• Personal Brand,  productivity,  Time Management

    Why You have a Hard Time Saying “No” – Look into these Root Causes

    A client of mine said she is always too busy with other peoples’ requests and she struggles to complete her own work. Her manager advised her to say “no” more often. But she doesn’t know how because helping others and being useful is a high value to her. As she and I looked into it, few scenarios came up. a. Assuming “No” will Hurt Relationships “I know I am already busy, but if I say “No” I will hurt this person. For damage control, maybe I will make time by being more efficient, by canceling the coffee with my friend or skipping my exercise.” What is the underlying assumption when you say…

  • EQ,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    You were given Feedback to Improve your Executive Presence – What do you do now?

    The other day a senior leader contacted me to hire as his coach. His LinkedIn Profile was immaculate – multiple graduate degrees from top-notch schools, a strong track record of professional work in his relevant field. He was given feedback to improve his Executive Presence (EP). He didn’t know what that entitles. After further conversation, we found out that in meetings with senior leadership, his challenge was thinking on his feet and being clear and concise in his delivery. Here is an example from another client, let us call him Joe. Joe was doing a presentation on the next direction of their product. Towards the middle, his VP comes in…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Feeling stuck in your job? Having a lack of motivation? It is very frustrating when despite all the hard work, you don’t get the deserved recognition. On top when I say, “Focus on your vision”– it could add more fuel to it. Last year during my seminar a gentleman from the audience challenged me, “None of what you are saying works, I tried everything, it doesn’t work!” Though I felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. I also learned something from it. It is not easy to project into the future –  our brain finds it hard to visualize something it doesn’t have the experience about. On the other hand, since…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Personal Brand

    “Tell Me About Yourself” – Why It Is Hard and What To Do About It

    Those frequent flyers in the job market already know how this apparently easy question could become quite daunting at times. During an interview coaching, I ask the clients to answer it first. Interesting enough even the expert interviewers have a hard time talking about themselves. Some of the common patterns are: Pattern 1 – They walk through the resume chronologically. Example: “ I received my BS degree from University if Kentucky, then I joined x company, worked there for until 2002 as a junior software engineer then I moved to y company and worked there until 2007, got promoted to a supervisor position. After that …” (At this point my brain starts…

  • Happiness,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Uncategorized

    Courage From Within – How Conviction And Trust Can Help

    Growing up I didn’t think I had much courage. One day I saw this quote saying: Courage is not the absence of fear it is acting despite — because something is important to us. That made perfect sense! Fear will always be there and that might be a good thing as it enforces us to prepare well by doing the due diligence. Conviction is an important part of courage. I am able to bring courage because my conviction about the matter is stronger than the fear. 22 years ago, when I first came to the US for my grad school, it was the very first time for me to be in a foreign…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Women In Tech – Let’s Tap Into Our Own Greatness

    [Look for a special discount code inside -Sharmin] Background Story – Last year I attended a global conference in Warsaw with a few hundred International Coach Federation (ICF) leaders from across the world(140 countries to be specific). The trip was very significant for me on many levels including the opportunity to meet some very talented and passionate leaders in the coaching industry. Kelley Russell-Duvarney was one of them. Although our personal backgrounds had very little in common, we found ourselves in an extremely engaging conversation as we sat in the last row of a tour van for several hours during our group trip. We quickly appreciated the similarities in our thinking as we…

  • Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Nervous About Networking? Find Your Own Sweet Spot

    During my corporate career I once attended a class on “how to show up confident”. It had quite a few tips I don’t remember those exactly. But today I remembered about it when I noticed that I was feeling very confident and at ease during a networking event. In particular I was standing exactly the way it was taught in that class, standing with the feet in a V-shape and hands on the sides! In that confidence class when the instructor taught us about the standing poses, it didn’t make too much sense. It felt awkward, not only that, my analytic mind had lots of why questions. But today I…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    “What do I Want” is a Hard Question

    A few weeks back I was giving a talk at a big tech company about focusing on the vision. As usual, someone asked this basic question- “I don’t know what my vision is”! I am not surprised. This was my question only a few years ago. Over the years, by resolving my own dilemma and by working with my clients, I found a few ways to address this. Why it is hard? While growing up we were given standards to meet, tasks to accomplish. We were rewarded to achieve hard challenges, to score higher than others. Things we did for our own pleasure (if any) was a privilege and was not…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Job Interview : How to Avoid Negativity about Your Employer

    Everyone knows this interview tip: “Don’t bad mouth about your employer”. But interesting enough this happens quite often. I got some clue when I was talking to my client Tom a few weeks back. Specifically, he wanted to learn how to avoid falling in the trap of talking negatively about his current employer. Apparently he made this mistake in a recent one. To get his perspective, I asked him about his genuine feeling about the current employer/job. What I heard was that he had been looking for growth in certain areas that were not available in his job. This company’s priority (to fix legacy code issues to quickly unblock the…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Know your Strengths, Capitalize on Them

    Too many times companies send employees to trainings to fix the areas of weaknesses, we expect people to be well rounded to be successful. The fact is excellent performers are hardly “well rounded”, they are sharp. The difference between an excellent performer and an average performer is that the former ones are aware of their strengths and are cultivating it through their day to day work whereas the later ones are spending time and energy in places other than their strengths. What I Mean by Strength 1. An activity is your strength when are able to do it consistently, repeatedly, happily and successfully. 2. You don’t have strength in every…