How do you talk to others?

If communicating with others was simple to do, we would all be much better off from a relationship perspective, have greater appreciation and an understanding of others, and far less angst in our lives. Does this sound promising? It should, and it can all begin with taking a step back, and pausing to think about how you communicate with others.

While I was commuting back from Manhattan to Boston recently, I overheard one of the most heartwarming conversations. It was between a young father and his son who was probably around 3-4 years old. The son was obviously very bright.

During the course of the four-hour commute, the son asked his father well over fifty questions. The son was in the process of learning how to read and do math. It was obvious the math being discussed was well beyond the elementary school math level. So, basically the son knew how to do math before he could read. Yes, I was impressed by this.

What I was more impressed with was the level of patience the father had with teaching his son how to read, and how to solve problems involving fractions, division, multiplication and basic algebra. Each time the son became stuck in trying to figure out how to sound out a word, or understand the math computation he was working on, listening to the father’s explanation was like listening to classical music.

It was seriously beautiful the way the father communicated and interacted with his son. If you did not know how old the child was, and I am only guessing he was pre-kindergarten, the most amazing part of listening to their conversation was how sincerely and articulately the father communicated with his son. Independent of his actual age.

Upon listening to this conversation, I began thinking about how I communicate with others, and about how whether people are aware of their own communication style. Do they vary and tailor their communication style based on who they are speaking with, or do maintain a predictable and mechanical style when conversing? If they aware of their communication style, is it a style which has served them well, or held them back personally or professionally?

So, how do you know what your communication style is, and have you considered the impact it has had on your life or others? If you haven’t, here are some tips on how to have perspective on your style.

  1. Think about your typical day. Do you spend most of it talking or listening to others? Is there a 50/50 split, or more one sided? People with strong listening skills tend to be good at problem solving. Are you?
  2. Do you find that you get really excited when you are speaking with someone and find yourself talking over them? Many people do this, and it is a communication style which can hold you back professionally. Why, because you can appear to be less capable of controlling your ability to hold onto your thoughts. People who also talk over others are also perceived to be rude.
  3. Are you the type of person who interrupts others during your conversations? You may not be aware you are doing this, so pay close attention to whether or not you are. If you are, slow down your communication, and allow the other person to finish what they are saying. If you find this really difficult to do, ask them if you can interject your commentary to get your point across.
  4. Have others referred to you as “chatty”? This can actually skew towards both a positive and negative reference. So, be sure to tilt to the positive side. Sometimes people who are referred to this way simply talk too much, and do not allow others to have their fair share of the conversation.
  5. Some people are natural born teachers, regardless of whether this is their actual occupation. The father I was referencing to earlier easily falls into this category. Perhaps you do too? If so, embrace this communication style, as we can all certainly benefit from having more and thoughtful teachers in our lives.

There are numerous other communication styles which I have not referenced. I have left them out intentionally, as the point of this story is to get you thinking about having a better understanding of what your style is. When you better understand what your communication style is, you can work on either accepting it, or striving towards becoming better or a different type of communicator with practice.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Nice isn’t a four-letter word. Are you nice?

Even if you are not aware of what is going on in the world around you, it is hard not to notice there are many less than desirable things happening. Of course, the news mainly focuses on the sensational and less than positive information to report on. Occasionally it will broadcast a happy story. Although in my opinion, not nearly as often as they can and should.

I understand the economics of how sensational news is what viewers pay attention too, but sometimes I feel the equation for negative and positive news skews too heavily in the negative column. So, what can we do about this? In a simple word…lots!

For starters, we can be nicer on a daily basis to other people, starting with those closest to us. However, we also need to pass along being nice to our colleagues too. Considering we often spend more time with them than our family. If someone asked you what was the last nice thing you did for someone, could you name when and what it was?

All my life I have been referred to as a nice person. Sometimes I felt this wasn’t always a strength, especially in business. Or, so I thought at the time. Upon reflection, I wouldn’t want to change how I interacted with anyone. As a matter of fact, being nice to people is part of my management style. People take notice of this, especially when I am compared to others who do not have this same management philosophy.

Is my management style of being nice effective? It sure is. How do I know this? Because with one or two exceptions, people have told me they would want to work for and with me again at any point in time. Being nice doesn’t mean you are a pushover. It means you treat people with respect, and with kindness.

I don’t know about you, but I have never been motivated by people or bosses who are unkind, or simply not nice. Perhaps this management style works for some, but I would argue the majority of people do not respond well to this approach.

Have you ever taken the time to think about whether you are a nice person, or nice person to work or live with? If you haven’t, you should. Especially if no one has told you recently you are a nice person, in any context.

For the record, let me say that being nice is not a four-letter word. Or, a bad thing to be. In fact, it is easier to be nice than the opposite behavior. So, what are some of the other benefits to being nice? Here’s a starter list for you to consider adding to:

  • When you are genuinely nice to others, the response you normally get from them is a positive one.
  • You also feel better when you treat other people well.
  • Economically, if you are in a service business, your company will make more money if your employees treat one another, and your clients nicely.
  • Being nice to others raises both your endorphin levels, and the recipients too. For clarity, I’m talking about the “happy” type of endorphins. From a medical description via Dictionary.com, “Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.”
  • Modeling being nice to others can be contagious. We need more of this type of contagious behavior in our society.
  • Being nice does not reduce your professional or personal credibility level.
  • When you are nice to others, it means you are confident and strong.
  • More people want to interact with others who are nice, and there are numerous benefits to having more people to interact with.
  • There is no reason to be mean to others. You can always make the effort, even a small amount can be meaningful. Just try it, if you are not convinced.

So, the next time someone refers to you as being nice, stand proud, and know that you have earned being classified this way. Being nice in my opinion is a badge of honor, and I would gladly be classified as being nice, or too nice any day.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

Regrets are a waste of time.

A friend of mine asked me if I had any regrets. Upon seriously and carefully thinking about this question, I said no. I do not have any regrets. How could I think this way? This is possible based on the way I have trained myself to think, and it comes down to having eliminated the regret category as an option in my life.

When I think back to when I made the conscious decision to do this, I can tell you with almost one hundred percent certainty when this was. Without going into personal details, I can tell you it was at a point in time when I was at a critical decision crossroad. Would I have evolved my thinking about eliminating regrets had I not been in this situation? Possibly, but the point is I’m sharing this with you, because you do not need to be in this exact situation to have the same benefits I gained from eliminating regrets in my life.

Freeing yourself from pondering and carrying a load of regret is truly liberating. It also allows you to have a new lens on the opportunities around you. Your energy level increases, your outlook on possibilities skyrockets, and life can be so much more enjoyable.

Sure, many people will easily succumb to taking the easy road and continue to harbor and carry their regrets around. Some may even consider these regrets to in a morbid way be a badge of honor. I feel sorry for you if you do, and can only encourage you to give some of my tips a try. If you are serious about moving past your regrets, chances are in your favor you these tips will direct you towards a far better place emotionally.

Where do you start to change your mentality with casting your regrets aside? Here are some tips to consider.

  • You know I love lists. So, I’m asking you to first make a list of all of your regrets. Don’t leave any off this list, no matter how trivial you may think they are.
  • Put your list away for a few days.
  • When you come back to your list, cross off the ones you can mentally come to terms with dropping. Starting immediately.
  • The regrets that remain on your list, are there for a reason. However, you need to give yourself permission to forgive and forget them. The key to do this, is to allow yourself to go through the process of mourning these regrets. Now, put a timeline on how long to do this, and then literally tear up, burn or throw away the list and say goodbye to them.
  • If you think analytically about regrets, but remember, we talked about them not actually serving any constructive purpose. We can be our own worst enemy with allowing ourselves to build up our regret inventory, and we have the same and greater power of eliminating them from our mind.
  • If some of your regrets are associated with offering an apology, then go ahead and make the apology. In person apologies are best, but a written one will do too. Perhaps both.
  • Most regrets are based on decisions, inaction or actions we chose to take. Stop thinking about the decisions you made which are regret based, and allow yourself to come to terms with owning them. You may not be happy or proud of these decisions, but they are part of your past. Emphasis is on the past, and they do not have to define who you are going forward.
  • Write down the date you will begin your journey of not having any regrets. Consider it to be similar to a birthday or holiday, and worthy of a celebration. Look forward to celebrating on this day annually, and do not dwell on what the regrets were. Instead focus on all of the amazing things you have done since the day you released yourself from all of your regrets.

What can you do now that you have a new set of tools to eliminate the regrets in your life? Help someone else to get to the place you have arrived at, and give them the gift of not having any regrets. In other words, pay it forward, as I have done so for you with this advice.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

 

(5) Tips on How to Manage Your Boss

Unless you are your own boss, you have probably uttered the words, or thought to yourself at one point or another, that your boss is driving you crazy. You may have muttered this under your breath, or shared this comment with a colleague, or someone outside your work circle.

Based on the dynamics of the typical boss and subordinate roles, it is quite likely that you will be annoyed by your boss now and then. This is normal, especially since the work is mainly flowing your way, without the ability to decline or limit the amount of assignments coming your way. Or is there?

Perhaps you have heard that everything is negotiable? It really is, but not everyone feels comfortable negotiating, so they simply accept the work that flows their way.

Those who have developed negotiating skills, even minor ones, tend to be much more satisfied with their bosses. Why? Because they are indirectly managing the situation. The best part of having a negotiating conversation with your boss, is that they may not be aware of the fact they are being managed by you.

So, if you are thinking, I do not like to negotiate, and my communication or debating skills are not up to the task, keep reading.

Similar to the belief that everyone has creative skills, if you can talk, you have to ability to also develop your negotiation skills.

At its most basic level, negotiating is about asking questions. You can do that! By asking questions about the assignment, your boss will be forced to confront whether what he or she is asking has been fully thought through.

You might be surprised how many times they have not thought through what they are asking you to accomplish, and are only serving as a middle man pushing assignments down from above. Negotiating also allows you to gain clarity on aspects of work (e.g., timeframe flexibility, who else can or should be involved, how is the success of the project outcome to be measured).

Here are five tips on how to manage your boss.

  1. At the beginning of the week, assess the mood of your boss. You can typically do this by having a brief conversation on Monday morning, or by checking in with one of your colleagues. If they are in a less than favorable mood, leave them alone until mid-day and then reassess. Monday mornings can be stressful. The beginning of the week is a popular time when the upper management team meets with your boss to review the status of how the business is going. Even if the stats are on track, this can impact the mood of your boss.

 

  1. Make sure you have a weekly assigned time to check in with your boss, even if it is for only 10 minutes each day, or once a week for 30 minutes. During any of these sessions, make sure you have set the agenda are driving the conversation. Setting the agenda puts you in charge. In essence, you are managing your boss.

 

  1. Clarify monthly or quarterly expectations. This is a critical component to managing your boss. As long as you are clear about the project and results of the work you are doing, and making sure during your weekly meetings that priorities have not changed, you will be in strong alignment with their expectations.

 

  1. Get to know your boss. Take time to go out to lunch or coffee with him or her once or twice a month to have a non-work conversation. If you do not do this, you run the risk of them not seeing you as a whole person, with other dimensions of your personality they may not be able to observe in the office. More and more people work remotely and may not have too many opportunities to meet with their boss in person, but when you do, make sure you go through this same exercise.

 

  1. Ask your boss to articulate how you can help them with your professional contributions to make them look good. This may seem awkward, but ask anyway, as most people do not know the answer, and may, in fact, be entirely wrong by making incorrect assumptions. Get the facts, work with them – another key way of managing your boss.

Depending on your career level, some of these suggestions would need to be modified, but most of these techniques actually can and will work. They have been applied successfully by people who are just starting out, all the way to the highest “C” level executives.

Managing your boss is a concept from which just about everyone can benefit. Test drive some of them and see if they work for you.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

You are better than you think you are. Seriously.

Let’s face it. Not all days are a perfect ten. Sometimes we feel like even getting close to a ten is impossible. Generally, when we feel this way, we are in what I’ll refer to as a rut, or a place we feel we are trapped in. Or, can’t figure a way out of. This is not where any of us want to be, but at some point, most of us have experienced this feeling, or will. I’m hopeful you might be spared from this experience, but in some ways, there is a lot to learn from this happening to you.

There are a various physiological, mental and environmental reasons why you might feel like you are in a place you would not rather be. The good news is that most of the time, this feeling is temporary. However, if you have been feeling this way for longer than a few weeks, then I can tell you this is something you need to seek help to resolve. No one should feel badly about themselves for any length of time, and no, it’s not normal for anyone to feel this way.

We are wired to mostly feel neutral, and lean towards feeling more positive than negative. Luckily there are also many things you can do to feel better, and no I’m not suggesting that pharmaceuticals are the only answer to feel better. Actually, this should be a last resort. However, in my opinion, too many people opt for this as a first-choice solution. It’s easy to go this route, and many people succumb to this as their way of addressing and temporarily resolving or masking their real challenge.

The real challenge people tend to either dance around, or avoid is not taking the time to figure out why they are down on themselves. Perhaps they are this way because they chose to listen to people who told them they couldn’t do or achieve something. Even worse, they believed this to be a fact.

Most of the time when someone tells you that you are not capable of doing something, it is not in your best interest to always listen to their opinion. However, if what you are thinking of doing is going to be potentially dangerous to you or someone else, then I would make an exception to this thinking.

A perfect example of someone not listening to, or giving others credit for limiting what they could achieve is a young woman named Bella Tucker. Without going into the details of what happened to her, Bella at a young age lost the full use of all four of her limbs. Did this stop her from pursuing her dream to swim, ski, draw or apply to college? No, it didn’t, and she will be attending the University of Massachusetts in Boston in the fall of 2019. She will be entering their Nursing Program, and I can’t think of a person who would have more compassion and drive to become a nurse than Bella.

Bella had an incredible support system. Her Dad Richard Tucker was one of her biggest champions throughout the course of the time she was adjusting to her new life as a quadriplegic. I’m sure there were days when Bella and Rich wondered what her future would look like. I guarantee you that Rich never once told Bella she couldn’t accomplish anything she wanted to do. Imagine having someone like this in your life?

Obviously, Bella’s situation is an extreme situation, and she is certainly a person I admire and draw inspiration from. The point is, most people are not in Bella’s situation. Not even close. However, they chose to feel sorry for themselves and sometimes seemingly enjoy their own pity party. This does not serve them, or anyone else well, and here are some suggestions to make you realize it’s time to get out of your rut, and start living the life you deserve to live.

  • Commit to a date you will end feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Have three people you know write down 5-10 things they like and admire about you. You are not limited to three people, and the point is to begin to see yourself via the eyes of how others positively perceive you and your talents.
  • Change up your routine. Get up 15 minutes early and give yourself extra time to do anything constructive and positive (e.g., yoga, listen to classical music, take a quick walk outside, make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee).
  • Write down one thing you will accomplish each day. This can be a personal or professional accomplishment. Then, commit to making it happen.
  • Schedule time to meet with one person you know each week, for a minimum of one month. Spending time socially with others can do wonders for us mentally.
  • Challenge yourself to do something you have been putting off doing for a while, and then commit to accomplishing this item.
  • Set aside 1-2 hours a week to volunteer your time to an organization or person who could benefit from you helping them. When you help others, you will feel much better about yourself.
  • Consider talking to a nutritionist or researching how to improve your daily diet. You will feel much better when you eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Sugar is not your friend, but most vegetables are.

I wish I could tell you there is a perfect and magic solution for everyone, but this isn’t the case. Each person requires a different solution to their challenge of seeing themselves in a more positive light. The effort you put into helping either yourself, or someone else get out of their ‘rut’ will be worth it, as no one wants to be in one, or deserves to be there. The good news is that I know you will find a solution to your challenge. If you can’t, you know I’m a pro at helping people who are “stuck” in their rut.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195