Are you a people judger?

Let’s go to your “wayback machine” and place yourself in kindergarten. This was a time in your life when you were less encumbered from making judgements about others, and were more accepting of the people you interacted with. How refreshing, especially if you consider the positive side and potential of everyone you interact with being your friend.

If you think about when you began to become discerning about who you were interacting with, and why, there are likely a few key interactions in your life which shaped your decisions. Unfortunately, some of them negatively influenced your ability to have an open mind. This is especially apparent when it comes to being aware and open to seeing the benefit of interacting with everyone on a neutral basis.

Right, wrong or indifferent, we are all judged on a regular basis by others, and by our own accounts on a daily basis. How we handle these judgements, and whether we let them impact us or others around us, is what separates us from having better and more fulfilling life experiences. Why? Because when we are always judging other people, we typically are not taking in all of the information to fairly do so. More importantly, no one is entitled to be judging others, but people do this all the time.

When people are judging other people, they are in essence defining the social barriers or opportunities that will be available to them. The more people judge others, and in a negative capacity, the fewer chances they will have to positively benefit from the extraordinary talents, insights and experiences from that person.

Not being judgmental requires us to be many things. One of them is open-minded. It’s easy to say you are an open-minded individual, but in reality, it is much harder to be one. In fact, for starters, if you don’t like to ask others questions, and truly listen to what they have to say, chances are you are not an open-minded person. Why? Because with limited information about someone, it is far easier to be judgmental about them.

Consider one of your recent encounters with someone you randomly met. Perhaps you were introduced to another person in a neutral setting. In this situation, neither of you knew much about the other person. This is a great time to test your ability to be open-minded, and to see what level of judgement you are casting on the new person. Or, to be able to gauge what your level of neutrality you are offering towards the person you are meeting.

In work environments, chances are you will be slightly less judgmental of people. This is due to the fact they have been vetted in some way to be associated with your company. However, when you meet them, you will likely put them through your own method of judging them, with the intent of quickly determining your future interaction levels with them. Even if you are going to be colleagues and will be required to work closely together, your initial judgement of someone will impact how well you will work together.

What if this initial meeting of a new colleague played out differently? What if you were open-minded to learning more about them, and took the time to understand who they are, what talents they have, and how to best interact with them? Would this set both of you up to have a far better working experience? Of course, it would. However, most people don’t set themselves up to initially experience this type of interaction success. Why? Because they are accustomed to being marginally judgmental based on years of being unaware of their actions.

If you are with me on supporting the philosophy that being open-minded, or at least striving to become more so, is something you want to be, below are some questions and factors to consider. They are intended to help you to learn and perhaps achieve becoming less or non-judgmental at some point.

  • Have you ever discussed how you became closed minded when it comes to interacting with new or current people you have in your life?
  • What are the factors causing you to be judgmental?
  • How aware are you on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest) of being judgmental?
  • Has being judgmental actually benefitted you professionally?
  • Think of a time when being judgmental backfired?
  • Are you willing to consider being less judgmental?
  • When you are judging others, are you doing so out of insecurity?
  • Think about a time you were open-minded and the results of the interaction?
  • If there was a way to become less or completely non-judgmental, would you want to be this way?
  • Think of someone you admire. Is one of their qualities being non-judgmental?
  • Do you think you have the capacity to be non-judgmental?

When you are able to interact with people in a non-judgmental way, consider yourself as being fortunate. Ultimately this is something as humans we owe to both ourselves and to others to strive to achieve being more accepting of other people. We may not achieve this, or all have this as a goal. However, I firmly believe our world would certainly be a much better place to live in, if we were even slightly all more open-minded towards others.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Would you be your own friend?

Consider the last time you gave yourself a pep talk. Did it actually help? How was the conversation? Was it actually useful, or did it lean towards being less constructive? Perhaps part of the conversation was focused on the negative aspects of your life? Would we allow a friend to talk to us the way we have these internal conversations? I hope not.

So, why do we allow what I refer to as the “negative friend” to infiltrate any of our conversations? In real life, we would probably not be friends with someone who talked to us this way, or at least our tolerance level wouldn’t permit us to spend much time with them.

I normally do not write about topics which have a negative tone. However, the reason I decided to write about this is to help influence and point out how people first need to recognize this is something they are doing. As you know, we can only fix things when we are aware there is a problem, and this is increasingly becoming a more common problem I am seeing that people are struggling with.

To address the challenge of helping people who are having negative internal conversations, I chose to write about how they can work towards reducing, and hopefully eliminating this behavior as their ultimate goal. Yes, I’m sure you know some people who seem to relish living in what I’ll call their constant “pity parties”, but it’s possible they are doing this without being aware of this tendency. Does this seem absurd? Potentially, but I guarantee you know at least one person who behaves this way.

How do people end up becoming the friend they would never pick? Numerous ways, including becoming accustomed to accepting this thinking as acceptable. It’s not, and it can be exhausting for both the person experiencing it, as well as others they have talked to about their thinking.

Like habits, if we are willing to first accept the challenge of breaking or starting a good habit, it will take time to do so. Potentially as long as six weeks, but it will be worth it.

Assuming you are up for the challenge of changing your internal negative self-talk, or helping someone who is, here are some ways to go about doing so.

  • Be honest with yourself about how often you beat yourself up mentally with your negative self-talk.
  • How long would you put up with an actual friend talking to you the way you talk to yourself?
  • When you catch yourself beginning to go down the negativity path, pause and think about why you are doing this?
  • Consider when you are caught up in your negative self-talking what you are actually accomplishing? Do you really think you deserve to be spoken that way?
  • Work on finding ways to improve your confidence. Literally in doing anything well, even as something as simple as taking care of your teeth better. We can all do this. After you have taken some extra time to care for your teeth, outwardly tell yourself how amazing it is that you are starting to take such great care of your dental hygiene.
  • Hearing ourselves talk positively out loud is equivalent to someone else giving you praise. Most humans will benefit from praise, even if it comes from ourselves.
  • Keep track and write down how often you are negatively interacting with yourself. You might be surprised in one hour how often this is happening. Remember, to change our behaviors, we have to be aware of them.
  • At the end of the day, review how many times you caught yourself being negative with your thoughts. Is there something going on in your life that is contributing to this happening so frequently?
  • Ask someone you trust whether they find themselves struggling with negative self-talk. You will be surprised how many people have this experience.
  • If after trying some of these suggestions for a couple of weeks and you are not experiencing a reduction in how often you are negatively talking to yourself, consider talking to a professional therapist or counselor to help you.

No one should have to feel like they are stuck with living with a personality or behaviors they wouldn’t tolerate from others treating them that way. Given all of the stress our global society is experiencing right now, the last thing we need to be dealing with is making our own lives more difficult to deal with. Not that you need permission, but you do have a choice to be happy, and I hope this is a choice you are able to and want to make. Stay healthy everyone, both physically and mentally.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

Investing in relationships. How’s your portfolio?

Not everyone feels the need to be continuously growing their network of relationships. For those who do, they understand that growing their relationships takes both effort and time. They are also willing to do what it takes to add value to their relationships.

What propels some people to feel compelled to continue developing the relationships they initiated? Perhaps it is a genuine desire to get to know others better. Or, possibly they gain satisfaction in learning more about the people in their lives. Possibly they have the motivation to do so for professional or personal gain? Regardless of whether it is one or more of these reasons, any investment someone makes in another individual is worth it.

Think about a time when someone you know personally or professionally took the time to help you. Even in the smallest way. Perhaps they were motivated to do this for reasons you didn’t understand or could explain, but they still proceeded. How did it feel when they helped you? Maybe you noticed right away, or possibly you haven’t considered the impact they had? It doesn’t matter, as anytime someone takes the time to do something productive and kind for another individual is meaningful, and it doesn’t have to be measured for it to count.

Here’s a question for you to think about. How much time each day, week or month do you invest in all of the relationships you have in your life? Do you consciously invest more time and effort in some of them more consistently? Or, do you haphazardly without a plan cultivate your relationships? Could you conceive of the benefits you would gain if you invested more time in even half of your relationships?

If you were willing to invest more time and attention in your relationships, what would it take for you to change your approach to how you engage with other people? Carving out more time would obviously be one of the factors, and many people would argue they don’t have enough time. I would challenge this thinking by saying we can always make more time to do anything we put our mind to. Or if we are motivated to do so.

Consider how you spend the majority of your time each day. Are there portions of your day where you could substitute investing in cultivating your relationships versus doing something else? Of course. However, we also know there are always trade-offs anytime we shift and do something different with our time. If you are negatively thinking about this, instead think about the benefits you will be further developing, and where you can take them.

So, if you want to grow your portfolio of relationships, here are some suggestions about how to begin doing so.

  • Social media is one of the easiest ways to engage with lots of people. From a professional approach, LinkedIn offers an extraordinary way to easily engage with the people in your network by way of their “message” feature. Take on the challenge of engaging with 5-10 people in your LinkedIn network on a daily basis for a week. Make it a meaningful message to increase your level or engagement, and be sure to follow through when someone responds back to you in a timely manner.
  • Let’s go old school for a moment. When was the last time you sent someone a card? One that perhaps already has a message written in it that says something like “Thinking of you.” Consider sending out some of these cards to people who you have not been in touch with for a while. I guarantee you will make their day. You can do the same thing for your business relationships, but swop out the messaging and relate it to a positive last experience you engaged with them.
  • Remember that device called your phone? Challenge yourself by starting at the beginning of your digital address book and start making calls to catch up with people. Even for just a few minutes. Chances are you will end up leaving voice mail messages, so consider what you want to say ahead of time to re-engage with this person. Perhaps that’s your message focus!
  • Sending texts are easy and most people respond to them in a timely manner. Apply the same concept as the one above, and see what happens to your relationship engagement level.
  • When was the last time you had a party? One for no reason at all? I’m guessing it’s been awhile. So, when we get past our pandemic restrictions, put yourself in high gear and start sending out your invitations.
  • I’ve written about the importance of scheduling regular coffee and lunch times into your schedule. Right now, we are limited to doing this virtually, but the good news is that more people are around to be able to do this now more than any other time!
  • Plan to do an activity that can include other people. Again, when we are able to do this. This can be fun to think about, and when it happens, creating memories of doing something with others is one of the most powerful relationship building investments you can make in each other.

Time is an investment we make in ourselves and others. Consider well how you use your time to develop your relationship portfolio, and start to see it grow with some of the tips you can easily apply above.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

 

Remaining relevant. Are you?

No one wants to be deemed irrelevant. Yet, as a concept, it seems to creep up on us when we realize that perhaps we need to tweak or make some adjustments to our area of expertise. Or, what I’ll refer to as our “game”.

You know when you are experiencing being at the top of your relevance game, and it’s a tremendous feeling. One that perhaps you wish you could bottle and tap into when you need it. However, it doesn’t work that way. So how in fact does it work? By remaining flexible and open to the fact that making adjustments, or fine tuning are necessary, not optional.

As an example, let’s consider athletes. Not your average backyard athletes, but the elite ones at the top of their “game”. They are continuously tweaking and perfecting; as close as possible, what they do well. In fact, they work at remaining relevant with their skills for as long as they possibly can. It takes dedication, focus and being open to suggestions on how to continuously improve. You need to be comfortable with constructive feedback and know how to apply it in order to ascend to the next level. Elite athletes excel at doing this.

Another category of professionals who have to maintain their relevancy are healthcare professionals. We depend on them to continue building upon their knowledge to take care of us, especially during the Corona-19 pandemic we are all living through.

A good friend of mine is a critical care nurse. Two weeks ago, she was re-training on how to use a ventilator, as she told me that there have been some aspects of this device that have changed since she was regularly using it. Literally the lives of people depend on her having relevant knowledge of how to use equipment to keep them alive.

My admiration is immense for my friend and all of the other healthcare professionals who are taking care of people, especially during this time period. We all know they are risking their lives to do this, and that they must maintain their care knowledge relevancy to do this. We count on them to do so, and fortunately they are delivering their expertise at the top of their games every day. Thank you for doing this, and for choosing to do so.

So, what is it that allows some people to retain their relevancy, while others either consciously or unconsciously let it slip away? Determination and dedication are two of these factors, and ones we easily with elite athletes and healthcare professionals. Are there other ways that if your profession does not deem it necessary for you to maintain your relevancy you can do so? Naturally this is a rhetorical question, and here are some suggestions for how to remain relevant.

  • If you are in a profession which requires you to maintain licenses’, consider yourself fortunate, as you have a built-in system of checks and balances to keep you focused on remaining relevant in your profession. Make sure to keep your licenses current.
  • A number of professions refer to their craft as a “practice”. Even if your profession doesn’t apply this terminology, make sure you think about what you are doing to consciously practice your skills, especially the ones you might not be using on a regular basis.
  • Challenge yourself to keep up with the trends in your industry. Some industries trends don’t change frequently, but there are other ones which will require you to devote time each week or month to learn about the trends impacting your industry. Many of which will allow you to remain relevant in your career.
  • Invest in your learning. This doesn’t mean you need to take out your credit card to do this, but it does mean to find ways to learn more about your craft (e.g., on-line, or through talking to others in your industry) about what new things they are doing to remain relevant.
  • Consider teaching others in your industry. Look for opportunities to talk about or show others how you do your work. Make sure you consider applying a “hands-on” aspect to your learning if it is a topic which lends itself to being able to do this. Showing someone how to do something and then allowing them to mimic this is a powerful way to teach others.
  • Ask other people what they are doing to remain relevant. I guarantee you they will offer you a few “golden nuggets” of advice that will be invaluable to maintaining your relevancy.
  • Set new standards for yourself on maintaining your relevancy. Do this by looking around and finding people in your same profession or area of expertise who are at the top of their game. Then set out to see what you can do to mimic aspects of what they are doing, keeping in mind that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Now that you are armed with new ways to maintain or regain your relevancy, what are you waiting for? Go out and make your relevancy something that becomes an integral part of who you are, and how you define yourself.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

 

 

Are you connecting with others? Are you sure?

You have likely heard the expression you have two ears and one month for a reason, and that you should use them proportionately. In other words, you should be listening more than you should be talking. However, this doesn’t seem to be a well understood concept for everyone.

At the heart of connecting with others is being able to listen, and to do this well. Yes, this seems overly simplistic, but in reality, it’s not. Truly listening and hearing what someone is saying takes focus and practice. Consider the last time you spoke with someone. Do you think they were intently paying attention to everything you were saying? Or, were they like most people, and only semi involved in the conversation and doing a lot of head nodding and saying “ungh-hungh”?

When it comes to connecting with other people, the ones who have mastered this are similar to a Swiss Army Knife. You know, the kind of knife that has lots of different tools on it which can be used in many different circumstances. The act of connecting with a person is not a single dimension activity. Although listening well is one of the components required to connect with someone, it’s only one of the actions involved with the process.

If you were to break down the visual process of being able to connect with other people, it likely wouldn’t be a straight-line diagram. In fact, it would probably look like a scatter gram plotted across a sheet of paper. It would contain many starts and stops, and multiple directions in the visual engagement plotted on paper prior to landing at an end point. The end point also might in fact be the actual starting point of the connection being made, or taken to a different level of connection.

Why does it look easy for people who are good at making connections with others? It’s because like a Swiss Army knife I referenced earlier, the person establishing the connection is skilled at leveraging all of the tools required to develop a human connection.

Can this be a skill that is taught? Yes, I believe it can be taught, but don’t expect it to be like a drive through window experience with instant gratification. The analogy I would use in terms of the time it takes to learn how to master connecting with others would be similar to taking on an apprenticeship in a trade skill such as electricity or plumbing. It’s going to take time to become a pro.

So, what are the things you or someone you know who wasn’t born with the innate skills of being able to establish meaningful connections with others can do to improve your skills in this area? Here are some ideas I have for you.

  • The next time you are talking to someone, pay attention to whether you are really, and I mean really listening to them. Actively listening is a skill which needs to be fostered and practiced.
  • While you are listening to the person you are speaking with, make sure you are asking them thoughtful questions which are on point, and not disruptive to the conversation.
  • Don’t try to change the subject you are talking about. Let the person speaking control where the conversation is headed and captain it. Remember to play the role of a co-captain during the conversation and to be supportive of what they are saying.
  • Connecting well with others also involves determining points of common interest you share. By asking the right questions, you can establish at least one item you have in common. Use this as a thread in your conversation to build upon to help further develop the connection.
  • Test your connection strength. If the person you are engaging with is only providing short, one-word answers and not conversing with you, the connection you have is weak. To strengthen the connection during your conversation, start asking the person questions about themselves. I have shared this tip before, and it’s almost foolproof to help you elongate the conversation. This will give you an opportunity to keep an otherwise dead-end conversation going.
  • Your body language can work against you when you are trying to connect with them. One of the best ways to increase a positive connection is to mirror the body language of the person you are speaking with. However, if they have their arms folded across their body while speaking with you, make sure your arms are down by your sides. Crossed arms are a sign the person is not open to establishing a conversation or connection with you.
  • Think of someone you know who is a “pro” connector. Listen and watch them in action. There is a great deal to learn from them.

As I mentioned earlier, developing your connection skills will take time. The sooner you start to work on either developing or improving them, the sooner you will start to experience the benefits of being a strong connector. Remember, most amazing “connectors” are natural at this, but everyone can become better at this skill. Be patient with yourself as you are developing your “connector” muscles. They will emerge at some point after you have invested time in developing them.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One