Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, personal impact, Time management

Getting to the Finishing line…

We can see the finishing line but we don’t get there, on projects at work and home. Peter Hollins the author of “Finish What you Start” explores why this happens. He describes the unfinished projects as the mental scrapyard in our heads.

We go into projects in week 1 with a surge of inspiration we are full of ideas we are literally fizzing. We have four follow through muscles:-

  • Focus
  • Take Action
  • Resist
  • Persist

The starting point is being focused on what you want to achieve being clear of those first actions and knowing what distractions we must resist in order to persist.

However in reality what happens is we weaken those muscles by either getting distracted or just deciding that the task is too hard. We then create the psychological roadblock of Perfectionism. When the task gets harder our ego kicks in and we don’t want to fail so we make the task impossibly hard to achieve. Perfectionism is insecurity in disguise, we have made the task impossibly good instead of good enough.

The sad reality is that we only learn when we have a finished product. By adopting a finishing mindset you know at the end you can look back and evaluate this is where you know that you have learnt something. You might create a terrible blog post but it is there for everyone to see and you can take the feedback and write a better one the next time. It is better to have put something out there than not have done anything.

We need to get better at finishing so therefore we need to create a manifesto (a set of rules) that we can apply when we start on a project.

  • I want – write down ultimately what you want to finish
  • I will – think of the first action, it can be really small as the momentum will lead to bigger actions
  • I won’t – in the next hour I won’t look at my emails

This rule is simple to adopt if you think when scheduling your day of packets of time/1 hour blocks and state using the want/will/won’t is going to happen.

By starting you are crushing procrastinations the most potent weapon inertia

This is an implementation intention and will triple the rate of follow through.

The second rule to adopt is the 10/10/10. We have our two selves Present and Future self. Your present self is wanting immediate pleasure and wants to avoid immediate pain at any cost so will drag down the future self into inactivity. The 10/10/10 rule is imagining the following:-

  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 minutes?
  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 hours?
  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 days?

The idea is that the 10 day procrastination will be so unattractive as a visualisation exercise that you encourage and get yourself into action. The pain and guilt of letting yourself down and others of being inactive for that long is so damaging you want to start to work those follow through muscles. You don’t want to be that person.

Finish is about learning, use those follow through muscles today and share your nuggets of learning with me bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Not everything has to be so hard…

This is just a taster of the content of the book Effortless by Greg McKeown.

Not everything has to be so hard – Burnout is not a badge of honour. Often we create self-imposed pressure by striving for perfection. 

We can change the dialogue in our heads:-

 Exhausting Effortless 
ThinkAnything worth doing takes effortThe most essential things can be the easiest 
DoOvercomplicate, overengineer & overthink Find the easier path
Get Burnout – no results The right results and no burnout 

Quote by George Eliot “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other” 

Imagine your brain is a supercomputer – it might not perform optimally, computers slow down if their hard drive is too full they need to be decluttered. This is the same in our heads we may well be walking around with outdated assumptions, negative emotions, toxic thought patterns, this will slow down our mental energy and we will think everything is too much effort.

When everything does feel so hard?  Have a warm meal, hot shower and a good night’s sleep and you feel less heavy. Ask the question, what if this could be easy…? As a society we think trivial things are easy – important things are hard. We use language to support this, it has to “Hard earned” or “It will take blood, sweat & tears“.

We then distrust if something is to easy, we may say “easy money”.

Think this week is there something you have been putting off, try asking the question “What if this could be easy?”

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Effortless” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

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

Doing the right things…

Designing a course with this title and the 90 minutes I have to deliver it does not really do it justice. Doing the right things now as Leader encompasses so much. There are the basics but what about your character and how you interact and engage with your team.

  • Conducting regular one to ones
  • Being a coach and using Ask not Tell language
  • Being their cheer leader and their critic
  • Being empathetic
  • Being visionary
  • Motivating them to move forward

Doing the right things at the right time is also crucial, no-one welcomes the constructive feedback a week after the situation. A continuous conversation and a relationship built on trust not just the performance will benefit both you and the team member.

A good starting point is to think about a great Manager/Leader you had, what was it they did. When people do this as an exercise one of the key things that comes out is communication. They had regular and consistent interaction with this person.

Transparency and consistency are the two key words when you map out how you want to speak to your team members. Sharing key information with every team member and ensuring it happens regularly avoids other rogue voices filling in the gaps.

Fair and reasonable also good validating tools. Think about your behaviour was I fair and reasonable and how would I feel if some-one asked that of me.

Doing the right things is tangible eg. regular one to ones however the memory of how you did them will last longer than just doing them. Doing the right things is about embodying and playing out being the Leader you want to be.

For more details please do not hesitate to get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

You are enough…

Listening to a podcast on the Kindness Economy they were talking about the importance of the right language to sell your product. There is a skincare company called “Unconditional Skincare” which has removed all the stereotypical language used in the beauty industry.

“Quick fix”

“Repairing”

“Anti-ageing”

They believe and say “Your skin is enough.

“We believe all skin has the potential to glow at its healthy, radiant best when given the live goodness it needs”

The power of the messaging and also the kindness will grow self esteem instead of crushing confidence.

Framing any message in a positive has got to be a better than starting with a negative. We are now in the business of followers rather than customers. Therefore we need listen to what they are saying. We can use our values as guides as to how we talk and share.

At nuggets we encourage and value the ability to think differently, so therefore our messaging is around what it gives you. We don’t want to fix your thinking we encourage you to see, hear and feel things differently which might ultimately make you think differently.

You are enough is such a great message to say to yourself today, you can go out there and embrace anything and everything as you are enough.

Have a great week and reach out for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

In the moment…

Listening to Clare Balding talking about Emma Raducanu’s performance, she said one of the keys to her success and demeanour was always being in the moment. When the two players appeared in the tunnel before the game, Raducanu was in that moment. When she had three championship points she was in at that moment. When she won had to be interviewed by the press she was in that moment.

As a professional athlete only focusing on everything moment by moment and not even thinking the unthinkable, kept Raducanu’s feet on the ground.

The right mindset of having that narrow focus is something you can learn and manage. In Steve Peter’s book “The Chimp Paradox” he talks about managing the Chimp which effectively is your emotional brain. We can manage it by rewards, or ignoring the negative self talk and when appropriate let it play and having the right emotions at the right time.

Living moment by moment can help especially in turbulent times. Last week I received some sad news, and the art of processing was to focus on the next hour. Life moves forward and to contain the emotions focusing on short bursts of time gives you the stability and courage to move forward.

The Chimp needs immediate happiness and delayed happiness. If you write a list of all the things that give you immediate happiness you can really enjoy the moment you are in with them. For example the mid morning coffee, the walk in the afternoon or the book you are enjoying before you sleep. As humans we like to look to the future and the moment you choose to write down your ideas for delayed happiness is as good as moment as any. The joy of writing all sorts of possibilities will be a lovely escapism for the mind.

My coach recently talked about your day being 21 packets of time. The packets are am/pm/evening and think about the packets as moments. Ensure 2 packets are just about you, with the things that give you joy.

Be in the moment today. Look at your schedule and be there for that meeting, ensure you are in the moment (don’t turn your screen off, be there for others and for you).

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

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

I am honoured…?

I am honoured that you have chosen to read my blog. The word honoured is such a great grandiose statement that as the recipient it makes you feel good. Words are so important as to how they make people feel.

When I work with clients I may say “I am delighted to be working with you or that was a great session…” however honour is so much richer.

Recently in a book “Monday Morning Leadership” by David Cottrell the mentor writes a note to the client which is as follows:-

“Congratulations for having the courage to seek advice. This step alone indicates that you have a tremendous amount of pride in your work and, more importantly that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

I am honoured that you are allowing me to share my experiences with you and I look forward to working with you”

The note is genuine and authentic and makes you want to to work with the Mentor.

Starting any relationship whether it be a coach/mentor or even a new Line Manager how do you set the scene.

Identifying with the person and recognising their commitment and what they bring, and most importantly conveying what it means to you to work with them.

If you have a new person joining your team, you want them to feel valued at the start of the journey. Try saying:-

“We are honoured you have chosen to join our team and we value the new initiatives you will bring”

Have you ever said to family members that it is an honour to be their child, sister or brother? The word contains so much respect and pride and says so much more.

So to finish today’s blog

“It is an honour that you have taken time out of your day to read my blog and I would be honoured if you shared the message and use the word today”

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching sessions or a workshop around working as a team. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, Learning

Decoding Greatness…

The book by Ron Friedman explains that we can find our own greatness not just from leveraging talent or practising more than anyone else, there is a third way.

We can reverse engineer and find our own code to greatness.

The first step is to Collect greatness, whether it be books as a writer, records if a musician or cookbooks as a chef. David Bowie had a massive record collection and Van Gogh despite his poverty state had more than a 1000 Japanese prints. Award winning chef Michelle Bernstein encourages aspiring chefs to spend what money they have on eating in fabulous restaurants.

Create your greatness library, whatever your niche. By consumings as many examples as possible it begins to give you an underlying structure, you detect patterns as to how things work. This form of learning is implicit, you are not consciously learning, but you are understanding greatness in your field.

The second step is to decode what is happening which you can do by copyworking. Write something word for word, or recreate a piece of work from memory. If you are an athlete copy and mimic the training patterns of your hero. You will begin to notice patterns and rhythms as to how they get to their greatness.

Reverse outlining is the third step. Work back from a finished piece of work and create the outline. Watch one of your favourite TED Talks if you are an aspiring speaker, identify the structure. Did they have a theme/anecdotes/main story/conclusion? Work out the % of time spent on each of the areas.

Contrasting is another way of analysing greatness. Take a piece of work from your greatness collection that is great and another of piece of work that is not so great. What is the difference? What makes one piece of work great and another not?

All this takes time and is still not your greatness, so the final step is to evolve your own style. Look outside for more inspiration, work with different people and ensure you have a broad range of experiences in your life, not necessarily connected to the thing you want to achieve greatness in.

Decoding greatness by using reverse engineering gives you a formula and steps to work with, here they are in summary:-

  • Collect – create a greatness collection
  • Decode – understand why greatness ocurred by –
    • copyworking
    • reverse outline
    • contrasting
  • Evolve – create your own greatness

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching or a 90 minute workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Leadership, Management, motivation

Key ingredients for a coach…

Right Mindset

Sport is an obvious setting for a coach and very easy to understand their role, they are helping the athlete reach their full potential. The results are tangible and the competitive environment of achievement makes it a very conducive to getting in the right mindset. In business the same willingness is required of a coach to identify with the client their talents so that they can achieve extraordinary results. The goals might be less obvious but it is the role of the coach to empower and inspire the client to achieve. The coach must have the right mindset of believing in the development of the individual.

Listening in the moment

During the pandemic it has been really important to have a coach with the speed of the transformation of work. Understanding the levels of adaptability and working with other life commitments. The coach listens and understands what is important to you at that moment in time.

Empowering

Coaching definitely empowers employees to do their own thinking, by providing space and time. The coach is always listening and never uses any “tell” language, they are inquisitive and encouraging. They never judge and clear their own minds ready to listen without prejudice. Empowerment drives engagement, and subsequently self direction which is a driver to innovation. Studies show that engaged employees make companies more profitable, so therefore engagement drives performance.

Empathy

Empathy is the cornerstone of good coaching, “It is not about you!!!”. Understanding the persons perspective at that moment in time is what it is all about.

Energy

The coach must be like a battery pack, of giving the client a boost, a belief in their talents and capabilities. Their energy levels can be conveyed through their language and the levels of encouragement they give the client.

Accountability

The most important ingredient is to be there as a coach, check-in on their actions and ideas, hold them accountable to what they discussed the last time. Understand why they have not made the change and how they feel if they have made a change. This can be tangible actions and tasks, however it may well be a behavioural change which is where the Coach can play their most pivotal role.

Coaching is transformative and if you put in the right ingredients in and believe in the ability to evoke a change in anyone you will be amazing.

Please do get in touch to book your first coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Leadership, Management

Reducing Noise…

Wherever there is human judgement, there is noise, this comes from the book “Noise” by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony & Cass R Sunstein.

There has been a lot of research and talk about bias but the book explains the impact of noise. If you go to a meeting and the first speaker offers an opinion the second speaker might disagree but upon hearing the first lacks the confidence to speak up. Quickly you have a rapid conversion due to the noise. Anyone in the room who feels slightly humbled or deferential can quickly be converted and squash their opinion due to the noise attached to a stronger speaker. Noise can determine direction of judgements and suppress counter arguments or different noise.

Noise is not just what you hear, we can have noise in our heads. We make decisions when often we are not in a good state of mind. We have low energy and we hear a voice or a noise that will create a bias and noise that will sway our judgement.

The first practical step to prevent noise and having an influence is identifying situations where noise may occur.

  • Recruitment & Selection
  • Meetings
  • Team work allocation
  • Team roles
  • Promotions
  • Appraisals/Reviews

The list is by no means complete, noise is everywhere…Even ordering your food at restaurant the first person who selects may influence you as it is the first noise you hear.

After identifying that noise will happen, work through the 7 steps below to try and prevent it having an impact:-

  1. Look at the bigger picture – What patterns have occurred before what else do you need to consider contextually? Holistically look at what has happened in the past and now, think about what it would look like in the future and look at it objectively.
  2. Multiple judgements – seek out people with different judgements, ask people from other teams to help with the decision who will not have the baggage of your own team members. Fresh eyes, people that are new to your organisation think of many different angles.
  3. Judge independently – Come to your own opinion, before you go to a meeting. Think about what you understand and your own feelings before sharing with others.
  4. Seek at least two opinions – Listen to other voices, and be open minded
  5. Don’t depend on intuition – It is not sensible to just listen to your gut, as this has been influenced by noise, how you have been feeling that day mentally and physically. This is not a good judgment tool.
  6. Adopt the principles of decision making hygiene – If a Doctor examines you, they wash their hands first and after the examination. Adopt a process of how you make decisions so that there is a system and it can eliminate the noise influencers.
  7. Remind decision makers of their purpose of deciding – The purpose is often lacking at meetings why am I here to decide/to inform/to present/to educate. This is the same around decisions, what are you actually deciding and focus on the decision not the noise around it.

Noise is an obstacle to fair judgement, use the 7 steps above to try and prevent its hold on you and others.

Please do get in touch for 90 minute workshops over Zoom or Coaching one to one for an hour.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Creating rapport…

Recently on a workshop a delegate asked me to explain what I meant by rapport.

Dictionary definition:- a friendly, harmonious relationship especially : a relationship characterised by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.

Rapport starts with that lovely small talk that puts some-one at ease, and they step into your world and feel comfortable. For some it is the most natural thing in the world and yet for others it can feel contrived and clumsy.

A colleague once described it to me as creating “limbic soup” which has stuck with me as a perfect explanation of what is happening mentally and physically. If you are interacting with another person and you feel immediately comfortable, you feel safe because the emotional part of the brain the limbic mode relaxes. We also know that oxytocin’s are released, another chemical to help you relax into the conversation, creating a connection and lovely soup.

Insights from the book “How to Talk to Anyone” by Leil Lowndes gives some actual tools and techniques. She describes conversations as being similar to a game of ping pong. You serve and you expect a return and then you may have to return again.

The serve is the hardest how do you start a chat by not using the usual opening gambits which can often have the reverse affect of shutting some-one down. She suggests an acronym “WIT”- We, It & They:-

We – using we brings people closer together – we are in this together

Example: “I hear she’s a great speaker, we are in for a treat”

It – Have an “it” up your sleeve – is there a current news story that everyone is talking about

Example: “What do you think about (insert your It)?

They – Know something before you meet up, what hobbies/interests do they have

Example: They – “Bob told me you support Liverpool”

Most of us are lazy with our interactions and go for standard questions:-

“How are you?”

“What do you do?”

The first is far too wide, and you never know what is going on in anyone’s world, and chances are you will get the standard response of “fine” which is extremely hard to interpret and does not give you anything to work on.

What do you do? – is another stock question which is more often answered by talking about work, which may not be their true passion. Much better opening is:-

“How do you like to spend most of your time?”

The brain has to think about the answer it does not have a standard response and you will get a lovely insight into the person you have just met. To keep the conversation going and making it more about them, just repeat their words back to them. The last word they say with a question, just nods and provide really good positive non verbal indicators that you are interested.

Rapport is a skill and when deployed effectively can make anyone feel fabulous, be more artful in thinking about how you want a person to feel. Try different openers and really listen and make it all about them.

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