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    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…

  • 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…

  • Interview with the International Voice
    Career satisfaction,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    My Interview with The International Voice

    A few weeks back, Japnit Sethi from The International Voice, reached out to me to be a guest in his new show on YouTube. Japnit, a Computer Science graduate student at Virginia Tech (my alma mater), founded this with a mission to inspire the next generation of international leaders from all over the world who aspire to make their mark within the North American Tech Industry. We talked about a wide range of topics, starting with how I got into tech, my early days in the US, Job interviews, learning from my career at Microsoft, and finally, my work as an executive coach with leaders in technology. Japnit did an…

  • Happiness,  Personal Brand,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Curb Your Anxieties Using This 3C Model – How to make good choices during the home quarantine time

    We are living through an episode of world history. The way we know life has come to a halt. The leaders, scientists, the medical community, and all the essential service providers are working round the clock to keep us safer from the curse of this COVID-19 pandemic. The rest of us are asked to do one thing – stay in our homes to help reduce the spread of this highly contagious virus. Everyone is reacting, coping, adapting in their way – be it a child or an older person. What is different is the magnitude of struggle and sufferings – both internal and external. Neuroscience says uncertainty creates anxiety –…

  • Superhero
    Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Working on Your Confidence? Watch Out Your Go-to Words and Root Cause

    Confidence is a common topic my clients bring to coaching. Anyone working on it knows that confidence is not a simple binary thing. It shows up as a part of a complex set of behavior that stems from inside more than outside. Our word choices often can hinder how confident we appear. “Think” is one such word that got my attention lately. The ability to think – about complex problems, gives us an edge as knowledge workers. Ironically overuse of the word may not serve as much. This tendency is common among women and people who are more analytical. One of my clients, let’s call her Tatyana, is working on…

  • Personal Brand,  productivity,  Time Management

    Why You have a Hard Time Saying “No” – Look into these Root Causes

    A client of mine said she is always too busy with other peoples’ requests and she struggles to complete her own work. Her manager advised her to say “no” more often. But she doesn’t know how because helping others and being useful is a high value to her. As she and I looked into it, few scenarios came up. a. Assuming “No” will Hurt Relationships “I know I am already busy, but if I say “No” I will hurt this person. For damage control, maybe I will make time by being more efficient, by canceling the coffee with my friend or skipping my exercise.” What is the underlying assumption when you say…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Personal Brand

    “Tell Me About Yourself” – Why It Is Hard and What To Do About It

    Those frequent flyers in the job market already know how this apparently easy question could become quite daunting at times. During an interview coaching, I ask the clients to answer it first. Interesting enough even the expert interviewers have a hard time talking about themselves. Some of the common patterns are: Pattern 1 – They walk through the resume chronologically. Example: “ I received my BS degree from University if Kentucky, then I joined x company, worked there for until 2002 as a junior software engineer then I moved to y company and worked there until 2007, got promoted to a supervisor position. After that …” (At this point my brain starts…

  • Career satisfaction,  Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Women In Tech – Let’s Tap Into Our Own Greatness

    [Look for a special discount code inside -Sharmin] Background Story – Last year I attended a global conference in Warsaw with a few hundred International Coach Federation (ICF) leaders from across the world(140 countries to be specific). The trip was very significant for me on many levels including the opportunity to meet some very talented and passionate leaders in the coaching industry. Kelley Russell-Duvarney was one of them. Although our personal backgrounds had very little in common, we found ourselves in an extremely engaging conversation as we sat in the last row of a tour van for several hours during our group trip. We quickly appreciated the similarities in our thinking as we…

  • Personal Brand,  Success Strategy

    Nervous About Networking? Find Your Own Sweet Spot

    During my corporate career I once attended a class on “how to show up confident”. It had quite a few tips I don’t remember those exactly. But today I remembered about it when I noticed that I was feeling very confident and at ease during a networking event. In particular I was standing exactly the way it was taught in that class, standing with the feet in a V-shape and hands on the sides! In that confidence class when the instructor taught us about the standing poses, it didn’t make too much sense. It felt awkward, not only that, my analytic mind had lots of why questions. But today I…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    “What do I Want” is a Hard Question

    A few weeks back I was giving a talk at a big tech company about focusing on the vision. As usual, someone asked this basic question- “I don’t know what my vision is”! I am not surprised. This was my question only a few years ago. Over the years, by resolving my own dilemma and by working with my clients, I found a few ways to address this. Why it is hard? While growing up we were given standards to meet, tasks to accomplish. We were rewarded to achieve hard challenges, to score higher than others. Things we did for our own pleasure (if any) was a privilege and was not…