Posted in Bite size learning, personal impact, training

Just a chat…

I recently was a guest on the Whole Lot an interview by Ade Oduyemi.  His concept is that we could have met on a train and we are having a chat about anything and everything. Certainly you feel very at ease and the topics covered are quite varied.

To listen to the whole interview you may need to make a coffee and pull up a chair.

https://embed.simplecast.com/b7c4d69e?color=f5f5f5

In summary the areas we covered were:-

  • Routes to learning
  • How we measure intelligence
  • Colourful and memorable learning environment
  • Helping businesses and individuals think differently
  • Short burst of learning
  • No powerpoint on training courses
  • You want people to look at you not at the screen
  • The need for a fresh pair of eyes – using a Facilitator can give a new perspective
  • You takeaway 20% of the content and it can make 80% difference
  • Making email work for you – match your culture to your communication

Please do get in touch to understand how nuggets deliver workshops and how you can make your courses more colourful and memorable.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

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

Do and Don’ts for interviews

The New Year is the time when you start to think about new team members. The interview is the first view of your company and should be a memorable occasion.

Working with a company a few years ago we decided to turn the recruitment and selection process into more of an assessment day with the emphasis on “fun”.

The day started at 7.30am with breakfast in the kitchen area.  The candidates had a fun icebreaker relevant to the company.  We then had three exercises so we split the group accordingly.  The activities were as follows:-

  • Speed interviewing – Just 3 questions asked in rotation by 3 people
  • Sending an email – testing their communication skills
  • Spelling and Grammar test

We then brought the group back together for Q & A on the company and to enjoy the leftovers of the croissants.  We received really good feedback how it was so much more refreshing than a normal interview.

However if you are going down the more traditional route have a look at some Dos and Don’ts I have compiled:-

Dos

Don’ts

Offer refreshments No comfort or welcome
Explain Agenda and timings No time scale
Job spec – clear outline of position No job spec
Brief overview of Company (must be brief) 80:20 rule No company info
Behavioural interview questions

Skills questions that are relevant to the job

Hypothetical questions

Questions about CV

Outside interests

Template to write answers to questions – for each candidate No notes
The same format and interview for every candidate No structure or format – different with every candidate
Appitude test eg.

Send an email

Spot spelling and grammar errors

No basic testing
Introduce candidate to the team No introductions
Another member of the team to take to the exit – “Ask how they managed interview today?” Meet the same person throughout interview
Follow up No follow up

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to provide Behavioural interview training or just simply to design something fun for your recruitment process.

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Problem solving, training

Process Mapping…

The difference between being successful and effective is knowing how you got there.  Success can be luck, it was incredible, however upon reflection there was not necessarily a process to get there.  Being effective has longevity and can lead you to success multiple times.

Taking time out to analyse your process can lead to even greater results.  A good example was the process of cash machines.  When they were first introduced the Banks found that they had high costs on lost cards.  The process they had mapped out, was as follows:-

  • Insert card
  • Enter PIN
  • Request cash
  • Collect cash
  • Retrieve card
  • End

The initial process involved getting the cash out of the machine before the card was returned. Most people were focussed on the money, so, once they had the notes in their hand, they turned away, leaving their card still in the cash machine. Simply by reversing the order of two steps solved the problem – people had to remove their card before they got their money. This small change in the process saved the banks money and also was a more effective process for the customer.

We can process map anything, your morning routine, invoicing, sales, customer returns and setting up a new system.

The most effective way to conduct a process mapping session is as follows:-

  • Map the process – use magic whiteboards or a roll of brown paper, then use post-it notes to log every step of the process
  • Analyse the process – step back and decide whether there is anything missing and who has ownership at certain points of the process
  • Redesign the process – if there are obvious points where the process gets held up, look to redesign
  • Implement & communicate – Follow the process and document it (infographic) share with as many team members as possible
  • Review – after 90 days review with the original process mapping team

Please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for more details

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Goals, motivation, personal impact, training

90 minutes…

The World Cup is made up of 90 minute matches.  Within that crucial time period, is all the highs and lows any individual can experience.

  • Exhilaration
  • Despair
  • Delight

The game of two halves split into 45 minute modules.  We witness collaboration, joy and agony, a team working towards achieving goals.  The match can be amazing when the team work together it is as if magic has occurred in front of your eyes.

Their performance is based on those 90 minutes especially in a World Cup, they have to perform at that one moment in time.

The brain concentrates for 45 minutes and then needs a break to begin the next 45 minutes.  At your desk set yourself goals and imagine your own World Cup made up of two halves.  Focus on that one achievement for a pure 45 minute period.  Be aware of how much help you need from your team.  The best players are supported and putting egos to one side don’t take all the glory.

The best learning can occur in 90 minutes, when a Facilitator takes a team through a topic, they learn at the same moment in time as each other.  Ideas and discussion are shared and everyone feels they are in a safe environment.

The benefits of learning in 90 minutes, less time away from desk so a cost effective methodology of training a team. The atmosphere created can be like on the pitch, interactive, stimulating and challenging.  Booking 5 x 90 minute modules means the team meet up once a fortnight and share their learning.

For Management and Leadership topics please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, Learning, Management, training

Colourful learning…

When I set up nuggets I wanted to create a “wow” factor the moment people entered the room.  I wanted to show that I had made an effort.  If you came to a party at my house I would ensure that my house looked fabulous.  You are the host to an amazing experience it is not “just a training course”. My heart always sank if I entered a workshop and there was the biro on a lined pad.

The brain needs to be alive the moment the course begins and you can do that by bringing as much colour to the room as possible. As the Facilitator I always wear colour and I ensure that I display flip charts around the room with lots of colour.  This can only happen by using “Mr Sketch” markers you need more than black, blue, red and green. Post-its and even fiddling toys provide the colour and texture needed to get the brain ticking.

Colourful learning is not just about the colour, you need minds to come alive and think in a colourful way.  The brain always has to answer a question and needs space time and input from others to help.  Creating exercises where the group can move around room working together gets them to think differently.  Colourful thinking is creative thinking, when you have new answers to existing situations.

nuggets works on modules, bearing in mind that the concentration rate on average is only 45 minutes.  The preferred route is weekly or monthly interventions of 90 minute workshops.  This provides an entrance on a topic where you have created a “Disturb” of the delegate wanting to learn more and action more.

The residential Management programmes are costly to companies and do they give the return on investment.  Learning that is practical and applicable with less time away from the desk is where the training future is.

Please do get in touch with bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for leadership and management workshops covering many topics.

We are currently promoting “Making email work for you…”

 

 

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

Making email work for everyone…

“People don’t read emails” or is it “People don’t read emails properly“.

How do you get your message across and how do you get noticed.  We want to get attention for the right reasons.

I was recently asked to design and deliver a workshop on how to make email work for you.  The client has had messages go out with “Hi” in the subject box.

Their brand and culture was very traditional and they felt their team did not reflect it in the way emails were worded and displayed.  They wanted messages to match their culture and look and sound like the brand in essence the right voice.  Overall their mantra was to sound “charming”.

The workshop was highly interactive with flip charts asking the questions what does good, bad and ugly look like from an email perspective.  From the delegates answers you could ascertain how the company could change their email practices to have consistency and portray the right image.

The right voice is not just about the look of an email the tonality is key.  We asked delegates to right email responses to common Client queries and looked at the language that was appropriate and inappropriate.  The level of directness that is an assertive voice and the tipping point to aggression.

Practically we need to lead email rather than it lead us.  The last part of the workshop explored how to manage it effectively.

When email entered the business world very few of us ever had training as to how to use it and very few companies provide guidelines.  The standard signature template is as far as it goes.  Think further are you happy for employees to use “Hi” or “Thanks” would you rather it was a “Kind regards”.

We have made a difference by working with organisations to get them to think about how much damage one email can do.  With this one workshop “Making email work for you” we have given companies their brand back through email.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop on “Making email work for everyone…”

bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Management, mindfulness, Relationships, training

There is no easy way…

 

Everyone is looking for an easy way to manage their email which now is the biggest drain on everyones time.

In 2007 employees of Google gathered to hear Merlin Mann a rising star in the personal productivity movement.  He explained his system called”Inbox Zero”, it was incredibly straightforward.  People get into bad habits with email and check them constantly and get anxious about what they are saying and then do little or no action.  They pile up as does the stress levels. Mann’s concept was simple, everytime you visit your in-box you should process it to zero.  Decide what action each message requires – a reply, an entry on your to-do list, or just trash it.  Then close your in-box and get on with living.

In-box Zero spawned countless blogs along with videos of people proudly sharing their empty in-boxes.

The irony was the Inbox Zero did not bring calm in fact it brought more anxiety.  Some interpreted Inbox Zero that every email needed a reply which meant more time in their in-box.  Others got obsessive on the whole empty concept so ended up checking more than before.  The super efficiency also ironically meant by processing more emails you received more emails.

Two years after his Google talk Mann signed a contract for a book on InBox Zero.  The book missed its publication date, then after a further two years Mann announced he was cancelling the project.  He realised he was missing morning after morning with his three year old daughter to please a book editor.  Mann said “If you are just using efficiency to jam more and more stuff into your day…well, how would you ever know that that’s working?”

There is no easy way and the whole idea of personal productivity means that it is personal to you.  Systems need to be tweaked and adapted to work for you.  Suggested ideas:-

  • No looking at emails after 6.00pm
  • Book an appointment with your email
  • Ring fence the time you spend on the email
  • Create 3 subfolders and put a # before the title so they stay at the top
    • Action
    • Waiting for
    • Read review
  • No looking at email before 9.00am
  • Take the flag off so that emails don’t interupt you

We need to lead emails and not them lead us, create rituals that fit in with your life and relax that you don’t have to know everything all the time.  Responding too soon might not be the best response.

My husband on Friday night replied to an email which is unusual as the phone normally stays on the hall table until Monday.   The client responded by calling him on Saturday morning.  The intrusion into the weekend was a surprise, however only as a result of his own actions.

The final word should be Mann’s  on Inbox Zero and it is the most profound “Email is not a technical problem.  It’s a people problem.  And you can’t fix people”.

merlin-mann-self-portrait-xl

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