A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Polar Perspectives

I was having dinner with 4 girlfriends last night and we were talking at length about those of us in the group who are control / neat freaks (3) and those who are more “relaxed” on that front (2). Funnily enough, of the 5 of us, 4 of us are married to our direct opposites in this respect.

As I type this I’m sitting in my pajamas without a scrap of makeup on at 10.00am in an unmade bed wearing ugh boots. You may have guessed I’m one of the 2 in our group who is on the more relaxed front. That said, I’m married to an amazing man who can’t comprehend an unmade bed at 10am!

How is it that so many of us end up paired up with someone who in many respects is our polar opposite?

One of my fabulous business partners – is also my opposite in many respects. And what drives her insane about me (I’m big picture, she’s detail, I’m get the job done at 80-90%, she’s perfection, I’m functional tidiness (ie: I just need to be able to find the things I need), she’s neatness overall) is also what synergistically makes us a good team and has done for many years now.

One of the biggest problems I had when I originally started looking for staff was that I was drawn to “mini-me’s”. Not surprisingly hiring myself almost always ended in disaster. Why wouldn’t it – I wouldn’t be satisfied working for me!

In the same way that many people marry their opposites, a good business needs people who come from different places, people who approach problems in different ways and people who view the same thing differently. Get over the minor conflict and learn to embrace the differences as the blessings they are and your business can only benefit.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scum Sticks…

I was watching my little girl drink her bottle tonight and something hit me. When she’s having a bottle of milk… if she drinks it all quickly, the milk slips right out of the bottle and into her mouth leaving the bottle almost completely clean when she’s done.

If however she dawdles, takes her time, plays with the bottle, or doesn’t finish it and it goes back into the fridge – the milk has time to settle. A scum builds up around the bottle. It’s harder to clean, harder to remove and if it’s not cleaned off completely of course it would only grow bigger and, for want of a better word, more scummy next time.

Now while you clearly wouldn’t leave milk residue in a child’s bottle, it reminded me of the way I’m left feeling when I hang around some people. Negative people specifically. I feel scummy.

The longer I’m around them, the more scummy I feel, the more residue builds up.

The longer I allow myself to be surrounded by people who make me feel scummy, the harder it is to release and cleanse myself of the situation.

A colleague lamented to me this week about a difficult client. I gave her a way to politely and respectfully resolve the situation and told her to “release” the client. “I can’t!” she replied “she’s at me all of the time!”

You know why this client was at her all of the time? Because she’d let the milk settle. She’d gotten scummy and hadn’t cleansed herself of the situation. I was clear that she wasn’t going to be able to please this client the first time we met her and that point in time I removed myself from the situation. My colleague wanting to please everyone (a comment she made herself) had allowed the relationship to continue too long unchecked and the residue was now too difficult to clean.

We’ve all been there – maybe a friend who brings you down, a colleague who works in the bleakest pit of despair right next to you or a client you simply cannot please.

Who do you need to release yourself from?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stuff up or time to give stuff up?

I just got an email apology.

It was from a photography blog I had subscribed to saying that they hadn’t clicked a certain button to make my email subscription happen and therefore I wasn’t getting their updates.

It didn’t end there though, as an apology, the photographer included a gift book (pdf version) which I’ve already started reading and am really enjoying.

Now, getting down to the bare facts, the photographer could have simply clicked the button, fixed the problem and I probably would have been none the wiser.

But she owned up, she coughed up (something of value to me that didn’t cost her anything) and I’m now a more loyal fan than I was before the stuff up.

What could have been a negative or a nothing, is now a big positive.

Have you stuffed up lately? (Who hasn’t is probably a better question?) Is it time to own up and fix the situation and make it a positive, or fix it in silence? The choice is yours, but I know which solution I enjoyed the most this time.

PS – the blog is http://blog.brookesnow.com/ and she doesn’t just write about Photography – in fact our guest article is from her this week in our newsletter.

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dads play differently to Mums

My little girl loves playing with her Dad. It’s different to playing with Mum. Sometimes it’s faster, more exciting, louder. Is it better? At times, I guess it is. Sometimes Mum’s way is best.

I’ve watched with interest as a Dad in my swimming group does the exact same exercise with his little boy that his Mum does. Only where Mum swishes Hayden side to side in a rhythmic calm fashion, Dad swooshes fast left – right – left suddenly. Hayden calmly enjoys Mum’s interaction and giggles with glee at Dad’s.
As someone who owns one real estate office with 2 other people and another with 4 other people I’ve seen the same thing with staff in our offices responding differently to each different leader.
Some interact as friends, others as confidants, others are the go to person when something needs fixing, others are the expert in different areas, others are feared (slightly!) and some are respected more or less on different topics.

Everyone has her own leadership style. Mine has certainly evolved over the years and is completely different to 21 year old me when I was so desperate to prove that I was old enough / experienced enough / tall enough (!) to lead.

Interestingly, there are people who are leaders in our office who aren’t business owners. They’re leaders because of the open and honest way they communicate. They’re leaders because of their knowledge. They’re leaders because their opinion is respected.

What’s your leadership style? More importantly- what do you wish your leadership style was?
Pick a few words from this list that you wish people through about when they considered you as a leader:

Accountable, Dependable, Ethical, Moral, Honest, Trustworthy, Respected, Knowledgeable, Helpful, Compassionate, Caring, Experienced, Wise, Expert, Dreamer, Vision, Leads by Example, Involving, Well Planned, Fair, Integrity, Gives Credit, Humble, Open, Creative, Dedicated.

Now – why not ask your team to anonymously list up to 5 words they think relate to you as a leader. Is what’s coming back to you representative of what you would like to be putting out?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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