• 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…

  • Q&A w/ Sharmin
    Coaching

    The Story Behind “Q&A With Sharmin” Series

    I was answering the audience questions during a recent speaking engagement when the host said, “pay attention, Sharmin is coaching.” Even though I was pleasantly surprised that he saw it that way, it was no coincidence that I was coaching. My focus for the last few years has been on my coaching presence. Being present to the audience and listening deeply gave me the ability to coach on the spot effectively. Responding to the audience’s question in such a manner has been an enjoyable part of my speaking lately. This insight prompted me to put this into an experiment, and “Q&A with Sharmin” was born. At the core of it,…

  • Coaching

    My DYI Project – A Video Introduction

    Last year, when everything went virtual, I had to create videos for a couple of online events. It allowed me to hone my video shooting and editing skills. Recently, we had a few sunny days in Seattle, giving me natural lights for this video shoot. Here is a 2-min video where I described my coaching philosophy, ideal clients, and their challenges. The time constraint reminded me of that famous quote, “I wrote you a long letter because I didn’t have the time to shorten it.” I picked the most common client challenge even though there are various others.  Life is a continuous work in progress and this is a snapshot from…

  • courtesy pixabay.com
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Happiness,  Success Strategy,  Work Culture

    What Intrinsically Motivates Us (Hint: It’s not money)

    David, a tech leader and a father of two, was in a big dilemma about a job offer. The money was higher than what he was making in his current job, but something else didn’t feel right. His friends said he should take it – “after all, you do the work for money, like a mercenary.” Humans are driven only by money, and materialistic rewards is a false premise.  Research shows that additional money doesn’t increase our motivation when we have enough money to meet our regular needs (higher than just basics). Especially if the work needs creativity or deep thinking, money doesn’t guarantee higher performance. In his book Drive, Daniel…

  • Powerful Questions Image Pixabay.com
    Coaching,  Leadership,  productivity

    Empower Your Teams With 4 Coaching Questions

    Six-skills are in demand in the post-pandemic workplaces, said Gwen Moran in her fast company article. Five of those six, self-direction, adaptability, empathy, communication skills, and motivational skills can be cultivated through a coach approach. Leading organizations are staying ahead by investing in coaching skills for their leaders. It will be a strategic advantage when the leaders could use coach-like conversation empowering their people. ICF coaching’s core premise is that the client is whole, capable, creative, and resourceful. The coach’s job is to facilitate the client’s process so that the client can untangle their thoughts and get clarity to make progress towards a meaningful goal. Some common characteristics of coaching conversations are :…