Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, motivation, personal impact

Habits give you freedom…

In 1898 a psychologist named Edward Thorndike conducted an experiment with cats.  Each cat was put inside a puzzle box, which was designed so that the cat could escape either by stepping on a platform, pulling a loop, pressing a lever etc…  The other side of the door would be food.  Thorndike monitored the activity and after 20 or 30 trials the behaviour became so automatic.  The cats learned to associate the action of pressing a lever with the reward of escape and food.  Thorndike described the learning process “behaviours followed by satisfying consequences tend to be repeated and those that produce unpleasant consequences are less likely to be repeated”

A habit is a behaviour that has been repeated enough times that it becomes automatic.  Habits normally occur through trial and error.  Neurological ativity is high in the brain when you are working out what to do.  This is the feedback loop behind all human behaviour: try fail, learn and try differently.  Habits occur when you know what to do so you skip trial and error and create a mental rule.

Habits do not restrict freedom they create it. By making fundamentals within life easier you can create mental space needed for thinking and creativity.

Building a habit can be broken into fours steps:-

  1. Cue
  2. Craving
  3. Response
  4. Reward

The first step Cue, triggers the brain to identify whether there is a reward.  Cravings are the motivational force behind every habit.  It is not the motivation of cleaning your teeth it is being motivated by the feeling of a clean and fresh mouth.  The response is the action you take “the habit” you adopt. The reward is the final stage of the loop, they satisfy us and they teach us.  The satisfaction is obvious, the learning is the shortcut that the brain can hard wire to repeat the habit.

The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve problems with as little energy and effort as possible.

The four steps can be split into two phases:-

Problem Phase 

  1. Cue
  2. Craving

Solution Phase

  1. Response
  2. Reward

Whenever you want to change your behaviour, and create a good habit, you can simply ask yourself:-

  1. Cue – How can I make it obvious?
  2. Craving – How can I make it attractive?
  3. Response – How can I make it easy?
  4. Reward – How can I make it satisfying?

The reverse if you wish to break a bad habit, follow these steps:-

  1. Cue – Make it invisible
  2. Craving – Make it unattractive
  3. Response – Make it difficult
  4. Reward – Make it unsatisfying

To explore more around habits, read James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.

Please get in touch for a workshop on habits bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

No-one knows you better than yourself…

The quote “No-one knows you better than yourself…” comes from the personality framework Myers Briggs.

Based on psychological type, developed by Carl Jung, the questionnaire Myers Briggs Type Indicator was created by Katherine Briggs and Isobel Myers a mother and daughter in the 1940s.

The questionnaire has great credentials in terms of its validity however it goes in and out of fashion in the training industry.

The attraction of the framework is that it is so practical and being self assessment people relate to it very easily.

The usual challenge around the questionnaire is that you have the potential to be any one of the 16 profiles.  Therefore people make the assumption that it is complex and not very applicable to their working life.

As a facilitator of Myers Briggs I have seen changes within teams and really positive results.  My recommendation is always to go through the process as a group, the more discussion around the preferences the more they come to life.  The tool provides a safe vocabulary for the team to use without being personal or eliciting defensive behaviour from others.

Working with a team you can also see a dominance eg. is there a group profile that they are projecting which can effect the clients they work with and the environment they create to work in.

We recently worked with a Bid team and we could profile the company they were hoping to work with.  It was hugely beneficial as to how they approached meetings and even down to the venue they selected.

Myers Briggs can be so practical and is a great confidence boost individually to your team members and to the whole group.

We use an interactive and colourful approach that breaks down the complexity and gets a team to see clearly how they can enjoy their profiles and have fun with the tool.

Please do get in touch for a Myers Briggs Workshop – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Be kind to you…

When a Doctor diagnoses a condition, do you immediately change your habits.  We have to want to change and that is our own private relationship with kindness.

We have to be kind to ourselves and understand why we want to be.  When you are on a plane they always ask you to apply the oxygen mask to yourself first before helping others.  The priority is you.

It all begins with changing our habits and ensuring that they are natural and sustainable.    If you want to stop smoking, sudden abstinence is not kind however, going from 10 cigarettes to 3 is easier and kinder.

From a business perspective, you are overwhelmed by your emails, so you have a habit of processing them all at the same time.  Understand this methodology is not kind to yourself, prioritise them first.  Set a time limit on processing them.

In order to change your habits you have to understand your triggers.  When do you find the desire to break from the pattern.

Trigger for a smoker might be a night out.  Before you set out for the evening only take the cigarettes you intend to smoke, don’t let the trigger break the good work you have done already.

When you are busy the trigger  for your emails is the alert that you have new mail, simply turn it off and be kind to you.

The perception in the past has often been that being kind to yourself is indulgent however we cannot truly be kind to others unless we understand how to be kind to ourselves.    Kindness is unconditional and if you get in the habit of doing it, as with anything it will become natural.

Think about people you love and decide whether you would wish kindness on them and turn the tables and think how loved you are.

Be kind to you…

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Being creative – curse or gift?

I listened to the TED talk of Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”.  She talks about the moment you have reached a peak in your creativity and how the question is…

“How can you top that?”

There have been many tortured creative geniuses who have suffered from poor mental health.  Often the reason is the same as Gilbert describes, constant anxiety about how you can better your last achievement.

Creativity comes into everyday life and everyone has the same levels of anxiety.  The report you produced last week that everyone loved, will you be able to get that response again.

Fear and anxiety can prevent us from thinking logically.

The sensible way of managing a gift is not to attach too much responsibility to it.  You turn up and you work hard everything will fall into place.

In ancient Greece and Rome they believed creativity was a divine entity that lived in the walls not in a person.  This all changed with the Renaissance where they recognised individuals for their creativity.  Gilbert questions this shift in responsibility, she says that it puts too much responsibility on the individual.

To manage our own talents and our own mental health, it may well be advantageous to talk  out loud to it. Take the lead and tell it that you have showed up and you are working hard, and they need to do their bit.

We often have our best ideas in the shower or while driving, maybe the ancient Greeks and Romans were onto something, and it does live in the walls.

We can all be creative and always see it as a gift, never let it freeze your thinking.

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

 

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

The resilient Athlete…

One of my Clients sponsored Natalie Miller the Co Captain of the indoor netball team otherwise known as Nets.

The team went into the World Cup as reigning champions which is always a hard place to start as the expectation of a result is heavy on the teams shoulders.

We have closely followed the team’s progress and worked with them before they left on having a great mind set and adopting winning behaviour.

The team missed out on a medal, however the journey and the values they shared are winning in the minds of many.  I interviewed Natalie recently to get an insight as to how an athlete returns to life after a tournament with the memories of highs and lows.

Leading up to a tournament there is the training and the abstinence from partying and alcohol and the missing out on family events.  The discipline of being constantly in training is tough.

Natalie explained that when she returned it is hard to make that transition.  Mentally it is tough to understand what has just happened.  Knowing that it is over and you have worked for a year and half and been so focused.  The recovery is slow as the emotions run high.  The reality of a gear change takes a while to adjust to.

Freddie Flintoff’s podcast was something Natalie could relate to, he talks about how it feels to return home after tournament.  The harshest part is knowing that you will never play with that team again.  The combination of players is very hard to replicate.

Natalie explained that the team have not seen each other since the World Cup, however this feels natural as everyone needs space after such an experience.

The team experienced a tremendous high when they won against New Zealand and personally very special to Natalie as her parents witnessed the victory.  This match showcased the team, they all came together and there was total cohesion.

Another special moment was one team member was not going to play again and understandably was feeling sad, so as the Captain, Natalie asked “What would really make you happy?”.  At the time of asking the team were in an ice bath, and heroically Natalie offered to dive head first into the ice bath.  The reaction after the dive is something the team will never forget.

Everyone has a contribution and that is why being part of a team is so special.

The high of being part of a team to represent your country and being Captain cannot be minimised.  Natalie took advantage of going to South Africa by having a holiday afterwards with her parents who went out to support her.  This time was very precious being one of four to have exclusivity with her parents was a wonderful reward.

Natalie’s story continues…she has been promoted at the school she works at.  She is now the Head of Netball, Seaford College.  She brings her passion of the sport and shares that with the children.  She is playing for Sussex Thunder as the Captain and has her heart and eyes set on the Masters World Indoor Championships in 2020.

The sponsor invested in Natalie as they had shared values and the journey to the World Cup has only highlighted and exaggerated how relevant they are.

  • Resilience
  • Leadership
  • Passion
  • Teamplayer

Values are your anchor in life and you will always be a winner if you stay true to them.

Congratulations to all the Nets team and to Natalie for being a part of the World Cup and for sharing their story.

 

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

Being kind to yourself…

We are toughest on ourselves, your inner dialogue would shock others if you were to say it out loud.  Many books have now been written on managing those voices.  Famously we have the Chimp Paradox where Dr Steve Peters says that immature voice is our Chimp and we can manage it.  What tools or weapons do we have to combat that negativity.

The new tactic is kindness and the methodology comes from the book, The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi.

Start your day with 30 paperclips in your pocket and every time you say something negative in your head about yourself, transfer a paperclip to the other pocket.  The accumulation of paperclips might be a wake up call of how often you are unkind to yourself.  The transference of cruelty is given a number.  You can use marbles, buttons or pebbles in jars anything visual that just highlights how tough we are on ourselves.

This alone might not be enough for you to stop the habit of negative self talk.  Therefore another exercise from the book is to create a map called “Conversations about me”.  This is about committing to paper all the awful things you have said about yourself.  The second part of the exercise is to create a map called “Some-one I love”.  When you populate a map about some-one else you are positive about all their hopes and dreams and you only want to give them good advice and wish the best for them in everything.

When you look at the two maps you can see:-

  • Negativity Vs Positivity
  • Uplifting Vs Destructive

We would never give advice to a friend or some-one we love that would be cruel so therefore be kind to yourself.  In a nutshell ensure that you are:-

  • Compassionate
  • Generous
  • Understanding

Hit a pause button in your head and think about the three words above and imagine you are guiding some-one else rather than yourself.

Be kind to you.

 

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

The Photo is courtesy of krish@photographybykrishanthi.co.uk

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

Believe in yourself…

“Some people want it to happen – some wish it would happen – others make it happen” Michael Jordan

The quote above is in my office and I look at it daily to reinforce in myself that it is only me that can make it happen.

When you are having one of those days where you are not sure where the next piece of work is coming from, you have to believe you can always make it happen.

The way you think and feel about yourself has a much bigger impact on your life than you think.  If you believe in yourself and your abilities you will have the confidence to make it happen.

To reinforce the belief look at it as a cycle of affirmations:-

fullsizeoutput_1e97.jpeg

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching to increase your belief in yourself bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk