• Children, foster greater understanding
    Communication,  EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    Conversations To Foster Greater Understanding

    Recently this post by organizational psychologists 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 disagreements with them. Harmony is the pleasing arrangement of different tones, voices, or instruments, not the combination of identical sounds. Creative tension makes beautiful music. I commented there, which became most popular on that post (80+ likes and 20 comments). I would add, keeping the intention of understanding as the purpose, and not so much of agreement or disagreement. That way, it becomes less subjective. For example:  instead of “I disagree,” one can say, “Can you give me an example where it is…

  • Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand

    Managing up/Self-promotion : What To Do About It

    In my recent survey, an amazing 79% of people said that Managing-up/Self-promotion is the most challenging aspect of their work. I didn’t expect it at all! I then started thinking about it more and realized it is the tip of the iceberg. Based on my experience, the real issue underneath is our reactive mode.  A more effective approach is to be purposeful in our engagement and align it with our bigger vision and core values. Deviations are fine as long as they are exceptions rather than the rule- as it doesn’t sustain for very long. Interpretation of the Data A good majority of people think Managing-up/Self Promotion is their biggest challenge. As a manager or a…

  • Image by alan9187 from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    Know your Strengths, Capitalize on Them

    Too often, we send employees to training to fix the areas of weaknesses. We expect people to be well-rounded to be successful. The fact is, excellent performers, are rarely “well rounded”; they are sharp. The difference between an excellent performer and an average performer is that the former is aware of their strengths and regularly cultivates them. In contrast, the latter one spends time and energy in a scattered way. What I Mean by Strength 1. An activity is your strength when you can do it consistently, repeatedly, happily, and successfully. 2. You don’t have to have strength in every aspect of your role to excel. 3. You will excel by…

  • 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…

  • Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Courage From Within – Conviction And Trust Can Help

    Growing up, I didn’t think I was very courageous. One day I saw this quote saying: Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting despite — because something is important to us. It made perfect sense! Fear will always be there, which might be a good thing as it forces us to prepare well by doing due diligence. Conviction is an essential part of courage. I can bring courage because my conviction about the matter is stronger than fear. Twenty-two years ago, when I first came to the US for my grad school, it was the very first time for me to be in a foreign country; it was not…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    What A Car Can Teach Us About A Successful Career

    I was talking to Andrea, a leader in a big corporate here in the Seattle area. Brilliant and hardworking she was; her resume spoke for itself. As a senior director role in this new job, she was facing some challenges. The main feedback was, others didn’t know what value she was bringing to the organization; they were not aware of her contribution. The solution in her mind was simple – only if she had the skill of being vocal in meetings and prolific enough to blow her own horn. Deep inside, though, she was not feeling confident about her contribution either. All her time was spent getting the team settled…

  • 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…

  • Leadership,  Success Strategy

    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 Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery while making a case for mastery and continuous improvement over those success milestones we revere so greatly.  Recently Stacy Abrams gave us a masterclass on turning failure into powerful learning. After her highly contested, narrow margin failure at the 2018 gubernatorial race, she focused on organizing at the grassroots level. Two years later, it resulted in Joe Biden’s historic win in Georgia. Abrams captured the process in her book, (After the loss) “I’ve…

  • Flat tire- Image courtesy Pixabay.com
    Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management

    How is Your Emotional Tire Pressure?

    “I am just busy,” “I could use a nap,” “I am so tired.” Does any of these sound familiar to you? If yes, you belong to a very large group of working professionals who keep going every day despite all such feelings – it is like driving your car with low tire pressure. A 2017 article from Occupational Health and Safety said, 43% of Americans are too tired to function well at work. If it included the knowledge workers, it would have been much higher. And all these were before 2020. This year – the pandemic, the election, the social unrest, the forest fire, the blurred work-life boundary – we…