Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Problem solving, Stress management

Writing your way to calm…

On Saturday I went on a two-hour writing for well-being workshop.  I had no expectation and went with an open mind.

The facilitator a former English teacher set the scene by explaining the bulk of her work was with children who had been excluded from school.  She told a story which led to the work she does.

A mother and boy arrived for a session and were asked to tell their story.  The mother somewhat overpowering led the conversation.  When the child was left alone he was asked to tell his story and he proclaimed “Mum just told you”.  The facilitator said you tell it again and we will write it down.  As the process began the boy spotted many embellishments and facts that over time his mother had added to the story.  The process of writing made the story become his and his words.  After several alterations he had his story and his physicality and social interaction totally changed.

Writing is all about telling stories and we all have a story.

This concept of writing for well-being is well researched at the University of Texas and there are several books around the power of journalling.

The first exercise we did as a group was to write non-stop for 6 minutes.  Initially I went into work mode thinking about what subject and how to structure it.  However when you know that there are no boundaries your other senses become very apparent and I found that I was able to write about what I could see and hear.  It is very important to go back to basics and have a pen and paper and even that exercise in your hands felt strangely familiar and alien all at the same time.

As a group we reviewed what we had just done and similar experiences to my own occurred:-

  • Tuned into your surroundings
  • Aware of other senses
  • Mindfulness – in the present

The 6 minutes is crucial as it is the tipping point before your sub conscious kicks in, so the writing does not go to deep.

The second exercise we had a choice, there was the “12 Stepping Stones” or “Two characteristics”.

The stepping stones was to identify 12 times in your life that were pivotal and then just choose one to write about.

Lot of the group struggled to know what to put in and leave out with the 12 stones.  However the most impactful story was one lady chose a stone that was about a visit to Thailand to see her cousin and she said writing about it made her remember that person who she was at that moment.  She was confident and brave and she was excited to have found her again.

The two characteristics exercise was writing in the third person and creating actual characters but the two characteristics belong to you.  By giving the two characters names it meant the removal of you, even though it’s about you.  It was a subtle way of getting to know yourself and the relationship was just between you and the paper.

The facilitator never asked us to share our work as it was all about the process of writing not the content.  This helped enormously, that you had no fear of “show and tell”.

We rounded up the two hours with a final exercise only 10 minutes of writing and I was delighted how calm and happy I felt at the end of the two hours.

I always advocate “What gets written gets done” however now with my coaching sessions, I will encourage my clients to journal their thoughts.

Please do let me know if you are interested in the Writing for Well-Being and we will pass on your details. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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

The journey to success…?

It is long and hard and intoxicating, you really want it, and it is personal to you.  You are in it on your own and success means many different things to everyone, only you know when you have it, and only you know how you got there.

Defining the word success we would assume “result, outcome”.  Some definitions elaborate further by saying accomplishment of desired end and happy outcome.

We know it feels good, as we already know achievement underpins motivation.  However the journey to success is often more important than the end point.

If we measure how good success feels, look to the weekend with the England football team.  The euphoria of winning the penalties on Tuesday, England Vs Colombia was infectious.  It was a psychological journey to an outcome that was very much desired.  The route on Saturday was straight forward and the focus was not on the match just played but the result that England are now in the semi-finals.  We our now looking to the next journey, which gives the adrenalin rush of expectation, this can be exhilarating even without the result.

When you pitch for business and the Client is hard to convince it is often more satisfying than the straightforward meeting.  We like to be challenged and we learn more on the route to success than we do at the end.

Always look back at how you got their as you will relive the highs and lows and more importantly create the formula and the recipe for success.

The habits, rituals and behaviours that manifest in continuous journeys to success are what you need to replicate.  You can be successful in running your business, your relationship with your partner, your parenting skills, your writing and even your interactions with strangers.  All of these can be ritualised and practised and are the effectiveness tools that lead to success.

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

 

 

1530s, “result, outcome,” from Latin successus “an advance, succession, happy outcome,” from succedere “come after” (see succeed). Meaning “accomplishment of desired end” (good success) first recorded 1580s.

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership

Love, privilege and hard-work…

On Saturday we were very honoured and lucky to hear Duncan Piper, Director of the Dyson Institute speak.

The basis of his talk was the journey to the interview at the Dyson Institute.  He was a very good presenter in the right amount of drama and intrigue as to where the tale was going to end.

In summary he broke up his holiday to fly back for the interview with Sir James Dyson.  It meant putting his beach clothes to one side and flying from Barcelona to Heathrow to be met by his father and then driven to Wiltshire to the Dyson Institute.  The interview goes well and then as he is sitting in the car to drive back to Heathrow he gets the call to say he has the job.

Duncan describes in that moment the realisation that he got the job because the man sitting on right hand side driving the car had made it happen.  His father and mother had provided unconditional love and above all trusted that he would always find his way.  As parents it is so hard not to interfere and look at the world through our own filter which is a generation away from our children.

The other component on that day for Duncan was the realisation how privileged he was. He said he was a white young middle classed male who had received an excellent education.  We often assume everyone has the same opportunities, and we seldom stop to acknowledge our good fortune.

Privilege and love can drive you very far, however you do have to join the party with hard-work.  Duncan describes being bullied at school and reaching 6ft 3 and constantly falling over.  At the age of 14 he discovered he could run and he ran up Primrose Hill constantly to the point that school realised he could run.  From there other areas fell into place, if you could get good at running by hard-work, could you not do anything if you worked hard.

The recipe is truly brilliant – love, privilege and hard-work.  Forge ahead with confidence and appreciate the people and opportunities around you and work hard.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for colourful coaching to develop your confidence.

 

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

Change how you think about stress…

We have believed for a long time that stress makes you sick and that stress is definitely the enemy.

Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal blows this myth for us by her illuminating TED talk.  She explains that “If you believe stress is harmful to your health it will be”.  If we think and act differently when stress occurs different things begin to happen.

We know that when our anxiety rises our heart beat gets faster and then our blood vessels contract.  This leads to less oxygen in the brain and we feel the stress which has a direct impact on our health and our biology.

Upon entering a stressful situation we could think and act differently to alter the responses.  If we feel the heart beat increase is our body feeling energised then our blood vessels relax and whilst we still have an increase heart rate we will not restrict the oxygen to the brain.  Your body can rise to the challenge this is the biology of courage.

There is statistical evidence to support the way we think and act around stress can have noticeable differences.  We should make life choices around what matters most not around whether there is more stress involved.  So when making your next career choice you must decide whether the new position gives more meaning to your life and you will cope with added stress levels.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop on Managing Pressure with nuggets of learning.  bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Making assumptions…

Greggs went undercover to launch their new summer range.

To break the assumptions around their name they rebranded themselves to disassociate themselves from the “sausage roll” image.   They chose an upmarket foodie festival where the audience would be connoisseurs of food.

We can learn from Greggs, how sometimes we need to break assumptions.   In order to do something different we need to repackage it.   They did this with the name change to Gregory and Gregory.  It might be as simple as changing a bit of your look or being brave and presenting without slides.  Being original and slightly different to the view people have of you might start them thinking about you differently.

Greggs conducted the exercise as they wanted people who did not shop with them, to start visiting them.  Who would you like to see that you have never seen before or who would you like to view you differently.

Once people start thinking about you differently their perceptions change.

As an exercise write down all the assumptions you believe people have about you already and then challenge all of them.  You might realise that some do not need breaking and others could be altered by one small action or others by radical steps.

Learn from Greggs about making assumptions…

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

Being socially savvy…

Social intelligence is just like regular intelligence, some of it we are born with and have a natural predisposition and the rest is learnt from good and bad experience.  Some people  it comes intrinsically with their personality and they are more charismatic, likeable and socially intelligent.

However if social situations are more tricky for you it does not mean that you cannot improve.  Like any intelligence you need to learn and practice.

Being social savvy is about making fewer obvious mistakes than others.  Knowing when to tell a joke or make a comment that is right for the audience.

Poor social skills can often be more of a failure than merely an intellectual one.   The memory of a bad impression will last longer than a positive impression.

Here are some top tips as to how you can begin developing the skill:-

  • Listening versus speaking – you need to understand the mind of the person you are speaking to so that you have the intended effect
  • Read the signals – Be in sync with the room, how is the mood and atmosphere
  • Understand the whole person – watch out for leakage in their body language
  • Comfortable eye contact – engaged and not intense
  • Welcoming posture – some-one you want to approach
  • Warmth – through your voice and your physicality
  • Be inclusive of others around you
  • 80% Listening – aware of social context and empathetic listening
  • Feedback – ask your peers or work with a coach to gauge your impact

Please do get in touch to develop your social skills by a nuggets workshop or 1:1 coaching.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Time management

Taking back control…

Don’t just be a follower in the office world, start to lead your behaviours and your thinking.  Take back control of your time and your mental well being.

Challenge your attendance at meetings by ensuring you know the purpose before you attend.  If you are chairing the meeting keep it short and memorable. More than three participants will it really give you the answers you need.

Manage your email by booking an appointment with it, don’t drift in and out of your in-box, a lot will be irrelevant and take your mind away from work.

Type messages on a proper keyboard, nothing is that urgent that you have to resort to a tiny phone key pad or use emojis for real actions.  Everyone can wait.

Always have a proper to-do list and rank the items in order “what if…?” If that task was not completed what would be the worst that could happen.

Be realistic and only write down the tasks you will really complete that day.  Create buckets for the other tasks, e.g. weekly, monthly and overall project list.

Pick up the phone more and speak to a “real” person, often quicker than the email, to get your view across takes many written words.

Ensure that you do not have your phone with you at meal times, enjoy the ritual of eating again. Go a stage further and ask that there are no phones at your meeting, (it will be a lot faster with no distractions).

Give yourself space and time for thinking, book an appointment for it.

Take back control and lead your life.

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching or a Time Management workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk