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

Understanding the Service Profit Chain…

Harvard Business School wrote an article on the service profit chain back in 2008 however the relevance of the article is even more prevalent now post Covid.

Back in the 70s and 80s businesses focused on profit goals in isolation with the work hard ethic driving growth.

Today economics of services consider the factors that drive profitability, investment in people, technology, revamping recruitment practises, training and compensation that is linked to performance or effort not just results.

The shift in thinking means that employees are just as important as customers.

The hard value of profit is now being measured by soft measures, for example the profit of the business can be measured alongside the satisfaction of an employee.

To understand the service profit chain see it as journey as follows:-

  1. Internal Quality – Drives Employee Satisfaction (working environment, relationships with their colleagues, customers and their role)
  2. Employee Satisfaction – Drives Loyalty (look after your employees and they will stay)
  3. Employee Loyalty – Drives Productivity – (retaining employees means no breaks in productivity)
  4. Employee Productivity – Drives Value – (delivering your service above and beyond)
  5. Value – Drives Customer Satisfaction – (customers value the result and the services encompassed in the price)
  6. Customer Satisfaction – Drives Customer Loyalty (a good experience will make you return)
  7. Customer Loyalty – Drives Profitability and Growth (quality, satisfaction, loyalty, productivity, value as an equation equal profitability)
  8. Profitability & Growth

The right Leadership underpins the journey and the success of the service profit chain.

The steps form a continuous pattern, and to ensure that you are on top of all the areas involved. You will need to conduct a Service Profit Chain Audit, asking key questions:-

  • How do we define loyal customers?
  • Do measurements of customer profitability include profits from referrals?
  • What proportion of business development expenditures and incentives are directed to the retention of existing customers?
  • Why do our customers leave?
  • Is customer satisfaction data gathered in an objective, consistent and periodic fashion?
  • When are you listening to your customers and when are you getting feedback from your customers and employees?
  • How is information concerning customer satisfaction used to solve customer problems?
  • How do you measure service value?
  • To what extent are measures taken of differences between customers perceptions of quality delivered and their expectations before delivery?
  • How do you measure employee productivity?
  • How do you create employee loyalty?
  • What is the right level of employee retention?
  • Is employee satisfaction measured in a similar way to customer satisfaction?
  • Employee selection criteria is geared to what customers want as well as Managers?
  • How much do you correlate customer satisfaction, quality of service & loyalty to rewarding employees?
  • Do employees know who their customers are?
  • Are employees satisfied with the technological and personal support they receive?
  • Do employees believe they have the right quality of work life?

The measures have to be connected to create a comprehensive picture so that the service profit chain provides a strong foundation for profit and growth.

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching or 90 minute workshops bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Learning, Relationships, training

Psychological Safety

A team climate characterised by interpersonal trust and mutual respect, in which people are comfortable being themselves” – Amy Edmondson

Edmondson is a Harvard Business School professor and the author of “The Fearless Organisation”. Psychological safety is about your voice being heard, it is not about being nice, its about being able to be candid and honest about what you see and hear. It is also not about avoiding conflict or license to whine it is about having a voice and being able to speak up.

The research for the book focused on hospitals, Edmondson studied the rate of reported errors, versus patient outcomes, across surgical teams. The research found that the teams with the highest number of mistakes, seemed to have the best patient outcomes. Their success was down to an attitude of honesty, transparency and learning, it was psychological safety in action.

Google wanted to explore why some teams were great and some teams not so great. The study took five years and was called Project Aristotle. The outcome was that you can’t simply bring people together who are the most qualified and expect a great team. Instead the team has to have the right characteristics. The researchers discovered what really mattered was how the team worked together not who they were. Top of the list was psychological safety.

  1. Psychological Safety – team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other
  2. Dependability – team members get things done on time and meet the high standards of the team
  3. Structure & Clarity – team members have clear roles, plans and goals
  4. Meaning – Work is personally important to team members
  5. Impact – team members think their work matters and fits with the wider team goals

Edmondson was delighted that Googles research supported her own findings. We are in a knowledge economy and without safety of speaking up, new innovations could be missed. Leaders need to ask for forgiveness if they have not provided a safe enough environment for voices to be heard. Ask your team is it easy to come to me with mistakes or new ideas.

Psychological safety is not only important in established teams but also in what Edmondson defines as “Teaming”. This is when people need to work together interdependently to get a result. An example would be an Accident & Emergency department, sometimes you don’t know who you are working with and you have different expertise but you need to work together in the moment. In order for that teaming experience to be effective everyone needs to feel psychologically safe.

The goal is not psychological safety it is the means to your goals.

In summary what is it?

  • If you make a mistake in the team, team members are supportive, and it is not held against you
  • It is easy for members to feel comfortable and ask other team members for help
  • Members of a team are able to bring up problems and tough issues 
  • It is safe to take a risk as a team
  • People accept others for being different in the team
  • No one in the team would deliberately act in a way that undermines any individual efforts or ideas
Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, Problem solving, Stress management

The curse of overthinking…

Many of us have become over thinkers because it gives us the illusion that we’re doing something about the problem we’re overthinking about” – Nick Trenton

We all have moments where we have so much in our heads that our bandwidth is stretched to capacity. We then decide to focus on just one problem and overthink it so that it becomes a really huge problem. The bigger it gets the more you lose the ability to see any clarity, make any decisions or to feel calm.

Nick Trenton the author of Stop Overthinking says the first mistake is to think that you can think your way out of overthinking. Understanding that you can’t think and feel at the same time is liberating. When you are too emotional and in feelings you need to move away from whatever is triggering the anxiety and move into thinking, and likewise too much in your head you need to feel instead of think.

Trenton suggests the 5,4,3,2,1 approach, using all five senses to reset. Imagine sitting at your desk overthinking. Stop and take a moment to :-

5 – look at 5 things in your office – really stare and visualise them, lamp on your desk, tree outside, the sky, pen you have been using, a chair opposite you

4 – hear 4 things and really hear them – the fan on your computer, your breathing, car outside, ticking of a clock

3 – feel 3 sensations, your hands on the desk, the fabric of your shirt, warmth of mug on your desk

2 – smells you can detect in the room – your own perfume/aftershave, the aroma in the room

1 – taste sensation, the coffee, or just your own taste in your mouth

This method gives you the control back.

Behind every overthinking episode is a deliberating belief, Trenton describes this second method as “counter belief experiment”.

You are about to present to a large audience and you are overthinking and you believe you are not prepared enough. He says take the following steps to challenge that anxiety belief:-

  1. What must I believe about myself, or the future to justify my anxiety?
  2. Invert the belief to form a counter belief – if you believe you are not prepared for the presentation – the counter belief – I am fully prepared for the presentation
  3. Spend a least a minute in the counter belief – you are full prepared – what does that feel like?
  4. Look for evidence to support this new belief – you are fully prepared

Finding evidence to support your counter belief, helps you dispel the original belief, this will lower the anxiety and stop you overthinking.

The final method Trenton suggests is worry postponement. When the overthinking starts, book a worry appointment for later. The delay often takes away the anxiety. The worry just wants to be acknowledged and that maybe all it needs as often when you revisit the problem it is not a problem.

To book a workshop on “How to stop Overthinking…?” please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Leadership, Learning, Relationships

Infinite mindset…

The difference between a finite game and infinite game is the context of Simon Sinek’s book. Finite game you know the goal to achieve and you know the players and everyone understands their role. There are fixed rules and there is a clear beginning and end. An infinite game is played by known and unknown players – there are no rules, and the players can operate however they want, they can change how they play the game at any time and for any reason. As there is no end there is no such thing as winning 

There are finite goals within life such as school but ultimately life is infinite.  There is no such thing as coming in first in marriage or friendship, the same with global politics and there is no declaration of being a winner.

When we lead with a finite mindset it will lead to all sorts of problems the decline in trust. Infinite mindset we create high levels of trust co-operation collaboration innovation.

The game of business has no finishing line you want to build organisations that are strong enough and healthy enough to stay in the game for many generations to come.

Five principles of an Infinite mindset:-

  1. Advance a just cause – vision of a future state that does not yet exist – people are willing to make sacrifices to help advance forward to follow you. An example of a finite just cause:-  Fighting against poverty – makes it appear we can win – however if we said instead “We fought for the right for every human to provide for their own family” it is positioned as a cause that you want to be a part of. The first offers a problem to solve the second offers a vision of possibility and dignity. 

2. Build trusting teams – a current buzz term is psychological safety if your employees feel safe then they will trust you more. Creating an environment where failure is embraced and the team/organisation believe in a growth mindset.

3. Study your worthy rivals – In the book Sinek uses the tennis players Chris Everett-Lloyd and Martina Navratilova as examples of worthy rivals. They respected each other off the court and to that end they wanted to improve to be a worthy rival. Everett Lloyd particularly altered how she played from being a baseline player to coming into the net, she learnt from her rival and improved her game.

4. Prepare for existential flexibility – Be prepared to flex your business be aware of your just cause being limiting. The US railroad was about improving rail roads and with the decline of train travel they have been left behind. Imagine if they had invested in “just moving people” they could have invested in other forms of transport. Other examples are Blockbusters did not move the business from video rental and got squeezed out by Netflix who worked on a subscription model.

5. Demonstrate the courage to lead – making decisions that are bold and brave. The example of CVS Caremark in February 2014 taking the decision not to sell cigarettes as it was not in line with the healthy just cause they wanted to follow. Shareholders were not happy about the downturn in revenue but it is about having the courage to lead your team and the organisation to follow your cause. Consumers did not leave and in fact some shopped there to follow the cause and data showed a small decline in smokers in localised stats near their stores.

Please do reach out if you would like a workshop on the Infinite Mindset bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, personal impact

Giving the “right” feedback…

Feedback is a gift and the more we get used to giving and receiving the more we will be working in teams with high trust.

Kim Scott’s book “Radical Candor” uses a very simple and powerful framework to explain how to land feedback that resonates. In a talk she gives to accompany the book she tells the story of her own boss at the time Sheryl Sandberg giving her feedback and it not being received. Sandberg commented on the fact that she said “um” after every third word when she presented. Scott waved a hand as if to sweep the feedback away. Sandberg persisted and said a presentation coach might be an idea. Still the message was not getting through and eventually Sandberg got straight to the point. “By saying um after every third word there maybe a perception that you are stupid and insecure” . Scott immediately listened.

The only reason this feedback could land was their existing relationship and the confidence that Scott had that Sandberg was being tough because she cared. The model has two axis – how much you care for the personality and how direct you want to be.

Being direct can often be misconstrued as being cruel but the reality of a clear message is that it is much kinder. Bréne Brown is quoted as saying “Clear is Kind and Unclear is Unkind”.

Radical candour within a team needs to be frequent, candid and flow up and down and even sideways. This high trust environment provides psychological safety for all members.

If we don’t care about the person and we are not direct we are using passive aggressive behaviour where on the surface we flatter some-one but behind their back we criticise. Scott calls this “Manipulative Insincerity”.

Caring for a person too much can weaken are ability to be direct and we can give feedback that maybe helpful short-term but we are not addressing possibly big flaws. On the model this is known as “Ruinous Empathy”.

Finally if we are too direct and we don’t care for the person we are aggressive and just have the label of “Obnoxious Aggression”.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to deliver a workshop on Feedback bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Your first 100 days…

Niamh O’Keefe’s very practical book acts as a coach to guide you through your first 100 days of a new Leadership position. However the book is like a manual that you could pick up at anytime and start a new 100 day plan it does not have to be a new job.

The book is how to have:-

  • 100 day timeline
  • 100 minute read
  • 100% practical

The first chapter asks how you think before starting:-

  • You – list your strengths
  • Role – what are the expected deliverables?
  • Organisation – overall vision of the company
  • Market – who are your competitors? what is your position in the market?

Before you start a new position there is an emotional release from the old, and good to recognise what that is before launching into a new role. Be prepared to have a good energy bank take care of your mind and body, have a break before you start the new role. The book provides templates of how you can send a pre-start announcement to your new team.

To write your first 100 day plan, break into 4 areas and each one will need outcomes:-

  • On person – transition maker, unique contributor
  • On role – content learner, business achiever, team builder & communication planner
  • On Organisation – relationship builder, value adder & cultural navigator
  • On market – market player

There are 10 areas and each need an outcome, from those break them into milestones what will you need to achieve by when…

Most importantly show up as a Leader, by providing a clear direction (vision), bring people together and deliver results. Use your newness as an advantage what do you see with your “Fresh Eyes”.

By 30 days you should have begun to see the characteristics of a high performing team evolving. You have also identified the critical success factors to take you to 30 – 60 days.

During the next phase seek feedback from your stakeholders as to how you are progressing. Get the team to work harder, and learn to sit with discomfort at times. Keep updating your plan and bonding with new people.

The last milestone is 90 days when you only have 10 days left, you need to close out the plan and celebrate. Thinking beyond the 100 days, you have been in a sprint it will now be a marathon going forward, a more gradual pace but keep an eye on your continued effectiveness.

For a more in depth book review please join the nuggets bookclub this Friday 24th June @ 10.00am – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571219497

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

Empathy…

Empathy is an emotional skill and as with any skill you have to keep practising to gain mastery.

It is about our ability to understand what some-one is experiencing and to reflect back our understanding.

The attributes of empathy by Theresa Wiseman:-

  • Perspective taking – what is the experience like for you?
  • Staying out of judgment – just listen don’t evaluate
  • Recognising emotion
  • Communicating our understanding
  • Practising mindfulness – feeling the emotion and moving through it

Empathy is a tool of compassion, we only truly experience it if we are present for some-one else’s pain. If we are not willing to be fully present then it’s not real empathy.

Brené Brown writes in Atlas of the Heart “We need to dispel the myth that empathy is walking in someone else’s shoes. Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences”

Empathy misses:-

  • Sympathy – “I feel so sorry for you” – empathy is not feeling sorry for some-one
  • Judgement – The gasp from your friend is not empathy – over reaction will make the person feel shame
  • Disappointment – “You’ve let me down” – if they are looking for you to be exemplary all the time is not relating to you
  • Comparing/Competing – “If you think that’s bad” – not about you, must be their agenda
  • Problem solving – “I can fix it” – just listen don’t go into fixer mode
  • Avoid – “Let’s make this go away” – sit with the discomfort and connect in a meaningful way

We need to truly listen and be present for the person feeling what they are feeling to even begin to master empathy.

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