Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, mindfulness, personal impact

Different types of unconscious bias…

Basic survival when you are young is about trusting familiar and not trusting unfamiliar.   A baby trusts that its mother will care for them and a stranger will make them cry as they do understand or trust what they will bring.  The brain sorts familiar and unfamiliar and then starts to create memories that get locked down into biases.

We rarely perceive things objectively as our unconscious bias will step in and fill any blanks.  We often think we can make a decision visually alone as we have enough knowledge from previous experiences to know that it is right.

We need to be conscious of our bias, otherwise we will limit our choices in life and we will limit potential in others.

The data we have on what’s familiar can be limiting and thus give us too many shortcuts as to what is good or bad.

There are different types of unconscious bias to be aware of:-

  • Like me
  • Confirmation
  • Anchor

The like me bias is when we have an affinity with another so therefore they will be OK in the role or job, because they are like me.

Confirmation bias is when you have heard something in your past that therefore confirms that bias.  An example “Left handed people are more creative…”

Anchor bias is when you make a decision based on the first information you see.  This can be very damaging in recruitment, candidates can be decided based on their salary as this might be the first information you see.

Being aware of bias and slowing down are all good ways to ensure that your unconscious bias does not lead you.

Try making one small change on a regular basis, ask another person to lead a meeting, seek advice from new people alter your preferences to which newspaper you read or to which programmes you watch.

When you next open your email, have fresh eyes on the subjects and the sender, do not let your unconscious bias lead which one you open first.

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

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, motivation, personal impact, Relationships

Trust Vs Performance…

Simon Sinek talks about the balance of trust and performance.  He gives the scenario of working with the Navy Seals.

There are two levels of trust as far as they are concerned:-

  • “On the battlefield would you trust some-one with your life” – therefore saying their performance was very high
  • “Off the battlefield would you trust that person with your wife” – do they have high performance levels but very low trust levels

If you look at the table below where would you place the members of your team.

Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 16.34.28.png

  • High Performer/High Trust – might seem ideal, however they will possibly want to explore new challenges and will be hard to keep
  • Low Performer/Low Trust – might not be worth the investment of your time to develop, it will take lots of time and emotional energy
  • The most interesting column is the High Trust, you can develop Performance, with skills training and you already have a committed member of the team
  • The Low Trust column you should fear, especially the High Performer with Low Trust, how did they get there?

Reward performance on its own is creating an environment of toxicity where everyone just thinks for themselves and not others.

High Trust is a harmonious atmosphere where skills can be developed in a safe comfortable environment.

As a leader you can develop both, and it is worth categorising your team to identify the approach.

  • Performance – upskilling from a technical perspective – tends to be hard skills
  • Trust – every relationship is underpinned by Trust, so taking time out to really get to know your team members.  Invest in harnessing rapport and understanding them.

Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on working with your team as a leader bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Leadership, Management, personal impact

Unconscious bias…

The definition of unconscious bias is unsupported judgements.

We have the conscious mind where we apply logic and make rational decisions.  The unconscious mind has a vaster volume of information and we tend to use it to make snap decisions, which are not often right.

The information in the unconscious mind is made up of shortcuts, personal experiences, our own background and cultural background.  We create filters with this information and they often formulate from visual cues.

The cues can be gender, height, similarity or even their name.   I once met some-one who said they had never met a Bev they had liked before (an outspoken open bias).  More often as the bias is unconscious nothing will be said and you may not even be aware that you are making a judgement.

This instinctive use of our mind is not based on any analysis and therefore creates many categories of bias.  We often favour our own groups, this is known as affinity bias.  We have an affinity with a team member and we may support them with positive micro behaviours.  Praise after a meeting and the occasional coffee as you enjoy their company.  If we don’t have an affinity we may use negative micro behaviours, picking up on every detail within an email and not supporting them within meetings.

We cannot stop unconscious bias however we can become aware of it and begin to challenge it and address it.

  • Slow decision making down
  • Reconsider the reasons of your first initial reaction or response
  • Question any cultural stereotypes
  • Monitor each other and call it out, if you think there is a bias

We can address unconscious bias by greater self awareness.  Please do get in touch for a workshop on the topic bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

No-one knows you better than yourself…

The quote “No-one knows you better than yourself…” comes from the personality framework Myers Briggs.

Based on psychological type, developed by Carl Jung, the questionnaire Myers Briggs Type Indicator was created by Katherine Briggs and Isobel Myers a mother and daughter in the 1940s.

The questionnaire has great credentials in terms of its validity however it goes in and out of fashion in the training industry.

The attraction of the framework is that it is so practical and being self assessment people relate to it very easily.

The usual challenge around the questionnaire is that you have the potential to be any one of the 16 profiles.  Therefore people make the assumption that it is complex and not very applicable to their working life.

As a facilitator of Myers Briggs I have seen changes within teams and really positive results.  My recommendation is always to go through the process as a group, the more discussion around the preferences the more they come to life.  The tool provides a safe vocabulary for the team to use without being personal or eliciting defensive behaviour from others.

Working with a team you can also see a dominance eg. is there a group profile that they are projecting which can effect the clients they work with and the environment they create to work in.

We recently worked with a Bid team and we could profile the company they were hoping to work with.  It was hugely beneficial as to how they approached meetings and even down to the venue they selected.

Myers Briggs can be so practical and is a great confidence boost individually to your team members and to the whole group.

We use an interactive and colourful approach that breaks down the complexity and gets a team to see clearly how they can enjoy their profiles and have fun with the tool.

Please do get in touch for a Myers Briggs Workshop – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

Gold clients…

Business development is relentless and often it can be hard to think of a new approach.  Most of your new business will come from existing clients so we need to focus on which ones have the most potential to grow your business, and also be enjoyable to work with.

The first step is to create three categories:-

  1. Existing clients
  2. Prospective clients (warm leads not yet converted)
  3. Wish

We can then divide the existing clients into a further three areas:-

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze

Really analyse your clients and decide which ones are Gold.  You may need to take some time to think about the criteria for being Gold.  We often make the mistake of focusing our time on clients who pay a high premium fee, however they demand double the time. Other clients pay a constant fee which gives you guaranteed income and need very little time.

Therefore ask some questions to create the Gold criteria:-

  • What is the current fee structure?
  • How much time do you spend on the Client account?
  • Do you enjoy working with them?
  • How much resource is required to service that account?
  • How long have they been a Client?
  • Have they given you more work?
  • Have they recommended you to other Clients?

Make the exercise visual by having your Gold clients on display in your office.

“What you focus on becomes reality”. 

Prospective Clients will need to be touched regularly as now to get to a point of sale you will need at least eight touch points if not more.  Keep a tracker and make sure it is on display to all the team.

Wish seems a bit far reaching, however again the genius of audacity you just never know.  It is a great exercise to focus on who your dream client would be as it helps with the categorisation of the Gold existing clients.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to facilitate a management meeting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

Quick review of your business…

There are many detailed business review techniques however if you want to build a quick picture and show the current landscape, here is a quick tool.

Create some cards with the following headings:-

  • Core activities
  • Business efficiency
  • Financial position
  • Clients
  • Competitors

Instructions for completing cards:-

Core activities

Your core services (please use a separate card for each activity eg. sales, products, etc…).  Explain briefly during the last six months what has happened in this service area.

Business efficiency

The mechanics and processes behind your business. See suggested list below, however  add anything that is relevant to the workings and effectiveness of your business.  Please use separate cards for each new area.

  • Premises/facilities/IT
  • Team & skills
  • Procedures eg. gas safety…

Financial position

Assesing revenue streams (separate card for the different areas)

Clients

Over the last six months, which Clients have you been working with.

Competitors

Are there any highs or lows that you would like to record in regard to competitor activity.  A new service or way of doing business that has a positive or negative effect on your business.

Once you have completed your cards in all the areas, you can then sort them into the following headings:-

  • High
  • No change
  • Low

To make the exercise into a team activity you can post the cards into buckets with the headings above and then review them as a group.

Please do get in touch for nuggets to facilitate a review of your business bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

Out of the Maze…

The follow up to “Who moved my cheese…?” has arrived, and what perfect timing for me personally and for the world in general.

For those of you who have not read the bestseller “Who moved my cheese…?’ the theme is that cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.  The book emphasises the need to adapt to change and move with the cheese.

The new book asks the question what if you don’t know where to begin.

The central character is locked by the fact change has happened and the belief that things will never be the same.  However he meets the character “Hope” who says “Maybe they can turn out better than they were…”

We have beliefs that we get locked into and they can hold you prisoner in a mindset.  A belief is a thought that you trust is true, which can be either hold you down or lift you up.  Therefore you can change your mind if you choose a new belief.   You must not become the belief, you are the person who chooses your beliefs.

This links very closely to the work of Carol Dweck who talks about giving our children a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset.

An example:- if you have a belief that you are bad at public speaking  you will never put yourself in a position to speak.

If you change the belief that you are good at speaking in small groups, therefore you will be just as good public speaking.

The book “Out of the maze…” goes even further by saying – there are no limits to what you can believe.   You can simply change your mind by having new beliefs.

Sometime we have to believe before we can see the result so that we get into the right frame of mind.

An example:- believe you can sell your business before you have put it on the market and then you will do all that is necessary to get it ready to sell

On the journey to get out of the maze the character had to lose old baggage which is a metaphor for old thinking and beliefs.   We often on the journey have to seek out the very things we have always avoided.  Explore what has until now always seemed impossible.

The reflections at the end of the book, put it very succinctly “The Maze I need to get out of? is my own thinking”

Please do get in touch for a 90 minute workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk