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

 

How’s your attitude? Is it helping or hurting you?

For the sake of conversation, let’s assume you have a good attitude. About most things. However, what if you don’t realize your attitude fluctuates throughout the day, and not in a good way? Do you have people who would tell you that your attitude needs to be adjusted? If you are fortunate they will.

Confronting someone who is less than enthusiastic with their attitude can be intimidating, especially if their attitude is more often on the side of a bad one. The added challenge is wondering what to say to them about their attitude, and how they will react to you calling them out on a bad one.

The good news is that even if it will be a challenging conversation to have with them, doing so can be beneficial to both parties. You will benefit from potentially having them change their attitude to a better one, and they will be in a more positive mood.

When you work with or live with people who are chronically agitated, or who you would classify as having a bad attitude, it can be more stressful for the people who have to deal with them. Sometimes the people who have the bad attitudes are not aware of how they are acting. I know this might sound ridiculous, but it is possible. The problem is that they are not aware of how they are coming across to others.

Being unaware of how your attitude is impacting others is a serious problem, and one you will need to address if you fall into the category of having attitude challenges. If you are fortunate, you will have colleagues, a boss or friend who can call your attitude issue out to you. When they do, you might be defensive and deny you have any issues. Don’t do this, it won’t serve you well. You are going to need to be open to hearing about the fact you have challenges with your attitude.

Consider the fact that it wasn’t easy for the person or people confronting you about your poor attitude. The fact they are is because they want to help you, not hurt you. Listen to what they have to say, why they think your attitude needs adjusting, and what can be done about it.

Since we do not have on and off switches, it might not be that easy for you to remedy your poor attitude. However, you are going to need to do some thinking about what got you into this situation. The challenge you have is that you might be unaware of why you have a poor attitude. Or, you may not be aware that you are not actually hiding your negative emotions which are spilling out in a less than desirable way.

What if you are in the category of someone who isn’t surrounded by others who would tell them their attitude seriously needs to be adjusted? Here are some tips on determining whether your attitude is erring on the side of hurting you, potentially both professionally and personally.

  • Others have started to avoid including you in on social opportunities.
  • Colleagues who have collaborated with you in the past are now avoiding having to work with you. Even if it means more work for them.
  • Fewer people are having conversations with you.
  • People may be treating you differently, as they are intimidated by your attitude, and not in a good way. You are in fact potentially repelling people based on your bad attitude.
  • You have less patience than you have had in the past, and you are taking your lack of patience out on others by being either rude to them, or less polite than you usually are.
  • When you are thinking about future work or interactions with other people, you are less motivated and have trouble focusing and doing the quality work you generally are accustomed to performing.

The good news is that attitudes can in fact be adjusted back to a positive one. However, the first step is recognizing that your good attitude switch has been turned off, or put on pause. Consider yourself fortunate if you can recognize the fact your attitude needs adjusting, and even more fortunate if you have others who care about your attitude negatively affecting you and them. Good luck with resetting your attitude back to a good one. It will serve you much better professionally and personally when it is back in good attitude alignment.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and 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.