Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, personal impact, Relationships

Everything has changed, but nothing has changed…

I am back at the desk of nuggets HQ having taking a temporary leave of absence for a month. As the title says “everything has changed, but nothing has changed”.

The last month I have been caring for my Mum alongside my sisters and Step Dad, and very sadly she died on the 25th April 2022. My whole world will never look the same again without the person who created me in it. However the world keeps spinning and less you hold on you get left behind.

In grief you find the normal things like making a bed really calming as there is little emotional input and the procedural aspect of the task gives you perspective. The times you feel derailed when you can see no end in sight for the person in pain and you have no capacity to change the trajectory of the outcome.

Throughout my absence I have been reading “The Atlas of the Heart” by Brene Brown and the comfort of unpicking emotions and experiences has also given me an amazing sense of my self. Understanding that meaningful connection only happens if you talk about your emotions.

I remember reading that Gill Hicks who survived the 7/7 bombing in London, returned to her desk and tipped the in box that the team had kept untouched straight in the bin. Her view that nothing mattered but everything mattered, after what she had just been through.

I think of the many books I have read in the nature of my job and many will help me now forge ahead with maybe a slight change of heart or mind.

  • The Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • Feel the Fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  • Who moved my cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson

Everything has changed means a new view of my work, perhaps a boldness that was lacking before, however to be sure the things that have not changed are being true to my values.

“Helping people to think differently” by making a difference

“Achievement” my anchor value of progression which will move me forward ensuring that things do change.

I will shortly be starting a bookclub for The Atlas of the Heart if you would like to attend please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Language is our portal for meaning…

So excited Brene Brown’s new book Atlas of the Heart is now in print. There is so much to unpick, but a good starter is using the right language to explain our experiences and label the emotions involved.

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s quote “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”.

Fifteen years ago, Brown asked participants on her shame resilience research to list all the emotions they could recognise and to name them. This took five years and involved seven thousand people. The average number of emotions named across the surveys was three, and they were happy, sad and angry.

Brown obviously found this very disheartening when the vastness of human emotion is not about mad, sad or glad. There are so many despair, shame, wonder, awe… that in their richness make us human.

Language is the portal to meaning, making connections, healing, learning and self awareness. When we don’t have the language we lose our ability to explain what is really going on.

In Atlas of the Heart there are eighty seven emotions and experiences that are defined and brought to life so that we can increase our vocabulary.

The next time you say the following:-

  • “I am really pissed off”
  • “I am so mad”

What are you feeling? Naming it accurately what is really going on. Vocabulary should be as expansive as our experience. Better responses might be..:-

  • “I am so overwhelmed with all I am experiencing”
  • “I am feeling disappointed”

Yesterday my son failed his driving test and it was pure anger, and it was limiting to his growth. He was not labelling it as disappointment, and his rage directed at the Driving Examiner whom he will never see again, is sadly not constructive.

Articulate what is going on in your world this week, and I would welcome comments and discussion.

Please do reach out bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Learning, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

The Power of Journalling…

At the start or the end of the day record the days events in a journal.

According to mental health professionals, journaling is one of the most recommended tools to have a clearer mind and a happier life. Recording moments acknowledging what happened and not letting a day just drift by.

Identifying values we have in life is a great compass as to whether you are on course. By recording whether you lived by your values in your journal gives us identity and a moral compass. Brene Brown advocates us identifying two core values to live by. As an example my values are:-

  • Making a difference
  • Achievement

By journalling I can track my values, have I made a difference today and what are my list of achievements.

Journals can help you recognise how you have been thinking or feeling that day. One of the top tips is to name your emotions, giving them labels helps you to own them. Once you own an emotion you can then begin to process it, eg. if you were scared and you own it, you can then identify where the fear was coming from. A more positive example if you were happy, what triggered that emotion and how can you repeat it.

Logging your rituals or your habits, one source of tracking can be vital for your journalling. I have at the top of the page walk and nuggets. My ritual of walking everyday needs to be ticked and my nugget is the one thing that has the greatest impact that day (it can be a high or a low).

Why do they work?

Adam Grant talks about mindful, mattering and mastery in his TED Talk the follow up to his New York Times Article. Journalling hits all three areas there is the mindful activity of writing and the mattering of whether you have leaned into your values. The mastery of what you have achieved that day and whether you are learning some new skills or new behaviours.

By journalling we can clear some mental blocks, everything seems so much clearer on paper. A project you have been deliberating on for too long, once you journal what you have started on the project you appreciate that you are moving forward. Progress in any shape or form is motivation.

Being kind to yourself by documenting what is actually going on. There is a peace in the moment of writing and a closing ceremony of what has taken place.

Please do get in touch for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, motivation, personal impact, Stress management

Pain Vs Pleasure…

The secret to productivity might well be finding the balance to pain and pleasure. Dr Anna Lembke the author of Dopamine Nation explains how pain and pleasure are located in the same part of the brain.

As they are located in the same place we need to keep a balance eg. not too much pleasure and not too much pain. We call this balanced status homeostasis and a deviation from this leads to stress.

Today we are overloaded with so many pleasurable experiences we can overload on these. As an example if you went to a fancy restaurant every night a plain bowl of rice would never be appealing again. Dr Lembke says that once we say yes to pleasure we need to know how to say no to withdraw to equilibrium. However what can happen is a gremlin in our brain persuades us to have just one more hit, and before we know it we have tipped over into pain. If you imagine dopamine in a jar it about tilting it for fun and then resetting it so that it is level again.

The solution to remaining motivated and not being distracted by instant pleasure, is to try and have a dopamine detox. Phones and social media can be put out of sight for a whole day, reducing caffeine, gaming and even TV. Learning to be bored again is a good way to reset your pleasure hits. Lembke talks about the strength of rehabilitated addicts, their fresh eyes on the world give them a new take on some of the mundane in life, perceiving it as new pleasure.

Thinking about a difficult task you have to do today and then a small pleasure reward afterwards will be a good balance.

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

http://www.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, Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, personal impact

Power (is it a dirty word?)

The perception of power might be large and loud however is that really effective.

From the book “48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene we learn that some of the most interesting initiatives are by no means loud. One of his primary laws is to say as little as possible, let your actions speak for you. Be comfortable with silence and then when you do need to say something imagine you are a hawk swooping in with one powerful sound bite. Perfect your timing as to when you say your key “nugget”, and above all limit the words you use – less is more.

We are guilty of getting too emotionally attached to a position, however we will be more powerful if we let go of the ties. The politician who does not always vote for his party is more powerful than the member who follows the crowd.

Another way to be powerful is not to over share. Apple are very good at hiding from their competitors and the world what their next product will be. Concealing your intentions holds a great deal of power. Say little about your processes and your achievements will appear effortless. Your audience/clients will have the “wow” effect of something achieved and do not necessarily need to know the journey.

Power is the ability to be audacious, believing anything is possible. This might be achieved by a compelling spectacle or taking on big companies.

In the 2020 US Presidential Election there were more candidates than usual. The audacity of the Senators and Governors who put themselves forward, did not lead to securing a candidate position, but it elevated their position in their home state.

Software firm owner Nigel Cannings, from Twickenham, took on Tesco with a publicity campaign to force them to stop making night deliveries near his home. He gave up two to three hours every week over the course of two years to work on the campaign with a successful end result.

Power is not about attaching yourself to a role.

Don’t accept the roles that society foists on you, be the master of your own image, rather than others define it for you” – Robert Greene

He explains that if we are formless, that we constantly recreate ourselves, we don’t represent one position, one view or identity. We will foster more power by evolving, new thinking and embracing change. We all know that change is inevitable and when people around you display instability you will be perceived as powerful with your calm personae attached to change.

Finally to truly be powerful you must not seek it or want it. Never appear power hungry and never make power moves.

The quiet and intrinsic power is within you.

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching bev@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 coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Review of the year…

This will be the last post of this year and so a good time to take stock of the year. I send this to all coaching clients so they can see what has happened and begin to focus on the year ahead.

Review of 2021

Best 5 days of 2021 (think of your whole life, where were you and who were you with?)

  1.  
  2.  
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  5.  

People who were important to you in 2021:-

Achievements x 3 (in or out of work)

1.

2.

3.

How are you feeling December 2021:- (start with an adjective and then explain why you have chosen that description)

Looking ahead to 2022

Big Goals (work or home)

1.

2.

3.

Days & Events in 2022  (significant Birthdays/events such as Weddings/Anniversaries etc…)

Have a lovely Christmas and please do ask others to follow my Blog and I look forward to connecting with you again in 2022. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk