Who’s in your tribe? Do you have one?

Just about every day I hear from someone in what I will refer to as ‘my tribe’. My tribe consists of people who I rely upon professionally, and for a variety of different talent sets. There are numerous other terms which could be potentially applied to describe this group, but I kind of like this term. Why? Mainly because it encompasses multiple dimensions of the varied professional reasons people are in my tribe.

Others might prefer to use the term professional network, but when I use the words professional tribe, I’m thinking of a much different type of network. The people in your professional tribe may in fact filter in an out of it. Consider the expression I recently heard about relationships. Some people are in your life for a reason, some a season and some for a lifetime. This reference describes my thinking about my tribe quite well.

How do people end up in your tribe? The expression above helps to summarize how it happens. I think of tribes as being an organic experience. One that you don’t have to think too much about. It simply evolves. In my opinion, if you rely upon your instincts, you will have the right type of people you need in your tribe to be there when you need them to be.

For instance, this morning I received a text from someone in my tribe who was asking for advice on how to handle an employment scenario. My advice was to think about how the receiver of the information would value the information being shared. I asked them to consider if their response would strengthen their brand, have a neutral impact, or detract from how they are perceived.

If you have the advantage of meeting new people often, and even if you do not, you should always be seeking out opportunities to do so. For the record, I’m always thinking about when I meet someone if I want them to be part of my tribe. Yes, this may seem self-serving, but I don’t look at it that way. I look at it from the perspective of how we can mutually and positively impact one another professionally by being aligned. When I think about my alliances from this point of view, the relationship generally ends up being a solid and balanced one.

In one of my recent articles called “Who Balances You”, I talked about the importance of having people in your life sphere who help you to have a more balanced life. When we are out of balance, it tends to negatively impact multiple areas in our life. If you have any experience with walking…yes, I’m being sarcastic, when you are walking and feeling unsteady, this is the same principle as not having balance in your life. It’s easy enough to correct this, but occasionally we need some support to put us back on track to feel steady.

Most people have some form of a tribe, and the tribes we have are often separated personally and professionally. Some are mixed, and this can have benefits and drawbacks. I would argue there are more benefits to having mixed personal and professional tribes. Think about it from this perspective. Do you have someone you work with that you would consider to be a good friend? Perhaps a best friend? I hope you do, as this person can make being at work much more satisfying, especially on the days when you might be struggling with something.

Even if your work friend tribe member isn’t at the same level professionally as you are, they will undoubtedly have insights and be a good listener. If you are lucky, more often than not, they might even have some good advice for you. Although, sometimes you are not in need of advice, and it’s OK to tell them that. Since the nature of my work often involves coaching, and making suggestions and providing advice when asked, it’s critical to keep in mind not everyone wants to hear our advice or guidance.

Some people like to figure things out on their own, and don’t respond well when others attempt to help them. Knowing this, I often will ask someone if they really want advice given to them. This is always a good strategy to apply, and both parties will be happier if the “upfront contract” of understanding what the other person really wants or needs is respected.

I consider myself fortunate to have a wide tribe of people I count on for support from both a professional and personal perspective. Take some time today to consider and be thankful for those who are in your tribe. You are lucky to have them in it, and I’m sure others feel that way about you 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 Whispererand 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 aware of your unconscious biases?

Look around. What do you see? Depending on where you are is going to impact what you are seeing and reacting to. If you happen to be at work, you might be seeing your colleagues, and any number of different visual images of what is happening in your work environment. What you are seeing and experiencing could be the same thing every day, or perhaps the opposite of that a job that provides constant changing circumstances and scenery.

Essentially bias is another word, or a softer word for prejudice. If you know me, this is a word or type of thinking I don’t tolerate. As a matter of fact, I have called people out on this in my own family. When I do this, I ask them to explain why they think the way they do. Most of the time I vehemently disagree with their thinking, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt to consider re-thinking the way they think. I’m not saying my thinking is always right. However, when someone is overtly voicing or acting upon a bias I’m not going to be quiet about it.

Yes, I realize you cannot change people. They have to want to change themselves. However, I have found that 100% of the people who have a bias are not able to credibly explain why they think the way the do to justify their biased thinking. This is sad, and I understand they have been negatively influenced by their environment and the people they have been around or are associating with.

I view being biased as a human flaw. One which is supported often by closed minded thinkers. Yes, I’m giving closed minded people credit by suggesting they are actually thinking about why they are biased in the first place.

We can all agree that at the beginning and end of the day we are all the same. Humans. No one is better than someone else, and everyone has something good to offer others. Although, sometimes you have to look a bit harder to determine what it is, I guarantee it exists.

So, is it possible to remove biases in our day to day lives either professionally or personally? Absolutely. You just have to commit to doing so. One of the ways to do this is to commit to noticing biases you might have in every moment of your day. Think about why you might have this bias. Then think about whether you can reduce or ideally eliminate it.

Imagine how much better our world would be if we were all able to see one another as equals? I’m not sure if in my lifetime this will be achieved. However, I can do my small part which is to put a spotlight on this topic. When we think, and talk about concepts, it allows us to consider the reason why we act or say the things we do.

Here are some suggestions I have for you to begin reducing or attempting to eliminate biases in your life. I know this is a huge challenge, but I am compelled to make this a better world for all of us to live in. So, this is my version of heading us in this direction.

  • Commit to really getting to know new people. Find out what motivates them. Learn what makes them happy, or what makes them disappointed. Ask enough questions to determine whether they are “Pro” people, or closed minded and unwilling to give most people a chance to get to know them, or vice versa.
  • Try not to immediately judge both people and situations. Attempt to be open minded right from the start. This applies to both what you hear and see.
  • Listen to what others are saying. Really listen to them. Ask them questions to explain when you are hearing a bias of any kind. See whether by asking them additional questions you can potentially move them to at least a neutral place in their thinking, or verbalization on the topic you are discussing.
  • Model neutrality. Do this as you are working on becoming less or unbiased, and do not verbalize or act upon ones you have.
  • Do something kind instead of being biased towards a person, or put yourself into a situation you normally would not be involved with due to your own bias.
  • Lastly, an old piece of advice which is still applicable today, is to treat others how you would want to be treated. I have practiced this my entire life, and give credit to my parents for teaching me this. It really works, and has made an enormous difference in my life.

Although I have hope I will live to see the world become an unbiased place, I am realistic about this. As you know that change can only take place if we want it to, we can all do our part by at least acknowledging our own biases, and doing our best to understand why we have them, and ultimately to let them go. Being free from biases is an incredibly lofty aspiration. However, why wouldn’t we want to aspire to something that could literally and positively change the world we live in?

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 bored? Or boring?

I have a source of irritation to tell you about. It’s when I hear someone say they are bored. When I hear this, I automatically think how is this possible? Sure, you might hear young kids say this, but when I hear this from a teenager or anyone older, I feel badly for them. Why? Because they don’t seem to understand it’s their own fault they are bored.

Why do I think no one should be bored? It’s simple. There are too many choices of things to do to possibly be bored. You know I love lists, so naturally I’ll be providing some G-rated options in case your mind is drawing a blank on what you can do to avoid boredom. Seriously, I can’t imagine how it would even be possible to be bored. Can you relate?

If you can’t relate to how I find it impossible to be bored, then I am going to challenge your thinking about this. We all know there are plenty of things we should be doing to be productive each day, and yes, I understand some people are far more productive than others.

For those of you who fall into the former category, you have even less of an excuse to utter the words “I’m bored”. Yes, it might be possible to be bored for short periods of time, say for example when you are sitting in grid-lock traffic. However, this is a perfect time to listen to music or give someone a call. Notice how I didn’t include texting, as in many states it is illegal to do so while driving, and possibly talk on the phone too.

So, if you are guilty of uttering the words ‘I’m bored”, consider if you really are. Why? Because for one thing, I can tell you are not fully leveraging your brain power to come up with more than one or two things you could be doing instead. Even when we are in situations when we are waiting for someone or something to happen, we can still engage ourselves in a productive activity. The first thing which comes to my mind is reading or listening to a Podcast.

Recently at the gym I found myself less enthused when I was working out on the resistance bike. Typically, I would listen to upbeat music while I’m biking, but I found when I switched to listening to podcasts from Ted Talks, the time on the bike flew by much faster. I think it is because my mind is more engaged when I am listening to the fascinating stories being told. The best part for me is that I always learn something new from each podcast.

Going back to the question of whether you might in fact be boring if you often find yourself to be bored, is another concept I want you to give some thought to. For instance, when you are in conversation with other people, are you only talking about other people, or are you in fact sharing information about something interesting you learned? Many people who chronically talk about other people are often the ones who would claim to be bored.

How do I know this? It’s because in the past I felt surrounded by people who often expressed this out loud. When I realized these were not the type of people I wanted to be associated with, I quickly made a conscious decision to find different people to interact with. What a fabulous decision this was! Are you possibly trapped in this type of web?

Perhaps you have heard of the expression relating to interesting people talk? What do they do differently? They talk about a variety of subjects versus people.  If you are guilty of this, take some time to think about why you do this. It’s not that hard to course correct on this behavior style. The first step is to be become aware of the fact you are doing this.

Now, as promised, here is a list of things you can do if you claim to be bored, and which won’t cost you much money. Not having money shouldn’t ever be an excuse for being bored, and I’m sure you have also heard the expression “creativity is the mother of invention.” It doesn’t cost money to be creative, so let’s get to the list to start you off in your non-bored direction.

  • Plan something. Yes, literally anything. It could be a party, it could be a trip, it could be putting together a list of books you want to read, or people you want to meet.
  • Challenge yourself to learn how to play an instrument, or another one if you already know how to play one.
  • Another challenge would be to learn how to speak another language, and to be at a conversational level within a period of time you set the goal for.
  • Everyone needs to eat. Are you good at cooking? I’m not. So, I have challenged myself to become a better cook, and to cook with a goal of making healthy food.
  • Do you have a hobby? Someone recently asked me if I had one. I had to think about whether I did. I’m not sure if it is a hobby, but I love looking at residential real estate, and designing rooms on-line. Ok, my other and secret hobby is finding the perfect IPA beer. So far, Lunch from the Maine Beer Company is my favorite one.
  • If you have any extra time, look for an organization you can donate and volunteer your time to. This can be really rewarding, and your time is more precious than money.

I could go on with countless more ideas, but you get the idea. When you are doing things which are productive, it provides you with a way to valuably spend your time. You also won’t be talking about other people, and essentially you will be building up your conversation list to become a more interesting person. Not the boring one none of us wants to be classified as.

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

 

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