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. Brené 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, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, motivation, Relationships, Stress management

Employee centric culture…

“It’s not about being easy on your employees or expecting less from them. High-trust companies hold people accountable but without micromanaging them. They treat people like responsible adults” – Paul J Zak – Neuro science of Trust

The quote above gives the foundation of an employee centric culture it must come from a layer of trust. Zak outlines in his article the eight behaviours he believes create a high trust culture:-

  1. Recognise excellence – this works best when it is tangible, unexpected, personal and publicly recognised
  2. Induce “challenge stress” – a goal that is achievable, with a stretch element and you can chart progress
  3. Give people discretion in how they do their work – autonomy
  4. Enable job crafting – don’t confine people by job titles
  5. Share information broadly – no informations creates uncertainty and breaks trust
  6. Intentionally build relationships – focus on people rather than tasks
  7. Facilitate the whole person growth – adopt a growth mindset and look beyond where they are now
  8. Show vulnerability – as a Leader demonstrate humility

Zak’s work involved measuring levels of oxytocin, which gives an indication of trustworthiness. In a small rodent brain oxytocin is released if it is safe for another rodent to approach. If the animal was scared it inhibits the release of oxytocin. His studies on humans proved that stress inhibits oxytocin and the antidote is empathy. The basis of empathy is a “damn good listening to”, going beyond just actively listening to empathetically listening. This means absorbing the content intellectually and emotionally.

Brene Brown also advocates that trust is a foundation from her book Dare to Lead. She states very clearly that you can’t have courage without vulnerability. In order to run or rumble with vulnerability you have to have tough conversations, which are best placed if there is a layer of trust. Employees should live into their own values and the values of the organisation. She uses a mnemonic of BRAVING as detailed below:-

Boundaries: You respect my boundaries, and when you’re not clear about what’s okay and not okay, you ask. You’re willing to say no. 

Reliability: You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities. 

Accountability: You own your mistakes, apologise, and make amends. 

Vault: You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. 

Integrity: You choose courage over comfort. You choose what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy. And you choose to practice your values rather than simply professing them. 

Nonjudgment: I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment. We can ask each other for help without judgment. 

Generosity: You extend the most generous interpretation possible to the intentions, words, and actions of others. Generosity is closely related to judgment and is in fact the opposite. 

In summary Brene Brown says that organisations need to cultivate a culture of brave work and tough conversations.

Think about how you are embracing trust within your culture and put your employees first.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on the content above, called “It’s good to share, talk and listen…” bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Star quality in leadership…

Why do some leaders lead well and others fail? What do we mean when we talk about “real” leadership?

The “real” components are the ability to listen not just with your head but your heart as well. To be empathetic and not sympathetic. Finding the perfect assertion level that does not tip into aggression. Reading all situations with clarity and acting decisively, independently and most importantly with grace.

Understanding what makes us sad/mad and glad is the same for our colleagues, clients and family. Emotions shape our behaviour and determine whether we are sad/mad or glad. They have the ability to guide you on the most important decisions in life so there is an economy attached to our emotions.

The star quality within Leadership is that key ability to read the signals and understand your own emotional intelligence and of others.

If emotional intelligence is the star quality and the part of leadership that makes us real what is it.

The rational brain your prefrontal communicates constantly with your emotional centre the limbic, helping you to form judgements and make choices. If you imagine this is like a broadband connection between the two centres and it is critical for the development of your emotional intelligence. If you imagine we have an experience (prefrontal) passes (limbic) to give you an emotion the two connect regularly and you learn from the emotions you have used in the past. You effectively accumulate emotional capital (experiences that have either made you sad/mad or glad).

Martyn Newman describes New Leaders as Emotional Capitalists which is the name of his book. Daniel Goleman first brought emotional intelligence to the business world in 1997, however Newman’s book gives it the commerciality that was sometimes lacking in the work of Goleman. By understanding your emotional intelligence it will help in all areas of your business not just your own personality, it will link to revenue and sales.

To find your star quality in leadership, simply book onto one of our workshops:-

Developing Emotional Intelligence
Date:- Thursday 29th April 2021
Time:- 10.00am (90 minutes)
Cost:- £40 per person per workshop
To book a place, please email bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk
All the details of the workshops are in the brochure just hit the link below:-
https://lnkd.in/dFHyR57

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, Management, Stress management

Thinking about your Welcome…

Last week with the children returning to school it was interesting to see the contrasts of how they welcomed them back.

My daughter was thrust straight back into academia with an A’level mock the first day back, and yet my son also in 6th Form had a day of focusing on their well being culminating with a beer round a fire pit. I know which Welcome I would have preferred!!

Also in the press I saw one school put up balloons festooning the entrance and the classrooms, albeit a primary school, however who does not want to feel special.

How will you welcome your team back?

Welcome in itself is written as a smile, having the word as prominently on show as you can will be a nice touch.

We can also start to send welcome letters now or even welcome packs, any form of teaser campaign and above all an acknowledgement of how excited you are to see them face to face.

Top Tips to consider with your Welcome:-

  • Be understanding, there will be anxiety of what to expect which is why it is good to start talking now
  • Have some well being workshops talks in place to manage any uncertainties
  • Keep everyone informed of which Government guidelines have been implemented and what the office might look like on their return
  • Set up rotas if your space is too small and you can’t all be in the office at the same time
  • Engage now – the next few months have the conversation before employees return
  • Be flexible with how it will work and give people choice
  • Reflect and review as it will keep changing

For more ideas on the easing out of lockdown please do get in touch bev@nuggetsofleanring.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

Keep being Resilient…

The final push through lockdown could be our toughest job yet, knowing that freedom is within touching distance how do we keep on being resilient.

We wake up each morning and decide on the level of energy we wish to deploy. In the book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers says we should use the pain to power continuum. If you see a line on a piece of paper with those two words, decide how near to pain you are and how near to power you are. We want to be near power however a poor nights sleep or a genuine illness might pull us towards pain. She says we have the choice and whatever we deploy at the start will set the tone for the day and potentially the week.

Our mindset is another conscious choice we make although we might have carried beliefs from childhood into adulthood which might not be helpful. Professor Carol S Dweck’s book on “Mindset”, explains we either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. If you were told as a child that you can’t sing, can’t draw or that you are poor at sport this is something you have decided to fix and lock in. These items we lock in are not good for our resilience levels. Also success can be deliberating, she explains often once something is achieved, people with a fixed mindset stop trying this is not good in an environment where we have no control and we need to continuously think of new ways to work and adapt.

The word resilient means for a person to be able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. To know that resilience is about bouncing back what are the components that you need to work on to ensure that you do recover. If you imagine a table, it has four legs and a top, and without one of those vital pieces the table would feel unstable and fall. We need each leg of our resilient table to be firm and secure.

Leg One – Mental toughness – making decisions and using all your logical thinking to way up pros and cons and be aware of problems as they arrise

Leg Two – Physical energy – staying strong and to be able to attend several back to back virtual meetings still with a smile

Leg Three – Emotional balance – A support for others and ourselves the right level of empathy, and measured responses.

Leg Four – Social skills – Naturally adept at making others comfortable and comfortable in your own space.

Table Top – Sense of purpose – meaning to what you are doing, the core of who you are.

Create your own “Resilient Backpack”. If you were going on a hike you would pack a rucksack with essentials for the trip. We are still on the journey of lockdown and decide what you need in your resilient backpack, here are a few ideas:-

  • Favourite music
  • Friends
  • Books
  • Favourite meal
  • Walking
  • Running

Identifying a dip in your resilience eg. which part of your table is unsteady or is it a mood that you can recognise as a sign. Anxious, antagonistic, defensive, snappy, withdrawn etc… We will all have our own indicators, the trick is to get to know yourself and know when something is becoming a pattern. Take something out of your backpack to make yourself feel better or work on a leg of your table, or make a choice to have a growth mindset.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Being Resilient – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

In the “Grip”…

This is the terminology for being out of character, not quite ourselves and it comes from Myers Briggs, the personality self assessment tool. The expression seems so apt at the moment as we are all drifting into being “In the Grip”.

What does it actually mean and what does it look like to us all individually?

In a nutshell it is the version of ourselves that puzzles us, we can feel irrational, out of control, unstable or even just a little crazy. These temporary episodes at the time literally grip us, however we have to recognise that they are actually healthy and demonstrating our adaptability.

This side of character is most likely to occur during times of stress, fatigue and illness.

The first step to moving out of the grip of these out of character behaviours is to perhaps identify times when we our feeling naturally ourselves and when not.

  • What are you like when you are most yourself? – what qualities best describe you or define you? examples might be – optimistic, careful with details, concerned about others or future orientated
  • What are you like when you are not yourself? – how are you different to your usual way of being?
  • What aspects of your work are most satisfying?
  • What aspects of your work are most disatisfying?
  • How do you typically deal with chronic stress?
  • What new things have you learned about yourself as a result of out of character experiences?

My own personal example is as recent as Friday. My normal disposition is to be very positive and optimistic and to be more future orientated. I recognised signs of feeling a bit despondent so decided to cheer myself up by buying a new outfit which normally would be quite a good idea. In the past this would be a trip to shops and visualising where I would wear the outfit in the future. However during lockdown this meant shopping on line, I got locked “in the Grip” there was too much choice and I found it really hard to visualise. Came out with an outfit, missed the detail aspect now have an outfit on the way to my niece as did not change the delivery address from Christmas.

One of the main reasons we get locked in the Grip is down to energy levels. We are awaiting news about lockdown being lifted however my advice is to still maintain good energy levels so whatever the news you don’t behave out of character. Set your own agenda and don’t be influenced by “stuff” you can’t influence.

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

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Mental & Physical Rhythm…

As a coach I am always keen to steer my client towards healthy habits, rituals and routines. These are normally behavioural choices and not necessarily centred around physicality.

Last week I heard a talk by Dr. Zarrin Shaikh about the importance of well being from the cardiology perspective. Dr Shaikh qualified as a Doctor and for many years worked on the frontline of NHS in cardiology.

She is now focusing on lifestyle cardiology, prevention of heart disease. She shared a great mnemonic “Fresh” which is something I will share with my clients:-

F – food

R – relaxation

E – exercise

S – sleep

H – honesty

The last letter H for honesty is about your own self awareness about whether you are being kind to yourself. The four other categories are great pillars for life and well being which we need to track continuously.

In my coaching sessions during lockdown I have been advocating rituals, like having a break at the same time each day, beginning and closing the day at the same time. During her talk Dr Shaikh confirmed that biological patterns are really important.

A recent conversation with a Leader who shared the need for her team to get into a rhythm with each other. Remote leadership is hard but the more rituals you can put in place the more likely your team will get in sync with each other. I have a client every Monday at 9.00am and I love the discipline of an appointment at the start of the week.

Journalling is a ritual I do everyday to review and assess my development. I set out what I want to achieve each day and take great joy in highlighting tasks accomplished. I have a break in the morning at the sometime each day. Think about how you can create your own rhythm mentally and physically, is it the right beat and volume, and is it sweet to your ears.

Please do get in touch for a coaching session bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Goals, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Finding a purpose…

We set our agenda whilst working from home so therefore each day we set the path of intent. Find a purpose in everything you do, from a micro level to macro level.

Having a purpose is liking having a compass in your head. You know for the day the direction you are heading and therefore you set off with a good mind set.

Write down each day what your overall purpose will be and then look to the tasks that connect with that overall purporse.

Example:-

Overall purpose – To write and submit a report

  • Map out a plan
  • Collate research
  • Start the report

Alternatively if you decide your purpose for the day is to be healthy, think of all things you can do that connect eg. eating well, exercising and going to bed early.

When we have decided on our purpose, achievement follows closely and underpins motivation.

Ideally if you have purpose at a macro level you have a clear idea of why you do what you do everyday it make is much easier to set tasks at a micro level.

Ask yourself key questions to discover your overall purpose:-

  • What are you trying to achieve in life?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you selling/or giving others?
  • What story are you telling?

Start to get inquisitive about why you do what you do? Having a clear purpose even when conducting the smallest of tasks is a sign of healthy mental well being.

Decide what is going to be on your agenda tomorrow set the compass and find your purpose…?

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships, Stress management

Speaking to yourself as you would to a friend…

I recently reviewed the book “The Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi who explains how harsh we are on ourselves. She says you would not be that fierce with a friend so why are we with ourselves. This morning I came across this story which completely reinforces her theory.

In his book, Feeling Great, Dr. David Burns recounts a conversation with a carpenter, Frank, who was painting his house. One day, upon returning home, Dr. Burns noticed a change in Frank’s usually sunny disposition and asked if he was feeling alright.

“I’m getting old,” he confessed, fighting back tears. “My body won’t be able to keep up the same pace for much longer. I’m worried that I might not have enough money to support my wife and me when I retire. “I’ve never accomplished anything meaningful or significant in my life.”

Feeling bad for Frank, Dr. Burns asked if he could try something helpful called the double standard technique.

Here’s how he describes it,

“When we’re upset or fall short of our goals, we tend to beat up on ourselves with harsh criticisms. But if we were talking to a dear friend with the same exact problem, we’d do so in a far more compassionate, supportive, and realistic way. Once you’re aware of this, you can ask yourself if you’d be willing to talk to yourself in the same compassionate way you’d talk to a dear friend.”

After asking what he would say to a friend in his position, Frank replied that he would remind that friend that he and his wife would have a decent retirement and be fine even if he decided to retire someday. Moreover, he would assure his friend that he had never once received a complaint about his work, not even once, nor had he ever cheated anyone—and that’s as meaningful as it is significant.

Much to Frank’s surprise, his sadness wasn’t caused by his age, nor his fear of financial hardship come retirement, but rather, his negative thoughts.

The story resonates for the times we are in at the moment we all need to be kind to each other and give more feedback than usual. We need to give authentic praise that has true value within it. Say what the person has done well, but substantiate with evidence and make it specific to that individual. Most importantly try giving yourself some value based praise, we all need a boost.

Please do get in touch with nuggets for a short workshop or coaching by contacting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk