Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, motivation, personal impact, training

90 minutes…

The World Cup is made up of 90 minute matches.  Within that crucial time period, is all the highs and lows any individual can experience.

  • Exhilaration
  • Despair
  • Delight

The game of two halves split into 45 minute modules.  We witness collaboration, joy and agony, a team working towards achieving goals.  The match can be amazing when the team work together it is as if magic has occurred in front of your eyes.

Their performance is based on those 90 minutes especially in a World Cup, they have to perform at that one moment in time.

The brain concentrates for 45 minutes and then needs a break to begin the next 45 minutes.  At your desk set yourself goals and imagine your own World Cup made up of two halves.  Focus on that one achievement for a pure 45 minute period.  Be aware of how much help you need from your team.  The best players are supported and putting egos to one side don’t take all the glory.

The best learning can occur in 90 minutes, when a Facilitator takes a team through a topic, they learn at the same moment in time as each other.  Ideas and discussion are shared and everyone feels they are in a safe environment.

The benefits of learning in 90 minutes, less time away from desk so a cost effective methodology of training a team. The atmosphere created can be like on the pitch, interactive, stimulating and challenging.  Booking 5 x 90 minute modules means the team meet up once a fortnight and share their learning.

For Management and Leadership topics please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

Making assumptions…

Greggs went undercover to launch their new summer range.

To break the assumptions around their name they rebranded themselves to disassociate themselves from the “sausage roll” image.   They chose an upmarket foodie festival where the audience would be connoisseurs of food.

We can learn from Greggs, how sometimes we need to break assumptions.   In order to do something different we need to repackage it.   They did this with the name change to Gregory and Gregory.  It might be as simple as changing a bit of your look or being brave and presenting without slides.  Being original and slightly different to the view people have of you might start them thinking about you differently.

Greggs conducted the exercise as they wanted people who did not shop with them, to start visiting them.  Who would you like to see that you have never seen before or who would you like to view you differently.

Once people start thinking about you differently their perceptions change.

As an exercise write down all the assumptions you believe people have about you already and then challenge all of them.  You might realise that some do not need breaking and others could be altered by one small action or others by radical steps.

Learn from Greggs about making assumptions…

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

Book summary of “When” by Daniel Pink

The scientific secrets of perfect timing

 “We all know that timing is everything. Trouble is, we don’t know much about timing itself.” Daniel Pink

 Pink explains that we use our gut to make decisions on when we should eat or sleep when in actual fact there are scientific answers.

The book covers three main lessons:-

  • Our emotions run through the same cycle everyday
  • Knowing how you “tick” will help you do your best at work
  • Taking a break or an afternoon nap is not counterproductive, if anything it helps you save time

If you divide the day in three parts the obvious answer would be morning, afternoon and evening. A global study by Cornell University analyzing 500 million tweets in 84 countries with 2.4m users. The sociologists used a linguistic inventory word count to ascertain the dominating emotion for each of those parts of the day. Their findings were:-

  • Morning peak – Whether its right after waking up or 1- 2 hours later, most people feel pretty good early in the day
  • Afternoon – the tough period after lunch
  • Evening rebound – after work you have a gear change and enter recovery mode

The same variant pattern applied across genders, race and age. Pink described this as Peak, Trough and Recovery.

Similar studies produced the same results, they looked at standardised testing of Danish students. Every hour later in the afternoon produced a decrease in the students score, so not only emotions but performance alters according to time of day.

The results would suggest that in business we would be best allocating tasks accordingly:-

  • Peak – analytical tasks – intensive thinking and vigilance
  • Trough – administrative activities
  • Recovery – creative activities less intense focus

Corporations don’t focus on when only the what and how and yet the variance in human performance has an impact.

Even with this study in mind you still here people say “I’m a night owl” or “I love to get up early”.

Other studies can analyse your chronotype whether you are a Lark, Owl or something else which Pink describes as Third bird.   Larks are the ones that love to get up early. The Owls can get to work at 9.00pm and don’t like getting up early. The Third Birds are the people who are neither early or late just follow the standard pattern which is the largest group.

The old fashioned view that breaks were a waste of time is changing with the spotlight on mental health. A time tracking company DeskTime did a study using millions of data points determining the ideal break to be 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work. That means one hour down for every three hours.

The other study Pink shared was the “nappuccino”, you have a coffee after lunch and then set a timer for 20 minutes. It takes 7 minutes to fall asleep, you wake up a little later refreshed with the caffeine kicking in.

Viewing human performance through “When” could alter the way you manage your time and your life.

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

 

 

 

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

Being socially savvy…

Social intelligence is just like regular intelligence, some of it we are born with and have a natural predisposition and the rest is learnt from good and bad experience.  Some people  it comes intrinsically with their personality and they are more charismatic, likeable and socially intelligent.

However if social situations are more tricky for you it does not mean that you cannot improve.  Like any intelligence you need to learn and practice.

Being social savvy is about making fewer obvious mistakes than others.  Knowing when to tell a joke or make a comment that is right for the audience.

Poor social skills can often be more of a failure than merely an intellectual one.   The memory of a bad impression will last longer than a positive impression.

Here are some top tips as to how you can begin developing the skill:-

  • Listening versus speaking – you need to understand the mind of the person you are speaking to so that you have the intended effect
  • Read the signals – Be in sync with the room, how is the mood and atmosphere
  • Understand the whole person – watch out for leakage in their body language
  • Comfortable eye contact – engaged and not intense
  • Welcoming posture – some-one you want to approach
  • Warmth – through your voice and your physicality
  • Be inclusive of others around you
  • 80% Listening – aware of social context and empathetic listening
  • Feedback – ask your peers or work with a coach to gauge your impact

Please do get in touch to develop your social skills by a nuggets workshop or 1:1 coaching.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Management, Time management

Summary of Agile

The principles of Agile can be applied to any team they are not exclusive to software development.

The Agile manifesto with its 12 principles was created back in 2001. Underpinning the concept is creating a learning culture which came out of the Toyota Production System. This was the Lean principle one of the foundations of Agile.

All of the 12 principles can be put into 3 main categories:-

  • Clarity & Transparency Delivery – approaches to improve how teams understand their system of work
  • Learning & Leaning – Approaches to improve and optimise team processes
  • People focus – Approached to creating an autonomous and engaged culture

The set of principles increases the awareness of the team to different approaches that lead to improvement over time.

Clarity & Transparency Delivery

  1. Regular measurements & milestones
  2. Clear intent & continuing prioritisation – vision and goals
  3. Understand what is valuable – to the customer
  4. Visualised work – white boards

Learning & Leaning

  1. Minimise waste
  2. Repeating tasks to spot incremental changes
  3. Limit work in progress
  4. Short feedback loop

People focus

  1. Team effort and collective ownership
  2. Empowered to improve as a team
  3. Collaborative learning
  4. Driving process through people interaction

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Time management

Taking back control…

Don’t just be a follower in the office world, start to lead your behaviours and your thinking.  Take back control of your time and your mental well being.

Challenge your attendance at meetings by ensuring you know the purpose before you attend.  If you are chairing the meeting keep it short and memorable. More than three participants will it really give you the answers you need.

Manage your email by booking an appointment with it, don’t drift in and out of your in-box, a lot will be irrelevant and take your mind away from work.

Type messages on a proper keyboard, nothing is that urgent that you have to resort to a tiny phone key pad or use emojis for real actions.  Everyone can wait.

Always have a proper to-do list and rank the items in order “what if…?” If that task was not completed what would be the worst that could happen.

Be realistic and only write down the tasks you will really complete that day.  Create buckets for the other tasks, e.g. weekly, monthly and overall project list.

Pick up the phone more and speak to a “real” person, often quicker than the email, to get your view across takes many written words.

Ensure that you do not have your phone with you at meal times, enjoy the ritual of eating again. Go a stage further and ask that there are no phones at your meeting, (it will be a lot faster with no distractions).

Give yourself space and time for thinking, book an appointment for it.

Take back control and lead your life.

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching or a Time Management workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Leadership, motivation, personal impact

Entrepreneurial Spirit…

Many organisations are now looking for that edge, employees who although part of a company have independent thinking.  The group operate as entrepreneurs, thinking their department is a business and being open to new thinking and new ways of working.

In Sahar Hashemi’s book “Switched On” she gives a route as to how to engage with your entrepreneurial spirit.

  • Believe anyone can do it – use the skills of everyday life in your life at work.
  • Put yourself in your customers’s shoes – Jeff Bezos famously has an empty chair at every meeting for the client
  • Get out of the office – Engage with the wide world – leave the office and know what is going on around you
  • Become clueless – Forgetting how you do things – dump the baggage or the language “we have always done it this way”
  • Prototype – What does your product or service look and feel like? – gain insight from something tangible
  • Notch up Nos – Change your attitude to a “no” – try harder and see a “no” as a challenge
  • Bootstrap – Get things done with limited resources, work really hard and then harder
  • Take 100% of yourself to work – 100% effort + 100% personality = being you

 

Each of these tips are new habits that you need to work into your diary so that they become rituals and disciplines that you adopt.

Involve your team with the ideas and initiatives you will then be a group of entrepreneurs totally switched on.

For a workshop on creative thinking please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk