Direct Communication Doesn’t Have To Be Hurtful

Stuart, a mid-level leader at a corporate, came to me as he wanted to be more approachable. "I am very direct, but people take it negatively." I want to influence ...
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Will Smith hits Chris Rock on Oscar Stage

What Can We Learn From Will Smith’s Oscar Debacle

[I originally wrote this after the Oscars last year (March 2022).] Since the Oscars, my newsfeed has been flooded with the news and commentary about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock ...
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What Simone Biles, Jacinda Ardern, and Naomi Osaka Taught Us

Simone Biles, Jacinda Ardern, and Naomi Osaka share a common trait - they all made a courageous decision to quit, to say "no" despite the societal pressure to keep pushing ...
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Two people talking

Do You Dread Giving Feedback? There Is A Better Way.

Giving feedback is a regular part of a manager's job responsibility, but most are uncomfortable. David Rock and his colleagues from the NeuroLeadership Institute wrote in this article, “Typical feedback ...
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Smiley face on a sidewalk

A Smile is a Leadership Tool

I recently had a coaching session with a tech leader who expressed a strong desire to enhance his approachability. While he was committed to delivering high-quality products, he was aware ...
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Set goals

Goal Setting Is Not Just A New Year Thing

My January was quite busy with returning from vacation (an international trip) and giving back-to-back corporate workshops. So the schedule was a bit tight, but the process of designing and ...
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Holiday, Gingerbread house

This Holiday, Build Resilience Through Family Stories and Connections

It's the season. Despite the job losses, economic downturns, and everything else, holidays are in the air. This season reminds us to connect with what is important that we often ...
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Why Self-Promotion is Hard, And What To Do About It?

Recently, a friend and I talked about something she was anxious about. Ultimately, she felt much more relaxed and confident and said, "Thank you, Sharmin, you are so good." I ...
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Let's Get Real Podcast cover

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 ...
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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 ...
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Super hero employee

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 ...
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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 ...
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A man working with a laptop

Being an Introvert is not a Weakness to Fix

Have you ever heard of extroverts having to develop to become quieter? Probably not too often. But if you are an introvert, there are tons of feedback for you to ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Two men are talking in a business setting

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Super Mom Katherine’s Time Management Dilemma

On my way to walk this morning, I saw my neighbor Katherine in her signature pink sweatshirt. Both of us were glad to have company for the walk. The weather ...
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Children, foster greater understanding

Conversations To Foster Greater Understanding

Recently this post by an organizational psychologist at Wharton, Adam Grant, went viral on LinkedIn. He said: The clearest sign of intellectual chemistry isn't agreeing with someone. It's enjoying your ...
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Children fighting

From Jerk to Genuine: How These High Performers Built Trust With Their Teams

Result and efficiency-driven high-performing individuals often have a blindspot when relating to others. It can create unintended harm to team morale and trust. Others tolerate such "jerk" behavior as subject ...
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Craft A Vision

Craft Your Vision Even When You Are Not A “Visionary”

As we grow in leadership roles, having a vision and communicating that to our teams becomes essential. Senior leaders often bring it to me as their challenge. Even though they ...
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My cat and I

Life Lessons From Adopting A Pet

A few months after the pandemic started, we decided to get a kitten. Even though my daughter had been asking about it for a while, I was not looking forward ...
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How To Think Of Your Career Growth, Agile or Waterfall?

Anyone familiar with software development knows agile is the way to go when developing new software or a product. But when it comes to a career, what does it mean? ...
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Caterpillars to Butterflies : Human Maturity Stages

When I ask “What do YOU want” people sometimes get confused. Common responses are: "Wouldn't that be selfish"? "I always think about others, I want others to be happy; am ...
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Chess board - Strategic thinking

You Were Asked To Be More Strategic, Now What?

Engineering and STEM Leaders often receive this feedback, "you need to be more strategic," when they are passed up for a promotion. Yet, they have minimal idea of what that ...
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“Never Looked Back” – Is a Myth

Recently I was sharing the story of my career change and someone commented, “...and you never looked back”! I was caught by surprise. The fact is, I did look back, ...
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Feeling – A Vital Missing Part from the Thinker’s Head

“What do you feel now?” I ask my client Tom in the middle of our session. “I think it is, …”, he replies. “What do you feel”, I ask persistently ...
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Sharmin Banu

Why Targeting A Job Title As A Goal Doesn’t Work – Sharmin’s Interview With Ascend Global Media

Q: Why is it important to set an authentic goal? When we are too focused on outside-in recognition like a job title, money, etc., we narrowly define our goal. It ...
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Craft New year Goals

Webinar this Week: Craft Sustainable Goals For The New Year

The beginning of the year motivates us to start things right. Ironically it often creates social pressure to declare a popular resolution rather than thoughtfully develop a meaningful and sustainable ...
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New Year Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Feeling Anxious Setting Goals for The Year? Try These 3 Techniques

A typical "water cooler" conversation around this time of the year is the New Year's resolution. Of course, my standard answer used to be "be more organized," which hardly happened! ...
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Get New Year’s Planning Out of the Way and Enjoy The Holidays More

Holiday's are in the air. You must be looking forward to all the festivities, traveling, seeing the family, or simply winding down. Me too. I am heading for a two ...
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Patterns and Tools: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

A Workshop Emerged from the Themes of Coaching Tech Clients

After 12 years of coaching software engineers to VPs in the tech industry, I found this common theme: feeling fulfilled about our work and contribution is challenging. Managing a thriving relationship ...
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Entrepreneurial Spirit

Entrepreneurial Spirit : Build The Product YOU

"All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA." - Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn. If you are ...
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Goats blocking the street : Image by Dennis Larsen from Pixabay

Career Satisfaction: What Is In Your Way?

"Not enough time," "Not enough support from others," and "Lack of ideas" topped the list for my survey question: "What is in your way of a more satisfying career?" It ...
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Optimize Yourself With a Mind-Body Connection

It was the summer of 2009 when I started my coach training class; the instructor started the session with a guided meditation. The purpose was to be ready and present ...
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Authenticity, a bird showing its colors - Image by wasi1370 from Pixabay

Is “Authenticity” Backfiring On You? Here Is Why

Theresa, a senior developer in a tech firm, said that their management encouraged them to be authentic. It prompted her to be passionately sharing some of her opinions. There was ...
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A Resting Dog - Image by Pitsch from Pixabay

Feeling Stuck and Unmotivated? Invest in Your Emotional Vitality First

 Feeling stuck and unmotivated in your job? Not getting enough recognition or the upward mobility you deserve? Getting feedback that you are not doing enough? A software engineer in the ...
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Applying Software Engineering Concepts in Coaching

Applying Software Engineering Concepts in Professional Growth

A client of mine has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and works on a cutting-edge research project for one of the top tech companies. He has been feeling overwhelmed with ...
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A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a common issue my clients face in their workplace. I found this talk, A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution by Diane Musho Hamilton, insightful to manage such situations.  ...
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