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

Think and feel in numbers…

Liv Boeree a famous Poker player and her excellent TED talk explained how we quantify our thinking which gives us more precise language.

We use estimate words rather than defining what we actually mean.  I will “probably” meet you for a drink.  Instead we could talk in numbers “There is a 60% chance I will meet you for a drink”.

We often talk about a “gut” instinct however the reality is that you need slow careful analysis.  Your gut does not park your car or end your marriage.  Behind your gut is slow careful analysis as to whether it is doable based on size or financial implications, all about numbers.

When we are successful we might say we were lucky however if we go into the next project with just luck, we would fail.  We have strategic edge based upon our skill level which will be calculated by the number of times you have practised deploying that skill, again all about numbers.

As a poker player Liv Boeree leaves us with three summaries:-

  • Your gut is your friend and so is a cost benefit analysis
  • Success is sweetest when you achieve it across a large sample size
  • The future is unknown but you can dam well estimate it

 

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Learning, Relationships

The difference between coaching & mentoring…

Coaching is … a process that enables learning and development to occur by the coach asking powerful questions which leads to different thinking and ultimately different performance.  The coach requires a variety of styles and skills and techniques that are appropriate for each session.

Mentoring is… helping an individual to make significant changes in their work or thinking. This can often be done remotely or face to face.  Mentors look at the big picture and with no vested interest and can make bold suggestions.

Coaches can have first hand experience of the line of work or they can be a qualified coach from outside bringing new thinking in.

Mentors are normally more experienced or skilled in the field of work they are advising on.

Line Managers can use coaching techniques whereas the best mentors often have no prior relationship with the mentee.

Coaches ask powerful questions and don’t give advice, and the mentor provides direction and advice.

Mentors and coaches provide a neutral sounding board and total confidentiality, they are both invested in assisting an individual to reach their goals.

Coaching is about learning rather than “teaching” it is much more ask than tell.  The insight gained by working with a coach will lead to enhanced effectiveness.  Mentoring is helping individuals to develop their career by drawing on their own experiences.

Working with a coach and mentor can lead to new thinking and an enhanced performance.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

Boredom can lead to brilliance…

It is true that daydreaming and being bored can ignite our best thinking. I have always had my best ideas in the shower or on that walk in the sun.

Manoush Zomorodi author of “Bored and Brilliant” explains in her Ted Talk how boredom can lead to brilliance.  She asks the question imagine if you never got bored.  Some of your best ideas come from, folding the washing or walking to work.  We enter a default mode, the brain goes from conscious to sub conscious.  The brain begins to create different connections, even tapping into autobiographical planning.

Good boredom is staring out of the window when the mind can get into the default mode.  Bad boredom is when you are multi tasking, checking your phone whilst staring out the window or on that beautiful walk.  Everytime we look at that phone we are depleting the neurological resource we have.  Even chilling out on the sofa while watching TV and checking email is still bad boredom. The purity of the chill is the good boredom.

Doing nothing is being creative, and boredom can lead to brilliance.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on creative thinking or 1:1 coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Rituals and superstitions…

How much do rituals and superstitions influence performance?

It is a clever deflection from performance as in the example of Serena Williams in the French Open in 2008.  She made her exit in a shock third round defeat, and when she was asked what went wrong, she gave the surprise answer:-

“I didn’t tie my laces right and I didn’t bounce the ball five times and I didn’t bring my shower sandals to the court with me.  I didn’t have my extra dress.  I just knew it was fate; it wasn’t going to happen.”

Why are so many top sports people deeply superstitious?

The answer is to be found in the world of pigeons.  B F Skinner the man widely regarded as the father of modern psychology studied the behaviour of pigeons.  In 1947 Skinner placed some hungry pigeons in a cage attached to an automated mechanism that delivered food at regular intervals.  He discovered that the pigeons associated the delivery of food with whatever chance actions they happened to be performing at the moment it was first delivered.  They kept on performing the same actions even though it had no effect on whether the food was delivered.

The pigeons were acting as if they could influence the mechanism, a random connection between a particular kind of behaviour and a desired outcome.

If superstition does not influence the outcome, why are we all so  keen to ritualise are actions.  The routine may help people relax and feel comfortable so therefore aiding clear thinking and reducing anxiety.  The actions may therefore influence the performance and not actually secure the outcome.

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

Purposeful Practice…

We are all heading back to school and work and with renewed vigour as to how to do it differently.

Whilst on holiday I read the book “Bounce” by Matthew Syed and I have hit my desk today more motivated than a usual September start.

The book dispels this belief that Champions are born with talent.  Breaking the myth that is not genetic gives hope to all of us that with hard work we can all be as successful as we want to be within our own line of work.

Matthew Syed is well placed to write about success having been the Table Tennis Commonwealth Champion twice and the UK’s No. 1.  He puts his rise down to being in the right place at the right time.  He had access to a 24 hr table tennis club and his brother was already a junior champion and his coach worked at his school.

Practice and practice, but most importantly “purposeful” practice.  He explains it is about downloading the right piece of software.   Focusing on what you want to achieve and learn from the mistakes more than the successes.  If you go to the golf range and use the same club every time it may well be enjoyable, but what have you learnt.  The “Greats” practice the hard stuff, Beckham with his corners and Tiger Woods buries the ball in bunkers, it is focused and tough.

There is a belief that tennis players have great eyesight to see the ball.  Syed explains that it is perceptual cognitive repertoire it is knowing how the upper body of your opponent is going to move.  This comes from year on year, self motivation and high quality performance.

Your brain is growing with you as a muscle and storing all those sub conscious movements and thinking.  The process of expert performance is letting your software subconsciously perform as it has practiced so many times it knows the expert path.

This can be seen more obviously when the “Greats” choke.  In high pressurised environments the brain overthinks and tunes into the conscious mind rather than the subconscious.  Instead of thinking about the path to the finish line you analyse every single shot.  This is the same in business instead of thinking what you want to achieve at the meeting you overthink everything you say and end up saying too little or too much.  The way to overcome the choke is to enter each situation with a view that it does not matter, think of it as a practice session.

We need to help others grow their expertise and continuing growing.  We must praise for effort and not talent.  An example would be:-

“You were great in that meeting you are so good at getting them to the right price”

This seems a perfect piece of feedback, however it is saying you have done it and you are really talented.  What would be better is to recognise the effort:-

“You worked really hard to get them to the right price”

This gives the brain the message to think about the journey and what can I learn for the next meeting.

Matthew Syed’s best quote to finish on “Champions are not born they are made”.

Begin September with hard work and purposeful practice and you are making yourself a champion.

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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.