Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Learning, motivation, Relationships, training

More than just a helping hand…

I was delighted last week to meet Natalie Miller the Co Captain of the England indoor netball team otherwise known as Nets.

We met at Natalie’s place of work Seaford College where she is a sports coach.  The school are very supportive of her latest adventure.  Natalie will be travelling to the Nets World Cup in South Africa in August to represent England and she could not be more proud or excited.

Nets is a completely netted indoor netball court, so you literally zip in and zip out.  The enclosed area means that the ball is never out of play, so the game is very fast and relentless.  There are only three courts available in England, (Birmingham/Bristol/Derby), so Natalie trains in Birmingham.

When Natalie was selected for the team there was the initial jubilation and then the reality of the expense.  Fundraising alongside your training can be exhausting and mentally and physically draining.

Natalie reached out using LinkedIn and found several companies interested in sponsoring her journey.  The one that felt right was Ben Hanny at The Furniture Union.  The two don’t seem the most obvious link, however Natalie recognised in Ben the same passion to be successful.  Her overall feeling was that Ben and the company would be supportive.

The two are coming together on Friday for a presentation of the cheque for Natalie’s sponsorship.  The evening is going to reflect the shared values of both and will be a mutually beneficial journey together.

Passion

Natalie’s drive is to be the best person you can be

The Furniture Union is passionate about providing the best design solutions

Determination

Natalie found it really hard to find the sponsorship however the determination was built on the fact her success and effectiveness depended on it.

The Furniture Union are determined to support Natalie’s journey to the World Cup in the same way they do with their clients

Team player

There are 12 in the Nets team.   Natalie is the Co-Captain a shared responsibility due to the gruelling nature of the tournament.  The team are away for 2 weeks and training and playing everyday.  The two Captains compliment each other and support each other.

The Furniture Union operate as one team, although they have many different skills, so it is imperative that they work together to achieve the best design solution.

Leader 

Natalie leads by example, always works really hard and never gives up.  She has a really positive disposition and is a good motivator.

Bella & Ben the Leaders at The Furniture Union work hard and never give up on the right solution for a client and it is their job to motivate the team.

Sponsorship is so much more than just a helping hand, you need to connect the two entities and share values and working practices. There is so much to be learnt by both and we intend at nuggets to work with Natalie and the The Furniture Union to bring the shared learning together.

 

 

 

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

No blame culture…

The world of offshore oil rigs is male dominated and a unique working environment.  Two rigs in the Gulf of Mexico decided to change how they worked.

The workforce on the rigs was 90% male, and they lived and worked together offshore for two weeks at time doing twenty hour shifts and on call twenty four hours a day.

The company was keen to improve safety and performance and in order to do this they decided to shift the focus from individual performance to long term goals.  They wanted to change the culture moving away from colleagues competing with each other to working with each other.

The first step was on the safety issue.  Workers were asked to shut down the platform at the first sight of a potentially dangerous situation, and there would be no blame attached if they had misjudged the danger, even though shut downs were costly.   They were also encouraged to intervene if colleagues breached safety rules.   By sharing information instead of hiding mistakes they started to be open about them and begin to analyse them as a way to learn.

The other unexpected outcome was that the workers stop hiding their emotions, and started talking about the toll of their job on their family.

Slowly the culture changed and the workers who cared about other workers and were good listeners and willing to learn rose to senior levels.  The accident rate fell by 84% and productivity, efficiency and reliability improved.

We can work with your business to change your culture 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, Leadership, personal impact, Relationships

#Balance for Better

The theme for International Women’s Day – #Balanceforbetter.  Gender balance is not just a women’s issue – it is a business issue.

The definition of the word balance is even distribution, different elements are equal.

The reality for women is:-

  • 208 female members of Parliament – 32% of the House of Commons
  • 199 female peers – 24% of the House of Lords
  • The UK ranks 15th in the Global Gender Gap Survey
  • In the FTSE 100 there are 6 female CEOs
  • In the financial sector women earn on average 20% less than men

To understand gender equality I have found an excellent video that is called Gender Equality explained by children.  In essence boys and girls do the same job, putting balls into a jar, and yet the boy is rewarded more than the girl.  The pay for the job is a jar of sweeties, so initially the children just look at their treat without saying anything.  Eventually a girl asks “Why?” and a boy also says “We did the same job” and another boy says “She was as good as me and did not get the same”.   The spotlight on the injustice is not lost on the children, and yet today it gets so easily lost.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLr2GNRnmXM

Why does #Balanceforbetter matter?

  • Companies with better gender diversity are 15% more likely to show an increase in financial returns.
  • Women represent half the world – therefore half the potential
  • Balance matters whether it be gender/skills/knowledge/age

Please do get in touch for ideas around how you can create #balanceforbetter in your organisation.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

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

What does social media do for our confidence…?

We bring our children up to believe they can have everything.  In schools we now give medals for partcipating, so the shock of hard work and results in the world of work are a surprise. What has eroded confidence before we enter business…?

Many of our children are gaming and constantly interacting with social media.  We know that the addictive dopamine keeps their interest and whilst they compete for results they are rarely shared.   In order to feel good instead of face to face feedback they are counting the number of likes on a post.  Turning to a device instead of a person, means they lack the ability to form deep meaningful relationships.  The approval of their peers to grow self esteem is coming from an electronic perspective and not a human.

In order to believe in ourselves we have to be happy in real life and not on our social media platforms.

Genuine praise and recognition takes time and is not an instant when we are in the work place.  The younger generation have not learnt the ability to wait for anything, everything can be obtained immediately.  You don’t even have to wait for the next episode you can download the whole box set.  Instant gratification rather than waiting for a reward which would give us pleasure and contentment.

Job satisfaction is arduous, you have to work hard and build new relationships, you have to have patience.  We find a lot of the younger generation want to quit straightaway as they have never had to wait before.

To survive in work we need a good self image and lots of feedback to grow our self esteem.  This needs to be authentic and genuine.

Corporates are not helping to create the right environment for this generation.  Companies are still very number orientated and there is very little investment in helping people to build confidence.  We lack good leaders taking time to guide their direct reports.  We need to  develop social skills by role modelling, the little innocuous comments that make all the difference. “How’s your Dad?”  Through these little asides trust is formed.

Social media plays with our confidence across all generations, watching your friends and family having a lovely life on a screen rather than being with them.  We are social beasts, put down the phone and go and have lunch with a colleague.

Please do get in touch with nuggets on developing confidence “Fearless motivation” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, motivation, Relationships

Creating a team charter…

Working in a team has two elements: what we do and how we do it.  The second part is the team culture you create and this is formed by rituals and a set of behaviours you may share or desire to share.  To cultivate what feels comfortable and cohesive as a group it is worth setting some ground rules, guiding principles that you can roll into a team charter.

Providing an agreement people can follow as to how they work together provides processes, responsibilities and obligations.

A good starting point is to ask some key questions:-

  • What is important to us as team?
  • What values do we have about how we interact and what underpins our actions?
  • How do we communicate with each other?
  • How do we address conflict with each other?
  • How do we want to be recognised as individuals?
  • What do we want to put in place to support us in times of pressure?

Brainstorm the questions together and with some of the answers in your mind start to document a charter.  A good starting point is to think of the overall purpose of the charter.

To identify citizenship behaviours that link to the charter identify positive and negatives.  Ask the team to write down five behaviours that build the team and five behaviours that bring the team down.  We shall call these groups “Fair” and “Foul”.

Combined with the first exercise you will have created your team charter.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to facilitate such an exercise bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

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

Getting to know people quickly…

On Friday I was very lucky to attend a TEDx at Woking.  The sponsor and host created a great atmosphere with the simplest of exercises.

He asked you take your phone out and show a picture that means something to you, to somebody you didn’t know.

I connected with a lady in front of me who shared a picture of her Mum with Reindeer ears on her head.  She said the photo made her smile as her Mum had been ill recently and it was a lovely picture to show her better and laughing.  In that 2 mins it took to show me that photo I connected immediately with a stranger.

It is rare now  to be invited to get your phone out in a conference situation, however how effective to use technology as a basis for starting a conversation.

Imagine with all the stories we hear about troubled teenagers, we got them to use their devices to share and explain more, we would be connecting both worlds.  There is a great deal of “tell” language in schools, the word “ban” and just even saying “no” is making technology more exciting than it is.

This really simple exercise was a great icebreaker but actually went to the very heart of who we are as people.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk