Are you approachable?

If you do not consider yourself to be approachable, do you consider this to be an asset or liability? For me personally, I consider it to be an asset, but appreciably not everyone thinks the same way I do. Some people would consider being highly approachable as a distraction, or something they do not have time for. Looking at this from the inverse, if you are the type who is highly approachable as a person, you potentially have more positive opportunities to consider pursuing based on more people interacting with you.

What makes someone approachable? Is it their body or actual verbal language? Are they more outgoing and upbeat than those who are not considered approachable? Do you think they have always been an approachable person, or is this a trait they have been working on? Can someone learn to be more approachable if they want to be so? I think they can, and here are some ways you can work towards adopting a more approachable persona, providing you want to do this.

  • Sincerely engage with everyone you interact with. Go beyond the cursory hello and onto one or two more sentences of engagement.
  • Ask people how they are doing, and truly listen to their response. If they are having a bad day, or give you a neutral response, tell them you hope their day continues to improve from this point on. Sometimes a small dose of positivity can go a long way.
  • Think about who you know that you would consider to be an approachable person. Do you have traits in common with them? Which ones don’t you have in common? How could you work on developing the ones you do not have in common? Hint: You might not need all of these traits to become more approachable.
  • Pay attention to your body language. Do people often ask if you are mad or upset about something? You might not realize that you appear to be coming across this way, when in fact you are not.
  • Do you consider yourself to be overly critical of yourself and others? If you are, this is an area you can work on decreasing your level of criticality, which will help towards making you more approachable. No one enjoys interacting with someone who they believe is going to only give them criticism, even it is considered constructive.
  • Give out compliments, or start to give them out more liberally. It doesn’t cost you anything to do this, and as long as they are sincere and within the acceptable boundaries of what is politically and socially correct, this will serve you well.

If you are in a leadership role, or considering going into one, increasing your approachability rating will be something you want to strive to do. Leaders who are approachable gain the benefit of having more engaged and happier employees, less attrition in their organization and a better pulse on what is really happening in their organization. Having access to information about the realities of your business is invaluable information, and you need to be an approachable person to earn having access to this difficult to come by feedback.

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.

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

 

Break down the silos

Businesses thrive on many things, and two of them are being well managed and having solid structured processes in place to grow the business. If your company has more than 15 people in it, chances are you have a few different departments which have specialists in the traditional business disciplines such as operations, marketing, sales, customer service and accounting.

Depending on the size of your company, you could in fact have dozens of different departments, and each of them will function interdependently if they are running smoothly and are well managed. When the departments start to operate as independent units, or in what I refer to as silos, this is when challenges within your business will typically start to emerge.

Due to the fact the silo effect tends to move at a slower pace, it may in fact not be something you notice having happened. At least not until the negative aspect of a silo appears. Some examples of this could be finger pointing, lack or reduced communication, reduced efficiency and potentially a reduction in trust between the business departments. So, who owns or should recognize the silo effect occurring?

Typically, someone on the Operations team will begin to recognize the signs of the departments taking on the characteristics of becoming siloed. However, the marketing and sales teams are often the first ones to feel the effects of this. When this happens, the heads of marketing and sales should take steps to begin figuring out what caused the silo effect to occur, and then commit to coming up with a solution to start removing the reasons the silos have been developed.

Here are some tips on how to tackle breaking down the silos.

  1. Recognize and admit you have created silos.
  2. Silos are often a source of management power for certain types of individuals, but what they do not realize is that they will be stronger and more powerful when they collaborate with others.
  3. Mutually determine and agree upon the fact the silos created are not actively supporting the growth of the business, and could be harmful to its growth.
  4. Appoint someone from a neutral team to help with identifying how to begin taking down the silo barriers.
  5. Keep the initial meetings to discuss the silo problem small (e.g., 3-4) people, and typically the heads of the departments.
  6. Come up with a list of tasks, people, processes or systems which have contributed to the silo effect.
  7. Assemble a silo dismantling team, and partner people from the opposing teams to work on this project together.
  8. Determine a time line and milestones to accomplish breaking down the silos. The goal of doing this will be to focus the teams on ultimately contributing to eliminating the silos.
  9. Once the silos have been dismantled, celebrate the fact they have been, and leverage the experience to help other departments or teams which have become siloed.
  10. Similar to weight gain, the silo effect can creep back into the business. So, have your teams be aware of this, and commit to being disciplined about not allowing silo creep to occur.

Once the silos have been officially dismantled, you will see a noticeable lightness and higher levels of collaboration amongst the formerly siloed teams. The team members from the various departments will also be much less stressed, and potentially even enjoy doing their job more. I’ve seen the positive impact results from taking down silos happen, so you can take my word on this, or give the process of dismantling your silos a chance to experience this on your own.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO 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.

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.

 

Seeing Opportunities. Do you?

Are you constantly amazed by either people you know or read about who always seem to be able to take advantage of opportunities better than others? Are they lucky or do they have a sixth sense when it comes to being able to see or capitalize on situations which are highly favorable to them? The answer as you might imagine is not completely straightforward, and I am going to share with you how you can start to do this too.

Part of the challenge most people have in terms of not being able to take full advantage of potential opportunities either at work or in their lives is simple. They are not fully paying attention to what is going on around them as they are too busy dealing with their day to day challenges at home and work. However, if you consciously look up from time to time from all of the day to day distractions you have, you will begin to notice and see things going on around you via a different and more opportunistic lens.

When you begin to notice what is going on around you, the next part of capitalizing on opportunities is to start asking questions to those who are associated with what you are seeing going on. This might seem more difficult than it really is or needs to be, as you can generally obtain most of the basic information you will need by asking a limited amount of questions. For example, you can ask:

  • Do you see others being involved in “x” with what you are working on?
  • What is your timing for “Y”?
  • Have you put a plan together, even an initial one to determine the validity of the “Z” opportunity?
  • Providing you are interested enough to inquire and sincerely would want to participate, you can then ask: Could I play a part in the opportunity you are pursuing or engaged with?

If what I have outlined above seems a bit too nebulous for you, I want you to think about some of the times you have seen opportunities which you noticed, and did not pursue doing something about to take advantage of them.

Perhaps it was an opportunity to go on a trip with some of your friends, and you neglected to ask if you could be included in going on the trip. Or, possibly there was a discussion at work taking place about your department expanding which would create new roles, some of which you would be more interested in taking on the challenge of pursuing. Another example would be talking about how a certain neighborhood appears to be on the edge of becoming a more trendy place to live, and yet is currently a very affordable place to live. Did you think about taking advantage of this opportunity and let it pass you by?

Sure, luck and timing certainly play roles in why some people seem to be able to take better advantage or have more opportunities presented to them, but I would argue it really has to do with them paying more attention to their surroundings.

The next time you are frustrated with yourself or your life or work situation would be the ideal time to practice exercising how to see and leverage the opportunities surrounding you. If you do not do this, you will only continue to remain in what I refer to as neutral gear. From my perspective, why would anyone want to stay in this gear? Live your life at least in first or second gear, and when you really start to take advantage of and having opportunities present themselves, you will soon be moving onto third, fourth and fifth gears which are way more fun to be living in.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales 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. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Did you know? My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon, and has been getting five star reviews! Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift, and is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers. Why? Because the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.

(10) Reasons why we should all be daydreaming

When was the last time you caught yourself daydreaming? This is something I find myself doing regularly. It often serves as inspiration for the work I do.

Daydreaming can even be helpful in solving challenges – an extension of the thinking-through process. Some might refer to the act of daydreaming in other expressive ways.  This concept serves multiple purposes and results in more positive than negative outcomes.

No one would argue that time is one of our most precious resources, but they might tell you daydreaming is not a productive use of time. I disagree.

Let’s imagine if people did not daydream. Would they be more productive, happier, healthier, and ultimately more satisfied with their life? Probably not. Daydreaming is a form of natural therapy which can calm anxiety provide hope and inspiration to do and achieve what once seemed impossible.

I have found that when daydreaming, I am, in fact, architecting in my mind the potential outcome.

I use daydreaming to help me think through conundrums either for myself, my clients, friends, or family. Since most of us do not remember our overnight dreams, I am thankful we can remember our daydreams. We can leverage them to transport us to places we might not otherwise be able to go for any number of reasons – health, mobility issues, finances, fear . . .

Do you daydream?  If not, why not?  Is it because you think it is a waste of time? Is it because you do not have anything you think is worthy of daydreaming about? Or, does the possibility of seeing yourself in a better place seem too scary? Regardless of which camp you find yourself in on the debate of whether daydreaming is a worthwhile exercise, here are my ‘pro’ daydreaming reasons.

  1. Daydreaming can be like taking a mini mental vacation each and every day.
  2. Daydreaming can encourage you to do more than you think you can.
  3. Daydreaming allows you to place (or imagine) yourself in different scenarios and can help you to prepare to step up or in when the actual time comes. It is similar to the concept of visualization.
  4. Daydreaming can provide your mind and body with a way to decrease stress by thinking about things that are more positive.
  5. Creative minds need time to relax and capture mental power from various sources. Daydreaming is often a source that fuels those with creative minds.
  6. Inspiration can come from daydreaming, which in turn allows you to continue, to pursue or to embark upon something you want to achieve.
  7. Numerous inventions have been inspired by daydreaming as the catalyst for the idea to come to fruition.
  8. Problem solvers, or people who have to figure out solutions to challenges will often apply the act of daydreaming to help their minds switch gears and develop methods and solutions.
  9. Healing can take place when our minds have an opportunity to check-out from reality and go to a happier place, which in turn can release natural healing chemicals in our brains.
  10. Those who are dealing with physical or mental issues can apply the pros of daydreaming to help them see themselves in a better and more positive situation than the one they are currently in.

In other words, daydreaming can offer people hope. On days it may be in short supply. Since daydreaming does not cost anything, and is easy to do, why not give it a try? See if you change your mind, or reinforce your beliefs, about the benefits and positive aspects of this practice after you have given it a try for a week or two.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO 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.

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 takes place individually, or via customized workshops.

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.

It’s all about the now.  Or is it?

I’ll admit that patience is probably not one of my super powers.  To my credit, I do practice being patient, and many people who have worked with me actually think I am patient.

Perhaps I come across as patient, but if I were a duck, you would likely see my feet paddling extremely fast underneath the calm surface of the water. Being, or appearing to be patient can have advantages. In many business situations, it is imperative to come across as steady, yet able to make swift and well thought-through decisions when necessary.

There have been numerous articles written about the power of now, and a book with that very title by Eckhart Tolle extols the virtues of spiritual enlightenment, living in the moment, and not concerning yourself with thoughts from the past.

In the business world, we are trained to both look in our rearview mirror and to leverage this information to inform our decisions. This knowledge will make us more competitive.

When we take the time to slow down and leverage analysis to help with strategic planning, we go against the concept of instant gratification. However, this is absolutely required and usually takes years of experience to do well, or without guidance.

Being strategic about decisions can be a challenge, especially if you’re a newcomer to the business world. It can also be frustrating to those who are driven by our instant gratification society.

We are fortunate to have technology to rely upon to help provide insights into data that even five years ago would have been difficult to obtain or analyze. Reading and interpreting the numbers is skill that is best developed over time. Having instant access can be enormously beneficial, but taking the time to review the information with others more experienced will serve you well.

An example of this would be reviewing your social media marketing investments to determine if they are providing you with the expected results you desire or forecasted. Fortunately, social media is one of the marketing investment areas which can be adjusted in “real time” if the results are not suitable, and this is one example of appealing to instant gratification.

Not all business disciplines are driven by instant gratification, but sales and marketing teams often are. This is fueled by expectations from senior management who either report to a board of directors or potentially to venture capitalists who have extremely high expectations. In both of these instances, time is not on the side of the teams who are on the front lines of performance. There is a great deal of pressure on these teams to perform well, and in the spirit of now.

Depending on how the powers that be manage their team, employees working for them will be captured by a great sense of urgency and potentially a feeling of being under a performance microscope. It is critical that upper management know how to minimize these emotions, as this type of pressure is not sustainable.

Seasoned managers know how to guide their teams through bursts of pressure and show them how to embrace the power of instant gratification in smaller doses. Since marketing and sales teams are typically quarterly driven, they should pace themselves through their performance journeys.

Some people are naturally adept at pacing themselves, but most people need a bit of guidance or coaching, and over sustained periods of time. Having superior time management skills will contribute to making the marathon pace seem less daunting, and allow the team to embrace the concept of slowing down enough to realize they do not need to have instant gratification for every aspect of their work.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO 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.

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.

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.