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

Out of the Maze…

The follow up to “Who moved my cheese…?” has arrived, and what perfect timing for me personally and for the world in general.

For those of you who have not read the bestseller “Who moved my cheese…?’ the theme is that cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.  The book emphasises the need to adapt to change and move with the cheese.

The new book asks the question what if you don’t know where to begin.

The central character is locked by the fact change has happened and the belief that things will never be the same.  However he meets the character “Hope” who says “Maybe they can turn out better than they were…”

We have beliefs that we get locked into and they can hold you prisoner in a mindset.  A belief is a thought that you trust is true, which can be either hold you down or lift you up.  Therefore you can change your mind if you choose a new belief.   You must not become the belief, you are the person who chooses your beliefs.

This links very closely to the work of Carol Dweck who talks about giving our children a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset.

An example:- if you have a belief that you are bad at public speaking  you will never put yourself in a position to speak.

If you change the belief that you are good at speaking in small groups, therefore you will be just as good public speaking.

The book “Out of the maze…” goes even further by saying – there are no limits to what you can believe.   You can simply change your mind by having new beliefs.

Sometime we have to believe before we can see the result so that we get into the right frame of mind.

An example:- believe you can sell your business before you have put it on the market and then you will do all that is necessary to get it ready to sell

On the journey to get out of the maze the character had to lose old baggage which is a metaphor for old thinking and beliefs.   We often on the journey have to seek out the very things we have always avoided.  Explore what has until now always seemed impossible.

The reflections at the end of the book, put it very succinctly “The Maze I need to get out of? is my own thinking”

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

 

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

Being kind to yourself…

We are responsible for our actions and our decisions and ultimately how kind we decide to be to ourselves.

My day had a bumpy start, I was about to board a train when I remembered I had not put a pen in my bag.  I did a very bad Mum run to WH Smiths at the station and managed to make the train.  Felt quite smug that I had turned things around.

The desperate need for the pen was to make notes on a book on my kindle.  Sat back and retrieved the kindle to find it was out of charge.  Still not deterred used my iPhone to create the kindle app, but failed to remember my amazon password.  I wasted most of the journey with failed attempts and the ultimate lock out message.

When I arrived at Waterloo I decided to walk to my meeting as I needed to be kind to myself, after my rather unproductive train journey. The walk in the sunshine and along the South Bank in London was great for putting me in a lovely mood for my meeting.

When something goes wrong think of a way to be kind to yourself by doing something you will enjoy.

Of course you don’t have to be kind to yourself when something goes wrong, just make it a habit everyday.  Write down when you have been kind to yourself as focusing on ourselves does have restorative effect for the rest of life.

Please do get in touch if you are looking for a business coach bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Write your happy thoughts down…

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology claimed there was a significant reduction in stress and anxiety when people wrote about their positive emotions.

Previous studies have shown that writing about negative emotions is also good for your mental well being getting stuff “off your chest”.  However not much has been written about the positive emotions.

Writing about positive experiences for 20 minutes a day for 3 consecutive days improved people’s mood and led to fewer visits to the Doctor.  Even writing as little as 2 minutes a day was a positive experience and reduced stress levels.

For the study the 20 minutes of  writing covered areas where people had been moved by a good book, painting, a piece of music or just a good interaction.

There were 71 healthy participants, aged 19 to 77 and randomly allocated into two groups.  The first group was asked to write about the most wonderful experiences (as described above) of their life for 20 minutes for 3 consecutive days.  The other group just covered neutral topics, such as their plans for the rest of the day etc..

At the end of the study the groups answered questionnaires to measure their levels of anxiety and the group that had documented the positive emotions were in much better place than the neutral group.

Write your happy thoughts down to reduce your anxiety levels, get into a routine of reviewing the day ensuring you highlight the positive.

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

 

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

You matter…

In Denmark mattering is part of the school curriculum.  During a weekly hour called Klassen Time, students come together to discuss problems and help one another.  Danish children do this every week from age six until they leave senior school.   To make the ordeal easier a different student each week brings cake.  When the children present their problems they feel they are listened to and the others who provide guidance feel they are making a difference.

The children learn empathy by hearing other perspectives and reflecting on how their behaviour affects those around them.  The emphasis is “how do others feel? and how do my actions make them feel?”

I am often saying the strongest leadership skill you can have is listening.  People feel valued if they are given a “damn good listening to”.

People who listen then understand your situation and you feel that you matter.

Make time for those around you, whether it be at work or home and ensure that they feel that they matter.  Look after yourself and also find some-one who will listen to you as remember “you matter”.

Please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

The “Best”…

Forgive the indulgence, the blog is of a very personal nature this week.

One of my “Best” friends died five days ago and it puts everything into perspective.  What is the definition of “Best”.  The dictionary says exceptional or outstanding which I think is perfect to define what you get from a really brilliant friendship.

The list is endless:-

  • Best listener
  • Best times to be had and full of laughter
  • Best walker – with knowledge of all the Surrey Hills
  • Best organiser – parties, events and fund raiser
  • Best at giving an honest opinion
  • Best advice – on parenting and life
  • Best in giving – whether it be plants, time and numerous coffees

The synopsis stills feels inadequate in terms of the void it leaves.  Think about what are the best things about you that you give your friends.  Your self worth will grow knowing what your best attributes are and what you give others.

Cherish the best in friends and family as you may well be robbed without ever telling them what the best was.

 

 

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

Press the button…

What does “press the button” actually mean?

In classic experiments on stress, people performed tasks that required concentration, like solving puzzles, whilst being blasted at random intervals with uncomfortably loud sounds.  The individuals started sweating and their heart rates and blood pressure climbed.   They struggled to concentrate and made mistakes and many just gave up.  Searching for a way to reduce the anxiety, researchers gave the participants an escape.  If the noise became too unpleasant they could press a button and make the noise stop.  The button allowed them to stay calmer and make fewer mistakes.  The most surprising result was that no-one pressed the button.  Knowing they could stop the noise gave them a sense of control and allowed them to endure the stress.

This story comes from the book Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.  In the book they put the button into another context.  Grant  a lecturer sadly had a student who committed suicide and he regretted he had not spotted the signs of stress earlier.  He struggled for a long time to overcome any guilt.  To move forward he started every lecture by ensuring his mobile number was clearly displayed in the class, in effect this was the button.

Do you provide a button to your team, do they know that support is there.  Think how you can instigate the button within your organisation.  Coaching and mentoring being formalised could provide buttons.  Buddy schemes for new recruits, and always ensuring your team members have a line manager who conducts regular 1:1 meetings. Larger organisations have well being help lines and by ensuring the number is displayed provides the button security.

At home we now all have our mobile numbers, however do we provide a “button’ service in other ways.  How often do you sit around a table and ensure you really listen to each other?  This is the best “button” you can ever provide.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation

Balance for better…

Is the environment you work in demonstrating a good balance.

Balance could include gender, skills, and experience.  The first stage is to look at your existing culture, do you welcome balance by having the right set of values.

If you are focusing purely on results then you might not be attracting the right employees.  Everyone wants to be part of something successful, however if they realise that there is nothing underneath the figures and they will feel unsupported and they will not care for the organisation.

Values have to come to life, with rituals and habits attached to them.  If you promote collaboration what does it look like? Cross functional teams working together and meeting on a regular basis.

The balance of giving back to your team and your team giving back to others.  You have the people you want to work with and you are proud to work with others.

The Swedish football team Ostersunds believed in giving its team members so much more than just football skills. They wanted to open their minds to theatre, art and literature.   These experiences were shared and putting them in unfamiliar situations grew their minds and enabled them to think differently.  The team have written book, created art and worked with local refugee centres and put on a stage show of Swan Lake.  They are now in the top league and won the Swedish cup in 2017.

Balance does not have to be seen through the lens of automatically assuming that means a gender match.  We have many layers to our personalities that need to be uncovered whether we are male or female.  The answer is fostering the environment that means you are able to be truly authentic.

An open atmosphere where there is no blame and mistakes are learnt from.

Creating balance is about identifying the things that matter most to you as team and investing together to make them come to life.

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