• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Clock, brain, bulbs
    Coaching,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    5 Misconceptions That Get In The Way Of Sustainable Success

    Over the years, through my coaching work with the tech leaders and executives, I helped them uncover some of their misconceptions and limiting behaviors. As a result, even though they were already successful in their careers, they accelerated their success more sustainably when they recognized and overcame such patterns. I have summarised the five main ones here. Misconception 1: Starting with Others’ Expectations We often start with what is expected of us and then comply with those – giving our time and talent in exchange for money, status, and validation. This mindset works for jobs mainly requiring manual labor and physical presence at the worksite. However, as knowledge workers and…

  • A Cat Image by Heinz Hummel from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy,  Time Management,  WorkLife balance

    Are You Sabotaged By Your Inner Hyper-Achiever?

    A high-tech leader, let’s call him Jason, said, “I can’t relax; I always have to do something useful. Nobody makes me do so; it’s me. This is how I am”. Jason is not alone. Many of us have such hyper achievers in us, pushing us to do more. This trait may have helped us be where we are, yet its overuse can cause more harm than good. Growing up, we all developed different traits that kept us safe, got us what we needed, and helped us achieve success. Other than the hyper-achiever, there are several other traits; pleaser, perfectionist, victim, are to name a few. My top two are hyper-achiever…

  • Two people talking
    Coaching,  Communication,  Leadership,  Neuroscience

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

    Giving feedback is a regular part of a manager’s job responsibility, but most of us are uncomfortable with it. David Rock and his colleagues from the NeuroLeadership Institute wrote in this article, “Typical feedback conversations are about as pleasant as a root canal. Managers dread them because it’s often unclear what feedback the employee wants or needs. Employees dread them because even light criticism can feel like an assault on their status and credibility.” David Rock, The Neuroleadership Institute People want feedback. A feedback loop is what makes organisms survive on this earth. In a podcast, Oprah Winfrey mentioned that all her guests, including Beyonce and President Obama, asked her…

  • Sharmin Banu
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Success Strategy

    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 will be very hard to keep our attention to what is truly important, and we may get easily distracted by the hurdles.  As a result, we may act and behave less than our best, which leads to unproductive drama, a win-lose kind of game. When setting a goal, think about the behavior and experiences that lead to a desirable outcome. Often people say, “I want to be a VP, Director, CEO, etc.”. I understand those titles show your level…

  • Coaching,  productivity

    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 weeks trip to see the family. How would it be if you already have a plan to embrace 2022 right after the holidays?  You could avoid the madness of setting new year’s resolutions and possibly getting disappointed for not following through. Think no more. Are You Ready for the 4-part Career Vision Intensive Workshop in January? It is a group coaching series with content sharing, detailed worksheets for self-work, small group discussions, and reflections on real-life challenges. In total, eight contact hours…

  • Patterns and Tools: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Personal Brand,  productivity,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management,  Time Management

    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 with the boss, peers, and other stakeholders is not easy. They would always want more from us; our passion would be interpreted as aggressiveness, our analytical thinking style would be seen as a lack of executive presence. And the list goes long. In addition, managing a family, kids, along full-time demanding work becomes a losing battle at times. No wonder 55% of the adult population feels Languishing, a lack of zest. As high-performing, high-achieving leaders and individual contributors, all of my…