Different is not bad.

When you think about it, who is really not different? The truth is we are all unique, and that’s what makes our lives so interesting. Sure, there are times when conformity might have its place, but my opinion is that this is a lower percentage of time for it to be required. In fact, during times when people haven’t complied with conformity is when most of our inventions have been created, or pharmaceutical remedies produced.

The phrase “thinking outside of the box” is one of the concepts related to being different. When the expression is stated, it’s a direct request to ask people to not conform. My professional expertise before I pivoted my career focus had been in marketing, and the majority of the time in my former profession I spent thinking about how not to conform. In fact, I was always challenging myself and my teams with what we could do differently that would make a positive impact on the business. I loved thinking and working this way, and for me, this was incredibly satisfying.

Fortunately, the profession I spent the first two decades of my life in supported thinking differently, and was embraced and encouraged. My early and informal training as a marketing professional took shape in how I expressed myself with the clothing I wore. This was much to my Mom’s dismay, as she saw me walk out the door each day, even in elementary school with the most colorful and non-matching items I could find. I used to challenge myself with how creative I could become over time with my unique outfits.

When I was in high school, brightly colored clothing and accessories were not the norm. However, I happened to be ahead of my time from a fashion sense, as I was on the early side of what became known as the “preppy-look”. I loved this look, and embraced it with over the top ways of adding to experimenting with how I would put items together in what I referred to as my “collection”. Surprisingly you would have thought heading into fashion would have appealed to me. It did, and it didn’t. I loved the design aspect, but not the business part of it.

Both my Grandfather and Dad worked for a company that no longer exists, Polaroid. When I think back about how them working there influenced me, it did so by having me embrace being different as a good thing.  As I was thinking about what contributed to this, the simple explanation is that I was probably photographed more as a child than most people in their entire life. The reason for this had to do with the fact that both my Grandfather and Dad were testing their products on me. My Grandfather was inventing cameras and film, and my Dad was buying the materials to make them. Part of their jobs, especially my Grandfather was to experiment with the cameras and films to see which ones could be marketed.

So, having to see myself in photos for years and not feel judged by the way I looked was truly freeing. It also contributed to giving me the confidence as a young person, to know how I looked, and to embrace it without any self or others judgement. Little did I know at the time how this would lead me into my first career, and then the one I am presently in.

With the profession I am currently in, it satisfies my need for embracing being different perfectly. Why? Because I understand the statistics that coming across someone who might be similar to me has the odds of 1 and 33 million. I love this, as it fully supports my thinking about how important being different is, and that it’s not a bad thing. In fact, one of the things I like most about the fact people are all so unique, is how to teach them to embrace and fully capitalize on understanding their talents.

Part of my professional work includes teaching people how to have a new language for how to express who they truly are to others. More importantly, when someone tries to use anther persons talents against them, I help that individual know how to explain that in fact what they are being criticized for, is in fact a strength of theirs. A strength that is perhaps misunderstood, misinterpreted or mis-applied where it should be. Has this ever happened to you?

Having confidence can play a big role in how comfortable people are with being different. The more confident people are, the easier it is for them to express themselves without being concerned about what other people think. It’s incredibly freeing when you have confidence, especially an abundance of it. When you do, or even if you have a small amount, being able to embrace either being different, or your differences to others can provide you with a sense of satisfaction I hope you have felt, or will feel in your life.

Tags: 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

 

 

Coaching isn’t therapy. It’s people product development.

I was thinking about how to simply describe what I do professionally recently. In the simplest form, I would tell you that I am a “People Farmer”. Yes, this may sound odd, but since I love analogies, this one really resonated with me. Why? Because like people, farming is complex and multi-dimensional.

Although I have not spoken directly to any farmers recently, I would imagine they take great pride in seeing their work come to life. I’m thinking mainly of farmers who plant and grow things. If you have ever planted something, you would likely agree with me that there is immense satisfaction in seeing something you grew from a seed, and then turn into something that takes on a completely different appearance.

When I think about the work I do with people, I have often considered taking a photo of them when I first start working with them, and then one after I have been coaching them for a while. Do you think they would see a difference in how they look? Actually, I do. As a matter of fact, I have a number of people and teams I have worked with that look far differently after I have been working with them. Although I am not a personal trainer who would have the benefit of seeing their client literally reshape their body, there are aspects of how people who are developed via coaching look differently. Hold onto this thought.

Consider someone you know who has lots of confidence. Do they project confidence in their photos? Most of the time I’m sure they do. How about people who are generally known to be happy? Can you tell from their photos whether they are having a really great day and are happy? Yes, most of the time, even if they have a more serious expression on their face.

My point is that with coaching, and like farming, there is equally great care and focus applied to the development of both. Like farming, the intention of coaching is to help develop what is being focused on to go beyond and become stronger and more capable than they are when coaching was initiated. Developing people takes time. As a coach, you need to be able to focus on finding multiple ways to draw and bring forth the talents of who you are coaching. It’s not easy, but in my humble opinion, it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can humanly have.

As a parent, I look at my role as both a care taker, as well as a coach. They are different roles, and both are critically important. For some, both roles come naturally, and I believe they both come naturally to me. It doesn’t mean I am the best parent in the world, it just means I thoroughly enjoy both roles immensely. In full disclosure, I rely solely upon my instincts to guide me in my roles versus having read countless books on each topic. I’m not saying I would not have benefitted from having read books on these topics, I’m simply acknowledging I did not feel the need to rely upon them.

We are now living in a time when more people are classifying themselves as Coaches. I think this is wonderful! As I have written about before, I strongly support the philosophy that we all need coaches and people to mentor us . Yes, these can in fact be quite different types of people, and they might also use different methods to work with us, but the end result is that we will benefit from working with each of them.

Do I have a Coach? I sure do. As a matter of fact, I have a handful of them at any point in time. Some of them are formal Coaches, but most are informal ones that I consult with periodically. All of my Coaches are different types, and I am constantly learning new ways from them to apply and enhance my development expertise to be applied to the people and teams (e.g., Sports and Work) I engage with.

If you or your team think having one Coach is enough, have you considered what it would be like to have a Coach who focuses solely on developing you and your talents differently? Perhaps in a way your current coach hasn’t been trained on how to do so? Please give this some thought. Also consider whether engaging with a Coach who focuses on developing you or your teams’ innate talents, with the goal of taking them from great to superior, would be of value to you or your team.

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

 

Your perspective. How it can change for the better, and quickly.

Anyone who knows me well, knows I’m an optimist, and sharing a world with others who let’s say are not always as positive. Is this challenging for me? Sometimes it is, and in fact I do need to avoid people whose personality favors being negative. They draw down my positive energy, and no one needs others to deplete their energy.

Due to the fact my perspective favors a sunny outlook, even during times when you wouldn’t expect this, I tend to look at the world via a different lens than most. One of my favorite things to do is to help others, see what I see. Doing this provides me with the opportunity to verbally and sometimes visually paint a different perspective for the person I am speaking with.

Generally, after I have helped someone to change their perspective, I’m always amazed at their reaction. So much so, that there have been times I wanted to video what they were telling me. There was one time in particular when I was in the process of helping to change someone’s perspective. The conversation involved a parent relating to a young person on their son’s sports team that I was working with. I was working with the entire team and the coaching staff too.

According to the parent I was speaking with, her perception of the young man I was discussing was vastly different than the perspective she and other parents had. The parent was commenting on some of this young man’s choices, and only had a one-dimensional perspective of who he was. They saw him as a troublemaker. I saw him very differently, and so did his teammates and head coach. The young men on this person’s team thought very highly of him, and of his lacrosse skills. He had high emotional intelligence, was funny and possessed a great deal of energy. Yes, sometimes his energy got him into trouble when it wasn’t constructively guided.

When I was describing the positive attributes of this young man to the parent who didn’t know him, but who had heard stories about him, they were shocked at what I was telling them. What did I tell this parent? I told them this young man had incredible potential as both a person and athlete, and if he was well guided, had a shot at playing lacrosse on a college team.  Can you picture the look of someone staring at you in disbelief? This is what I was looking at.

The best part was that the parent told me they had not heard anything positive about the young man. However, based on what I was sharing with them about him, they admitted could now figure out why their son liked him. They apologized to me for thinking this young man was a troublemaker, and not a good teammate. The best part of this conversation occurred next. It was when this person said they were going to be a public relations champion for this young man. What were they going to do? They were going to talk to and tell the other parents on the team about what they had heard from me.  Hearing this made my heart melt, and I had to hold back tears when I heard this.

It’s conversations like this one that make helping others change or alter their perspective for the better, and quickly that makes me know there is hope for those who you can’t imagine their perspective changing.

So, can you help others like I do to change their perspective? Yes, and here are some tips on how to do so.

  • Ask the person if they would consider changing their perspective. Chances are no one has asked them to do so.
  • Get the person to explain why they think the way they do. Often, they do not realize their thinking has been manipulated by others, and they found it easier to go along with what I call “group thinking” versus independent thinking.
  • If the person’s perspective is negative, or can hurt others emotionally, ask them if this is their intention?
  • If the person you are speaking with is open to changing their perspective, thank them for being open to doing so. It’s not always easy for people to do this, but when they change their mind and perspective in a positive way, everyone wins.

Granted not everyone will be open to changing their perspectives. However, it will be worth the effort of trying to get them to do so. Especially when the outcome can continue to help, as illustrated in my example above. Don’t give up if your first attempt doesn’t go the way you want it to. If you are passionate about changing someone’s perspective, it will be worth pursuing making this happen.

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

 

 

 

Reinventing yourself professionally. Do you need or want to do this?

At some point during your career, you will consider whether the career path you have chosen will be the one you will be on for the long haul. Statistically speaking, you really don’t need to worry too much about this, as most people will change their career direction up to 3-4 times. For some, this might seem impossible, but for others, the number might actually be higher.

The days of working at the same company your entire career are long over, and for me personally, this is a huge relief, as I can’t imagine still being at the same company I started my career. Although I do know one person who is still at that company close to thirty years later.

The majority of people like some change, many have a harder time embracing or seeking out change, especially when it comes to their career direction. If you were to ask ten people how they chose the career they are in, you are likely to hear ten very different reasons. However, the common thread will be that they were influenced by another person to head in that direction.

Based on the fact many people are highly influenced by another person to proceed and pursue a particular career, is one of the reasons why people end up going in another career direction. Having someone else heavily influence your career decision happens frequently, and the people who are doing the influencing have good intentions. Although, most of the influencers are not asking the person enough questions to truly help them to make an informed career direction decision.

So, if you were in a position to give someone advice, or if you need advice on how to reinvent yourself professionally, here are some questions and statements to consider before heading down your new path.

  • What do you spend the majority of your time thinking about which would make your professional direction more constructive and enjoyable?
  • If money were not a concern, what career would be ideal for you?
  • Think about when you were really young. What did you tell other people you wanted to “be” when you grew up? Sometimes our young self is wiser than we give it credit.
  • Have you realistically considered what it will take to change professions? Sometimes doing so might be less drastic than you think it will be.
  • Many of the skills you have acquired are likely highly transferrable to another type of profession or industry. Sometimes changing industries instead of changing careers is much easier to do.
  • Regardless of where you are in your career journey, you are never stuck. You only allow yourself to be mentally stuck.
  • If you have even the slightest interest in a different career or industry, find someone who is in it, and ask to talk to them about how they got into their industry. Or, ask them why they made the decision to pursue the type of work they are doing.
  • Is working for a company or in an industry that gives back to our society, or supports us having a better society important to you? Sometimes when we are misaligned with a company and what they stand for, finding a company you can align with mentally, emotionally and professionally can make an enormous positive difference in your career satisfaction.
  • There isn’t a magic formula for when is the best time to transform your career or self into a new direction. The process is generally a slower moving one, and it will almost feel like one day you are ready to begin the process of making your changes.
  • Planning your new career direction is advisable, and it will make it easier for you to think about the considerations you will need to take into account if your new career direction is going to be potentially disruptive, or requires you to take a cut in pay.
  • Remember, sometimes we have to take a step backwards to go forward. However, this is generally worth it. You will also be afforded an opportunity to learn more when you start at a place that will provide you with additional guidance from others who are more experienced.

When I made the decision to “pivot” my career, I did so over the course of a couple of years. Has it been worth making the decision to change my career path? It absolutely has, as I now feel like for the first time in my career I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. The best thing about the change I made was to see the difference I am making in other people’s lives, and careers based on the work I am doing to support them.

As some of you know, I refer to myself as a “people diamond polisher”.  I am enormously proud of the work I do. The results others get from my decision to pivot my career to focus my talent and attention on helping others, is enormously professionally rewarding.

My wish for you is that you arrive at the place I am professionally, and begin to understand what it feels like to be doing something which is authentically aligned with your talents.

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.