Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, personal impact, Relationships

Everything has changed, but nothing has changed…

I am back at the desk of nuggets HQ having taking a temporary leave of absence for a month. As the title says “everything has changed, but nothing has changed”.

The last month I have been caring for my Mum alongside my sisters and Step Dad, and very sadly she died on the 25th April 2022. My whole world will never look the same again without the person who created me in it. However the world keeps spinning and less you hold on you get left behind.

In grief you find the normal things like making a bed really calming as there is little emotional input and the procedural aspect of the task gives you perspective. The times you feel derailed when you can see no end in sight for the person in pain and you have no capacity to change the trajectory of the outcome.

Throughout my absence I have been reading “The Atlas of the Heart” by Brene Brown and the comfort of unpicking emotions and experiences has also given me an amazing sense of my self. Understanding that meaningful connection only happens if you talk about your emotions.

I remember reading that Gill Hicks who survived the 7/7 bombing in London, returned to her desk and tipped the in box that the team had kept untouched straight in the bin. Her view that nothing mattered but everything mattered, after what she had just been through.

I think of the many books I have read in the nature of my job and many will help me now forge ahead with maybe a slight change of heart or mind.

  • The Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • Feel the Fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  • Who moved my cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson

Everything has changed means a new view of my work, perhaps a boldness that was lacking before, however to be sure the things that have not changed are being true to my values.

“Helping people to think differently” by making a difference

“Achievement” my anchor value of progression which will move me forward ensuring that things do change.

I will shortly be starting a bookclub for The Atlas of the Heart if you would like to attend please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Language is our portal for meaning…

So excited Brene Brown’s new book Atlas of the Heart is now in print. There is so much to unpick, but a good starter is using the right language to explain our experiences and label the emotions involved.

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s quote “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”.

Fifteen years ago, Brown asked participants on her shame resilience research to list all the emotions they could recognise and to name them. This took five years and involved seven thousand people. The average number of emotions named across the surveys was three, and they were happy, sad and angry.

Brown obviously found this very disheartening when the vastness of human emotion is not about mad, sad or glad. There are so many despair, shame, wonder, awe… that in their richness make us human.

Language is the portal to meaning, making connections, healing, learning and self awareness. When we don’t have the language we lose our ability to explain what is really going on.

In Atlas of the Heart there are eighty seven emotions and experiences that are defined and brought to life so that we can increase our vocabulary.

The next time you say the following:-

  • “I am really pissed off”
  • “I am so mad”

What are you feeling? Naming it accurately what is really going on. Vocabulary should be as expansive as our experience. Better responses might be..:-

  • “I am so overwhelmed with all I am experiencing”
  • “I am feeling disappointed”

Yesterday my son failed his driving test and it was pure anger, and it was limiting to his growth. He was not labelling it as disappointment, and his rage directed at the Driving Examiner whom he will never see again, is sadly not constructive.

Articulate what is going on in your world this week, and I would welcome comments and discussion.

Please do reach out bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, motivation, personal impact, Relationships

Feedforward instead of feedback…

Feedback focuses on the past something we have done, and therefore can be quite limiting. However skilled you are at delivering feedback it all runs the risk of being personal. When delivered badly often elicits defensive behaviour, and a positive developmental conversation disintegrates.

Feedforward is about giving suggestions for the future. Identify a behaviour you would like to change or develop. Ensure that you have selected something that will make a significant and positive difference in your life.

Describe the behaviour to a colleague/coach/line manager it can be as simple as

“I want to be a better listener”

Ask for feedforward, suggestions for the future that might help them achieve a positive change in that behaviour. Below are some examples:-

  • Making notes at a meeting to test your listening skills
  • Setting up one to one meetings with other peers
  • Listening to an audio book and making a summary or book review

The exercise should be “fun” and motivating a very different vibe to feedback.

An article by Marshall Goldsmith author of MOJO claims several reasons it is worth giving it a try:-

  • We can change the future. We can’t change the past
  • It can be more productive to help people learn to be “right” than prove they were “wrong”
  • Feedforward is especially suited to successful people
  • Feedforward can come from anyone who knows about the task
  • People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback
  • Feedback can reinforce personal negative self talk & insecurities
  • We don’t like negative feedback and we don’t like giving it
  • Feedforward can cover almost all the same material as feedback
  • Feedforward an be much faster and more efficient
  • Feedforward can be used by all – it is not a power or authoritative tool
  • People tend to listen more attentively to feedforward

There is still a place for feedback but by engaging your whole team in feedforward there might be more of a growth opportunity. A great question is “How can I better help our team in the future?”. Ask every team member to identify a behaviour. Then as a whole group facilitate a feedforward session.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to host a Feedforward workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Pain Vs Pleasure…

The secret to productivity might well be finding the balance to pain and pleasure. Dr Anna Lembke the author of Dopamine Nation explains how pain and pleasure are located in the same part of the brain.

As they are located in the same place we need to keep a balance eg. not too much pleasure and not too much pain. We call this balanced status homeostasis and a deviation from this leads to stress.

Today we are overloaded with so many pleasurable experiences we can overload on these. As an example if you went to a fancy restaurant every night a plain bowl of rice would never be appealing again. Dr Lembke says that once we say yes to pleasure we need to know how to say no to withdraw to equilibrium. However what can happen is a gremlin in our brain persuades us to have just one more hit, and before we know it we have tipped over into pain. If you imagine dopamine in a jar it about tilting it for fun and then resetting it so that it is level again.

The solution to remaining motivated and not being distracted by instant pleasure, is to try and have a dopamine detox. Phones and social media can be put out of sight for a whole day, reducing caffeine, gaming and even TV. Learning to be bored again is a good way to reset your pleasure hits. Lembke talks about the strength of rehabilitated addicts, their fresh eyes on the world give them a new take on some of the mundane in life, perceiving it as new pleasure.

Thinking about a difficult task you have to do today and then a small pleasure reward afterwards will be a good balance.

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Power (is it a dirty word?)

The perception of power might be large and loud however is that really effective.

From the book “48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene we learn that some of the most interesting initiatives are by no means loud. One of his primary laws is to say as little as possible, let your actions speak for you. Be comfortable with silence and then when you do need to say something imagine you are a hawk swooping in with one powerful sound bite. Perfect your timing as to when you say your key “nugget”, and above all limit the words you use – less is more.

We are guilty of getting too emotionally attached to a position, however we will be more powerful if we let go of the ties. The politician who does not always vote for his party is more powerful than the member who follows the crowd.

Another way to be powerful is not to over share. Apple are very good at hiding from their competitors and the world what their next product will be. Concealing your intentions holds a great deal of power. Say little about your processes and your achievements will appear effortless. Your audience/clients will have the “wow” effect of something achieved and do not necessarily need to know the journey.

Power is the ability to be audacious, believing anything is possible. This might be achieved by a compelling spectacle or taking on big companies.

In the 2020 US Presidential Election there were more candidates than usual. The audacity of the Senators and Governors who put themselves forward, did not lead to securing a candidate position, but it elevated their position in their home state.

Software firm owner Nigel Cannings, from Twickenham, took on Tesco with a publicity campaign to force them to stop making night deliveries near his home. He gave up two to three hours every week over the course of two years to work on the campaign with a successful end result.

Power is not about attaching yourself to a role.

Don’t accept the roles that society foists on you, be the master of your own image, rather than others define it for you” – Robert Greene

He explains that if we are formless, that we constantly recreate ourselves, we don’t represent one position, one view or identity. We will foster more power by evolving, new thinking and embracing change. We all know that change is inevitable and when people around you display instability you will be perceived as powerful with your calm personae attached to change.

Finally to truly be powerful you must not seek it or want it. Never appear power hungry and never make power moves.

The quiet and intrinsic power is within you.

Please do get in touch for one to one coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Letting go…

Getting a sense of who you are does not have to be quite as dramatic as the route of Jay Shetty the author of “Think like a Monk”. Shetty spent three years living as a Monk to understand why they are so happy and centred, he discovered at the core of their life was their ability to master the art of letting go.

First step we can take is to let go of external expectations, which have evolved via our parents/friends and society at large. Shetty says we can take stock of what we value in life and then practice choice awareness against our values. Think daily do you want to spend that time or money doing what you are doing. You have the power of choice and if there is no value attached to the outcome is it the right choice. Attending a conference to learn, or alternatively attending as you have been told to, both give you different choices.

Letting go of negativity towards others, especially if you are holding onto them for a long time. You have a row with your partner which may take you 1% of your time to reach resolution and yet 99% of the time is left with negative thoughts swirling in your head. Shetty says that we should forgive without waiting for the person to apologise, and we should also get into the habit of well wishing, passing and sharing our own happiness. We should delight in other’s success be genuinely happy for them.

Letting go of attachment is possibly the one I found most poignant. If you think in life that everything is borrowed you will enjoy the moments you are in so much more. As an example, in the book he explains you rent a luxury car and you enjoy every moment of the experience as you know it will not last and you don’t own the car. Imagine taking on this mindset for everything. You are only borrowing your family for periods of time. Detaching from people and things makes you love them even more and then when you are attached to them in moments of time, they are all the sweeter.

In summary:-

  • Let go external expectations
  • Let go of negativity towards others
  • Let go of attachment

Please do get in touch to book nuggets for coaching or bite size workshops bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Starting new things…

When we start something new we are incredibly vulnerable, and we are excited that we are trying some new things. Sadly awkward and uncomfortable comes after the excitement. BrenĂ© Brown’s definition of vulnerability, is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

Don’t let being afraid of the vulnerability mean you stop trying, if we don’t have the expertise we don’t want to try, but this will limit us.

If we stop growing – we stop living. You need to feel the discomfort of being a new learner. The awkwardness will pass as the more we do it the more we can try normalise the discomfort. To feel unsure and uncertain is courage.

Brown names starting things for the first time “FFT” which stands for “F*#-@$+” First Time, the out of control moment. By naming it, you take back control in effect language is a handle!! By naming experiences and feelings its gives you power and you have a hold on it.

The FFT can also be called TFT if the first F is offensive – Terrible First Time

Just by saying out loud “This is Terrible it is my first time…”

or “This is a “FFT”

There are 3 parts to the FFT:-

Normalise it – this is discomfort but I have to accept it, name it and work with it
Perspective – you will not feel like this forever – this will not be new forever
Reality checking – know where you are

The pandemic was new to us all and we all felt a FFT together.

  1. Normalise it – we don’t know how to do it, we had never experienced anything like it before so it was OK to be anxious and OK to name it and own it. For our children we needed to be modelling what uncertainty looked like – name it and feel it
  2. Perspective – we don’t know when this will end, however this will not last forever.
  3. Reality checking – to be patient and to listen with the same passion as you want to be heard and to ask for what you need

This week push yourself with a FFT, thrive in the discomfort as you are growing and being vulnerable is far more courageous than avoiding something new. Please reach out to bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Economy of Kindness

If kindness was currency and you made withdrawals and deposits, but we were all in the business of kindness, we would have such a different vibe. Stephen Covey the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People explains that every relationship we have is based on an emotional bank account. We make withdrawals emotionally and we also give deposits of support. Even the day to day living can be weighted by how much we do for each other. Emptying the dishwasher is a great deposit and then a withdrawal is when you don’t clear up the kitchen after cooking.

Kindness in business is now needed more than ever with the return to offices. Before the pandemic the focus solely on growth and profit left little room for Kindness. Companies are now recognising lives of their employees. Friday afternoons free, either billed as “Focus Friday” or simply half days set up in the summer have been extended to Christmas, giving people a longer weekend and more freedom from the organisation.

Values are being reset, how do we really want to work with each other. We want to work together and build on the stuff we care about. We are recognising that more is not necessarily better. We are looking for shared responsibility alongside shared values.

This is the time for us to adapt thrive while the Covid conscience is still memorable. The positives of the pandemic was that it taught us that we were brilliantly adaptable. Chemistry and connection of people is far more appealing than pure standalone growth.

Take 15 minutes today to watch the Mary Portas TED talk December 2019

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, personal impact, Time management

Getting to the Finishing line…

We can see the finishing line but we don’t get there, on projects at work and home. Peter Hollins the author of “Finish What you Start” explores why this happens. He describes the unfinished projects as the mental scrapyard in our heads.

We go into projects in week 1 with a surge of inspiration we are full of ideas we are literally fizzing. We have four follow through muscles:-

  • Focus
  • Take Action
  • Resist
  • Persist

The starting point is being focused on what you want to achieve being clear of those first actions and knowing what distractions we must resist in order to persist.

However in reality what happens is we weaken those muscles by either getting distracted or just deciding that the task is too hard. We then create the psychological roadblock of Perfectionism. When the task gets harder our ego kicks in and we don’t want to fail so we make the task impossibly hard to achieve. Perfectionism is insecurity in disguise, we have made the task impossibly good instead of good enough.

The sad reality is that we only learn when we have a finished product. By adopting a finishing mindset you know at the end you can look back and evaluate this is where you know that you have learnt something. You might create a terrible blog post but it is there for everyone to see and you can take the feedback and write a better one the next time. It is better to have put something out there than not have done anything.

We need to get better at finishing so therefore we need to create a manifesto (a set of rules) that we can apply when we start on a project.

  • I want – write down ultimately what you want to finish
  • I will – think of the first action, it can be really small as the momentum will lead to bigger actions
  • I won’t – in the next hour I won’t look at my emails

This rule is simple to adopt if you think when scheduling your day of packets of time/1 hour blocks and state using the want/will/won’t is going to happen.

By starting you are crushing procrastinations the most potent weapon inertia

This is an implementation intention and will triple the rate of follow through.

The second rule to adopt is the 10/10/10. We have our two selves Present and Future self. Your present self is wanting immediate pleasure and wants to avoid immediate pain at any cost so will drag down the future self into inactivity. The 10/10/10 rule is imagining the following:-

  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 minutes?
  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 hours?
  • What does it look like if I procrastinate for 10 days?

The idea is that the 10 day procrastination will be so unattractive as a visualisation exercise that you encourage and get yourself into action. The pain and guilt of letting yourself down and others of being inactive for that long is so damaging you want to start to work those follow through muscles. You don’t want to be that person.

Finish is about learning, use those follow through muscles today and share your nuggets of learning with me bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, personal impact

Doing the right things…

Designing a course with this title and the 90 minutes I have to deliver it does not really do it justice. Doing the right things now as Leader encompasses so much. There are the basics but what about your character and how you interact and engage with your team.

  • Conducting regular one to ones
  • Being a coach and using Ask not Tell language
  • Being their cheer leader and their critic
  • Being empathetic
  • Being visionary
  • Motivating them to move forward

Doing the right things at the right time is also crucial, no-one welcomes the constructive feedback a week after the situation. A continuous conversation and a relationship built on trust not just the performance will benefit both you and the team member.

A good starting point is to think about a great Manager/Leader you had, what was it they did. When people do this as an exercise one of the key things that comes out is communication. They had regular and consistent interaction with this person.

Transparency and consistency are the two key words when you map out how you want to speak to your team members. Sharing key information with every team member and ensuring it happens regularly avoids other rogue voices filling in the gaps.

Fair and reasonable also good validating tools. Think about your behaviour was I fair and reasonable and how would I feel if some-one asked that of me.

Doing the right things is tangible eg. regular one to ones however the memory of how you did them will last longer than just doing them. Doing the right things is about embodying and playing out being the Leader you want to be.

For more details please do not hesitate to get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk