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

You are enough…

Listening to a podcast on the Kindness Economy they were talking about the importance of the right language to sell your product. There is a skincare company called “Unconditional Skincare” which has removed all the stereotypical language used in the beauty industry.

“Quick fix”

“Repairing”

“Anti-ageing”

They believe and say “Your skin is enough.

“We believe all skin has the potential to glow at its healthy, radiant best when given the live goodness it needs”

The power of the messaging and also the kindness will grow self esteem instead of crushing confidence.

Framing any message in a positive has got to be a better than starting with a negative. We are now in the business of followers rather than customers. Therefore we need listen to what they are saying. We can use our values as guides as to how we talk and share.

At nuggets we encourage and value the ability to think differently, so therefore our messaging is around what it gives you. We don’t want to fix your thinking we encourage you to see, hear and feel things differently which might ultimately make you think differently.

You are enough is such a great message to say to yourself today, you can go out there and embrace anything and everything as you are enough.

Have a great week and reach out for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Relationships

In the moment…

Listening to Clare Balding talking about Emma Raducanu’s performance, she said one of the keys to her success and demeanour was always being in the moment. When the two players appeared in the tunnel before the game, Raducanu was in that moment. When she had three championship points she was in at that moment. When she won had to be interviewed by the press she was in that moment.

As a professional athlete only focusing on everything moment by moment and not even thinking the unthinkable, kept Raducanu’s feet on the ground.

The right mindset of having that narrow focus is something you can learn and manage. In Steve Peter’s book “The Chimp Paradox” he talks about managing the Chimp which effectively is your emotional brain. We can manage it by rewards, or ignoring the negative self talk and when appropriate let it play and having the right emotions at the right time.

Living moment by moment can help especially in turbulent times. Last week I received some sad news, and the art of processing was to focus on the next hour. Life moves forward and to contain the emotions focusing on short bursts of time gives you the stability and courage to move forward.

The Chimp needs immediate happiness and delayed happiness. If you write a list of all the things that give you immediate happiness you can really enjoy the moment you are in with them. For example the mid morning coffee, the walk in the afternoon or the book you are enjoying before you sleep. As humans we like to look to the future and the moment you choose to write down your ideas for delayed happiness is as good as moment as any. The joy of writing all sorts of possibilities will be a lovely escapism for the mind.

My coach recently talked about your day being 21 packets of time. The packets are am/pm/evening and think about the packets as moments. Ensure 2 packets are just about you, with the things that give you joy.

Be in the moment today. Look at your schedule and be there for that meeting, ensure you are in the moment (don’t turn your screen off, be there for others and for you).

Please do get in touch if you would benefit from one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

I am honoured…?

I am honoured that you have chosen to read my blog. The word honoured is such a great grandiose statement that as the recipient it makes you feel good. Words are so important as to how they make people feel.

When I work with clients I may say “I am delighted to be working with you or that was a great session…” however honour is so much richer.

Recently in a book “Monday Morning Leadership” by David Cottrell the mentor writes a note to the client which is as follows:-

“Congratulations for having the courage to seek advice. This step alone indicates that you have a tremendous amount of pride in your work and, more importantly that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.

I am honoured that you are allowing me to share my experiences with you and I look forward to working with you”

The note is genuine and authentic and makes you want to to work with the Mentor.

Starting any relationship whether it be a coach/mentor or even a new Line Manager how do you set the scene.

Identifying with the person and recognising their commitment and what they bring, and most importantly conveying what it means to you to work with them.

If you have a new person joining your team, you want them to feel valued at the start of the journey. Try saying:-

“We are honoured you have chosen to join our team and we value the new initiatives you will bring”

Have you ever said to family members that it is an honour to be their child, sister or brother? The word contains so much respect and pride and says so much more.

So to finish today’s blog

“It is an honour that you have taken time out of your day to read my blog and I would be honoured if you shared the message and use the word today”

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching sessions or a workshop around working as a team. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Creating rapport…

Recently on a workshop a delegate asked me to explain what I meant by rapport.

Dictionary definition:- a friendly, harmonious relationship especially : a relationship characterised by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy.

Rapport starts with that lovely small talk that puts some-one at ease, and they step into your world and feel comfortable. For some it is the most natural thing in the world and yet for others it can feel contrived and clumsy.

A colleague once described it to me as creating “limbic soup” which has stuck with me as a perfect explanation of what is happening mentally and physically. If you are interacting with another person and you feel immediately comfortable, you feel safe because the emotional part of the brain the limbic mode relaxes. We also know that oxytocin’s are released, another chemical to help you relax into the conversation, creating a connection and lovely soup.

Insights from the book “How to Talk to Anyone” by Leil Lowndes gives some actual tools and techniques. She describes conversations as being similar to a game of ping pong. You serve and you expect a return and then you may have to return again.

The serve is the hardest how do you start a chat by not using the usual opening gambits which can often have the reverse affect of shutting some-one down. She suggests an acronym “WIT”- We, It & They:-

We – using we brings people closer together – we are in this together

Example: “I hear she’s a great speaker, we are in for a treat”

It – Have an “it” up your sleeve – is there a current news story that everyone is talking about

Example: “What do you think about (insert your It)?

They – Know something before you meet up, what hobbies/interests do they have

Example: They – “Bob told me you support Liverpool”

Most of us are lazy with our interactions and go for standard questions:-

“How are you?”

“What do you do?”

The first is far too wide, and you never know what is going on in anyone’s world, and chances are you will get the standard response of “fine” which is extremely hard to interpret and does not give you anything to work on.

What do you do? – is another stock question which is more often answered by talking about work, which may not be their true passion. Much better opening is:-

“How do you like to spend most of your time?”

The brain has to think about the answer it does not have a standard response and you will get a lovely insight into the person you have just met. To keep the conversation going and making it more about them, just repeat their words back to them. The last word they say with a question, just nods and provide really good positive non verbal indicators that you are interested.

Rapport is a skill and when deployed effectively can make anyone feel fabulous, be more artful in thinking about how you want a person to feel. Try different openers and really listen and make it all about them.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

Keep being Resilient…

The final push through lockdown could be our toughest job yet, knowing that freedom is within touching distance how do we keep on being resilient.

We wake up each morning and decide on the level of energy we wish to deploy. In the book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers says we should use the pain to power continuum. If you see a line on a piece of paper with those two words, decide how near to pain you are and how near to power you are. We want to be near power however a poor nights sleep or a genuine illness might pull us towards pain. She says we have the choice and whatever we deploy at the start will set the tone for the day and potentially the week.

Our mindset is another conscious choice we make although we might have carried beliefs from childhood into adulthood which might not be helpful. Professor Carol S Dweck’s book on “Mindset”, explains we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. If you were told as a child that you can’t sing, can’t draw or that you are poor at sport this is something you have decided to fix and lock in. These items we lock in are not good for our resilience levels. Also success can be deliberating, she explains often once something is achieved, people with a fixed mindset stop trying this is not good in an environment where we have no control and we need to continuously think of new ways to work and adapt.

The word resilient means for a person to be able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. To know that resilience is about bouncing back what are the components that you need to work on to ensure that you do recover. If you imagine a table, it has four legs and a top, and without one of those vital pieces the table would feel unstable and fall. We need each leg of our resilient table to be firm and secure.

Leg One – Mental toughness – making decisions and using all your logical thinking to way up pros and cons and be aware of problems as they arrise

Leg Two – Physical energy – staying strong and to be able to attend several back to back virtual meetings still with a smile

Leg Three – Emotional balance – A support for others and ourselves the right level of empathy, and measured responses.

Leg Four – Social skills – Naturally adept at making others comfortable and comfortable in your own space.

Table Top – Sense of purpose – meaning to what you are doing, the core of who you are.

Create your own “Resilient Backpack”. If you were going on a hike you would pack a rucksack with essentials for the trip. We are still on the journey of lockdown and decide what you need in your resilient backpack, here are a few ideas:-

  • Favourite music
  • Friends
  • Books
  • Favourite meal
  • Walking
  • Running

Identifying a dip in your resilience eg. which part of your table is unsteady or is it a mood that you can recognise as a sign. Anxious, antagonistic, defensive, snappy, withdrawn etc… We will all have our own indicators, the trick is to get to know yourself and know when something is becoming a pattern. Take something out of your backpack to make yourself feel better or work on a leg of your table, or make a choice to have a growth mindset.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Being Resilient – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Time management

Time to focus on time…

Time is a non spatial continuum, so what are we focusing on…

We can build a relationship with it by asking some key questions to ensure we are maximising our use of it.

  • What did you do with the last hour yesterday?
  • How do you feel about it today?
  • If you had more of it, what would you do with it?

Think about your answers, most of us waste our last hour of the day and the second question normally challenges everyone. How do I feel about time, do I treasure it, do I have any feelings around it? Start to care about time and have feelings around it, guarantees you will make better decisions if you care. We all wish for more time, however unless you write down some goals that you want to achieve will you know what you are going to do with more time. Goals will be accomplished if they are written down and you will find the time.

We have peaks and troughs throughout the day and if you identify your “Prime” time you can ensure that is the time you get your best work done. It has been proven that there is an hour that is best for you. Protect it and ensure that is the time you get your work done that needs the most concentration.

Dan Pink’s book When looks at the science behind time, he explains that there are three phases throughout the day peak/trough and recovery. Analytical and detailed work is best tackled in the morning at the Peak and then when you hit the Trough you should work on procedural/administrative jobs that require little thought. Late afternoon we hit a creative period where we can brain storm and have some of our best abstract thinking this is late afternoon/evening, known as our Recovery time.

To have a better relationship with time, see it as a skill that you need to work on and a behavioural shift you are making a conscious effort to focus on. Try new planners, to-do lists and see how each new system feels until you hit a ritual or pattern that works for you. Extra time cannot be purchased but greater focus and clarity on what you are doing with it can help you achieve better results.

Here are some key nuggets around time:-

  • Identify when is your prime time is during the day
  • Devise new working patterns to include breaks
  • Write down what you are going to achieve each day
  • At the end of the day acknowledge your achievements
  • Get your most important task done first thing – don’t over think
  • Prioritise your to-do list
  • Decide whether a task is important or urgent
  • Try new planning tools and techniques
  • Create a space for productivity – put your phone out of sight
  • Clear your work space – focus on what you need to focus on
  • Don’t overwork and waste time “good is good enough”

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, mindfulness, motivation, Time management

24 hours…

We start each day with 24 hours and how do you ensure that you make the most of the 24.

If you were working on a project there would be a debrief meeting and an evaluation/review of what went well and what you could do differently or anything you would stop doing.

Look at today or tomorrow and write down what you did in your 24 hours.

We all need a decent night sleep that will cut into a large part of your allocated 24. Keep a log of what your average sleeping time is, you might see a pattern of when you are sleeping well, is 7.5 hours perfect, or are you more alert after 8 hours.

We all are craving structure and have realised in lockdown we need to create our own timetable however are we using the time to its optimum.

Be realistic about work, break it into manageable chunks, look at one hour periods at a time. If you scheduled 3 hours for a project, guaranteed the last hour will be phone surfing, reading the news feed or tidying the pens on your desk. Far better to cut the project into small chunks with breaks.

We lose the most hours when we decided to watch TV in the evening and even worse if we eat and watch. We have more time than we have had before, so making eating, just eating and make watching just watching. Be discerning about what you watch and schedule how long you are allocating, otherwise we realise we have lost 3 hours of our precious 24 and if you were to ask what we had watched we cannot remember.

Exercise can be chunked as well, far better to do something for one hour, instead of doing nothing, which can easily happen if we have not worked effectively with our 24.

Be indulgent with your 24, in the middle of the day read with a coffee and rest assured you will look back on that 1 hour and see it as a good investment.

Just because we are at home, we can still see the people we want to see, with the power of technology. Write a list of who you want to see? The is will be a good allocation and even the time to set it up and reach out will be worth the feel good factor for you within 24.

Log what you do with your 24 hours and look at patterns and ask yourself did you maximise the “24”.

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 coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Speaking to yourself as you would to a friend…

I recently reviewed the book “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi who explains how harsh we are on ourselves. She says you would not be that fierce with a friend so why are we with ourselves. This morning I came across this story which completely reinforces her theory.

In his book, Feeling Great, Dr. David Burns recounts a conversation with a carpenter, Frank, who was painting his house. One day, upon returning home, Dr. Burns noticed a change in Frank’s usually sunny disposition and asked if he was feeling alright.

“I’m getting old,” he confessed, fighting back tears. “My body won’t be able to keep up the same pace for much longer. I’m worried that I might not have enough money to support my wife and me when I retire. “I’ve never accomplished anything meaningful or significant in my life.”

Feeling bad for Frank, Dr. Burns asked if he could try something helpful called the double standard technique.

Here’s how he describes it,

“When we’re upset or fall short of our goals, we tend to beat up on ourselves with harsh criticisms. But if we were talking to a dear friend with the same exact problem, we’d do so in a far more compassionate, supportive, and realistic way. Once you’re aware of this, you can ask yourself if you’d be willing to talk to yourself in the same compassionate way you’d talk to a dear friend.”

After asking what he would say to a friend in his position, Frank replied that he would remind that friend that he and his wife would have a decent retirement and be fine even if he decided to retire someday. Moreover, he would assure his friend that he had never once received a complaint about his work, not even once, nor had he ever cheated anyone—and that’s as meaningful as it is significant.

Much to Frank’s surprise, his sadness wasn’t caused by his age, nor his fear of financial hardship come retirement, but rather, his negative thoughts.

The story resonates for the times we are in at the moment we all need to be kind to each other and give more feedback than usual. We need to give authentic praise that has true value within it. Say what the person has done well, but substantiate with evidence and make it specific to that individual. Most importantly try giving yourself some value based praise, we all need a boost.

Please do get in touch with nuggets for a short workshop or coaching by contacting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk