Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, motivation, personal impact, Stress management, Time management

Why does everything feel so hard…?

The dialogue we have with ourselves is all wrong, we say this going to be hard. We even speculate that it will take so much time and therefore it must be hard. Greg McKeown in his book “Effortless” says the first thing we should say is “What if this could be easy?” Already your mindset alters with possibilities and even enthusiasm.

Getting to an Effortless State is the first step to believing the task will not be hard. We can look at the following steps and what to say in our heads to move us forward:-

  • “What if this could be easy?’
  • “What if this could be fun?”
  • Let go of old memories of the task being hard
  • Be realistic as to how you work on the task factoring in breaks
  • Who is there for you?

Once we have the belief that the task is going to be easy we also need to have an Effortless action plan. McKeown says another reason why we often don’t move into action as we have not determined the obvious steps to get there. This is his Effortless Action Plan:-

D – Done – What does done look like?

D – Delete – What steps could you delete or combine?

O – Obvious – What is the obvious first step?

G – Gradual – What does gradual progression look like?

G – Grateful – What are you grateful for whilst working on this task?

Staying with an Effortless mindset and action plan, can lead to Effortless Results. McKeown says look at how many things can be automated going forward. Trusting others to perform tasks and also what steps can you take to prevent things becoming too much like hard work.

To explore the book much more, please do come to nuggets bookclub this Friday 17th June 2022 at 10.00am the link to register is here:-

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571209467

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

The Power of Journalling…

At the start or the end of the day record the days events in a journal.

According to mental health professionals, journaling is one of the most recommended tools to have a clearer mind and a happier life. Recording moments acknowledging what happened and not letting a day just drift by.

Identifying values we have in life is a great compass as to whether you are on course. By recording whether you lived by your values in your journal gives us identity and a moral compass. Brene Brown advocates us identifying two core values to live by. As an example my values are:-

  • Making a difference
  • Achievement

By journalling I can track my values, have I made a difference today and what are my list of achievements.

Journals can help you recognise how you have been thinking or feeling that day. One of the top tips is to name your emotions, giving them labels helps you to own them. Once you own an emotion you can then begin to process it, eg. if you were scared and you own it, you can then identify where the fear was coming from. A more positive example if you were happy, what triggered that emotion and how can you repeat it.

Logging your rituals or your habits, one source of tracking can be vital for your journalling. I have at the top of the page walk and nuggets. My ritual of walking everyday needs to be ticked and my nugget is the one thing that has the greatest impact that day (it can be a high or a low).

Why do they work?

Adam Grant talks about mindful, mattering and mastery in his TED Talk the follow up to his New York Times Article. Journalling hits all three areas there is the mindful activity of writing and the mattering of whether you have leaned into your values. The mastery of what you have achieved that day and whether you are learning some new skills or new behaviours.

By journalling we can clear some mental blocks, everything seems so much clearer on paper. A project you have been deliberating on for too long, once you journal what you have started on the project you appreciate that you are moving forward. Progress in any shape or form is motivation.

Being kind to yourself by documenting what is actually going on. There is a peace in the moment of writing and a closing ceremony of what has taken place.

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

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

Pain Vs Pleasure…

The secret to productivity might well be finding the balance to pain and pleasure. Dr Anna Lembke the author of Dopamine Nation explains how pain and pleasure are located in the same part of the brain.

As they are located in the same place we need to keep a balance eg. not too much pleasure and not too much pain. We call this balanced status homeostasis and a deviation from this leads to stress.

Today we are overloaded with so many pleasurable experiences we can overload on these. As an example if you went to a fancy restaurant every night a plain bowl of rice would never be appealing again. Dr Lembke says that once we say yes to pleasure we need to know how to say no to withdraw to equilibrium. However what can happen is a gremlin in our brain persuades us to have just one more hit, and before we know it we have tipped over into pain. If you imagine dopamine in a jar it about tilting it for fun and then resetting it so that it is level again.

The solution to remaining motivated and not being distracted by instant pleasure, is to try and have a dopamine detox. Phones and social media can be put out of sight for a whole day, reducing caffeine, gaming and even TV. Learning to be bored again is a good way to reset your pleasure hits. Lembke talks about the strength of rehabilitated addicts, their fresh eyes on the world give them a new take on some of the mundane in life, perceiving it as new pleasure.

Thinking about a difficult task you have to do today and then a small pleasure reward afterwards will be a good balance.

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

http://www.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, 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