My name is Sharmin Banu, I am a Career Advancement Coach. I live in Seattle WA with my husband and our daughter. I hold a CPC(Certified Professional Coach) and a BS and an MS in Computer Science. My clients achieved these results after coaching with me: Job promotion, desired career move, better understanding of corporate culture and expectations, more connection with their family and better work-life balance. To learn more visit my website: http://GreenLeafcoach.com or send me a mail to sbanu@GreenLeafcoach.com.

  • EQ,  Happiness,  Self-leadership

    Relentless Self-Development may Diminish Your Potential

    In this “growth mindset” and “learn it all” era, it’s often easy to be driven by our inner critic in disguise of all those positive things. “What do you mean”? You might ask. Allow me to illustrate this with Greg’s experience as a senior director at a telecommunication company. In our coaching session, he shared how he managed a difficult conversation at work, ultimately bringing a positive outcome. But as he talked about it, he was fixated on where he could have done better. So, I got curious and presented my observation. He was taken aback. Baffled, he said, I always strive for better, which made me successful.  Always striving…

  • Two people in a job interview
    EQ,  Executive Presence,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy

    Job Interview: Is Your Eagerness Hindering Your Presence?

    Vinod, a director-level leader in Tech, had been searching for a job for some time without much success. Perplexed, he sought my advice to determine what else he could do. When I inquired about his interview preparation routine, he mentioned reviewing his resume and portfolio to discuss his accomplishments. Knowing his strengths in this area from previous encounters, I probed further. I asked Vinod what he looked for in a candidate when he hired someone for his team. He explained that he sought candidates with a strong track record and noted their attitude toward challenges during interviews. He emphasized the importance of understanding how candidates approached problems, even if they…

  • A man looking out through the window
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Are You an Emerging Leader Seeking Next Level of Growth?

    Are you an ambitious mid-career professional in tech, STEM, or any high-paced culture? Do you long to make a meaningful, fulfilling impact? Many, like you, sometimes wonder what else they must do to propel themselves to the next level. Given that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, we can’t scale ourselves just by working more hours. Our brain can’t stay productive like that anyway. So what can we do about it? Like the famous book title by Marshall Goldsmith, “What got you here won’t take you there,” there is something else that will prepare us for the next level of growth. After coaching so many senior leaders,…

  • Pillars and a woman
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management,  Work-life integration,  WorkLife balance

    Foundation for Growth: Four Simple Practices Make My Clients Successful

    People come to coaching for many reasons. Some want to lead a significant change management initiative, while others want to improve team productivity or develop leadership skills for the next promotion. Whatever the reason, one needs to create the foundation for growth to achieve these outward goals. These building blocks – mindfulness, intentional focus, reflection, and self-care – are essential for coaching success. 1. Mindfulness Mindfulness serves as the cornerstone of this foundation. In a world where we often operate on autopilot or react to external demands, we must pause and ground ourselves. By incorporating bite-sized mindfulness practices, my clients gain the capacity to observe their thoughts and emotions rather…

  • Conflict at work
    Coaching,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Work Culture

    What Causes Conflicts In Teams

    No one wakes up thinking, “I will ruin the day; I will create trouble today.” But even when everyone on the team is decent, stress, conflicts, and drama happen. I have identified a few underlying causes behind them. For this article, I am leaving out the toxic cultures where the main actors are ego, selfish interest, and lack of trust. On a team I led, there was a very energetic, proactive, independent-minded person who was very good at generating ideas and following through with them without help. Let’s call him Ron. I felt lucky to have Ron on the team. But the problem was that some other folks were annoyed;…

  • Sharmin Banu coaching in front of an audience at an HR Conference
    Career satisfaction,  Success Strategy

    How an Embarrassing Setback Helped Me Become Better

    When we hear advice like  “turn setbacks into growth experiences,” we often dismiss it as cliché or unrealistic for ourselves. However, a few years ago, I was in an embarrassing situation that ultimately helped me improve my skills significantly. I share the story below, hoping it will inspire my readers. The Setback Story It was 2019 when I was in an advance coaching class with experienced coaches across the globe. We coached each other before the class and later got their feedback. When my turn came to be the coach, something rattled me, and I was gripped by a sense of paralysis. Despite attempts to steady my nerves with deep…

  • Coaching,  Leadership,  productivity

    Secrets of High-Value Creating Teams: Learnings from Legendary Professor Hawkins

    In our global, highly complex world, the heroic leadership figure has increasingly become a relic. Manfred kets de vries, 2011a: 56 Over the past 6-7 years, I’ve recognized a need beyond executive coaching for organizations heavily reliant on teamwork. Consequently, I’ve invested in team coaching training, an emerging field within the industry. So, when I learned that Professor Peter Hawkins was offering his class in the US, I promptly applied. Professor Hawkins is a world-renowned leadership expert and a thought leader in executive and team coaching, often advising leading companies and governments in pivotal change initiatives. I feel fortunate to be able to learn from him this past week. Below,…

  • Moonshot book
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Preparation, Not Luck: Pfizer’s “Moonshot” Lessons Applies to All Of Us

    I’ve been diving back into the pages of “Moonshot – Inside Pfizer’s Nine-Month Race to Make the Impossible Possible” for the second time, and the narrative continues to captivate me, just as it did two years ago. I was amazed by how their clarity, simplification, and courageous actions prepared them for an otherwise impossible endeavor. Even though it is a story about a corporate giant achieving groundbreaking feats in the face of a global crisis, it is also relatable to our personal and professional lives. I took away these three main points from the story. 1. Clear Priority When CEO Albert Bourla took over, he gathered the top one thousand…

  • A Man standing in a reflective posture
    Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    Celebrate Yourself Through an Year-End Reflection

    As the year comes to a close, many of you are cherishing precious moments with family and loved ones, possibly enjoying a well-deserved trip to a delightful destination. Amidst these joyous festivities, moments of downtime, and self-care activities, taking a pause for a year-end reflection can add a meaningful dimension to your year’s conclusion. It serves as a valuable opportunity to gain insights, close the year thoughtfully, and prepare for the challenges and triumphs that await in the coming year. Now is a good time to contemplate, “How did the year unfold for me?” However, relying solely on memories may not paint a comprehensive picture of the entire year. To…

  • Holiday Family Dinner
    Happiness,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management

    From Chaos to Connection: Gracefully Managing the Holiday Family Gatherings

    Managing family visits during the holiday season presents a delightful yet demanding task. Juggling multiple family members’ diverse opinions, needs, and desires can be an energy-draining experience for hosts and guests alike. Take, for example, my client Fernandez, who was planning to host his parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew for a ten-day holiday stay. Being a meticulous planner, he anticipated the potential chaos and asked for guidance in a session with me to prepare for the upcoming gathering. Later, he said that the preparation helped him stay composed and enhanced the enjoyment of the time spent together. If you are like Fernandez, you may adopt some of these strategies for…