sign of healthy mental well being.

Decide what is going to be on your agenda tomorrow set the compass and find your purpose…?

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

January mindset…

First day back at work for a lot of people and whilst not the physical commute to the office, we do need to fire up those neurological pathways and get in the right mindset for work.

Luckily I had a 9.00am so I was behind the desk and even slipped a jacket on, so that a different outfit helped my mindset. Psychologically clothes can help alter your approach (remember you would not garden without your wellies on…)! Therefore alter your weekday clothes to your weekend clothes, subtle changes as we obviously are more casual than we used to be. Comfort is important however putting something on that you associate with work may help you get in the zone quicker.

Planning what the month is going to look like also helps, rather than just approaching the days reactively.

  • Think about who you want to meet (albeit virtually) this month
  • 3 goals that you want to achieve
  • Exercise targets or goals
  • How much money do you want to spend or save in January?

There are many planning tools out there and the more visual the more likely they are to hold you to account and put you in a proactive mindset. I have just discovered a new site with the fantastic name “Scattered Squirrel” loads of downloadable planning tools. https://scatteredsquirrel.com These can be adapted by you as the more customised or personalised the more likely you are to achieve the targets.

Putting treats to one side, and saving yourself for the weekend will also shift your mindset into a discipline mode. Self regulation of working hard to get to the reward.

As most of us will be working from home and only attending events virtually we must introduce structure and timings to our day. These will give the brain time to recharge and work to the optimum when required. Therefore ensure that you start your day at the sametime everyday, routine and rituals are advantageous for the brain. Build in break times at the same time every day so again the mind begins to see a pattern of when it needs to be firing on all cylinders and when it needs a slower mode. Decide also when to end the day, as creating a closing ritual is as important as the start.

January is a new start and mix up patterns and ways of working within the structure you have created above. So as an example I wake up the same time everyday, however in the New Year I have moved the daily standup over Zoom from 10.00am to 11.00am and I have created some new agenda items. Instead of running on a Monday I am going to do a Wednesday. With the present situation we are in, we do need to create change for ourselves so that we see people and situations at different times of the day to last year.

Life is always what we make it – so today create yours…

Please do get in touch if you would like to start coaching with me and I will help you through January and for the whole of 2021 – taster sessions are available bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Review of the year…

No-one would dispute that 2020 has not been the best of years, however there will have been highlights and we need to ensure that as memory they outweigh the lowlights.

An exercise I give to all my coaching clients and an exercise I perform myself is a review of the year.

The first part is to identify your 5 best days of the year.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Taking the time to identify which days really worked for you in 2020, gives you the ingredients of a great day to take into 2021. What were you doing and who were you with? Often the best days are the simplest, not anywhere special but the feeling and the people that really made it magical.

Write down the names of the people who were important to you in 2020…

Achievement underpins motivation and what 3 big things really stand out for you, what were you really proud of accomplishing.

Achievements x 3

2.

3.

How are you feeling December 2020?

It is hard with the current situation to identify how we are feeling, however writing down how we feel often dilutes the emotion. Once you write something down it leaves your head and in reality you can start to assess your emotions more calmly.

Looking ahead to 2021, think about the 3 big goals you want to achieve.

1.

2.

3.

Finally the year ahead, do you already know of days and events that will happen, eg significant Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc…

Days & Events in 2021

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog and have a wonderful Christmas break and see you in 2021.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk