Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Problem solving, training

Inside the box…

The expression think outside the box is the soundbite we all use to think creatively. It often scares the logical thinkers as the randomness of having no stucture or parameters and literally no box can be very intimidating.

There is an alternative “Inside the box” a book by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg, they give a framework for how you can do creativity with what you have. New ideas are normally a combination of old ideas and the key is to how sort what you have.

Boyd and Goldenberg give three techniques:-

  1. Divide and rearrange
  2. Subtract and replace
  3. Multiply and revise

Divide and rearrange is to look at the components you have and literally divide and rearrange. One of the best examples of this is lego, the bricks are the physical parts that once divided up or rearranged can create many different things. The same principle can be applied with a service, write all the stages of the process on post-its and then stand back and decide whether you can divide or rearrange any of the parts.

This is the journey of promoting and selling a workshop – lets divide and rearrange a few elements. No reason why the Blog cannot move to the end as key learnings for the delegates.

The second idea from the book is Subtract and replace, the best example of this is Apple with the iPod Touch. Initially they did away with buttons and replaced with a wheel. They also went to a further stage and took away the screen.

With the workshop journey, no-one enjoys a death by PowerPoint, how many slides can be replaced with discussion or exercises even though it is an online workshop.

The third idea of Inside the box is Multiply and revise. The example is back in 1971 Gillette introduced the razor with two blades, they did not just double the blades they made the angle different a revision that led to a smoother shave. With the journey of the workshop I need to double the times that I post the workshop to social media with a revision of how I promote it, what is the key angle.

Try and use the technique on a service or a product to see if you can look at it differently, it compliments process mapping technique perfectly.

Please do get in touch for further ideas and for a workshop on creativity or process mapping bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships, training

It’s good to share, talk and listen…

Without contriving and formalising how can you encourage your team members to share more. Developing good listening skills and providing space physically and mentally where they can talk.

However is the starting point with their own confidence, do they believe they have anything to share. What is their story do they believe they have a relevancy and ideas to contribute. Every team member needs to feel valued and appreciated and then they will believe they have a platform to speak.

The first myth to blow is that information shared needs to be knowledge based. The difference between knowledge and wisdom goes some of the way to demonstrating we all have something to share.

  • Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit
  • Wisdom is knowing not to add the tomato to a fruit salad

Everyone has some wisdom or an experience worth sharing, more often than not, learnt from a failing. Some-one else’s failure could be the key to several others learning. Creating a culture where “wisdom of mistakes” becomes the buzz will lead to a transparent and open culture.

Stepping out of comfort zones, will blow away layers of hierarchy. Peer to peer sharing and in addition reverse sharing, the most junior sharing with Senior Leads.

Several companies have tried to formalise how they share knowledge, such as Estee Lauder creating “Dream Space” knowledge sharing portal. The success is creating an online platform, however the space might not lead to meaningful relationships.

The secret is to create an informal environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing, however some clever set up that it becomes natural and evolving.

Mentoring schemes in organisations are formalised and structured, however they take administration to set up. The sense of belonging to the organisation’s existing culture might inhibit and deter the people you want to encourage to share, the voices that don’t get heard.

Just as you ask some-one “How are you?” the response will be “fine thank you”.

You want something more than “fine”, you desire and crave a community of people who are sharing their skills, expertise, knowledge and ideas that are so much more than just fine.

Get personal you want to talk, listen and share. If a work community is going to grow together it has to be a common currency and the norm where you listen, talk and share. There will be a phase where it feels contrived however you are striving for an environment where it feels normal and acceptable that you have a coffee and a catch up with the CEO whatever your level.

Imagine your company is a coffee shop where the tables are always full and you circulate around.

It’s good to share, talk and listen – please do get in touch for a virtual coffee with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

http://www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, personal impact, Relationships, training

What does it mean to be Assertive…?

Working from home you need to be heard and it is a fine balance between sounding too aggressive or simply just being Assertive.

What does is mean to be Assertive?

Behaviour based on a philosophy of personal responsibility and awareness of the right of others.

What does it look like?

Good eye contact and an open posture, matched with clear communication.

Why is it so hard?

UK culture loves to use sarcasm, which however you wrap it up, sadly stills falls into the aggressive category. We are emotional by nature and therefore we are reactive, and sadly with low emotional intelligence we can become aggressive. With our fight/flight instinct we either go into fight mode tending to be aggressive or we flee to avoid conflict and fall into passive behaviour. Listening is a key element of being Assertive, however it is a skill and therefore you need to concentrate and have enough energy to do it well.

What are the five key ingredients of being Assertive?

  1. Listening
  2. Showing you understand by reflecting & summarising
  3. Saying how you think and feel
  4. Saying what you would like
  5. Considering the consequences on yourself and others

What do we mean by responsible Assertion?

If you imagine a set of scales with your own personal rights one end and the other end respect for the rights of others you would be creating the right balance = responsible assertion.

What assertion is not?

About getting your own way and winning every time. Manipulating and managing others to get your own way.

For a practical workshop on how to be more Assertive please book yourself onto our next Developing YOU module – Thursday 13th May @ 10.00am – £40 per person

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZArdOGtrDkvGtZs6HuwtKuyly-BcjWefzfD

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Goals, Learning, motivation, training

Back to school…

Using “Back to school” as a metaphor for business what does it mean for us…

New Uniform

We might well be staying the same, as per working from home, therefore do we need a new uniform. It is not just about the clothes we wear it is the mindset we put on every morning. Do you feel positive about the future and do you believe that you are still developing and growing. Every morning you wake up you choose the attitude you decide to put on. Susan Jeffers quoted in her book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” if you wake up in “pain” you will stay in “pain” all day. Whereas if we decide to pop “power” on, we will have a very different day. Think about what you need to look good inside and outside and remember you make the choices.

New Timetable

September is a good time to change your schedule, the days are changing it is already getting darker earlier, therefore do you start the day earlier? What new routines and rituals are you going to factor into your week. Map out the month of September and decide what will be a weekly or a daily discipline. Most importantly remember to write it down.

New Teachers

Who are you going to work with in September? Reach out to new Clients and new businesses that you have never reached out to before. Try different sectors and industries, be open minded about who you want to work with.

New Subjects

What new skills and development do you want to start? Think about mind/body and soul, develop your whole self. Set yourself a monthly goal to ensure that you remember to focus on it. James Clear the writer of “Atomic Habits’ says remember it is important to start, it is better to run for 10 minutes than to not run at all. Get started and you will then begin to embody the identity of the habit you wish to develop.

New Friends

Existing colleagues and new colleagues, reach out of your comfort zone and attend new webinars, virtual workshops and new meetings. See if you can meet a new person each week or month, set it up as a challenge.

Please do contact me if you would like to attend the nuggets book club starting this Friday at 10.00am when we will be reviewing the book “Eat that Frog”.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Stress management, Time management, training

Eat that frog…

Eat that frog … and fight procrastination, the book by Brian Tracy, gives really practical steps as to break free from limiting patterns of behaviour:-

  • Be clear about what you want to achieve
    • How much money do you wish earn a month?
    • How much is guaranteed income?
    • Do you know how much money comes in and out?
    • What do you cost a day?
    • You must value your time and others will to…!
  • Remember why you are doing what you are doing
    • Photos of your family
    • What is the money for…?
    • Give the dream a number…!
  • Break it down
    • Bite size chunks – never eat a banana whole
    • The next action is – keep the momentum
  • Everything has a deadline – impose it
    • Give everything a date
    • Remember accountants have fines
    • Make the deadline public
  • Be serious
    • Work at the best time for you
    • Be in the zone – focus
    • Be serious about yourself and others will be as well
  • Plan in advance
    • What do you want to achieve each day?
    • Decide on a start and end date
  • Be tough
    • Book time with yourself
  • Just do it
    • Eat that frog – always best to swallow whole if eating a live frog
    • Remember to grade your tasks – A/B and C’s
    • C’s rarely get done – that is OK

Go on “Eat that Frog” today

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, Learning, motivation, training

Make learning stick… why does it matter?

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught” – Churchill

Make learning stick, why does it matter, if you can learn something in your short term memory and ace a test is that all that matters.  Why does learning something long term really matter? 

As in the Churchill quote we can all recall a bad learning experience, the teacher spoke at you and your brain drifted with the result none of the information was retained.

My own experience of learning can possibly explain why it matters and why I try so hard to make learning stick for others.

I did not learn to read until I was 10 years old, it just did not stick.  The concept did not seem fun and no-one really explained what it would give me.  There is an assumption that you understand what reading will give you, however at infant school age, painting a picture or diving into the dressing up box seemed to me far more enticing.

I started on the Peter and Jane books and then seem to spend an eternity on some Pirate books.  I am not even sure to this day why the Pirates were used and if I am honest I don’t think I even knew fully what a Pirate was.  

We were encouraged to take the book home and practice with our parents, there was no diary to monitor whether this happened and therefore no structure.  As you can imagine those Pirate books stayed in my bag and were only read at school.

Once you have hindered your own development you get labelled very quickly.  My lack of reading made all my other subjects harder and before I knew it I was in the “Learning difficulties group”.  I can now laugh at the title, but at the time they used to call that title out openly in the class “All those for the Learning Difficulties Group follow Miss Webster…”).  

Over a period of time you then develop a fixed mindset around your experience.  I was the third daughter “the creative one”, I did not need to be the clever one, so it was OK not to be fantastic in class.  Professor Carol Dweck’s brilliant book on Mindset explains that it is easier not to stretch yourself if that is the role you are fulfilling.  Whereas some-one with a growth mindset will constantly put themselves at stretch and reach out for new opportunities and risks. 

The reasons I was not mastering reading could be summarised as follows:-

  • The benefits were not understood 
  • The concept was not fun 
  • The resource (books) were of no interest
  • Fixed mindset around reading 
  • No structured practices 

I guess you are now all wondering whether I am still on the Pirate books and how I turned it around.

I was very lucky as there was that one teacher who made it her mission to get me to read.  Instead of sending the “Learning difficulty group” out of the class she focused on them within the class.  We all had times with her where we read out loud whilst the others were working with a gentle hum, therefore no public humiliation.  She set up the right space and comfort level to make it happen.

With me specifically she commented on how expressive I was, and how good I was at reading out loud.  She had spotted a talent within the confusion of interpreting the words.   She also selected books specific to each child or encouraged us to bring books into school.

The book that made it all happen ironically was “George don’t do that…” by Joyce Grenfell.  It was funny and was littered with illustrations and somehow just clicked, it was the first book I read on my own.  

I now understood what reading could give me and I have never been without a book a testament to the struggle to get there.

What was it that finally made the learning stick?

  • Being encouraged and identifying a talent other than reading
  • The right environment, making learning comfortable
  • Being given choices and making it relevant to me (individualised) 
  • Regular practice and a routine that became normal and comfortable
  • Developing a growth mindset (where would reading take me) 

Making learning stick is all about the experience, the memory and the relevance.

Posted in Bite size learning, motivation, training

Giving you insight to classic titles…nuggets bookclub is returning

Do you find that you don’t have enough time to keep up to date with your reading?

When lockdown started in March, nuggets set up a bookclub which ran every Friday for several weeks. The commitment was 30 minutes every Friday and classic business titles were covered.

The format of the sessions were:-

  • Welcome with an interactive exercise related to the book content
  • Book summary – structured around the key themes from the chapters
  • 3 key questions
  • nuggets – key takeaways from the book to be applied to life

We are going to start again in September, with the same format and new titles that will still be classics and chosen specifically for the times we are living through.

There is never any pressure to read the book, as nuggets is saving you time by giving you an insight as to what the book is covering and most importantly practical tips as to how you can apply the content.

The sessions take place over Zoom and where possible they are as interactive as they can be. The feedback from the first series was great:-

Really liked the synopsis at the start of the sessions to explain the principles of the book”

“The colourful diagrams diagrams helped to visualise the content of the book”

“The simple-ness of the concept and being Friday morning”

“Every session had an exercise to engage the attendees”

“Bite size chunks worked well”

To get you ready for our next series these are the books we will be reviewing:-

  • Friday 4th September 2020 – “Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy
  • Friday 11th September 2020 – “Chimp Paradox” by Dr Steve Peters
  • Friday 18th September 2020 – “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R Covey
  • Friday 25th September 2020 – “Kindness Method” by Shahroo Izadi
  • Friday 2nd October 2020 – “To Sell is Human” by Dan Pink
  • Friday 9th October 2020 – “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown

Please do get in touch if you would like more details bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Learning, motivation, personal impact, Relationships, training

The nuggets book club

When lockdown started, I decided to run a book club every Friday for FREE to share my favourite business books and why they make a difference. Every book I selected had a relevance to the period we were in.

To be true to my nuggets style I wanted the sessions to be interactive which is no mean feat on Zoom. I would start each session with some exercise that had a connection to the topic or book and would make everyone relax and laugh.

The sessions were only 30 minutes as I was conscious to peak interest in the book and leave attendees wanting more from nuggets or a desire to read the book.

My summary was structured around the book framework eg. using chapter headings to say what each part of the book was covering. They were very comprehensive so no attendee felt isolated if they had not read the book or even heard of the author.

Before each event I would explain in a few lines what the book was about and if possible direct them to TED talk by the author.

After the summary was delivered I would ask three questions to understand from attendees how some of the content had resonated. We always had amazing responses and very honest and open at some situations which must have been very personal.

In true nuggets style we finished with the key nuggets as takeaways as to what the book meant from a practical perspective.

The books we covered are listed below:-

  • Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson – understanding change and our responses
  • When by Dan Pink – understanding the science behind time
  • Mindset by Carol S Dweck – determining whether you have a fixed or growth mindset
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek – your overall purpose “not what you do its Why you do it”
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear – creating habits and rituals that are sustainable
  • The Present by Dr Spencer Johnson – Learning from the past and looking to the future and enjoying the Present
  • Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed – Understanding how much that can be learnt from failure
  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – Vulnerability is not weakness
  • Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono – providing a framework for your thinking in group and individual situations that will save you time

Please do get in touch if you would like any of the book summaries delivered to your team. The session is 30 minutes with no cap on attendees and the cost is £100 per session or £150 for two.

Please do get in touch to find out more bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

Do you sound “Charming”…?

To get your message across on email, do you sound “Charming?”

Will the person reading your mail want to meet you if they have not already?  Do you get across your personality?  Do you convey a message assertively with feeling and the right level of humility.

The definition of the word “Charming” is very pleasant or attractive.  Who would not want their email to convey that.

The fundamentals to bear in mind, is that it is not what you say but how you say it.  You might work for an amazing brand however your written communication could be letting the brand integrity down.  Your voice in email should reflect the culture of the organisation.

The tone of voice has to be a “can do” attitude a positive and confident tone.

Before you even start writing think about key ingredients:-

  • What does the reader need to know?
  • How do you want them to feel?
  • What do you want them to do?

Be specific, ensure your message is not empty, for example:-

  • How are you?
  • Hope you are well?

Better alternatives:-

  • How was your weekend?
  • Hope you are enjoying the warm weather?

Charming is about the personal touch with specifics – How are you or Hope you are well? can be just vague and have the opposite affect of appearing uncaring a perfunctory statement.   The personal touch is about sincerity with confidence.

Readers always remember the last thing they read, so ensure you summarise your key points.  If you had to write a Tweet of your key points, it would have to be 280 characters.

Please do get in touch if you would like a workshop on “Making email work for you” or if you would like a copy of our book, please head to the website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

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