Posted in Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Stress management

The right attitude…

Last Monday I was fortunate enough to attend a talk by James Shone from the charity

“I Can and I Am”.

James has an amazing story from being a House Master to applying to be a Head and in his words landing the “dream” job.  Part of the selection process was a medical, where James discovered he had a brain tumour.  Surgery and a journey of recovery began with the “dream” job disappearing, James found a new purpose.

He set up the charity, “I Can and I Am” to inspire confidence in secondary school children through inspirational talks.

He started on Monday by sharing his own story and then talking to us as parents about how we can work with our children to give them the confidence to believe they can do anything.

His first top tip UFO Vs DBI, the abbreviations stand for Up, Forward and Out and Down, Back and In.  If we always look up and forward and out, we can see the big sky with all the possibilities.  Down back and in, begins that self limiting inner dialogue and where we over analyse events.

As a teacher he was keen for us to understand the progress made by teaching being evaluated by outside influence e.g. Ofsted.  However we are still focusing very much on a funnel all the good stuff goes in, however the system only focuses on that very tight tube at the end of the funnel, academic results.

Teenagers today are spending so much time on their phones which as we know releases the addictive Dopamine in our brain.  We need to unlock other passions and all of this can start at 14 years of age.

As parents we can look to a 3B continuum:-

  • Between – controlling (when they are young and dependent)
  • Beside – journey with them (understanding their life and the gradual steps of independence)
  • Behind – I am here if you need me – the ultimate interdependence

Every child needs a confidence boost and James used the example of an ordinary balloon.  We can either choose to inflate their confidence or deflate, knocking their self worth.  If they are constantly deflated it is like driving a car with a flat tyre, progress is slow and damaging.

There are four things we can ensure:-

  1. Belong – do they feel part of something, do they have a role
  2. Valued – embedding a growth mindset (Carol Dweck) “I can’t do it” should become “I can’t do it yet…”
  3. Good at something – look at the multiple intelligences by Professor Howard Gardner.  We all have strengths in areas that need to be uncovered by the people around us
  4. Future secure – setbacks are viewed as a springboard.  We may fall down but how quickly do we get back up and focus on the future.

We must give our teenagers authentic praise by ensuring we say:-

  • “I noticed…
  • “I heard…
  • “I saw…

Firsthand commentary of what they are doing well and it is our job to build those affirmations in their heads.

We have responsibility to demonstrate our own love of life be the role model with the right attitude.

We might not have a story as big as James Shone, however we can ensure that we smile and dance when we put the dishwasher on.  Talk about your work with passion and share your life with your teenagers.  Behaviour is contagious lets get them talking and off the screen.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, mindfulness, motivation

Complete a goal on a high…

The achievement of completing a goal can make you feel proud and satisfied, however there is another part of you that mourns the loss of the work.  The adrenalin and energy you poured into the goal can fade very quickly if you have not adopted long term habits that can be sustained you begin to question the accomplishment.   Avoid creating a vacuum when the goal is complete.

The feelings people might feel at the end of the goal are:-

  • Disappointment
  • Feeling lost
  • Exhausted

Disappointment may occur if the goal was to easy or if you were so unrealistic you did not achieve it .  There is a fine balance between stretch and achieveable.  To avoid disappointment ensure that you have milestones in place along the journey.  Those milestones can be new rituals that you keep in place long after the goal.  If you want to increase your revenue you would set a target and the milestones would be to make one new business call a week and one meeting a month (they will stay in place once you have smashed the revenue).

Feeling lost, could well mean there is not enough rigour around the goal.  Did you map it out and plan what it looked like.  Identifying where you want to be at certain points lets you know that you are on track.  If you see setting goals as a journey, you need to know which destination point you have arrived at, and how long it took you to get there.  This often means that you might need to tweak it.  Companies split the year into quarters which is good way of assessing where you are e.g. by Q1 …

Exhausted is very close to exhilaration and elation.  Build into your goal planning, celebrating and relaxing.  If we don’t mark the finishing line the fatigue will run into the next set of goals.

Please do contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for a Goals workshop.

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

Review of the year

To make the best of 2018 we have stop and ask questions about the year that has just passed.

Take time to think about the answers to the following questions:-

  • What were the 5 best days in 2017?
  • List 3 achievements in 2017
  • Who were the people in 2017 who cared and supported you?

Creating a plan for 2018 is easier once you have the answers to 2017:-

  • Holidays that you are going to take, where and when?
  • 3 Big goals that you are going to undertake
  • Days and events that you would like to happen (might be replicating some of your best days in 2017)
  • Ask yourself how do you want to feel in December 2018?
  • Who are the key people you need around you in 2018?

The exercise is best done visually by using post-it notes so that you create a picture of both years beside each other.

We control our own destinies, make 2018 a fantastic year.

For a workshop on goal setting or personal impact please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Stress management

Sleep the new drug…

Sleep is the new drug in town.  We reach for the pain killers and eventually we might take to our bed.  However what if we saw sleep as a preventative drug.

Matthew Walker is the director at the Centre for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, he has spent the last 20 years studying “sleep”.

“When have you ever seen an NHS poster urging sleep?’ – “when did a Doctor prescribe sleep not sleeping pills, sleep loss costs the UK economy more than £30bn a year in the lost revenue” 

Sleep resets our body and brain by working on the following:-

  • memory
  • emotional stability
  • immune system

When we sleep it is like hitting the save button on your memories.  Studies have also shown that we can learn new facts much better after a good 8 hours.  The Hippocampus in the brain is the memory in-box.   MRI scans of sleep deprived individuals show the lack of activity or using the metaphor of the in-box no new files.

Sleep manages emotional volatility, scans of the brain show the Amygdala has increased activity with sleep deprived individuals.  So for our emotional well being 8 hours sleep a night is the best recovery.

Our physicality is improved with sleep as we have natural killer cells, our immune cells who work during the night.  The World Health Organisation has now identified that shift workers are at risk due to poor sleeping routines.

Sleep resets your body and brain so go out there and reclaim it and make sure it is the full 8 hours.

 

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

Dose of Happiness…

We create our own happiness by choosing the state that we go into, however how much are we aided by the chemicals in our brain.  Science colliding with our emotional intelligence.

At a talk at our son’s school they explained how teenagers can steer their behaviour with bearing in mind the dosage they need to be happy.   It is healthy for teenagers to hug and want companionship and yet social media does not give them that intimacy or immediate closeness.  The wrong elements of the happiness can be exaggerated, the teenagers can become addicted to posting and the reaction of their friends.

Simon Sinek of TED talk fame and for the book “Start with Why”, explained when writing his book “Leaders Eat Last” the chemicals that makes us happy.

He used the mnemonic EDSO however at my son’s school last week they made it far more catchy – DOSE of happiness.

DOPAMINE – motivates us to achieve incremental goals. It is the greed element of the brain it makes us feel good when we tick things off the to-do list and it can become highly addictive.

OXYTOCIN – creates intimacy, trust and the feeling that some-one will protect you.  Mothers and babies and lovers feel this when they are protected and loved, the feeling of safety.

SEROTONIN – provides the feeling of significance, pride, status.  It drives us to seek the recognition of others.  I want to do it so that my family are proud of me.  It reinforces relationships within a group, it can give cohesion to a team.

ENDORPHINS – keeps us going during work outs or runs, it helps us endure difficulties.  We have the same rush when we laugh.

If we were put them into a table:-

Chemicals for Happiness Key phrase Example
DOPAMINE One more Setting and achieving milestones
OXYTOCIN Intimacy and safety One-on-ones with Manager
SEROTONIN Loyalty Making the team proud
ENDORPHINS No pain Late night working

The right DOSE can steer you through an organisation and life.   Check-in to see whether you are being exposed to the right amount in each area.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, mindfulness, Stress management, Time management

Short time horizon…

The snow globe is a very visual representation as to how we live our lives.  We focus on the small things and yet some-one is forever shaking it up.  The building or structure in the centre of the globe we forget about.

We enjoy achieving the small stuff as we get that buzz of achievement, we have ticked a list or highlighted an accomplishment. We release dopamine in the brain the feel good chemical, instant gratification.

We have attended 3 meetings this week however they may have no complexity.  Thinking is not linear and involves engaging the brain fully.  The temptation to achieve immediate is everywhere.  The email pop up could easily take you away from the hard report that needs to be written and involves thinking.  We get addicted at accumulating small tasks, it is called structured procrastination.

This short term horizon is due to the fact that we are now a society based on impulse.  We crave automatic self stimulation, we send a message and we crave the reply.  We create an addictive cycle.

We are encouraged to do more and now with technology we have no limits.  There are now work addiction groups.  People enjoy the control that task accomplishment gives them, where as living life does not have the same completion and control.

An example would be a Senior Executive has to forecast next year’s figures, it will be a black and white document with figures based on the evidence of the previous year.  The same Executive has to manage the behaviour of their 18 month old who has not yet mastered sleeping through the night.  You can guess which one has the linear thinking and the control and the latter requires a more creative approach.

The culture we have created is “Try harder” and it is a “Short time Horizon” we need to look to a broader, slower and altogether bigger horizon.  Try this week to do more thinking.

Please do get in touch to explore thinking more bev@nuggetoflearning.co.uk

 

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

Busy is a brand…

We wear busy like a badge of honour.  The first thing we say to each other is “how are you?” and the most common response is “busy”.

We deal in a currency of numbers, people will tell you how many emails they have in their in-box and how many meetings they have attended.

The “busy” becomes a showcase, we boast about not having time.  Our reputation and existence is based on demonstrating “busy”.  We need to rush and walk quickly to emulate “busy”.

Even our weekends are about justifying ourselves to ourself.  We enter marathons and discuss what is right for our children in terms of after school activities.  Studies now show that children need to learn how to be bored.

We cloud effort and results, as often if things take longer we have looked busy for longer.

A locksmith explained that when he first started his trade it used to take him a long time to change a lock.  He charged $120 and $25 for the key and was often given a tip.  He is now experienced and changes a lock in 2 minutes and still charges a $120, and yet he never receives tips. Ironically people were paying for incompetence, and yet they believed they were paying for effort.

To understand more about “busy” listen to the Radio 4 series by Oliver Burkeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07w1dpx/episodes/player

Please do look at our website and get in touch www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk