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

The Main Thing…

“Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing” from the book Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell.

The Main Thing is people’s purpose and priorities. People have different perceptions of what the Main Thing is. If as a Leader you are not clear on The Main Thing, people will leave. People quit people before they quit companies.

Simon Sinek says “Start with Why” ask your team members “Why do you come to work? what is your driver. His argument it is not what you do? but most importantly why you do it? To create a culture of trust there needs to be harmony as to how you do it? This is where you establish core values of working together. These three areas Why/How/What create Simon Sinek’s golden circle, but always starting with Why.

To identify the Main Thing break it down by using the language of strategy:-

Vision – defining where you want to be in the future

Mission – The purpose of your business (The Why and the Main Thing)

Strategy – The direction of each department eg. Finance/Marketing/Operations – that leads you to mission & vision.

Objectives – Team and individual objectives that fit into the strategy

Tasks – things that you do everyday that lead to the objectives

Values– guiding principles of how you want to work with each other

When you define each of the areas think about companies you want to replicate and companies that you are opposed to being. Love and hate elicit powerful reactions and help position where you do want to be.

A simple team exercise is to ask every team member “What is the Main Thing…? the response to the blank space will be very varied and your role as a Leader is to get clarity.

Please do get in touch we are running the “Main Thing” workshop on Thursday 26th August 2021 @ 10.00am (90 minutes) at a cost of £40 per delegate. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Leadership, Management, motivation

Key ingredients for a coach…

Right Mindset

Sport is an obvious setting for a coach and very easy to understand their role, they are helping the athlete reach their full potential. The results are tangible and the competitive environment of achievement makes it a very conducive to getting in the right mindset. In business the same willingness is required of a coach to identify with the client their talents so that they can achieve extraordinary results. The goals might be less obvious but it is the role of the coach to empower and inspire the client to achieve. The coach must have the right mindset of believing in the development of the individual.

Listening in the moment

During the pandemic it has been really important to have a coach with the speed of the transformation of work. Understanding the levels of adaptability and working with other life commitments. The coach listens and understands what is important to you at that moment in time.

Empowering

Coaching definitely empowers employees to do their own thinking, by providing space and time. The coach is always listening and never uses any “tell” language, they are inquisitive and encouraging. They never judge and clear their own minds ready to listen without prejudice. Empowerment drives engagement, and subsequently self direction which is a driver to innovation. Studies show that engaged employees make companies more profitable, so therefore engagement drives performance.

Empathy

Empathy is the cornerstone of good coaching, “It is not about you!!!”. Understanding the persons perspective at that moment in time is what it is all about.

Energy

The coach must be like a battery pack, of giving the client a boost, a belief in their talents and capabilities. Their energy levels can be conveyed through their language and the levels of encouragement they give the client.

Accountability

The most important ingredient is to be there as a coach, check-in on their actions and ideas, hold them accountable to what they discussed the last time. Understand why they have not made the change and how they feel if they have made a change. This can be tangible actions and tasks, however it may well be a behavioural change which is where the Coach can play their most pivotal role.

Coaching is transformative and if you put in the right ingredients in and believe in the ability to evoke a change in anyone you will be amazing.

Please do get in touch to book your first coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Leadership, Management

Reducing Noise…

Wherever there is human judgement, there is noise, this comes from the book “Noise” by Daniel Kahneman, Oliver Sibony & Cass R Sunstein.

There has been a lot of research and talk about bias but the book explains the impact of noise. If you go to a meeting and the first speaker offers an opinion the second speaker might disagree but upon hearing the first lacks the confidence to speak up. Quickly you have a rapid conversion due to the noise. Anyone in the room who feels slightly humbled or deferential can quickly be converted and squash their opinion due to the noise attached to a stronger speaker. Noise can determine direction of judgements and suppress counter arguments or different noise.

Noise is not just what you hear, we can have noise in our heads. We make decisions when often we are not in a good state of mind. We have low energy and we hear a voice or a noise that will create a bias and noise that will sway our judgement.

The first practical step to prevent noise and having an influence is identifying situations where noise may occur.

  • Recruitment & Selection
  • Meetings
  • Team work allocation
  • Team roles
  • Promotions
  • Appraisals/Reviews

The list is by no means complete, noise is everywhere…Even ordering your food at restaurant the first person who selects may influence you as it is the first noise you hear.

After identifying that noise will happen, work through the 7 steps below to try and prevent it having an impact:-

  1. Look at the bigger picture – What patterns have occurred before what else do you need to consider contextually? Holistically look at what has happened in the past and now, think about what it would look like in the future and look at it objectively.
  2. Multiple judgements – seek out people with different judgements, ask people from other teams to help with the decision who will not have the baggage of your own team members. Fresh eyes, people that are new to your organisation think of many different angles.
  3. Judge independently – Come to your own opinion, before you go to a meeting. Think about what you understand and your own feelings before sharing with others.
  4. Seek at least two opinions – Listen to other voices, and be open minded
  5. Don’t depend on intuition – It is not sensible to just listen to your gut, as this has been influenced by noise, how you have been feeling that day mentally and physically. This is not a good judgment tool.
  6. Adopt the principles of decision making hygiene – If a Doctor examines you, they wash their hands first and after the examination. Adopt a process of how you make decisions so that there is a system and it can eliminate the noise influencers.
  7. Remind decision makers of their purpose of deciding – The purpose is often lacking at meetings why am I here to decide/to inform/to present/to educate. This is the same around decisions, what are you actually deciding and focus on the decision not the noise around it.

Noise is an obstacle to fair judgement, use the 7 steps above to try and prevent its hold on you and others.

Please do get in touch for 90 minute workshops over Zoom or Coaching one to one for an hour.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

It’s good to share, talk and listen…

Without contriving and formalising how can you encourage your team members to share more. Developing good listening skills and providing space physically and mentally where they can talk.

However is the starting point with their own confidence, do they believe they have anything to share. What is their story do they believe they have a relevancy and ideas to contribute. Every team member needs to feel valued and appreciated and then they will believe they have a platform to speak.

The first myth to blow is that information shared needs to be knowledge based. The difference between knowledge and wisdom goes some of the way to demonstrating we all have something to share.

  • Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit
  • Wisdom is knowing not to add the tomato to a fruit salad

Everyone has some wisdom or an experience worth sharing, more often than not, learnt from a failing. Some-one else’s failure could be the key to several others learning. Creating a culture where “wisdom of mistakes” becomes the buzz will lead to a transparent and open culture.

Stepping out of comfort zones, will blow away layers of hierarchy. Peer to peer sharing and in addition reverse sharing, the most junior sharing with Senior Leads.

Several companies have tried to formalise how they share knowledge, such as Estee Lauder creating “Dream Space” knowledge sharing portal. The success is creating an online platform, however the space might not lead to meaningful relationships.

The secret is to create an informal environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing, however some clever set up that it becomes natural and evolving.

Mentoring schemes in organisations are formalised and structured, however they take administration to set up. The sense of belonging to the organisation’s existing culture might inhibit and deter the people you want to encourage to share, the voices that don’t get heard.

Just as you ask some-one “How are you?” the response will be “fine thank you”.

You want something more than “fine”, you desire and crave a community of people who are sharing their skills, expertise, knowledge and ideas that are so much more than just fine.

Get personal you want to talk, listen and share. If a work community is going to grow together it has to be a common currency and the norm where you listen, talk and share. There will be a phase where it feels contrived however you are striving for an environment where it feels normal and acceptable that you have a coffee and a catch up with the CEO whatever your level.

Imagine your company is a coffee shop where the tables are always full and you circulate around.

It’s good to share, talk and listen – please do get in touch for a virtual coffee with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Why do you need a “great” process…?

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain

When cash machines were launched the process was not full proof, you got your cash before you retrieved your card. Everyone was so keen to get their money that they forgot their cards. Banks found that the process was flawed, they just needed to change one part of the process. Retrieve your card and then get your cash.

Have you recently come across a process that was straightforward and that you felt was clear and carried you through with good signalling.

I recently donated some clothes to charity using an on-line system. I ordered bags online, received them/filled them, and then I followed a process of how to return the bags. The top of the website page told you where you were in the process. The visual indicators were excellent even an icon of the bag gave me confidence that I was progressing and I knew where I was at any part of the process.

Thinking about your own business, do your Clients know the process they are entering into and do your team follow the same process.

Focusing on a good system can save time and can be more effective. James Clear the author of Atomic Habits says that our systems are more important than our goals. If we get a system, process or ritual ingrained it becomes unconscious competence.

The first stage is to map out your process, with as much detail as possible. Think about the intangibles as much as the tangibles. When facilitating a session we use a pizza as an example, you need the dough first then the tomato base, cheese and various toppings. However when we think in business it is more complex than just toppings, what questions do you need to ask, how do you present the service you are offering, and how do you convert a conversation to a sale. Using a length of brown paper (easier and more modern to now use strips of magic whiteboards) and post-its map out each stage of the customer journey.

The next part of the process is to analyse the process, where is there overlap, who is responsible at certain points, put initials on your map.

Do you need to redesign the process, change a couple of steps. Think about timings that go with the process, is it 2 weeks to reconnect with a client or 4, make a system.

Start using the new process straight away, and communicate all the time as team as to how the process feels, as you still may need to tweak even at this stage.

Finally set up a review meeting when the process has been operating for 3 months, decide what has gone well, what could be done differently and what could you stop doing.

  • Map the process
  • Analyse the process
  • Redesign the process
  • Implement and communicate
  • Review

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to work with you on your processes.

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Learning, Management

Think again…

When was the last time that you stopped what you were doing and thought I will rethink that task. We get locked into behavioural patterns which are driven by our values and beliefs.

Adam Grant the author of Think again, says we create an overconfident cycle:-

  • We form an opinion that feels right
  • Seek information to support that opinion
  • Feel validated
  • Proudly express our opinions

The cycles strengthens every time we preach, prosecute or politick. What do each of these three modes look like?

Preaching – you have a belief and the more you preach the more you are 100% certain, you ignore data to the contrary as it does not support the belief you are holding onto. Examples: belief in a political party, an investment, a way of working, new software etc…

Prosecuting – we prosecute an individual’s idea we dismiss their views on other areas as we do not hold their initial belief. Examples: political views, charities they support, way of working etc…

Politicking – we adopt others view points as we want to be liked and accepted by them. Examples: political parties adopt policies that will attract supporters, you may support your Managers opinion in order to get promotion etc…

If you imagine all of these three areas compound our overconfident cycle and we become blinkered to rethinking.

Adam Grant asked the scientist Daniel Kahneman what he does when he finds flaws in his research. Kahneman’s reply was “Its wonderful, I get a chance to be less wrong”. We all need to “Think like a Scientist”. The whole makeup of a Scientist is that they see ideas and beliefs as hunches that need to be tested.

We can start by thinking like a Scientist by using The Rethinking cycle:-

  • Doubt (acknowledge it)
  • Curiosity (of other ideas, opinions, beliefs)
  • Discovery (explore options)
  • Confident humility (admit your way was not necessarily the best)

One way to begin this new mode of thinking is to write down two headings:-

  • Things I don’t know
  • Things I have learnt recently

Humility has always needed to be a leadership characteristic, however the ability to rethink and have a confident humility is something we can all look at now in a very uncertain world.

Make this blog practical by challenging your own beliefs this week, if you have a doubt about a meeting being at 9.00am rethink it. The project is not going to run on the software selected by yourself, put your hand up and express doubt. The new hire you have made might not be the right for the culture, be open with your team, have confident humility.

Please do get in touch for a workshop around rethinking bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Book a place on Developing YOU – Thursday 29th April 2021 @ 10.00am – 90 minute workshop £40 per delegate

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 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, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, motivation, Problem solving, Relationships

Having a Zoom one to one …

Working with Clients at the moment I get asked how to make one to ones as effective as possible now they are over Zoom.

  • Do I need to have them more often?
  • Can I do them over the phone instead of Zoom?
  • Do I prepare the agenda?
  • Do I need to give a summary?

With most people working from home, one to ones need to be more often. You possibly followed a best practice guideline of one hour once a month, however in this climate, fortnightly will be better with a timing of 30 minutes.

Zoom is a great tool for one to ones as the intensity of just two faces does give you a clear insight as to how the person is feeling. They might well convey some leakage in their body language which you would not spot on the phone. However with Zoom fatigue being the current buzz phrase it is perfectly understandable that many may have had enough of the video conferencing. As a leader suggest a combination of one by phone and one by Zoom.

The one to one session should always belong to your team member so therefore it is their agenda. However it is good to provide a template that gives them an idea of what to prepare. Currently we will have items in there that would not normally have been in there before, such as well being of working from home. The template can be really simple with some headings as below:-

  • Current workload
  • Up and coming projects
  • Well being of working from home
  • Achievements and wins

It can even be as simple as Past/Present/Future, the most important thing is that they steer the meeting and that they come prepared.

Your job is to summarise what was covered, in simple bullet points, so that you can track their performance. You also have shown that you have listened and demonstrated support.

As a leader don’t committ any of the following common mistakes:-

  • Cancelling the one to one
  • Allowing interruptions
  • Setting the agenda and owning the one to one
  • Doing most of the talking
  • Taking the problem away from some-one
  • Not inquiring about feelings
  • Delivering unclear messages, unclear coaching and unclear instructions
  • Running out of time
  • Assuming your one to ones are effective

Embrace getting to know your team better and Zoom is a great for intensity, intimacy and confidentiality. During this time you can get to know your team really well.

Please do get in touch if you would like one to one coaching with nuggets bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Management, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

The “New” Normal…

The “new” normal for me is now normal and will be for a very long time. My challenge now is how to make it work for me.

Looking at how my home office, do I need to invest in some new equipment.

In order to help me work my “normal” I researched some statistics on how a group in the UK have been adapting.

The statistics are UK findings based on 1,016 respondents working full-time remotely.

• 59% of UK employees working different hours than they used to

This statistic came as no surprise as you are working around your home life and you have no commuting. The positive that can be taken from this figure is that you can work when it is your prime time, when you can work to your optimum and get the best out of yourself.

The negative to this figure, we are all available and at home so we have been contacted at odd times of the day. If you are going to continue to work from home, then set some boundaries as a team as to when to communicate and when not to communicate. Having consensus on some core hours will not single out any individuals and also won’t lead to competitive behaviour.

• 62% rely on workplace tech to stay connected

This might be an investment area for many. How good is your Broadband is it time to source a new provider. Is it worth investing in Zoom so that meetings can be longer than 40 minutes or as a team is it better to be with Microsoft Teams.

• 36% are having fewer meetings

Although this seems like a statistic we should be applauding we need to ensure that this is not a breakdown of communications. Ensure that all your team members feel as connected as possible. Although we are all suffering from several video conferencing meetings, check whether a simple phone call works. Going forward as your normal make sure your meetings are no longer than an hour and you have an agenda or purpose for all the ones you attend.

• 30% say they are starting their working day earlier

• 27% are working later in the evening

For me going forward I am more than happy to start the day earlier, as my brain and energy are so much better in the morning and I don’t have a commute currently or a school run. The second percentage I am only going to let happen occasionally with a specific deadline, it will not become a habit.

• 31% say they are working from a desk 

• 35% from a dining/kitchen table

• 20% from their sofa 

• 5% work from their bed

The environment and set up you work in, can have a direct correlation to how effective you are. Your office set up needs to work for you and also needs to inspire you. Simple top tips, put your desk in the window or sit somewhere with a view.

Most importantly have a good desk/table and chair. One Client I work with has had to visit a chiropractor due to bad posture, incurred from more sitting down in their career than ever before.

My action is to paint my office – freshen it up (will work wonders for me psychologically). I can’t get out to Clients so make my space work for me.

• 45% challenges from enforced remote working are self-discipline 

Set deadlines for yourself and book appointments for certain tasks. Committ to yourself and follow a realistic daily to-do list.

•23% “feeling like I can’t switch off” 

When it is your own business it is hard to walk away, mentally and physically. The only way with my “normal” is to book time off. Companies will be encouraging everyone to take holiday now. When you have your time off do something completely different to your day job.

I am signing off now to book my holiday and paint the office.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

The “new” Normal – one hour over Zoom for £100