What if it all works out? (7) Ways to make this happen.

Maybe it’s just me. I don’t think it is, and too many others have told me they first start with thinking about all of the reasons their plan, project, idea or dreams will not work out. Sure, there is deep psychology behind this type of thinking to explain why this happens, but what if we could change this narrative in our minds and put our mind only on the positive thinking track?

Even though my number one strength is positivity, I’ll admit to sometimes not automatically deferring to this type of thinking. At least not all of the time. However, I can generally talk myself out of going down the negative track, and quickly get back to positive thinking. You can too, and it is really important to be able to do this, as everything in your life and the work you do will be much more satisfying when you adopt this approach to thinking.

Backtracking for just a moment, think about how different your day would be if you always thought everything was going to work out in a positive way? I can’t imagine someone not wanting to sign-up for this. Well maybe a few people, and you know who you are. For the majority of people who would enjoy transforming their way of thinking to be in alignment with everything working out, let’s take a look at how to make this possible.

I’ll walk you through what I recommend as ways you can course correct when the negative talk pops up in your brain. The intent is to have you be able to override this channel, and get back to focusing on your positive outcome.

  1. Your negative thinking is just that. Negative thinking. It’s not real, and you have to remind yourself it isn’t.
  2. Everyone wants to achieve some form of success, or have as many positive outcomes as possible. If you switch your thinking to having a mindset that everything will all work out positively. Guess what? The odds are greater than 50% they will.
  3. Do you believe you deserve to fail? Of course, you don’t. Change your inner minds narrative to thinking you deserve to win or have a positive outcome, and watch what can happen. It’s truly incredible what you will experience.
  4. Enlist a trusted friend, partner, colleague or someone to help you by talking positive outcomes through with them. Hearing yourself express a positive outcome to someone helps to reinforce this thinking, and the outcome.
  5. Make a list of the things you want to have workout well. Do you have ways to influence the positive outcome beyond just thinking you want the outcome to be this way?
  6. If your list has items on it which you can help to positively influence the outcome to be in your favor, are you committed to doing what you will need to do to make this happen?
  7. Think through a couple of scenarios when the outcome didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Did you expect to have a negative outcome? There is a high probability you did. Is there something you can do to change the outcome you didn’t want? Potentially there is, and one of them is to come up with your Plan B to alter the outcome to be in your favor.

One of my articles was about Daydreaming, and there are a lot of sound reasons we should all be doing more of this. Daydreaming aligns well with positive thinking, as we tend not to daydream about negative situations or outcomes. So, when you need to warm-up your positive thinking to allow your brain to wrap around providing you with more positive outcomes, start with daydreaming how it will all work out in your favor.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarketMe Too has expertise in uniting and bridging teams. This provides organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results. 

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339)987-0195.T

Why Do People Micromanage Others? Do you?

Here’s the thing. Most people who micromanage others do not realize they are doing this. They also tend to manage this way for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is because they have not had strong examples and role models who would have shown them via examples of how to actually manage people well. Another reason people micromanage others is because they are not confident in their own abilities, and this lack of confidence manifests itself in how they treat and manage them.

Lack of trust is also a reason people micromanage those who work for them. Establishing trust is something we know takes time, and unfortunately even with a fair amount of time working for a manager who has micromanagement tendencies, will not change their behavior. So, what are you supposed to do when you work for someone like this? I’m going to assume this management style does what I refer to as rub your fur the wrong way each day.

The first thing I can tell you is that most micromanagers can change, although if you are working for one, it might be hard to imagine this. Generally, the first approach I take when I come across someone who is a micromanager, is to ask them the following questions:

  • How would you describe your management style?
  • What type of communication style is your preference for interacting with me and the rest of the team?
  • What provides you with a sense of comfort in terms of reporting on results of projects or tasks being worked on (e.g., verbal, visual, both)?
  • How much autonomy are you comfortable with giving me on all of my projects on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the most comfortable)?
  • What does it take to earn your trust on being able to work independently?
  • What level of involvement (e.g., hands-on, hands-off) do you prefer to have as it relates to the work your direct reports are doing?
  • Describe your ideal management style.  

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can then start to better understand why and how this person manages the way they do. However, if you are unsure about how to go about indirectly helping them to change their management style to one which better suits you –  and no, I do not think a micromanagement style suits anyone, here are some options to consider pursuing.

  • If you think you can reduce the micromanagement level of your boss by better understanding why they manage the way they do, you might be able to continue working for them.
  • Altering a person’s management style is a complex thing to do, and they have to first recognize this style is not ideal, and want to consciously change and not manage this way. If you can get them to recognize they are a micromanager by talking to them about the style of management which best suits you, you might have a shot at getting them to reconsider and work on changing their current style.
  • People in general do not like change, so the chances of someone altering their micromanagement work style is going to take both time and patience. It will also take having this manager learn alternative ways of managing, and this will take coaching and mentoring from others who are not micromanagers.

So, how do you know if you are a micromanager? 

  • People do not tend to work for you very long.
  • Your team does not seem to be as engaged or productive as other teams.
  • Direct reports do not often seek your advice.
  • People who report to you often appear to be frustrated.
  • Your management peers do not engage with you as much as they do with other managers.
  • You have not received many promotions, or opportunities for growth at your present or prior companies.

We all would agree that being or working for a micromanager is not ideal, yet there are many people who fall into both of these categories. If you recognize you are, or have tendencies of being a micromanager, this is a good thing. Why? Because a person can only change when they first recognize these management traits, and then realize they are not ideal. Seeking guidance on how to change your management style is highly recommended, as no one wants to be a micromanager, or work for someone who is one. Please ask for help. Getting help could save and alter your career in a really positive way.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief PerformanceStrategist and CEO of Market Me Too. MarketMe Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called WisdomWhisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

If you want better results with what you are doing, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen atkathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.T

Progress – Are you making some?

Sometimes you can recognize progress. Usually, though, it takes much longer to see or experience any type of forward motion. There are many ways to measure progress. In the high technology marketing world I have lived in almost my entire career, just about everything I have worked on had some type of measurement tool available. This became normal to me, but not every job has this high level of what I refer to as disciplined scrutiny.

Feeling like you are under the microscope every day can be exhausting, and more stressful than I care to think about. Although it can take its toll, especially if you don’t know how to inject a sense of counter balance into the mix, being professionally trained to make progress on a daily basis does have benefits.

Let me tell you about a friend who was also a former client – I helped her to produce her first Jazz CD. For most of our lives, she has been the complete opposite of me in almost everything we each did, professionally. When I would give her marketing, branding, or business advice, she either did not listen to my suggestions, or she would do the exact opposite.

As you can imagine for someone who is used to making daily progress, working with her at times was incredibly frustrating, but I knew what we were working on would pay off one day. I just didn’t know how long it would take. Fast forward almost 20 years. As we reconnected, she reminded me how I used to tell her, “I know the person who can accomplish doing what we are talking about is hiding in you, and will someday make their debut.”

Well this day arrived, and for the first time I witnessed an example of progress being made as I watched her giving a voice lesson to a promising future Broadway singer. Teaching voice lessons and getting paid to do so has always been something my friend wanted to do, and she was doing this right in front of me.

The next example of progress I saw from my friend occurred as she was skeptically listening to financial advice. I later learned that she took the next step and scheduled a time to review and put into action the financial advice given to her.  She was listening!

This woman had always wanted to make a living from her ability to sing. After more than two and a half decades of pursuing this dream, it is now a reality. Seeing this type of progress is something that took far longer than I imagined, but it did happen. The best part is that the progress my friend is now making is at an exponentially swift pace. She now has perspective on what it means to achieve the kind of progress she has made.

My friend has always believed in her ability to be able to make a living from her natural gift, but the most gratifying part is seeing her now be able to make longer-term decisions, including living in an artist’s loft in New York City. The most remarkable part of where she lives today, is that she only came across this space after she lost her last apartment and everything in it to a building fire. Luckily, she and her dog were out walking when the fire occurred, and no one was hurt.

How progress is measured depends on the type of work you are doing, and can be subjective to measure depending on what it is you are trying to quantify. My profession is a creative, strategic and heavily people-oriented one, designed to have a positive influence on people. The measurements are unique to the work I do. The point is that even a small amount of progress can be beneficial.

Sometimes it is important to take time to celebrate our small progress wins, as over time they accumulate and can produce amazing results. My friend is a great illustration. I hope you will soon have your own examples of progress you can appreciate and be proud of.

This story is dedicated to my long-time friend, Ellen O’Brien, who also happens to be an incredibly talented Jazz and near future Broadway singer. Listen to some of her songs at www.ellenobrien.com

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

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, producing repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally.

 

 

Post acquisition hangover? There’s a cure.

When I was talking to my daughter about writing about this topic, she asked me if I was familiar with a concept she recently learned in business school called Post Merger Syndrome (PMS). What an appropriate acronym. I had not heard about this, but I sure have lived through it. Generally, when I am writing about a topic, I tend to do some minor research on the subject, but only minor research, as I do not want to be significantly influenced by other people’s thinking on the topic.

Since I have worked at more than a dozen companies during my career, I have had the fortune of experiencing just about every aspect of the acquisition process. At one company I was at, I was on the executive team which was responsible for integrating acquired companies into the culture of the company. Since the company was on an acquisition spree, there were times I was working with 2-3 new companies and helping them to comfortably fold into being part of the acquiring company. As you might imagine, culture plays an enormous role in the success of blending companies, and I have written about the importance of having a strong company culture .

I’m often asked to comment on what is the most difficult aspect of the acquisition process. Hands down, I can tell you it is the post acquisition phase. Going through the acquisition phase is exhausting, and sometimes feels like it is never going to end, and often it does, but not because the acquisition went through, but because the acquisition did not come to fruition and go through the process successfully. There are so many factors which can stall out, or derail an acquisition, so the fact they do go through is sometimes just short of a small miracle.

Post any acquisition I have been through, there is both a huge sense of relieve, but also a sense of what I would refer to as a feeling like the air was let out of your balloon. Let’s face it, not everyone monetarily gains from going through the acquisition process, and yet there are many people who worked really long and arduous hours to make the deal happen. Then when the deal goes through, it’s back to reality, and going back to perhaps the flow of its just a job kind of feeling.

So, is it possible to either not experience a post acquisition hangover, or feel better post the acquisition than you did before the whole experience occurred? Sure it is, but there are some realities you need to be aware of to help you navigate through this. Here are my tips on how to either avoid your post acquisition hangover, or find the post acquisition remedy you might be looking for.

  • Post the acquisition, make sure you make time to personally celebrate the accomplishment. I’m talking about doing this alone, and taking time to be retrospective about everything you just went through to be part of making this process happen.
  • Doing a post mortem on the experience with the team involved with the acquisition process is critical. There are so many lessons which will be too easily forgotten or dismissed as lessons you learned, and which can help you to make the post acquisition process less taxing on you both mentally and physically.
  • Mentally and physically you need to build in time to take time to wind down from the acquisition Too many people I have seen have made the mistake of not doing this, and they do not last too long after the acquisition takes place in either the role they played, or the new one they took on. If you utilize the analogy of exercising, think of how it is just as important to warm-up as it is to cool down. This is essentially the same concept. Skip one of these, and you know what can happen.
  • Career and project based opportunities from the acquisition will be prevalent for those who are savvy enough to see them. Keep your eyes open for them, and don’t be shy about letting others know you want to leverage the opportunities which can work in your favor. Just be sure to clearly articulate how both parties can benefit from the opportunities you are capitalizing on.
  • Get to know and understand the culture of the team you either acquired, or were acquired by. It is critical to do this early on in the process, and to integrate the teams together. Using another analogy, it is similar to how families are blended together during a marriage. It takes time, and you have to work at it, and often you will need external help to assist with this process. Don’t rule out bringing someone from the outside to help you navigate through this. It can really make a difference.
  • Whatever you do, don’t become labeled as the chronic complainer who does not appear to be adjusting well to the acquisition. Adaptability and flexibility are going to be two of the greatest strengths to exhibit and possess post the acquisition. As the saying goes, become part of the solution.
  • Being associated with the company you either acquired, or were acquired by may or may not be a long term or ideal match for either one of you. Literally make a simple pros and cons list, and you will quickly see which one is the winner. Ideally give yourself a few quarters for the dust to settle on the acquisition, and then go through the pros/cons exercise. The list may have dramatically changed, and should give you a better sense of whether remaining at the combined company is in your best interest.

I hope some of these tips will help you, and let me know if they do. Or, let me know if you need some additional ones to help you with your challenge. By the way, congratulations to all those on the “other side” of the acquisition experience.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally.

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

 

 

 

Ten Reasons Being a Mature Worker Has Advantages

When I first began my business career, I rarely thought about what it might be like for me and where I would be working when I was 40 or older. I was so focused on what was directly in front of me, it was difficult to think too far ahead.

I knew I wanted to advance, but I did not have a vision for exactly what that meant. In speaking with many of today’s twenty- and thirty-somethings, I realized they have a better sense of having plotted out where they are headed.  Of course, this is not always the case.

In the last 20 years, society has put enormous pressure on younger people to know from an early age what they want to be doing in their careers. This is incredibly unfair and unrealistic. The decade immediately following college should be a time to explore various career options, travel, and obtain a better sense of your skill set as well as what you like and do not like to do.

By the time you reach your 30s, you have generally settled into an industry which you may or may not be satisfied with. You have also, by this time, hopefully have had an opportunity to work with people who are a variety of ages.

Unfortunately, if you are in the technology industry, you will not see too many people past the age of 50. Over 50, most are either a “C” level executive, or on the software development, testing, and customer support side of the business. Perhaps in non-technology industries you will have an opportunity to work with more mature colleagues. There is much to learn from them.

What most people do not realize is how valuable employees with years of experience are, or how to fully tap into their potential. Our society has done a decent job of on-boarding new and younger employees.  Where society has failed is knowing how best to leverage the talent of the workforce over 50.  Or 60.  Or 70.

Last week, I had an opportunity to witness an incredible team effort.  The average age of the people working together was around 70.  All of them were women. They worked for well over a month making homemade holiday gifts to be sold at a community fair. The proceeds were being donated to both the local school system, as well as the village church and community hall where the event was to take place.

When I walked in on the morning of the holiday event, where all of the incredible handmade items were on display, I felt as if I had been transported to a different and magical world. The sheer beauty of the handmade items was stunning. They were a testament to a team of people working together who had donated their skills and time.

Could a group of people who were younger have accomplished the same thing this group of women in their 70s, 80s and 90s did? Sure! Age should not be a limitation in either the workplace or in life if someone is determined to participate.

However, due to age discrimination, and this happens to younger people, too, many of our more mature workers are forced out of the work place. This is such a shame.

Here are ten reasons for why older workers rock, along with the benefits of being a more mature worker.

 

  1. Understanding what has been done in the past can be incredibly helpful in directing what the priorities should be. Mature employees have experience with knowing what has worked, and what has not. Knowing what not to focus on because it will waste time is an enormously valuable skill.

 

  1. Time is our most precious commodity. Due to experience, most mature workers have become exceptionally good at managing their time, and know how to maximize accomplishing goals with a more disciplined approach.

 

  1. Mature workers, in general, tend to be dependable, and have built up a work ethic which is both commendable, and the type of mindset and behavior that is great modeling for younger generations.

 

  1. Having experienced a number of failures already in their life, as people mature, they can be much less afraid of making mistakes and taking risks, contrary to other thinking.

 

  1. Communication skills generally improve over time, and because of this, mature workers do a better job of being able to articulate information relating to the work they are doing, the challenges they are experiencing, or interacting with customers who can sometimes be difficult to deal with.

 

  1. Focusing on tasks or on developing a longer-range strategy becomes much easier to accomplish as you mature. You tend to take more of a longer-term perspective when taking strategy into account, and this is very valuable.

 

  1. Knowing how to handle more interactions with both people and situations is something gained from being exposed to a variety of scenarios over one’s career.

 

  1. Having the ability to be retrospective on most matters can be quite beneficial in terms of getting beyond challenging matters sooner.

 

  1. Patience is generally a skill developed over time. Having the ability to be patient and not too quick to react, can help a company to remain on course and make small adjustments versus reactive decisions that typically do not serve companies well in the long term.

 

  1. Although there is a perception people only have high energy when they are younger, mature employees might in fact have more energy. Less of their focus is on concerns such as social pressure, college loans, raising young children, have passed.

Points to ponder:

  • Has your perspective on what it means to be a mature worker changed?
  • Are you willing and/or able to reduce ageism in the work place?
  • Are you ready to hire mature workers at your company?
  • Will you add them to your team, making it more balanced?

The best performing teams I have seen, are the ones that are generationally balanced. Is yours?

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

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, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally.

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