Know where to look for contentment?

When you look around, would you say that most people you know are happy? Or, are many of them suffering on a daily basis and silently miserable? It could be hard to tell unless you talk to them. Although, sometimes their body language gives them away.

Is it possible that people who are miserable are this way due to outside influences which they can easily ignore? Yes, I believe it is possible for them to do so, and so does my friend. Yet, unfortunately we know plenty of people who choose not to.

Are you battling daily with being miserable, or living or working with people who are? If so, the most important thing for them to understand is that they do have a choice to be happy. My Mother used to tell me this on a daily basis. Whether she did this knowingly, she engrained this into my thought process. I’m glad she did, as it is a foundational aspect to how I view the world daily.

When you pause to think about your attitude, it takes far less energy to be happy than it does to be miserable. Have you considered this? If not, perhaps you should.

We can easily get caught up in the daily grind and whirlwind of other people’s energy. Sometimes it’s good energy. When it’s not, this is when the challenge of rising above the negative noise from the outside world needs to be tamed. We also have to be aware of the fact the outside noise is impacting us. Not everyone seems to be tuned into this happening to them.  Or, that they can turn it off.

Those who are aware of outside influences impacting their peace and contentment tend to be more self-aware. Whether they have intentionally learned how to do this, or if it comes naturally to them, they have mastered the art of being present. Being truly present isn’t always easy to do. Even for those who are generally good at it.

So, who is good at being present? Most young children are great at this. If you watch them play, it is evident they experience joy. Joy is one of the outcomes of contentment and peace. Who else is good at understanding peace and contentment? This is possibly a deep philosophical question, and not one I normally talk about or write about. However, put to the challenge of doing so, I think I have an answer.

My answer is that knowing how to experience peace and contentment may not in fact be a sustainable emotion or state. In my opinion, it is something which we have to work on. I also think that it comes over us like waves lapping up against the shoreline.  We can enjoy the sensation of peace and contentment, but it appears to be a fleeting emotion. One that perhaps we seek or try to hold onto for as long as possible.

When we start off in life as young adults entering the “real world”, we don’t typically have much money or many possessions. By economical measurements we could be classified as poor. However, during this time period we are arguably more content and at peace with ourselves. Why? Because we appreciate the few material things we have, and the simple pleasures in life that don’t cost much money, yet bring us happiness and contentment. Examples would be walking on a bike path, or on a beach, hanging out with our family, friends and pets or perhaps doing something creative or kind for someone.

At the end of the day, or our life, finding peace and contentment has to come from within. Too often we make the mistake of looking for the satisfaction of these emotions to come from other people, or possessions.

Even if you don’t agree with me, do me a favor. What’s my favor? It is to consider whether you could take on looking inwards to potentially find the peace and happiness you have been seeking. Just maybe you will find it. I hope you do, and that everyone is able to feel a sense of contentment and peace in their life more often than they think is possible to do so.

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

 

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

(9) Reasons why people who use their manners get ahead in business

At the core of our best behavior are the fundamental manners we learned as children. Granted, some people may have been exposed to more manners than others, but most adults learned the basics, which include saying thank you, excusing yourself if you bump into or interrupt someone, holding a door, shaking someone’s hand and looking them straight in the eye. These are some of the absolute foundational manners, and although they are still put to use every day, not everyone is applying them as often as they should.

One of the most common offenses is not saying thank you to someone who did something for you. It could be as simple as handing you a piece of paper, paying you a compliment, taking time to explain something, or pressing the elevator button for your floor. Acknowledging another person’s act should always be a reason for thanking them. So, why do so many people you interact with in business or outside of work seem to have hit pause on their manners?

Not applying your manners can actually work against you. In fact, even if you are a good person and kind to others, if you do not apply your manners on a regular basis, you will be considered less often for future opportunities. This could potentially put your future upward career movements in jeopardy. I know this from years of working with, mentoring, and witnessing those who did not apply their manners in each and every situation and seeing the negative outcome.

Here are nine outcomes for those who exercise their manners on a regular basis:

  1. People who consistently use good manners are considered to be more thoughtful and aware of others.

 

  1. Using your manners on a regular basis provides the perception or proof that you have learned how to appropriately conduct yourself in numerous scenarios. This could lead to others wanting to include you in opportunities you might not be considered for if you do not have manners.

 

  1. Those who apply their manners all the time are perceived as being more emotionally intelligent.

 

  1. More people want to interact with those who have manners, as they appear to be more even-tempered and pleasant to be around.

 

  1. Even if you were not born with the proverbial silver spoon in your mouth, as long as you exercise basic manners, people will give you more of a chance to interact with them, right from the start.

 

  1. People with manners tend to get introduced to more people. Making new connections will indirectly provide you with additional opportunities.

 

  1. A hand-written thank you note, especially in the age of digital communication, really stands out, and is appreciated by the recipient. Writing a thank you note also demonstrates your ability to communicate well, and expresses a sincere appreciation of the other person’s time or an act of kindness. I used to dislike writing thank you notes when I was growing up, but I got in the practice of doing so. I have found people are enormously appreciative of this gesture of applying your manners and thanking them.

 

  1. I have spoken to hundreds of people who have expressed their dislike of someone, namely because they were rude, and did not seem to have or utilize any of their manners. This was especially true of people who did not say thank you. However, they would never tell the person they dislike them because of their lack of manners.  Just imagine how many more people might get along if they simply utilized their manners?

 

  1. Want to know the 25 manners kids should learn by the age of 10? Check out a Parents’ magazine article written by David Lowry, Ph.D. Are they on your list? Have you mastered them?

If you happened to grow up in a family that did not teach you manners, or you missed any manner-related lessons being taught in elementary school, there is still time to learn basic manners, and start applying them. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely, as the examples I cited above are real.  Wouldn’t you rather be on the receiving end associated with the benefits those who exercise their manners on a daily basis enjoy? In case you are wondering, this is a rhetorical question.

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

Have you or your team reached your full potential yet?

It’s easy to talk about reaching your potential. However, does anyone really have a roadmap, or is there actually one that exists to help you or your team achieve its maximum potential? Or, once you reach your or a team’s potential, is it possible to maintain this potential?

These are all really difficult and profound questions to consider, let alone answer. In terms of having a roadmap, yes, it is possible to have one, especially if you intend to get to where you desire to be. Potential can be a subjective concept, and depending on what you are measuring, your measurement criteria may or may not be accurate.

Some potential is more elusive and difficult to quantify. For example, people who are considered friendly and able to converse with anyone may have potential to have a career in sales. For those of you in sales, you know there are varying degrees of being a good conversationalist, and it might not have anything to do with being friendly. So, if you were in a position to judge someone’s potential about whether they would be successful in sales, you would likely need to factor in other criteria to help you.

Measuring potential is not a single dimension exercise. When you factor in assessing more than one person’s potential and are asked to determine an entire team’s collective potential, this becomes much more challenging to do. However, I have found it is possible to do this type of measurement. In addition to leveraging the Gallup StrengthsFinder Survey to determine each team members Top 5 strengths, there are a number of other criteria I overlay to help me.

Here are some of the criteria I apply to help me determine both an individual, as well as a team’s success potential.

  • You need to assess the motivation level of each person on the team. This can be achieved by asking them a series of questions which will reveal what their current motivation level is, and what level they have the capacity to get to.
  • Different from assessing someone’s motivation level, is determining what motivates them. You might be surprised by the variety of answers, and they are not all driven by tangible things you might expect to hear them tell you.
  • Each person has a different definition of what success means. When you find out what theirs is, it can provide clear insight into what their potential level is.
  • Find out what the team leader is doing to serve as a role model to help inspire and motivate their team to reach each of their potentials, as well as for the collective team potential.
  • Asking someone to visualize and then describe their vision of reaching their potential isn’t something most people are asked, especially in the workplace. This is more commonly asked in the sports team industry. However, it is a powerful method for both the individual as well as their leader to have insight into how the person perceives what their potential can look like.

There are numerous other methods I apply when I am helping leaders and teams help to assess people’s potential. All of the suggestions above can be applied to any industry, profession or career level.

In terms of addressing whether it is possible to sustain potential, my take on this is that it tends to vary. However, a high level of potential can be both achieved and maintained given the right circumstances to foster and nurture an individual or team’s potential. Consider whether you are a guardian of others potential, or detracting from it.

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.

 

 

Hope. Sometimes it’s all you need.

Upon doing some research on the concept of hope, I surprisingly found a limited amount of data on this topic. There was a significant amount of research on optimism, and hope and optimism could in fact be strongly linked to one another. However, they are in fact different. Part of the reason for this is because it has been harder for both sociologists and psychologists to do research on hope as a stand-alone concept. Additionally, it is hard to qualitatively and quantatively measure.

In the context of a business scenario, whenever I heard the expression that hope is not a strategy, I always disagreed with this statement. Why? Because although strategy is grounded in looking ahead and formulating a plan of how to move ahead and grow, in my opinion, and from my experience, the basic concept of hope is also formulated and can be applied in a similar way.

Having a strategy does not necessarily provide you with energy and enthusiasm. It can provide you with a focus and direction. However, this needs to be supported by energy which can be derived from being hopeful the strategy is a sound and strong one. One of course, with the desire to provide a positive outcome.

Possessing the right experience is also part of the equation when we are talking about strategy. However, hope still plays a factor in your strategy, because you need people to buy into the concept of the strategy. Analytical data will be required to support your strategic plan, but you still need people to believe, and buy into your concept. Hence, being hopeful they will.

One of my past articles talks about having a positive attitude, and asks you to consider altering your thinking and imagining that everything will work out well . Yes, in my opinion positive thinking is involved in having hope. Some others might call this faith. However, I’m not going to get into the aspects of faith, as it can be interpreted in so many different ways.

When I think of having hope towards a situation working out favorably, I literally feel like my brain chemistry changes. I also am aware that my attitude frees up my brain to focus my mind differently. In a much more creative and insightful way. An example of this would be the concept of brainstorming. Brainstorming in the sense of being challenged with a scenario, and having to come up with solutions for how to solve the situation.

Let’s consider some ways you can apply being hopeful to any situation. Perhaps one you are facing which might be considered negative, or less than desirable.

  • If you are on a sports team, and your team is losing the game, when you and the rest of your team are hopeful your team can win, you will notice a dramatic shift if everyone rally’s behind the belief this can happen.
  • Let’s say you are a salesperson, and you are not making your number for the month. Having hope and thinking both strategically and positively, versus giving up and accepting you will not meet your number for the month requires a healthy dose of hope.
  • When you are faced with hearing bad news of any kind, you have a choice. You can accept the bad news and wallow in it, or have hope that the bad news might in fact be the catalyst to have you consider different approaches to altering the outcome of the news.
  • Asking others to be hopeful for you may not seem practical or something you would consider. However, when you surround yourself with more positive thinking people, it can have a dramatic impact on your situation. I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times.
  • Life is a journey, and is hard if not impossible to predict all of your life and business outcomes with 100% certainty. However, you can be more hopeful with your attitude, which takes less energy than being negative about future outcomes.

Since there is no such thing as a crystal ball to predict our futures, my point about considering hope as part of your life or business strategy, is to get you to think about a concept which you might not be comfortable with. The flip side is that hope may in fact provide you with the positive outcomes you would want to achieve. Having hope is a choice, and a fairly easy one to embrace. My hope is that you give this concept some further thought.

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