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

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Goals, Learning, motivation, training

Back to school…

Using “Back to school” as a metaphor for business what does it mean for us…

New Uniform

We might well be staying the same, as per working from home, therefore do we need a new uniform. It is not just about the clothes we wear it is the mindset we put on every morning. Do you feel positive about the future and do you believe that you are still developing and growing. Every morning you wake up you choose the attitude you decide to put on. Susan Jeffers quoted in her book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” if you wake up in “pain” you will stay in “pain” all day. Whereas if we decide to pop “power” on, we will have a very different day. Think about what you need to look good inside and outside and remember you make the choices.

New Timetable

September is a good time to change your schedule, the days are changing it is already getting darker earlier, therefore do you start the day earlier? What new routines and rituals are you going to factor into your week. Map out the month of September and decide what will be a weekly or a daily discipline. Most importantly remember to write it down.

New Teachers

Who are you going to work with in September? Reach out to new Clients and new businesses that you have never reached out to before. Try different sectors and industries, be open minded about who you want to work with.

New Subjects

What new skills and development do you want to start? Think about mind/body and soul, develop your whole self. Set yourself a monthly goal to ensure that you remember to focus on it. James Clear the writer of “Atomic Habits’ says remember it is important to start, it is better to run for 10 minutes than to not run at all. Get started and you will then begin to embody the identity of the habit you wish to develop.

New Friends

Existing colleagues and new colleagues, reach out of your comfort zone and attend new webinars, virtual workshops and new meetings. See if you can meet a new person each week or month, set it up as a challenge.

Please do contact me if you would like to attend the nuggets book club starting this Friday at 10.00am when we will be reviewing the book “Eat that Frog”.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals

Better & Better decisions…

“Thinking in bets” is the book by Annie Duke a professional poker player. The exercise of decision making under conditions of uncertainty aligns with the game of Poker where you make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

High quality decisions are like investments in life.

View every decision as a bet and you become more open minded.

“Are you certain you will enjoy the book?” – some-one wants to bet with you that you won’t. You then begin to challenge your beliefs, what information do I need or what am I missing? What does this person know about the book that I don’t?

Suddenly you are more open minded as you have so much more information about the book, favourable and unfavourable. You have lost your bias and you have made yourself more open to new information.

This approach to decisions, beginning to look at them like bets, means we embrace objectivity and we make better decisions.

Duke’s other principle is to think about expected value. Calculate the expected reward and the outcome. Is it worth watching the film for 2 hours or meeting a friend for coffee for 1 hour and then exercising for the other hour. Think about the time, money and attention and committ with confidence if the expected value works for you at that moment in time. Assess your decision by how much you are investing Vs expected value.

We get better decisions if we evaluate their success and their failure. We could make a terrible decision and get good results by being lucky. However if we have just haphazardly got lucky this would not be a good pattern to follow.

We should evaluate the positive and the negative, so if you make a decision and get a good result, think what two mistakes you made. This creates the mindset of process focused rather than results focused.

“What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process” Annie Duke

We are making decisions in uncertain times so what can we apply from Duke’s theory:-

  • Make a decision imagining it is a bet – ignore your bias and be open minded
  • Weigh up the expected value with how much time or money you are investing
  • Evaluate all decisions – it is the process not the result

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

What next…?

There is no new normal as everything is new, so therefore what next…?

We have developed new habits and even new skills to adapt to our new working environment and changes to our business. We have reinvented products and services to fit the climate we are in. Following successful brands we have evolved and adapted to the new compass and the new direction we have been forced to follow.

Going forward there are three main areas that will keep us on track:-

  1. Pivot to customer
  2. Agile
  3. Trust & transparency

1. Pivot to the customer has been a buzz on blogs and social media, however what does it actually mean. We have to put the customer at the centre of everything and we literally move around them (pivoting) to every need demand they desire. My own example would be, my coaching sessions reduced to one hour and were conducted over Zoom, as this is what worked for the customer. nuggets workshops are also only one hour over Zoom and the customer chooses the time of day.

We also pivot by being innovative with our products and service. You cannot deliver in this climate the same service you did before so you adapt it. My workshops used to be highly interactive with flip charts and lots of colour. The changes I have made are colourful PowerPoint slides and interaction of a verbal kind using very imaginative exercises.

The expression pivot also has a financial connotation, how quickly can you alter your fees. Your expenses might be less in this climate so therefore you can optimise what you have and make it a financially attractive. This is smart pricing, you get a lot for your money but it is at a fair rate.

A customer centric business is personal you foster loyalty by sharing how you have made the business accessible to them and affordable. You make it very clear that you are there for them whatever the situation globally.

2. Agile everything…the principles of agile are not exclusive to software development and can be applied to any business. There are 12 principles of Agile that fall into three main categories:-

  1. Clarity and transparency delivery – the system of work
  2. Learning and leaning – improve and optimise performance
  3. People focus – autonomous and engaged culture

Part one the clarity and transparency is all about having regular milestones and measurements which align with a vision and goals. There must be clear intent and direction so that you always understand what is valuable to your customer.

At nuggets I have a white board in the office which clearly shows how many coaching sessions, workshops happen each month. The overall vision of nuggets is to “Help people think and work differently…”. After every workshop or coaching session individuals send their nuggets (key learnings) so that I know that I am on track with my vision and I have added value to the customer.

The second part of Agile is learning and leaning. We have to look deep into our processes and systems to minimise waste. Repeat tasks to spot if you can make any incremental changes. Review all the work you do as quickly as possible so that you have a very short feedback loop.

The third and final phase of Agile is the people focus. Ensure you recognise effort and you have collective ownership over tasks and projects. Empower your team to improve together and collaborate regularly. Drive processes through as much communication as possible.

3. Trust and Transparency finally on the journey of what next..? Trust underpins every relationship you have, you may have deep foundations of trust with some and very weak ones with others. In the current situation we are in, they need to be solid and robust. Take time to build relationships, it is as important as the job itself. Without people you have no business and people are human.

Transparency is how are business is conducted, we operate fairly with no hidden costs or hidden agendas. We share our vision and our products and services and how we want to work with our customers.

In summary the “What next…?” will be intelligent agility, retaining excellence and above all taking time to understand our customers.

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, Relationships, Time management

Getting the best out of working from home…

We strive to be effective and efficient and we have to create our own routine.

Initially we went racing into the lockdown, it was powered up productivity, we did not know we would still be working from home, three months later. Some of us have now burned out and don’t have the initial excitement and enthusiasm of being at home.

Just as you change gear in your car to alter your performance, we are now at that stage as people we need a boost a new gear change.

Start the week with a plan of what you are doing and ensure that you break it into a daily task list of what can be achieved. Having a rolling to do list for the week is not as motivational as looking at what you have done each day. Ensure that you review at the end of the day what you have completed and even add to the list of tasks the things you have completed that weren’t on the list. Highlighting or ticking them as complete seems childish however the acknowledgement of your achievements and the reflection of how you spent your time is all good inputs for the list for the next day.

There is no escape to see colleagues and a chance to loiter in the kitchen. We need breaks and working from home you need to book them in. Sadly they are not as spontaneous as at an office, but if you have other people in your home, schedule a coffee and meet up with them. Most importantly have a change of scene move away from desk and if possible take the break in another room.

For some having no set hours is scary, managing the day, week and the whole calendar seems to big and endless. We need to start thinking like a leader who operate from a framework of freedom. Leadership thinking is having a clear purpose or vision that every thing you do everyday factors into that vision and overall purpose as to who you are. This umbrella view of everything then gives you an idea of what needs to completed each quarter/monthly and then at a micro level daily. Ideally having on display your purpose can be motivational and a guide as to whether you are on track.

nuggets overall vision is to “Help people think and work differently…” do I do something everyday to make that happen.

We have had to fit life into work as never seen before, parents home schooling and attending zoom meetings. Dogs being walked, houses cleaned and endless meals being prepared. We have to treat life with as much importance as work, you need to plan it and schedule it. You must not squeeze life in around work. Map out when is a good time to walk the dog or to exercise yourself, ensure it is in the diary everyday. Plan and write up your meals, so the thinking and uncertainty of what to eat does not fill your head. Your hours don’t have to be as they were and they don’t have to be the same everyday, however for your own mental health know when you start the day and when you are going to stop the day.

Accountability has to be robust, more evidence to justify what you have achieved, therefore have we slipped into a more results driven culture. The balance of how much you are trusted and the measurement of your performance from a far. If you are more trusted is the performance more guaranteed. We cannot rely on our Leaders to simply trust us we have to communicate with them regularly to ensure they do trust us. Trust underpins any relationship we have and it is built on a foundation of knowledge of the other person. Remember the name of some-ones dog on a Zoom call could be a motivational gift and that simple insight could increase productivity.

Working from home is what we make it and what choices we make around how to set it up and it is now the time to review:-

  • What has gone well? – you have enjoyed?
  • What has not been so good?
  • What can you do differently?

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Making the most of working from home…”

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Black box thinking culture…

Matthew Syed’s book “Black box thinking” seems very relevant for now, as we are all trying new ways of working and  we need to ensure we our creating new initiatives.

It starts with your culture do you have a growth mindset where you and your team practice hard work and learn from trial and error.  Failure is not hidden and you all work through how to make it better going forward.

If you are working in a culture of a fixed mindset you think talent is dominant, might be your people or even the product or service.  You think when mistakes happen it is just one of those things.  Before Covid 19 “our service was brilliant it must just be a – one off”.

The aviation industry has famously the “black box”, when a near miss happens or tragically a fatal crash, the black box is recovered.   There are two in reality one the technical recordings of the mechanics and electrics and the other the conversations in the cockpit.  The boxes are also bright orange so that they can be located easily.  These boxes give the answers as to what happened and provide valuable data to make changes going forward.

We might not have boxes to record our failure however in organisations we can encourage our teams to speak up and share when something is not working.  We also want them to be honest about a failure and then as a group it can be analysed.

Syed talks about a hospital in America where they realised two drug bottles were too similar in colour and labelling.  It was only until a patient was given a dose of the wrong medication that the changes were made to the bottles.  Open your eyes to the processes you have now and ask yourself are they working.

The right culture creates success and every time you are honest with each other you are fostering psychological gain. Whilst working remotely speak to your teams about new ideas and encourage Q and A sessions.  We are in an unknown arena for working everyones ideas are good and everyone should be listened to.

On Friday the nuggets book club will be reviewing and summarising “Black Box Thinking” please do join us the invitation is below:-

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: May 22, 2020 10:00 AM London

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUpceigpjooE9bDP6ARia8WvMSCOziC6S2K

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, motivation

Being resilient…

“Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table.  It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness” – Louise Hart

The definition of the word resilient:-

(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
(of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
Understanding that resilience is all about bouncing back, we need to know how it is made up, what are the ingredients of resilience and can it be measured.

If we were to take the metaphor of the table we can explain what each table leg represents an element of resilience and the table top pulls all the components together.

The Resilience Table

Leg One – Mental toughness, how robust are you at staying in the role of decision maker.  Using all your logical thinking skills to way up pros and cons and be aware of problem and solutions as they arise.

Leg Two – Physical energy, staying strong and being able to attend continuous meetings still with a smile and bringing energy to every event.

Leg Three – Emotional balance, being measured in reponses to others and demonstrating empathy.  A support for others with a balanced view and the appropriate emotional response.

Leg Four – Social skills – naturally adept at making everyone feel comfortable in your space.  Being your own person and not being swept into negative behaviours, managing your own self esteem and confidence about who you are.

Table Top – Sense of purpose, a meaning to what you are doing, the core of who you are.  This holds the legs and is the most important place to start when thinking about your resilient levels.

The table top is where we need to ask ourselves “Why do we do what we do? this will uncover your meaningful purpose will help create strong table legs.

Give yourself a score out of 10 for each of the table legs and constantly monitor why one might be high and one low.  You will have to nurture and look after each leg and ensure that they are totally connected to the table top.

At nuggets we have designed a workshop on Being Resilient here are the objectives and what you will gain.

Being Resilient 

Programme Objectives 

  • Understanding how to monitor your resilience levels
  • Exploring the theory of Mindset by Professor Carol Dweck
  • Making the five pillars of resilience practical and applicable
  • Applying the kindness method to creating new habits and rituals

What will you gain?

  • Recognising how to switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset
  • Identifying which of the five pillars of resilience needs to be developed
  • Adopting new habits and rituals
  • Practical action plan

Please do get in touch if you are interested bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

(can be one person or a small group) over Zoom at the cost of £100