Life interrupted.

I woke up this morning feeling different. Not because it’s my birthday tomorrow, but because our world feels different. Almost like everything feels like it is in slow motion, and much of it appearing surreal. It feels unsettling, especially since so much is unknown in terms of what lies ahead. Not just tomorrow, next week or even next year, but what the effects of everything will have on our society. Although the pandemonium is coming from a known source of the Corona Virus, its blanketing impact on so many areas of people’s lives is what has me concerned.

Dealing with the unknown has never been an issue for me. In fact, I’m very comfortable with change. I embrace it, and seek it out, and not being in control of everything has never been a challenge for me. I see my ability to deal with ambiguity as a strength, as it allows me to be adaptable. It also allows me to navigate and guide others who are less comfortable with change, and the unknown.

The way I look at the unknown is to see possibilities others do not have a lens on. I wouldn’t classify myself as a futurist by any stretch of the imagination, but what I do see is that the Corona Virus is potentially giving many people a gift.

What is the gift? The gift is to slow down. Or, perhaps hit the pause button, and to re-think what our true priorities are, while being able to have the time to focus on what matters. Of course, what matters to me may be entirely different from others. That’s the point. This is OK, as it shouldn’t and doesn’t have to matter to others what each of our priorities are. I’m also acknowledging that our priorities can and do change, particularly when we are faced with pending life and health uncertainties.

I’m an optimist, and as I expressed earlier, and yes, I see the Corona Virus causing pandemonium right now. However, in my experience when this happens; from a societal perspective, it can also be a catalyst to bring our divisive society together.

From my perspective, and to be clear, I’m referring to the global divisiveness we have been experiencing, but seen more closely to home in my own country of the United States. Although for the last decade it appears my country’s name suggests just the opposite of what I have been witnessing. My hope is that the Corona Virus may in fact help to bring us back together. To actually unite us again, and to unite us with the rest of the world in coming together while we are collectively working to figure out our “go forward” plan in the midst of the chaos that’s ensuing.

Although we have only been dealing with the Corona Virus for a relatively short period of time in the US, and our news sources could be characterized as providing mixed messaging on what we should collectively be doing, I’m personally going to focus on what I can positively have an impact on. Both for the benefit of me, my family, friends and people in my social and business network.

During this time of uncertainty, and if you are curious, below is what I will personally be doing to have an impact to help in my own way in the next few weeks or months:

  • Focusing intently on my family and making sure they remain healthy
  • Reaching out to friends and checking in on them to see what needs they have that I can help with
  • Leveraging social media to keep in touch responsibly with those I will not be able to interact with that are in the high-risk health category
  • Harnessing the power of the internet to be able to reach more people with my Wisdom Whisperer brand. Yes, this could appear to be self-serving, but my work is intended to be focused on helping and virtually mentoring others. For those of you who do not know this, I have a variety of channels I leverage to do this. They include writing (weekly blogging via MarketMeToo.net and MarketMeToo.blog, two books I have published – Wisdom Whisperer and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer), speaking at conferences and to students, broadcasting (e.g., via my show called “Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk” found on my YouTube Channel found by searching for Murf & E Unfiltered), and through workshops and speaking engagements. I don’t normally share this, but I am also a trusted advisor to numerous executives and highly influential people in multiple industries around the globe, who regularly rely upon my advice and guidance.
  • Continuing to do pro-bono Gallup StrengthsFinder Coaching work
  • Mentoring people, some of which I have been mentoring for over 20 years
  • Keeping my eyes open for opportunities to help others I do not know, but that I can potentially help in some way with my professional talents.

My birthday gift to you:

  • Starting today, on St Patrick’s Day, I will be providing people with access to my calendar on Tuesday’s for the next two months through May 17, 2020 (for free, and for 15 minutes) to have me listen to them, or to give them advice on both work and life topics they do not have a solution to. Here is a link to my on-line calendar: https://calendly.com/kathymurphy

As we move forward in the coming weeks, please do you part to remain healthy, and help others if and when you can. One more thing. Please try your best to be optimistic about the outcome of what you are experiencing, or going to experience in the coming months. Everyone will benefit from your optimism, even if you have to work really hard at seeing the “glass half full” in the scenarios you will be facing. In my case, the gift I am getting from the Corona Virus this weekend, is that I’ll be with all three of our kids who normally live elsewhere, yet will be home with me instead to celebrate my birthday. Being together is the best gift ever!

Be well everyone, and I look forward to engaging with you soon, and of course only “virtually” at this point in time.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who can you ask?

I’m a realist, and if you haven’t noticed, I write and talk about a variety of topics which others might not talk about, and perhaps ones you would rather avoid thinking about, or postpone for as long as possible. My perspective is that someone has to have their “big girl pants” on. This means covering subjects which are the equivalent of vegetables when you are a kid, versus the candy you might have preferred.

Have you learned it is better to face tough topics head on, than to run away from them? If not, I can tell you it is.  Yes, it is not easy to do this, but it beats the alternative of continuous avoidance. Are you guilty of this, or do you know someone who is? Where does that get you or them? Not far.

Although it might not have happened to you yet, there will come a time in your career when you are going to have to seek out a person who is going to be able to play the role of a trusted advisor. You might not have considered the need for this person to be in your life, but I highly encourage you to begin looking for and identifying them. Why? Because this person will be the life raft you will need to get you through a very difficult professional situation, or help you to navigate a decision which could alter the course of your career.

Do you have someone in mind who could play this role? If not, would you know how to go about determining who this person should be? Potentially it might be two people, but often it is one individual.

Let’s think about some of the characteristics we would want someone to have who is going to be our trusted advisor.

  • The no brainer part is they need to be trust worthy.
  • They need to have a proven record of being there for you when it really mattered. A parent or guardian often plays this role, but this person is someone in your professional sphere.
  • You should also have will have cultivated a relationship with them, and perhaps they already played an advisory role for you at some point.

Additional criterion for selecting your trusted advisor is:

  • Having excellent judgement, and a solid record of having made good decisions.
  • Being strategic, and having the ability to see the big picture, especially when it is critical for them to do so.
  • They are able to clearly communicate options for you to consider.
  • They need to be both supportive and realistic.
  • Understanding you well, and how you professionally operate will be helpful, as they will have better insight into the ramifications of your decision or scenario options.
  • Being ethically minded.
  • Operating from a place of looking out for your best interests.
  • Taking a long-range approach to decision making, versus a short-term gain.
  • Having experience with potentially the situation you are in is a bonus, as they will have clearer insight into how the outcome of your scenario could play out.

I remember hearing from one of the CEO’s I worked for about how he thought he had identified a group of trusted advisors. He found out he was wrong. In fact, he only had one. However, one was all he needed. His take away from this experience at first was shocking, and it occurred when the Board of Directors fired him. When he sought out advice from the people he thought were his trusted advisors about what his go forward plan should be, he had severely underestimated who he could count on.

How was this CEO so blind or caught off guard when he sought the advice he needed? Some of the reasons have to do with the criteria above not being factored in early enough, and prior to needing the trusted advisor to be in place.

Preparing to have your trusted advisor can also be compared to having a life insurance policy. No one really wants to have one, but it is the responsible thing to do, and you will not regret having one in place. You will regret not having your trusted advisor in place when you find yourself in need to consult with them. Don’t get caught off guard like the CEO I referenced.

Right now, you have the time now to invest in finding your trusted advisor. You will not regret having them in place when that day comes along when you will need to enlist their support.  I guarantee you this, and as we know, there are not many guarantees issued in life or business.

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 too defensive?

I guarantee you we can all name a few people in our family or that we work with, who would deserve to have the label ‘defensive’ placed on them. Potentially all the time, or in certain situations. People who are generally this way either do not realize they come across in this manner, or are working really hard at maintaining this type of character trait.

Being defensive takes a great deal of energy. It’s also the opposite of the positive type of energy which can be highly energizing and beneficial. When people are defensive, they are generally this way due to being either insecure about something, or from repetitive negative feedback.  In some situations, people who come across as being defensive are potentially conditioned to behave this way. Unfortunately, they seemingly do not know how to get beyond feeling or acting in this manner.

Dealing with defensive people and trying to get them to either be less defensive, or not defensive is like peeling back the layers of an onion. You need to be able to have a conversation with them about why they are being defensive. Doing this can take some finesse.

As you can imagine, a defensive person’s first response is that they are not being defensive. So, instead of asking them directly why they are being defensive, consider asking them other questions which get them to explain why they are taking the position they are – on the topic or situation.

Understanding why and where someone is coming from based on their opinion, is the first step to peeling back the onion layers. When people feel misunderstood, or are frustrated about not being able to impact a situation, they will often take a defensive position. Unless they were perhaps on a debate team, and have honed the skills to come across as being more diplomatic and less negative.

The second step to dealing with defensive people is to give them candid feedback on how their communication is coming across. They may not realize they are verbally and physically signaling their defensiveness. The classic body language of folded arms, and a potentially condescending voice tone, are a few of the defensive person’s signals. Another signal is that they may not be able to look at you when they are talking, or they may in fact come across looking enraged.

Finally, once you have arrived at the awareness phase of the person being defensive, you can now finally have a conversation with them on a neutral or level playing field.

No one wants to be defensive. Sometimes people unfairly become this way due to circumstances beyond their control. However, if you are their family member, friend, colleague or manager, you owe them the opportunity to learn how to tame their defensive posturing. Once they are able to acknowledge they are too defensive, they can then have a chance to work towards shedding their defensive label.

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 Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

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

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

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

“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

How travel provides you with more opportunities.

Not having had the opportunity to travel outside of New England until I was 20 certainly formulated my initial thinking about the rest of the world. I knew there were many things I could learn from travel. So, when I began my career search, I looked for positions that would allow me to travel. That was one of the best decisions I ever made, from many perspectives. Having had the opportunity to explore the world, primarily thanks to the companies for which I have worked, changed my life.

I appreciate the fact not all jobs come with the chance to travel, but if there is the slightest opportunity, do not let it pass.

If you have not done much traveling, you might want to start slowly, like I did, and not go too far away. However, simply taking one trip will introduce you to a whole new world and open your eyes to both the joys and some of the drawbacks of traveling. I believe there are many more advantages, so I do not focus one bit of attention or energy on any of the negatives.

So, what are some of the hidden advantages of traveling? Here is a list, gained from over 30 years of travel.

  • You will have an opportunity to see places far different from where you have been living. Although some of the differences are subtle, you will notice. Keep a list of your favorites – for example, soda vs. pop, or hoagies vs. subs or packies vs. liquor stores . . .. Keep your eyes open to see both the indirect differences, as well as the major ones.

 

  • No matter where you travel, you will have a chance to meet new people. My family will confirm that talking to people is one of my top five favorite things to do! This comes naturally to me, so you might have to make an effort, but please do. Decades later, I am still in contact with folks I have met from all over the globe.

 

  • Traveling to other parts of the United States, you will see that others live basically the same way you do, with some exceptions for extreme climates such as Alaska or Hawaii. Appreciating that others around the country have similar living challenges can be a uniting element, especially if you live in an area which is very homogeneous.

 

  • When you travel outside the U.S., you will have an opportunity to go through customs and the border of the country to which you are traveling. No two experiences in doing this have ever been the same for me. The people who work in customs take their job very seriously, and I’m happy they do. Recently I had the good fortune of traveling to Fiji. Going through Customs, I noticed numerous signs about how they do not allow you to bring in food to their country, which can potentially introduce harmful elements. I was traveling from Sydney, Australia where I had purchased some mixed nuts, which I packed in my suitcase. Luckily, I remembered they were in there and took them out, otherwise I would have been fined $400. The point is, pay attention to things you might not normally need to worry or think about when you are traveling, but this is also a respectful habit.

 

  • Make sure you take photos of the places you visit. “A traveler without observation,” said Persian poet Saadi, “is a bird without wings.” You will appreciate looking back on these images for years to come, and it makes it easier to show people what you saw. Be sure to date them, and add the names of people you just met, contact info, or perhaps their business card.  If there is really a strong connection, that could lead to business, be sure to send a “It was nice to meet you” note when you return home.

 

  • If you have not done much traveling outside of the U.S., when you do, one of the things you will notice is the different regional customs in each of the countries you visit. One of the software companies I worked for trained me to learn about the customs of the people in the places to which I was traveling. For example, in Japan, silence really is golden and valued over an overabundance of talk. It is easy to learn what the proper manners are prior to visiting a country. If you’re traveling on business, making connections in a foreign country is critical. Observing another culture’s etiquette opens doors to more successful communications.

 

  • We know that other countries may do basic things differently. This could include their own currency, driving on the opposite side of the road, or even unique living arrangements. Whenever I have a chance, I make a point of going to the supermarket or convenience store to see how different items are displayed. I also take a look at the packaging of items, which is often unique. Seeing common things in a different way is part of what makes traveling fun.

 

  • I only speak English, but I can understand both French and Spanish when it is spoken slowly. When you travel outside of the U.S., and especially to Europe, prepare to be surprised by how many different languages other people are able to speak. The fact that most do not natively speak English but can carry on a full and intelligible conversation, never ceases to amaze.

 

  • Every time I travel, I am pleased with how genuinely nice people are. There are certain countries that are known for, and take pride in being kind, and they sure do live up to their reputation. Getting out of the region in which you live can open your mind to the fact that most people are decent human beings.

 

  • Do not shy away from any opportunity you have to travel. Be prepared to see the world through an entirely new lens. Seek out as many travel opportunities as you can, even if you have to pay for them yourself. However, look for opportunities in your role which would afford you the chance as part of your job. It is one of the best investments you can make. A well-traveled person is fascinating, has created an international circle of friends, and is able to tap into many more resources than one who stays put.

So, where is your next trip? Perhaps I’ll see you there.

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 Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

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

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

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

“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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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