Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

Reflect your culture…?

Being a visitor too many different offices you can very easily see from the working environment what sort of culture the organisation has.

Some are very obvious, projecting their product and services with a bit of fun around the team.  The harder to identify are the big corporates, which may well have their values on display, however they don’t give much away as to what is like to work there.

Waiting for meetings in a reception area or if you are lucky a social area you can see team members come and go.  Watching the interaction of colleagues and the general vibe  as to whether they make you feel welcome says a lot about the company.

Waiting in a fun social area with a pool table and darts board with fruit and every drink imaginable you feel relaxed.  Team members come and go taking breaks and a screen flashes up photos of their people with quirky facts about them.  I got to see the face of several people I was about to meet before I met them in the flesh.

In contrast waiting in a very beige waiting area with an empty perspex magazine holder and no pictures, reflects a culture that has given up on its people.

Another example is the slick reception desk with a vast atrium and the team all in identical outfits does not show what lies beyond.

Think about your welcome area being the gateway to your business and your team.  What do you want to share?

Top Tips to reflect your culture:-

  • Welcome sign
  • Company name
  • Photos of the team (fun facts)
  • Colourful and well lit area
  • Papers/Magazines that are current or relevant to your business
  • Drinks/fruit available
  • Ensure that every member of the team who passes a visitor acknowledges them

First impressions of people happen in 7 seconds so exactly the same assessment is being about your company and your people.  Take time to get it right and work for you and your people.

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

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

Strong culture…

The way we do things around here… is the best definition of a culture.  The sum of values, habits and rituals coming together to form a way of being together.

Why is a strong culture so important?

There is a direct correlation between performance, retention and recruitment.  John Kotter and John Heskett collated statistics to prove the strength of culture.

  • Revenue is 4 x faster
  • Job creation 7 x higher
  • Profit performance 750% higher

The culture needs to be able to move, when there are changes to leadership, or mergers and acquisitions and there could even be sudden growth.  Any changes can lead to an old management structure creating sub cultures, which can be very unhealthy for the overall culture.

Sticking with your culture and values takes guts and it is about everyone have a conviction of a core ideology.

The story that makes this seem so simplistic is the Olympic rowing 8 who simply coined the phrase and ideology “Will it make the boat go faster”.   All behaviours were accountable to that one sentence.

Sustaining the culture 

Commit to regularly communicating at team meetings and having visuals around the office that support the core ideology.  Ensure that you hire to fit your culture, within the recruitment and selection include questions that explain how things get done around here.   Promote your culture by rewarding members who support it, this will embed the habits and rituals you want to see.

Cultural fit will make life easier.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Understanding culture” – bev@nuggetsoflearnign.co.uk

 

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

Trust Vs Performance…

Simon Sinek talks about the balance of trust and performance.  He gives the scenario of working with the Navy Seals.

There are two levels of trust as far as they are concerned:-

  • “On the battlefield would you trust some-one with your life” – therefore saying their performance was very high
  • “Off the battlefield would you trust that person with your wife” – do they have high performance levels but very low trust levels

If you look at the table below where would you place the members of your team.

Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 16.34.28.png

  • High Performer/High Trust – might seem ideal, however they will possibly want to explore new challenges and will be hard to keep
  • Low Performer/Low Trust – might not be worth the investment of your time to develop, it will take lots of time and emotional energy
  • The most interesting column is the High Trust, you can develop Performance, with skills training and you already have a committed member of the team
  • The Low Trust column you should fear, especially the High Performer with Low Trust, how did they get there?

Reward performance on its own is creating an environment of toxicity where everyone just thinks for themselves and not others.

High Trust is a harmonious atmosphere where skills can be developed in a safe comfortable environment.

As a leader you can develop both, and it is worth categorising your team to identify the approach.

  • Performance – upskilling from a technical perspective – tends to be hard skills
  • Trust – every relationship is underpinned by Trust, so taking time out to really get to know your team members.  Invest in harnessing rapport and understanding them.

Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on working with your team as a leader bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Learning, Relationships

Giving back…

My daughter and I have collected for period poverty for a year.  We have learnt a lot about reaching out to charities and the generosity of friends.

It all started with an advert on the television for sanitary towels.  There was a statistic on period poverty and I have to say in my “Surrey bubble” it was not something I was aware of.  Sitting with my daughter we talked about the reality of not being able to afford what we accept as essentials.  We recoiled at the indignity and the circumstances that as woman you could find yourself in.

The next day I researched further and was shocked at some of the statements and facts:-

  • Period poverty has forced more than a quarter of females to miss work or school
  • 1 in 10 cannot afford products
  • 1 in 7 borrow products
  • If you have 450 periods in a lifetime and on average the cost is £128 a year
  • Every time you have a period an average cost could be £11.00
  • The average cost for a packet of 20 pads or tampons is £2.37

The first charity I found was “Bloody Good Period” which officially at the time had not received charitable status subsequently they have now with the rise in media coverage.  I reached out to them to set myself up as a collector of products.  They were predominantly covering London, however they gave me a contact to liaise with.

Bloody Good Period focus heavily on Asylum seekers, who only receive £37.75 per week. This amount does not reach very far, and the main priority for that money would be food.

We decided to host a coffee morning with friends and ask them to bring products to donate.  The joy is receiving products and not getting involved with money with your friends.  I was amazed at how keen everyone was to get involved and the scale of the first collection.

After the success of the coffee morning we needed to find  appropriate places to donate.  Our first drop was to Asylum seekers at Elmbridge.  Over the year we provided three donations to them, however it was an hours drive and the charity were not overwhelmingly welcoming, which again is an eye opener.  In my naivety I stereo typed anyone that worked in charity must be so warm and welcoming.  Instead you can meet reserve and a slight weariness about who you are.

My next stage was to reach out to the Guildford MP Anne Milton.  Whatever your view of politics there are some really hard working MPs who believe in giving back to their constituents.  Anne gave us the name of a more local charity, Guildford Action.  Initially hard to get in touch with, you have to persevere and be persistent.  We now have a good system and they are very happy with the donations and even posted a picture of us on their Facebook page.

The church support Asylum seekers and we have found the Guildford diocese very welcoming.  St Saviours in the centre of Guildford support 5 or 6 Syrian families.

Half way through the year we received an email from Anne Milton’s office letting us know that Nadhim Zahawi MP, Children and Families Minister, that the Government will provide free sanitary products to all girls in England’s primary schools from early next year. This builds on a previous announcement that the Government will do the same for all girls in England’s secondary schools and colleges.

We send a stock sheet to Bloody Good Period after every collection, this can be time consuming sitting on the floor counting pads and naming brands.  My family are now quite used to every couple of months a hallway full of sanitary towels.

 

As we reached our anniversary we compiled our statistics to share with our very generous friends.  Seeing the figures on a chart was very rewarding for my daughter and I.

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Giving back is not straightforward, and you have to work at the systems that will work for you.  It needs to be an easy process and work with people who value you what you are doing.  Share your journey with the people that donate and make sure you have a partner involved as there are highs and lows and great to have a supporter at all times.

Ultimately we know that  our collections have brought self respect back to a lot of women and we will continue in 2020.

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

Making a company video…

Last week I recorded four nugget videos.

I worked with The Lifestyle Video Company who were professional and most importantly fun and relaxing.

The theme of the videos was “How to make learning stick?”.

Matt Pereria from the Lifestyle Video Company guided us by what worked in his experience.  He suggested a series of videos with content that linked to each other.  The timing was also crucial, Matt advised us to work towards 60 seconds or less for each film.

He said the key was good planning and lots of rehearsal, create a script and practise so that it felt as natural as possible.

Matt said we were to think about what we wanted to sell to a client, what would a conversation sound like to a key contact.  Most importantly what could we do for them?  He said take time to think about their pain points, and how we could problem solve for them.

“People in the nicest possible way don’t care about your business, they only care about what your business can do for them”

We did not want to end up with just a lovely video selling our business with lots of features and no obvious benefit.

Our message needed to be what we can give others and a call to action.

We came up with:- “Make learning stick!” 

Businesses want learning and development that is going to cause minimum disruption, and they want to see a return on investment.  They need to know that it has made a difference and that the content will be remembered and implemented.

Below is my summary of what I learnt from the filming:-

  • 60 seconds or less – get the timing right
  • Solve their problems
  • Don’t just sell features
  • Link the videos – theme the content
  • Be yourself and enjoy it
  • Project your business and you
  • Be confident
  • Smile
  • Include a call to action – what next…
  • Have a supporter – friend or colleague watching
  • Work with a professional video making company

Please do get in touch to “make learning stick” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

For a professional video get in touch with Matt Pereira at https://www.thelifestylevideocompany.co.uk

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

No-one knows you better than yourself…

The quote “No-one knows you better than yourself…” comes from the personality framework Myers Briggs.

Based on psychological type, developed by Carl Jung, the questionnaire Myers Briggs Type Indicator was created by Katherine Briggs and Isobel Myers a mother and daughter in the 1940s.

The questionnaire has great credentials in terms of its validity however it goes in and out of fashion in the training industry.

The attraction of the framework is that it is so practical and being self assessment people relate to it very easily.

The usual challenge around the questionnaire is that you have the potential to be any one of the 16 profiles.  Therefore people make the assumption that it is complex and not very applicable to their working life.

As a facilitator of Myers Briggs I have seen changes within teams and really positive results.  My recommendation is always to go through the process as a group, the more discussion around the preferences the more they come to life.  The tool provides a safe vocabulary for the team to use without being personal or eliciting defensive behaviour from others.

Working with a team you can also see a dominance eg. is there a group profile that they are projecting which can effect the clients they work with and the environment they create to work in.

We recently worked with a Bid team and we could profile the company they were hoping to work with.  It was hugely beneficial as to how they approached meetings and even down to the venue they selected.

Myers Briggs can be so practical and is a great confidence boost individually to your team members and to the whole group.

We use an interactive and colourful approach that breaks down the complexity and gets a team to see clearly how they can enjoy their profiles and have fun with the tool.

Please do get in touch for a Myers Briggs Workshop – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Be kind to you…

When a Doctor diagnoses a condition, do you immediately change your habits.  We have to want to change and that is our own private relationship with kindness.

We have to be kind to ourselves and understand why we want to be.  When you are on a plane they always ask you to apply the oxygen mask to yourself first before helping others.  The priority is you.

It all begins with changing our habits and ensuring that they are natural and sustainable.    If you want to stop smoking, sudden abstinence is not kind however, going from 10 cigarettes to 3 is easier and kinder.

From a business perspective, you are overwhelmed by your emails, so you have a habit of processing them all at the same time.  Understand this methodology is not kind to yourself, prioritise them first.  Set a time limit on processing them.

In order to change your habits you have to understand your triggers.  When do you find the desire to break from the pattern.

Trigger for a smoker might be a night out.  Before you set out for the evening only take the cigarettes you intend to smoke, don’t let the trigger break the good work you have done already.

When you are busy the trigger  for your emails is the alert that you have new mail, simply turn it off and be kind to you.

The perception in the past has often been that being kind to yourself is indulgent however we cannot truly be kind to others unless we understand how to be kind to ourselves.    Kindness is unconditional and if you get in the habit of doing it, as with anything it will become natural.

Think about people you love and decide whether you would wish kindness on them and turn the tables and think how loved you are.

Be kind to you…

Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk