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

 

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

Not yet…

You didn’t fail you just have “not yet” achieved what you wanted to achieve.  “Not yet” is so much better than the message you have failed.

We are currently facing many new challenges and we have to keep saying its “not yet” how I want it to be, but I am going to keep working hard until it is how I want it.

This power of thinking comes from Professor Carol S Dweck who wrote the book Mindset.

She explains how children approached some difficult puzzles she set up for them.  A group of them came out with statements:-

  • “I love a challenge”
  • “I was hoping this was going to be informative” 

She was impressed by the understanding that the harder they worked the more their mind would grow.

However other children gave up and did not want to fail so it was easier not to attempt harder puzzles.

This is the basis of the book, adopting a Growth Mindset or having a Fixed Mindset.

Students either find the power of yet or are locked by the tyranny of now.  If you have a fixed mindset and you don’t do very well you may well:-

  • Decide to cheat rather than study
  • Find some-one with a worse grade than yourself
  • Run from the difficulty

Therefore if we are to grow the next generation we need to talk to them about yet instead of now.  We must not just focus on the grades they have now, we must talk to them about the bigger picture, the possibilities that they have yet to get to.

Evidence shows already that young workers often look for constant reward.  To prevent this in organisations we need to be praising the process, focus and perseverance they have demonstrated not just the result.   Research shows that if we do praise talent and intelligence in isolation we can actually make the individual vulnerable.  We limit their stretch, they do not want to risk their reputation by putting themselves in areas where they do not know stuff.

If we learn something new and study really hard, pictures of the brain show that we actually create stronger neurones.

We need to transform the view of effort and difficulty, we should be praising individuals for exposing their lack of skill.

From a very personal experience I found reading very hard and it was easier to not look stupid than to work at it.  Eventually at the age of 10 years old I had a teacher who made me read out loud just to her and gave me the confidence I needed.  She rewarded my effort by giving me key roles in the classroom.  Suddenly the pain and difficulty of reading seemed possible and the doors that it opened were endless.

Please do join me on Friday for the nuggets business book review and summary club where we will be discussing Mindset by Carol S Dweck.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 17, 2020 10:00 AM London

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/upQtcumtpj0vZkeFvOhZeBQsHYDOjE1XUw

 

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

Focus on what you can control…

We can easily overwhelm ourselves by thinking what we can solve.  There is currently so much to think about, we must break it down and work out what is within our control.

Stephen Covey in his book the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” uses the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence.  There are things we are concerned about and we need to work out whether we can influence them.  If we can do something eg. some form of influence it leaves your Circle of Concern.  It is like a mental in and out box.  What we have to be really careful of, is not letting things fester in a Circle of Concern that we cannot influence and thus making us feel mentally unstable.

My current examples:-

  • Currently I cannot see my Mum therefore I cannot spend everyday worrying about it, however I can see her every evening on House Party with my sisters. An example of a concern moved to influence.
  • I cannot come up with a vaccine for Covid 19 therefore I cannot let it sit in my Circle of Concern that needs to go outside my head into an area of No Concern.  I still care but if I can’t influence it will affect my mental well being.
  • My sons GCSE results are now outside mine or his influence so we have put them to one side in the areas of No Concern.

Amy Morin the author of “Insights from 13 things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” says if we focus on what we can offer others we will stop:-

  • feeling sorry for ourselves
  • resenting other peoples success
  • feeling like we are owed something

Mentally strong people shift their focus to people in need, they look for ways to help others.  If we are busy doing good things we will stop focusing on a victim like mentality.

Within our own households we can focus on how we can make the time as pleasant as possible for them.  We can also reach out to our friends and family remotely still giving support.  In work we can adapt our services, reduce fees and be readily available.

She suggests getting a piece of paper and drawing a line down the middle.  Writing all the things above the line that you can’t control and below the line all the things you can control.  After you have finished the list, rip off the top of the paper and throw it away.

Even when you have your list of the things you can control, she says you must remember that people are a factor that you cannot completely control, so remember the following points:-

  • Stop dwelling on the past, a situation with a particular person
  • Stop wasting energy on the things you cannot control within that relationship
  • Stop giving people your power  (don’t let their opinions steer your direction)
  • Stop trying to please everyone

Uncertainty can be managed by focusing on what you can control.  Grab that piece of paper today whether you do the line down the middle or Covey’s circles, focus on what you have influence and control over.

Take care and stay safe and well, please do contact me at bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

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

Who moved my…

We are all experiencing change which always involves loss.  We have lost our routine, office and the immediacy of our colleagues.  The stages of change are as follows:-

  • Shock/surprise – we all experienced this last week
  • Denial – the questions in our head was this really happening
  • Frustration – the realisation of what the restrictions would mean
  • Despair/Depression – the reality and enormity of the situation
  • Experimentation – this will be this week, trying to work differently
  • Decisions – further ahead we may well decide to work this way forever
  • Integration – the experimentation and decisions have all come together

These stages come from the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross change curve and whilst I have listed them very straightforwardly they possibly will not flow in this way.  We will go through every stage however we might move backwards and forwards and there will be no guide as to how long we stay on the change curve.

The book “Who moved my cheese…” by Dr Spencer Johnson explains change in a more human and emotional context.  There are four characters in the book which you can all identify with.  There are two mice with small rodent brains who do not over analyse change and ride with the times and move with the change.  The two little people in the story Hem And Haw over think the change and experience fear of it and the world of uncertainty.

Hem is frozen by change and will not change his behaviour or try new thinking.  At the start of last week I felt very like Hem myself, I could not see how my business could move forward and like a lot of people felt emotional and panicked by the circumstances.

The character Haw faces his fear and moves forward, which is what I did by the mid point of the week.  My business can adapt to the circumstances and my behaviour, thinking can experience new challenges.  This is the beginning of the changes I am making:-

  • I have advised all my coaching clients that we will continue our sessions using zoom and whilst we won’t have 2 hours face to face, we can still see each other for an hour, and more often which will be more beneficial.
  • My 90 minute workshops are a great way to boost team morale and can also be delivered over zoom.
  • nuggets is also opening a business book review club that starts this Friday at 10.00am with the first book being reviewed “Who moved my cheese…”

Please do stay in touch with nuggets and let us know how we can help you adapt with the change.  bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Read “Who moved my cheese…” this week and join us on Friday to chat through which character you were and how your initiatives and thinking are going.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Mar 27, 2020 10:00 AM London 
 
Register in advance for this meeting:
 
Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, personal impact, Relationships

Learn to listen…

Julian Treasure’s TED talk is all about the quality of listening or the lack of it.

On average retention of listening is only 25%, as we make our own interpretation.  We make up patterns from the sound.  We also subconsciously apply filters as to what we want to listen to.

Treasure suggests we partake in a listening workout, train ourselves to pay attention:-

  1. Sit in silence for 3 minutes a day.
  2. Apply a mixer, how many channels can you hear, what are the different sounds around you.
  3. Savouring and enjoying some of the mundane sounds, the tumble dryer is a hidden choir that we don’t appreciate or truly listen to.
  4. Think about your positioning when you listen, are you being respectful to the person you are listening to.  Do you appear attentive and active in your physicality or are you too relaxed and therefore appear to only be passively listening.
  5. He says we should apply the following formula:-
      • Receive
      • Appreciate
      • Summarise
      • Ask

Treasure says “we live to listen, listening is the gateway to understanding”

Listening is a skill like any other and we need to practise and develop continuously.

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

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

Extra day…

Often on a Time Management workshop I will ask delegates what they would do with an extra hour.  The answer they most want to give is sleep, however once we have refused that as an option they become far more creative.

This year 2020 is a Leap Year so this Saturday 29th February we will get an extra day, therefore we have 366 days instead of 365 days, however will we make the most of this opportunity.

Very old fashioned concept was that this was the only day women could propose marriage, however as this can happen at anytime during the year, what can be unique about your extra day.

Values drive our behaviour so if we want it to really count think about what matters most in your world.  This may well start with the people that matter most in your life.  Don’t stop there, we could do what we always do with them or we could think what else do we value and what do we want to do with their time.

Identify core values and then think about what activity you can do on Saturday that connects with those.  Only select 3 from the list below, be realistic and think about who you want to be with (the list is limited so add your own ideas for core values):-

Achievement

Authenticity

Balance

Community

Change

Enthusiasm

Family

Happiness

Innovation

Kindness

Recognition

Wisdom

Examples of how values can lead to activities:-

  • Happiness – going back to somewhere that made you feel really happy
  • Wisdom – visiting something cultural and learning new facts
  • Change – meeting new people, going somewhere different

Have a great Saturday and let me know what you did with your extra day?

Please do get in touch for a workshop on any management or leadership topic bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

Focus on habits…

This year focus on your habits and rituals don’t get fixated on goals and outcomes.

James Clear author of Atomic Habits says

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems” 

Whilst we set a desired outcome it is our daily habits that lead us to it.

Make sure you do not let an identity from last year or even further back restrict your progress.

  • I’m terrible at strategy
  • I don’t speak up at meetings
  • I am disorganised

Take on a Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck)

  • I will think strategically
  • My voice will be heard in meetings
  • I will have a clear desk every night

Megan Hellerer career coach to high flying women in the US, talks about the approach of being Destinational or Directional.

She describes Destinational – I want to be CEO (very clear goal and outcome).  The route to this  might be copied by others who have done it before eg. a very well known path, however somewhere along that route you loose control.  You take on the habits of others and you don’t allow for deviation.  You reach the desired destination but is it what you wanted or desired.

The Directional approach allows for changes and deviations you have total control, you make your own decisions and create your systems to compliment your route to your goal.  You know that the world is not static and you move with the times.

Hellerer uses a road trip as a metaphor, Destinational follow a set road trip, they follow the guide exactly and might have a great trip, however they have not made the trip their own.

Directional co-create the trip depending on the weather and circumstances, they make their own decisions.

To summarise a quote from F.M. Alexander:-

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures..”

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Habits and Rituals bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk