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

Press the button…

What does “press the button” actually mean?

In classic experiments on stress, people performed tasks that required concentration, like solving puzzles, whilst being blasted at random intervals with uncomfortably loud sounds.  The individuals started sweating and their heart rates and blood pressure climbed.   They struggled to concentrate and made mistakes and many just gave up.  Searching for a way to reduce the anxiety, researchers gave the participants an escape.  If the noise became too unpleasant they could press a button and make the noise stop.  The button allowed them to stay calmer and make fewer mistakes.  The most surprising result was that no-one pressed the button.  Knowing they could stop the noise gave them a sense of control and allowed them to endure the stress.

This story comes from the book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.  In the book they put the button into another context.  Grant  a lecturer sadly had a student who committed suicide and he regretted he had not spotted the signs of stress earlier.  He struggled for a long time to overcome any guilt.  To move forward he started every lecture by ensuring his mobile number was clearly displayed in the class, in effect this was the button.

Do you provide a button to your team, do they know that support is there.  Think how you can instigate the button within your organisation.  Coaching and mentoring being formalised could provide buttons.  Buddy schemes for new recruits, and always ensuring your team members have a line manager who conducts regular 1:1 meetings. Larger organisations have well being help lines and by ensuring the number is displayed provides the button security.

At home we now all have our mobile numbers, however do we provide a “button’ service in other ways.  How often do you sit around a table and ensure you really listen to each other?  This is the best “button” you can ever provide.

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

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Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, mindfulness

Step out of your comfort zone…

We unconsciously committ to life within a comfort zone as there are no guarantees in a stretch zone.  However the more time we step into stretch the more comfortable it gets at doing its job and the more it stretches.

Has there been an occasion recently when you were forced to stretch and make that leap out of your comfort zone.  It is often at times where we have no control and we have not made the choice that we grow.

For anyone who has attended a nuggets workshop will know I surround the room with flip charts and I have a mind map that I work from for the agenda.  I arrived at a Clients without the flip charts luckily the trusted mind map was there.  Not only were the flip charts not packed but also one of the key exercises a set of laminated headlines.

I was in stretch for the next 3 hours.  The first job was to recreate the flip charts I had prepared.  The exercise of headlines turned out better than the original, I asked delegates to use their phones to find sensational headlines.  Of course trainers are always advocating phones on silent, however the liberation of using a phone was brilliant and also made the exercise far more current and relevant.

It is not a place that we choose to step into, however we adapt and survive, so try and step out more often of your comfort zone as stretch is there ready and waiting to grow.

Please do get in touch for workshops and coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Moving into 2019…

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid – most fear success more than failure”

– Sheryl Sandberg

Moving into 2019 what could you achieve if fear was not holding you back.

Where are you currently stuck?

  • Where do you feel a sense of obligation?
  • Where do you feel there is no choice?
  • What is frustrating you?
  • What are you putting up with?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Complete the sentence “If I wasn’t afraid I would…”

Make a plan as to what you want 2019 to look like, what are you going to say yes to this year and what are you saying no to, with no fear attached.

“Some people want it to happen – some wish it would happen and others make it happen”

– Michael Jordan 

I have this quote on my desk as I know it is only “me” that can make it happen.  The way you think and feel about yourself has a much bigger impact on your life than you think.

Follow the pattern below to believe in yourself:-

  • Positive self belief
  • Positive & realistic expectations of what you want to achieve
  • Constant achievements that are acknowledged
  • Increased self esteem

Take time to acknowledge achievements on a weekly basis and review at the end of the month to then set goals for the next month.  Record everything big and small to notice patterns of behaviour around your tasks eg. do you achieve more when you are busy, is your best work done at the start of the week…

We need to value ourselves, to transform our thinking into a positive regard.  Think about your favourite people, their traits are probably qualities that you possess too. It is often much easier to see what is great in others.  However what we admire in others is very often a projection of our own talents.

Moving into 2019 with high self regard and let go of any fear that has held you back.

Please do get in touch for 90 minutes learning workshops “nuggets” or one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Are you really listening…

Listening is a skill that needs to be practised and refined.  We often think we are listening,  however have we truly connected and deployed the skill required.

There are five levels of listening:-

  • Ignoring
  • Pretending
  • Selective
  • Active
  • Empathetic

Hopefully ignoring does not happen too often.  Pretending can be easily slipped into, you can have all the right facial expressions however the button for listening has not been pressed.

Selective is the one that we save especially for the ones we love the most.  Currently my husband loves nothing more than to tell me the latest on US politics.  I tune in and out, bit like when you are trying to find the right radio station, every so often he relays something amazing and the rest of the time it is that annoying buzz you get from an untuned radio.

In work we are often actively listening which means we know we have to concentrate so we expertly follow and reflect the facts. It is a place of comfort however you are using a skill and need to practice regularly to check that you are not interrupting with direct questions and hijacking the other person’s agenda.

The top listening is empathetic which takes the most skill.  You are not only attending, following and reflecting, you are also calibrating any non verbal indicators.  As a coach I need to listen at this level and I know if it has been a good session when I feel exhausted and exhilarated. It is a privilege to listen and follow some-one else’s agenda however it is tiring if done correctly.  The joy of being listened to often means you say the things you really want to say.  We so rarely get a dam good listening.

As with any new skill keep practising…

Please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

 

 

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.