• Let's Get Real Podcast cover
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    My Podcast Interview: Resilience Inside and Out

    Earlier this month, a fellow leadership coach, Nina Simonds invited me to her podcast, Let’s Get Real. Nina started this series in 2020 because, as she wrote, “I love having REAL conversations with people who inspire me. In my 20+ years as a leadership and relationship coach, I experience the most flow when I am learning in a community with others. Let’s Get Real is a place where my guests and I explore personal experiences that have been catalysts for our own growth. We also explore and share some of the tools that help us see others more fully and give us the confidence to lead and love well.” In…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Self-Promotion Doesn’t Have to Be Selfish

    A couple of years ago, I ran a survey among tech professionals, and it came out that “Managing up/Self-promotion” was the top concern. I was not too surprised. Talking about ourselves seems opposite to humility – it contradicts our values, yet managing up is essential for reward and recognition. Over the years, I learned that it might feel more altruistic if we see it as helping our managers and others do their job better. When I became a manager for the first time at a large corporation, I got a new team from another division. Since it was close to the annual review time, their previous manager prepared their performance data for me to submit…

  • A Busy Woman:
    Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    Are You A Go-to Fixer For Your Team? You Are Not Helping.

    Elizabeth was a long-tenured senior officer at a commercial bank. She had a high sense of responsibility. Most of her time was spent fixing problems created by others both at work and in her family, leaving no time for herself. Friends stopped inviting her to get-togethers as she said “no” many times. The irony is that despite helping others, her relationships with her family (her adult siblings) and colleagues were also pretty strained. Ben, a high-achieving retired physician in his early seventies, volunteered for a cause close to his heart. After a while, he realized that instead of fulfillment, he felt guilty and overwhelmed most of the time. The sense…

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

    Conversations To Foster Greater Understanding

    Recently this post by an organizational psychologist 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…

  • Children fighting
    Communication,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    From Jerk to Genuine: How These High Performers Built Trust With Their Teams

    Result and efficiency-driven high-performing individuals often have a blindspot when relating to others. It can create unintended harm to team morale and trust. Others tolerate such “jerk” behavior as subject matter expertise, and “get things done” competencies are valued more. It is not that they don’t get any feedback to correct their behavior, but rather the opposite. They don’t get timely and precise feedback. People want to understand the feedback before they can act on it. And when they do, they commit to it and eventually become more impactful.  “I have been receiving this feedback for so many years. However, this is the first time I can understand it.” This…

  • Will Smith hits Chris Rock on Oscar Stage
    EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Self-leadership

    What Can We Learn From Will Smith’s Oscar Debacle

    Since Sunday, my newsfeed has been flooding with the news and commentary about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage when he made a rather insensitive joke about Will’s wife, Jada. Smith later apologized to Rock. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness… I am a work in progress.” While this is a piece of celebrity news, we can relate to such incidents in our lives. Maybe not every one of us gets out of control like Will, but…

  • 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…

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Success Strategy

    Entrepreneurial Spirit : Build The Product YOU

    “All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.” – Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn. If you are itching to create something and share it with the world, you must be thinking about the product and possible funding. While those are crucial, we often ignore that we need to work on ourselves, the mindset, learn, and improve how we operate  – the product, YOU. To start, ask yourself these three questions – WHY, WHAT, and HOW. The Why Why do you want to do this? Some of the answers I heard before are:  “Everyone else I know is…

  • Goats blocking the street : Image by Dennis Larsen from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Self-leadership

    Career Satisfaction: What Is In Your Way?

    “Not enough time,” “Not enough support from others,” “Lack of ideas” topped the list for my survey question: “What is in your way of a more satisfying career?”  It would have been great if somehow these external factors of time and support were resolved so you and I could flourish. But alas, as said by the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “We cannot (always) choose our external circumstances…”. In algebra, we learned that we need to work on the variable part if something is constant. Epictetus added, “…but we can always choose how we respond to them.”  Our choice to respond is the variable part! You may wonder what makes Epictetus the…

  • Authenticity, a bird showing its colors - Image by wasi1370 from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Communication,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Self-leadership

    Is “Authenticity” Backfiring On You? Here Is Why

    Theresa, a senior developer in a tech firm, said that their management encouraged them to be authentic. It prompted her to be passionately sharing some of her opinions. There was only one problem: others saw it as negativity bias, resulting in some stern feedback from his manager. Prakash, a senior Director, was frustrated with his team’s progress and didn’t hide it during the team meeting. It cost him a promotion. Jim, a business development manager, said that he felt lonely to be constantly fighting for the right thing when others were too comfortable tolerating the mediocre decisions the team was making. All three stories have one thing in common. They…