• Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Does Meditation, Journaling Feel Like a Burden? Try Micro habits

    A senior leader at a big tech, Tim, spent a week at a meditation retreat. When I asked how he was applying it, he said he didn’t have time. As an HR Director, Stephanie treated her journaling as an extra chore. Despite its good intention, this advice industry buzzwords often feel like another thing we “should” do. On top of our already overloaded, super-crammed life, such expectations create another counter-productive burden. I know these are well-researched, proven practices. The only problem is we use those as vitamin pills instead of customizing them to serve our unique style and needs. Recently a client, who completed a six months coaching program with…

  • Conflict at work
    Coaching,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Work Culture

    What Causes Conflicts In Teams

    No one wakes up thinking, “I will ruin the day; I will be ineffective today.” But even when everyone on the team is a decent person – stress, conflicts, and drama happen. I have identified a few underlying causes behind them. When thinking and feeling styles are different When someone is under stress When someone overuses their strengths For this article, I am leaving out the toxic cultures where the main actors are ego, selfish interest, and a lack of trust. On a team I led, there was a very energetic, proactive, independent-minded person who was very good at generating ideas and following through with them without help. Let’s call…

  • EQ,  Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy,  Time Management

    Super Mom Katherine’s Time Management Dilemma

    On my way to walk this morning, I saw my neighbor Katherine in her signature pink sweatshirt. Both of us were glad to have company for the walk. The weather was exceptionally nice for a Seattle morning; the temperature was mild, and the sky was clear with the golden rays of sun sparkling on 84th avenue, my usual walking route. After a small talk, I asked Katherine how she was doing at the new job she had started recently. “I am not there yet; I need to start making some boundaries for all my responsibilities, my work, my children, my parents…” she started. My question just hit the center of…

  • Idea generation
    productivity,  Success Strategy

    Ambiguous Project With Not Enough Guideline? Follow This 5-Step Process.

    Myriam is a product manager at a multinational company whose job is to understand current industry trends, anticipate customer needs, design product road maps, and get buy-in from upper management and stakeholders. So naturally, all these require her to start with very little information and mainly with a vague concept. “Dealing with ambiguity” is her everyday norm at work. So even though she is usually good at delivering such projects, it initially takes a toll on her.  “I get overwhelmed, I lose sleep, I procrastinate, then I get stressed out from the pressing and looming asks hanging over my head,” were her words when I talked to her last week.…

  • Clock, brain, bulbs
    Coaching,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    5 Misconceptions That Get In The Way Of Sustainable Success

    Over the years, through my coaching work with the tech leaders and executives, I helped them uncover some of their misconceptions and limiting behaviors. As a result, even though they were already successful in their careers, they accelerated their success more sustainably when they recognized and overcame such patterns. I have summarised the five main ones here. Misconception 1: Starting with Others’ Expectations We often start with what is expected of us and then comply with those – giving our time and talent in exchange for money, status, and validation. This mindset works for jobs mainly requiring manual labor and physical presence at the worksite. However, as knowledge workers and…

  • Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy

    Organization Politics – How We See It Can Change the Meaning

    “I like doing my job, but I hate politics. Almost everyone says that they hate politics. If no one likes it, then who creates it in the first place”? My friend Barb sighed as she and I were catching up over coffee on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. We commonly use the term “politics” to describe people’s actions to advance their self-interest at the cost of their coworkers’ interests. It is a win-lose game driven by the intention of gaining something for a selfish purpose. As someone who spent 20+ years inside organizations and then coaching organization leaders, I get curious about this. Barb’s comment made me ponder even more.…

  • A Cat Image by Heinz Hummel from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Executive Presence,  Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy,  Time Management,  WorkLife balance

    Are You Sabotaged By Your Inner Hyper-Achiever?

    A high-tech leader, let’s call him Jason, said, “I can’t relax; I always have to do something useful. Nobody makes me do so; it’s me. This is how I am”. Jason is not alone. Many of us have such hyper achievers in us, pushing us to do more. This trait may have helped us be where we are, yet its overuse can cause more harm than good. Growing up, we all developed different traits that kept us safe, got us what we needed, and helped us achieve success. Other than the hyper-achiever, there are several other traits; pleaser, perfectionist, victim, are to name a few. My top two are hyper-achiever…

  • Craft New year Goals
    Career satisfaction,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    Webinar this Week: Craft Sustainable Goals For The New Year

    The beginning of the year motivates us to start things right. Ironically it often creates social pressure to declare a popular resolution rather than thoughtfully develop a meaningful and sustainable goal. Most people go with losing weight, eating healthier or changing diet, getting fitter, and doing more exercise. No matter how good these look, sustaining them through regular practice becomes a hurdle. I also had my fair share of going with the social norms and not following through. So it is no surprise that this new study has found that about two-thirds of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions within a month. In this article, I shared three techniques to alleviate…

  • Coaching,  productivity

    Get New Year’s Planning Out of the Way and Enjoy The Holidays More

    Holiday’s are in the air. You must be looking forward to all the festivities, traveling, seeing the family, or simply winding down. Me too. I am heading for a two weeks trip to see the family. How would it be if you already have a plan to embrace 2022 right after the holidays?  You could avoid the madness of setting new year’s resolutions and possibly getting disappointed for not following through. Think no more. Are You Ready for the 4-part Career Vision Intensive Workshop in January? It is a group coaching series with content sharing, detailed worksheets for self-work, small group discussions, and reflections on real-life challenges. In total, eight contact hours…

  • 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…