• Brainstorming Photo by MING Labs on Unsplash
    Communication,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  productivity

    Brainstorming? Focus On 10% Right

    As engineers and tech leaders, we are rewarded for our analytical skills in finding code defects and design issues early on. We often keep applying this same trait to the people we work with. When we hear an idea, we find the possible shortcomings and “defects” and point those out. With all good intentions, we assume it will be efficient if we say it sooner, as it will save time for everyone. The downside of this approach is we are dealing with people who have emotions and egos. When we shoot down someone’s idea, we hurt their feelings – they feel discouraged and unappreciated. Eventually, we lose their engagement in…

  • Tearing elephant By ArtTower on Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    Use Emotions As Your Ally

    Do anxiety, outrage, frustration, or sadness often grip you? Do they get in the way in high stake situations? Do you wonder why you are not getting what you want? The solution could be lying under your unrecognized emotions. We are emotional beings. Emotions are signals that inform us that something important is at stake. When we notice and acknowledge them and take the time to process them, we can make better decisions and improve our relationships. But when we plow through them with premature action or hide them under a mask, we do more harm to us and those around us. Emotional Intelligence or EQ is a well-known term these…

  • Image courtesy Pixabay.com
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Having A Hard Time Getting Your Voice Heard In Meetings?

    Tim is an engineering leader at a hi-tech company in Seattle. He is very good at his trade, has a profound understanding of the technology stack, and has decent ideas about the current industry trends. He has been very successful, got promoted relatively quickly up to this level, and now his next move is stalled. The concern? He doesn’t talk in meetings. Tim brought it up in a recent coaching session. His reason for not speaking in meetings? He doesn’t want to share a half-baked idea and look stupid. He thinks it is more respectful to stay quiet when he doesn’t know everything. Fair point. Flashback 15 years, I was…

  • Meeting : Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
    EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Challenge Responding To Senior Leaders During Meetings? Quality Listening Is Key

    Two Leaders, Similar Challenge Tory, a senior director was in charge of a critical customer-facing component of the business. During big meetings, he had to answer the senior leaders about ongoing customer issues. When in the middle of an escalation, it is very tricky keeping the senior leaders satisfied on top of coordinating with the engineers and anxious customers. Tory was not alone. Many engineering leaders have such challenges. To make the problem worse, they often receive blanket feedback to improve their executive presence. Tory didn’t know what to do with such feedback. Another director-level leader, Tushar, also had a hard time thinking on his feet during such meetings. Tushar…