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

Key takeaways from Dare to Lead

Brené Brown’s book “Dare to Lead” leads on perfectly from Daring Greatly to explain how vulnerability can be a strength in leadership and develop much healthier cultures.

She identified within organisations unhealthy behaviours and cultures.

  • Avoidance of tough conversations
  • Polite culture (not really addressing issues)
  • Passive aggressive
  • Too much time managing difficult behaviours
  • Diminishing trust
  • Too much shame and blame
  • Values not being lived
  • Perfectionism

When she asked participants to identify brave leadership they struggled and were not sure whether courage was a skill or a trait. She also needed to address the myths attached to vulnerability eg. its not a weakness it is a strength. Her studies showed that you cannot get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability.

When speaking to the Special Forces she asked did you feel vulnerable at a time of high risk and uncertainty and emotional exposure, one guy put up his hand and said he had been on three tours and felt that every time. This gave Brown her best example of courage sitting alongside vulnerability.

Vulnerability is not winning or losing it is all about the courage to show up when you can’t control the outcome. To love someone is the ultimate example of vulnerability.

Everyone needs a square squad the group of people who love you for all your imperfections and your vulnerability. They are called the square squad as you write their names on a square piece of paper one inch by one inch, and carry them with you.

Clear is kind and Unclear is unkind. You want to give some-one feedback however you are reticent so you “fudge it” and end up talking to others rather than being clear and direct. Tough conversations are never easy but they are much kinder when they are clear.

Tips for your meetings to demonstrate bravery, use Brown’s technique of permission slips, what behaviour or intent do you want to bring to a meeting. For example I would like permission to listen with passion and I want to stay open minded. As a group writing down your intentions is powerful and a shared experience.

“Turn and learn” another technique for your team, when you experience unrealistic time lines or very different views on budgets. Brown’s team use the methodology of “Turn and Learn” when a timeline has to be agreed, they all write their prediction on a post-it note and on the count of 3, they all reveal at the same time. This prevents everyone following the crowd and original thought.

Guiding us through leadership and life should be our values which we need to live into. Brown says that we should only have 2 core values, and whilst this seems harsh you find that once they are recognised they do fit with decisions, behaviours and every aspect of your life. The 2 that she lives her life by are faith and courage.

It is tricky to know what comes first being vulnerable or trusting another person:-

How do I know if I can trust some-one enough to be vulnerable…?

How to build trust without ever risking being vulnerable.

The book uses the mnemonic of BRAVING as a tool to use with your team on developing trust.

B = Boundaries

R = Reliability

A = Accountability

V = Vault

I = Integrity

N = Non-judgemental

G = Gratitude

If you were to use the inventory on yourself, it might well read something like this.

Did I respect my boundaries, did I rely on my self or my self talk, did I not share anything inappropriate, did I choose courage over discomfort, did I ask for help when I needed and was I generous to myself”

The final part of the book is the ability to learn to rise, therefore learning how to fall before you jump. The first lessons that sky divers learn is how to fall without a harding landing. We must rise from failure and be experienced with falling and rising.

The last word has to go to Brown “Choose courage over comfort, choose whole hearts over armour and choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid at the same time.”

Please do get in touch for any nugget workshops or colourful coaching 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, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Colourful coaching…

At nuggets we deliver colourful coaching, a visual map of the clients words and their thinking by using different coloured post-it notes.

I qualified as a CTI Co-active coach and was very happy with the techniques, however I wanted to put my nuggets stamp on it. I have worked with Coaches myself and the ones that resonated with me were the ones who used visuals.

Not everyone is visual although everyone needs a reminder a memory snapshot for the coaching to be effective. Coaches make notes during or after the session and sometimes they capture the essence, my belief in the colourful coaching methodology is that it works brilliantly as it is in the here and now.

Coaching is all about the quality of listening and being sure to hear the words the client uses, just a change of one word can alter a meaning. Using the word “rubbish” and “terrible” definitely have different levels of impact. We listen with our eyes and our heart and can ask about the emotion behind the words but only at the right moment.

The relationship between the coach and the client is like a dancing partner. The client always chooses the dance and always leads the dance, however the coach is there as a partner on the dance floor. As a partner you can help navigate around other people on the dance floor and ask how they are feeling and if they are enjoying the dance or do they want to do another. The rhythm and movement of the coach and client must be comfortable and enjoyable.

The best coaches are the ones that are outside of the company and industry, the lack of knowledge is beneficial in giving guidance and opinion when appropriate that does not come with any hidden agenda. “You can reach for the stars” in a coaches eyes as they do not have a vested interest in your performance they are being paid to coach you, so that you can reach the potential you desire.

Colourful coaching is one hour and currently via Zoom. The first two sessions need to be within a fortnight of each other so that rapport is established, and going forward the Client can determine how often they need to meet up. In the virtual world of Zoom it is advisable to meet more often.

Using a board the post-it notes are displayed behind the coach creating a journey of the session. The board acts as a great summary and most importantly a record of the session. Photos of the post-its are sent to the client.

We ask before the next session the client sends their nuggets and actions. nuggets are the key learnings which will make the most difference.

The cost of colourful coaching is £100 and we would love to start working with you on any of the following or something that is relevant to you now:-

  • How to be effective working from home…? self motivation/discipline
  • Beating procrastination and being effective
  • Self confidence
  • New to Leadership
  • Presentation coming up – want some guidance on how to have impact
  • Career change

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

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

The essence of the 7 Habits

Many know the best selling business title “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey. People live by the habits and can name them easily, although how many remember the first part of the book the very essence.

Covey could see that much had been written about Personality Ethic in self help books, how to improve time management, communication and other outside skills. He believed that you needed to start from the inside, you needed to change your character first.

The book starts with him describing him and his wife worrying about their son. They can see that he is not doing well academically or on the sporting field. They realise after a long period that there is nothing wrong with their son, it is their perception and other people’s perceptions. They need to work on their own characters to see their son differently. It took a long time of understanding that they were looking at the measure of success for parenting shared by others and themselves and not loving their son’s uniqueness.

Real change comes from the inside out. Trying to master external techniques without altering your thinking and yourself as a person, will not bring many fruits.

Other examples of working on the inside out approach are:-

  • To create a happier marriage, be the person who creates the positive energy needed to create a happier marriage instead of empowering negative energy
  • If you want to have a more cooperative and pleasing teenager, be a more understanding, empathic and loving parent.
  • If you want people to trust you more, be more trustworthy to people.

The inside-out approach says that it is futile to try to accomplish better relationships (something external) without having changed the internal (your character).

The character ethic is based on the idea that there are fundamental principles to live your life by eg. 10 commandments. Values are more personal and also define your character.

An example:-

  • Thou shall not steal – (principle)
  • Honesty (value)

We can work on our attitudes and behaviours, however Covey says far better to look at paradigms “perceptions, assumptions our frame of reference”. Another way to look at paradigms is to see them as maps. They can be split into two categories “The way things really are “Reality”…and “The way things should be …”Values”.

We see our own paradigms not as it is but as we are. What we see is highly interwoven as to who we are. Being is seeing. We can’t go very far to change our seeing without simultaneously changing our being.

In order to improve ourselves we look within and work on our character and our paradigms. To make a major change we may need a paradigm shift. If the paradigm is the lens through which we see the world the shift might be instant or it maybe slow and deliberate process.

Examples of paradigms shifts:-

  • email replacing the way we communicated before
  • Photographic film to digital

The book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is about a principle centred, character based “inside out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness. “Inside out” means to start with self, your paradigms, your character and your values. It is futile to put personality ahead of character, you will never improve a relationship unless you improve yourself first.

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

Measuring happiness…

Happiness can be interpreted in different ways by all of us, and is it possible to measure it? We have a good idea when we are happy as the chemicals in our brain release the endorphins, however do we ensure that it is happening regularly.

The first step is to recognise what does make you happy.

Dr Steve Peters the author of the Chimp Paradox gives a really easy way to look at:-

  • Immediate happiness
  • Delayed happiness

Make a list of everything that immediately makes you happy:-

  • Cup of coffee
  • Glass of red wine
  • Long walk (with or without the dog)
  • Watching your favourite TV show
  • Reading a good book

Everyone will have a list unique to them, and worth taking time to reflect on what does give you immediate happiness. The joy is that you can adjust your quickly, and the fact you have it on the list is that psychologically you recognise it is an activity that you enjoy. At the end of the day how many times have you rewarded yourself with immediate happiness.

Delayed happiness is events that you plan, so might look something like this

  • Meeting up with some mates for coffee
  • Walking with a friend
  • Game of tennis/golf/squash
  • Cinema (outdoor currently)

The delay creates anticipation and often the wait makes it all the more enjoyable. It is good to create your own delayed happiness not just the planning of others that you buy into.

Start to be action orientated around making yourself happy, as no-one will do it for you.

Tracking each day as to what has made you happy will reinforce the behaviour. Start by journalling the days events this may well give you new items to add to your list.

Make yourself happy and measure it constantly…

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

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

Getting to know your Chimp…

The excellent book by Dr. Steve Peters “The Chimp Paradox” explains the principal of mind management.

In essence Peters explains how we have three areas of the mind:-

  • The Human
  • The Chimp
  • The Computer

The Human brain is the area of the Prefrontal where logic can be applied and rational thinking . The limbic part of the brain is where your Chimp lives. The Human and Chimp have very different minds.

The Chimp is a Chimp, it can be good and it can be bad it thinks independently, it is an emotional machine and you have to learn how to manage it.

Brain scans can show us where blood supply goes in certain situations and you can see from these scans who is in control. If you are highly anxious the blood supply goes to the limbic brain where your Chimp is. Feeling calm and rational you will see the blood supply in the prefrontal part of the brain.

The Chimp is a bit like owning a dog you are responsible for its behaviour but not for its nature. The secret is to learn how to live with it and manage it.

The Computer is the balance of the two minds, it is where experiences are stored and the memories are saved. This is extremely helpful for both the Chimp and Human to remember what worked and what didn’t work.

The Human has a personality centre where you work with facts and truths. The Chimp has a jungle centre where it works with emotions and feelings. The Chimp Paradox is the fact that your Chimp can be your best friend or your worst enemy, you have to live with it and manage it.

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, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, motivation, Problem solving, Relationships

Having a Zoom one to one …

Working with Clients at the moment I get asked how to make one to ones as effective as possible now they are over Zoom.

  • Do I need to have them more often?
  • Can I do them over the phone instead of Zoom?
  • Do I prepare the agenda?
  • Do I need to give a summary?

With most people working from home, one to ones need to be more often. You possibly followed a best practice guideline of one hour once a month, however in this climate, fortnightly will be better with a timing of 30 minutes.

Zoom is a great tool for one to ones as the intensity of just two faces does give you a clear insight as to how the person is feeling. They might well convey some leakage in their body language which you would not spot on the phone. However with Zoom fatigue being the current buzz phrase it is perfectly understandable that many may have had enough of the video conferencing. As a leader suggest a combination of one by phone and one by Zoom.

The one to one session should always belong to your team member so therefore it is their agenda. However it is good to provide a template that gives them an idea of what to prepare. Currently we will have items in there that would not normally have been in there before, such as well being of working from home. The template can be really simple with some headings as below:-

  • Current workload
  • Up and coming projects
  • Well being of working from home
  • Achievements and wins

It can even be as simple as Past/Present/Future, the most important thing is that they steer the meeting and that they come prepared.

Your job is to summarise what was covered, in simple bullet points, so that you can track their performance. You also have shown that you have listened and demonstrated support.

As a leader don’t committ any of the following common mistakes:-

  • Cancelling the one to one
  • Allowing interruptions
  • Setting the agenda and owning the one to one
  • Doing most of the talking
  • Taking the problem away from some-one
  • Not inquiring about feelings
  • Delivering unclear messages, unclear coaching and unclear instructions
  • Running out of time
  • Assuming your one to ones are effective

Embrace getting to know your team better and Zoom is a great for intensity, intimacy and confidentiality. During this time you can get to know your team really well.

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

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

Vulnerability is not a weakness…

Vulnerability fuels our daily lives, it is the one thing that can measure how courageous we are. In order to talk about vulnerability we have to have the conversation about “Shame”.

Dr Brene Brown the author of Daring Greatly says that Shame was the one that brought you to the party and goes hand in hand with vulnerability. Shame is the focus on ourselves which is not the same as Guilt which is a focus on our behaviour. The Gremlin or the voice inside all of us “You are not enough” is the Shame voice – The Gremlin. Shame grows at a rapid rate if you are silent, secretive or judgmental. The survival package for Shame is empathy, the less you talk about Shame the more you have it.

Examples of Shame:-

  • Shame is shouting at my children
  • Shame is being made redundant
  • Shame is being called out by my Manager in front of a Client

To get back to each other and be connected we have to embrace each others vulnerabilities and share them. If we put ourselves in a position of vulnerability we put ourselves into the arena of life and we are seen by others. We have to believe we are enough as it starts with ourselves first and then we start listening to others.

From Dr Brown’s research there emerged a theme that people who have a deep sense of worthiness or in her words our whole hearted embrace their vulnerability. They are not necessarily comfortable with it, however they see it as necessary.

There are three main themes that a whole hearted person has:-

  1. Courage – to be imperfect
  2. Compassion – kind to self first and then to others
  3. Connection – As a result of authenticity

In summary you have to be seen and love with all your heart, practice gratitude and joy and believe that you are enough.

Put yourself out there and Dare Greatly…

Please do attend the nuggets book club on Friday where will be reviewing Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Please send me an email bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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