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

Are you bored? Or boring?

I have a source of irritation to tell you about. It’s when I hear someone say they are bored. When I hear this, I automatically think how is this possible? Sure, you might hear young kids say this, but when I hear this from a teenager or anyone older, I feel badly for them. Why? Because they don’t seem to understand it’s their own fault they are bored.

Why do I think no one should be bored? It’s simple. There are too many choices of things to do to possibly be bored. You know I love lists, so naturally I’ll be providing some G-rated options in case your mind is drawing a blank on what you can do to avoid boredom. Seriously, I can’t imagine how it would even be possible to be bored. Can you relate?

If you can’t relate to how I find it impossible to be bored, then I am going to challenge your thinking about this. We all know there are plenty of things we should be doing to be productive each day, and yes, I understand some people are far more productive than others.

For those of you who fall into the former category, you have even less of an excuse to utter the words “I’m bored”. Yes, it might be possible to be bored for short periods of time, say for example when you are sitting in grid-lock traffic. However, this is a perfect time to listen to music or give someone a call. Notice how I didn’t include texting, as in many states it is illegal to do so while driving, and possibly talk on the phone too.

So, if you are guilty of uttering the words ‘I’m bored”, consider if you really are. Why? Because for one thing, I can tell you are not fully leveraging your brain power to come up with more than one or two things you could be doing instead. Even when we are in situations when we are waiting for someone or something to happen, we can still engage ourselves in a productive activity. The first thing which comes to my mind is reading or listening to a Podcast.

Recently at the gym I found myself less enthused when I was working out on the resistance bike. Typically, I would listen to upbeat music while I’m biking, but I found when I switched to listening to podcasts from Ted Talks, the time on the bike flew by much faster. I think it is because my mind is more engaged when I am listening to the fascinating stories being told. The best part for me is that I always learn something new from each podcast.

Going back to the question of whether you might in fact be boring if you often find yourself to be bored, is another concept I want you to give some thought to. For instance, when you are in conversation with other people, are you only talking about other people, or are you in fact sharing information about something interesting you learned? Many people who chronically talk about other people are often the ones who would claim to be bored.

How do I know this? It’s because in the past I felt surrounded by people who often expressed this out loud. When I realized these were not the type of people I wanted to be associated with, I quickly made a conscious decision to find different people to interact with. What a fabulous decision this was! Are you possibly trapped in this type of web?

Perhaps you have heard of the expression relating to interesting people talk? What do they do differently? They talk about a variety of subjects versus people.  If you are guilty of this, take some time to think about why you do this. It’s not that hard to course correct on this behavior style. The first step is to be become aware of the fact you are doing this.

Now, as promised, here is a list of things you can do if you claim to be bored, and which won’t cost you much money. Not having money shouldn’t ever be an excuse for being bored, and I’m sure you have also heard the expression “creativity is the mother of invention.” It doesn’t cost money to be creative, so let’s get to the list to start you off in your non-bored direction.

  • Plan something. Yes, literally anything. It could be a party, it could be a trip, it could be putting together a list of books you want to read, or people you want to meet.
  • Challenge yourself to learn how to play an instrument, or another one if you already know how to play one.
  • Another challenge would be to learn how to speak another language, and to be at a conversational level within a period of time you set the goal for.
  • Everyone needs to eat. Are you good at cooking? I’m not. So, I have challenged myself to become a better cook, and to cook with a goal of making healthy food.
  • Do you have a hobby? Someone recently asked me if I had one. I had to think about whether I did. I’m not sure if it is a hobby, but I love looking at residential real estate, and designing rooms on-line. Ok, my other and secret hobby is finding the perfect IPA beer. So far, Lunch from the Maine Beer Company is my favorite one.
  • If you have any extra time, look for an organization you can donate and volunteer your time to. This can be really rewarding, and your time is more precious than money.

I could go on with countless more ideas, but you get the idea. When you are doing things which are productive, it provides you with a way to valuably spend your time. You also won’t be talking about other people, and essentially you will be building up your conversation list to become a more interesting person. Not the boring one none of us wants to be classified as.

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

 

What’s your business energy level?

Having spent decades crafting my marketing and indirectly my sales skills, there is one thing which always sticks out in my mind about each of these disciplines. It is how every aspect of what we were doing was measured.  Talk about feeling like you were always under a microscope. Or, being constantly judged on the metrics associated with your discipline.

Being under continuous surveillance can take its toll on people. Although there may be some exceptions. Granted measuring results is a fundamental part of business, but what if and what are the measurements used to determine employees or the company’s energy level?

The first thing which comes to mind is the annual employee satisfaction survey which is sent out. Does this really reveal how satisfied employees are, or does it simply give them an opportunity to vent? This method isn’t going to be helpful in determining energy level’s, but short of applying medical practices (e.g., taking your temperature, blood pressure), is there a way to establish people and company energy levels?

Leaders of companies who are gifted in the emotional intelligence (EI) category are generally perceptive of how other people, and collectively what the energy level of their company is. Although this gets harder to determine when a company has over 50-100 employees. However, even if a leader is able to assess their company energy level, it is still hard to quantify this level amount. More importantly to note, it is certainly subjective.

So, is it possible or reasonable to think there are ways to determine a company’s energy level? If a company knew what it’s energy level was, and let’s say it was low, what could they do about this?

Here are some suggestions I have seen companies apply to help boost their collective energy level:

  • Rally around an organization or cause which could be in alignment with what your company does. If this is too challenging to find a direct alignment with another cause, then mutually determine one to work with. Focusing on helping others is an excellent way of changing a company’s energy level.
  • Consider physically moving to another work area within your company. Several of the companies I worked at had us move our desks every 3-6 months. The energy level of our teams soared when we did this, and it caused people to have to collaborate well together to make the move happen. When you change your physical location, it also does wonders for your overall attitude too.
  • Give your employees something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive to invest in, as it could be as simple as asking a food truck which specializes in desserts to randomly show up outside of your building. If the company can pay for this treat, even better.
  • Dedicating a day a week to do something different at your company also can pick up the energy level. For instance, how about having teams take turns to BBQ for each other one day a week, make waffles or ice cream sundaes or perhaps something healthy?
  • Borrowing from one of my other story ideas, how about having weekly or once a month lunch-and-learns ? The topic can either be work or non-work related. The non-work ones of course will be more fun, and you will be impressed to hear about the hobbies and subjects that your employees are enthusiasts about!
  • Pot luck lunches are lots of fun, and a low-cost option which I have seen the company energy level increase. For those employees who are competitive, throw in a prize or prizes, either monetary or simply bragging rights to who has the best, fill-in-the-blank for the item they made. Hint, pies, chili and cookies are easy contests to run.

Although I do not presently have a subjective measurement for you (yet), to help you know what your energy level is, start out with trying some of the suggestions above and see if you notice if your company energy level improves. Also, be aware if your own energy level improves too. Most importantly, be as creative as you can be with trying out different activities to give you the energy boost you are looking for.

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,

 

Regrets are a waste of time.

A friend of mine asked me if I had any regrets. Upon seriously and carefully thinking about this question, I said no. I do not have any regrets. How could I think this way? This is possible based on the way I have trained myself to think, and it comes down to having eliminated the regret category as an option in my life.

When I think back to when I made the conscious decision to do this, I can tell you with almost one hundred percent certainty when this was. Without going into personal details, I can tell you it was at a point in time when I was at a critical decision crossroad. Would I have evolved my thinking about eliminating regrets had I not been in this situation? Possibly, but the point is I’m sharing this with you, because you do not need to be in this exact situation to have the same benefits I gained from eliminating regrets in my life.

Freeing yourself from pondering and carrying a load of regret is truly liberating. It also allows you to have a new lens on the opportunities around you. Your energy level increases, your outlook on possibilities skyrockets, and life can be so much more enjoyable.

Sure, many people will easily succumb to taking the easy road and continue to harbor and carry their regrets around. Some may even consider these regrets to in a morbid way be a badge of honor. I feel sorry for you if you do, and can only encourage you to give some of my tips a try. If you are serious about moving past your regrets, chances are in your favor you these tips will direct you towards a far better place emotionally.

Where do you start to change your mentality with casting your regrets aside? Here are some tips to consider.

  • You know I love lists. So, I’m asking you to first make a list of all of your regrets. Don’t leave any off this list, no matter how trivial you may think they are.
  • Put your list away for a few days.
  • When you come back to your list, cross off the ones you can mentally come to terms with dropping. Starting immediately.
  • The regrets that remain on your list, are there for a reason. However, you need to give yourself permission to forgive and forget them. The key to do this, is to allow yourself to go through the process of mourning these regrets. Now, put a timeline on how long to do this, and then literally tear up, burn or throw away the list and say goodbye to them.
  • If you think analytically about regrets, but remember, we talked about them not actually serving any constructive purpose. We can be our own worst enemy with allowing ourselves to build up our regret inventory, and we have the same and greater power of eliminating them from our mind.
  • If some of your regrets are associated with offering an apology, then go ahead and make the apology. In person apologies are best, but a written one will do too. Perhaps both.
  • Most regrets are based on decisions, inaction or actions we chose to take. Stop thinking about the decisions you made which are regret based, and allow yourself to come to terms with owning them. You may not be happy or proud of these decisions, but they are part of your past. Emphasis is on the past, and they do not have to define who you are going forward.
  • Write down the date you will begin your journey of not having any regrets. Consider it to be similar to a birthday or holiday, and worthy of a celebration. Look forward to celebrating on this day annually, and do not dwell on what the regrets were. Instead focus on all of the amazing things you have done since the day you released yourself from all of your regrets.

What can you do now that you have a new set of tools to eliminate the regrets in your life? Help someone else to get to the place you have arrived at, and give them the gift of not having any regrets. In other words, pay it forward, as I have done so for you with this advice.

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.