Are you are Praiser? You should be.

Even constructive criticism can be harmful. Contrasting criticism with a genuine comment which is positive and actual praise, can do wonders for someone. Especially their confidence. Let’s face it, just about everyone can benefit from a confidence booster every now and then.

I read an article this weekend about women in business. Essentially the article boiled down to the fact that women are much less apt to give praise to other women. This applies both in the office, and outside of it too. What a shame this is happening. It doesn’t have to, and even though the article focused on women, men can be equally stingy about giving out praise.

Unfortunately given our current office climate, men are probably afraid or concerned about praise being misconstrued in a negative way, and potentially used against them. I can understand why they might be hesitant to do so. However, sincerely giving out praise in a “Switzerland-like” neutral way is possible to do. It takes a bit more effort to think through constructing the comment, but it is worth it.

Back to the women. There are absolutely no excuses for them not to be giving more praise to one another. Some theorists would suggest women do not compliment one another because they are fiercely competitive with one another. In just about all situations. As a woman, I can definitively tell you I have seen this happen first hand.

I cringe when I think about having witnessed a missed opportunity to praise someone, or a team. However, I’m not one to just stand by the sideline and keep quiet about what I see. Instead, I speak privately to the person who was the lack of praise culprit, at a later point in time.

When I speak with them, I gently explain to them about how damaging their lack of praise can be. I also point out that when praise is not given, they are missing out on an incredible opportunity to elevate another person. In fact, women should be the first ones to be supporting one another, although the concept of praising others is gender neutral.

People can thrive in so many different ways. One of the best ways to do so is via having others support them through basic and sincere praise. Think about an instance that sticks out in your mind about a time when someone provided you with genuine praise. It felt great, didn’t it? It should have. However, it’s a fleeting feeling, and needs to be fueled by more praise. Which as we have established is easy to give, and should be given far more often than it is.

There is no need to be stingy with praise. To be crystal clear, I also don’t believe or support the school of tough luck or love. I have yet to see how this type of management or coaching style of interaction is more effective than a highly supportive and encouraging environment. In fact, I have seen teams who are managed with an iron fist, and directly or indirectly through words or actions told they are essentially not good enough. The results? A slow and painful destruction of the team’s morale, character and worse, self-esteem.

When a team is ruled, and deprived of praise, I have seen the business numbers typically prove out negative performance results. In this case, I’m referring to a sales team, but other types of teams (e.g., sports, customer success, marketing, engineering, product development) are also negatively impacted in other ways from lack of praise. For instance, their productivity and creativity levels are usually way off.

The worst part about the management types who operate with a little to non-existent praise philosophy, is that they are generally blind to the negative impact they are having. What a tragedy for those who are under this type of management style.

Is it possible to turn around a person whose leadership or management style is absent of praise? Of course, it is. Is it easy to do this? Yes, and no. Yes, if they are willing to be open to trying another approach which will yield better and different results. No, if they are closed minded and think only they have all of the answers.

Being a consummate optimist, I always give everyone the benefit of being willing to change for the better. I have even seen some real-life miracles of leaders and coaches who have been willing to change. What did they do? They adopted and applied what I refer to as a “Praiser Strategy Approach”. Guess what the results were?  In a word, amazing!

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, motivating and reinvigorating 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.

 

Collaboration – News Flash! It’s a team sport.

If you were to take a survey and ask people to respond via yes or no if they are good at collaborating with others, most would probably answer yes. The majority of people want to see themselves as strong collaborators. However, there are factors which impede some people’s ability to either truly collaborate, or collaborate well.

One of the factors which makes collaborating difficult is that it requires people to often agree upon something. It also requires focus and letting down your guard and putting yourself into a neutral state of mind. Or at least an open state of mind. Again, this is hard to do. Now add in having to collaborate with people who you may not know, don’t like, or worse, do not respect. At least not yet.

Often people are asked to collaborate with others they would not ordinarily collaborate with. So, this further complicates the equation. In this case, think of a group of people at a company who acquired another company, and now they are being asked to work and essentially collaborate with one another.

When you think of collaborating, do any rules come to mind? Potentially, but then again, everyone might have their own interpretation of what this means. Given this reality, who will be the arbitrator in this scenario? Again, this will require the parties involved to agree to be open minded in order to give the goal of collaborating a chance.

Trust also plays a role in collaborating. The reality is that not everyone trusts each other. It takes time and experience with one another to build up trust, and certainly does not happen overnight. So, can you fast track building up trust with people you have to collaborate with? Yes, but again, all of the parties involved will have to allow themselves to be vulnerable, and this isn’t easy for most people. In fact, it can be downright scary. So now what?

Just like most situations, there isn’t one silver bullet to address and make the challenge easy. However, here are some tips on how you can build up your collaboration muscles.

  • Collaboration requires warming up and opening up your mind to jumping into actually being able to collaborate with others. So, start with an icebreaker exercise to help the group get to know one another better. It should involve helping each person to reveal something about themselves which is going to be one of their contributions to being a strong collaborator.
  • Each person in the group should give an example of a time they were involved in a successful collaboration. Keep each story to a limit of 2-4 minutes.
  • Have each person state what they envision as a positive outcome for the collaborative project they are working on with the team.
  • Mutually determine what success of the collaboration would look like. Write it down, and it’s fine if this takes some time to come up with. It’s critical to get everyone onboard with this vision and goal.
  • Define up front that everyone will be playing an equal role on the team, and agree that no idea or verbal contribution towards the goal is unacceptable.
  • Ask each person on the team to define what their superpower is. Draw upon their superpower during each of your collaboration gatherings. The point is to focus on each person’s strength, and this helps to level set the collaboration playing field.
  • Agree to have fun collaborating. When you establish this as one of your ground rules, it makes getting to the end goal much easier, and who doesn’t want to have a little fun when they are working on a project?
  • Appoint the person who aligns with being an idea generator to capture your team’s verbal contributions when you are brainstorming during each of your meetings. Also consider brainstorming during each meeting, either to solve a challenge, or to have all team members participating fully. Ensure that everyone is able to contribute to each session.
  • Make sure your collaboration team has an opportunity to spend time with one another doing something unrelated to their project. This could mean doing something as simple as asking them to get together to take five minutes to talk about a talent or hobby, or something they do outside of work which they love doing. Sharing this information helps the team to get to know one another, and this helps to increase trust, as it is easier to develop this when you know more good things about a person.

Since there isn’t a perfectly developed formula for ideal collaboration, you will have to accept that you will need to do your best as a contributor to the team at all times. Yes, some days this might be more difficult to do than other times, but then again, others on the team will help to compensate for you not bringing your “A” game that day. My last point is to embrace that collaboration is what generally leads to exceptional outcomes when we work well together. Isn’t that why we collaborate in the first place? As I said earlier, collaboration is a team sport.

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.

Win or lose, it doesn’t matter.

Even if you are not a sports fan, it is easy to get swept up in the hype of the Super Bowl. It’s a great reason to get together with family and friends, and to cheer on your favorite team. If you happen to know which state in the U.S. I live in, then you can easily guess which team I’m rooting for. However, regardless of the outcome, my day tomorrow will be the same.

Sure, I might be quietly celebrating my team’s win, but then again, I might also be thinking through the game events which contributed to the outcome of a loss. Either way, I will have personally learned something from this experience, and so will many other people watching the game. Of course, the players from each team will have also learned a great deal too.

Both teams playing today are extremely well prepared for this game, and most of them have been playing the sport for their entire life. Many of the coaches potentially were players at one point, and they too are equally as invested in the outcome of the game as the players. However, so are the fans, and all of the supporting contributors it takes to broadcast and put this event on.

As we know, this is one of the highest watched events in our country. Some people who will tune into the game are actually more interested in the halftime show, and watching the bevy of creative advertisements meant to entice us to favor their brand. Regardless of why you are watching the game, from my perspective this event provides a fantastic opportunity to focus on why winning or losing this game really does not matter.

Why do I say this, and think this way? Because when I look at this event from a different perspective, and from one which is potentially what many would say is “outside-of-the-box” thinking, they would be right.  It is, and this is one of the things I enjoy doing, as it allows me to flex my thinking and deep understanding of a team and their complex dynamics simultaneously.

Having a creative and strategic mindset, doesn’t always have me looking at the game from a win or lose perspective. Anyone can do that. What’s fun for me is the twist of looking at what can be derived from such an event. Here’s my take on what you can learn from this once a year extravaganza.

  • Being on a team is an extraordinary experience, and how well the team actually plays as a team can significantly impact the outcome of the game. This same concept can be applied to non-sports teams too.
  • Trusting one another to do their best and bring their A-game today, or every day is critical. There is a saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The same concept can apply here. Work on strengthening your entire team, and you’ll see far better results than you anticipated.
  • Communication is critical, especially during periods when there is extreme pressure to win. A team that has strong communication skills can often beat a team who is not on the same level as your team’s communication abilities.
  • Experience plays a critical role in the outcome. Both muscle and mind memory experience will factor into the outcome, especially if the players were able to learn from their prior experience, and apply it to help the team.
  • Discipline, focus and hard work will pay off, and sometimes the payoff is different than you might have expected. However, there will always be a solid return on investment from anything you apply discipline to. It’s one of the secret ingredients to success.

Yes, winning can be fun, and losing certainly isn’t the desired outcome for either team. However, both teams will both gain tremendous lessons they will be able to apply both to their future teams, to their life, and as representatives of sharing their experiences and lessons learned with others.

Teaching others and applying your experience to another person’s life is one of the greatest gifts. Regardless of the outcome, each team will be able to have valuable teaching lessons to share. Remember, winning isn’t everything, but having a positive perspective on the outcome is something both teams can benefit from. Let the game begin.

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.

 

(6) Tips on how to build up your self-confidence and self-worth.

First let’s visit a story about someone who most would easily classify as someone who lacked self-confidence. This person was repeatedly told they could not do and achieve what they wanted to do academically, year after year. As you might imagine, this could have been very discouraging for this person. You would also not have been surprised if they just gave up pursuing their academic dream. However, they didn’t. As a matter of fact, they went on to prove everyone wrong, and prove that persistence and self-confidence can trump and override perceptions of what seems impossible.

The person I am writing this about knows who they are, and are a prime example of someone who has worked steadily at building-up their self-confidence and self-worth over the last eight years. They are also a young person, and I can’t wait to see what they are going to achieve in their life based on their ability to truly believe in themselves when others have not. Sound familiar?

What has this person done to overcome adversity and keep plugging along when everyone else around them was not supporting who they knew they could be? They had self-motivation. They also knew they needed to rely upon their own internal “cheerleading” system to keep them focused on their goals. Especially at times when no one else was supporting or believed in them.

As you might imagine, this is incredibly difficult to do, but everyone has the ability to do this. Although, they may not realize they can. However, simply by thinking you can do something, even if at first you do not fully believe you can do it is the first step in building-up your self-confidence.

Here are some other steps you can take to build-up your own Bank of Self-Confidence.

  • Find one person you know will support you 100% of the time, and who may believe in you more than you believe in yourself.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. If you can’t find them, keep looking, they are out there, and for starters, I’m one of them.
  • You know you have talents, but you may in fact not be focused on using them. Why not?
  • Write a list of 2-3 things you have done well this week. Yes, it can be anything, and does not have to be work related. However, perhaps you might want to have two lists.
  • Consider writing a note to yourself in the third person. The note will be about what qualities and talents you think or would want others to admire in you. Put your note in the mail, and mail it to yourself. Seriously. You will love getting this piece of mail.
  • Reward yourself when you do something which you are proud of doing. Your reward can be a small monetary reward, a trip to your favorite coffee shop, or an inexpensive item which reminds you of your accomplishment, or the activity you did which made you feel proud. Hint: Doing something kind for someone else also helps to build your self-confidence too.

The list above is to get you started on your journey to either build back-up your confidence, or to enhance the confidence account you have already been investing in. Just remember to focus on making more deposits than withdrawals. Also, keep in mind it is OK to make withdrawals when you need them.  Everyone needs to, some days more than others. Cheers to your first confidence deposit.

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.

 

 

Making a difference? You can be.

A friend of mine is going through a really rough patch. However, what he tells me, and what we have talked a great deal about is how much helping other people is what makes his day brighter. He also said that helping someone else makes him forget about what he is worrying about, and adds a sense of joy to his day.

For some, helping others comes naturally. However, too many people are so self-focused they forget about the importance of carving out time to help others. Helping others should be at the top of everyone’s agenda, and it does not have to mean monetarily helping them. Actually, donating your time or attention to someone or something is better.

The ones who are always helping other people generally do not broadcast what they are doing. In fact, most of the time, the people who are routinely assisting others do so with little to no credit. They know who they are, and realistically they are not looking for praise. No, they help others because they want to make a difference in people’s lives, and put their effort and time towards doing this.

Fortunately, there are companies who allow, and even encourage their employees to donate their time to worthy causes. This is absolutely a win/win for everyone involved. Most of the time, these activities which make a difference in others’ lives, go completely unnoticed. It’s perfectly fine that they do, as not every good deed needs to be recognized. Both the giver and receiver derive satisfaction. This can be enough.

So, are you doing your part to make a difference? I’m talking about making a difference in other people’s lives, your family, your community, your school, your country. Fill in the blank, as there are numerous ways you can make a positive difference, and impact the lives of others.

Have you considered helping others? I’m not buying your excuse about being too busy. I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert recently at the Boston Women’s Conference. She talked about how everyone can always find time to apply it to what either they want to, or should be doing. It’s a matter of prioritizing your time.

There is a saying that “if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to help you”. Why? Because they are exceptional at prioritizing their time and getting things done. Does this sound like you, or someone you know? If not, then look harder, as there are plenty of people out there who fall into this category.

Still wondering about what you can do to make a difference? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Start by looking for opportunities in your town or city to donate your time. This time of year, many organizations are looking for extra help.
  • If you have a special talent or skill, consider how you can share this with someone who might not be able to afford or have access to learning about the talent or skill you have (e.g., writing, singing, carpentry, just about anything you are good at doing). Let others know you are interested in donating your time and talents, and before you know it, you will likely be matched up with someone who can benefit from this. You could even put a sign up in your office letting your colleagues know you are willing to volunteer your time and talent to people they know.
  • Lots of pet shelters need volunteers. If you like animals, but perhaps cannot have one of your own, this is a great way to enjoy the benefits of providing care for a pet.
  • Most cities have homeless shelters. They are always looking for volunteers. You can simply donate items if for some reason, you cannot carve out time to help them, but try harder.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs across the country, as well as other types of similar organizations are also frequently looking for volunteers. Think back to the time when you were younger and the positive impact adults in your life had on you. This could be you having a positive impact on a young person.
  • Donate your time to clean up a neighbor’s property. Perhaps one who is either elderly or needs physical assistance. You can volunteer to help them in their yard, picking up their groceries or any number of tasks they have difficulty with.

Helping other people and the amazing feeling you get from doing this is something everyone should regularly experience. If you are not doing this, commit to doing this soon, and on a regular basis. Imagine if everyone volunteered their time and talent? Wow, what an amazing world we would be living in.

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.