Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness

Less but better…

Do you find you are stretched to thinly, attending meetings back to back and often not remembering the content.

Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism”gives advice on how to get disciplined in the pursuit of less. Simply put a value on what you are saying yes to and say no more. We often struggle to say no as we think we are saying no to a person but you are saying no to the request not the person.

Often when we say yes to the wrong things we have short term comfort that we have done the right thing, however this may well give us long term discomfort. Not all effort is equal, be careful what you are saying yes to.

The over used word of “busy” means a brain that is operating without clarity. You are never that helpless that you cannot make the right decisions. Think about the best yes, be discerning take time and have an awkward pause to think is this the best use of your time.

Time out refreshes us whether it be play or sleep. Escaping helps with concentration time away gives an expansion of our awareness. This then gives more elasticity in the brain, greater bandwidth and again more discernment about the right choices. Sleep is the best asset you have in resting and growing your mind. The antidote to stress and the best recharge ever.

Be a journalist of your own life. By adopting the discipline of journalling everyday, you begin to get perspective and notice patterns. You can understand what is important now.

In essence is it a “Hell Yeah or a No” this is the title of Derek Sivers book and arguably a good compass to follow.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence

Values that work for you…

Living or leaning into your values can be life changing. We all need a sense of purpose and direction and finding values that resonate can provide a compass for life.

Brene Brown’s book Dare to Lead shows the way to find jus two values which completely define you and provide that direction we all need. The first part of the exercise is to identify 15 values that sit well with you. When you start to explore the 15 further, you might identify that some are saying the same thing and some might be too aspirational and some just not true to you. It sounds crazy but you can get this list down to 2.

Why only 2?

If you want to really lean-in then these 2 values:-

  • Define you
  • They are who you are at your best
  • They are the filter through which you make hard decisions

The second part of the exercise asks you to identify behaviours that support your values.

For example:-

Making a difference

Behaviours that support my value of “Making a Difference” are listening and being there physically and mentally. Through this value I want to make decisions that are right and kind.

The third part which gives the value even greater clarity, what are the slippery behaviours that are outside your value.

With the Making a Difference value it would be not listening and making decisions that are repeat thinking and not individualised or personalised.

You are also asked to provide an example when you were fully living into your value.

Making a Difference – changing a client’s thinking around how they see a situation and through coaching getting them to adopt new behaviours.

The final part of consolidating your values is finding a “Values Buddy” who really sees you?! They know the early signs of you living outside of your value, they know when you are fully leaning into it. They are your supporter and cheer leader.

Brene Brown’s website provides a pdf document for you to walk through, well worth the time and please do contact me if you would like one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

https://brenebrown.com/resources/living-into-our-values/

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, mindfulness, motivation

Cast a vote for who you want to be…?

This a line from James Clear the author of Atomic Habits. He talks about establishing identity based habits, so if you want to run take on the identity of a runner. Every behaviour or action you then ask yourself does this support the identity you wish to adopt.

The runner identity is quite a clear role but what about the type of person you want to be, leaning into your values. If you want to be more caring what actions and behaviours support this person.

Clear talks about the two minute rule, so the identity you wish to adopt scale it down, and simply just start showing up.

He tells the story of Mitch who goes to the gym for 5 minutes, 4 days a week. Mitch knew that he had to master the art of showing up.

We often put off action as we think we need to learn more about the identity, however the best way to learn is to take action. Don’t buy all the equipment and just look at it. Keep the bar low and you will then step into the repetition as with Mitch’s visits to the gym. You gradually build momentum and you will progress which is directly correlated to motivation. (Teresa Amabile the progress principle)

The showing up is reinforcing your desired identity and a desire to repeat the behaviour.

To keep on track rewards are helpful when we were at school it was about getting a badge, now it might be tracking a good decision or casting votes and logging behaviours that compliment the identity. It is always good to make your progress visual. External rewards must be aligned with the internal identity you are driving to adopt. Simon Sinek calls this the “Celery Test”, if you want to be a healthy eater you are not going to have a reward of an unhealthy food, it must be aligned to your new identity.

True behaviour change is identity change eg. The goal is not to run a marathon the goal is to become a runner.

Reshape the way you think about yourself and be happy in yourself.

Every action or behaviour you are casting a vote – building a body of evidence that this is the person you want to be.

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, motivation

Add an egg…

In the 1950s General Mills launched a line of cake mixes under the name/brand “Betty Crocker”. The cake mixes included everything in a powered form milk/eggs etc… All you needed to do was just add water, mix and then pop in the oven. It saved everyone time and effort and was error free.

The product did not fly off the shelves. General Mills decided to bring in some psychologists. They needed to work out why consumers were not purchasing the product and the short answer was “guilt”. People felt bad using the product despite its convenience.

General Mills could have spent more money on advertising promoting the benefits of the time saved instead they made it less convenient. The product was revised with the addition of a “real”egg as well as the water. They relaunched the product with the slogan “Add an egg”. Sales of Betty Crocker soared.

By adding the egg, it took away some of the guilt, still saved time and most importantly the egg symbolised ownership and effort so the cake maker was invested.

The significance of the egg is relevant in so many ways at work:-

  • When delegating allow for team members to add their egg (their ideas and input)
  • Leading a team invite “eggs”
  • Motivating yourself, add an egg, make a task slightly harder
  • Measure yourself against the egg metaphor – how invested are you in the project
  • Team meetings ask for eggs don’t tell

The egg is such a powerful story and shows how we can motivate and empower our team members by asking for their input. Never present or delegate a project step by step, you will have presented a complete powder mix. The enlightenment and the novelty comes from the “real egg” which means team members connect as they can see their input.

Please do reach out and share your stories about adding an egg – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Letting go…

Getting a sense of who you are does not have to be quite as dramatic as the route of Jay Shetty the author of “Think like a Monk”. Shetty spent three years living as a Monk to understand why they are so happy and centred, he discovered at the core of their life was their ability to master the art of letting go.

First step we can take is to let go of external expectations, which have evolved via our parents/friends and society at large. Shetty says we can take stock of what we value in life and then practice choice awareness against our values. Think daily do you want to spend that time or money doing what you are doing. You have the power of choice and if there is no value attached to the outcome is it the right choice. Attending a conference to learn, or alternatively attending as you have been told to, both give you different choices.

Letting go of negativity towards others, especially if you are holding onto them for a long time. You have a row with your partner which may take you 1% of your time to reach resolution and yet 99% of the time is left with negative thoughts swirling in your head. Shetty says that we should forgive without waiting for the person to apologise, and we should also get into the habit of well wishing, passing and sharing our own happiness. We should delight in other’s success be genuinely happy for them.

Letting go of attachment is possibly the one I found most poignant. If you think in life that everything is borrowed you will enjoy the moments you are in so much more. As an example, in the book he explains you rent a luxury car and you enjoy every moment of the experience as you know it will not last and you don’t own the car. Imagine taking on this mindset for everything. You are only borrowing your family for periods of time. Detaching from people and things makes you love them even more and then when you are attached to them in moments of time, they are all the sweeter.

In summary:-

  • Let go external expectations
  • Let go of negativity towards others
  • Let go of attachment

Please do get in touch to book nuggets for coaching or bite size workshops 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, 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, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Problem solving

Critical Thinking…

The definition of critical thinking is to deliberately analyse information. By making it an intent we can make better decisions and have a better judgement of a situation.

We need to take time to step back and analyse a situation be the Judge and the Jury. By asking the right questions we need to evaluate arguments and evidence. Ironically we need to be open minded and not critical, to be open to being creative, reflective and adaptable.

Critical thinking in essence is about filtering and discovering. We must have a clear mind and not be influenced by a higher order of thinking.

Think about situations that require you to apply critical thinking:-

  • Interview preparation
  • Buying a house
  • Choosing a school/college or University
  • Time management

We have to be rigorous in our wish to apply critical thinking we have start with looking at scepticism (why are we doubting the truth) and we have to take a more neutral stance and be objective “fresh eyes”.

The starting point is “What do I know?” and “How do I know this?” this can dispel any deep routed opinions of others or even yourself.

In 1968 Dick Fosbury won the gold medal for the high jump in the Olympics, it is one of the best examples of critical thinking. Up until 1968 high jumpers believed that you had to land on your feet. Fosbury decided to ask the question “How else could I get over the bar?”. By throwing himself head first over the bar he lowered his centre of gravity and reduced his chances of hitting the bar. We are now all familiar with the Fosbury Flop but it all started by applying critical thinking.

Tom Chatfield wrote a book on Critical Thinking and created the 10 commandments of how to do it:-

  1. Slow down – take time to understand what you know already
  2. Conserve mental energy – stay focused (don’t have anything else on the go at the time)
  3. If in doubt wait – only get back to some-one until you are sure
  4. Know your limits – don’t pretend to know what you don’t know (read more and find out more)
  5. Beware of costs – don’t hold on to an idea, just because you have invested time and money
  6. Be strategic – judge the strategy not just short term results
  7. Look to long term – you might have a success then fail however the right way is the mean
  8. Seek out diverse opinion – re-examine
  9. Look beyond a frame of reference
  10. Is their a choice outside the frame

Critical thinking is about a better way of looking at the world. Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to deliver a workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, motivation, personal impact, Time management

Effortless & Enjoyable

Diving into a task and visualising it as being effortless and enjoyable is hard. I often practice the approach from Brian Tracey’s bestseller “Eat that Frog” that if you had to eat a live frog you would want to eat it as quickly as possible. However my procrastination kicks in, and I am often overwhelmed by the frog. I look at it for a long time and have no idea where to start.

There is another approach that comes from the book “Effortless” by Greg McKeown. He uses a acronym to put us in the right frame of mind for a project.

D.D.O.G.G.

Done – What does done look like?

McKeown says take 60 seconds to visual the moment of completion. What is the final action? Pressing the send button on an email, pressing upload on YouTube or closing your window on the Zoom meeting, or is it plate of food you have created.

Delete – What steps can I delete it?

Start looking at the piece of work from 0 and thinking what steps do you need to carry out. Minimise the steps by deleting and combining, fancy recipes often have ingredients you don’t have and the taste might not be affected. A project or task on paper looks a lot less scary than in your head.

Obvious – What is the obvious first action?

Once you have the momentum of starting you relax into the project or task. The need to identify the first step is crucial, you may have done this by mapping out your tasks. In the book McKeown gives an example of some-one needing bookshelves and the first task would be to measure the walls. It materialises the reason the task has never moved forward is the individual did not own a tape measure – the obvious first task would be to buy or borrow a tape measure.

Gradual – What gradual pace can I sustain?

Establish a rate of progress that you can sustain and will enjoy. If you have to walk 30 miles, visualising a mile a day for 30 days is sustainable, 2 walks at 15 miles might overwhelm you. To quote McKeown “Do not do more today than you can completely recover from by tomorrow”.

Grateful – What can I be grateful for?

If you were to run a marathon and only focus on the aches and pains, you would feel every step. You need to focus on what you are grateful for. You will be grateful to the support you are receiving the progress you are making. Think of every time you complain replace it with something you are grateful for, and your step will be lighter.

In summary if you enter an:-

Effortless State – believing you can achieve the task and you will enjoy it.

Effortless Action – your gradual progress at the right pace for you

Effortless Results – focusing on the gratitude

Please do get in touch for a bitesize workshop with nuggets or a colourful coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Why do you need a “great” process…?

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain

When cash machines were launched the process was not full proof, you got your cash before you retrieved your card. Everyone was so keen to get their money that they forgot their cards. Banks found that the process was flawed, they just needed to change one part of the process. Retrieve your card and then get your cash.

Have you recently come across a process that was straightforward and that you felt was clear and carried you through with good signalling.

I recently donated some clothes to charity using an on-line system. I ordered bags online, received them/filled them, and then I followed a process of how to return the bags. The top of the website page told you where you were in the process. The visual indicators were excellent even an icon of the bag gave me confidence that I was progressing and I knew where I was at any part of the process.

Thinking about your own business, do your Clients know the process they are entering into and do your team follow the same process.

Focusing on a good system can save time and can be more effective. James Clear the author of Atomic Habits says that our systems are more important than our goals. If we get a system, process or ritual ingrained it becomes unconscious competence.

The first stage is to map out your process, with as much detail as possible. Think about the intangibles as much as the tangibles. When facilitating a session we use a pizza as an example, you need the dough first then the tomato base, cheese and various toppings. However when we think in business it is more complex than just toppings, what questions do you need to ask, how do you present the service you are offering, and how do you convert a conversation to a sale. Using a length of brown paper (easier and more modern to now use strips of magic whiteboards) and post-its map out each stage of the customer journey.

The next part of the process is to analyse the process, where is there overlap, who is responsible at certain points, put initials on your map.

Do you need to redesign the process, change a couple of steps. Think about timings that go with the process, is it 2 weeks to reconnect with a client or 4, make a system.

Start using the new process straight away, and communicate all the time as team as to how the process feels, as you still may need to tweak even at this stage.

Finally set up a review meeting when the process has been operating for 3 months, decide what has gone well, what could be done differently and what could you stop doing.

  • Map the process
  • Analyse the process
  • Redesign the process
  • Implement and communicate
  • Review

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to work with you on your processes.

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk