Making a difference? You can be.

A friend of mine is going through a really rough patch. However, what he tells me, and what we have talked a great deal about is how much helping other people is what makes his day brighter. He also said that helping someone else makes him forget about what he is worrying about, and adds a sense of joy to his day.

For some, helping others comes naturally. However, too many people are so self-focused they forget about the importance of carving out time to help others. Helping others should be at the top of everyone’s agenda, and it does not have to mean monetarily helping them. Actually, donating your time or attention to someone or something is better.

The ones who are always helping other people generally do not broadcast what they are doing. In fact, most of the time, the people who are routinely assisting others do so with little to no credit. They know who they are, and realistically they are not looking for praise. No, they help others because they want to make a difference in people’s lives, and put their effort and time towards doing this.

Fortunately, there are companies who allow, and even encourage their employees to donate their time to worthy causes. This is absolutely a win/win for everyone involved. Most of the time, these activities which make a difference in others’ lives, go completely unnoticed. It’s perfectly fine that they do, as not every good deed needs to be recognized. Both the giver and receiver derive satisfaction. This can be enough.

So, are you doing your part to make a difference? I’m talking about making a difference in other people’s lives, your family, your community, your school, your country. Fill in the blank, as there are numerous ways you can make a positive difference, and impact the lives of others.

Have you considered helping others? I’m not buying your excuse about being too busy. I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert recently at the Boston Women’s Conference. She talked about how everyone can always find time to apply it to what either they want to, or should be doing. It’s a matter of prioritizing your time.

There is a saying that “if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to help you”. Why? Because they are exceptional at prioritizing their time and getting things done. Does this sound like you, or someone you know? If not, then look harder, as there are plenty of people out there who fall into this category.

Still wondering about what you can do to make a difference? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Start by looking for opportunities in your town or city to donate your time. This time of year, many organizations are looking for extra help.
  • If you have a special talent or skill, consider how you can share this with someone who might not be able to afford or have access to learning about the talent or skill you have (e.g., writing, singing, carpentry, just about anything you are good at doing). Let others know you are interested in donating your time and talents, and before you know it, you will likely be matched up with someone who can benefit from this. You could even put a sign up in your office letting your colleagues know you are willing to volunteer your time and talent to people they know.
  • Lots of pet shelters need volunteers. If you like animals, but perhaps cannot have one of your own, this is a great way to enjoy the benefits of providing care for a pet.
  • Most cities have homeless shelters. They are always looking for volunteers. You can simply donate items if for some reason, you cannot carve out time to help them, but try harder.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs across the country, as well as other types of similar organizations are also frequently looking for volunteers. Think back to the time when you were younger and the positive impact adults in your life had on you. This could be you having a positive impact on a young person.
  • Donate your time to clean up a neighbor’s property. Perhaps one who is either elderly or needs physical assistance. You can volunteer to help them in their yard, picking up their groceries or any number of tasks they have difficulty with.

Helping other people and the amazing feeling you get from doing this is something everyone should regularly experience. If you are not doing this, commit to doing this soon, and on a regular basis. Imagine if everyone volunteered their time and talent? Wow, what an amazing world we would be living in.

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.

 

Drama. Are you a King or Queen?

Have you ever noticed, and can you name people you interact with at work, at home or in your personal life who seem to have more drama going on than most? I have been watching this occur for many years. Generally, the people who are the drama Kings and Queens seem oblivious to the fact they are likely the ones causing the drama. Or, perhaps they are intentionally causing the drama because they like the attention it brings. Albeit generally its negative attention.

Why would anyone want to intentionally cause negative attention? It serves zero purpose. It is disruptive, and causes an unhealthy divide between the parties involved. Drama generally has a negative perception, and there is no reason for it to exist in the workplace. It appears to be tolerated, or accepted by some people in their personal lives, but if you were to survey people about whether they enjoy it, most would probably say they do not.

Is causing drama a social pattern which people learn from others? Or, is it a type of behavior which evolves from not having learned how to properly interact socially in an acceptable manner? This is sort of like a chicken or the egg conundrum. However, how do you address and help point out to the Kings and Queens that their behavior is not favorable?

The first thing to do is to provide an example of what would be considered a “drama” scenario. I happened to hear about a classic one the other day from a friend of mine. He was telling me about an instance where he was having a pleasant sit down dinner with his family. However, the pleasantries quickly ended when his sister started causing drama. It started with a simple and unfriendly comment to her brother, and escalated from there. The brother admitted he tried to shut down the conversation. Although, what he said back to his sister appeared to increase the level of drama.

Upon looking back at this situation, the brother realizes he had fallen into his sister’s drama trap. He tried to get out of it, and could have if he had simply ignored her initial comment. In other words, his comment back to her was the equivalent of adding gasoline to a fire. It only got worse from there. I asked him why he felt he needed to play into her drama? He told me it was simply a habit of doing so. This is a perfect example of how you can begin to break the drama cycle. It’s really not that hard, but you need to recognize when it is happening, and shut it down immediately.

Based on this example above, do you recognize that you might potentially be the one causing drama? Or, are you on the receiving end of it? In either instance, this is a type of behavior which is highly undesirable. Especially in the workplace.

I have witnessed numerous people who were on a career fast track, and who had this opportunity vanish in front of them due to being overly dramatic, one too many times. This is so unfortunate, because the drama people are their own worst enemies. Although they often tend to blame everyone else for their misfortunes. Sound familiar?

Drama people seem to also have a completely different lens of how they perceive situations. They constantly play the role of the victim. It can be exhausting to be around them. When I encounter people like this, I avoid them. Being around them tends to cause more drama, and drama only has a negative outcome.

So, is there a way to recognize whether you are a drama King or Queen? Yes. Begin by taking a hard look around at your circumstances. Are they self-induced, or do you routinely blame others for what has happened to you? If you are regularly blaming others, chances are high you are the one causing drama. When you recognize and admit to being this way, you can start by instead of blaming everyone for your circumstances, start owning up and being responsible for them.

No one wants to interact at work or home with drama Kings and Queens. So, in the coming weeks, take off your crown, and commit to dropping the drama act. When you do, you will actually begin seeing what positive things can happen in your life.

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.

 

 

Leaders, please be yourself, not who you think you need to be.

Some of the most effective leaders I have worked for, and with, have a few characteristics in common. All of them understand the importance of commanding respect, while simultaneously remaining true to their personality.

They are not afraid to show a softer side when interacting with their teams. In fact, this is one of the most endearing and important traits that makes people want to follow the leader.

If you are a leader, work for one, or want to be one, think about whether you or the person who is the leader possesses this quality. Perhaps they do, sometimes, but you only get a glimpse of it, and not consistently. Now imagine what it would be like to work for this type of leader.  Or to be this type of leader.

Some people take on a different persona at work.

Are you a big bad wolf at the office and a cuddly teddy bear at home?  As Dr. Phil might ask, “How’s that workin’ for ya?

The other thing people do is to develop their leadership qualities based on being collaborative, and approachable. They allow their naturally ability of high emotional intelligence to flourish.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence is not something that can be taught, but it can be mimicked.  If you feel you are lacking, pay attention in scenarios to which you are exposed on a regular basis.

For example, watch as successful leaders properly greet a guest and make them feel comfortable, or ask someone you notice who seems sad, or upset, if they need to take a moment, or want to talk.

Leaders who are open to the human experience, are in no way weak.

Sometimes we conveniently forget that our leaders are human, too, and typically under constant pressure. Having to mask their emotions is difficult, but doing so is not a sign of weakness.

When our business leaders reveal that they are experiencing emotions, it sends signals to the people who work for them that they are simply human.  This makes them more approachable.

Contrary to what you might think, when a leader exhibits emotion, many people either do not notice, or do not comment, if they do.  Some may simply be oblivious, while most are probably reluctant to approach the boss.

It’s okay to ask how they are doing, and do so sincerely.

You might be surprised by the reaction you get.  Be prepared to respond in a kind and empathetic manner. This sentiment will be appreciated more than you can imagine. What’s more, the leader will perceive you in an entirely different light the next time you interact. Why?  Because you allowed them to be themselves for that moment. This is not something many leaders feel like they can or should do.

Climbing up the proverbial corporate ladder can take years, but some people reach the top faster than others. How? There are a number of factors, but one of them is that they are likable, and part of being likable is being human. These people are also typically bright, and able to access both the right and left sides of their brains equally. They have a personality that makes others believe in and want to follow them.

Of course, this is an over simplification of the other criteria one needs to climb the rungs. Typically, it is much harder for those who reached the top because of an inside connection to earn the respect of their team. Authentic leaders who have earned the right to be placed into leadership roles are the ones whom we admire, potentially aspire to be like, and ultimately respect and want to follow.

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.

 

Focus on Joy

Do you have someone in your life who when you are around them, there is no way you can even think about anything negative? I hope you do, and I did. However, I lost this dear friend to her battle with cancer on December 18, 2017. Her name is Anna Maria Soriano.

We met each other while working at Constant Contact. She was on the sales team, me on the marketing team. When I first met her, I had the feeling I had met her at some other point in my life. We became instant friends. She was also the type of colleague who you could count on. No matter what. She also would always go well beyond delivering in any circumstance, what at Constant Contact we referred to as “Wow”.

Anna Maria grew up in the North End of Boston. For those not familiar with Boston, it is referred to as the Italian section in Boston. It is still considered to be the Italian section, but like other Boston neighborhoods, has become more ethnically diverse in the last 15 years.

Anna Maria took great pride in having grown up in the North End. She loved sharing stories of what it was like to grow up there, including the neighborhood debate about whether Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry was the better bakery. Her favorite was Modern Pastry. Magically every time I visited her home outside of Boston, she seemed to have Modern Pastry’s on the table.

Having a sweet tooth, this was a perfect arrangement for me, and if you have ever had a treat from Modern, you know how hard it is to say no to the offer of one of their confections.

While we worked together at Constant Contact, I learned a number of things from Anna Maria.

One of them was that your voice and its tone could have an influence on people. I also learned from her how people paid attention differently by when you fully leveraged the power of your vocal cords.

Something you might not know, is that Anna Maria was the “voice” of Constant Contact. When you called into the company, it was her voice you heard to direct you to where you were trying to navigate. She also was the lead webinar producer of content for the last five plus years. This included giving live presentations around the country.

Her voice was infectious. She captured your attention and made you want to pay attention to everything she was teaching you. Although you may have thought her voice and the way she presented her material was an act, it wasn’t. It was genuinely who she was. The best part? After talking to her, you could not help but feel better or more enthused.

No one is immune from having a bad day. However, it was not possible to end your day on a negative note if you worked with, or had the fortune of being Anna Maria’s friend. She made every day you worked with her fun and interesting. She also challenged you to see the joy in whatever it was you were working on. Clearly, she had “Positivity” in her Top 5 strengths.

During work breaks, or post work, one of the places she talked about going to included travel. Specifically taking a trip to Italy. This was one of the places on her bucket list. I was thrilled when she told me she was going to take a trip there this past summer. What was significant about this, is that she had stage 4 cancer. This meant she had to time her trip around her cancer treatments. If you saw any of the photos she took on her trip to Italy, you could see the joy on her face of being there.

Attitude plays a large role in whether you can find and have joy in your life. My dear friend Anna Maria was able to accomplish this every day I knew her. How? Because of her amazing attitude.

I wish more people could be like Anna Maria, and I hope to embrace her concept of incorporating joy into every aspect of my life. I hope you do too.

Rest in peace my dear friend. Thank you for teaching me to be able to find the joy in all aspects of my life. I will never forget you, and your memory will live on in my heart and soul for the rest of my life.

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. 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 at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.T

Overwhelmed? You don’t have to be.

Perhaps it gets worse during certain times of the year. Or, you have noticed that you are in a state of being overwhelmed more often than you are not feeling this way? It also may seem as if everyone else has their you know what together, and that they have somehow secretly tapped into figuring things out that are a mystery to you.

Don’t worry, you are not alone when it comes to feeling this way. Every day I hear this same sentiment expressed so often, I chose to share some of the suggestions I tell others who are experiencing this. However, I first want to talk about the reasons you might be feeling this way.

One of the reasons we feel overwhelmed is because we get caught up in thinking we have to do everything immediately. We don’t. As a matter of fact, when we take back control and realize this, it’s the first step to gaining back control of the sense you feel you don’t have any.

We are very fortunate to be living in a time period when we have so many choices. However, having so many choices can further add to being overwhelmed. Have you heard the concept that not making a decision is in fact a decision? Realizing this alone can help to notch down your sense of being overwhelmed. Conversely, when you do make a decision, it is in fact progress, and this can also help you to move forward.

Being overwhelmed can feel like you are stuck, either physically or mentally. Applying movement of any kind towards this feeling can in fact nudge you away from being in this situation. The sense that there is too much going on, can cause you to feel as if things are out of control. However, this is really only happening in your brain, and you do have the ability to change this narrative running through your mind.

Yes, in fact there may be a number of activities and choices for you to make, but when you step back and truly think of them and how to deal with them one at a time, you can in fact slow things down. Slowing things down also contributes to lessening the sensation of being overwhelmed.

Here are some other methods you can apply to reducing your sense of being overwhelmed to a much lower state. Or, perhaps feel this sense entirely evaporate for periods of time.

  • Turn your thinking around by looking at your life as a journey. Versus it being a sprint.
  • Get up, get out, and literally start moving your body around. It will take your mind off of obsessing what is contributing to the feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Listening to music can instantly put you into a different state of mind. Which type makes you feel happy? Turn this type of music on and listen to it until you feel like you are back in charge and not as overwhelmed. If you are a procrastinator, limit your music listening time to 30 minutes. Think of this as a reward.
  • Do something which is creative, even if you don’t think you have a creative bone in your body. Actually, everyone is creative in some way. You may not have yet discovered what your creative outlet is yet. Now would be a good time to explore this.
  • Sometimes we need to do something I call social weeding. What I mean by this is actually thinking about people in our life who contribute to us being overwhelmed. It is not always possible, but there are people I am certain you can take out, or weed out from your “social garden”. There are in fact people who are toxic to us, and you know who they are. At a minimum, reduce your interaction with them.
  • Turn off your social media. Yes, all of it. Don’t listen to the news, and instead craft a list of the top things which are contributing to you being overwhelmed. Put the list aside, and come back to it in a few hours after you have done some of the other suggestions above.
  • When you return to your list of what is overwhelming you, tackle one item at a time, and come up with one solution to make this list item less overwhelming. Breaking down what overwhelms you into a list format, and then applying solutions to it is one of the best ways to tackle putting you on the path to being less stressed. If you can’t come up with solutions on your own, ask someone you trust to help you.
  • Rate each item on your list of what is overwhelming you on a scale of 1-10. Ten is off the charts. If half of your list ratings are over 5, work on the ones with a lower number first. Then tackle the higher number ones when your list amount is decreasing.
  • Set a goal of completing half your list in a realistic timeframe (e.g., 1-2 weeks). You will be amazed what can be done if you break down your tasks this way, and perhaps only deal with one of them a day. In two weeks, you can potentially have knocked off more than twelve items on the list of things that overwhelm you.

It is possible you might in fact be depressed, and this will contribute to your feeling of being overwhelmed. Statistically, the majority of our human population experiences some form of depression in their lifetime. However, if you have severe depression, being able to do the suggestions above might seem impossible. If this is the case, please consider talking to a mental health professional, as they can help you towards not having to feel this way.

My Mom has a saying I adopted many years ago. Every day you have a decision to make about how your day is going to be. You can choose to be happy, or not. You have the power to do this too, and my belief is that choosing to be happy is always the right choice.

Happy New Year, and thank you for your support and for following my writing in 2018. See you in 2019!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their revenue numbers and market growth, 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, corporate and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance strengths and 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”, or your very own Wisdom Whisperer.

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.

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