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.

  • Let's Get Real Podcast cover
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    My Podcast Interview: Resilience Inside and Out

    Earlier this month, a fellow leadership coach, Nina Simonds invited me to her podcast, Let’s Get Real. Nina started this series in 2020 because, as she wrote, “I love having REAL conversations with people who inspire me. In my 20+ years as a leadership and relationship coach, I experience the most flow when I am learning in a community with others. Let’s Get Real is a place where my guests and I explore personal experiences that have been catalysts for our own growth. We also explore and share some of the tools that help us see others more fully and give us the confidence to lead and love well.” In…

  • Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Does Meditation, Journaling Feel Like a Burden? Try Micro habits

    A senior leader at a big tech, Tim, spent a week at a meditation retreat. When I asked how he was applying it, he said he didn’t have time. As an HR Director, Stephanie treated her journaling as an extra chore. Despite its good intention, this advice industry buzzwords often feel like another thing we “should” do. On top of our already overloaded, super-crammed life, such expectations create another counter-productive burden. I know these are well-researched, proven practices. The only problem is we use those as vitamin pills instead of customizing them to serve our unique style and needs. Recently a client, who completed a six months coaching program with…

  • Super hero employee
    Coaching,  Communication,  Executive Presence,  Leadership

    From High Achiever to a Leader: It’s a Mindset Shift

    Stephan was a VP of a Fortune 200 company. He was one of the top performers and indispensable for high stake projects. As a result, he was stretched thin; and had no downtime. He tried to delegate to his team, but unfortunately, he had to jump in when things got tough. It was unsustainable and unscalable for him and the organization. That is when he looked for a coach. I summarized his learning journey in the sections below. Start with Selfcare On our first meeting, I noticed that Stephan looked sleep deprived. However, he also candidly admitted that he had so much to do and so few resources that working…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand,  Stress Management

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Are you feeling stuck in your job? Are you having a lack of motivation? Are you feeling like quiet quitting? It must be hard to carry on like that. On top of it, when someone asks you about your career vision – it could be even more frustrating. It happened during a seminar when I asked the audience to do a visioning exercise. A gentleman got frustrated and challenged me, saying, “none of these works; I tried everything, and it doesn’t work!” Though I felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. But I also learned something from it. It is difficult to project into a future vision –…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Self-Promotion Doesn’t Have to Be Selfish

    A couple of years ago, I ran a survey among tech professionals, and it came out that “Managing up/Self-promotion” was the top concern. I was not too surprised. Talking about ourselves seems opposite to humility – it contradicts our values, yet managing up is essential for reward and recognition. Over the years, I learned that it might feel more altruistic if we see it as helping our managers and others do their job better. When I became a manager for the first time at a large corporation, I got a new team from another division. Since it was close to the annual review time, their previous manager prepared their performance data for me to submit…

  • 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 be ineffective today.” But even when everyone on the team is a decent person – stress, conflicts, and drama happen. I have identified a few underlying causes behind them. When thinking and feeling styles are different When someone is under stress When someone overuses their strengths For this article, I am leaving out the toxic cultures where the main actors are ego, selfish interest, and a 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…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness

    Finding A More Enjoyable Career: It Could Be Easier Than You Think

    The other day I talked to an engineer from a big brand-name company. I asked her what is that she liked most about her job. She said when she knows what needs to be done, she can finish it on time. Also, she wanted the money and the benefits. Do you see a problem here? Curious, I asked, “What else do you like? What do you like about the work?”. “Nothing much; I do this because I have a college degree for this; I can’t afford to change my career,” she answered candidly with zero enthusiasm. I am sure she is not alone; there are many others whose favorite part…

  • Two men are talking in a business setting
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Communication,  Executive Presence

    A Tale Of A Coaching Session

    In corporate, coaching means helping someone do their job by giving them advice. Some examples are “have you considered XYZ?” and “If I were you, I would do it this way.” But professional coaching is about helping someone maximize their potential by creating awareness and developing an implementation plan according to their choice. I will describe one coaching session here to shed light on it. I got this new coaching project; I met the client for our first session last week. A woman in her mid-30s, a manager at a Biotech company, showed up on my Zoom screen. Let me call her Kate. We spent 10-ish minutes getting to know…

  • Leadership,  Success Strategy

    The False Dichotomy Between Success and Failure – They Are Not Opposite of Each Other

    “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Author and Harvard professor Sarah Lewis mentioned this famous Churchill quote in her book The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery while making a case for mastery and continuous improvement over those milestones we revere so greatly.  Recently Stacy Abrams gave us a masterclass on turning failure into powerful learning. After her highly contested, narrow-margin defeat in the 2018 gubernatorial race, she focused on organizing at the grassroots level. Two years later, it resulted in Joe Biden’s historic win in Georgia. Abrams captured the process in her book (After the loss) “I’ve made myself…

  • Coaching,  Communication,  Leadership,  Work Culture

    Remote and Hybrid Work Is Here To Stay: How Are You Catching Up?

    Even five years ago, calling into a meeting was not very encouraged. But this Covid19 pandemic suddenly turned the culture upside down. Nowadays, organizations are having difficulty bringing people back to physical offices. Two years of forced remote work taught us that we don’t have to be in one physical place to be productive. Historically, pandemics changed societies. In 1347, the Black Death’s most significant socioeconomic legacy was its role in ending feudalism. In 1819, the Spanish Flu revolutionized public health, spawning the new fields of epidemiology and virology. In addition, it led several Western European countries to adopt universal healthcare systems that are still in operation. Remote and Hybrid…