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.

 

Regrets are a waste of time.

A friend of mine asked me if I had any regrets. Upon seriously and carefully thinking about this question, I said no. I do not have any regrets. How could I think this way? This is possible based on the way I have trained myself to think, and it comes down to having eliminated the regret category as an option in my life.

When I think back to when I made the conscious decision to do this, I can tell you with almost one hundred percent certainty when this was. Without going into personal details, I can tell you it was at a point in time when I was at a critical decision crossroad. Would I have evolved my thinking about eliminating regrets had I not been in this situation? Possibly, but the point is I’m sharing this with you, because you do not need to be in this exact situation to have the same benefits I gained from eliminating regrets in my life.

Freeing yourself from pondering and carrying a load of regret is truly liberating. It also allows you to have a new lens on the opportunities around you. Your energy level increases, your outlook on possibilities skyrockets, and life can be so much more enjoyable.

Sure, many people will easily succumb to taking the easy road and continue to harbor and carry their regrets around. Some may even consider these regrets to in a morbid way be a badge of honor. I feel sorry for you if you do, and can only encourage you to give some of my tips a try. If you are serious about moving past your regrets, chances are in your favor you these tips will direct you towards a far better place emotionally.

Where do you start to change your mentality with casting your regrets aside? Here are some tips to consider.

  • You know I love lists. So, I’m asking you to first make a list of all of your regrets. Don’t leave any off this list, no matter how trivial you may think they are.
  • Put your list away for a few days.
  • When you come back to your list, cross off the ones you can mentally come to terms with dropping. Starting immediately.
  • The regrets that remain on your list, are there for a reason. However, you need to give yourself permission to forgive and forget them. The key to do this, is to allow yourself to go through the process of mourning these regrets. Now, put a timeline on how long to do this, and then literally tear up, burn or throw away the list and say goodbye to them.
  • If you think analytically about regrets, but remember, we talked about them not actually serving any constructive purpose. We can be our own worst enemy with allowing ourselves to build up our regret inventory, and we have the same and greater power of eliminating them from our mind.
  • If some of your regrets are associated with offering an apology, then go ahead and make the apology. In person apologies are best, but a written one will do too. Perhaps both.
  • Most regrets are based on decisions, inaction or actions we chose to take. Stop thinking about the decisions you made which are regret based, and allow yourself to come to terms with owning them. You may not be happy or proud of these decisions, but they are part of your past. Emphasis is on the past, and they do not have to define who you are going forward.
  • Write down the date you will begin your journey of not having any regrets. Consider it to be similar to a birthday or holiday, and worthy of a celebration. Look forward to celebrating on this day annually, and do not dwell on what the regrets were. Instead focus on all of the amazing things you have done since the day you released yourself from all of your regrets.

What can you do now that you have a new set of tools to eliminate the regrets in your life? Help someone else to get to the place you have arrived at, and give them the gift of not having any regrets. In other words, pay it forward, as I have done so for you with this advice.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe 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.

Our expertise is in uniting and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

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.

 

 

(5) Tips on How to Manage Your Boss

Unless you are your own boss, you have probably uttered the words, or thought to yourself at one point or another, that your boss is driving you crazy. You may have muttered this under your breath, or shared this comment with a colleague, or someone outside your work circle.

Based on the dynamics of the typical boss and subordinate roles, it is quite likely that you will be annoyed by your boss now and then. This is normal, especially since the work is mainly flowing your way, without the ability to decline or limit the amount of assignments coming your way. Or is there?

Perhaps you have heard that everything is negotiable? It really is, but not everyone feels comfortable negotiating, so they simply accept the work that flows their way.

Those who have developed negotiating skills, even minor ones, tend to be much more satisfied with their bosses. Why? Because they are indirectly managing the situation. The best part of having a negotiating conversation with your boss, is that they may not be aware of the fact they are being managed by you.

So, if you are thinking, I do not like to negotiate, and my communication or debating skills are not up to the task, keep reading.

Similar to the belief that everyone has creative skills, if you can talk, you have to ability to also develop your negotiation skills.

At its most basic level, negotiating is about asking questions. You can do that! By asking questions about the assignment, your boss will be forced to confront whether what he or she is asking has been fully thought through.

You might be surprised how many times they have not thought through what they are asking you to accomplish, and are only serving as a middle man pushing assignments down from above. Negotiating also allows you to gain clarity on aspects of work (e.g., timeframe flexibility, who else can or should be involved, how is the success of the project outcome to be measured).

Here are five tips on how to manage your boss.

  1. At the beginning of the week, assess the mood of your boss. You can typically do this by having a brief conversation on Monday morning, or by checking in with one of your colleagues. If they are in a less than favorable mood, leave them alone until mid-day and then reassess. Monday mornings can be stressful. The beginning of the week is a popular time when the upper management team meets with your boss to review the status of how the business is going. Even if the stats are on track, this can impact the mood of your boss.

 

  1. Make sure you have a weekly assigned time to check in with your boss, even if it is for only 10 minutes each day, or once a week for 30 minutes. During any of these sessions, make sure you have set the agenda are driving the conversation. Setting the agenda puts you in charge. In essence, you are managing your boss.

 

  1. Clarify monthly or quarterly expectations. This is a critical component to managing your boss. As long as you are clear about the project and results of the work you are doing, and making sure during your weekly meetings that priorities have not changed, you will be in strong alignment with their expectations.

 

  1. Get to know your boss. Take time to go out to lunch or coffee with him or her once or twice a month to have a non-work conversation. If you do not do this, you run the risk of them not seeing you as a whole person, with other dimensions of your personality they may not be able to observe in the office. More and more people work remotely and may not have too many opportunities to meet with their boss in person, but when you do, make sure you go through this same exercise.

 

  1. Ask your boss to articulate how you can help them with your professional contributions to make them look good. This may seem awkward, but ask anyway, as most people do not know the answer, and may, in fact, be entirely wrong by making incorrect assumptions. Get the facts, work with them – another key way of managing your boss.

Depending on your career level, some of these suggestions would need to be modified, but most of these techniques actually can and will work. They have been applied successfully by people who are just starting out, all the way to the highest “C” level executives.

Managing your boss is a concept from which just about everyone can benefit. Test drive some of them and see if they work for you.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe 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.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

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.

How do I make my company relevant?

No person or company wants to be classified as irrelevant, especially by their employees, customers or prospects. So, what if your company is being classified this way? Would you know this is happening? Would you know what to do to change the narrative and perception others have? These are tough questions, and ones every company has a chance of confronting.

Let’s make the assumption your company is being classified as irrelevant. Now what? Who is responsible for addressing this? Is this a Human Resource challenge? Perhaps, but the person at the top of the organization also is going to have to play a critical role in helping to remedy this label, and they can’t do it alone.

Based on the fact our economy is relatively strong at this point in time, and that employees have many options to consider if they are not satisfied with the company they are aligned with, retaining employees has become a top concern. One of the many reasons employees decide to abandon their present company has to do with relevancy, and whether they feel a strong alignment to the brand, or perhaps the mission of an organization.

Not all companies have the luxury of being easily aligned with a mission or brand that everyone feels compelled to support, and if they do, then they are more fortunate than others. However, this is only one factor to consider. The fact is, many companies were not founded on the principles and desires that employees, customers and prospects are now looking at via a new lens of having the company they work for also be socially and culturally responsible.

So, the real questions to consider are to think about whether your company is relevant, and then if it is not, what can you do to become relevant in the new lens that you are being looked at? Let’s start with these questions and considerations:

  • You first need to define what relevancy means to your company. This should be tackled from all levels within an organization, as you do not want to only have a top down perspective. This could be in fact what originally got your company into the irrelevant territory.
  • If you were to ask your employees what your company mission statement is, would they know what it is?
  • Would your employees feel indifferent to what your mission statement is? Or, would they feel a stronger alignment with your company when they know what it is?
  • Have you asked exiting employees why they are leaving? There could be enormous clues you will uncover if you have this conversation.
  • Do you happen to know the reason most people who have been at your company for more than three years, enjoy working at your company? Do they actually enjoy working at your company, or are they just buying time on their resume to jump to the next best opportunity?
  • How in touch are the top-level executives at your company with the pulse of the company culture?
  • When was the last time any of your executives informally met with or cruised the halls simply to engage in conversation with employees?
  • Are your executives and non-executives getting out in front of customers to have a better sense of what your company can do to make your services or products better? Is this a function you solely rely upon sales or product marketing to do? If so, you have a huge opportunity to benefit from doing this.
  • Is anyone at your company having fun?
  • Do employees seem to get along well with one another, or is there tension throughout the organization?
  • Do you have someone on your staff who you can rely upon to keep a pulse on the organization, who is not in an HR role? Ideally this would be a mid-level manager.
  • How united would you say your teams are? All of your teams, not just your sales, marketing and executive teams.
  • Would you know what kind of plan you need to course correct to make your company more relevant?

Wearing the badge of being irrelevant is similar to a scarlet letter. If you think or know your company is becoming or is irrelevant in any number of categories, there is hope to turn this scenario around. However, if you do not know how to go about doing this, make sure you align with the right type of expert to help you to course correct your direction. Similar to other situations, the first thing which needs to happen is to admit there is a problem, and then commit to addressing and fixing it.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe 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.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

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

Authenticity sparkle. Do you have it?

Not everyone is charming all the time, but those who are both charming and authentic certainly have advantages over others. You know who they are, and you quite possibly could be one of these people. Most salespeople can pull off a version of being charming, but the exceptional ones also do this authentically. Of course, I’m referencing salespeople because this particular career requires them to have what I refer to as ‘authentic sparkle’.

When someone has authentic sparkle, it’s incredibly obvious to others, and yet it may or may not be obvious to the person who possesses this ability. This may sound absurd, but I have seen this phenomenon so many times, I decided to share my take on how others who do not have this combo can either work on obtaining it, or hire someone who possesses it to be on their sales team.

So, the first thing you need to be aware of is the main characteristic traits for authentic sparkle. This is how I would break down being able to recognize them, although chances are you too have recently come across someone with these traits.  This is a limited list, but will provide you with enough clues on how to recognize the signs of this person.

  • When you first meet them, you feel like you have known them forever, or have met them before, but can’t remember exactly when it was.
  • They have the ability to converse on just about any topic you can imagine, with ease and beyond simply a surface level.
  • This is the type of person you want to invite to your next party or family gathering, even if you just met them.
  • They have an uncanny ability to put you at complete ease, even if the situation is stressful.
  • Although it seems unrealistic, you immediately have a sense you can trust this person, but you can’t put your finger on exactly understanding why you feel this way.
  • You want to help this person, even if you do not normally extend help to people you have just met.
  • This person literally makes your day better instantly when you meet them. Who doesn’t want to align themselves with this type of individual?

Have you met someone recently who you could describe as having some if not all of the characteristics above? If you have, what was the experience like for you?

Now, let’s switch gears and talk about how you too could attempt to acquire some of the characteristic traits noted above. These traits do not have to only apply to salespeople, as having a persona type which includes the characteristics above can be beneficial to lots of professions, and can carry over into your life too.

If you are interested in adding authentic sparkle to your life or profession, here are some tips on how to go about doing so.

  • Just be yourself. Seriously, too many people are attempting to be like others, but in my opinion, most people I have met are all pretty incredible in their own unique way. Embrace it, or like my article titled “Embrace Your Weirdness” encourages, don’t be afraid to show others who you really are.
  • Focus more on listening versus talking about yourself. Apply the 80/20 rule, which consists of listening 80% of the time, and limiting your talking to 20%. When you do this, you automatically come across as being more authentic.
  • Commit to once per day doing one nice thing for someone else. Both you and the person you did the nice thing for will add to your what I will call “sparkle bank”. I have also referred to this as your “karma bank”, and essentially, they are similar.
  • Look for opportunities to practice being authentic. If you do not provide yourself with chances to practice being charming, and your genuine self, you are not going to automatically become better at this simply because you want to. Sorry to burst your bubble on this, but it’s true.
  • After around one month of applying these basic tips, see if anyone notices or tells you that you seem happier or more fun to be with. Or, perhaps you will start to be invited out more or included in experiences you were not in the past. If this happens, you will know your authentic sparkle is starting to kick into gear for you.

Whether you want to have more authentic sparkle or hire someone who possesses it, I hope my take on how to go about upping your sparkle will work for you, or allow you to find people to hire which have this trait. One last hint, people who have “Woo” or “Positivity” in their Gallup Strengths Top 5, generally will have the authentic sparkle you are looking for.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe 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.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

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.