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, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships, training

One to ones matter…

Meeting with your team members on a regular basis fosters a meaningful relationship. As a Manager they are the most important productivity tool you can have and to your team member.

For transparency and consistency you should offer every team member the same access to you, whether it be one hour fortnightly or one hour once a month. Book them into your diary as recurring meetings and think long and hard about the timing. This is a motivational tool so think about when the team member will feel at their best and yourself.

As a Line Manager you wear many hats and be careful which one you are wearing as to whether it is appropriate. Fundamentally you are their coach, you are invested in their performance and can pass judgment. You are not a counsellor although sometimes you may drift into this area, remember there are experts in this field. Mentoring is often what the future holds so you can dip a toe in this area however it is hard when you have a vested interest, you may not be as bold with your advice.

One to ones need to be relaxed with good rapport, but not so relaxed they have no structure or focus. You must also be weary that they are not all about work in progress. The time is about progression with a focus on what you are doing and also how you are doing it. There is a bigger conversation about motivation, dreams and desires.

Feedback is part of the catching up, whether it be positive or constructive. The best way to deliver is to have structure, see the mnemonic (“SBI”) below:-

S Situation

B Behaviour

I Impact

An SBI can be used for positive or constructive, see examples below:-

At the meeting last week…Situation

You were so articulate and clear on the project to the client...Behaviour

The client was enthusiastic and keen to start the work now…Impact

Or

At the meeting last week…Situation

You were very quiet and withdrawn…Behaviour

The impact was the Client lost confidence in our offer – Impact

The responsibility of a line manager is to check in on a team members well being. As an organisation there is the need to provide psychological safety, however be aware of what you can and cannot influence. Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence is a good test to see whether you should provide support. They are concerned about a deadline, this is something you can influence. They are concerned about the weather, this is not something you can influence. A number of things can be influenced, but if not explain to the team member they need to stop letting them feel such a big concern.

If you look like you are enjoying a one to one session so will your team member. Getting the most out of a one is all about the preparation and what you put into it and the input of your team member.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop “Getting the most out of one to ones” – 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 coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Review of the year…

This will be the last post of this year and so a good time to take stock of the year. I send this to all coaching clients so they can see what has happened and begin to focus on the year ahead.

Review of 2021

Best 5 days of 2021 (think of your whole life, where were you and who were you with?)

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

People who were important to you in 2021:-

Achievements x 3 (in or out of work)

1.

2.

3.

How are you feeling December 2021:- (start with an adjective and then explain why you have chosen that description)

Looking ahead to 2022

Big Goals (work or home)

1.

2.

3.

Days & Events in 2022  (significant Birthdays/events such as Weddings/Anniversaries etc…)

Have a lovely Christmas and please do ask others to follow my Blog and I look forward to connecting with you again in 2022. 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, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation, Relationships

Finding flow in pure joy…

Adam Grant wrote the article on languishing which was such a life saver to so many people. He has now delivered a TED talk to explain his own journey from languishing to flow. The route out is not a productivity task it was as simple as playing Mario Kart with his family. Something that gave him and others pure joy.

Before the pandemic he had a list of all the things not to do: –

  • No phone in bed
  • No social media in the evening
  • Not more than two screens
  • Only put the TV on when you know what you want to watch

As we know during lockdown every rule went out the window. We watched box sets scrolled social media even though none of us were doing anything. We were muddling through with very foggy windscreens. This was not depression, there was still hope and energy but we felt a bit aimless, and Grant says this was languishing. Cory Keys first coined the expression and she explained that chronic languishing can lead to depression. In time it can dampen your enthusiasm and you become indifferent to your own indifference.

Teresa Amabile says that motivation hinges on progress, so there is tremendous pressure to be upbeat and busy. Grant demonstrates that optimism is not the solution, as to randomly assign too many blessings means your optimism may run out. In the TED talk he asks for one person to say 3 good things in their life and then another to say 42 things, as you would expect the latter becomes random and not meaningful.

So during the lockdown optimism was not the solution, flow was the answer. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the psychologist who explored why flows leads to happiness.

Flow is about total absorption in a task eg. gardening, cooking or the Netflix series. However the last one is only a temporary cure as you are passively engaging a fictional world. Peak flow is about participation in the real world.

Grant found Mario Kart which connected the three ingredients:-

  • Mastery
  • Mindfulness
  • Mattering

It all started when he and his sister reminisced about playing Mario Kart as kids. They decided to play with their own families online, and soon that led to Saturday night adult Mario Kart nights. The mastery connects with the principle of progress, the momentum of the game. Mindfulness you need to give the game your full attention no other distractions. The most beautiful component is the mattering, playing as a family knowing it matters for each other.

My own journey through lockdown was starting a nuggets book club. I set the challenge of a book review each week just for 30 mins. The format was a silly icebreaker that engaged the attendees. I had to master the book through the week and during that 30 minutes I was just there being mindful of the content and the people. I really felt it mattered to me as an individual to still be motivated but I also felt it mattered to others. The book club gave me flow and so much joy.

Please do get in touch 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, Goals, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

The Main Thing…

“Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing” from the book Monday Morning Leadership by David Cottrell.

The Main Thing is people’s purpose and priorities. People have different perceptions of what the Main Thing is. If as a Leader you are not clear on The Main Thing, people will leave. People quit people before they quit companies.

Simon Sinek says “Start with Why” ask your team members “Why do you come to work? what is your driver. His argument it is not what you do? but most importantly why you do it? To create a culture of trust there needs to be harmony as to how you do it? This is where you establish core values of working together. These three areas Why/How/What create Simon Sinek’s golden circle, but always starting with Why.

To identify the Main Thing break it down by using the language of strategy:-

Vision – defining where you want to be in the future

Mission – The purpose of your business (The Why and the Main Thing)

Strategy – The direction of each department eg. Finance/Marketing/Operations – that leads you to mission & vision.

Objectives – Team and individual objectives that fit into the strategy

Tasks – things that you do everyday that lead to the objectives

Values– guiding principles of how you want to work with each other

When you define each of the areas think about companies you want to replicate and companies that you are opposed to being. Love and hate elicit powerful reactions and help position where you do want to be.

A simple team exercise is to ask every team member “What is the Main Thing…? the response to the blank space will be very varied and your role as a Leader is to get clarity.

Please do get in touch we are running the “Main Thing” workshop on Thursday 26th August 2021 @ 10.00am (90 minutes) at a cost of £40 per delegate. bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk