• Two men are talking in a business setting
    Coaching,  Communication,  Emotional Intelligence,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership

    Applying Engineering Principles To Solve People Issues

    Ron, an engineering manager, faced a persistent challenge with one of his direct reports, Jackson. Jackson’s behavior left Ron questioning his motivation and even his competency. Despite Jackson’s belief that he was doing well, Ron and others saw things differently. Struggling to address this without creating conflict, Ron resorted to giving indirect advice about being more patient and a team player, but nothing seemed to work. Sound familiar? Many engineering managers encounter similar struggles. The core of the issue often lies in: “How do I provide feedback that the other person will accept and act on?” While common feedback strategies like being timely and actionable are important, there’s another highly…

  • Communication,  Executive Presence,  Leadership

    Hesitating Challenging Others? Try These Five Graceful Steps

    George, a VP at a Fortune 500 company, had a reputation for being insightful yet reserved. Despite his analytical prowess and humble personality, he often found himself silent during crucial meetings, especially when senior leaders were present. Feedback from his peers highlighted this issue: George wasn’t speaking up. When I asked George about his hesitation, he shared his worry of coming across as negative. He could easily sense when something wasn’t right, but voicing his concerns felt risky. Avoiding conflict had been his strategy for a while, but now it was hindering his growth. To help George overcome this challenge, we devised a practical strategy to enable him to express…

  • Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Neuroscience,  productivity,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management

    Beyond Busy: Transforming Work Habits with Neuroscience Insights

    In a recent coaching session, Tatiyana, a senior director at a leading global engineering company, opened up about a pressing issue:  “I’m grappling with two primary challenges. Firstly, it’s incredibly hard to progress in my big project when my day is full of meetings. Secondly, even after delivering a high-stakes project, I struggle to focus on the next task as my mind continues to dwell on the previous one.”  Worried about its impact on her productivity, she sought guidance. This challenge is common for many professionals today, grappling with a relentless schedule of meetings and complex tasks. But here’s the kicker—it’s not a personal deficiency; instead, it’s intricately linked to…

  • A Woman with a hand behind her ear
    Communication,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    5 Barriers To Effective Listening

    In today’s ever-evolving landscape, effective listening has emerged as a crucial skill for leaders. Yet, it remains a challenge for many. What stands in the way? While lack of trust, negative stereotypes, superiority, fear, and ego are significant barriers, other subtler tendencies hinder us even in more favorable environments. In this article, I delve into these subtle ones, which diminish listening for even well-meaning individuals in living rooms, boardrooms, and Zoom meetings. 1: Under time pressure When you feel you are under time pressure, you rush to respond without taking the time to understand the speaker’s intention or state of mind. 2: Fractional listening You listen as much as you…

  • A woman in suit holding a tablet
    Communication,  Emotional Intelligence,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Navigating a New Boss? Trust the Leader in You

    Susan has been a valued member of the company for quite some time. However, the arrival of a new boss has brought unexpected challenges. This leader, who is reserved and prefers pushing their agenda without much dialogue, has left Susan feeling as though she must prove herself once again. The weight of this challenge is draining, and Susan finds herself unsure if she has the energy to overcome yet another hurdle. This scenario is all too familiar, a narrative I often encounter. While leaders are responsible for fostering engagement and validation within their teams, it’s essential to remember that we also hold power and responsibility in improving relationships. Susan’s sense…

  • several people sitting around a table in a work setting
    Communication,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Struggling to Align Your Team? Embrace the Power of Open Listening

    Phillip recently got a new assignment involving leading a change initiative in a new region. While very excited about the career growth opportunity, he soon realized that the team was resistant to his leadership. Despite his proven track record of success, he struggles to gain traction and alignment within the group. Compounding his professional challenges, Phillip is also navigating personal transitions, feeling unsettled in a new town without adequate social support. He thought he had connected with the team; he knew about their families and always asked them about their well-being before getting to business. Despite his efforts, he faces resistance. His team perceives him as moving too quickly and…

  • 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…