Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, Learning, Management, motivation

nuggets book club

By popular demand the book club is back. We will be covering some great titles:-

  • 27th May 2022 – The Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • 10th June 2022 – Part II – The Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • 17th June 2022 – Effortless by Greg McKeown
  • 24th June 2022 – Your first 100 days by Niamh O’Keeffe
  • 1st July 2022 – The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
  • 8th July 2022 – The Power of Regret by Dan Pink
  • 15th July 2022 – Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • 22nd July 2022 – Our iceberg is melting by John Kotter
  • 29th July 2022 – Think again by Adam Grant

Each session will be one hour costing a nominal fee of £10 per session. Please dip in and out of the choices and share with friends and colleagues.

I will present a book summary and ask questions around the book to create discussion. There is no pressure to read the books, however hopefully the club will entice you to rush out and buy some of the titles.

The sessions are fun and interactive, with a practical learning element.

Please do follow the Eventbrite link to book your place:- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571179377

Please do get in touch for workshops or coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships, training

One to ones matter…

Meeting with your team members on a regular basis fosters a meaningful relationship. As a Manager they are the most important productivity tool you can have and to your team member.

For transparency and consistency you should offer every team member the same access to you, whether it be one hour fortnightly or one hour once a month. Book them into your diary as recurring meetings and think long and hard about the timing. This is a motivational tool so think about when the team member will feel at their best and yourself.

As a Line Manager you wear many hats and be careful which one you are wearing as to whether it is appropriate. Fundamentally you are their coach, you are invested in their performance and can pass judgment. You are not a counsellor although sometimes you may drift into this area, remember there are experts in this field. Mentoring is often what the future holds so you can dip a toe in this area however it is hard when you have a vested interest, you may not be as bold with your advice.

One to ones need to be relaxed with good rapport, but not so relaxed they have no structure or focus. You must also be weary that they are not all about work in progress. The time is about progression with a focus on what you are doing and also how you are doing it. There is a bigger conversation about motivation, dreams and desires.

Feedback is part of the catching up, whether it be positive or constructive. The best way to deliver is to have structure, see the mnemonic (“SBI”) below:-

S Situation

B Behaviour

I Impact

An SBI can be used for positive or constructive, see examples below:-

At the meeting last week…Situation

You were so articulate and clear on the project to the client...Behaviour

The client was enthusiastic and keen to start the work now…Impact

Or

At the meeting last week…Situation

You were very quiet and withdrawn…Behaviour

The impact was the Client lost confidence in our offer – Impact

The responsibility of a line manager is to check in on a team members well being. As an organisation there is the need to provide psychological safety, however be aware of what you can and cannot influence. Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence is a good test to see whether you should provide support. They are concerned about a deadline, this is something you can influence. They are concerned about the weather, this is not something you can influence. A number of things can be influenced, but if not explain to the team member they need to stop letting them feel such a big concern.

If you look like you are enjoying a one to one session so will your team member. Getting the most out of a one is all about the preparation and what you put into it and the input of your team member.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop “Getting the most out of one to ones” – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Less but better…

Do you find you are stretched to thinly, attending meetings back to back and often not remembering the content.

Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism”gives advice on how to get disciplined in the pursuit of less. Simply put a value on what you are saying yes to and say no more. We often struggle to say no as we think we are saying no to a person but you are saying no to the request not the person.

Often when we say yes to the wrong things we have short term comfort that we have done the right thing, however this may well give us long term discomfort. Not all effort is equal, be careful what you are saying yes to.

The over used word of “busy” means a brain that is operating without clarity. You are never that helpless that you cannot make the right decisions. Think about the best yes, be discerning take time and have an awkward pause to think is this the best use of your time.

Time out refreshes us whether it be play or sleep. Escaping helps with concentration time away gives an expansion of our awareness. This then gives more elasticity in the brain, greater bandwidth and again more discernment about the right choices. Sleep is the best asset you have in resting and growing your mind. The antidote to stress and the best recharge ever.

Be a journalist of your own life. By adopting the discipline of journalling everyday, you begin to get perspective and notice patterns. You can understand what is important now.

In essence is it a “Hell Yeah or a No” this is the title of Derek Sivers book and arguably a good compass to follow.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, motivation, personal impact, Relationships

Feedforward instead of feedback…

Feedback focuses on the past something we have done, and therefore can be quite limiting. However skilled you are at delivering feedback it all runs the risk of being personal. When delivered badly often elicits defensive behaviour, and a positive developmental conversation disintegrates.

Feedforward is about giving suggestions for the future. Identify a behaviour you would like to change or develop. Ensure that you have selected something that will make a significant and positive difference in your life.

Describe the behaviour to a colleague/coach/line manager it can be as simple as

“I want to be a better listener”

Ask for feedforward, suggestions for the future that might help them achieve a positive change in that behaviour. Below are some examples:-

  • Making notes at a meeting to test your listening skills
  • Setting up one to one meetings with other peers
  • Listening to an audio book and making a summary or book review

The exercise should be “fun” and motivating a very different vibe to feedback.

An article by Marshall Goldsmith author of MOJO claims several reasons it is worth giving it a try:-

  • We can change the future. We can’t change the past
  • It can be more productive to help people learn to be “right” than prove they were “wrong”
  • Feedforward is especially suited to successful people
  • Feedforward can come from anyone who knows about the task
  • People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback
  • Feedback can reinforce personal negative self talk & insecurities
  • We don’t like negative feedback and we don’t like giving it
  • Feedforward can cover almost all the same material as feedback
  • Feedforward an be much faster and more efficient
  • Feedforward can be used by all – it is not a power or authoritative tool
  • People tend to listen more attentively to feedforward

There is still a place for feedback but by engaging your whole team in feedforward there might be more of a growth opportunity. A great question is “How can I better help our team in the future?”. Ask every team member to identify a behaviour. Then as a whole group facilitate a feedforward session.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to host a Feedforward workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Add an egg…

In the 1950s General Mills launched a line of cake mixes under the name/brand “Betty Crocker”. The cake mixes included everything in a powered form milk/eggs etc… All you needed to do was just add water, mix and then pop in the oven. It saved everyone time and effort and was error free.

The product did not fly off the shelves. General Mills decided to bring in some psychologists. They needed to work out why consumers were not purchasing the product and the short answer was “guilt”. People felt bad using the product despite its convenience.

General Mills could have spent more money on advertising promoting the benefits of the time saved instead they made it less convenient. The product was revised with the addition of a “real”egg as well as the water. They relaunched the product with the slogan “Add an egg”. Sales of Betty Crocker soared.

By adding the egg, it took away some of the guilt, still saved time and most importantly the egg symbolised ownership and effort so the cake maker was invested.

The significance of the egg is relevant in so many ways at work:-

  • When delegating allow for team members to add their egg (their ideas and input)
  • Leading a team invite “eggs”
  • Motivating yourself, add an egg, make a task slightly harder
  • Measure yourself against the egg metaphor – how invested are you in the project
  • Team meetings ask for eggs don’t tell

The egg is such a powerful story and shows how we can motivate and empower our team members by asking for their input. Never present or delegate a project step by step, you will have presented a complete powder mix. The enlightenment and the novelty comes from the “real egg” which means team members connect as they can see their input.

Please do reach out and share your stories about adding an egg – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, Learning, Problem solving

Fixedness…Think differently

nuggets is all about getting people to think differently and at a start of a New Year it is a good time to evaluate how you look at things. We have worked on projects the same way and have the same rituals and routines, we get stuck in our ways.

The psychologist Karl Duncker discovered a version of “Functional Fixedness” when he posed his famous candle problem. Duncker asked participants to attach a candle to a wall, with the following materials, box of thumbtacks, a box of matches and a candle. Some tried pinning the candle to the wall with the thumb tacks, others tried melting the wax to get the candle to stick to the wall. There were only a few that used the thumbtack box by tacking it to the wall and thus creating a candle holder. These innovative thinkers had got past the fixed usage of the box and its function. The same exercise was repeated with the box presented empty and there was greater success as the participants could see the box out of context not holding any contents and were more ready to use it. Visualising something as a possible solution means that you have to stop being fixated on its functionality.

The experiment is all about a problems with functional materials, but what about looking at the way you work or the services you offer. You will have become fixed on the way you doing things and have created a fixed view.

Try this week to think about what could you look at differently within your company services or the way you work. Imagine a TV without a screen, or a lightbulb without the filament, to make this leap you have to accept that we all look at objects in a traditional way, as we all suffer from fixedness.

Share your ideas or book a workshop with nuggets in 2022 bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Develop your resilience ad resourcefulness…

Throughout this period we have talked about being resilient, learning to work from home and how to return to the office. However resilience has a partner we now need to be resourceful as well.

We will still have macro shocks and disruption alongside the micro daily stresses and strains.

Resilience is our capacity to cope with pressure, change and stress. We need four components to ensure we are resilient:-

  • Commitment to stick with it and not give up
  • Persistence and tenacity the ability to keep trying
  • Postivity to always identify a learning opportunity and growth
  • Bounce back, the ability to reset and come back stronger

Resilience can be learnt and below are some ideas as to how you can equip yourself:-

  • Stay motivated
  • Don’t be a perfectionist “Good is good enough”
  • Grow a thicker skin – accept that you will make mistakes
  • Sit with discomfort – wait until you have the right solution
  • Stay strong in self belief
  • Focus on the positive
  • Be realistic but at the same time aim high
  • Don’t lose perspective
  • Positive affirmations – “I can handle this…”
  • Ask for help

Resourcefulness is about the creative ability to overcome problems and making do with what is available at that moment in time. Summarised below:-

  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability

We can learn to be resourceful however there is an element that is innate are ability to survive is within us already. We need to keep developing that ability to find quick and clever solutions by being more agile in our thinking.

Tools and ways of developing your resourcefulness:-

  • Evaluate situations what do you have available
  • Think creatively, adapt ideas and find fresh thinking
  • Don’t take the first no as the final answer
  • Negotiate well with a win win for either side
  • Who else can support you
  • Bend the rules if needs be
  • Dare to ask for what you need
  • Keep your options open
  • Embrace different opportunities
  • Be proactive

We are in a new arena of working where being resilient and resourceful, hand in hand will be our way forward. Working patterns will be tried and adjusted several times until we get some good rhythms that are effective.

Look at the toolkits above and practice them to ensure the core behaviours of resilience and resourcefulness are instinctive.

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

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

Your First 100 Days…

The job market is buoyant post Covid and many people are starting out on their new positions in Leadership without a clear pathway.

I have been reading and following the book “Your first 100 days” by Niamh O’Keefe. The book is practical with many top tips and ways of navigating your start.

She identifies the areas that you will be working on by creating heading as in the table below:-

Person Role OrganisationMarket 
Transition MakerContent LearnerValue AdderMarket Player 
Unique contributor Business Achiever Relationship Builder 
Team BuilderCulture Navigator 
Communications Provider

You as a Person

This is a key transition it might be your first Leadership role, on workshops we often talk about the move from Driver to Passenger. The difference between being transactional to transformational. Write down the key Leadership skills you think you will need in order to develop.

As a new person to the company or team you are a unique contributor you have fresh eyes on the business and can suggest new ideas and innovative ways of working. Keep a journal so that you capture your thoughts.

Your Role

Starting a new role there will be content that you have to understand and learn, make a development plan.

Understand what targets you need to hit and focus very much on being a Business Achiever.

As a Team Builder create a high performing team, don’t be afraid to make changes.

Communications provider to your team and to stakeholders, create a communications map of who needs to be informed and how often.

Organisational focus 

As a new Leader you are a Value adder in what you bring to the strategic direction of the company, ensure that you think big, do not get caught up at a micro level. Write down early on your vision for the direction of the whole business, do not limit your thinking.

Relationship builder, internally and externally, working networks and cultivating genuine trustworthy and meaningful connections.

Navigating a new culture is vital as this is the beating heart of any organisation. Think about ways you can enhance rather than alter straightaway.

On Market

Think about your competitors, how can you make an impact and prove that you are a Market player. Take time to conduct thorough research.

Planning

With the headings map onto a table actions that you think you will achieve by when:-

First StepsBy the end of 30 daysBy the end of 60 daysBy the end of 90 days 

“Begin with the end in mind” Stephen Covey the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Start with a vision, your legacy, what do you want to be remembered for, project five to 10 years in the future. Dream big and focus on success, when writing your vision use the present tense, use clear, concise, jargon-free language. Infuse it with passion and make it inspiring and align it with your business values and goals. A vision statement should be concise, no longer than a sentence or two.

The book is filled with checklists and the story of a new leader running alongside the text. Practical workbook for a new leader to follow.

Please do get in touch if you would like a coach for your first 100 days bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Economy of Kindness

If kindness was currency and you made withdrawals and deposits, but we were all in the business of kindness, we would have such a different vibe. Stephen Covey the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People explains that every relationship we have is based on an emotional bank account. We make withdrawals emotionally and we also give deposits of support. Even the day to day living can be weighted by how much we do for each other. Emptying the dishwasher is a great deposit and then a withdrawal is when you don’t clear up the kitchen after cooking.

Kindness in business is now needed more than ever with the return to offices. Before the pandemic the focus solely on growth and profit left little room for Kindness. Companies are now recognising lives of their employees. Friday afternoons free, either billed as “Focus Friday” or simply half days set up in the summer have been extended to Christmas, giving people a longer weekend and more freedom from the organisation.

Values are being reset, how do we really want to work with each other. We want to work together and build on the stuff we care about. We are recognising that more is not necessarily better. We are looking for shared responsibility alongside shared values.

This is the time for us to adapt thrive while the Covid conscience is still memorable. The positives of the pandemic was that it taught us that we were brilliantly adaptable. Chemistry and connection of people is far more appealing than pure standalone growth.

Take 15 minutes today to watch the Mary Portas TED talk December 2019

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership

Not everything has to be so hard…

This is just a taster of the content of the book Effortless by Greg McKeown.

Not everything has to be so hard – Burnout is not a badge of honour. Often we create self-imposed pressure by striving for perfection. 

We can change the dialogue in our heads:-

 Exhausting Effortless 
ThinkAnything worth doing takes effortThe most essential things can be the easiest 
DoOvercomplicate, overengineer & overthink Find the easier path
Get Burnout – no results The right results and no burnout 

Quote by George Eliot “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other” 

Imagine your brain is a supercomputer – it might not perform optimally, computers slow down if their hard drive is too full they need to be decluttered. This is the same in our heads we may well be walking around with outdated assumptions, negative emotions, toxic thought patterns, this will slow down our mental energy and we will think everything is too much effort.

When everything does feel so hard?  Have a warm meal, hot shower and a good night’s sleep and you feel less heavy. Ask the question, what if this could be easy…? As a society we think trivial things are easy – important things are hard. We use language to support this, it has to “Hard earned” or “It will take blood, sweat & tears“.

We then distrust if something is to easy, we may say “easy money”.

Think this week is there something you have been putting off, try asking the question “What if this could be easy?”

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Effortless” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk