Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, motivation

Creating “work” daily habits…

We find it very easy to shower every morning and clean our teeth, however in work we are sometimes at a loss to know where to start.

In work we need rituals and habits that make it easier for our brain to hit the ground running.  Remember when you learnt to ride a bike how hard your conscious mind was focusing on all the obstacles in your path and now you cycle looking at the view.

There are times when we require new thinking so it is good to challenge our brain however ritualising some of the daily or weekly tasks could free the mind when you want it to really work hard.

Think about habits and routine items within your business:-

  • Posting on social media, set a time each day where you go in and have the same system, of the platforms you visit, so that the tour becomes familiar and easy.
  • Set aside time in the week when you read the relevant articles for your business. Accumulate them each day so when you hit that weekly reading spot you can get in the zone.
  • Allocate a specific time to email and touch base with your clients, have it as an appointment in your diary so that it happens.
  • Have some daily disciplines in place, write down what you want to achieve each day and check your work in progress schedule.
  • Think about your daily habits, when do you open your email, when do you start project work and most importantly when do you eat.
  • Connect with friends and colleagues by booking coffees and lunches, ensure you have a pipeline at all times of connections, business and pleasure.
  • Review your day so that you can constantly improve your systems and processes.

Please do get in touch if we can help at nuggets to create some new rituals for you and your business bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

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Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Learning, Relationships

The difference between coaching & mentoring…

Coaching is … a process that enables learning and development to occur by the coach asking powerful questions which leads to different thinking and ultimately different performance.  The coach requires a variety of styles and skills and techniques that are appropriate for each session.

Mentoring is… helping an individual to make significant changes in their work or thinking. This can often be done remotely or face to face.  Mentors look at the big picture and with no vested interest and can make bold suggestions.

Coaches can have first hand experience of the line of work or they can be a qualified coach from outside bringing new thinking in.

Mentors are normally more experienced or skilled in the field of work they are advising on.

Line Managers can use coaching techniques whereas the best mentors often have no prior relationship with the mentee.

Coaches ask powerful questions and don’t give advice, and the mentor provides direction and advice.

Mentors and coaches provide a neutral sounding board and total confidentiality, they are both invested in assisting an individual to reach their goals.

Coaching is about learning rather than “teaching” it is much more ask than tell.  The insight gained by working with a coach will lead to enhanced effectiveness.  Mentoring is helping individuals to develop their career by drawing on their own experiences.

Working with a coach and mentor can lead to new thinking and an enhanced performance.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, motivation, personal impact

Personal Branding…

We all have a brand whether you are consciously aware or unaware it is there.  The more aware you are that it is there the more you can make it work for you.

At the very heart of our personality are things that we value in life.  This is often the very reason “Why” we do what we do.  Simon Sinek’s brilliant book “Start with Why” says it is not what we do or how we do it, the best start is the “why”.  This is the very core of your brand, why you get up in the morning and why you wear that particular jacket.

If we internally know the route of our decisions in life we start to form a frame of reference, for people to associate with.  These are not just external indicators as to whether you are smart or casual in your dress sense, but the more fundamental character traits, are you reliable and honest.  Leading brands are very clever at having clear frames of reference, what do they want to be known for e.g. are they a family product, healthy, original taste etc…

People will make assumptions within seconds of meeting us.  So how do we ensure we project our personal brand.  We need to sit down initially and think why do we do what we do and what does that tell us about our frame of reference.  The two combined give you an idea of what packaging/clothing compliments that brand.

Personal branding is not just when you meet some-one face to face.  Our brand now extends to our social media, so if you want to be taken seriously having a beach shot on your LinkedIn profile will not match your brand.  Look at your working environment an extension of your brand, how does it  look? Is it efficient, a word you had in your frame of reference, no-one would really like a perception of messy.

The word “professional” is very over used and what we really are trying to define is an effective personal brand.  Think about the memory you leave in people’s minds – “What shadow do you cast?” and remember it is not just the first time you meet them, you will leave that memory/shadow it is all the time.

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, Management, Relationships

Ask not tell…

If anyone tells you to do anything you want to resist.  Recently some-one told me to do something and I was in a volunteering capacity and I was incredibly resistant.  Asking for help and support always gets a better response.

A potential Client was explaining a team member’s response to attending a team meeting.  The employee had called a colleague and said they would not bother coming back to the office to come to the weekly meeting.  The Manager was obviously irritated and asked the colleague to phone them straight back and tell them they had to attend.

I asked why as the Manager they had not made the call.  They could have asked

“Why do you think that your attendance at the meeting would not add value?”

The brain always has to answer a question, and questioning the value they would bring to a meeting is far harder to excuse yourself.

Ask not tell leadership style is much more empowering.  Whenever a team member comes to you with a problem the best approach is to always ask them what they would do first rather than offer out a solution.

Another example is a request for holiday during a busy period, instead of an immediate no, ask how they think the company will survive with their absence.  Asking is all about pushing responsibility and getting the brain to work for itself.

Telling some-one not to be late, will make the serial offender repeat their actions.  Asking them what they think they can do to ensure they are on time, makes them do the thinking.

Ask not tell is more empowering to you as leader and to the recipient.

www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

Boredom can lead to brilliance…

It is true that daydreaming and being bored can ignite our best thinking. I have always had my best ideas in the shower or on that walk in the sun.

Manoush Zomorodi author of “Bored and Brilliant” explains in her Ted Talk how boredom can lead to brilliance.  She asks the question imagine if you never got bored.  Some of your best ideas come from, folding the washing or walking to work.  We enter a default mode, the brain goes from conscious to sub conscious.  The brain begins to create different connections, even tapping into autobiographical planning.

Good boredom is staring out of the window when the mind can get into the default mode.  Bad boredom is when you are multi tasking, checking your phone whilst staring out the window or on that beautiful walk.  Everytime we look at that phone we are depleting the neurological resource we have.  Even chilling out on the sofa while watching TV and checking email is still bad boredom. The purity of the chill is the good boredom.

Doing nothing is being creative, and boredom can lead to brilliance.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on creative thinking or 1:1 coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Rituals and superstitions…

How much do rituals and superstitions influence performance?

It is a clever deflection from performance as in the example of Serena Williams in the French Open in 2008.  She made her exit in a shock third round defeat, and when she was asked what went wrong, she gave the surprise answer:-

“I didn’t tie my laces right and I didn’t bounce the ball five times and I didn’t bring my shower sandals to the court with me.  I didn’t have my extra dress.  I just knew it was fate; it wasn’t going to happen.”

Why are so many top sports people deeply superstitious?

The answer is to be found in the world of pigeons.  B F Skinner the man widely regarded as the father of modern psychology studied the behaviour of pigeons.  In 1947 Skinner placed some hungry pigeons in a cage attached to an automated mechanism that delivered food at regular intervals.  He discovered that the pigeons associated the delivery of food with whatever chance actions they happened to be performing at the moment it was first delivered.  They kept on performing the same actions even though it had no effect on whether the food was delivered.

The pigeons were acting as if they could influence the mechanism, a random connection between a particular kind of behaviour and a desired outcome.

If superstition does not influence the outcome, why are we all so  keen to ritualise are actions.  The routine may help people relax and feel comfortable so therefore aiding clear thinking and reducing anxiety.  The actions may therefore influence the performance and not actually secure the outcome.

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

Purposeful Practice…

We are all heading back to school and work and with renewed vigour as to how to do it differently.

Whilst on holiday I read the book “Bounce” by Matthew Syed and I have hit my desk today more motivated than a usual September start.

The book dispels this belief that Champions are born with talent.  Breaking the myth that is not genetic gives hope to all of us that with hard work we can all be as successful as we want to be within our own line of work.

Matthew Syed is well placed to write about success having been the Table Tennis Commonwealth Champion twice and the UK’s No. 1.  He puts his rise down to being in the right place at the right time.  He had access to a 24 hr table tennis club and his brother was already a junior champion and his coach worked at his school.

Practice and practice, but most importantly “purposeful” practice.  He explains it is about downloading the right piece of software.   Focusing on what you want to achieve and learn from the mistakes more than the successes.  If you go to the golf range and use the same club every time it may well be enjoyable, but what have you learnt.  The “Greats” practice the hard stuff, Beckham with his corners and Tiger Woods buries the ball in bunkers, it is focused and tough.

There is a belief that tennis players have great eyesight to see the ball.  Syed explains that it is perceptual cognitive repertoire it is knowing how the upper body of your opponent is going to move.  This comes from year on year, self motivation and high quality performance.

Your brain is growing with you as a muscle and storing all those sub conscious movements and thinking.  The process of expert performance is letting your software subconsciously perform as it has practiced so many times it knows the expert path.

This can be seen more obviously when the “Greats” choke.  In high pressurised environments the brain overthinks and tunes into the conscious mind rather than the subconscious.  Instead of thinking about the path to the finish line you analyse every single shot.  This is the same in business instead of thinking what you want to achieve at the meeting you overthink everything you say and end up saying too little or too much.  The way to overcome the choke is to enter each situation with a view that it does not matter, think of it as a practice session.

We need to help others grow their expertise and continuing growing.  We must praise for effort and not talent.  An example would be:-

“You were great in that meeting you are so good at getting them to the right price”

This seems a perfect piece of feedback, however it is saying you have done it and you are really talented.  What would be better is to recognise the effort:-

“You worked really hard to get them to the right price”

This gives the brain the message to think about the journey and what can I learn for the next meeting.

Matthew Syed’s best quote to finish on “Champions are not born they are made”.

Begin September with hard work and purposeful practice and you are making yourself a champion.

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