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

Your first 100 days…

Niamh O’Keefe’s very practical book acts as a coach to guide you through your first 100 days of a new Leadership position. However the book is like a manual that you could pick up at anytime and start a new 100 day plan it does not have to be a new job.

The book is how to have:-

  • 100 day timeline
  • 100 minute read
  • 100% practical

The first chapter asks how you think before starting:-

  • You – list your strengths
  • Role – what are the expected deliverables?
  • Organisation – overall vision of the company
  • Market – who are your competitors? what is your position in the market?

Before you start a new position there is an emotional release from the old, and good to recognise what that is before launching into a new role. Be prepared to have a good energy bank take care of your mind and body, have a break before you start the new role. The book provides templates of how you can send a pre-start announcement to your new team.

To write your first 100 day plan, break into 4 areas and each one will need outcomes:-

  • On person – transition maker, unique contributor
  • On role – content learner, business achiever, team builder & communication planner
  • On Organisation – relationship builder, value adder & cultural navigator
  • On market – market player

There are 10 areas and each need an outcome, from those break them into milestones what will you need to achieve by when…

Most importantly show up as a Leader, by providing a clear direction (vision), bring people together and deliver results. Use your newness as an advantage what do you see with your “Fresh Eyes”.

By 30 days you should have begun to see the characteristics of a high performing team evolving. You have also identified the critical success factors to take you to 30 – 60 days.

During the next phase seek feedback from your stakeholders as to how you are progressing. Get the team to work harder, and learn to sit with discomfort at times. Keep updating your plan and bonding with new people.

The last milestone is 90 days when you only have 10 days left, you need to close out the plan and celebrate. Thinking beyond the 100 days, you have been in a sprint it will now be a marathon going forward, a more gradual pace but keep an eye on your continued effectiveness.

For a more in depth book review please join the nuggets bookclub this Friday 24th June @ 10.00am – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571219497

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, Leadership, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

Empathy…

Empathy is an emotional skill and as with any skill you have to keep practising to gain mastery.

It is about our ability to understand what some-one is experiencing and to reflect back our understanding.

The attributes of empathy by Theresa Wiseman:-

  • Perspective taking – what is the experience like for you?
  • Staying out of judgment – just listen don’t evaluate
  • Recognising emotion
  • Communicating our understanding
  • Practising mindfulness – feeling the emotion and moving through it

Empathy is a tool of compassion, we only truly experience it if we are present for some-one else’s pain. If we are not willing to be fully present then it’s not real empathy.

Brené Brown writes in Atlas of the Heart “We need to dispel the myth that empathy is walking in someone else’s shoes. Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences”

Empathy misses:-

  • Sympathy – “I feel so sorry for you” – empathy is not feeling sorry for some-one
  • Judgement – The gasp from your friend is not empathy – over reaction will make the person feel shame
  • Disappointment – “You’ve let me down” – if they are looking for you to be exemplary all the time is not relating to you
  • Comparing/Competing – “If you think that’s bad” – not about you, must be their agenda
  • Problem solving – “I can fix it” – just listen don’t go into fixer mode
  • Avoid – “Let’s make this go away” – sit with the discomfort and connect in a meaningful way

We need to truly listen and be present for the person feeling what they are feeling to even begin to master empathy.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, personal impact, Relationships

Disappointment

It can range from mild discomfort to deep hurt. Disappointment is unmet expectations. The more significant the expectation the more significant the disappointment.

We feel disappointment as we have not examined or expressed our expectations, and yet we have a clear picture in our heads of what we want to see. The movie in our mind is perfect. Why don’t we share what is going on in our heads? It is often as the conversation will expose our vulnerability and that may well be tough and awkward. When we share what we want we our putting ourselves first which again is not something we do very often and it takes bravery to value our own expectations.

In Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown uses the expression “Painting Done”. She fully briefs colleagues on her expectations and then says “Painting Done”.

We have to also manage how we handle unchecked and unexpressed expectation, as an example “She will love her gift?” – we don’t know whether she will love her gift this is an unchecked expectation. If you have no control over the response you will be disappointed and damage your self worth.

Even when we are intentional and thoughtful about expressing our expectations it can still lead to disappointment and we are left feeling vulnerable. However you cannot be vulnerable without being courageous, so better to have tried.

Some people don’t even enter the arena, by deciding to use a numbing technique to never experience disappointment “I am not going to get excited as I will only be disappointed”.

Go forward and be courageous and partner up with your expectations, “What do you want the weekend to look like…?” – “How do you see the project completed…” Be bold, brave and put your expectations out there.

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Leadership, Learning, Management, motivation

nuggets book club

By popular demand the book club is back. We will be covering some great titles:-

  • 27th May 2022 – The Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • 10th June 2022 – Part II – The Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • 17th June 2022 – Effortless by Greg McKeown
  • 24th June 2022 – Your first 100 days by Niamh O’Keeffe
  • 1st July 2022 – The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
  • 8th July 2022 – The Power of Regret by Dan Pink
  • 15th July 2022 – Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • 22nd July 2022 – Our iceberg is melting by John Kotter
  • 29th July 2022 – Think again by Adam Grant

Each session will be one hour costing a nominal fee of £10 per session. Please dip in and out of the choices and share with friends and colleagues.

I will present a book summary and ask questions around the book to create discussion. There is no pressure to read the books, however hopefully the club will entice you to rush out and buy some of the titles.

The sessions are fun and interactive, with a practical learning element.

Please do follow the Eventbrite link to book your place:- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/nuggets-bookclub-tickets-333571179377

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

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

Everything has changed, but nothing has changed…

I am back at the desk of nuggets HQ having taking a temporary leave of absence for a month. As the title says “everything has changed, but nothing has changed”.

The last month I have been caring for my Mum alongside my sisters and Step Dad, and very sadly she died on the 25th April 2022. My whole world will never look the same again without the person who created me in it. However the world keeps spinning and less you hold on you get left behind.

In grief you find the normal things like making a bed really calming as there is little emotional input and the procedural aspect of the task gives you perspective. The times you feel derailed when you can see no end in sight for the person in pain and you have no capacity to change the trajectory of the outcome.

Throughout my absence I have been reading “The Atlas of the Heart” by Brene Brown and the comfort of unpicking emotions and experiences has also given me an amazing sense of my self. Understanding that meaningful connection only happens if you talk about your emotions.

I remember reading that Gill Hicks who survived the 7/7 bombing in London, returned to her desk and tipped the in box that the team had kept untouched straight in the bin. Her view that nothing mattered but everything mattered, after what she had just been through.

I think of the many books I have read in the nature of my job and many will help me now forge ahead with maybe a slight change of heart or mind.

  • The Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • Feel the Fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  • Who moved my cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson

Everything has changed means a new view of my work, perhaps a boldness that was lacking before, however to be sure the things that have not changed are being true to my values.

“Helping people to think differently” by making a difference

“Achievement” my anchor value of progression which will move me forward ensuring that things do change.

I will shortly be starting a bookclub for The Atlas of the Heart if you would like to attend please do get in touch bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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

One to ones matter…

Meeting with your team members on a regular basis fosters a meaningful relationship. As a Manager they are the most important productivity tool you can have and to your team member.

For transparency and consistency you should offer every team member the same access to you, whether it be one hour fortnightly or one hour once a month. Book them into your diary as recurring meetings and think long and hard about the timing. This is a motivational tool so think about when the team member will feel at their best and yourself.

As a Line Manager you wear many hats and be careful which one you are wearing as to whether it is appropriate. Fundamentally you are their coach, you are invested in their performance and can pass judgment. You are not a counsellor although sometimes you may drift into this area, remember there are experts in this field. Mentoring is often what the future holds so you can dip a toe in this area however it is hard when you have a vested interest, you may not be as bold with your advice.

One to ones need to be relaxed with good rapport, but not so relaxed they have no structure or focus. You must also be weary that they are not all about work in progress. The time is about progression with a focus on what you are doing and also how you are doing it. There is a bigger conversation about motivation, dreams and desires.

Feedback is part of the catching up, whether it be positive or constructive. The best way to deliver is to have structure, see the mnemonic (“SBI”) below:-

S Situation

B Behaviour

I Impact

An SBI can be used for positive or constructive, see examples below:-

At the meeting last week…Situation

You were so articulate and clear on the project to the client...Behaviour

The client was enthusiastic and keen to start the work now…Impact

Or

At the meeting last week…Situation

You were very quiet and withdrawn…Behaviour

The impact was the Client lost confidence in our offer – Impact

The responsibility of a line manager is to check in on a team members well being. As an organisation there is the need to provide psychological safety, however be aware of what you can and cannot influence. Stephen Covey’s Circle of Concern/Circle of Influence is a good test to see whether you should provide support. They are concerned about a deadline, this is something you can influence. They are concerned about the weather, this is not something you can influence. A number of things can be influenced, but if not explain to the team member they need to stop letting them feel such a big concern.

If you look like you are enjoying a one to one session so will your team member. Getting the most out of a one is all about the preparation and what you put into it and the input of your team member.

Please do get in touch to book a workshop “Getting the most out of one to ones” – bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, personal impact, Relationships

Language is our portal for meaning…

So excited Brene Brown’s new book Atlas of the Heart is now in print. There is so much to unpick, but a good starter is using the right language to explain our experiences and label the emotions involved.

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s quote “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”.

Fifteen years ago, Brown asked participants on her shame resilience research to list all the emotions they could recognise and to name them. This took five years and involved seven thousand people. The average number of emotions named across the surveys was three, and they were happy, sad and angry.

Brown obviously found this very disheartening when the vastness of human emotion is not about mad, sad or glad. There are so many despair, shame, wonder, awe… that in their richness make us human.

Language is the portal to meaning, making connections, healing, learning and self awareness. When we don’t have the language we lose our ability to explain what is really going on.

In Atlas of the Heart there are eighty seven emotions and experiences that are defined and brought to life so that we can increase our vocabulary.

The next time you say the following:-

  • “I am really pissed off”
  • “I am so mad”

What are you feeling? Naming it accurately what is really going on. Vocabulary should be as expansive as our experience. Better responses might be..:-

  • “I am so overwhelmed with all I am experiencing”
  • “I am feeling disappointed”

Yesterday my son failed his driving test and it was pure anger, and it was limiting to his growth. He was not labelling it as disappointment, and his rage directed at the Driving Examiner whom he will never see again, is sadly not constructive.

Articulate what is going on in your world this week, and I would welcome comments and discussion.

Please do reach out bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness

Less but better…

Do you find you are stretched to thinly, attending meetings back to back and often not remembering the content.

Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism”gives advice on how to get disciplined in the pursuit of less. Simply put a value on what you are saying yes to and say no more. We often struggle to say no as we think we are saying no to a person but you are saying no to the request not the person.

Often when we say yes to the wrong things we have short term comfort that we have done the right thing, however this may well give us long term discomfort. Not all effort is equal, be careful what you are saying yes to.

The over used word of “busy” means a brain that is operating without clarity. You are never that helpless that you cannot make the right decisions. Think about the best yes, be discerning take time and have an awkward pause to think is this the best use of your time.

Time out refreshes us whether it be play or sleep. Escaping helps with concentration time away gives an expansion of our awareness. This then gives more elasticity in the brain, greater bandwidth and again more discernment about the right choices. Sleep is the best asset you have in resting and growing your mind. The antidote to stress and the best recharge ever.

Be a journalist of your own life. By adopting the discipline of journalling everyday, you begin to get perspective and notice patterns. You can understand what is important now.

In essence is it a “Hell Yeah or a No” this is the title of Derek Sivers book and arguably a good compass to follow.

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

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, motivation, personal impact, Relationships

Feedforward instead of feedback…

Feedback focuses on the past something we have done, and therefore can be quite limiting. However skilled you are at delivering feedback it all runs the risk of being personal. When delivered badly often elicits defensive behaviour, and a positive developmental conversation disintegrates.

Feedforward is about giving suggestions for the future. Identify a behaviour you would like to change or develop. Ensure that you have selected something that will make a significant and positive difference in your life.

Describe the behaviour to a colleague/coach/line manager it can be as simple as

“I want to be a better listener”

Ask for feedforward, suggestions for the future that might help them achieve a positive change in that behaviour. Below are some examples:-

  • Making notes at a meeting to test your listening skills
  • Setting up one to one meetings with other peers
  • Listening to an audio book and making a summary or book review

The exercise should be “fun” and motivating a very different vibe to feedback.

An article by Marshall Goldsmith author of MOJO claims several reasons it is worth giving it a try:-

  • We can change the future. We can’t change the past
  • It can be more productive to help people learn to be “right” than prove they were “wrong”
  • Feedforward is especially suited to successful people
  • Feedforward can come from anyone who knows about the task
  • People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback
  • Feedback can reinforce personal negative self talk & insecurities
  • We don’t like negative feedback and we don’t like giving it
  • Feedforward can cover almost all the same material as feedback
  • Feedforward an be much faster and more efficient
  • Feedforward can be used by all – it is not a power or authoritative tool
  • People tend to listen more attentively to feedforward

There is still a place for feedback but by engaging your whole team in feedforward there might be more of a growth opportunity. A great question is “How can I better help our team in the future?”. Ask every team member to identify a behaviour. Then as a whole group facilitate a feedforward session.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to host a Feedforward workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk