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

Practical ways to be resilient…

When you wake up in the morning decide where you are on a scale, if pain was one end and power the other end – where would you want to be?

The answer is that most of us want to be the power end. Life events can drain our batteries, so keeping a metric of where you are and working out what it tells you can be a practical step to measuring your resilience levels. For a month keep a pain to power tracker and see what patterns emerge.

We can also think about what Mindset do we wish to adopt. Professor Carol S Dweck says that people either have a Fixed Mindset or Growth Mindset. The power of being able to say “not yet” is the Growth Mindset.

Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset
I can learn anything I wantI am either good at it, or I am not
I want to challenge myselfI don’t like to be challenged
When I fail, I learn When I fail, I am no good
Tell me I try hardTell me I am smart & have natural ability

By adopting a Growth Mindset we have the elasticity to be resilient and bounce back.

Recognising our sign symptoms of when we feel our resilience levels are low can also be a very practical tool. We can do this by using five main areas:-

  1. Sense of purpose – reason or focus for your work
  2. Mental toughness – the ability to make decisions
  3. Physical energy – tired constantly
  4. Emotional balance – the ability to regulate our emotions
  5. Social skills – make others feel comfortable

Ask yourself have you noticed any of these areas being harder than normal, these may be indications that your resilience levels are low.

Susan Kobasa a leading psychologist says that there are 3 key elements of a resilient individual:-

Challenge – view any difficulty as a challenge

Commitment – committed to their lives and goals

Personal Control – spend time and energy on stuff they have control over

The last statement aligns with Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence. We should only focus on the concerns that we can influence if not we should let them sit outside our heads and make them a “no concern”.

Finally in summary what key things can you be doing to develop your resilience:-

1.Learn to relax

2.Practice thought awareness

3.Edit your outlook

4.Learn from mistakes and failures 

5.Choose your response

6.Maintain perspective

7.Set yourself some goals 

8.Build your self confidence 

9.Develop strong relationships 

10.Be flexible 

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

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Learning, Stress management, Time management

Top tips to stop procrastinating…

Set the Table

Setting yourself up for the day, what can you realistically achieve today, be ruthless in only listing the tasks you will achieve. Have an opening ceremony which means you are ready to begin the day. I light a candle on my desk and say that nuggets is now open for business!!

Look at the week

On Friday plan the week ahead, look at your meetings and diary commitments and plan in project time. Book time with yourself to do specific pieces of work.

Consequences

This is the 10/10/10 rule. Ask yourself how will I feel in 10 hours if I have not achieved what I set out to achieve. How will I feel in 10 days time if I still have not achieved what I set out to achieve. The final 10 is what will I feel in 10 weeks time when some-one else has been given the task I was asked to achieve.

Prioritise

If you have a long to do list it is hard to identify what to do first and what is a priority. Use a very simple system of A/B/C/D/E. A tasks are your top priority and have to be done today. B can slip into tomorrow and C are nice to do when there is time. D is to be delegated and E is to be deleted from the list. Realistically we only really use the A, B and C.

Key Results

Identifying your A tasks will also give you focus on what will give you the greatest return. What tasks will generate the key results you are looking for.

Ritualise time management

By having an opening and closing ceremony each day you are acknowledging your achievements and you are focused for the next day.

Do the most difficult task first

Always tackle the task you have been overthinking first. It will be blocking your bandwidth in your head. Once you start it is never as bad as it seems.

Chunks of time

Think of small chunks of time, don’t look at the whole day as one piece of work. Try the pomodoro technique by Francesco Cirillo, work on a task for 25 minutes (pomodoro) and then take 5 minute break. Work to four pomodoros and then you are able to take a longer break of 30 minutes.

Set Deadlines

Impose deadlines on yourself, I have to finish by lunchtime or by the end of the week. Adrenaline helps us enter a flow state and forces us into action.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Procrastinating” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Towards or away from…

Take stock and think about what you do want and what you don’t want. We are all programmed slightly differently.

Some of us have a very clear idea of what we want now in the present and in the future. However there is another approach of knowing what you don’t want and using that as your steer.

Using the headings of health/wealth and happiness and see the different thinking patterns that will drive motivations in very different ways:-

Health – Towards

Purchasing toothpaste that will make my teeth look white today and in the future

Health – Away from

Buying toothpaste that has its lead line on preventing tooth decay

Wealth – Towards

You know what you want to earn today and tomorrow, next month and next quarter

Wealth – Away from

Knowing you don’t want to be poor in your old age and being prudent with your investments and lots of insurance policies

Happiness – Towards

Immediate and delayed happiness come easily

Happiness – Away from

Hard to be happy in the present if you only focus on what you don’t want

Think about the situations you face in life and try another approach if you think it may lead to a better outcome. We don’t need to lead our whole lives by being towards or away from, think which approach would suit the situation.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, Problem solving, Stress management

The curse of overthinking…

Many of us have become over thinkers because it gives us the illusion that we’re doing something about the problem we’re overthinking about” – Nick Trenton

We all have moments where we have so much in our heads that our bandwidth is stretched to capacity. We then decide to focus on just one problem and overthink it so that it becomes a really huge problem. The bigger it gets the more you lose the ability to see any clarity, make any decisions or to feel calm.

Nick Trenton the author of Stop Overthinking says the first mistake is to think that you can think your way out of overthinking. Understanding that you can’t think and feel at the same time is liberating. When you are too emotional and in feelings you need to move away from whatever is triggering the anxiety and move into thinking, and likewise too much in your head you need to feel instead of think.

Trenton suggests the 5,4,3,2,1 approach, using all five senses to reset. Imagine sitting at your desk overthinking. Stop and take a moment to :-

5 – look at 5 things in your office – really stare and visualise them, lamp on your desk, tree outside, the sky, pen you have been using, a chair opposite you

4 – hear 4 things and really hear them – the fan on your computer, your breathing, car outside, ticking of a clock

3 – feel 3 sensations, your hands on the desk, the fabric of your shirt, warmth of mug on your desk

2 – smells you can detect in the room – your own perfume/aftershave, the aroma in the room

1 – taste sensation, the coffee, or just your own taste in your mouth

This method gives you the control back.

Behind every overthinking episode is a deliberating belief, Trenton describes this second method as “counter belief experiment”.

You are about to present to a large audience and you are overthinking and you believe you are not prepared enough. He says take the following steps to challenge that anxiety belief:-

  1. What must I believe about myself, or the future to justify my anxiety?
  2. Invert the belief to form a counter belief – if you believe you are not prepared for the presentation – the counter belief – I am fully prepared for the presentation
  3. Spend a least a minute in the counter belief – you are full prepared – what does that feel like?
  4. Look for evidence to support this new belief – you are fully prepared

Finding evidence to support your counter belief, helps you dispel the original belief, this will lower the anxiety and stop you overthinking.

The final method Trenton suggests is worry postponement. When the overthinking starts, book a worry appointment for later. The delay often takes away the anxiety. The worry just wants to be acknowledged and that maybe all it needs as often when you revisit the problem it is not a problem.

To book a workshop on “How to stop Overthinking…?” please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Infinite mindset…

The difference between a finite game and infinite game is the context of Simon Sinek’s book. Finite game you know the goal to achieve and you know the players and everyone understands their role. There are fixed rules and there is a clear beginning and end. An infinite game is played by known and unknown players – there are no rules, and the players can operate however they want, they can change how they play the game at any time and for any reason. As there is no end there is no such thing as winning 

There are finite goals within life such as school but ultimately life is infinite.  There is no such thing as coming in first in marriage or friendship, the same with global politics and there is no declaration of being a winner.

When we lead with a finite mindset it will lead to all sorts of problems the decline in trust. Infinite mindset we create high levels of trust co-operation collaboration innovation.

The game of business has no finishing line you want to build organisations that are strong enough and healthy enough to stay in the game for many generations to come.

Five principles of an Infinite mindset:-

  1. Advance a just cause – vision of a future state that does not yet exist – people are willing to make sacrifices to help advance forward to follow you. An example of a finite just cause:-  Fighting against poverty – makes it appear we can win – however if we said instead “We fought for the right for every human to provide for their own family” it is positioned as a cause that you want to be a part of. The first offers a problem to solve the second offers a vision of possibility and dignity. 

2. Build trusting teams – a current buzz term is psychological safety if your employees feel safe then they will trust you more. Creating an environment where failure is embraced and the team/organisation believe in a growth mindset.

3. Study your worthy rivals – In the book Sinek uses the tennis players Chris Everett-Lloyd and Martina Navratilova as examples of worthy rivals. They respected each other off the court and to that end they wanted to improve to be a worthy rival. Everett Lloyd particularly altered how she played from being a baseline player to coming into the net, she learnt from her rival and improved her game.

4. Prepare for existential flexibility – Be prepared to flex your business be aware of your just cause being limiting. The US railroad was about improving rail roads and with the decline of train travel they have been left behind. Imagine if they had invested in “just moving people” they could have invested in other forms of transport. Other examples are Blockbusters did not move the business from video rental and got squeezed out by Netflix who worked on a subscription model.

5. Demonstrate the courage to lead – making decisions that are bold and brave. The example of CVS Caremark in February 2014 taking the decision not to sell cigarettes as it was not in line with the healthy just cause they wanted to follow. Shareholders were not happy about the downturn in revenue but it is about having the courage to lead your team and the organisation to follow your cause. Consumers did not leave and in fact some shopped there to follow the cause and data showed a small decline in smokers in localised stats near their stores.

Please do reach out if you would like a workshop on the Infinite Mindset bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Giving the “right” feedback…

Feedback is a gift and the more we get used to giving and receiving the more we will be working in teams with high trust.

Kim Scott’s book “Radical Candor” uses a very simple and powerful framework to explain how to land feedback that resonates. In a talk she gives to accompany the book she tells the story of her own boss at the time Sheryl Sandberg giving her feedback and it not being received. Sandberg commented on the fact that she said “um” after every third word when she presented. Scott waved a hand as if to sweep the feedback away. Sandberg persisted and said a presentation coach might be an idea. Still the message was not getting through and eventually Sandberg got straight to the point. “By saying um after every third word there maybe a perception that you are stupid and insecure” . Scott immediately listened.

The only reason this feedback could land was their existing relationship and the confidence that Scott had that Sandberg was being tough because she cared. The model has two axis – how much you care for the personality and how direct you want to be.

Being direct can often be misconstrued as being cruel but the reality of a clear message is that it is much kinder. Bréne Brown is quoted as saying “Clear is Kind and Unclear is Unkind”.

Radical candour within a team needs to be frequent, candid and flow up and down and even sideways. This high trust environment provides psychological safety for all members.

If we don’t care about the person and we are not direct we are using passive aggressive behaviour where on the surface we flatter some-one but behind their back we criticise. Scott calls this “Manipulative Insincerity”.

Caring for a person too much can weaken are ability to be direct and we can give feedback that maybe helpful short-term but we are not addressing possibly big flaws. On the model this is known as “Ruinous Empathy”.

Finally if we are too direct and we don’t care for the person we are aggressive and just have the label of “Obnoxious Aggression”.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to deliver a workshop on Feedback bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Goals, Leadership

Your first 100 days…

Niamh O’Keefe’s very practical book acts as a coach to guide you through your first 100 days of a new Leadership position. However the book is like a manual that you could pick up at anytime and start a new 100 day plan it does not have to be a new job.

The book is how to have:-

  • 100 day timeline
  • 100 minute read
  • 100% practical

The first chapter asks how you think before starting:-

  • You – list your strengths
  • Role – what are the expected deliverables?
  • Organisation – overall vision of the company
  • Market – who are your competitors? what is your position in the market?

Before you start a new position there is an emotional release from the old, and good to recognise what that is before launching into a new role. Be prepared to have a good energy bank take care of your mind and body, have a break before you start the new role. The book provides templates of how you can send a pre-start announcement to your new team.

To write your first 100 day plan, break into 4 areas and each one will need outcomes:-

  • On person – transition maker, unique contributor
  • On role – content learner, business achiever, team builder & communication planner
  • On Organisation – relationship builder, value adder & cultural navigator
  • On market – market player

There are 10 areas and each need an outcome, from those break them into milestones what will you need to achieve by when…

Most importantly show up as a Leader, by providing a clear direction (vision), bring people together and deliver results. Use your newness as an advantage what do you see with your “Fresh Eyes”.

By 30 days you should have begun to see the characteristics of a high performing team evolving. You have also identified the critical success factors to take you to 30 – 60 days.

During the next phase seek feedback from your stakeholders as to how you are progressing. Get the team to work harder, and learn to sit with discomfort at times. Keep updating your plan and bonding with new people.

The last milestone is 90 days when you only have 10 days left, you need to close out the plan and celebrate. Thinking beyond the 100 days, you have been in a sprint it will now be a marathon going forward, a more gradual pace but keep an eye on your continued effectiveness.

For a more in depth book review please join the nuggets bookclub this Friday 24th June @ 10.00am – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571219497

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, motivation, personal impact, Stress management, Time management

Why does everything feel so hard…?

The dialogue we have with ourselves is all wrong, we say this going to be hard. We even speculate that it will take so much time and therefore it must be hard. Greg McKeown in his book “Effortless” says the first thing we should say is “What if this could be easy?” Already your mindset alters with possibilities and even enthusiasm.

Getting to an Effortless State is the first step to believing the task will not be hard. We can look at the following steps and what to say in our heads to move us forward:-

  • “What if this could be easy?’
  • “What if this could be fun?”
  • Let go of old memories of the task being hard
  • Be realistic as to how you work on the task factoring in breaks
  • Who is there for you?

Once we have the belief that the task is going to be easy we also need to have an Effortless action plan. McKeown says another reason why we often don’t move into action as we have not determined the obvious steps to get there. This is his Effortless Action Plan:-

D – Done – What does done look like?

D – Delete – What steps could you delete or combine?

O – Obvious – What is the obvious first step?

G – Gradual – What does gradual progression look like?

G – Grateful – What are you grateful for whilst working on this task?

Staying with an Effortless mindset and action plan, can lead to Effortless Results. McKeown says look at how many things can be automated going forward. Trusting others to perform tasks and also what steps can you take to prevent things becoming too much like hard work.

To explore the book much more, please do come to nuggets bookclub this Friday 17th June 2022 at 10.00am the link to register is here:-

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571209467

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

Empathy…

Empathy is an emotional skill and as with any skill you have to keep practising to gain mastery.

It is about our ability to understand what some-one is experiencing and to reflect back our understanding.

The attributes of empathy by Theresa Wiseman:-

  • Perspective taking – what is the experience like for you?
  • Staying out of judgment – just listen don’t evaluate
  • Recognising emotion
  • Communicating our understanding
  • Practising mindfulness – feeling the emotion and moving through it

Empathy is a tool of compassion, we only truly experience it if we are present for some-one else’s pain. If we are not willing to be fully present then it’s not real empathy.

Brené Brown writes in Atlas of the Heart “We need to dispel the myth that empathy is walking in someone else’s shoes. Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences”

Empathy misses:-

  • Sympathy – “I feel so sorry for you” – empathy is not feeling sorry for some-one
  • Judgement – The gasp from your friend is not empathy – over reaction will make the person feel shame
  • Disappointment – “You’ve let me down” – if they are looking for you to be exemplary all the time is not relating to you
  • Comparing/Competing – “If you think that’s bad” – not about you, must be their agenda
  • Problem solving – “I can fix it” – just listen don’t go into fixer mode
  • Avoid – “Let’s make this go away” – sit with the discomfort and connect in a meaningful way

We need to truly listen and be present for the person feeling what they are feeling to even begin to master empathy.

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

Disappointment

It can range from mild discomfort to deep hurt. Disappointment is unmet expectations. The more significant the expectation the more significant the disappointment.

We feel disappointment as we have not examined or expressed our expectations, and yet we have a clear picture in our heads of what we want to see. The movie in our mind is perfect. Why don’t we share what is going on in our heads? It is often as the conversation will expose our vulnerability and that may well be tough and awkward. When we share what we want we our putting ourselves first which again is not something we do very often and it takes bravery to value our own expectations.

In Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown uses the expression “Painting Done”. She fully briefs colleagues on her expectations and then says “Painting Done”.

We have to also manage how we handle unchecked and unexpressed expectation, as an example “She will love her gift?” – we don’t know whether she will love her gift this is an unchecked expectation. If you have no control over the response you will be disappointed and damage your self worth.

Even when we are intentional and thoughtful about expressing our expectations it can still lead to disappointment and we are left feeling vulnerable. However you cannot be vulnerable without being courageous, so better to have tried.

Some people don’t even enter the arena, by deciding to use a numbing technique to never experience disappointment “I am not going to get excited as I will only be disappointed”.

Go forward and be courageous and partner up with your expectations, “What do you want the weekend to look like…?” – “How do you see the project completed…” Be bold, brave and put your expectations out there.