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

Reflect your culture…?

Being a visitor too many different offices you can very easily see from the working environment what sort of culture the organisation has.

Some are very obvious, projecting their product and services with a bit of fun around the team.  The harder to identify are the big corporates, which may well have their values on display, however they don’t give much away as to what is like to work there.

Waiting for meetings in a reception area or if you are lucky a social area you can see team members come and go.  Watching the interaction of colleagues and the general vibe  as to whether they make you feel welcome says a lot about the company.

Waiting in a fun social area with a pool table and darts board with fruit and every drink imaginable you feel relaxed.  Team members come and go taking breaks and a screen flashes up photos of their people with quirky facts about them.  I got to see the face of several people I was about to meet before I met them in the flesh.

In contrast waiting in a very beige waiting area with an empty perspex magazine holder and no pictures, reflects a culture that has given up on its people.

Another example is the slick reception desk with a vast atrium and the team all in identical outfits does not show what lies beyond.

Think about your welcome area being the gateway to your business and your team.  What do you want to share?

Top Tips to reflect your culture:-

  • Welcome sign
  • Company name
  • Photos of the team (fun facts)
  • Colourful and well lit area
  • Papers/Magazines that are current or relevant to your business
  • Drinks/fruit available
  • Ensure that every member of the team who passes a visitor acknowledges them

First impressions of people happen in 7 seconds so exactly the same assessment is being about your company and your people.  Take time to get it right and work for you and your people.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on culture 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

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

Strong culture…

The way we do things around here… is the best definition of a culture.  The sum of values, habits and rituals coming together to form a way of being together.

Why is a strong culture so important?

There is a direct correlation between performance, retention and recruitment.  John Kotter and John Heskett collated statistics to prove the strength of culture.

  • Revenue is 4 x faster
  • Job creation 7 x higher
  • Profit performance 750% higher

The culture needs to be able to move, when there are changes to leadership, or mergers and acquisitions and there could even be sudden growth.  Any changes can lead to an old management structure creating sub cultures, which can be very unhealthy for the overall culture.

Sticking with your culture and values takes guts and it is about everyone have a conviction of a core ideology.

The story that makes this seem so simplistic is the Olympic rowing 8 who simply coined the phrase and ideology “Will it make the boat go faster”.   All behaviours were accountable to that one sentence.

Sustaining the culture 

Commit to regularly communicating at team meetings and having visuals around the office that support the core ideology.  Ensure that you hire to fit your culture, within the recruitment and selection include questions that explain how things get done around here.   Promote your culture by rewarding members who support it, this will embed the habits and rituals you want to see.

Cultural fit will make life easier.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Understanding culture” – bev@nuggetsoflearnign.co.uk

 

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