Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Management, mindfulness, Stress management

Making email work for you…

When information needs to be given quickly, there is no better way than by email.  Unfortunately, with the benefit of speed come some problems that are not always predictable.  Employees need to all be consistent in the way they engage with email and ensure that it is true to the values of the organisation.

Overall you should lead your in-box rather than be led by it.

How to take control?

  • Book an appointment with it
  • Ring fence the time you spend on the email
  • Create 3 subfolders and put a #before the title so that they stay at the top
    • #Action
    • #Waiting for
    • #Read review
  • Take the alert off, so you choose to go in, not “it” inviting you
  • Remember email is not a to-do list
  • email is “real” work integrate it appropriately
  • The signature should be clear and accurate and all communication devices
  • Take action immediately where you can
  • Unsubscribe there and then
  • Be realistic – zero in-box does not work for everyone

“Anyone with an inbox knows what I’m talking about.  A dozen emails to set up a meeting time.  Documents attached and edited and reedited until no-one knows which version is current.  Urgent messages drowning in forwards and cc’s and spam” – Ryan Holmes

For a 90 minute workshop on making email work for you, please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for more courses tour our website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Leadership, Management

Objective setting…

“What gets measured gets done…” Tom Peters

Objectives setting should be seen as an important exercise and not just an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.

The scene needs to be set that everyone is involved and that they set their own objectives. Everyone needs to “Begin with the end in mind” – Stephen Covey, what do you want to achieve and how will you feel if it happens.

You need to get excited at the direction the objective could take you in. This will occur by taking an inside out approach, already imagining “What will be happening…?”

Also to understand the relevancy of the objective you need to reverse the psychology “What won’t be happening if I don’t set this objective?” This tells you whether it was realistic in the first place.

Stretch objectives takes us just a little further from our comfort zone this means we appreciate and value the effort to achieve. Setting an easy objective leads to complacency and does not move our performance within an organisation.

Objectives provide a story and a history of progression without them it is a book without chapters.

Please visit our website for more workshops www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Killing time…

 

Most people complain about not having enough time, so why would you ever need to contemplate killing time.  All good time management courses get you to fill the time you have and be prepared for transition time so there really are no voids.

When some-one else’s agenda is forced upon you and they are in position where they have nothing to do in the space you “kill time”.

Initially if you are slipping off a busy agenda you mentally fight the imposed time you have been given to waste.   We adjust slowly and there is now so much visual stimulation that do we ever totally switch off.  The phone is a constant link to another place and time you could be at the moment when you are supposedly doing nothing.

Managing time is all about managing our own behaviour and another choice as to whether we choose to kill time and relax into it.

Time as a definition is “A non spatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future”.  We can accept the flow from past/present to future or we can mourn the passing of time.

The most positive approach might be:-  “Don’t count every hour in the day – make every hour in the day count”

Please look at our website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for 90 minutes of learning on managing time or contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Behaviour Vs Attitude…

We can only comment on what we see, not what we think is driving behaviour. So an example would be:-

Alice always appears very unhelpful when people enter the department, she never welcomes anyone.

We could make an assumption that she has a bad attitude. However we must only give feedback on the observable. Our personality is made up of values, skills, beliefs and attitudes we have collated to be our unique self.

Alice needs feedback on just behaviour that we can see:-

Alice I have seen that every time anyone enters the department you never look up, you never make eye contact with them or say anything”

 We would hope that Alice might explain, she hates being at the front desk, she has always been shy, she did not realise it was a requirement or she said sorry and was keen to do it differently.

Think about the balance between a behaviour and an attitude, what is behind and what is driving it. You often notice more when some-ones behaviour is not in sync with their usual demeanor.

A very handy mnemonic to keep you on the right track (“SBI”):-

S – Situation – what can you see happening?

B – Behaviour – what are they doing, only observable?

I – Impact – what do they think could be the impact of this behaviour?

It is always better if an individual can self assess their behaviour, no-one likes to be told where they are going wrong.

Please do get in touch if you would like your team to have a workshop on feedback.

www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

and contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Moving forward…

Employee engagement drives bottom line, however what does engagement mean and how do you help employees connect with the company.

Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer co authored the book the Progress Principle which explored the question of when people are motivated and engaged at work.  They recruited 238 people across 7 companies, and everyday they completed a diary entry and a questionnaire.  After 12,000 days worth of data Amabile & Kramer drew conclusions from the information.

The most conclusive result was that people are most motivated when they are making progress on meaningful work.  The most powerful thing to excite, engage is moving forward even if it is a small win.  That is the progress principle.

The terminology the pair used in their book was “inner work life” – what moves you forward?

What was the most startling find was a negative impact can be 2 or 3 times more damaging than a positive move forward.

We therefore need to be most aware of our nourishers and our toxins.  These can be people and also environments.  Think about a place where you are really productive and a place with the opposite effect.  We make the choices as to where we spend our time and we need to ensure that we look after ourself by the environment we work in.

How do you keep yourself moving forward?

  1. Stay focused – know what you want to achieve
  2. Track small wins – write down what you want to get done
  3. Spend at least 30 minutes each day on meaningful work

How do Manager’s apply the Progress Principle?

  • Catalysts – Share clear goals, with milestones and quick wins along the way
  • Autonomy – Empower team members to take initiative and responsibility
  • Resources – Provide the right materials at the right time
  • Human support – Being there

Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on “Understanding your Motivation”

www.nuggetsoflearning.com 

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

Getting your message across…

Knowing when to communicate and how to get a message across effectively is a skill in the digital age that we now live in. To cement relationships we need to steer away from the easy option.

The communication needs to be valid and memorable. Therefore we need to plan and prepare as we would with other forms of work.

The story below highlights the need for communication to be personable:-

A man and his wife had been arguing all night, and as bedtime approached neither was speaking to the other. It was not unusual for the pair to continue this war of silence for two or three days, however, on this occasion the man was concerned; he needed to be awake at 4:30am the next morning to catch an important flight, and being a very heavy sleeper he normally relied on his wife to wake him. Cleverly, so he thought, while his wife was in the bathroom, he wrote on a piece of paper: ‘Please wake me at 4:30am – I have an important flight to catch’. He put the note on his wife’s pillow, then turned over and went to sleep.
The man awoke the next morning and looked at the clock. It was 8:00am. Enraged that he’d missed his flight, he was about to go in search of his errant wife to give her a piece of his mind, when he spotted a hand-written note on his bedside cabinet.
The note said: ‘It’s 4:30am – get up.’

Think how often you communicate with people during the day.  You write emails, create reports, prepare presentations, debate with your colleagues and chair meetings.  We spend an entire day communicating. To provide clear messages and ensure they are received use the 7 C’s as a checklist:-

  1. Clear – ensure you have included all the relevant information
  2. Concise – stick to the point
  3. Concrete – does your message land – does it convey passion
  4. Correct – no spoilers, good messages can be ruined by grammatical errors
  5. Coherent – logical flow
  6. Complete – call to action, what is next…?
  7. Courteous – friendly, open and honest

Please do contact nuggets for a Communication Toolkit workshop www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

Managing “You”

Have you ever heard the voices in your head as you reach for the doughnut.  One is clearly saying go for it, you deserve it, the other is saying do not eat it.

Dr Steve Peters the author of the Chimp Paradox explains who the voices are and how to keep on top of them.  We have the Chimp speaking from our limbic brain, with its basic reactive response and its short term view.  The other voice is our Human mind is the prefrontal area which is thinking of consequences and evidence and taking a long term view. The other area of the mind which will guide both of them is the computer, where memories are stored.  This will let you know how good the doughnut tasted last time, and equally how guilty you felt afterwards.

The Chimp only provides suggestions and we must remember these are not actions to follow.  The key is to always manage the Chimp.

The book provides 4 strategies for doing so:-

  1. Exercise it – let your emotions out with someone you trust
  2. Reward it – give your Chimp a banana, if I get this done we will do this (eg. eat the doughnut)
  3. Box it – use your Human brain to work with the Chimp, evaluate suggestions
  4. Distracting it – count to 10 backwards, this prevents the Chimp being reactive it pauses it

There are many mind management systems out there to manage your emotions however not many have such successes attributed to them.  Dr Steve Peters worked with the British cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton.

For more help on working out your responses please do work with nuggets as a personal coach or delivering a 90 minute course to your team.

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk