Posted in Change management, coaching, Leadership, motivation

Create a visual…

Working with my own coach recently we were saying how much my business has changed over the last year. Clearly nuggets is not alone in having to adapt to the times we are living through and working where the demand is.

The coaching practice was far more agile than the learning and development workshops. I was able to increase my client base with coaching due to less travelling time, and offer a far better service. My model now is to engage with clients as often as they need instead of having a very static model of monthly catch ups.

The zoom intimacy works very beneficially with coaching, as the intensity and the immediacy of messages is extremely motivational.

Times are now changing again, and I wonder whether people remember that I am “Famous for the workshops”. The core of the business was always delivering colourful memorable workshops and this has still been possible over Zoom, however a gentle nudge that we are still here for that service.

The other key touch point I have been immensely proud of, was the blog which during lockdown has reached a far greater audience than before. The topics have been relevant and timely and receive great feedback, however does everyone know they are there.

Motivational speaking has been the quieter side of the business, however I now have my own story of how to transform and adapt your business. (Happy to take bookings bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk)

Realising there was more than one touch point made me want to share with my audience all the different ways you can connect with nuggets. My brain works visually so I really wanted to capture this in a diagram something that was memorable.

The graphic at the top of the blog was created it shows how you can dial up a nuggets service, however at the very centre is why I do what I do?

Helping people to think and work differently

My graphic was created by GetAhead a team of virtual assistants so you don’t have to be an artistist or a graphic genius. Simply explain what you are trying to achieve and then pay some-one to create it for you.

Metaphors are also great for explaining where your business might currently be and how it has evolved, transformed since lockdown. The word agile has been slightly overused be more imaginative, were you a certain animal before to what you are now? As an example were you a horse running in the flat races and now you compete in the steeple chases (lots of hurdles and more runners) and you love it.

Please do get in touch if you would like any of the nugget services or if you want a coaching session on how your business has transformed.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Please do take a look at the website – we will shortly be delivering a public workshop over Zoom on Developing You.

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, Management, Stress management

Thinking about your Welcome…

Last week with the children returning to school it was interesting to see the contrasts of how they welcomed them back.

My daughter was thrust straight back into academia with an A’level mock the first day back, and yet my son also in 6th Form had a day of focusing on their well being culminating with a beer round a fire pit. I know which Welcome I would have preferred!!

Also in the press I saw one school put up balloons festooning the entrance and the classrooms, albeit a primary school, however who does not want to feel special.

How will you welcome your team back?

Welcome in itself is written as a smile, having the word as prominently on show as you can will be a nice touch.

We can also start to send welcome letters now or even welcome packs, any form of teaser campaign and above all an acknowledgement of how excited you are to see them face to face.

Top Tips to consider with your Welcome:-

  • Be understanding, there will be anxiety of what to expect which is why it is good to start talking now
  • Have some well being workshops talks in place to manage any uncertainties
  • Keep everyone informed of which Government guidelines have been implemented and what the office might look like on their return
  • Set up rotas if your space is too small and you can’t all be in the office at the same time
  • Engage now – the next few months have the conversation before employees return
  • Be flexible with how it will work and give people choice
  • Reflect and review as it will keep changing

For more ideas on the easing out of lockdown please do get in touch bev@nuggetsofleanring.co.uk

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

Experiential space…

With the schools going back today, people are beginning to contemplate a return to the office. Leaders need to ask the right questions and begin to think how they want to use their space.

We want team members to have an experience and engage with the place in a new way. Do you have to associate the place with sitting at a desk. Will it be a social hub, with facilities that you need to host drinks, buffets and any form of get together. This new area could be a conference facility, spaces bigger for social distancing and large rooms without desks.

Social areas in offices are nothing new, however the change will be leaders will actively encourage time spent in them. Table football, pool and darts chances for individuals from different departments who may not have seen each other for a whole year to meet up.

The fixed desk might be old fashioned and the need to reconnect might mean switching every month.

Flexible working has worked and must be a pattern that everyone has the choice to continue with. The core hours of 9.00am to 5.30pm will be altered with people arriving at lunchtime and working in the evening, likewise the breakfast club could be the liveliest time of the day it will all depend on your culture.

The space can be used for well being events, encourage everyone to down tools and meditate, practise yoga or do a full on cardiac workout (air fresheners at the ready)!!! Lunch and learn can be so much more fun than a PowerPoint presentation, get departments to create board games of what they do, treasure hunts, book summaries the more imaginative the better.

We have been starved of opportunities to collaborate and connect spontaneously, so make this happen in the new world. Coffee and connect throughout the day, and with a new mix of people. Encourage this by providing creative tools such as white boards, post-its and most importantly good coffee.

Before everyone returns look at your space with “fresh eyes”, what would make the area more attractive and inviting. Watch the old classic “9 to 5” film with Dolly Parton where they reinvent the office space. If this is what you are aiming for ask employees to bring in house plants, photos and encourage a home from home atmosphere.

Theme your meeting rooms around your product or service, making spaces fun and connecting with your brand.

The place to start preparing is for Leaders to ask the key questions now…:-

  • How do you want to use the space?
  • How do you want to engage with it?
  • What are the multiple purposes of this space?
  • What rituals can you set up to make as many experiences as possible…?
  • When do you want to visit?

What will be sad is if the opening of office is dictated by leadership without buy-in from team members. This is an exciting time to reconnect and for your business to operate like it never has before, don’t be led by numbers or safe guarding, create an experiential new space.

For more ideas or for nuggets to facilitate a new space ideas session please get in touch with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk.

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, 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, Change management, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence

Out of which maze…

Dr. Spencer Johnson wrote the follow up to “Who moved my cheese…?” and called it “Out of the maze” he delivered it to his publishers shortly before he died in July 2017. Very poignantly the book includes a letter he wrote to his own tumour. The belief he attached to the tumour was fear until he realised that if he loved the tumour, he would become far more appreciative of the life he had left and ultimately more loving to his family and friends.

For those of you who have not read the bestseller “Who moved my cheese…?’ the theme is that cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.  The book emphasises the need to adapt to change and move with the cheese.

“Out of the maze” picks up with one of the characters who was left in the maze Hem, and the book asks the question what if you don’t know where to begin.

The central character (Hem) is locked by the fact change has happened and the belief that things will never be the same.  However he meets the character “Hope” who says “Maybe they can turn out better than they were…”

We have beliefs that we get locked into and they can hold you prisoner in a mindset.  A belief is a thought that you trust is true, which can be either hold you down or lift you up.  Therefore you can change your mind if you choose a new belief.   You must not become the belief, you are the person who chooses your beliefs.

The book “Out of the maze…” goes even further by saying – there are no limits to what you can believe.   You can simply change your mind by having new beliefs.

Sometime we have to believe before we can see the result so that we get into the right frame of mind.

An example:- believe you can sell your business before you have put it on the market and then you will do all that is necessary to get it ready to sell

On the journey to get out of the maze the character had to lose old baggage which is a metaphor for old thinking and beliefs.   We often on the journey have to seek out the very things we have always avoided.  Explore what has until now always seemed impossible.

The reflections at the end of the book, put it very succinctly “The Maze I need to get out of? is my own thinking”

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

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

Tough Calls

Tough calls by Allan Leighton was written in 2011 however the book is so timely now and could really do with a update to help decisions people have been making during the pandemic.

Leighton starts the book, with his own personal tough call, as to whether to take a position with Asda after 18 years with Mars.

As a leader it is almost always the difficult decisions that end up on your desk. If everything is ticking along nicely most people don’t need to bother the Leader. It is only when things get choppy that people turn for help and that generally happens at 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon.

Leighton explains how decisions can be broken into categories:-

Radical decision – when things within an organisation’s control have gone badly wrong and urgently need addressing

Crisis decision – external factors takeover and you are hit by a challenge or a disaster

Opportunity decision – there is a potential takeover or merger

Progress decision – smaller scale decisions that businesses face everyday

These categories of decisions form the basis of part one of the book. The second section is all about “road testing a tough call”. Testing the vision, and deciding whether leadership Vs consensus is the right approach. Most importantly as a leader the moment when it is right to change your mind.

Part three of the book, is “Seeing it Through”. Have you got the right people on board and have you won hearts and minds. Finally are you communicating on message.

We all make decisions everyday. Most of them are pretty straightforward, but every so often there are some really tough calls. In business the choices that executives make can make the difference between success and ongoing prosperity or failure and financial disaster.

We will be reviewing Tough Calls at nuggets book club this Friday at 10.00am. Please do send me an email if you wish to attend bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact

My week with the – The Kindness Method

Last week the nuggets book club reviewed “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi. As I prepared for the event on the Friday I undertook the exercises myself so that I felt the content had landed and that I understood how to implement the theory.

The author Shahroo Izadi studied psychological sciences and then psychology becoming an assistant psychologist at an NHS substance misuse centre. However the most relevant fact about Shahroo is her battle over her weight which lasted for two decades. It was not until she implemented the Kindness Method on herself that she lost 8 stone and most importantly she has kept it off ever since.

My own journey last week started with the “Snapshot Letter” this is the first exercise where you asked to right a letter to yourself explaining what is going on now. My own personal perspective was around the discipline of work, being healthy and not being overwhelmed by worries around my family.

The main tool that the book draws on is mapping thoughts. You put the central theme in the middle and populate the map with everything that comes to mind.

  1. Ways I’m Happy to be – the first map which you fill with characteristics of yourself, the book provides suggestions, and the advice is go for quantity. Here are a few of mine:-
    • Warm
    • Creative
    • Loving
    • Positive
  2. What I’m Proud of – things that you have achieved from any size, some of mine were the nuggets brand to staying positive through lockdown.
  3. When I’m in the zone – this map should be filled with all the times you have been truly “on it” where were you, what were you doing, why did everything feel so right? On the back of this map answer these 2 questions:-
    • Do these situations you have put on your map have anything in common? If so what are they?
    • Based on what you have written down to create your perfect conditions what would you have to alter about your normal routine now?

These 3 maps put you in a great positive mindset and they are your starting point of change.

4. What hasn’t worked – This map is beginning to identify your resistance, my two big AHA moments were brave and thinking BIG

5. Conversations about me – This is a hard one to write. What have you heard said about you, what have you said about yourself, what do you think about yourself? We are really cruel and this is where you can write it down and hopefully leaves your head landing on the paper. Here are two of mine:-

  • I am not bold or brave enough to change the business
  • I am not focused enough

6. Some-one I love – What would you say to some-one you love? Of course it will look nothing like the cruel dialogue we say to ourselves. I chose my daughter who has just turned 18 years old and I filled the map with all the things I wish for her now and dream of for her. It was the easiest map to complete!

7. This is not a map but key questions to try and get you to focus in a nutshell what it is you need to work on or change:-

I want to do more of…

I want to less of …

I want to be more…

I want to be less…

I want to start…

I want to stop….

In a nutshell – in one sentence say what all the answers are saying:-

I will think big about the business, learning and developing new material all the time by delivering more workshops and coaching.

8. What’s the Harm? – if you don’t change what will happen. The business will look the same next year and the year after.

9. Why haven’t I changed already? – most of my answers had the word “small” in them which again kept leading me to this overall change in thinking. Think Big and talk Big.

10. Developing new strategies – studying the map of “Why I haven’t changed already?” makes you realise that it is you and only you that can make the change. My realisation that my lifestyle and childcare made it very easy to think small. I am aware that everything is comfortable and entering a world of discomfort has been putting me off.

11. Journalling – Take responsibility for what is happening in your life by recording the days events. What are you grateful for? What tested you? How would you respond in the future? This has been my morning ritual for over a month and it pays dividends in a sense of calm and well being, an observer of you and all that you are grateful for.

12. Worry snapshots – capture those tiny little niggles even say them into your phone, once you say them out loud they have gone…

13 What will test me – back to the maps, what will really test your resolve

14 How it’s most important for me to be? – This is a summary of how important this is from a strangers perspective or your family, or even an imaginary film star playing you… I chose to hear what my family would say in 6 months. This was the turning point of the week, I got really excited about what I wanted them to see and hear from me. It really mattered and I really wanted it to start now!

15. Life if I don’t make the changes – dated (6 months time)

16. Life if I do make the changes – (6 months time) – don’t just write the opposite think about what you want it to look like. My big is not about the size on monetary aspect of the business my big is about the depth – meaningful work, making a difference and understanding that is a huge selling point and enormously rewarding (BIG language)!!!

17. Affirmations – that support your change, and saying them out loud everyday

  • My business is thriving
  • I am kind to myself and others
  • I will challenge myself to think BIG all the time

18. The Plan – What are you committing to, capture and log a review date of 3 weeks time.

19. No more excuses – another map to recognise some of your inner dialogue that has been trying to stop you

  • Covid
  • The business is OK – why change
  • Energy/Age

20. Testing myself on purpose – we all have those habits that we know are going to derail so be ready for them and put yourself in the frame to test yourself.

In summary my week of living with The Kindness Method made me feel good about myself and my business. At times it felt very indulgent however the mindset and outcomes are superb. The Plan started on Thursday and nuggets and I are thriving.

Please do get in touch if you would like one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Please do watch the video of the book review: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2PGtK9Kijs&t=19s