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 Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Resilient Pink…

The media is awash since the Harvey Weinstein of abuse cases and how do you determine the line that people cross.

My own experiences has measured my thoughts around appropriate and inappropriate.

In my early 20’s I went for an interview to work with a very well successful businessman.  With hindsight this first introduction to him should have been a warning of what was to come, the level of control.  I was asked to wipe off my lipstick (my trademark bright pink).  This felt very odd, and I had lots of time to reflect on this instruction as I was left in a room for a very long period to wait for the “big man”.  Looking back I think I was being watched and the whole situation was a test.

I got the job without the lipstick which I was still advised to hold back on.

The prestige of working for the company and the man himself let me initially enjoy the situation.  It became apparent that it was not business as normal.  Five secretaries to one PA, could easily tell you that we were just ever slightly over manned.

We would be rewarded with money for carrying a brief case, however in the process the wandering hands went too far.  Sex toys would be placed on our desks to see our reaction, and I was particularly naive.

I left after  6 months and the first thing I did was make sure my lipstick was brighter than ever.  The resilient pink continues and I know where the line is for me.

I ask myself would I want my daughter to be humiliated and lose confidence due to an individual who believed fame and money would protect him.

Arriving at meeting last week there was lots of banter about whether we could greet each other with hug.  I laughed with the group, however I was delighted that there is now thinking around personal space.  My own example is somewhat extreme, however there are levels within everything and there is always a line to cross or not to cross.

We can create a better place and be resilient with or without pink lipstick.

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Management, personal impact, Stress management

Effective email management

“We must lead emails rather than them leading us…”  Bev Wilkinson

Being effective with email management is how you behave around emails rather than the simple processing. We need to set ground rules and set up rituals and habits that fit with our lives. We can control it rather than it control us.

Dan Pink’s book – “To Sell is Human”, listed the number of emails he received in two weeks:-

  • 722 emails

To improve organisational effectiveness is not too focus on the number or volume. The attention should be on clear guidelines as to how you manage your in-box.

There is no easy way and the whole idea of personal productivity means that it is personal to you. Systems need to be tweaked and adapted to work. Sharing ideas with team members can give you new ways of interacting with the screen.

If you look at an email 5 minutes before you go into a meeting you take that email into the meeting. Checking your email before you go to bed means that you will take that email to bed with you.

We can be effective by making choices that work for our lives, book an appointment with your emails as you would any other contact.

The book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen suggests setting up sub folders that sit at the top of your other folders. This can easily be achieved by putting a # in front of the title:-

#Action

#Waiting for

#Read review

To be effective think about the rhythm of your day and decide when you want to manage your email. Relax that you don’t have to know everything all the time.

Being effective is the right processes for you.

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, personal impact, Uncategorized

Does your dress code match your email…?

More and more companies are moving towards a casual dress code.  We often wear the right clothes to do the right job.  You would never garden in your high heels, the trusted wellington boot is the footwear of choice.

If we are not wearing the right dress does it mean that our tone becomes more relaxed.

  • Do we mind if the team use emojis in their emails?
  • Use Hi instead of Dear
  • Sign off with thanks or cheers
  • Go straight into the email
  • Put the content of the email in the subject box
  • Use comic sans as a font

When dress codes change they often get misinterpreted, what is casual in my eyes might not be in some-one else’s eyes.  There is an adjustment phase, some team members intentionally push the boundaries. Our clothes are very much a part of the image and the culture we belong in.  They are easy to spot and give feedback on.

The tonality and content of your team emails are harder to spot.

Introduce guidelines of the tonality you expect and the look and appearance of your emails.  They are often and the first contact with your company, ensure that it is the right image.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Management, personal impact, training

Making email work for everyone…

“People don’t read emails” or is it “People don’t read emails properly“.

How do you get your message across and how do you get noticed.  We want to get attention for the right reasons.

I was recently asked to design and deliver a workshop on how to make email work for you.  The client has had messages go out with “Hi” in the subject box.

Their brand and culture was very traditional and they felt their team did not reflect it in the way emails were worded and displayed.  They wanted messages to match their culture and look and sound like the brand in essence the right voice.  Overall their mantra was to sound “charming”.

The workshop was highly interactive with flip charts asking the questions what does good, bad and ugly look like from an email perspective.  From the delegates answers you could ascertain how the company could change their email practices to have consistency and portray the right image.

The right voice is not just about the look of an email the tonality is key.  We asked delegates to right email responses to common Client queries and looked at the language that was appropriate and inappropriate.  The level of directness that is an assertive voice and the tipping point to aggression.

Practically we need to lead email rather than it lead us.  The last part of the workshop explored how to manage it effectively.

When email entered the business world very few of us ever had training as to how to use it and very few companies provide guidelines.  The standard signature template is as far as it goes.  Think further are you happy for employees to use “Hi” or “Thanks” would you rather it was a “Kind regards”.

We have made a difference by working with organisations to get them to think about how much damage one email can do.  With this one workshop “Making email work for you” we have given companies their brand back through email.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop on “Making email work for everyone…”

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, Management, personal impact

Behaviour Vs Attitude…

We can only comment on what we see, not what we think is driving behaviour. So an example would be:-

Alice always appears very unhelpful when people enter the department, she never welcomes anyone.

We could make an assumption that she has a bad attitude. However we must only give feedback on the observable. Our personality is made up of values, skills, beliefs and attitudes we have collated to be our unique self.

Alice needs feedback on just behaviour that we can see:-

Alice I have seen that every time anyone enters the department you never look up, you never make eye contact with them or say anything”

 We would hope that Alice might explain, she hates being at the front desk, she has always been shy, she did not realise it was a requirement or she said sorry and was keen to do it differently.

Think about the balance between a behaviour and an attitude, what is behind and what is driving it. You often notice more when some-ones behaviour is not in sync with their usual demeanor.

A very handy mnemonic to keep you on the right track (“SBI”):-

S – Situation – what can you see happening?

B – Behaviour – what are they doing, only observable?

I – Impact – what do they think could be the impact of this behaviour?

It is always better if an individual can self assess their behaviour, no-one likes to be told where they are going wrong.

Please do get in touch if you would like your team to have a workshop on feedback.

www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

and contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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