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

You are enough…

Listening to a podcast on the Kindness Economy they were talking about the importance of the right language to sell your product. There is a skincare company called “Unconditional Skincare” which has removed all the stereotypical language used in the beauty industry.

“Quick fix”

“Repairing”

“Anti-ageing”

They believe and say “Your skin is enough.

“We believe all skin has the potential to glow at its healthy, radiant best when given the live goodness it needs”

The power of the messaging and also the kindness will grow self esteem instead of crushing confidence.

Framing any message in a positive has got to be a better than starting with a negative. We are now in the business of followers rather than customers. Therefore we need listen to what they are saying. We can use our values as guides as to how we talk and share.

At nuggets we encourage and value the ability to think differently, so therefore our messaging is around what it gives you. We don’t want to fix your thinking we encourage you to see, hear and feel things differently which might ultimately make you think differently.

You are enough is such a great message to say to yourself today, you can go out there and embrace anything and everything as you are enough.

Have a great week and reach out for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

In the moment…

Listening to Clare Balding talking about Emma Raducanu’s performance, she said one of the keys to her success and demeanour was always being in the moment. When the two players appeared in the tunnel before the game, Raducanu was in that moment. When she had three championship points she was in at that moment. When she won had to be interviewed by the press she was in that moment.

As a professional athlete only focusing on everything moment by moment and not even thinking the unthinkable, kept Raducanu’s feet on the ground.

The right mindset of having that narrow focus is something you can learn and manage. In Steve Peter’s book “The Chimp Paradox” he talks about managing the Chimp which effectively is your emotional brain. We can manage it by rewards, or ignoring the negative self talk and when appropriate let it play and having the right emotions at the right time.

Living moment by moment can help especially in turbulent times. Last week I received some sad news, and the art of processing was to focus on the next hour. Life moves forward and to contain the emotions focusing on short bursts of time gives you the stability and courage to move forward.

The Chimp needs immediate happiness and delayed happiness. If you write a list of all the things that give you immediate happiness you can really enjoy the moment you are in with them. For example the mid morning coffee, the walk in the afternoon or the book you are enjoying before you sleep. As humans we like to look to the future and the moment you choose to write down your ideas for delayed happiness is as good as moment as any. The joy of writing all sorts of possibilities will be a lovely escapism for the mind.

My coach recently talked about your day being 21 packets of time. The packets are am/pm/evening and think about the packets as moments. Ensure 2 packets are just about you, with the things that give you joy.

Be in the moment today. Look at your schedule and be there for that meeting, ensure you are in the moment (don’t turn your screen off, be there for others and for you).

Please do get in touch if you would benefit from one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

I am honoured…?

I am honoured that you have chosen to read my blog. The word honoured is such a great grandiose statement that as the recipient it makes you feel good. Words are so important as to how they make people feel.

When I work with clients I may say “I am delighted to be working with you or that was a great session…” however honour is so much richer.

Recently in a book “Monday Morning Leadership” by David Cottrell the mentor writes a note to the client which is as follows:-

“Congratulations for having the courage to seek advice. This step alone indicates that you have a tremendous amount of pride in your work and, more importantly that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

I am honoured that you are allowing me to share my experiences with you and I look forward to working with you”

The note is genuine and authentic and makes you want to to work with the Mentor.

Starting any relationship whether it be a coach/mentor or even a new Line Manager how do you set the scene.

Identifying with the person and recognising their commitment and what they bring, and most importantly conveying what it means to you to work with them.

If you have a new person joining your team, you want them to feel valued at the start of the journey. Try saying:-

“We are honoured you have chosen to join our team and we value the new initiatives you will bring”

Have you ever said to family members that it is an honour to be their child, sister or brother? The word contains so much respect and pride and says so much more.

So to finish today’s blog

“It is an honour that you have taken time out of your day to read my blog and I would be honoured if you shared the message and use the word today”

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching sessions or a workshop around working as a team. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Creating rapport…

Recently on a workshop a delegate asked me to explain what I meant by rapport.

Dictionary definition:- a friendly, harmonious relationship especially : a relationship characterised by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.

Rapport starts with that lovely small talk that puts some-one at ease, and they step into your world and feel comfortable. For some it is the most natural thing in the world and yet for others it can feel contrived and clumsy.

A colleague once described it to me as creating “limbic soup” which has stuck with me as a perfect explanation of what is happening mentally and physically. If you are interacting with another person and you feel immediately comfortable, you feel safe because the emotional part of the brain the limbic mode relaxes. We also know that oxytocin’s are released, another chemical to help you relax into the conversation, creating a connection and lovely soup.

Insights from the book “How to Talk to Anyone” by Leil Lowndes gives some actual tools and techniques. She describes conversations as being similar to a game of ping pong. You serve and you expect a return and then you may have to return again.

The serve is the hardest how do you start a chat by not using the usual opening gambits which can often have the reverse affect of shutting some-one down. She suggests an acronym “WIT”- We, It & They:-

We – using we brings people closer together – we are in this together

Example: “I hear she’s a great speaker, we are in for a treat”

It – Have an “it” up your sleeve – is there a current news story that everyone is talking about

Example: “What do you think about (insert your It)?

They – Know something before you meet up, what hobbies/interests do they have

Example: They – “Bob told me you support Liverpool”

Most of us are lazy with our interactions and go for standard questions:-

“How are you?”

“What do you do?”

The first is far too wide, and you never know what is going on in anyone’s world, and chances are you will get the standard response of “fine” which is extremely hard to interpret and does not give you anything to work on.

What do you do? – is another stock question which is more often answered by talking about work, which may not be their true passion. Much better opening is:-

“How do you like to spend most of your time?”

The brain has to think about the answer it does not have a standard response and you will get a lovely insight into the person you have just met. To keep the conversation going and making it more about them, just repeat their words back to them. The last word they say with a question, just nods and provide really good positive non verbal indicators that you are interested.

Rapport is a skill and when deployed effectively can make anyone feel fabulous, be more artful in thinking about how you want a person to feel. Try different openers and really listen and make it all about them.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, motivation, Relationships, Stress management

Employee centric culture…

“It’s not about being easy on your employees or expecting less from them. High-trust companies hold people accountable but without micromanaging them. They treat people like responsible adults” – Paul J Zak – Neuro science of Trust

The quote above gives the foundation of an employee centric culture it must come from a layer of trust. Zak outlines in his article the eight behaviours he believes create a high trust culture:-

  1. Recognise excellence – this works best when it is tangible, unexpected, personal and publicly recognised
  2. Induce “challenge stress” – a goal that is achievable, with a stretch element and you can chart progress
  3. Give people discretion in how they do their work – autonomy
  4. Enable job crafting – don’t confine people by job titles
  5. Share information broadly – no informations creates uncertainty and breaks trust
  6. Intentionally build relationships – focus on people rather than tasks
  7. Facilitate the whole person growth – adopt a growth mindset and look beyond where they are now
  8. Show vulnerability – as a Leader demonstrate humility

Zak’s work involved measuring levels of oxytocin, which gives an indication of trustworthiness. In a small rodent brain oxytocin is released if it is safe for another rodent to approach. If the animal was scared it inhibits the release of oxytocin. His studies on humans proved that stress inhibits oxytocin and the antidote is empathy. The basis of empathy is a “damn good listening to”, going beyond just actively listening to empathetically listening. This means absorbing the content intellectually and emotionally.

Brene Brown also advocates that trust is a foundation from her book Dare to Lead. She states very clearly that you can’t have courage without vulnerability. In order to run or rumble with vulnerability you have to have tough conversations, which are best placed if there is a layer of trust. Employees should live into their own values and the values of the organisation. She uses a mnemonic of BRAVING as detailed below:-

Boundaries: You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no. 

Reliability: You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities. 

Accountability: You own your mistakes, apologise, and make amends. 

Vault: You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. 

Integrity: You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them. 

Nonjudgment: I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment. We can ask each other for help without judgment. 

Generosity: You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others. Generosity is closely related to judgment and is in fact the opposite. 

In summary Brene Brown says that organisations need to cultivate a culture of brave work and tough conversations.

Think about how you are embracing trust within your culture and put your employees first.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on the content above, called “It’s good to share, talk and listen…” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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