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

Coincidences?

Have you ever stopped to think about how there are certain people in your life who seemingly magically appear in your life at just the right time? Or, that circumstances have worked out when it seemed impossible for them to do so?

The word coincidence is often applied to help us understand or accept people or situations in our lives which can cannot readily explain or justify. I’m fine with this, although I think there is more to this happening than we give credit.

An example of someone who reappeared in my life when I needed them to is my editor Kathleen Veth. We had met via a business meeting about five years ago. The the circumstances of us meeting had nothing to do with her background of being an editor, although at that time I learned she had an editing background.

When I was approaching the final stories for my book, I began to consider who I could work with to help me edit my work. As soon as I did this, I started receiving email promotions from Kathleen about her other business venture. This prompted me to reach out to her to learn more about it. When we met, and spoke about her current venture, I asked her if she was still doing editing work. She told me she had not done this type of work for a number of years, but noted she really liked doing this type of work. So, was it a coincidence I started receiving emails from her at the time I needed to begin looking for an editor? I don’t think so.

If you take the time to look back on the people and circumstances which have happened in your life, were all of these instances planned meetings or explainable from a logical perspective of how they occurred? For example, have you ever been job hunting and just when you are about to give up your search for the day, you receive a call or email from a recruiter who wants to talk to you?

Perhaps you have thought about how you would like to go do something interesting, and then a few minutes later you receive a text from a friend asking you if you want to go to a museum with them to see a new exhibit which is on display?  Another example would be getting an email from your neighbor who is cleaning out their closets, and asks you if you would like to have any of the items they were going to donate. The coincidence in this situation is that you were thinking about how you could not afford to go shopping for new clothes right now.

A final example would be having your neighbor who is a cardiac nurse just happen to be home at the time you are having a heart attack in your front yard. She also happened to be in her yard, saw you go down, and she came over to begin CPR and be the first in a chain of events to save your life. This actually happened to a family member of mine, and I firmly believe it was not a coincidence this happened.

So, do our minds help to present coincidences, or do they happen independently from what we are thinking about? When I think about all of the unexplainable circumstances I have applied the word coincidence to, I am amazed at how often they happen, and I am glad they do.

Having coincidences happen makes life really interesting, and I am fascinated by when they occur. I have never spoken to anyone about their thoughts about whether they think there is something mysterious about coincidences occurring, but I think it would be a fun conversation to have with others at some point, perhaps tonight? Why not, as I’m sure it will prompt me to give more ideas about other topics to write about, and potentially some additional insight into why coincidences happen and how other people perceive this word.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Are you too defensive?

I guarantee you we can all name a few people in our family or that we work with, who would deserve to have the label ‘defensive’ placed on them. Potentially all the time, or in certain situations. People who are generally this way either do not realize they come across in this manner, or are working really hard at maintaining this type of character trait.

Being defensive takes a great deal of energy. It’s also the opposite of the positive type of energy which can be highly energizing and beneficial. When people are defensive, they are generally this way due to being either insecure about something, or from repetitive negative feedback.  In some situations, people who come across as being defensive are potentially conditioned to behave this way. Unfortunately, they seemingly do not know how to get beyond feeling or acting in this manner.

Dealing with defensive people and trying to get them to either be less defensive, or not defensive is like peeling back the layers of an onion. You need to be able to have a conversation with them about why they are being defensive. Doing this can take some finesse.

As you can imagine, a defensive person’s first response is that they are not being defensive. So, instead of asking them directly why they are being defensive, consider asking them other questions which get them to explain why they are taking the position they are – on the topic or situation.

Understanding why and where someone is coming from based on their opinion, is the first step to peeling back the onion layers. When people feel misunderstood, or are frustrated about not being able to impact a situation, they will often take a defensive position. Unless they were perhaps on a debate team, and have honed the skills to come across as being more diplomatic and less negative.

The second step to dealing with defensive people is to give them candid feedback on how their communication is coming across. They may not realize they are verbally and physically signaling their defensiveness. The classic body language of folded arms, and a potentially condescending voice tone, are a few of the defensive person’s signals. Another signal is that they may not be able to look at you when they are talking, or they may in fact come across looking enraged.

Finally, once you have arrived at the awareness phase of the person being defensive, you can now finally have a conversation with them on a neutral or level playing field.

No one wants to be defensive. Sometimes people unfairly become this way due to circumstances beyond their control. However, if you are their family member, friend, colleague or manager, you owe them the opportunity to learn how to tame their defensive posturing. Once they are able to acknowledge they are too defensive, they can then have a chance to work towards shedding their defensive label.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One

Are you a responsible leader?

If you were to ask the majority of leaders if they felt prepared for the role they are in, the answers you would receive might not be what you would expect to hear. In fact, statistically most leaders are under or not well prepared for assuming the leadership role they are in. So how does this happen?

Perhaps you have heard of “The Peter Principle”? If not, it’s basically the concept that many leaders in organizations keep getting promoted until they reach a level of respective incompetence. This isn’t exactly reassuring when you look around and wonder if perhaps the leader of your organization fits this description. Worse, is when this might in fact be you, and you know you are in a role well beyond your capabilities.

When you consider the experience leaders are expected to have prior to stepping into their respective role, you would expect them to have been vetted along the way. For starters, being proficient and capable of assuming this role. However, this is a gross assumption. It is also one of the ways people who become leaders, and who are weak ones end up in a leadership role. The problem is partially with the lack of checks and balances of the leadership vetting system.

Another challenge which allows weak or ill prepared leaders to step into their roles, is the fact there are too many “yes” people in organizations. If you are not familiar with “yes” people, chances are you might be one. In other words, it is far easier for people to agree and say “yes” to a leader, than it is to disagree.

When someone does not agree with a leader, and they are not trusted and respected by the leader, they run the risk of being labeled contentious or difficult. Although in reality, strong leaders would want more people to say “no” or not agree with everything.

So, what can be done to prepare leaders to be ones we look up to, are motivated by and respect? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

  • You probably have heard of an intervention. The ones typically associated with someone who has a severe problem and a group of people gather together to support getting the person with the problem help. The same concept can apply to weak leaders, and should be organized with the support of the head of human resources. If it is a small company, the second person in command of the company, along with the majority of the upper management team should be involved. I highly recommend you consult also with an outside and neutral party experienced in this type of intervention.
  • In less dramatic situations, assigning someone to open the dialogue with the leader about how they view their leadership style is a strong place to start. Often, the leader is unaware others perceive their leadership capabilities and style in a less than desirable manner.
  • Don’t assume your leader has had recent or relevant training to help support their role.
  • Leadership training is something which should be ongoing throughout their career.
  • If your leader has not taken leadership training in the last 6-12 months, it’s time for them to take a course. This can be monitored by the head of HR, or if you are the leader, make sure you have recently taken a leadership course.
  • If you are a leader, consider joining a group of CEO’s to help support your leadership evolution. There are a number of these groups throughout the country, and chances are you might have one in your city. If not, there are virtual CEO “round table” groups you can consider joining.
  • Determine what type of strengths the leader relies upon the most. This can be done with the assistance of a number of different and objective testing methods. Being a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I can highly recommend the StrengthsFinder survey which can determine what their top (5) strengths are. I have leveraged the results of this survey to help numerous leaders, as well as the people and the teams who support them. I guarantee it will be one of the best and most affordable investments you can and should consider.

Having responsibility for others and their careers and livelihood is an enormous responsibility. Since most people are not born leaders, but instead become and evolve into this role, recognize they are generally not prepared well for the role they are in. When you look at and realize your leader is in this situation, your expectations will be more realistically set for the outcome of what they are capable of achieving.

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