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

Do you have a User Manual…?

When you pick up your shiny new car, it has a user manual, you know where the gears and levers are. Every warning light is understood as the user manual gives helpful pictures. As team members do we provide a user manual to our line managers.

As an individual you want to give your best to the organisation, however you also want to ensure that they understand what you want and what you offer. These are the elements of the psychological contract you have entered with the company. They gave you a contract with the tangible items they wanted and offered, however what about everything that was unsaid by both parties. Did you really want fun at the office and what did that look like?

A user manual could be a tool that could tease out the information.

People have different responses to feedback, some love it and want bucketfuls others just want a thimble very seldom. Working environments can be really conducive to some if they are quiet and others crave a buzz of peripheral noise and activity.

This is a great time to work with your team members to understand their user manual. We have all been working remotely for so long have we created a working day that now works for us, which means we have not worked a traditional 9 to 5.

There is always the unknown gifts that we have not shared with our leaders, you may well have discovered new hidden talents during this lockdown. Unless we use a tool like the “User manual” will we ever uncover the stars.

Back to the car analogy, this is a really good time to assess where you are, consider this your MOT. Please do get in touch if you would like one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Change management, coaching, Leadership, motivation

Create a visual…

Working with my own coach recently we were saying how much my business has changed over the last year. Clearly nuggets is not alone in having to adapt to the times we are living through and working where the demand is.

The coaching practice was far more agile than the learning and development workshops. I was able to increase my client base with coaching due to less travelling time, and offer a far better service. My model now is to engage with clients as often as they need instead of having a very static model of monthly catch ups.

The zoom intimacy works very beneficially with coaching, as the intensity and the immediacy of messages is extremely motivational.

Times are now changing again, and I wonder whether people remember that I am “Famous for the workshops”. The core of the business was always delivering colourful memorable workshops and this has still been possible over Zoom, however a gentle nudge that we are still here for that service.

The other key touch point I have been immensely proud of, was the blog which during lockdown has reached a far greater audience than before. The topics have been relevant and timely and receive great feedback, however does everyone know they are there.

Motivational speaking has been the quieter side of the business, however I now have my own story of how to transform and adapt your business. (Happy to take bookings bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk)

Realising there was more than one touch point made me want to share with my audience all the different ways you can connect with nuggets. My brain works visually so I really wanted to capture this in a diagram something that was memorable.

The graphic at the top of the blog was created it shows how you can dial up a nuggets service, however at the very centre is why I do what I do?

Helping people to think and work differently

My graphic was created by GetAhead a team of virtual assistants so you don’t have to be an artistist or a graphic genius. Simply explain what you are trying to achieve and then pay some-one to create it for you.

Metaphors are also great for explaining where your business might currently be and how it has evolved, transformed since lockdown. The word agile has been slightly overused be more imaginative, were you a certain animal before to what you are now? As an example were you a horse running in the flat races and now you compete in the steeple chases (lots of hurdles and more runners) and you love it.

Please do get in touch if you would like any of the nugget services or if you want a coaching session on how your business has transformed.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Please do take a look at the website – we will shortly be delivering a public workshop over Zoom on Developing You.

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, Management, Stress management

Thinking about your Welcome…

Last week with the children returning to school it was interesting to see the contrasts of how they welcomed them back.

My daughter was thrust straight back into academia with an A’level mock the first day back, and yet my son also in 6th Form had a day of focusing on their well being culminating with a beer round a fire pit. I know which Welcome I would have preferred!!

Also in the press I saw one school put up balloons festooning the entrance and the classrooms, albeit a primary school, however who does not want to feel special.

How will you welcome your team back?

Welcome in itself is written as a smile, having the word as prominently on show as you can will be a nice touch.

We can also start to send welcome letters now or even welcome packs, any form of teaser campaign and above all an acknowledgement of how excited you are to see them face to face.

Top Tips to consider with your Welcome:-

  • Be understanding, there will be anxiety of what to expect which is why it is good to start talking now
  • Have some well being workshops talks in place to manage any uncertainties
  • Keep everyone informed of which Government guidelines have been implemented and what the office might look like on their return
  • Set up rotas if your space is too small and you can’t all be in the office at the same time
  • Engage now – the next few months have the conversation before employees return
  • Be flexible with how it will work and give people choice
  • Reflect and review as it will keep changing

For more ideas on the easing out of lockdown please do get in touch bev@nuggetsofleanring.co.uk

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

Experiential space…

With the schools going back today, people are beginning to contemplate a return to the office. Leaders need to ask the right questions and begin to think how they want to use their space.

We want team members to have an experience and engage with the place in a new way. Do you have to associate the place with sitting at a desk. Will it be a social hub, with facilities that you need to host drinks, buffets and any form of get together. This new area could be a conference facility, spaces bigger for social distancing and large rooms without desks.

Social areas in offices are nothing new, however the change will be leaders will actively encourage time spent in them. Table football, pool and darts chances for individuals from different departments who may not have seen each other for a whole year to meet up.

The fixed desk might be old fashioned and the need to reconnect might mean switching every month.

Flexible working has worked and must be a pattern that everyone has the choice to continue with. The core hours of 9.00am to 5.30pm will be altered with people arriving at lunchtime and working in the evening, likewise the breakfast club could be the liveliest time of the day it will all depend on your culture.

The space can be used for well being events, encourage everyone to down tools and meditate, practise yoga or do a full on cardiac workout (air fresheners at the ready)!!! Lunch and learn can be so much more fun than a PowerPoint presentation, get departments to create board games of what they do, treasure hunts, book summaries the more imaginative the better.

We have been starved of opportunities to collaborate and connect spontaneously, so make this happen in the new world. Coffee and connect throughout the day, and with a new mix of people. Encourage this by providing creative tools such as white boards, post-its and most importantly good coffee.

Before everyone returns look at your space with “fresh eyes”, what would make the area more attractive and inviting. Watch the old classic “9 to 5” film with Dolly Parton where they reinvent the office space. If this is what you are aiming for ask employees to bring in house plants, photos and encourage a home from home atmosphere.

Theme your meeting rooms around your product or service, making spaces fun and connecting with your brand.

The place to start preparing is for Leaders to ask the key questions now…:-

  • How do you want to use the space?
  • How do you want to engage with it?
  • What are the multiple purposes of this space?
  • What rituals can you set up to make as many experiences as possible…?
  • When do you want to visit?

What will be sad is if the opening of office is dictated by leadership without buy-in from team members. This is an exciting time to reconnect and for your business to operate like it never has before, don’t be led by numbers or safe guarding, create an experiential new space.

For more ideas or for nuggets to facilitate a new space ideas session please get in touch with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk.

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Decision Making, Leadership, Problem solving

Staying true and staying in touch…

A client last week shared a brilliant story about why they go to one Fish and Chip shop rather than another that is cheaper and closer to their home. It is all about their brand integrity and the product/service. The Fish and Chip shop only uses fresh fish never frozen, they are not the cheapest, however they have queues outside the shop. It made me think about what defines everyones business “quality of fish” and also how you engage with your customers during lockdown. This restaurant undoubtedly has returning customers due to the quality of their product, this ensures they have people returning.

We will recognise companies that have been imaginative during this time, changing their product or service and making it more accessible. Restaurants like Wagamama sharing their recipes and setting up an online cookery school. ASOS adapting their stock to accommodate the demand for casual clothing, this repositioning of their offering shows they understood the customers need.

Communication is key, the right level of messaging and the right tone. Even on shop windows the positivity of a simple message “opening soon” or the longer ones thanking everyone for their loyalty. Speaking to the hearts and minds of who you want to stay in touch with.

During the time out the companies who have made their products and services even better or adapted their offers will be recognised. I was predominately a learning and development business, with a coaching offering. nuggets is now an online coaching service with workshops. Recognising the need for learning and development to be more intimate and more immediate has lent itself far more to coaching, therefore I have adapted my services.

The lockdown has made it necessary for firms to engage with their customers in new innovative ways and prioritise their happiness. Loyalty schemes need to be personalised therefore even more data capturing and more artificial intelligence to understand what really will make their hearts sing.

The road ahead is still going to be long, however the more we take the time to stay true to our brand integrity eg. quality and communicate with our customers the more secure our businesses will be.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to facilitate a brainstorming session on your key offerings and how you are communicating with your clients. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Networking in the remote world…

Last week I was asked to discuss the difference between networking face to face and the shift to the remote world.

I always have standard features and, using the word “Welcome” harks back to my days at Disney. The word is a smile within itself and as a host it is so important to make everyone feel welcome as soon as possible. To foster warmth instantly over a screen you have to use the right tonality as well as the right words. I attended a webinar recently where the host was very shouty and I felt intimidated even sitting in my own home.

Try and be original with introductions, just as we hated the round the table we also hate round the screens. Ask people to hold up pictures or give a word to describe how they feel at that moment, who is their favourite actor or actress…be adventurous!

Decide whether to have a waiting room or no waiting room. The benefit of not having one is that you can host some small talk before the event begins. The formality of a slide or holding screen can be appropriate, or it might create a barrier.

Engaging with people is about staying on screen, so minimise your slide deck and use break out rooms as when necessary.

Your own background rather than a beach in Miami, exposing your home makes you authentic. Everyone loves to see a dog or child in the background, its “real” and all an extension of you.

Networking is relationship building, it is not about attending to be seen on screen, it is about getting to know each other and if you set up appropriately and warmly it can happen very easily.

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

Please visit our website http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Mental & Physical Rhythm…

As a coach I am always keen to steer my client towards healthy habits, rituals and routines. These are normally behavioural choices and not necessarily centred around physicality.

Last week I heard a talk by Dr. Zarrin Shaikh about the importance of well being from the cardiology perspective. Dr Shaikh qualified as a Doctor and for many years worked on the frontline of NHS in cardiology.

She is now focusing on lifestyle cardiology, prevention of heart disease. She shared a great mnemonic “Fresh” which is something I will share with my clients:-

F – food

R – relaxation

E – exercise

S – sleep

H – honesty

The last letter H for honesty is about your own self awareness about whether you are being kind to yourself. The four other categories are great pillars for life and well being which we need to track continuously.

In my coaching sessions during lockdown I have been advocating rituals, like having a break at the same time each day, beginning and closing the day at the same time. During her talk Dr Shaikh confirmed that biological patterns are really important.

A recent conversation with a Leader who shared the need for her team to get into a rhythm with each other. Remote leadership is hard but the more rituals you can put in place the more likely your team will get in sync with each other. I have a client every Monday at 9.00am and I love the discipline of an appointment at the start of the week.

Journalling is a ritual I do everyday to review and assess my development. I set out what I want to achieve each day and take great joy in highlighting tasks accomplished. I have a break in the morning at the sometime each day. Think about how you can create your own rhythm mentally and physically, is it the right beat and volume, and is it sweet to your ears.

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Finding a purpose…

We set our agenda whilst working from home so therefore each day we set the path of intent. Find a purpose in everything you do, from a micro level to macro level.

Having a purpose is liking having a compass in your head. You know for the day the direction you are heading and therefore you set off with a good mind set.

Write down each day what your overall purpose will be and then look to the tasks that connect with that overall purporse.

Example:-

Overall purpose – To write and submit a report

  • Map out a plan
  • Collate research
  • Start the report

Alternatively if you decide your purpose for the day is to be healthy, think of all things you can do that connect eg. eating well, exercising and going to bed early.

When we have decided on our purpose, achievement follows closely and underpins motivation.

Ideally if you have purpose at a macro level you have a clear idea of why you do what you do everyday it make is much easier to set tasks at a micro level.

Ask yourself key questions to discover your overall purpose:-

  • What are you trying to achieve in life?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you selling/or giving others?
  • What story are you telling?

Start to get inquisitive about why you do what you do? Having a clear purpose even when conducting the smallest of tasks is a sign of healthy mental well being.

Decide what is going to be on your agenda tomorrow set the compass and find your purpose…?

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

How to never eat alone…?

Keith Ferrazzi wrote the book “Never eat alone” back in 2005 it laid out the steps and the inner mindset he uses to reach out to colleagues, friends and the thousands of people who have helped him. Originally the books was going to be called “You can’t get there alone”

Ferrazzi was the son of a steelworker and a cleaner who wanted him to have the best start. He was able to advance to Yale, Harvard and several top executive posts. The most remarkable part of his achievements was the network he created from Washington to Hollywood.

His form of connecting was based on the generosity of helping friends connect with other friends. He distinguishes this as genuine relationship building not the crude glad-handing associated with networking.

These are just some of his thoughts and tips:-

  • No-one can achieve their goals without others
  • To build relationships over a lifetime – you will need intimacy, generosity, candour and accountability.
  • You can’t get very far alone.
  • Treat your life as one big event, relationship building (not networking)
  • Give before you receive
  • Follow up quickly within 12 or 24 hours of that initial meeting
  • Be you
  • Be of service – “how can I help you…?”

The book is divided into four sections which give you a great compass as to how to get to the level of relationship building of Ferrazzi.

  • The mind-set
  • The skill-set
  • Turning connections into compatriots
  • Trading up and giving back

To understand more about the book, please do come to the nuggets book club this week, for more details please get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Tough Calls

Tough calls by Allan Leighton was written in 2011 however the book is so timely now and could really do with a update to help decisions people have been making during the pandemic.

Leighton starts the book, with his own personal tough call, as to whether to take a position with Asda after 18 years with Mars.

As a leader it is almost always the difficult decisions that end up on your desk. If everything is ticking along nicely most people don’t need to bother the Leader. It is only when things get choppy that people turn for help and that generally happens at 3.30pm on a Friday afternoon.

Leighton explains how decisions can be broken into categories:-

Radical decision – when things within an organisation’s control have gone badly wrong and urgently need addressing

Crisis decision – external factors takeover and you are hit by a challenge or a disaster

Opportunity decision – there is a potential takeover or merger

Progress decision – smaller scale decisions that businesses face everyday

These categories of decisions form the basis of part one of the book. The second section is all about “road testing a tough call”. Testing the vision, and deciding whether leadership Vs consensus is the right approach. Most importantly as a leader the moment when it is right to change your mind.

Part three of the book, is “Seeing it Through”. Have you got the right people on board and have you won hearts and minds. Finally are you communicating on message.

We all make decisions everyday. Most of them are pretty straightforward, but every so often there are some really tough calls. In business the choices that executives make can make the difference between success and ongoing prosperity or failure and financial disaster.

We will be reviewing Tough Calls at nuggets book club this Friday at 10.00am. Please do send me an email if you wish to attend bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk