Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership

Am I ready to be coached…?

Will you benefit from working with a coach do you understand what you need to do in order to be ready? Clients come to me sometimes as they have identified their own readiness and the other route is from their leadership group. My role as the coach is to manage their expectations and get them ready for the experience.

Coaching can help you achieve a higher performance and greater personal satisfaction at work. You may be aware that you need to make changes in behaviour and mindset in order to advance in your career. To gain the benefit of coaching you must fully engage in the process, this will mean an investment of time and effort. The work happens between the coaching sessions not necessarily in them.

How can we determine whether some-one is “match fit” ready for coaching:-

  • Discomfort – Coaching is all about embracing new ways of perceiving and acting. In making the changes you will feel fear and anxiety, leading to new realisations and realities. Being able to endure these periods of discomfort will help you grow.
  • Experimentation – Once you have agreed to that feeling or level of discomfort you can begin experimenting with new behaviours. This will possibly involve taking risks and being prepared for things not to go right initially. Trying out new ideas and exploring new options will mean having an open mind.
  • Emotional responses – Behaviour is not rational, as there is always an emotion behind it. Working with a coach is about being prepared to talk about the emotional responses anger, fear, pride and happiness, by sharing them and putting them into context can you identify what you want to change.
  • Responsibility – Knowing that you can shape your future and working with a coach to grab a hold of it, and take control and responsibility. Accepting you are accountable for your progress.
  • Forgiveness – Being ready to channel your energy into your current or future progress. A coach cannot work with a victim and cannot solve the past.
  • Discipline – Once you have identified new behaviours and new ways of working, being disciplined that you stick to your new ways. Having a coach as an accountability partner will help, however you have to be ready to self regulate yourself.
  • Support – Are you ready for others to support you not just the coach? Once you begin a coaching journey you have to be ready to listen with curiosity and be prepared for constructive feedback from everyone around you.

If you think you are ready to be coached, then get in touch 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, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, personal impact, Relationships, training

What does it mean to be Assertive…?

Working from home you need to be heard and it is a fine balance between sounding too aggressive or simply just being Assertive.

What does is mean to be Assertive?

Behaviour based on a philosophy of personal responsibility and awareness of the right of others.

What does it look like?

Good eye contact and an open posture, matched with clear communication.

Why is it so hard?

UK culture loves to use sarcasm, which however you wrap it up, sadly stills falls into the aggressive category. We are emotional by nature and therefore we are reactive, and sadly with low emotional intelligence we can become aggressive. With our fight/flight instinct we either go into fight mode tending to be aggressive or we flee to avoid conflict and fall into passive behaviour. Listening is a key element of being Assertive, however it is a skill and therefore you need to concentrate and have enough energy to do it well.

What are the five key ingredients of being Assertive?

  1. Listening
  2. Showing you understand by reflecting & summarising
  3. Saying how you think and feel
  4. Saying what you would like
  5. Considering the consequences on yourself and others

What do we mean by responsible Assertion?

If you imagine a set of scales with your own personal rights one end and the other end respect for the rights of others you would be creating the right balance = responsible assertion.

What assertion is not?

About getting your own way and winning every time. Manipulating and managing others to get your own way.

For a practical workshop on how to be more Assertive please book yourself onto our next Developing YOU module – Thursday 13th May @ 10.00am – £40 per person

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArdOGtrDkvGtZs6HuwtKuyly-BcjWefzfD

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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

Think again…

When was the last time that you stopped what you were doing and thought I will rethink that task. We get locked into behavioural patterns which are driven by our values and beliefs.

Adam Grant the author of Think again, says we create an overconfident cycle:-

  • We form an opinion that feels right
  • Seek information to support that opinion
  • Feel validated
  • Proudly express our opinions

The cycles strengthens every time we preach, prosecute or politick. What do each of these three modes look like?

Preaching – you have a belief and the more you preach the more you are 100% certain, you ignore data to the contrary as it does not support the belief you are holding onto. Examples: belief in a political party, an investment, a way of working, new software etc…

Prosecuting – we prosecute an individual’s idea we dismiss their views on other areas as we do not hold their initial belief. Examples: political views, charities they support, way of working etc…

Politicking – we adopt others view points as we want to be liked and accepted by them. Examples: political parties adopt policies that will attract supporters, you may support your Managers opinion in order to get promotion etc…

If you imagine all of these three areas compound our overconfident cycle and we become blinkered to rethinking.

Adam Grant asked the scientist Daniel Kahneman what he does when he finds flaws in his research. Kahneman’s reply was “Its wonderful, I get a chance to be less wrong”. We all need to “Think like a Scientist”. The whole makeup of a Scientist is that they see ideas and beliefs as hunches that need to be tested.

We can start by thinking like a Scientist by using The Rethinking cycle:-

  • Doubt (acknowledge it)
  • Curiosity (of other ideas, opinions, beliefs)
  • Discovery (explore options)
  • Confident humility (admit your way was not necessarily the best)

One way to begin this new mode of thinking is to write down two headings:-

  • Things I don’t know
  • Things I have learnt recently

Humility has always needed to be a leadership characteristic, however the ability to rethink and have a confident humility is something we can all look at now in a very uncertain world.

Make this blog practical by challenging your own beliefs this week, if you have a doubt about a meeting being at 9.00am rethink it. The project is not going to run on the software selected by yourself, put your hand up and express doubt. The new hire you have made might not be the right for the culture, be open with your team, have confident humility.

Please do get in touch for a workshop around rethinking bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Book a place on Developing YOU – Thursday 29th April 2021 @ 10.00am – 90 minute workshop £40 per delegate

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

Star quality in leadership…

Why do some leaders lead well and others fail? What do we mean when we talk about “real” leadership?

The “real” components are the ability to listen not just with your head but your heart as well. To be empathetic and not sympathetic. Finding the perfect assertion level that does not tip into aggression. Reading all situations with clarity and acting decisively, independently and most importantly with grace.

Understanding what makes us sad/mad and glad is the same for our colleagues, clients and family. Emotions shape our behaviour and determine whether we are sad/mad or glad. They have the ability to guide you on the most important decisions in life so there is an economy attached to our emotions.

The star quality within Leadership is that key ability to read the signals and understand your own emotional intelligence and of others.

If emotional intelligence is the star quality and the part of leadership that makes us real what is it.

The rational brain your prefrontal communicates constantly with your emotional centre the limbic, helping you to form judgements and make choices. If you imagine this is like a broadband connection between the two centres and it is critical for the development of your emotional intelligence. If you imagine we have an experience (prefrontal) passes (limbic) to give you an emotion the two connect regularly and you learn from the emotions you have used in the past. You effectively accumulate emotional capital (experiences that have either made you sad/mad or glad).

Martyn Newman describes New Leaders as Emotional Capitalists which is the name of his book. Daniel Goleman first brought emotional intelligence to the business world in 1997, however Newman’s book gives it the commerciality that was sometimes lacking in the work of Goleman. By understanding your emotional intelligence it will help in all areas of your business not just your own personality, it will link to revenue and sales.

To find your star quality in leadership, simply book onto one of our workshops:-

Developing Emotional Intelligence
Date:- Thursday 29th April 2021
Time:- 10.00am (90 minutes)
Cost:- £40 per person per workshop
To book a place, please email bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk
All the details of the workshops are in the brochure just hit the link below:-
https://lnkd.in/dFHyR57

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

Developing you…

What shadow do you cast…? 

What memory do you want everyone to have of you? What do you leave in the room when you leave.  Be happy with the shadow that you cast and the memory that lingers in people’s minds. 

Brands pass from generation to generation with lasting memories.  Companies work hard to protect the image and ensure that the product and service is consistent.  As individuals we need to make the same investment in developing our own personal brand. When was the last time you booked a workshop for yourself, just about developing you.

We have an impact on everyone we meet and we are choosing how that is deployed. 

“About two years ago I realised I was no longer a person but a brand” Martha Stewart 

One of the first steps is to understand the key elements of emotional intelligence, from Daniel Goleman studies they can be broken into 5 key areas:-

  • Self Awareness
  • Self Management 
  • Social Awareness 
  • Motivation
  • Relationship Management 

From those areas you can then:-

  • Develop self confidence by practising assertive tools
  • Read the signals of non verbal and verbal behaviour
  • Create a frame of reference around your own personal brand 
  • Developing influencing skills
  • Managing relationships effectively 

This will give you:-

  • An awareness of your own inner signals and be able to manage your own emotions
  • Accurate self awareness on your limitations and strengths
  • Self confidence that is a authentic 
  • Able to create comfortable situations by using empathy 
  • Share your motivation with others and creating a personal brand
  • Meaningful connections 

We are delighted and excited to be launching our open workshops Developing You – There are 5 modules

  1. Developing Emotional Intelligence 
  2. Assertive Behaviour
  3. Communication Toolkit
  4. Personal Branding
  5. Influencing Skills 

You can attend the modules as a stand alone workshop or you can attend all 5 as a series, the first one is:-

Developing Emotional Intelligence
Date:- Thursday 29th April 2021
Time:- 10.00am (90 minutes)
Cost:- £40 per person per workshop
To book a place, please email bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk
All the details of the workshops are in the brochure just hit the link below:-
https://lnkd.in/dFHyR57

Please get in touch and explore “what shadow do you cast…?”

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

Keep being Resilient…

The final push through lockdown could be our toughest job yet, knowing that freedom is within touching distance how do we keep on being resilient.

We wake up each morning and decide on the level of energy we wish to deploy. In the book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers says we should use the pain to power continuum. If you see a line on a piece of paper with those two words, decide how near to pain you are and how near to power you are. We want to be near power however a poor nights sleep or a genuine illness might pull us towards pain. She says we have the choice and whatever we deploy at the start will set the tone for the day and potentially the week.

Our mindset is another conscious choice we make although we might have carried beliefs from childhood into adulthood which might not be helpful. Professor Carol S Dweck’s book on “Mindset”, explains we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. If you were told as a child that you can’t sing, can’t draw or that you are poor at sport this is something you have decided to fix and lock in. These items we lock in are not good for our resilience levels. Also success can be deliberating, she explains often once something is achieved, people with a fixed mindset stop trying this is not good in an environment where we have no control and we need to continuously think of new ways to work and adapt.

The word resilient means for a person to be able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. To know that resilience is about bouncing back what are the components that you need to work on to ensure that you do recover. If you imagine a table, it has four legs and a top, and without one of those vital pieces the table would feel unstable and fall. We need each leg of our resilient table to be firm and secure.

Leg One – Mental toughness – making decisions and using all your logical thinking to way up pros and cons and be aware of problems as they arrise

Leg Two – Physical energy – staying strong and to be able to attend several back to back virtual meetings still with a smile

Leg Three – Emotional balance – A support for others and ourselves the right level of empathy, and measured responses.

Leg Four – Social skills – Naturally adept at making others comfortable and comfortable in your own space.

Table Top – Sense of purpose – meaning to what you are doing, the core of who you are.

Create your own “Resilient Backpack”. If you were going on a hike you would pack a rucksack with essentials for the trip. We are still on the journey of lockdown and decide what you need in your resilient backpack, here are a few ideas:-

  • Favourite music
  • Friends
  • Books
  • Favourite meal
  • Walking
  • Running

Identifying a dip in your resilience eg. which part of your table is unsteady or is it a mood that you can recognise as a sign. Anxious, antagonistic, defensive, snappy, withdrawn etc… We will all have our own indicators, the trick is to get to know yourself and know when something is becoming a pattern. Take something out of your backpack to make yourself feel better or work on a leg of your table, or make a choice to have a growth mindset.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Being Resilient – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

In the “Grip”…

This is the terminology for being out of character, not quite ourselves and it comes from Myers Briggs, the personality self assessment tool. The expression seems so apt at the moment as we are all drifting into being “In the Grip”.

What does it actually mean and what does it look like to us all individually?

In a nutshell it is the version of ourselves that puzzles us, we can feel irrational, out of control, unstable or even just a little crazy. These temporary episodes at the time literally grip us, however we have to recognise that they are actually healthy and demonstrating our adaptability.

This side of character is most likely to occur during times of stress, fatigue and illness.

The first step to moving out of the grip of these out of character behaviours is to perhaps identify times when we our feeling naturally ourselves and when not.

  • What are you like when you are most yourself? – what qualities best describe you or define you? examples might be – optimistic, careful with details, concerned about others or future orientated
  • What are you like when you are not yourself? – how are you different to your usual way of being?
  • What aspects of your work are most satisfying?
  • What aspects of your work are most disatisfying?
  • How do you typically deal with chronic stress?
  • What new things have you learned about yourself as a result of out of character experiences?

My own personal example is as recent as Friday. My normal disposition is to be very positive and optimistic and to be more future orientated. I recognised signs of feeling a bit despondent so decided to cheer myself up by buying a new outfit which normally would be quite a good idea. In the past this would be a trip to shops and visualising where I would wear the outfit in the future. However during lockdown this meant shopping on line, I got locked “in the Grip” there was too much choice and I found it really hard to visualise. Came out with an outfit, missed the detail aspect now have an outfit on the way to my niece as did not change the delivery address from Christmas.

One of the main reasons we get locked in the Grip is down to energy levels. We are awaiting news about lockdown being lifted however my advice is to still maintain good energy levels so whatever the news you don’t behave out of character. Set your own agenda and don’t be influenced by “stuff” you can’t influence.

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Networking in the remote world…

Last week I was asked to discuss the difference between networking face to face and the shift to the remote world.

I always have standard features and, using the word “Welcome” harks back to my days at Disney. The word is a smile within itself and as a host it is so important to make everyone feel welcome as soon as possible. To foster warmth instantly over a screen you have to use the right tonality as well as the right words. I attended a webinar recently where the host was very shouty and I felt intimidated even sitting in my own home.

Try and be original with introductions, just as we hated the round the table we also hate round the screens. Ask people to hold up pictures or give a word to describe how they feel at that moment, who is their favourite actor or actress…be adventurous!

Decide whether to have a waiting room or no waiting room. The benefit of not having one is that you can host some small talk before the event begins. The formality of a slide or holding screen can be appropriate, or it might create a barrier.

Engaging with people is about staying on screen, so minimise your slide deck and use break out rooms as when necessary.

Your own background rather than a beach in Miami, exposing your home makes you authentic. Everyone loves to see a dog or child in the background, its “real” and all an extension of you.

Networking is relationship building, it is not about attending to be seen on screen, it is about getting to know each other and if you set up appropriately and warmly it can happen very easily.

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

Please visit our website http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Mental & Physical Rhythm…

As a coach I am always keen to steer my client towards healthy habits, rituals and routines. These are normally behavioural choices and not necessarily centred around physicality.

Last week I heard a talk by Dr. Zarrin Shaikh about the importance of well being from the cardiology perspective. Dr Shaikh qualified as a Doctor and for many years worked on the frontline of NHS in cardiology.

She is now focusing on lifestyle cardiology, prevention of heart disease. She shared a great mnemonic “Fresh” which is something I will share with my clients:-

F – food

R – relaxation

E – exercise

S – sleep

H – honesty

The last letter H for honesty is about your own self awareness about whether you are being kind to yourself. The four other categories are great pillars for life and well being which we need to track continuously.

In my coaching sessions during lockdown I have been advocating rituals, like having a break at the same time each day, beginning and closing the day at the same time. During her talk Dr Shaikh confirmed that biological patterns are really important.

A recent conversation with a Leader who shared the need for her team to get into a rhythm with each other. Remote leadership is hard but the more rituals you can put in place the more likely your team will get in sync with each other. I have a client every Monday at 9.00am and I love the discipline of an appointment at the start of the week.

Journalling is a ritual I do everyday to review and assess my development. I set out what I want to achieve each day and take great joy in highlighting tasks accomplished. I have a break in the morning at the sometime each day. Think about how you can create your own rhythm mentally and physically, is it the right beat and volume, and is it sweet to your ears.

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk