Drama. Are you a King or Queen?

Have you ever noticed, and can you name people you interact with at work, at home or in your personal life who seem to have more drama going on than most? I have been watching this occur for many years. Generally, the people who are the drama Kings and Queens seem oblivious to the fact they are likely the ones causing the drama. Or, perhaps they are intentionally causing the drama because they like the attention it brings. Albeit generally its negative attention.

Why would anyone want to intentionally cause negative attention? It serves zero purpose. It is disruptive, and causes an unhealthy divide between the parties involved. Drama generally has a negative perception, and there is no reason for it to exist in the workplace. It appears to be tolerated, or accepted by some people in their personal lives, but if you were to survey people about whether they enjoy it, most would probably say they do not.

Is causing drama a social pattern which people learn from others? Or, is it a type of behavior which evolves from not having learned how to properly interact socially in an acceptable manner? This is sort of like a chicken or the egg conundrum. However, how do you address and help point out to the Kings and Queens that their behavior is not favorable?

The first thing to do is to provide an example of what would be considered a “drama” scenario. I happened to hear about a classic one the other day from a friend of mine. He was telling me about an instance where he was having a pleasant sit down dinner with his family. However, the pleasantries quickly ended when his sister started causing drama. It started with a simple and unfriendly comment to her brother, and escalated from there. The brother admitted he tried to shut down the conversation. Although, what he said back to his sister appeared to increase the level of drama.

Upon looking back at this situation, the brother realizes he had fallen into his sister’s drama trap. He tried to get out of it, and could have if he had simply ignored her initial comment. In other words, his comment back to her was the equivalent of adding gasoline to a fire. It only got worse from there. I asked him why he felt he needed to play into her drama? He told me it was simply a habit of doing so. This is a perfect example of how you can begin to break the drama cycle. It’s really not that hard, but you need to recognize when it is happening, and shut it down immediately.

Based on this example above, do you recognize that you might potentially be the one causing drama? Or, are you on the receiving end of it? In either instance, this is a type of behavior which is highly undesirable. Especially in the workplace.

I have witnessed numerous people who were on a career fast track, and who had this opportunity vanish in front of them due to being overly dramatic, one too many times. This is so unfortunate, because the drama people are their own worst enemies. Although they often tend to blame everyone else for their misfortunes. Sound familiar?

Drama people seem to also have a completely different lens of how they perceive situations. They constantly play the role of the victim. It can be exhausting to be around them. When I encounter people like this, I avoid them. Being around them tends to cause more drama, and drama only has a negative outcome.

So, is there a way to recognize whether you are a drama King or Queen? Yes. Begin by taking a hard look around at your circumstances. Are they self-induced, or do you routinely blame others for what has happened to you? If you are regularly blaming others, chances are high you are the one causing drama. When you recognize and admit to being this way, you can start by instead of blaming everyone for your circumstances, start owning up and being responsible for them.

No one wants to interact at work or home with drama Kings and Queens. So, in the coming weeks, take off your crown, and commit to dropping the drama act. When you do, you will actually begin seeing what positive things can happen in your life.

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.

 

 

Leaders, please be yourself, not who you think you need to be.

Some of the most effective leaders I have worked for, and with, have a few characteristics in common. All of them understand the importance of commanding respect, while simultaneously remaining true to their personality.

They are not afraid to show a softer side when interacting with their teams. In fact, this is one of the most endearing and important traits that makes people want to follow the leader.

If you are a leader, work for one, or want to be one, think about whether you or the person who is the leader possesses this quality. Perhaps they do, sometimes, but you only get a glimpse of it, and not consistently. Now imagine what it would be like to work for this type of leader.  Or to be this type of leader.

Some people take on a different persona at work.

Are you a big bad wolf at the office and a cuddly teddy bear at home?  As Dr. Phil might ask, “How’s that workin’ for ya?

The other thing people do is to develop their leadership qualities based on being collaborative, and approachable. They allow their naturally ability of high emotional intelligence to flourish.

Unfortunately, emotional intelligence is not something that can be taught, but it can be mimicked.  If you feel you are lacking, pay attention in scenarios to which you are exposed on a regular basis.

For example, watch as successful leaders properly greet a guest and make them feel comfortable, or ask someone you notice who seems sad, or upset, if they need to take a moment, or want to talk.

Leaders who are open to the human experience, are in no way weak.

Sometimes we conveniently forget that our leaders are human, too, and typically under constant pressure. Having to mask their emotions is difficult, but doing so is not a sign of weakness.

When our business leaders reveal that they are experiencing emotions, it sends signals to the people who work for them that they are simply human.  This makes them more approachable.

Contrary to what you might think, when a leader exhibits emotion, many people either do not notice, or do not comment, if they do.  Some may simply be oblivious, while most are probably reluctant to approach the boss.

It’s okay to ask how they are doing, and do so sincerely.

You might be surprised by the reaction you get.  Be prepared to respond in a kind and empathetic manner. This sentiment will be appreciated more than you can imagine. What’s more, the leader will perceive you in an entirely different light the next time you interact. Why?  Because you allowed them to be themselves for that moment. This is not something many leaders feel like they can or should do.

Climbing up the proverbial corporate ladder can take years, but some people reach the top faster than others. How? There are a number of factors, but one of them is that they are likable, and part of being likable is being human. These people are also typically bright, and able to access both the right and left sides of their brains equally. They have a personality that makes others believe in and want to follow them.

Of course, this is an over simplification of the other criteria one needs to climb the rungs. Typically, it is much harder for those who reached the top because of an inside connection to earn the respect of their team. Authentic leaders who have earned the right to be placed into leadership roles are the ones whom we admire, potentially aspire to be like, and ultimately respect and want to follow.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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

 

Focus on Joy

Do you have someone in your life who when you are around them, there is no way you can even think about anything negative? I hope you do, and I did. However, I lost this dear friend to her battle with cancer on December 18, 2017. Her name is Anna Maria Soriano.

We met each other while working at Constant Contact. She was on the sales team, me on the marketing team. When I first met her, I had the feeling I had met her at some other point in my life. We became instant friends. She was also the type of colleague who you could count on. No matter what. She also would always go well beyond delivering in any circumstance, what at Constant Contact we referred to as “Wow”.

Anna Maria grew up in the North End of Boston. For those not familiar with Boston, it is referred to as the Italian section in Boston. It is still considered to be the Italian section, but like other Boston neighborhoods, has become more ethnically diverse in the last 15 years.

Anna Maria took great pride in having grown up in the North End. She loved sharing stories of what it was like to grow up there, including the neighborhood debate about whether Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry was the better bakery. Her favorite was Modern Pastry. Magically every time I visited her home outside of Boston, she seemed to have Modern Pastry’s on the table.

Having a sweet tooth, this was a perfect arrangement for me, and if you have ever had a treat from Modern, you know how hard it is to say no to the offer of one of their confections.

While we worked together at Constant Contact, I learned a number of things from Anna Maria.

One of them was that your voice and its tone could have an influence on people. I also learned from her how people paid attention differently by when you fully leveraged the power of your vocal cords.

Something you might not know, is that Anna Maria was the “voice” of Constant Contact. When you called into the company, it was her voice you heard to direct you to where you were trying to navigate. She also was the lead webinar producer of content for the last five plus years. This included giving live presentations around the country.

Her voice was infectious. She captured your attention and made you want to pay attention to everything she was teaching you. Although you may have thought her voice and the way she presented her material was an act, it wasn’t. It was genuinely who she was. The best part? After talking to her, you could not help but feel better or more enthused.

No one is immune from having a bad day. However, it was not possible to end your day on a negative note if you worked with, or had the fortune of being Anna Maria’s friend. She made every day you worked with her fun and interesting. She also challenged you to see the joy in whatever it was you were working on. Clearly, she had “Positivity” in her Top 5 strengths.

During work breaks, or post work, one of the places she talked about going to included travel. Specifically taking a trip to Italy. This was one of the places on her bucket list. I was thrilled when she told me she was going to take a trip there this past summer. What was significant about this, is that she had stage 4 cancer. This meant she had to time her trip around her cancer treatments. If you saw any of the photos she took on her trip to Italy, you could see the joy on her face of being there.

Attitude plays a large role in whether you can find and have joy in your life. My dear friend Anna Maria was able to accomplish this every day I knew her. How? Because of her amazing attitude.

I wish more people could be like Anna Maria, and I hope to embrace her concept of incorporating joy into every aspect of my life. I hope you do too.

Rest in peace my dear friend. Thank you for teaching me to be able to find the joy in all aspects of my life. I will never forget you, and your memory will live on in my heart and soul for the rest of my life.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

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

Figuring things out in your 20’s and 30’s to prevent your mid-life crisis

Let’s first start off by acknowledging that the majority of people coming out of college or high school do not have a clear vision about what they will be ideally doing for the next 10-20 years. What tends to happen is that after graduating from school, people begin their journey into becoming an adult, and joining what some refer to as “the real world”. You know what I’m talking about…paying for your own phone, apartment, food, transportation, student loans, etc. The list of expenses seems like they have come out of nowhere, and most people in the first 2-4 years’ post-graduation are adjusting to becoming an adult, with real life responsibilities.

In your mid-twenties, you start to think about whether the job you decided to accept and pursue is in good alignment with what you like to do, and the reality is that often it isn’t. This tends to add to your stress, although you keep plugging along, as you are not certain what you should be doing instead. You also begin to start thinking about your romantic partnering reality, and if you are not in a serious relationship, this can also cause more stress, as the majority of people are interested in having a meaningful connection with someone.

Adding to this stress, is that many woman in their mid 20’s to mid 30’s often also start to begin panicking about whether they will be able to find the right partner, and they do have cause for concern, especially if they want to have children. Unfortunately, fertility statistics are not working in women’s favor as they enter into their 30’s, and the reality is that many women are not either emotionally or financially ready to take on becoming a Mother until they surpass 30.

I realize the written picture I have painted isn’t as promising and rosy as most people would prefer it to be. However, there is a strong degree of harsh realities associated with what is happening to the young adults in their 20’s and 30’s. Fortunately there is good news though, and here is some of the advice I give to help people in these decades of their life to not only reduce their stress, but enjoy these decades more than they might currently be doing.

  • Keeping your experiences in perspective is critical. Even though you may not be in a job you want to have, live where you want to, be in the relationship you would prefer to be in, all of these things can change very quickly. Also for the better.
  • Yes, misery can enjoy company, but do your best to avoid others who are chronic complainers or drama kings or queens. They will only drag you down, and no ones needs or enjoys this type of interaction.
  • Seek out people who are doing things (e.g., hobbies, activities) or work you either enjoy doing, or aspire to be doing. The best way to change your situation, especially if you are not satisfied is to take action.
  • Volunteering your time is also a great way to realize you may be in a better off situation than you think you are, and yes, you do have time to help others. No excuses, as most of you are only responsible for taking care of yourself.
  • Challenge yourself everyday to get out of your comfort zone. Someone in their mid 20’s the other day was surprisingly shocked that I practice what I tell others, and do something every day to challenge myself. You should never stop doing this.
  • Ask for help and guidance from others, especially others who have more life experience than you do. This could be your family members, or people that are 15-20 years plus older than you, and who have volumes of strong advice or suggestions to help you. People also derive enormous satisfaction from helping others, so let them help you.
  • Come up with an action oriented and goal driven plan for the next 5-10 years of what you would like to accomplish. We are so used to having most of our lives programmed for us up until we are 18-22, but after these ages, we are on our own to come up with a plan. The funny thing about this, is you might not realize this is the case, although upon telling you this, it probably seems obvious. Make your plan flexible enough to be accomplished, and yet challenging enough so you can experience and delight in your progress being made.
  • Seeking therapy is also a strong option, as therapists can help you to get to the root cause of what is causing you to feel the way you do, especially if you are experiencing more anxiety than you are comfortable with. However, in reality, it can also take years to feel better, and there is no guarantee offered from therapists that you will feel different or any better after you have been in therapy.
  • Most people I talk to do not fully understand who they are, or what motivates them, or what their purpose is. Figuring this out is far easier than you might think, and as a certified Gallup Strengths Coach, I help people with this challenge every day. I also love doing this, and I have seen incredible results from helping people to understand better who they are and what they are good at in less time than you might think it would take. Many people I work with also have a therapist, and I laugh when they tell me that working with me is much more therapeutic, and gets actual and faster results. How ironic.

I wish I could tell you there is a magic formula for figuring things out in your 20’s and 30’s. There isn’t, but these are a few of the suggestions I give people who ask me for advice on this topic. Let me know if some of them help you out, or if you have suggestions I can share with others which have helped you. This is my “thanksgiving” gift to you. Happy Thanksgiving…if you happen to celebrate this holiday.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Think of me as a “people are like diamonds – polisher”.

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

 

Progress – Are you making some?

Sometimes you can recognize progress. Usually, though, it takes much longer to see or experience any type of forward motion. There are many ways to measure progress. In the high technology marketing world I have lived in almost my entire career, just about everything I have worked on had some type of measurement tool available. This became normal to me, but not every job has this high level of what I refer to as disciplined scrutiny.

Feeling like you are under the microscope every day can be exhausting, and more stressful than I care to think about. Although it can take its toll, especially if you don’t know how to inject a sense of counter balance into the mix, being professionally trained to make progress on a daily basis does have benefits.

Let me tell you about a friend who was also a former client – I helped her to produce her first Jazz CD. For most of our lives, she has been the complete opposite of me in almost everything we each did, professionally. When I would give her marketing, branding, or business advice, she either did not listen to my suggestions, or she would do the exact opposite.

As you can imagine for someone who is used to making daily progress, working with her at times was incredibly frustrating, but I knew what we were working on would pay off one day. I just didn’t know how long it would take. Fast forward almost 20 years. As we reconnected, she reminded me how I used to tell her, “I know the person who can accomplish doing what we are talking about is hiding in you, and will someday make their debut.”

Well this day arrived, and for the first time I witnessed an example of progress being made as I watched her giving a voice lesson to a promising future Broadway singer. Teaching voice lessons and getting paid to do so has always been something my friend wanted to do, and she was doing this right in front of me.

The next example of progress I saw from my friend occurred as she was skeptically listening to financial advice. I later learned that she took the next step and scheduled a time to review and put into action the financial advice given to her.  She was listening!

This woman had always wanted to make a living from her ability to sing. After more than two and a half decades of pursuing this dream, it is now a reality. Seeing this type of progress is something that took far longer than I imagined, but it did happen. The best part is that the progress my friend is now making is at an exponentially swift pace. She now has perspective on what it means to achieve the kind of progress she has made.

My friend has always believed in her ability to be able to make a living from her natural gift, but the most gratifying part is seeing her now be able to make longer-term decisions, including living in an artist’s loft in New York City. The most remarkable part of where she lives today, is that she only came across this space after she lost her last apartment and everything in it to a building fire. Luckily, she and her dog were out walking when the fire occurred, and no one was hurt.

How progress is measured depends on the type of work you are doing, and can be subjective to measure depending on what it is you are trying to quantify. My profession is a creative, strategic and heavily people-oriented one, designed to have a positive influence on people. The measurements are unique to the work I do. The point is that even a small amount of progress can be beneficial.

Sometimes it is important to take time to celebrate our small progress wins, as over time they accumulate and can produce amazing results. My friend is a great illustration. I hope you will soon have your own examples of progress you can appreciate and be proud of.

This story is dedicated to my long-time friend, Ellen O’Brien, who also happens to be an incredibly talented Jazz and near future Broadway singer. Listen to some of her songs at www.ellenobrien.com

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon, and has had numerous strong reviews.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, producing repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally.