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Jane Daly's Worklife podcast: Kirsten Chick, Nutrition brought to life

 

In this Episode Jane talks to Kirsten Chick about nutrition brought to life. 

Kirsten is an experienced and knowledgeable nutritional therapist, teacher and writer, and author of the book, Nutrition Brought to Life. 
She has been practising since 2003 and offers online and phone consultations. She is known for her warm, approachable style, and aims to tailor recommendations not just to what people need, but also to what is manageable.
As Kirsten believes food is to be enjoyed, she provides recipes and meal inspirations in her blogs and social media, and there are 50 recipes in section 2 of Nutrition Brought to Life.
Kirsten also provides online workshops and courses, covering subjects ranging from sugar to menopause, and can provide bespoke workshops for companies, community groups and organisations.

Kirsten recommends listeners explore the following links if they would like to delve deeper into her insights: 

A link to Kirsten’s Book – Nutrition Brought to Life book: https://www.alchimiapublishing.com/nutrition-brought-to-life/ - also available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nutrition-Brought-Life-Kirsten-Chick/dp/1999306120/, https://www.waterstones.com/book/nutrition-brought-to-life/kirsten-chick/9781999306120 etc.

A link to Kirsten’s Nutrition bog and website: www.connectwithnutrition.co.uk - where there are blogs and recipes plus details of one-to-one consultations and upcoming workshops

Kirsten’s You tube channel - including Bite-Sized Nutrition Tips recently recorded  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLy718j0Fe68OGvo-bmFeeg/playlists

You can find out more about Kirsten, including how to connect HERE:  For more details, see www.connectwithnutrition.co.uk, e-mail Kirsten at info@connectwithnutrition.co.uk or call her on 07968137246.

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Let It Go - If Only For A While

Way back when, when I was a student and early on in my career, my mother always used to give me emergency money to keep in my wallet. Not in plain view, but in a slot behind my bank card hidden from sight, more to stop me from seeing it and spending it than to stop anyone else from finding it. Her philosophy was out of sight, out of mind, her logic being that if I found myself in need – if my bank card wasn’t working or more likely back then if my overdraft had squeezed past kindness and no more cash was forthcoming from the ATM, I would always have the means to pay for a bus or a train to get home, “just in case” I needed it. Perhaps it is less necessary now for me, or even for you, but it was a practice I found benefit in more than once and one that I have passed onto my own kids, even in an age of Apple Pay and online Uber rides, a small token security blanket of cash for “just in case”. Nowadays, I use that hidden slot in my wallet for something equally important, instead of cash I keep a different type of note there, one that I write to myself at the end of every workday.

How do you switch off at the end of a busy day at work? How do you  stop yourself from thinking about the work that you have to do tomorrow? For many of us the journey to and from work is just an extension of our worklives and we can find it hard to draw a line under the work day and allow ourselves to relax and enjoy the gifts that our worklives are intended to give us – quality time with our friends and family, being immersed in what brings us our own personal joy, the time to relax and reenergise. Whether our commute from work involves trains, bikes or walking, or if it is only stepping from one room at home to another, all to often, our thoughts drift back to the work of the day or towards the work of tomorrow. Sometimes we worry about our work, about our future, about the future of our work, and we forget to make the time to just be in the moment, outside of work.

So here’s what I do to stop that happening. 

On the way home I consciously think about the work I’ve done today and I write a note about it on a small piece of paper. I then give thought to what I need to do tomorrow and I write a note about that on the other side of the same piece of paper. I then fold it and gently slip it into the hidden slot in my wallet. And then I don’t think about it until the morning, safe in the knowledge that its there out of sight, for emergencies, “just in case” I need it.

Full disclosure here, it’s a technique that I’ve borrowed and adapted. It’s long been well known that some people have difficulty falling asleep because their thoughts keep running in circles. Journaling and focusing on positive thoughts has been found to calm the mind and help them sleep better. A study of college students (by Digdon & Koble) found that journaling resulted in reduced bedtime worry and stress, increased sleep time, and improved sleep quality. A different study (the snappily titled The Effects of Bedtime Writing on Difficulty Falling Asleep: A Polysomnographic Study Comparing To-Do Lists and Completed Activity Lists by Scullin et al) found that writing a to-do list, if only for a few minutes, was even more effective than journaling at helping young adults fall asleep faster. 

Everyone from Country Life Magazine to the NHS extoll the virtue of writing things down to help us to achieve a good nights sleep. What they all have in common is the notion that by writing things down we don’t need to give them anymore headspace, we can ignore them secure in the knowledge that we won’t forget them. And that’s the principle that I apply when I write my little note and slip it into my wallet until the morning. Not because I can’t sleep, but because I want a healthy worklife, one where I actively take control of when I think about work and when I stop thinking about it, secure in the knowledge that it’s there, unforgotten and close to hand, just in case I need it. 

Next time you find yourself thinking about work when you don’t want to, when its blocking out the laughter of your friends and family, or overwhelming the silence of a tranquil night, write it down and slip it into your wallet (or purse or pocket) and I guarantee that it’ll be there when you need it.  Try it, just in case, it works.

 

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Training or Learning – More than Semantics?

Training can be mandatory, learning is always optional. That’s my answer when asked to explain the difference between training and learning. It’s a common question and one that all learning and development professionals should be able to answer. (Not that we all have to agree on the answer.) Some L&D professionals believe that learning is a long-term process related to development and change while training is developed for a specific task – learning about emotional intelligence as opposed to being taught how to operate a piece of machinery. It may be a matter of semantics, but words are powerful. The term learning gets more traction in leadership circles in organisations than training – so why do most of our colleagues still talk about training not learning? Training for most people in an organisation is something that is done to them whereas learning is something that they actively participate in – ‘they’ learn. That semantic ownership ensures that learners engage. By being ‘trained’ colleagues allow others to take control and ‘instruct’ them in what needs to be done, specifically and within a structure and format that they do not have ownership of nor influence over. There are many reasons why training fails to deliver learning, they include:

There is no contextualisation The content doesn’t flow The training method doesn’t resonate  The environment isn’t conducive There’s no real life application There’s a lack of follow-up 

Learning is being conducted everyday through informal networks within organisations where colleagues exchange information. It is not necessarily classed as formal learning – as most of it isn’t – and it is distant from formal training. It is the responsibility of the L&D professional to recognise the value in these informal learning networks – where no formal learning objectives have been set – and leverage it for the organisation. Learning networks happen everywhere at work where colleagues interact, they are also formed digitally through the utilisation of non workplace reference sources, search engines and communities. “Just Google it” is an invitation to learn in an unformatted, non-formalised self-directed manner embraced not only by by Millennials but by all colleagues. No-one is afraid of the web anymore. (Who among us hasn’t looked on Youtube to learn how to do something?)  There is of course still a requirement for specific formal training, but is has to be part of a greater mix of opportunistic learning options that are flexible and agile to suit individual learners. If your organisation introduces a new project management system you will still need to train people to be able to use it (via instruction, retention and repetition), but beyond that you will need to allow opportunities for them to continue to learn how to get the most out of the new system as they become familiar with it – how to apply critical thinking and creative applications to various situations – beyond the narrow operating requirements that training will deliver.

The goal of your organisation, regardless of what type of organisation you work within, is to achieve results. Whatever those results might be – profit, attendance, membership, votes, lives saved, goals scored – there is a need for all members of the organisation to be able to deliver their part in achieving those goals and it falls to L&D to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to do so. It is therefore incumbent upon us as learning professionals to drive the culture of learning within our organisations beyond designing and delivering training. It is understood and widely accepted that for organisations to grow they must become agile in how they operate and relentless in how they innovate. This is also true for L&D. 

An agile L&D department is commercially savvy and strategic in thought. It is operationally focused and responsive in delivery. It promotes and accommodates ongoing and continuous learning. It also does a bit of training here and there. An agile L&D department is always asking itself:

Why do we work in this way? (Challenge everything.) What can we do to improve? (Exclude nothing.) How can we drive the learning agenda? (Ask everyone.)

Challenge everything. It’s simple and scary and the single most important thing you can do to understand your current situation. Exclude nothing. Everything is up for grabs: ways of working, systems, processes, environments, technologies, timings, formats, audiences, objectives and rationales. Ask everyone. The knowledge needed to improve your learning culture, offer and outcomes is there, you just have to ask the right person. 

It’s okay to train. But be aware that it won’t always result in learning. That’s out of your hands, but you can give it a nudge by making your training:

Relevant to the individual Specific to their role Focused on a goal Contextualised to assure impact

If you want to super-size the learning opportunity make your training agile and responsive to the needs of those being trained:

Self-paced and self-managed with optional guidance opportunities Bite-sized, micro-sized and immersive content Easily-accessible across multiple platforms and environments Informal and/or formal instructional delivery as requested Allow for self forming learning networks to support one another Reward learning with recognition and opportunity

Finally, if the goal is to deliver learning, L&D professionals must stop accepting every request for training as an edict. (Challenge everything.) Learning solutions are varied and should be responsive to an identified business need as opposed to being a knee-jerk training product developed because a stressed-out manager thought it was a panacea to poor performance (Which it never is). Training can be mandatory, but it should be focused on addressing an identified problem where the solution adds organisational value in a specific and measurable way that is easily applied by the learner, maybe then learning would be an option that more people would choose.