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

 

 

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

 

Need a crystal ball?

Many people right now are more focused on the future than they have been. For some, the future always seemed to present a clear path forward. However, right now, we are living at a time when at best, our current future is in a state of limbo, or perhaps as clear as mud.

Uncertainty can evoke a heightened sense of anxiety, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, the present time with our future outlook in the state it is presents us with an opportunity. An opportunity to reframe, reconsider and reimagine how we would like our future to be shaped. The fact most people in the US are in some form quarantine right now, allows us to have contemplative time we do not ordinarily have.

I have always been fascinated with people who are classified as futurists, as they mesmerize me with the way they describe the “what if” or “what could be” happening in the future.  I’m not a futurist, but have been often classified as a “creative” or “muse”. Coming from a lineage of inventors and creatives in my family, I am using the downtime I have now to retool a number of things in my life. I consider this time a great gift, and one that I encourage others to perceive as well.

Yes, many people right now are clearly suffering. Statistically around twenty-five percent of our country has lost their job. Neither of these are experiences people normally want to have. However, having a different perspective on what is happening to all of us collectively right now, as a society is one of the gifts this time period is bestowing upon us.

It’s easy to be negative during times of despair. However, this is precisely the time when we all need to dig a little deeper, with the intent of finding the “silver lining” we can all benefit from seeing.

If you are struggling to imagine how your life could be better right now, given the fact you might be in a situation you never imagined being in, here are some suggestions on how to take back some control in your life.

  • Although most of us are not allowed to go anywhere except for the grocery store and pharmacy, it doesn’t mean we can’t go anywhere. Or, perhaps not physically. However, it does mean if you have internet access, there are amazing websites that offer ways for you to experience virtually what they have to offer. As an example, here is a link to twelve virtual museum tours.
  • I don’t have any musical talent, but many people do. If you do, consider sharing your gift of being musical with others by inviting them to a virtual “concert”. Starring you! Don’t forget to invite me please.
  • A number of people have talents that lend themselves well to sharing with others (e.g., drawing, painting, DJing, cooking, sewing, code writing, wood working, sculpting, physical fitness instruction, repairing things). This list could be an enormous one, so I’m asking you to consider how you can share your talents with others. Although I don’t consider my writing to be a special talent, I do consider it something I can at least share with others.
  • Many people are living alone right now. Consider giving them a call, or perhaps Zooming with them for a virtual chat to engage with them socially. Both parties will gain enormous benefit from this. Make a list of people you can queue up with each week to do this, and consider doing this even when we are not quarantined.
  • If you are someone who has been called a “futurist”, consider sharing your outlook with the rest of us who would love to hear about how you are perceiving our future to be shaping up.
  • If you are not an organized person, this is the perfect time to take back some control in your life. I literally started with the top drawer in my bedroom dresser. I liked the results so much, that I continued to organize the rest of my drawers. Now I love opening up the drawers and seeing how organized everything looks!
  • Reach out to people on LinkedIn, or in any of your social networks that you have always wanted to reach out to. It could be for the purposes of learning more about the career they are in, or to plant the seed to connect again with them once our world gets back to our “new normal”, and we are all back at work.
  • Although you may have lost your job, there are still many people who are working. Ask them how you can help them and offer to do something for them with the extra time you have, especially people working on the “front lines” of our pandemic. It could be offering to go shopping for them, walk their dog or make something for them.
  • Think about your future differently. You have the time to do that right now. Write down, draw or talk to someone about how you would like to reshape or head the direction of your future in. You have nothing to lose doing this, and possibly everything to gain.
  • Take time to let others in your life know that you appreciate them. Write them a note, tell them, send them a video expressing how you feel positively about them. Yes, they will appreciate you doing this, and you could start a positive chain reaction and be the example for others to do this too.

We can all use a dose of positivity in our lives right now. Despite the fact many people’s circumstances may appear to be bleak, I can assure you this situation is only temporary, and we will at some point be back to a place where this time is a distant memory. Make the best use of the time you have right now. I know I’m trying to do so, so please join me in doing that too.

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