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, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Stress management

Write your happy thoughts down…

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology claimed there was a significant reduction in stress and anxiety when people wrote about their positive emotions.

Previous studies have shown that writing about negative emotions is also good for your mental well being getting stuff “off your chest”.  However not much has been written about the positive emotions.

Writing about positive experiences for 20 minutes a day for 3 consecutive days improved people’s mood and led to fewer visits to the Doctor.  Even writing as little as 2 minutes a day was a positive experience and reduced stress levels.

For the study the 20 minutes of  writing covered areas where people had been moved by a good book, painting, a piece of music or just a good interaction.

There were 71 healthy participants, aged 19 to 77 and randomly allocated into two groups.  The first group was asked to write about the most wonderful experiences (as described above) of their life for 20 minutes for 3 consecutive days.  The other group just covered neutral topics, such as their plans for the rest of the day etc..

At the end of the study the groups answered questionnaires to measure their levels of anxiety and the group that had documented the positive emotions were in much better place than the neutral group.

Write your happy thoughts down to reduce your anxiety levels, get into a routine of reviewing the day ensuring you highlight the positive.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on positivity bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Shared values…

Natalie Miller the Co-Captain of England Indoor Netball (England Nets) has a great story that demonstrates determination, resilience and commitment.

With many athletes their dreams get blighted by injury or lack of funding.  They don’t just have to think like a sports person about their training they need to think commercially about what is viable.  If they are lucky they find a sponsor, which immediately takes away the financial anxiety.

However what does the sponsor learn from such a unique relationship, and how do they work with the athlete.

The Furniture Union is sponsoring Natalie Miller on her journey to the World Cup August 2019.  In order for the relationship to work the two must have shared values:-

  • Determination
  • Resilience
  • Committment

Natalie’s story easily demonstrates all three.  In 2015 she was selected for the Ladies team for the Indoor World Cup in New Zealand.  The process for this World Cup was difficult one as she had to self-fund her journey.   The team exceeded expectation and finished the tournament as gold medal winners and Natalie is now a World Champion.

Fast forward to 2018, preparation for 2019 World Cup started.   Sadly her world got turned upside down on 7th January 2018. Whilst playing national league netball game for Sussex Thunder she fully ruptured her right achilles tendon. A journey to A&E and a broken heart later, she was  told that her recovery time for this injury would be at least a year.

On March 1st 2018 Natalie had an operation to reconstruct the tendon, rehab started immediately and she was determined to be travelling once again to the World Cup.

The journey has not be an easy one, it has taken countless hours of determination and going the extra mile. On her last tour the challenge not only was the hours of training but the time and energy spent to try and find sponsorship.

The Furniture Union equally demonstrate the three core values that Natalie has needed.  With over 25 years in the design industry, The Furniture Union has a first class reputation for providing their clients with creative and practical solutions across the whole spectrum of residential property.  Their services range from one-off furnishings to complete full interior service, making them a one stop shop for all requirements.

Their projects can be challenging and they need at all times to be confident in their design choices.  They are always determined to provide the best design solution, and they often have to be resilient with the many challenges of the buildings they are working with.  The Furniture Union show amazing commitment and loyalty working with clients for over 20 years.

Natalie and The Furniture Union are now both connected as they both work to the same values.

This is the beginning of a joint story and as a coach to one of the Leaders at The Furniture Union I look forward to hearing the challenges and shared learning of the partnership.

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Goals

Creating good habits

You need to embody the habit, before you have even begun working on it.  So think about what the habit gives you and what your new identity will be if you have been successful and disciplined at applying that habit.

If you want to start running, take on the identity of a runner and think of what a runner does and all the routines attached to it and how they might speak and act. Begin with the end in mind and start by writing what the habit will give you.

You are far more likely to be successful if you track your habits progress.  The journey to a habit gives you a great template for the tracker:-

  • Cue – What has prompted you to want to make a change and create a new habit
  • Craving – Which identity do you want to embody, what will the habit give you
  • Response – The actions/rituals/routines you need to put in place
  • Reward – When you have achieved the habit change acknowledge the result

Example:-

To increase readership of your blog

  • Cue – statistics on your blog
  • Craving – to be read by a wider audience
  • Response – publicise on more sites
  • Reward – business leads from the blog

This blog was inspired by the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

Please do get in touch for nugget workshops or for coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, Learning

Duck herding & Leadership

I was really lucky to facilitate a team build which used “duck herding” as the light hearted fun activity to kick off the day.

The parallels for leadership were great and really good scene setting for the day that lay ahead.

The sheep dog was totally focused on the ducks and incredibly obedient.  The ducks were “runner ducks” as the name suggests their basic instinct is to move, predominately to where they think is safe.  They are not afraid of the dog as there is a comfortable distance.  Too near and they would be worried and too far they would be able to head for water.  The ducks have no leader, they are one group.

When the herding begins it is a balancing act of space and movement. The Dog called Tip never got distracted once, however if the shepherd asked him to “lie down” the ducks could go off, but using the “lie down” command gave the ducks a chance to relax.

Tip was a Collie very common in sheep dogs as they are very bright and need constant mental stimulation. It takes two years to train a sheepdog.

After the shepherd had demonstrated the task it was the turn of the team (minus the dog).  As Leaders they had to herd the ducks in groups of three, just as people.  The trick was to learn from the dog in creating space and gently move them forward.  There was a lot of laughs and one rogue duck who just did not want to join in.  He was cajoled back into the group, but incurred lots of delay.

What can we learn from a Leadership perspective?:-

  • Our you as a Leader totally focused do you know where you want your team to go and end up
  • Do your team have an instinct to keep moving eg. being innovative
  • Do you provide a safe place for your team somewhere they can relax and be off-duty
  • What is a comfortable distance between a Leader and their team.  Do you give the right level of autonomy
  • What are the distractions to you as a Leader, how can you ensure that you stay on track with your team and their journey
  • As a Leader are you constantly mentally stimulated
  • There is often a rogue duck in any organisation, someone who wants to go their own way, as a Leader they cannot be ignored
  • There is no time limit on when you reach great leadership, you may have to work with several teams

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Leadership bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk and for organising your own duck herding event contact http://www.dogandduckshow.co.uk

 

 

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

You matter…

In Denmark mattering is part of the school curriculum.  During a weekly hour called Klassen Time, students come together to discuss problems and help one another.  Danish children do this every week from age six until they leave senior school.   To make the ordeal easier a different student each week brings cake.  When the children present their problems they feel they are listened to and the others who provide guidance feel they are making a difference.

The children learn empathy by hearing other perspectives and reflecting on how their behaviour affects those around them.  The emphasis is “how do others feel? and how do my actions make them feel?”

I am often saying the strongest leadership skill you can have is listening.  People feel valued if they are given a “damn good listening to”.

People who listen then understand your situation and you feel that you matter.

Make time for those around you, whether it be at work or home and ensure that they feel that they matter.  Look after yourself and also find some-one who will listen to you as remember “you matter”.

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

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