Nice isn’t a four-letter word. Are you nice?

Even if you are not aware of what is going on in the world around you, it is hard not to notice there are many less than desirable things happening. Of course, the news mainly focuses on the sensational and less than positive information to report on. Occasionally it will broadcast a happy story. Although in my opinion, not nearly as often as they can and should.

I understand the economics of how sensational news is what viewers pay attention too, but sometimes I feel the equation for negative and positive news skews too heavily in the negative column. So, what can we do about this? In a simple word…lots!

For starters, we can be nicer on a daily basis to other people, starting with those closest to us. However, we also need to pass along being nice to our colleagues too. Considering we often spend more time with them than our family. If someone asked you what was the last nice thing you did for someone, could you name when and what it was?

All my life I have been referred to as a nice person. Sometimes I felt this wasn’t always a strength, especially in business. Or, so I thought at the time. Upon reflection, I wouldn’t want to change how I interacted with anyone. As a matter of fact, being nice to people is part of my management style. People take notice of this, especially when I am compared to others who do not have this same management philosophy.

Is my management style of being nice effective? It sure is. How do I know this? Because with one or two exceptions, people have told me they would want to work for and with me again at any point in time. Being nice doesn’t mean you are a pushover. It means you treat people with respect, and with kindness.

I don’t know about you, but I have never been motivated by people or bosses who are unkind, or simply not nice. Perhaps this management style works for some, but I would argue the majority of people do not respond well to this approach.

Have you ever taken the time to think about whether you are a nice person, or nice person to work or live with? If you haven’t, you should. Especially if no one has told you recently you are a nice person, in any context.

For the record, let me say that being nice is not a four-letter word. Or, a bad thing to be. In fact, it is easier to be nice than the opposite behavior. So, what are some of the other benefits to being nice? Here’s a starter list for you to consider adding to:

  • When you are genuinely nice to others, the response you normally get from them is a positive one.
  • You also feel better when you treat other people well.
  • Economically, if you are in a service business, your company will make more money if your employees treat one another, and your clients nicely.
  • Being nice to others raises both your endorphin levels, and the recipients too. For clarity, I’m talking about the “happy” type of endorphins. From a medical description via Dictionary.com, “Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.”
  • Modeling being nice to others can be contagious. We need more of this type of contagious behavior in our society.
  • Being nice does not reduce your professional or personal credibility level.
  • When you are nice to others, it means you are confident and strong.
  • More people want to interact with others who are nice, and there are numerous benefits to having more people to interact with.
  • There is no reason to be mean to others. You can always make the effort, even a small amount can be meaningful. Just try it, if you are not convinced.

So, the next time someone refers to you as being nice, stand proud, and know that you have earned being classified this way. Being nice in my opinion is a badge of honor, and I would gladly be classified as being nice, or too nice any day.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me 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.

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.

 

Take one step forward to change everything

I recently saw a saying which conveyed if you do not like where you are, then move. This can apply to so many scenarios, and it can literally mean pivoting and taking one step in a different direction. Have you ever noticed that sometimes making the smallest changes in any situation can have a significantly positive outcome? Take for example moving your desk to another place in your office, or rearranging and organizing items on your desk. Although these are small and seemingly inconsequential movements, they can have an impact on how you approach your next tasks.

When people are in scenarios which are unknown to them, or they are preparing to go someplace they have not been, the most difficult part of going there can be the first step they take. However, when they take their first step forward and literally look back, they have made more progress by doing this, as it is easier to continue going forward than it is to take a step back.

Earlier today I was talking to someone I have known for many years, and who has a son who is training to be a Navy Seal. He was telling me about some of the training his son has been going through, and just the first week alone and getting through it sounded nearly impossible. The sleep deprivation part of the training alone would have knocked me out of becoming a Seal, and it got me thinking about how do people get through the training process, and at what point do they decide they can’t make it through?

I have not spoken to a Navy Seal directly. However, based on hearing about my friend’s son and the type of training he has gone through, I have deduced that in order to become a Seal, it not only takes a very determined individual, but they must also possess having a certain level of mental toughness combined with sheer tenacity and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Each day when the prospective Seals are in training, the first step they take must in some respects be the most difficult one. Especially since they know the day ahead of them is likely going to be tougher than the previous days. If non-Seals or regular people are fortunate, they will not face the same challenges that taking the first step forward Seals in training encounter. However, I do know that taking the first step for some people can be daunting, and most of the time it is the mental aspect, not the physical aspect which makes moving ahead difficult.

So, if taking a step forward in any situation is made challenging due to the mental aspect, what can you do to overcome and move ahead? Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Focus on your end goal.
  • Seek encouragement from others to help you to take the first step.
  • Visualize what it will feel like when you have completed the project or scenario.
  • Talk yourself into getting started, and tell yourself it will not be as hard as you think it might be.
  • Set a timeframe for accomplishing either part of the project or scenario, and work towards completing it.
  • Look for others who inspire you. They may in fact have nothing to do with what you are challenging yourself to move ahead with, but they can provide inspiration for you to move ahead based on what they accomplished.
  • Establish a reward for yourself once you move ahead and then complete your project or scenario.
  • Share your completed accomplishment with someone you are comfortable with. You might in fact inspire them to do something they are afraid of doing based on what you accomplished.

No matter who you are, or what you have accomplished, everyone has things in their work and life which hold them back from moving forward. Sometimes people even seem to enjoy complaining about how they are stuck and cannot make progress. Doing this does not serve them or anyone else well, and the trick to preventing this from happening is to focus and know that by taking that first step forward, they can literally have a life changing scenario occur. Now that’s worth finding the courage to move ahead.

So, what’s next? This is a rhetorical question. Get up and take your first step towards reaching the goal you thought you could not reach. I know you can do this, and I hope I’m part of playing the role for your inspiration to do so.

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.

 

The Power of Resilience

Everyone has the power of resilience, but some have had to rely upon this skill more than others. When they do, and apply it, it is what seriously separates them in an extremely positive and impactful way from others.

According to the American Psychological Association, they define the word Resilience as an ‘adaptation in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or stress: family/relationship problems, health problems or workplace/money issues.’ I like this definition based on the word adaptation, as it is such a powerful trait which we can all learn to develop.

As you know, I’m not a big news watcher, but typically when I do catch the news, it tends to be focused on the negative events happening in our lives. Unfortunately, the format of news broadcasts does not have a follow-up element which allows you to see the negative or positive outcome of what was reported on. Unless of course it was a fatal situation. However, when I do witness an adverse situation either via the media or in life, I always try to imagine how to turn the situation into a positive one.

When you focus your attention on turning a negative into a positive, this is the essence of applying resilience, as you are in the process of learning how to adapt. Just about every situation provides you with an opportunity to practice adaptation. The trick is to recognize this, and look at how to do so.

This past week I had an opportunity to attend an event via the Agile New England organization. They hosted a talk about a subject which was fascinating to me, People Analytics. Kate O’Brien from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was the presenter. She spoke about how her organization applies predictive analytics to understanding how and whether the employees in her organization are happy with where they are working, and whether they are also happy about what they are working on.

By analyzing the employee’s responses, Kate and her team have the ability to predict which team has potential upcoming retention rate issues, whether the team is a healthy and happy team, well managed and how confident they are in the success of the work they are doing. Using what is referred to as predictive analytics, and based on what Ms. O’Brien shared during her presentation, the Broad Institute is certainly doing something extremely well. This is evident in their retention rates being incredibly high, along with their employee satisfaction rates too. Almost to the point of disbelief.

So, how does the Broad Institute achieve such amazing retention and high employee satisfaction ratings? Part of the reason is because they allow their employees to exercise resilience in the work they do, and they can legitimately state they are in the process of curing cancer as an organization.

The fact the Broad Institute interacts with so many different countries and companies to do their work, strongly supports their employees having to be resilient and adaptable at all times. Especially when their work does not go well. Instead of being focused on overcoming the adversity of their experiences, they focus on adapting and continuous improvement, which is a foundational agile concept.

If you were to take a page from the Broad Institute’s playbook on always remaining resilient and adaptable in the face of adversity, you will have a tremendous model to replicate. This can be achieved either personally or professionally, as so much of the success behind being resilient is having an open mind and the best attitude you can possibly have.  The right attitude combined with the power of resilience is what will allow all of us to not only thrive, but to exceed any and all expectations placed upon us.

If you cannot frame your mind around the concept of resilience, try applying the other power of visualizing your success when you are in an adverse situation. When part of your mind can visualize your success, the rest of your mind and body can help you to achieve it. I exercise this concept regularly, and can tell you it works incredibly well. Give it a try, and not just one time, keep trying it until you get the results you are looking for.

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.

 

Millennials – Managing, Motivating & Retaining Them

Not everyone would agree, but I love when things change. I especially am excited about change particularly when the changes being applied optimize and improve what they are being applied towards. Having worked with thousands of people during my career, the most exciting generation of people I have encountered are the millennials. Why? Because they are so open to embracing change.

Managing people is probably one of the most challenging tasks to take on, especially to be able to manage them well and unselfishly. Yes, unselfishly, because in order to be a superb manager, you need to put the interests of those you are managing ahead of your own. When you do this, those who you are managing will at first potentially not notice, and when they do, they will then be surprised you are doing this, as this is not a management technique applied or embraced by all managers.

If you think of managing people from the perspective of acting as a coach or mentor, it allows you to mentally shift your thinking and begin to strategically adopt management methods which put your staff needs ahead of your own. When you put others needs ahead of yours, empower them to stretch beyond their comfort level, yet provide them with a safe zone in case of failure, people will respond and perform at a new level you might not imagine them to do so. This management concept works extremely well with millennials, as they are so open to trying new things, and actually crave doing so.

One of the best ways to motivate millennials is to ask them for their opinion, and how they might go about mapping out how to accomplish their role with limited direction from their manager. When you provide a millennial with freedom to in essence design their path forward, they will be more motivated in their role, as they feel they have a heightened sense of controlling the direction they are able to head towards. What you also might be surprised by, is that they will also be more willing to collaborate with the management team and their team peers because they do not feel the pressure of traditional methods of management constraint.

There are numerous books that have been written about motivating people in the workplace, but most of these books are based on motivational techniques which have been around for decades. Although many of the motivational techniques are still relevant, many of them will not be effective when they are applied to the millennial generation. I know this, because I have also managed, motivated and retained hundreds of people from this generation.

Unfortunately, this generation has gotten a potentially undeserved reputation for being selfish. I think this generation is misunderstood, and has been too easily labeled as being selfish due to management techniques not working on them. This is why management techniques to apply to the millennial generation are in need to being revised and adopted. The millennial generation is motivated by things which need to be factored into helping them to be successful. They care about our environment, eating healthy, taking care of themselves and doing what is best for society more than they are given credit for. When employers and management techniques are factored into account for these type of motivational examples, a true paradigm shift will occur.

The days of employees working at a company for more than 5-10 years is becoming a thing of the past, as most employees are averaging lengths of employment sub these numbers. Due to a highly fluid flow of millennial employees changing jobs so often, this puts enormous pressure on companies to try to retain them, even for 2-3 additional years. One of the largest expenses a company has is recruiting and on-boarding new employees. If they have to continuously do this, the strain on having to fund this company expense can have a severely negative impact on their bottom line. So, how do companies address this challenge?

One of the ways companies who have low millennial retention rates can turn this scenario around, is to create a culture that is appealing to them (e.g., offering them clear or varied career paths to consider, opportunities to engage with the local community during work hours, helping them to understand their innate strengths via specialized coaching, access to internal mentors on a regular basis and greater flexibility with when and where they work). Ironically, the things that appeal to the millennials, can be equally appealing to the rest of the employees, with some modifications to account for their culture and career satisfaction too.

Embracing instead of chafing against the millennial generation and the way they are managed, motivated and retained must be factored into a company’s structure of how to run a modern company. When this occurs, a company becomes far more appealing to work at, and in turn competitive in the industry they are competing in, especially since a significant amount of their employees are from or will be from the millennial generation.

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.

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

Finding Motivational Energy

Generally, when you need to be motivated to do something, it can seem like a daunting task to accomplish. Why? Because it is far easier to procrastinate than it is to be motivated. Does this sound familiar and something you can relate to? If so, you are not alone.

The good news is you can quickly get past the procrastination stage you often get stuck in. You can also do this by applying some of the motivational techniques I regularly apply, and share with others.

An example of applying motivational energy comes from a recent experience I had working with a sports team. The team was coming off an emotional two game loss, breaking their five-game winning streak. Half way through their next game, and with extremely low field player team energy, and what looked like was going to be a third consecutive loss, I talked to the team at halftime.

What I talked to them about was their attitude and the negative mental energy I could literally feel being emitted from them. I asked them the rhetorical question – “Do you want to lose this game, or do you think you have what it takes motivationally to win this game?” I told them I truly believed they had what it took to win the game. I said this with the fact they were down by five goals, and a strong likelihood the other team thought they had an easy second half win ahead of them.

When the team took the field at the beginning of the second half of the game, I told the bench players they were going to have to do something they might not have done before. What I told them is that they were going to need to transfer their positive physical and mental motivational energy to their teammates on the field in order to win the game. As you might imagine, after having said this I got some interesting looks. However, I also told them at this point of the game, they had nothing to lose by trying this, except possibly losing their third straight game.

As soon as the bench started to amp up their energy and cheer on their field teammates, you could feel an almost sudden shift in the game momentum. Literally within minutes of the bench transferring their positive energy to their teammates, the team began scoring and playing like the winning team I knew they could be. They were also applying what I will refer to as their ‘human strength roles’ on the team, and each of them knew what this meant. However, this was the first time they were truly applying this concept, even though we had been talking about the power of their “human team role” for weeks.

At the end of the third quarter, and coming off of a five-goal deficit, the team exploded with delivering double the amount of goals they had in the first half. They also ended up winning the game with a comfortable four-point lead. The other team was completely shut down. They were also stunned by the new momentum and motivational energy provided by the bench members. What made the difference in the second half of the game, was the fact the bench team members were able to successfully transfer their motivational energy to the field players, who really needed it.

This same concept of transferring the energy you put into procrastinating can be thought of like a mental on/off switch. You will literally need to give yourself a pep talk to do this, or perhaps ask someone else to do this for you. However, when you do this, you can literally shift your mindset away from not having motivational energy, to finding even a small spark which will ignite the rest of your motivation.

By committing to focusing your mind, energy and attention to what you want to accomplish, anything is possible. Even when it appears all of the odds are stacked against you. This same concept can be applied at work, or everyday life scenarios. I guarantee if you sincerely try doing what I have outlined, you will see far different and better results than you thought were possible. If you do not believe me, just ask Coach Wright, or any of the 27 young men on my sports team, or any sales person who has ever worked with me before. Happy “belated” Mother’s Day.

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.

This article is dedicated to Coach Sean Wright, Coach Mike Marshall, Coach Chris Harrington, Coach Ken Boyer and the entire Chelmsford, Massachusetts High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team.