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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(10) Ways to Own Your Confidence

Possessing confidence can be one of the most satisfying feelings, especially when it’s derived from something you are proud of, or enjoy, doing. Demonstrating confidence to others comes in a variety of delivery methods – how you present yourself physically, how you speak, walk, shake hands, and treat others.

Confident people have a certain allure about them that you know they have, but that is difficult to describe. You just know they have it. The funny thing about confidence is that it is a fluid feeling. When you are able to sustain confidence, it becomes more difficult to lose.

Too often I have seen people with that self-assured presence allow others to chip away at it. This generally happens when the person is in the process of building their own confidence.

An analogy for confidence might be compared to creating a foundation. Like an actual foundation, with proper building blocks, confidence can become a solid foundation.  Without a load-bearing structure, it is easily eroded.

So, how do you know whether you have built a strong confidence foundation, or one made of a weak substance such, as dust?This depends, as when we are in the process of building our foundation of confidence, sometimes we choose strong substances like boulders, and sometimes we don’t. This often happens as we test our ability to own something, and when we are in the process of experimenting with our confidence-building strategies.

Speaking of strategies, do you have a few you own to build your confidence? You may not have taken time to ponder this, but it is essential to have some go-to techniques. Here are (10) ideas to consider to help you build your confidence foundation.

  • Write down three things you are proud of having accomplished. These do not have to be monumental achievements, and can be divided into both professional as well as personal accomplishments.
  • On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate your accomplishments?
  • Is it possible to continue to build upon the accomplishments you have achieved? If so, think about how you can do this. Putting it in writing makes it more likely to happen.
  • Now, jot down three or more things you want to accomplish professionally or personally in the next year, or sooner.
  • Plot out, in just a few sentences, how you are going to be able to accomplish the things you want to do. This does not have to be an exercise in crafting a novel, and only you need see this information.
  • Ask a half dozen of your colleagues to e-mail you three or more words that describe who you are. Offer to reciprocate. In fact, you may want to do that first!
  • Once you have a list of words, use this information to gain potentially new insight into how others view you.Part of this exercise is to demonstrate that other people may see you in a much stronger position professionally than you see yourself.
  • Commit to doing at least one random act of kindness every day. These small gestures will indirectly help to build your confidence as you will feel more satisfied by doing something nice for others. The feeling will be cumulative and help to strengthen the confidence foundation you are building.
  • Make sure every day you have an opportunity to work on doing the things that make you feel confident. Each time you do this, just like a physical workout, is equivalent to building the core strength of your confidence muscle, which you absolutely want to fully OWN.
  • We’ve all heard the expression “fake it until you make it.”. There is something interesting about this expression. Part of it has to do with acting confident, even when you may not feel that way.  Whether it’s giving a presentation, going after your dream job, planning an event, doing research . . . If you have not already tried applying this concept, please do! Before you know it, you will not feel like you are faking it anymore.

Not all of the above suggestions might be applicable to you, but there should be a few that can help put you on a trajectory towards owning it. I can’t wait for you to get there, but make sure you take time to enjoy the journey.

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 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 MeToo 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.

What if it all works out? (7) Ways to make this happen.

Maybe it’s just me. I don’t think it is, and too many others have told me they first start with thinking about all of the reasons their plan, project, idea or dreams will not work out. Sure, there is deep psychology behind this type of thinking to explain why this happens, but what if we could change this narrative in our minds and put our mind only on the positive thinking track?

Even though my number one strength is positivity, I’ll admit to sometimes not automatically deferring to this type of thinking. At least not all of the time. However, I can generally talk myself out of going down the negative track, and quickly get back to positive thinking. You can too, and it is really important to be able to do this, as everything in your life and the work you do will be much more satisfying when you adopt this approach to thinking.

Backtracking for just a moment, think about how different your day would be if you always thought everything was going to work out in a positive way? I can’t imagine someone not wanting to sign-up for this. Well maybe a few people, and you know who you are. For the majority of people who would enjoy transforming their way of thinking to be in alignment with everything working out, let’s take a look at how to make this possible.

I’ll walk you through what I recommend as ways you can course correct when the negative talk pops up in your brain. The intent is to have you be able to override this channel, and get back to focusing on your positive outcome.

  1. Your negative thinking is just that. Negative thinking. It’s not real, and you have to remind yourself it isn’t.
  2. Everyone wants to achieve some form of success, or have as many positive outcomes as possible. If you switch your thinking to having a mindset that everything will all work out positively. Guess what? The odds are greater than 50% they will.
  3. Do you believe you deserve to fail? Of course, you don’t. Change your inner minds narrative to thinking you deserve to win or have a positive outcome, and watch what can happen. It’s truly incredible what you will experience.
  4. Enlist a trusted friend, partner, colleague or someone to help you by talking positive outcomes through with them. Hearing yourself express a positive outcome to someone helps to reinforce this thinking, and the outcome.
  5. Make a list of the things you want to have workout well. Do you have ways to influence the positive outcome beyond just thinking you want the outcome to be this way?
  6. If your list has items on it which you can help to positively influence the outcome to be in your favor, are you committed to doing what you will need to do to make this happen?
  7. Think through a couple of scenarios when the outcome didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Did you expect to have a negative outcome? There is a high probability you did. Is there something you can do to change the outcome you didn’t want? Potentially there is, and one of them is to come up with your Plan B to alter the outcome to be in your favor.

One of my articles was about Daydreaming, and there are a lot of sound reasons we should all be doing more of this. Daydreaming aligns well with positive thinking, as we tend not to daydream about negative situations or outcomes. So, when you need to warm-up your positive thinking to allow your brain to wrap around providing you with more positive outcomes, start with daydreaming how it will all work out in your favor.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarketMe Too has expertise in uniting and bridging teams. This provides 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.

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. 

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339)987-0195.T