Posted in Decision Making, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation

Being a Washington Correspondent…

The St Catherines School auditorium was packed with political enthusiasts waiting for the interview with the BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue.

We were only two minutes in before President Trump was mentioned. The special relationship between the UK and the US in Trump’s eyes was helped with us leaving the EU. Although Gary did say it is very hard explaining to everyone in the US that we haven’t actually left yet…

The next term or election in the US will be key to the political landscape. Names to be aware of are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and of course Trump himself. The encumbancy carries force although there is a feeling that Trump may simply get bored.

How serious is the Muller investigation for Trump, and the answer was not necessarily the Russian collusion, but more importantly the obstruction of justice by firing the Head of the FBI.

The constant turnaround of Advisors and the ability to second guess Trump’s thinking makes for constant instability.

Understanding the gun culture in the US and the 2Nd amendment is hard for us in the UK.   The beliefs for the right to own a gun are engrained. A constitutional amendment will not happen. However awareness since the Las Vegas mass shooting rose to 40% and then more recently with Florida to 50%. There have been and will be more changes around gun control.

“Black lives matter” has been amplified by social media however statistically there is much disparity with length of life still in the US.

The US is polarised on so many fronts, whether it be north/south, black/white, Democrats/Republicans…the list goes on.

Gary was asked how he coped with his blindness in regard to his job. He admitted to falling off 3 train platforms but was still here to tell the tale. He wore down many girlfriends in the early days by getting them to read press cuttings out loud. He is now very liberated by the use of his iPhone.

He explained how he started as a freelancer for the BBC through a friend of his fathers. Commitment and new ideas are the ingredients to being a successful journalist.

How does living as a blind person in the US compare to the UK. In the US you can plug in headphones to cashpoints in the UK you rely on honesty and kindness. Gary showed his notepad which he described as his 2nd right arm.

Cane or Guide Dog is evidently like the marmite question to a blind person. Gary favours cane at this stage in his life, with his job and travel.

Before we led into the numerous questions – Gary introduced the charity for the retiring fund – Clear Vision. The books are for sighted and unsighted individuals so the joy of reading can be shared by both at the same moment in time.

Gary said that politicians in general aim to “simplify and exaggerate” and he certainly as a journalist demystified for the audience the US, The White House, Washington and being blind. It was a privilege to be a member of the audience.

 

 

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

Big Picture Thinking…

We all need to have a view internally and externally of an organisation to gauge new opportunities and threats from competitors.

On a nugget workshop we conduct an exercise called “Being Savvy” the idea being that you can understand where areas of growth might be and how to communicate to your team.

There are three areas of being “Savvy” and when they connect – you have your eyes wide open.

See the diagram below:-

Savvy

The delegates fill each of the circles – e.g.:-

  • Organisationally savvy
    • Understand all internal policies
    • Know the right people within the company who make this happen
    • As an individual match the culture of the organisation
    • Embody the values and therefore are a really good role model
  • Business savvy
    • Know the results and revenue details of the company
    • Aware of main competitors
    • Clear view of everyones objectives
    • Sponsors new product and services
  • Contextually savvy
    • Aware of the impact of new legislation
    • Understand the political landscape and the effect on the company
    • World events awareness to ensure that the organisation supports or champions the right causes
    • UK culture, society trends that may impact the business

This is a good start to get your employees adopting “Big Picture Thinking” – there is a world out there so we need to understand the impact on us inside and outside.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Big Picture Thinking – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

 

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

Life and a mobile phone…

This weekend my phone suddenly switched off, and my daughter said “It’s too cold”.  Suddenly the phone did not seem that dissimilar to us as humans.  The functioning capacity was directly affected by adverse weather.

Therefore taking the mobile phone as a metaphor how similar is it to the life you live.

  • It often recharges at night, as we do with a decent 8 hours if we are lucky.
  • When we are lost it is very good at getting us to where we need to get to.  Having goals and a clear direction in life often means you find the path you have chosen.
  • If we have too many Apps/windows open at one time it drains the battery.  This can be compared with too much going on in your mind and losing the ability to make good decisions.
  • Phones can be unpredictable, switching themselves off and always running out of battery when you least expect it.  We often have mood swings which can be triggered by something personal or as simple as a change in our working environment.
  • The immediacy of a phone for communication is good and bad, it is always there.  We are the same with our powers of conversation, we can speak at any moment in time, however the skill of choosing the right time and when to be silent.
  • When a phone is in Airplane mode we can use the functions, but we are not in contact with the outside world.  Should we be in Airplane mode when with our family, we are functioning but not being disturbed by the outside world.
  • Rarely do we go for the full shut down on the phone.  This could be the time when we are on holiday, there is no signal on the beach so why not put yourself into total shut down.

Just like mobile phones we do have the ability to control the choices we make in life, we are the operator of our lives.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for 1:1 coaching or a workshop on communication.

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Relationships, Stress management, Time management

Getting ready for the “C” word…

The “C” word being Christmas.

The countdown to Christmas begins this Friday and it is like any other project it needs to be managed and the focus of what it means to you, must not be lost.

Stephen Covey’s time management exercise “What matters most” is a great way of looking at Christmas.  Covey invites delegates to squeeze big rocks into gravel.  The big rocks represent “what matters most in life” and the gravel is just “stuff” e.g. work.

The only way the exercise works is to put the big rocks in place first and then pour the gravel on top.   Delegates have been known to sweat profusely trying to squeeze rocks into gravel.  This feels uncomfortable and to be honest is how life feels when you lose focus on the things that matter most.

Focus on Christmas and work back, ensure you are spending it with the people who matter most and get all the “stuff” into perspective.

We have all done the Christmas Eve shop and regretted it afterwards when the person you care about most is surprised and disappointed.

The biggest rock at the moment is Christmas, so therefore make it your priority.

Please do get in touch for workshop on Time Management bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

The brain machine…

The brain operates everything and in the evenings like any piece of machinery its tired.  We turn the telly up a little louder as we can’t hear so well and we lose the ability to make decisions about what to eat, we are slowing down.

To relax you might look at your Facebook account, however the same process required to read an email is the same process as to look at your social media.  The brain machine has the functionality to read whether it be work or not work.  The mechanics cannot differentiate the same psychological activity whatever you are reading.  If you are tired the topic won’t make a difference the machine is operating slower.

We need to maintain the brain as we would any other piece of machinery.  Your car is serviced and requires an MOT, how much love and care do you give your brain:-

  • Stare into space – give it a break
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat the right food
  • Keep up the agility – do a sudoko
  • Limit screen time
  • Physical activity
  • Rest it – lots of sleep

Look after your brain this week and for a nugget workshop please do look at our website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk or contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, mindfulness, Stress management, Time management

Busy what is it…?

Too many things to do, and too many tasks and a shortage of time.  We fall into the scarcity trap, which is where are cognitive bandwidth cannot process any more data.  Long term memories are stored, but the short term space is limited.  We make poor decisions if we have overload.

We need time to uncover and unwind, if we ruminate on the day it comes home with us. A psychologist, Zeigarnik explained how interrupted and uncompleted tasks stayed in the mind far longer than completed.  The studies showed waiters remembered orders whilst the service was in progress when asked afterwards which orders belonged to which customers they were unable to recall. Tasks not finished fill the mind.

Multi tasking is not the answer as it takes 40% longer to complete a task if you have switched at some point.  Doing two things at once is really bad for the concentration and quality will suffer.  Studies in America suggest that speaking on your mobile phone whilst driving is as bad as being under the influence of alcohol.

Some suggestions for protecting your bandwidth are:-

  • cluster tasks – just do email and only email
  • one task at a time
  • book two meetings with yourself everyday 15mins at the start and 15mins at the end of the day
  • complete your hardest task first thing when you have the most bandwidth
  • never read emails before a meeting it will affect your bandwidth

People who fill their bandwidth are creating the illusion of efficiency, if you have checked your emails before going into the meeting your mind is in the email not the meeting.  Management of your bandwidth will lead to greater accomplishments.

Replace the word busy and approach busy differently…

Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on managing bandwidth bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Being proactive…

Our behaviour is a function of our decisions and choices not our conditions.

We have the freedom to choose our responses despite the circumstances.  We will always have our own imagination, conscience as to what feels right or wrong and our very own independent will to choose.

Reactive people are:-

  • driven by circumstances, conditions whether they be social or physical
  • if the weather is good, they feel good, if the weather is bad they feel bad
  • when people treat them well, they feel well, when people mistreat them they become defensive
  • mistakes are blamed on others, rationalised as being inevitable
  • focus on concerns
  • use “have” language

Proactive people are:-

  • driven by values
  • carry their own weather, rain or shine
  • mistakes are acknowledged instantly and corrected, and learnt from
  • focus on things they can influence
  • use language with choice
  • Eleanor Roosevelt said “No-one can hurt you without your consent”

Our ability to live a life of choice is our ability to focus on what we can influence and not focus on the concerns we cannot change.

Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on Proactive Thinking bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk