Interviews & (7) Tips – How are you perceived?

A friend of mine sent me one of the most satirical videos I have seen in a while about a millennial who was being interviewed by a non-millennial.  Of course, the mock interview was exaggerated, but I’m certain this interview might be closer to reality for some than they might think. This was the perfect example of showcasing someone who is at the oblivious level of being self-aware.

In the last two decades, I have literally interviewed hundreds of people. When I think about the ones which stand out in my mind as being some of the best interviews, they were with people who were highly self-aware. So, at this point you might be considering whether you would have me place you into this category? You might also be wondering what my definition of being self-aware is. I hope you are, as there is a wide spectrum for this description.

Not everyone who is self-aware has years of interviewing experience. In fact, some of the least seasoned interview candidates highly impressed me with how aware they were of how they were being perceived. Part of their awareness has to do with emotional intelligence, so much of it is purely innate, and some self-awareness comes from both experience and coaching. In other words, there are a number of ways someone can become more self-aware, especially during interviews.

Here are some ideas about how you can become more self-aware during your future interviews, or potentially during professional conversations you are having with others.

  • During your interviews, what percentage of time are you speaking versus listening? If you are speaking more than 75% of the time, you might not be giving the interviewer a chance to ask you more questions to learn more about you.
  • Do you feel like your personality changes when you go into “interview mode”? If you do not know what I am referring to, then chances are you do go into “interview mode”. When you do this, you can come across as more “robotic”, and are less aware of how you are coming across to the interviewer.
  • Are you so nervous during the interview that you simply want it to be over? What if you could actually enjoy the interview process? You can if you are more self-aware of how you are being perceived.
  • Have you ever practiced and recorded how you are acting during a mock interview? You will be amazed at potentially the things you might be doing which you are not aware of (e.g., blinking more than normal, moving around a great deal in your chair, not making enough eye contact with the interviewer, interrupting the interviewer, nervously twisting your hair or itching your scalp). I could go on forever with this list, so I will spare you some of the more “interesting” things I have seen non-self-aware people have done.
  • Let’s assume you have descent posture. If you don’t have good posture, and regardless of whether you are sitting or standing, you can help to increase your perception of self-awareness by monitoring and having good posture. By doing this one simple thing, you will come across as being more confident and attentive.
  • Having the right amount of courtesy distance from the interviewer is also something to consider. Generally, this is not an issue, but it is something to factor in as well. Since most interviews these days are done via Zoom or other on-line methods, here is a link to some additional tips I recommended when I was on ABC News recently talking about “How to nail a Zoom 
  • Think about some of the people you might have interviewed. Which ones impressed you, and which ones didn’t? Make a list of the pros and cons, and think about whether any of them apply to you.

Interviewing can actually be fun, and the more self-aware you are, the more fun you can have with the process. When you interview well, it obviously opens up opportunities for you to consider. If you are interested in having more opportunities to consider, make sure you are as self-aware about how you come across to others as you can be. Achieving and mastering self-awareness should be a goal all of us can strive to accomplish. Good luck with the process, and let me know if my ideas can or did help you, or if you have others to add to this list.

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 Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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

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

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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

 

Different is not bad.

When you think about it, who is really not different? The truth is we are all unique, and that’s what makes our lives so interesting. Sure, there are times when conformity might have its place, but my opinion is that this is a lower percentage of time for it to be required. In fact, during times when people haven’t complied with conformity is when most of our inventions have been created, or pharmaceutical remedies produced.

The phrase “thinking outside of the box” is one of the concepts related to being different. When the expression is stated, it’s a direct request to ask people to not conform. My professional expertise before I pivoted my career focus had been in marketing, and the majority of the time in my former profession I spent thinking about how not to conform. In fact, I was always challenging myself and my teams with what we could do differently that would make a positive impact on the business. I loved thinking and working this way, and for me, this was incredibly satisfying.

Fortunately, the profession I spent the first two decades of my life in supported thinking differently, and was embraced and encouraged. My early and informal training as a marketing professional took shape in how I expressed myself with the clothing I wore. This was much to my Mom’s dismay, as she saw me walk out the door each day, even in elementary school with the most colorful and non-matching items I could find. I used to challenge myself with how creative I could become over time with my unique outfits.

When I was in high school, brightly colored clothing and accessories were not the norm. However, I happened to be ahead of my time from a fashion sense, as I was on the early side of what became known as the “preppy-look”. I loved this look, and embraced it with over the top ways of adding to experimenting with how I would put items together in what I referred to as my “collection”. Surprisingly you would have thought heading into fashion would have appealed to me. It did, and it didn’t. I loved the design aspect, but not the business part of it.

Both my Grandfather and Dad worked for a company that no longer exists, Polaroid. When I think back about how them working there influenced me, it did so by having me embrace being different as a good thing.  As I was thinking about what contributed to this, the simple explanation is that I was probably photographed more as a child than most people in their entire life. The reason for this had to do with the fact that both my Grandfather and Dad were testing their products on me. My Grandfather was inventing cameras and film, and my Dad was buying the materials to make them. Part of their jobs, especially my Grandfather was to experiment with the cameras and films to see which ones could be marketed.

So, having to see myself in photos for years and not feel judged by the way I looked was truly freeing. It also contributed to giving me the confidence as a young person, to know how I looked, and to embrace it without any self or others judgement. Little did I know at the time how this would lead me into my first career, and then the one I am presently in.

With the profession I am currently in, it satisfies my need for embracing being different perfectly. Why? Because I understand the statistics that coming across someone who might be similar to me has the odds of 1 and 33 million. I love this, as it fully supports my thinking about how important being different is, and that it’s not a bad thing. In fact, one of the things I like most about the fact people are all so unique, is how to teach them to embrace and fully capitalize on understanding their talents.

Part of my professional work includes teaching people how to have a new language for how to express who they truly are to others. More importantly, when someone tries to use anther persons talents against them, I help that individual know how to explain that in fact what they are being criticized for, is in fact a strength of theirs. A strength that is perhaps misunderstood, misinterpreted or mis-applied where it should be. Has this ever happened to you?

Having confidence can play a big role in how comfortable people are with being different. The more confident people are, the easier it is for them to express themselves without being concerned about what other people think. It’s incredibly freeing when you have confidence, especially an abundance of it. When you do, or even if you have a small amount, being able to embrace either being different, or your differences to others can provide you with a sense of satisfaction I hope you have felt, or will feel in your life.

Tags: 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 Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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

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

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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

Remaining relevant. Are you?

No one wants to be deemed irrelevant. Yet, as a concept, it seems to creep up on us when we realize that perhaps we need to tweak or make some adjustments to our area of expertise. Or, what I’ll refer to as our “game”.

You know when you are experiencing being at the top of your relevance game, and it’s a tremendous feeling. One that perhaps you wish you could bottle and tap into when you need it. However, it doesn’t work that way. So how in fact does it work? By remaining flexible and open to the fact that making adjustments, or fine tuning are necessary, not optional.

As an example, let’s consider athletes. Not your average backyard athletes, but the elite ones at the top of their “game”. They are continuously tweaking and perfecting; as close as possible, what they do well. In fact, they work at remaining relevant with their skills for as long as they possibly can. It takes dedication, focus and being open to suggestions on how to continuously improve. You need to be comfortable with constructive feedback and know how to apply it in order to ascend to the next level. Elite athletes excel at doing this.

Another category of professionals who have to maintain their relevancy are healthcare professionals. We depend on them to continue building upon their knowledge to take care of us, especially during the Corona-19 pandemic we are all living through.

A good friend of mine is a critical care nurse. Two weeks ago, she was re-training on how to use a ventilator, as she told me that there have been some aspects of this device that have changed since she was regularly using it. Literally the lives of people depend on her having relevant knowledge of how to use equipment to keep them alive.

My admiration is immense for my friend and all of the other healthcare professionals who are taking care of people, especially during this time period. We all know they are risking their lives to do this, and that they must maintain their care knowledge relevancy to do this. We count on them to do so, and fortunately they are delivering their expertise at the top of their games every day. Thank you for doing this, and for choosing to do so.

So, what is it that allows some people to retain their relevancy, while others either consciously or unconsciously let it slip away? Determination and dedication are two of these factors, and ones we easily with elite athletes and healthcare professionals. Are there other ways that if your profession does not deem it necessary for you to maintain your relevancy you can do so? Naturally this is a rhetorical question, and here are some suggestions for how to remain relevant.

  • If you are in a profession which requires you to maintain licenses’, consider yourself fortunate, as you have a built-in system of checks and balances to keep you focused on remaining relevant in your profession. Make sure to keep your licenses current.
  • A number of professions refer to their craft as a “practice”. Even if your profession doesn’t apply this terminology, make sure you think about what you are doing to consciously practice your skills, especially the ones you might not be using on a regular basis.
  • Challenge yourself to keep up with the trends in your industry. Some industries trends don’t change frequently, but there are other ones which will require you to devote time each week or month to learn about the trends impacting your industry. Many of which will allow you to remain relevant in your career.
  • Invest in your learning. This doesn’t mean you need to take out your credit card to do this, but it does mean to find ways to learn more about your craft (e.g., on-line, or through talking to others in your industry) about what new things they are doing to remain relevant.
  • Consider teaching others in your industry. Look for opportunities to talk about or show others how you do your work. Make sure you consider applying a “hands-on” aspect to your learning if it is a topic which lends itself to being able to do this. Showing someone how to do something and then allowing them to mimic this is a powerful way to teach others.
  • Ask other people what they are doing to remain relevant. I guarantee you they will offer you a few “golden nuggets” of advice that will be invaluable to maintaining your relevancy.
  • Set new standards for yourself on maintaining your relevancy. Do this by looking around and finding people in your same profession or area of expertise who are at the top of their game. Then set out to see what you can do to mimic aspects of what they are doing, keeping in mind that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Now that you are armed with new ways to maintain or regain your relevancy, what are you waiting for? Go out and make your relevancy something that becomes an integral part of who you are, and how you define yourself.

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 Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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

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

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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

 

 

Are you connecting with others? Are you sure?

You have likely heard the expression you have two ears and one month for a reason, and that you should use them proportionately. In other words, you should be listening more than you should be talking. However, this doesn’t seem to be a well understood concept for everyone.

At the heart of connecting with others is being able to listen, and to do this well. Yes, this seems overly simplistic, but in reality, it’s not. Truly listening and hearing what someone is saying takes focus and practice. Consider the last time you spoke with someone. Do you think they were intently paying attention to everything you were saying? Or, were they like most people, and only semi involved in the conversation and doing a lot of head nodding and saying “ungh-hungh”?

When it comes to connecting with other people, the ones who have mastered this are similar to a Swiss Army Knife. You know, the kind of knife that has lots of different tools on it which can be used in many different circumstances. The act of connecting with a person is not a single dimension activity. Although listening well is one of the components required to connect with someone, it’s only one of the actions involved with the process.

If you were to break down the visual process of being able to connect with other people, it likely wouldn’t be a straight-line diagram. In fact, it would probably look like a scatter gram plotted across a sheet of paper. It would contain many starts and stops, and multiple directions in the visual engagement plotted on paper prior to landing at an end point. The end point also might in fact be the actual starting point of the connection being made, or taken to a different level of connection.

Why does it look easy for people who are good at making connections with others? It’s because like a Swiss Army knife I referenced earlier, the person establishing the connection is skilled at leveraging all of the tools required to develop a human connection.

Can this be a skill that is taught? Yes, I believe it can be taught, but don’t expect it to be like a drive through window experience with instant gratification. The analogy I would use in terms of the time it takes to learn how to master connecting with others would be similar to taking on an apprenticeship in a trade skill such as electricity or plumbing. It’s going to take time to become a pro.

So, what are the things you or someone you know who wasn’t born with the innate skills of being able to establish meaningful connections with others can do to improve your skills in this area? Here are some ideas I have for you.

  • The next time you are talking to someone, pay attention to whether you are really, and I mean really listening to them. Actively listening is a skill which needs to be fostered and practiced.
  • While you are listening to the person you are speaking with, make sure you are asking them thoughtful questions which are on point, and not disruptive to the conversation.
  • Don’t try to change the subject you are talking about. Let the person speaking control where the conversation is headed and captain it. Remember to play the role of a co-captain during the conversation and to be supportive of what they are saying.
  • Connecting well with others also involves determining points of common interest you share. By asking the right questions, you can establish at least one item you have in common. Use this as a thread in your conversation to build upon to help further develop the connection.
  • Test your connection strength. If the person you are engaging with is only providing short, one-word answers and not conversing with you, the connection you have is weak. To strengthen the connection during your conversation, start asking the person questions about themselves. I have shared this tip before, and it’s almost foolproof to help you elongate the conversation. This will give you an opportunity to keep an otherwise dead-end conversation going.
  • Your body language can work against you when you are trying to connect with them. One of the best ways to increase a positive connection is to mirror the body language of the person you are speaking with. However, if they have their arms folded across their body while speaking with you, make sure your arms are down by your sides. Crossed arms are a sign the person is not open to establishing a conversation or connection with you.
  • Think of someone you know who is a “pro” connector. Listen and watch them in action. There is a great deal to learn from them.

As I mentioned earlier, developing your connection skills will take time. The sooner you start to work on either developing or improving them, the sooner you will start to experience the benefits of being a strong connector. Remember, most amazing “connectors” are natural at this, but everyone can become better at this skill. Be patient with yourself as you are developing your “connector” muscles. They will emerge at some point after you have invested time in developing them.

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 Whisperer  and Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer (published in December 2019)and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

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

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

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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

 

 

Are you aware of your unconscious biases?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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