Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Time management

Nuggets to get you through November…

We have one month of lockdown come Thursday, so what does your November look like?

Map out your month by using the number 4, as we have 4 weeks to focus on:-

  • Plan 4 weekends – create special meals/home cinema night/family Zoom calls/cocktails
  • Select 4 people you wish to connect with this month
  • Focus on 4 work goals – that will make the biggest difference
  • Identify 4 big exercise routines
  • Read 4 books (one a week)
  • Think of 4 house projects that have been outstanding for a while
  • 4 ways to relax or simply 4 ways to be on your own

Traditionally monthly planning would ask you to think about the following as well as your Power of 4:-

  • Note any special dates (any Birthdays etc…)
  • Check your project list
  • Meal planning and shopping lists
  • Schedule your household chores
  • Bills to be paid
  • Schedule time for you

The other way to check whether you are on track, is to use Stephen Covey’s Habit 7 from the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Sharpen the saw. He says to ensure that we are functioning on all cylinders think of your mind/body/heart and soul. So for the month of November map it out using this key:-

  • Mind – what activities this month will grow your mind, reading, learning and acquiring knowledge
  • Body – how much exercise will you do this month, and have you created a ritual or a routine to make sure it happens
  • Heart – Who will you connect with this month? on a one to one basis outside or virtually
  • Soul- What do you need to do to find space? – silence/meditation/outside/nature

To help get through November get in touch with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk – happy to provide (reasonable rate) one off coaching sessions through this lockdown

Posted in Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact

My week with the – The Kindness Method

Last week the nuggets book club reviewed “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi. As I prepared for the event on the Friday I undertook the exercises myself so that I felt the content had landed and that I understood how to implement the theory.

The author Shahroo Izadi studied psychological sciences and then psychology becoming an assistant psychologist at an NHS substance misuse centre. However the most relevant fact about Shahroo is her battle over her weight which lasted for two decades. It was not until she implemented the Kindness Method on herself that she lost 8 stone and most importantly she has kept it off ever since.

My own journey last week started with the “Snapshot Letter” this is the first exercise where you asked to right a letter to yourself explaining what is going on now. My own personal perspective was around the discipline of work, being healthy and not being overwhelmed by worries around my family.

The main tool that the book draws on is mapping thoughts. You put the central theme in the middle and populate the map with everything that comes to mind.

  1. Ways I’m Happy to be – the first map which you fill with characteristics of yourself, the book provides suggestions, and the advice is go for quantity. Here are a few of mine:-
    • Warm
    • Creative
    • Loving
    • Positive
  2. What I’m Proud of – things that you have achieved from any size, some of mine were the nuggets brand to staying positive through lockdown.
  3. When I’m in the zone – this map should be filled with all the times you have been truly “on it” where were you, what were you doing, why did everything feel so right? On the back of this map answer these 2 questions:-
    • Do these situations you have put on your map have anything in common? If so what are they?
    • Based on what you have written down to create your perfect conditions what would you have to alter about your normal routine now?

These 3 maps put you in a great positive mindset and they are your starting point of change.

4. What hasn’t worked – This map is beginning to identify your resistance, my two big AHA moments were brave and thinking BIG

5. Conversations about me – This is a hard one to write. What have you heard said about you, what have you said about yourself, what do you think about yourself? We are really cruel and this is where you can write it down and hopefully leaves your head landing on the paper. Here are two of mine:-

  • I am not bold or brave enough to change the business
  • I am not focused enough

6. Some-one I love – What would you say to some-one you love? Of course it will look nothing like the cruel dialogue we say to ourselves. I chose my daughter who has just turned 18 years old and I filled the map with all the things I wish for her now and dream of for her. It was the easiest map to complete!

7. This is not a map but key questions to try and get you to focus in a nutshell what it is you need to work on or change:-

I want to do more of…

I want to less of …

I want to be more…

I want to be less…

I want to start…

I want to stop….

In a nutshell – in one sentence say what all the answers are saying:-

I will think big about the business, learning and developing new material all the time by delivering more workshops and coaching.

8. What’s the Harm? – if you don’t change what will happen. The business will look the same next year and the year after.

9. Why haven’t I changed already? – most of my answers had the word “small” in them which again kept leading me to this overall change in thinking. Think Big and talk Big.

10. Developing new strategies – studying the map of “Why I haven’t changed already?” makes you realise that it is you and only you that can make the change. My realisation that my lifestyle and childcare made it very easy to think small. I am aware that everything is comfortable and entering a world of discomfort has been putting me off.

11. Journalling – Take responsibility for what is happening in your life by recording the days events. What are you grateful for? What tested you? How would you respond in the future? This has been my morning ritual for over a month and it pays dividends in a sense of calm and well being, an observer of you and all that you are grateful for.

12. Worry snapshots – capture those tiny little niggles even say them into your phone, once you say them out loud they have gone…

13 What will test me – back to the maps, what will really test your resolve

14 How it’s most important for me to be? – This is a summary of how important this is from a strangers perspective or your family, or even an imaginary film star playing you… I chose to hear what my family would say in 6 months. This was the turning point of the week, I got really excited about what I wanted them to see and hear from me. It really mattered and I really wanted it to start now!

15. Life if I don’t make the changes – dated (6 months time)

16. Life if I do make the changes – (6 months time) – don’t just write the opposite think about what you want it to look like. My big is not about the size on monetary aspect of the business my big is about the depth – meaningful work, making a difference and understanding that is a huge selling point and enormously rewarding (BIG language)!!!

17. Affirmations – that support your change, and saying them out loud everyday

  • My business is thriving
  • I am kind to myself and others
  • I will challenge myself to think BIG all the time

18. The Plan – What are you committing to, capture and log a review date of 3 weeks time.

19. No more excuses – another map to recognise some of your inner dialogue that has been trying to stop you

  • Covid
  • The business is OK – why change
  • Energy/Age

20. Testing myself on purpose – we all have those habits that we know are going to derail so be ready for them and put yourself in the frame to test yourself.

In summary my week of living with The Kindness Method made me feel good about myself and my business. At times it felt very indulgent however the mindset and outcomes are superb. The Plan started on Thursday and nuggets and I are thriving.

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

Please do watch the video of the book review: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2PGtK9Kijs&t=19s

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

Colourful coaching…

At nuggets we deliver colourful coaching, a visual map of the clients words and their thinking by using different coloured post-it notes.

I qualified as a CTI Co-active coach and was very happy with the techniques, however I wanted to put my nuggets stamp on it. I have worked with Coaches myself and the ones that resonated with me were the ones who used visuals.

Not everyone is visual although everyone needs a reminder a memory snapshot for the coaching to be effective. Coaches make notes during or after the session and sometimes they capture the essence, my belief in the colourful coaching methodology is that it works brilliantly as it is in the here and now.

Coaching is all about the quality of listening and being sure to hear the words the client uses, just a change of one word can alter a meaning. Using the word “rubbish” and “terrible” definitely have different levels of impact. We listen with our eyes and our heart and can ask about the emotion behind the words but only at the right moment.

The relationship between the coach and the client is like a dancing partner. The client always chooses the dance and always leads the dance, however the coach is there as a partner on the dance floor. As a partner you can help navigate around other people on the dance floor and ask how they are feeling and if they are enjoying the dance or do they want to do another. The rhythm and movement of the coach and client must be comfortable and enjoyable.

The best coaches are the ones that are outside of the company and industry, the lack of knowledge is beneficial in giving guidance and opinion when appropriate that does not come with any hidden agenda. “You can reach for the stars” in a coaches eyes as they do not have a vested interest in your performance they are being paid to coach you, so that you can reach the potential you desire.

Colourful coaching is one hour and currently via Zoom. The first two sessions need to be within a fortnight of each other so that rapport is established, and going forward the Client can determine how often they need to meet up. In the virtual world of Zoom it is advisable to meet more often.

Using a board the post-it notes are displayed behind the coach creating a journey of the session. The board acts as a great summary and most importantly a record of the session. Photos of the post-its are sent to the client.

We ask before the next session the client sends their nuggets and actions. nuggets are the key learnings which will make the most difference.

The cost of colourful coaching is £100 and we would love to start working with you on any of the following or something that is relevant to you now:-

  • How to be effective working from home…? self motivation/discipline
  • Beating procrastination and being effective
  • Self confidence
  • New to Leadership
  • Presentation coming up – want some guidance on how to have impact
  • Career change

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Goals, Learning, motivation, training

Back to school…

Using “Back to school” as a metaphor for business what does it mean for us…

New Uniform

We might well be staying the same, as per working from home, therefore do we need a new uniform. It is not just about the clothes we wear it is the mindset we put on every morning. Do you feel positive about the future and do you believe that you are still developing and growing. Every morning you wake up you choose the attitude you decide to put on. Susan Jeffers quoted in her book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” if you wake up in “pain” you will stay in “pain” all day. Whereas if we decide to pop “power” on, we will have a very different day. Think about what you need to look good inside and outside and remember you make the choices.

New Timetable

September is a good time to change your schedule, the days are changing it is already getting darker earlier, therefore do you start the day earlier? What new routines and rituals are you going to factor into your week. Map out the month of September and decide what will be a weekly or a daily discipline. Most importantly remember to write it down.

New Teachers

Who are you going to work with in September? Reach out to new Clients and new businesses that you have never reached out to before. Try different sectors and industries, be open minded about who you want to work with.

New Subjects

What new skills and development do you want to start? Think about mind/body and soul, develop your whole self. Set yourself a monthly goal to ensure that you remember to focus on it. James Clear the writer of “Atomic Habits’ says remember it is important to start, it is better to run for 10 minutes than to not run at all. Get started and you will then begin to embody the identity of the habit you wish to develop.

New Friends

Existing colleagues and new colleagues, reach out of your comfort zone and attend new webinars, virtual workshops and new meetings. See if you can meet a new person each week or month, set it up as a challenge.

Please do contact me if you would like to attend the nuggets book club starting this Friday at 10.00am when we will be reviewing the book “Eat that Frog”.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Learning, motivation, training

Make learning stick… why does it matter?

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught” – Churchill

Make learning stick, why does it matter, if you can learn something in your short term memory and ace a test is that all that matters.  Why does learning something long term really matter? 

As in the Churchill quote we can all recall a bad learning experience, the teacher spoke at you and your brain drifted with the result none of the information was retained.

My own experience of learning can possibly explain why it matters and why I try so hard to make learning stick for others.

I did not learn to read until I was 10 years old, it just did not stick.  The concept did not seem fun and no-one really explained what it would give me.  There is an assumption that you understand what reading will give you, however at infant school age, painting a picture or diving into the dressing up box seemed to me far more enticing.

I started on the Peter and Jane books and then seem to spend an eternity on some Pirate books.  I am not even sure to this day why the Pirates were used and if I am honest I don’t think I even knew fully what a Pirate was.  

We were encouraged to take the book home and practice with our parents, there was no diary to monitor whether this happened and therefore no structure.  As you can imagine those Pirate books stayed in my bag and were only read at school.

Once you have hindered your own development you get labelled very quickly.  My lack of reading made all my other subjects harder and before I knew it I was in the “Learning difficulties group”.  I can now laugh at the title, but at the time they used to call that title out openly in the class “All those for the Learning Difficulties Group follow Miss Webster…”).  

Over a period of time you then develop a fixed mindset around your experience.  I was the third daughter “the creative one”, I did not need to be the clever one, so it was OK not to be fantastic in class.  Professor Carol Dweck’s brilliant book on Mindset explains that it is easier not to stretch yourself if that is the role you are fulfilling.  Whereas some-one with a growth mindset will constantly put themselves at stretch and reach out for new opportunities and risks. 

The reasons I was not mastering reading could be summarised as follows:-

  • The benefits were not understood 
  • The concept was not fun 
  • The resource (books) were of no interest
  • Fixed mindset around reading 
  • No structured practices 

I guess you are now all wondering whether I am still on the Pirate books and how I turned it around.

I was very lucky as there was that one teacher who made it her mission to get me to read.  Instead of sending the “Learning difficulty group” out of the class she focused on them within the class.  We all had times with her where we read out loud whilst the others were working with a gentle hum, therefore no public humiliation.  She set up the right space and comfort level to make it happen.

With me specifically she commented on how expressive I was, and how good I was at reading out loud.  She had spotted a talent within the confusion of interpreting the words.   She also selected books specific to each child or encouraged us to bring books into school.

The book that made it all happen ironically was “George don’t do that…” by Joyce Grenfell.  It was funny and was littered with illustrations and somehow just clicked, it was the first book I read on my own.  

I now understood what reading could give me and I have never been without a book a testament to the struggle to get there.

What was it that finally made the learning stick?

  • Being encouraged and identifying a talent other than reading
  • The right environment, making learning comfortable
  • Being given choices and making it relevant to me (individualised) 
  • Regular practice and a routine that became normal and comfortable
  • Developing a growth mindset (where would reading take me) 

Making learning stick is all about the experience, the memory and the relevance.

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Goals

Better & Better decisions…

“Thinking in bets” is the book by Annie Duke a professional poker player. The exercise of decision making under conditions of uncertainty aligns with the game of Poker where you make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

High quality decisions are like investments in life.

View every decision as a bet and you become more open minded.

“Are you certain you will enjoy the book?” – some-one wants to bet with you that you won’t. You then begin to challenge your beliefs, what information do I need or what am I missing? What does this person know about the book that I don’t?

Suddenly you are more open minded as you have so much more information about the book, favourable and unfavourable. You have lost your bias and you have made yourself more open to new information.

This approach to decisions, beginning to look at them like bets, means we embrace objectivity and we make better decisions.

Duke’s other principle is to think about expected value. Calculate the expected reward and the outcome. Is it worth watching the film for 2 hours or meeting a friend for coffee for 1 hour and then exercising for the other hour. Think about the time, money and attention and committ with confidence if the expected value works for you at that moment in time. Assess your decision by how much you are investing Vs expected value.

We get better decisions if we evaluate their success and their failure. We could make a terrible decision and get good results by being lucky. However if we have just haphazardly got lucky this would not be a good pattern to follow.

We should evaluate the positive and the negative, so if you make a decision and get a good result, think what two mistakes you made. This creates the mindset of process focused rather than results focused.

“What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process” Annie Duke

We are making decisions in uncertain times so what can we apply from Duke’s theory:-

  • Make a decision imagining it is a bet – ignore your bias and be open minded
  • Weigh up the expected value with how much time or money you are investing
  • Evaluate all decisions – it is the process not the result

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership

What next…?

There is no new normal as everything is new, so therefore what next…?

We have developed new habits and even new skills to adapt to our new working environment and changes to our business. We have reinvented products and services to fit the climate we are in. Following successful brands we have evolved and adapted to the new compass and the new direction we have been forced to follow.

Going forward there are three main areas that will keep us on track:-

  1. Pivot to customer
  2. Agile
  3. Trust & transparency

1. Pivot to the customer has been a buzz on blogs and social media, however what does it actually mean. We have to put the customer at the centre of everything and we literally move around them (pivoting) to every need demand they desire. My own example would be, my coaching sessions reduced to one hour and were conducted over Zoom, as this is what worked for the customer. nuggets workshops are also only one hour over Zoom and the customer chooses the time of day.

We also pivot by being innovative with our products and service. You cannot deliver in this climate the same service you did before so you adapt it. My workshops used to be highly interactive with flip charts and lots of colour. The changes I have made are colourful PowerPoint slides and interaction of a verbal kind using very imaginative exercises.

The expression pivot also has a financial connotation, how quickly can you alter your fees. Your expenses might be less in this climate so therefore you can optimise what you have and make it a financially attractive. This is smart pricing, you get a lot for your money but it is at a fair rate.

A customer centric business is personal you foster loyalty by sharing how you have made the business accessible to them and affordable. You make it very clear that you are there for them whatever the situation globally.

2. Agile everything…the principles of agile are not exclusive to software development and can be applied to any business. There are 12 principles of Agile that fall into three main categories:-

  1. Clarity and transparency delivery – the system of work
  2. Learning and leaning – improve and optimise performance
  3. People focus – autonomous and engaged culture

Part one the clarity and transparency is all about having regular milestones and measurements which align with a vision and goals. There must be clear intent and direction so that you always understand what is valuable to your customer.

At nuggets I have a white board in the office which clearly shows how many coaching sessions, workshops happen each month. The overall vision of nuggets is to “Help people think and work differently…”. After every workshop or coaching session individuals send their nuggets (key learnings) so that I know that I am on track with my vision and I have added value to the customer.

The second part of Agile is learning and leaning. We have to look deep into our processes and systems to minimise waste. Repeat tasks to spot if you can make any incremental changes. Review all the work you do as quickly as possible so that you have a very short feedback loop.

The third and final phase of Agile is the people focus. Ensure you recognise effort and you have collective ownership over tasks and projects. Empower your team to improve together and collaborate regularly. Drive processes through as much communication as possible.

3. Trust and Transparency finally on the journey of what next..? Trust underpins every relationship you have, you may have deep foundations of trust with some and very weak ones with others. In the current situation we are in, they need to be solid and robust. Take time to build relationships, it is as important as the job itself. Without people you have no business and people are human.

Transparency is how are business is conducted, we operate fairly with no hidden costs or hidden agendas. We share our vision and our products and services and how we want to work with our customers.

In summary the “What next…?” will be intelligent agility, retaining excellence and above all taking time to understand our customers.

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, Relationships, Time management

Getting the best out of working from home…

We strive to be effective and efficient and we have to create our own routine.

Initially we went racing into the lockdown, it was powered up productivity, we did not know we would still be working from home, three months later. Some of us have now burned out and don’t have the initial excitement and enthusiasm of being at home.

Just as you change gear in your car to alter your performance, we are now at that stage as people we need a boost a new gear change.

Start the week with a plan of what you are doing and ensure that you break it into a daily task list of what can be achieved. Having a rolling to do list for the week is not as motivational as looking at what you have done each day. Ensure that you review at the end of the day what you have completed and even add to the list of tasks the things you have completed that weren’t on the list. Highlighting or ticking them as complete seems childish however the acknowledgement of your achievements and the reflection of how you spent your time is all good inputs for the list for the next day.

There is no escape to see colleagues and a chance to loiter in the kitchen. We need breaks and working from home you need to book them in. Sadly they are not as spontaneous as at an office, but if you have other people in your home, schedule a coffee and meet up with them. Most importantly have a change of scene move away from desk and if possible take the break in another room.

For some having no set hours is scary, managing the day, week and the whole calendar seems to big and endless. We need to start thinking like a leader who operate from a framework of freedom. Leadership thinking is having a clear purpose or vision that every thing you do everyday factors into that vision and overall purpose as to who you are. This umbrella view of everything then gives you an idea of what needs to completed each quarter/monthly and then at a micro level daily. Ideally having on display your purpose can be motivational and a guide as to whether you are on track.

nuggets overall vision is to “Help people think and work differently…” do I do something everyday to make that happen.

We have had to fit life into work as never seen before, parents home schooling and attending zoom meetings. Dogs being walked, houses cleaned and endless meals being prepared. We have to treat life with as much importance as work, you need to plan it and schedule it. You must not squeeze life in around work. Map out when is a good time to walk the dog or to exercise yourself, ensure it is in the diary everyday. Plan and write up your meals, so the thinking and uncertainty of what to eat does not fill your head. Your hours don’t have to be as they were and they don’t have to be the same everyday, however for your own mental health know when you start the day and when you are going to stop the day.

Accountability has to be robust, more evidence to justify what you have achieved, therefore have we slipped into a more results driven culture. The balance of how much you are trusted and the measurement of your performance from a far. If you are more trusted is the performance more guaranteed. We cannot rely on our Leaders to simply trust us we have to communicate with them regularly to ensure they do trust us. Trust underpins any relationship we have and it is built on a foundation of knowledge of the other person. Remember the name of some-ones dog on a Zoom call could be a motivational gift and that simple insight could increase productivity.

Working from home is what we make it and what choices we make around how to set it up and it is now the time to review:-

  • What has gone well? – you have enjoyed?
  • What has not been so good?
  • What can you do differently?

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Making the most of working from home…”

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Learning, Time management

Timing is not an art its a science…

“We all know that timing is everything. Trouble is, we don’t know much about timing itself.” – Dan Pink

When is the worst time of the day?

The book written by Dan Pink uncovers some of the mysteries around time by using scientific evidence.  Here are some questions used in one of his recent talks about the book to give you the idea of “When” is the right time.

  • When should a CEO make an earnings call to investors?

We should all avoid the time between 2.00pm – 4.00pm and especially the unproductive time in the middle 2.55pm. This period Pink refers to as the “Trough”.  The studies show that CEOs are more likely to make mistakes on an earnings call in the afternoon.

  • When is a good time to ask for a pay rise?

Studies show that if your line Manager is returning just after a break they will be refreshed enough to make a more positive decision.  Pink based this on analysis of parole board decisions, prisoners repeatedly got a more favourable decision just after lunch than just before lunch as the peak of the morning wore off.

  • When should you start a new diet or exercise regime?

We use a temporal landmark this is a point in time that we naturally think of as an opportunity for a fresh start. These come in two forms: social temporal landmarks, dates that are seen as a fresh start by many people collectively (your birthday, anniversary etc) or New Year’s, or the other landmark is the start of a month, the start of a week, etc.  Pink describe it as  mental accounting of when to start your spreadsheet.

  • When are you most likely to run a marathon?

Our life is planned out in episodes and this pattern leads to endings and beginnings.  We are more likely to run a marathon at 29, 39, or 49 before we hit the big number.  We want to achieve something at the end of that chapter or episode.

Please do get in touch for further insights on timing bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Focus on habits…

This year focus on your habits and rituals don’t get fixated on goals and outcomes.

James Clear author of Atomic Habits says

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems” 

Whilst we set a desired outcome it is our daily habits that lead us to it.

Make sure you do not let an identity from last year or even further back restrict your progress.

  • I’m terrible at strategy
  • I don’t speak up at meetings
  • I am disorganised

Take on a Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck)

  • I will think strategically
  • My voice will be heard in meetings
  • I will have a clear desk every night

Megan Hellerer career coach to high flying women in the US, talks about the approach of being Destinational or Directional.

She describes Destinational – I want to be CEO (very clear goal and outcome).  The route to this  might be copied by others who have done it before eg. a very well known path, however somewhere along that route you loose control.  You take on the habits of others and you don’t allow for deviation.  You reach the desired destination but is it what you wanted or desired.

The Directional approach allows for changes and deviations you have total control, you make your own decisions and create your systems to compliment your route to your goal.  You know that the world is not static and you move with the times.

Hellerer uses a road trip as a metaphor, Destinational follow a set road trip, they follow the guide exactly and might have a great trip, however they have not made the trip their own.

Directional co-create the trip depending on the weather and circumstances, they make their own decisions.

To summarise a quote from F.M. Alexander:-

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures..”

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Habits and Rituals bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk