Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Learning, Relationships

The difference between coaching & mentoring…

Coaching is … a process that enables learning and development to occur by the coach asking powerful questions which leads to different thinking and ultimately different performance.  The coach requires a variety of styles and skills and techniques that are appropriate for each session.

Mentoring is… helping an individual to make significant changes in their work or thinking. This can often be done remotely or face to face.  Mentors look at the big picture and with no vested interest and can make bold suggestions.

Coaches can have first hand experience of the line of work or they can be a qualified coach from outside bringing new thinking in.

Mentors are normally more experienced or skilled in the field of work they are advising on.

Line Managers can use coaching techniques whereas the best mentors often have no prior relationship with the mentee.

Coaches ask powerful questions and don’t give advice, and the mentor provides direction and advice.

Mentors and coaches provide a neutral sounding board and total confidentiality, they are both invested in assisting an individual to reach their goals.

Coaching is about learning rather than “teaching” it is much more ask than tell.  The insight gained by working with a coach will lead to enhanced effectiveness.  Mentoring is helping individuals to develop their career by drawing on their own experiences.

Working with a coach and mentor can lead to new thinking and an enhanced performance.

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Learning, Management, training

Colourful learning…

When I set up nuggets I wanted to create a “wow” factor the moment people entered the room.  I wanted to show that I had made an effort.  If you came to a party at my house I would ensure that my house looked fabulous.  You are the host to an amazing experience it is not “just a training course”. My heart always sank if I entered a workshop and there was the biro on a lined pad.

The brain needs to be alive the moment the course begins and you can do that by bringing as much colour to the room as possible. As the Facilitator I always wear colour and I ensure that I display flip charts around the room with lots of colour.  This can only happen by using “Mr Sketch” markers you need more than black, blue, red and green. Post-its and even fiddling toys provide the colour and texture needed to get the brain ticking.

Colourful learning is not just about the colour, you need minds to come alive and think in a colourful way.  The brain always has to answer a question and needs space time and input from others to help.  Creating exercises where the group can move around room working together gets them to think differently.  Colourful thinking is creative thinking, when you have new answers to existing situations.

nuggets works on modules, bearing in mind that the concentration rate on average is only 45 minutes.  The preferred route is weekly or monthly interventions of 90 minute workshops.  This provides an entrance on a topic where you have created a “Disturb” of the delegate wanting to learn more and action more.

The residential Management programmes are costly to companies and do they give the return on investment.  Learning that is practical and applicable with less time away from the desk is where the training future is.

Please do get in touch with for leadership and management workshops covering many topics.

We are currently promoting “Making email work for you…”



Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Learning, training

Hexagon mapping…


Becoming clear on a decision, and thinking as a group should be fun and challenging.  A lot will depend on the structure put in place to ensure everyone feels confident with the process.  Brain storming can often feel brain draining if you do not have a right brain orientation.  Traditionally left brain thinkers prefer structure, digital and organised data.  It can be a very distinct turn off to be asked for arbitrary ideas to be displayed on coloured post-its.

Hexagon mapping appeals to right and left brain thinkers.  The colour and general similarity to brain storming engages the right and the left like the mathematical structure the hexagons provide once displayed.

The system was devised by Anthony Hodgson in the 70’s his aim was better decision making through holistic thinking.

  • The process begins with a really good trigger question that all participants can engage with.
  • The second stage is to capture every single idea on separate hexagons.
  • The group should be asked for ideas individually in the same order each time until everyone has no ideas left.
  • The team should stand back from the hexagons and them cluster them if they are saying the same thing.

The process is fast and effective and appeals to all.

Please do get in touch if your team would benefit from hexagon mapping

hexagons 001

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Learning, training

Creating a value based culture…


In Summary 

Working with a property company for 10 years to create a value based culture. Estate Agents have a notorious reputation and the company was determined to create a brand and an ethos “That was not like other Agents…”.

The core value was to “upserve”, constantly add value internally and externally. The team became trusted advisors and followed a blue print in each area of the business.

In a nutshell:-

  • Brand integrity – strong guidelines
  • Brand story – ethos to follow
  • What Vs How – not what you do it is how you do it?
  • Upserve internally and externally
  • Trusted Advisor
  • Blue print – process for each area of the business
  • Long term view
  • Intangible learning that became tangible
  • What leads to how – and the how had to be practical

How? – a series of team workshops

  • Working across barriers – process mapped tasks by departments
  • How to be proactive? – used the 5 a day principle and employees kept logs of when they had been proactive.
  • What does your business look like? – Visited other agents and used a mystery shopper to give the company feedback. This workshop used a lot of the techniques from the very successful programme “Mary Queen of Shops”
  • How to live and work by your values? – the team described what would be happening at the office and in the afternoon took part in a volunteering project, creating planters for schools.
  • What motivates each team member? – Using the Strength Deployment Inventory profiling tool.
  • Park thinking – Workshop comparing the impact on the business to visitors (using the Disney philosophy of “Park Thinking”)
  • Qualification of applicants – looking at the hard and soft facts and getting the right property match
  • Process mapping – systems lead to goals. As a team deciding on what they wanted to achieve and working out how.
  • Negotiating – the right language required when agreeing deposits. The interest behind the position.

As well as the team workshops:- 

  • Follow ups individually to all learning initiatives
  • Coaching key members of the team
  • Group recruitment & selection workshop – introduction exercise, assessment tools and speed interviewing – 7.00am – 8.30am
  • Designed and delivered formal Induction workshop – with one month follow up (new starters have the best ideas and initiatives)

What? – key to this approach

  • Long term relationship
  • Monthly workshops – valid and relevant
  • Learning and development that is strategic for the business
  • 1:1 follow ups to workshops

A value based culture does not happen overnight and you need the leadership team involved and championing every intervention.  They need to attend the workshops with their team members they need to be actively be part of the change.  Identifying their own behavioural change and sharing vulnerability can be so encouraging for a team moving forward with a very clear vision.

Please do contact

Head Bev 1




Posted in Bite size learning, Learning, mindfulness, training

Play it again…


Alan Rusbridger was a very unassuming speaker, he was very softly spoken and extremely modest of all his achievements.  He said that whilst at school he had been good at a few things, however this was enough to take him to Cambridge.   He is most famously known for being Editor of the Guardian newspaper, a post he held for 16 years.

Whilst being an Editor, a very demanding job, with 24 hour news coverage he often worked 16 hours a day and worked everyday. This for Rusbridger was not a challenge enough he wanted to see whether his brain still had the elasticity to play music again.

He was already an amateur pianist however his challenge was to perform in public and play one of the most complex pieces of music for a pianist – Chopin’s Ballade No.1.

How did he do it with the demands of his job and at the time two of the biggest stories for the Guardian (WikiLeaks and the phone hacking scandal).

He set aside 20 minutes each day.

Last week I painted for the first time in years, it was an hour not 20 minutes.  The feeling afterwards of using parts of my brain that have been dominant for so long was brilliant.  The result was the smallest canvas of a tomato – I am looking ahead to a whole wall of tomatos…

Visit the website to read about Alan’s journey:-

A celebration of the dedicated amateur and the transporting, enriching qualities of playing music, Play It Again is Alan Rusbridger’s account of an extraordinary challenge and an extraordinary year.

Play it again

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Learning, motivation, Time management, training

Learning to learn…


Learning to learn is a life skill.  As with any skill you constantly have to refresh your methods and constantly review.

The first step of learning to learn is to get he right equipment.  As a child I spent many hour in WH Smiths, absolutely adore stationery, so this bit was never a challenge to me.

Being organised and developing a routine.  This half term before the summer exams, we are using the pomodoro technique. In the morning 25 minutes of learning (pomodoro) then a 5 minute break, followed by another 25 minutes.  Maximum of 4 and then you earn a 30 minute break.  However we are working to mornings are revision and afternoons are fun.

We are marking up how many pomodorros we complete, this is a visual indicator of achievements and therefore can then provide a marker to celebrate.

Flowcharts of what you want to learn can also be practical and another way of tracking progress.

It is important to capture key learnings – 1 line/1 paragraph.  Note taking should not be long and laborious or else the brain does not absorb it.  The information is being sieved and you should be left with the vital key learnings.

Workspace cannot be transient, kitchen table hopping or balancing books on your lap in front of the TV is not going to cut it.  Just like a lovely meal at a beautiful dining table, you need a lovely space.  Lots of light and your learning around you, post-its, diagrams and mindmaps.

Having a learning partner to review what you have learnt is essential.  You need to celebrate your achievements and “show off”.  Get tested on those fantastic index cards you created.

Eating well and having a good sleep pattern are essential to learning.  The brain needs to be hydrated, lots of water and the right food.

Our mindset to learning is the key ingredient.  At a recent parents evening a History teacher said to me the most important part of his job is that his students “enjoy” his lessons.  Staying calm and being positive will make you feel relaxed and enjoy the experience.

In summary:-

  • Get the right equipment for you
  • Be organised & develop a routine
  • Organise  your workspace
  • Identify key learnings
  • Celebrate your achievements
  • Learning partner
  • Healthy diet and good sleep pattern
  • Staying calm & positive and most importantly “enjoy it”

For a workshop on learning to learn, please contact




Posted in Bite size learning, Learning, training

Shaking up learning…


You can see already that the next generation aren’t going to learn from a book or for that matter hang on every word of the teacher or lecturer.  Initiated learning and self motivation, developing an entrepreneurial spirit will keep the next gang fit for change.

In 2030 – 47% of existing jobs could be automated and most of us will be freelancers.

How do we learn for this new world:-

  • Peer to peer – sharing expertise
  • Informal learning
  • Creating innovators
  • Do it yourself – self motivation and drive
  • Fun learning – enjoying it
  • Courage – no restrictions

David Price’s book Open describe the process as democratising.  He recounts how his own son learnt a style of singing in 3 weeks by watching modules on YouTube.  Not just any singing “Tuvan” which is worth a YouTube!!

After the reading the book and having the privilege of hearing David speak I am excited about this learning revolution.  We can really be anything we want to be and go beyond where our parents left off.  We must not fear this change, we must embrace it and if we have good values to guide us we are not going to abuse or misuse the technology.

Have a great week and embrace learning.

Please do contact for any learning workshops