The brain works like an electrical circuit. When we learn something new the brain creates a neurological pathway just as an electrical current travels through a circuit. The more we use the same pathway just as with electricity the stronger the signal.
If you have a daily ritual this will be a well trodden route, a neurological pathway that is comfortable and easy to follow. Driving your car everyday is a good example, you are not consciously aware of every stage as this pathway is embedded. This is the result of your brain circuitry being strengthened by daily repetition.
Therefore the more connections we make and the more we repeat the information the greater the retention. Creating your own personal circuitry is important using other peoples suggested connections will not stick.
For example:- If you needed to learn the dates of Queen Victorias reign…
24th May 1819 – 22nd January 1901
- (end of May near the Bank Holiday – 1819 – she came to the throne at 18 add a year to make 19).
- End of January although the start of a new year and only one year into the new century (and your Auntie Sheila’s birthday!!!)
Isolated facts are hard to register therefore make them easier for yourself by relating to any network of information in your brain as above.
Writing this blog every week has become a circuit and whilst the content is new every week the route of writing something every Monday has become a comfortable pathway.
Please do get in touch email@example.com
Small drop of kindness
I was early for a coaching session last week, so I grabbed a free coffee from Waitrose. I was browsing their entertaining brochure contemplating whether I could cook a whole salmon or was it beyond my culinary expertise.
I was perched quite precariously on a bar stool when I was tapped on the shoulder. My instant reaction was one of alarm, that something was wrong. In fact when I turned to face the individual it was a smiling lady with a young child.
“I just wanted you to know that your dress is really pretty and you look good”
“I thought you were going to say something really bad”
This act of kindness was so unexpected I did not make the thank you as gracious as possible. How brilliant to compliment a complete stranger.
Although I know “it is as gracious to receive as to give” – the stranger/danger tripped into my psyche all too quickly. My other negative thought was that some other malfunction may have happened with dress and barstool (which we have all done).
To the lady in Waitrose Rickmansworth Thursday 15th September, huge thank you. It was a wonderful thing to happen and I did go into my coaching session on a high. Created some great outcomes with my client obviously boosted by the drop of kindness. At the weekend cooked the whole salmon!
Please do contact nuggets for private coaching to develop you…
Working as a coach I ask my clients to look to the future as to what they want to achieve. Framing the conversation so that they feel safe and supported is very important for them to believe the goals can be achieved.
Using laminated cards I ask that they walk the timeline so that they are moving forward with their thoughts and stepping into the date time and place.
It is really important to take them to the future first, one year from now. Set the date and ask them what they and see as if they are there. Ensure that you don’t look at them so that it does not become a chat in the present day. They have arrived they are a year ahead in their business and they have achieved several things and you want to hear how proud and excited they are by all that they have worked on.
You then ask them to walk all the way back to the current space they are in at the moment. You spend half the time here that you spent in the future as often there are blocks to their thinking, absorbed in reasons why things are not happening.
Half way there
This is a great place for them to go they are half way through the year and still have the expectation that all can be achieved. They will have had some successes along the way and will visualise their goals taking shape.
Intermediate steps and actions
You are now 3 months before the end of the year so it is the finishing touches stage to a great year and almost planning the next. It is the final hurdle and you might have seen a new finish to your race, squeeze in some extra work or meet some new clients.
Immediate steps & actions
Bring them back to a space where things are reality, what will they do now, tomorrow and in the next few weeks. Everything becomes tangible and actionable.
Please do not hesitate to contact nuggets to walk your own timeline.
“Learning from mistakes and reversing fortunes for success” – Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed
Failure can be exciting and liberating, you have to be supported by a culture that accepts mistakes and actively encourages the learning attached to them.
At my son’s school the Head is constantly saying the children need to understand how to fail, which I fully support however they need the framework and safety to do this. Heather Hanbury a former Head of Wimbledon High used to hold “Failure Week”. Speakers were invited to talk about learning from mistakes and the girls were encouraged to look at failure differently and positively.
The book “Black Box Thinking” explains the culture of the airline industry where every mistake is investigated and seen as new knowledge. The comparison to other industries and sectors is startling. The health sector where there is a great deal of hierarchy and fear attached to failure does not embrace the analytical approach to mistakes.
To begin to create a culture that embraces failure you can use the main themes of the book:-
- Marginal gains – Use a systematic approach to identify small and often unnoticed weaknesses and then improve each of them. Google tested the colours on their website to see if it increased click through – the result was an additional $200 million dollars per annum. Imagine an accumulation of gains…
- Closed loops – never have the mindset of failure, don’t lose ability to face up to the fact you have made a mistake. Often miscarriages of justice are because people will not believe they were wrong.
- No blame no shame – fear of blame is a dangerous obstacle to success. Create an environment where mistakes are accepted. Take away social hierarchy so that everyone is comfortable in admitting misdemeanours. Nurses are inhibited from correcting a surgeon due to the formality and structure of the health service.
- Try and try again – fail a lot to win a lot. James Dyson created 5,127 prototypes so therefore he failed 5,126 times.
Please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a workshop around culture and teams working together.
Failure can be exciting and enriching…
Working with a property company for 10 years to create a value based culture. Estate Agents have a notorious reputation and the company was determined to create a brand and an ethos “That was not like other Agents…”.
The core value was to “upserve”, constantly add value internally and externally. The team became trusted advisors and followed a blue print in each area of the business.
In a nutshell:-
- Brand integrity – strong guidelines
- Brand story – ethos to follow
- What Vs How – not what you do it is how you do it?
- Upserve internally and externally
- Trusted Advisor
- Blue print – process for each area of the business
- Long term view
- Intangible learning that became tangible
- What leads to how – and the how had to be practical
How? – a series of team workshops
- Working across barriers – process mapped tasks by departments
- How to be proactive? – used the 5 a day principle and employees kept logs of when they had been proactive.
- What does your business look like? – Visited other agents and used a mystery shopper to give the company feedback. This workshop used a lot of the techniques from the very successful programme “Mary Queen of Shops”
- How to live and work by your values? – the team described what would be happening at the office and in the afternoon took part in a volunteering project, creating planters for schools.
- What motivates each team member? – Using the Strength Deployment Inventory profiling tool.
- Park thinking – Workshop comparing the impact on the business to visitors (using the Disney philosophy of “Park Thinking”)
- Qualification of applicants – looking at the hard and soft facts and getting the right property match
- Process mapping – systems lead to goals. As a team deciding on what they wanted to achieve and working out how.
- Negotiating – the right language required when agreeing deposits. The interest behind the position.
As well as the team workshops:-
- Follow ups individually to all learning initiatives
- Coaching key members of the team
- Group recruitment & selection workshop – introduction exercise, assessment tools and speed interviewing – 7.00am – 8.30am
- Designed and delivered formal Induction workshop – with one month follow up (new starters have the best ideas and initiatives)
What? – key to this approach
- Long term relationship
- Monthly workshops – valid and relevant
- Learning and development that is strategic for the business
- 1:1 follow ups to workshops
A value based culture does not happen overnight and you need the leadership team involved and championing every intervention. They need to attend the workshops with their team members they need to be actively be part of the change. Identifying their own behavioural change and sharing vulnerability can be so encouraging for a team moving forward with a very clear vision.
Please do contact email@example.com
We are all just merely stewards in our role, managing and co-ordinating waiting for the next person to takeover. We are custodians for a short period, the new owners of your role or business can quite feasibly turn it upside down.
Years ago I left a job and my boss said make sure you leave with them wanting more, go out on a high. If we are just stewards holding a role until new shoes come in, we need to make sure we leave it in a really fantastic state.
Hand back the role in a better place than when you took over the stewardship. Steer it to greatness and leave a legacy that is right for the role.
Top tips for leaving a job:-
- Clear processes and systems written down
- Clear goals and targets
- Personable handover of team – social connection
- Bios of team members
- Clear desk (it says more than you think) no-one wants to find a stale apple core in your draw
- Plan of meetings to attend
- Planner or schedule
Holidays are a great time to reevaluate what is going well and what is not going quite so well. I know it is a time to relax, however I cannot resist always doing an exercise on the sun bed to check that the business and myself as an individual are on track.
Normally I select some key questions to identify what has just happened and what I want it to look like going forward.
The answers can then be assessed when I get back home to build a robust plan for September and beyond.
Please find some key questions that might help you and your business:-
- Who are the most important people in your life and how do they support you?
- With whom do you feel most comfortable? Why is this?
- What are you going to say yes to…?
- What are you going to say no to…?
- What is your business like when it is at is very best?
- What are the challenges facing your business?
- What are all the ways in which you market your business? Dream up as many new ideas as possible?
- What new trends exist in your sector that can develop your business?
- What is the most important thing to you about what you do?
Please do get in touch if you would like a business coach in September