• Pillars and a woman
    Career satisfaction,  Coaching,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management,  Work-life integration,  WorkLife balance

    Foundation for Growth: Four Simple Practices Make My Clients Successful

    People come to coaching for many reasons. Some want to lead a significant change management initiative, while others want to improve team productivity or develop leadership skills for the next promotion. Whatever the reason, one needs to create the foundation for growth to achieve these outward goals. These building blocks – mindfulness, intentional focus, reflection, and self-care – are essential for coaching success. 1. Mindfulness Mindfulness serves as the cornerstone of this foundation. In a world where we often operate on autopilot or react to external demands, we must pause and ground ourselves. By incorporating bite-sized mindfulness practices, my clients gain the capacity to observe their thoughts and emotions rather…

  • 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 create trouble today.” But even when everyone on the team is decent, stress, conflicts, and drama happen. I have identified a few underlying causes behind them. For this article, I am leaving out the toxic cultures where the main actors are ego, selfish interest, and 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 him Ron. I felt lucky to have Ron on the team. But the problem was that some other folks were annoyed;…

  • Holiday Family Dinner
    Happiness,  Leadership,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management

    From Chaos to Connection: Gracefully Managing the Holiday Family Gatherings

    Managing family visits during the holiday season presents a delightful yet demanding task. Juggling multiple family members’ diverse opinions, needs, and desires can be an energy-draining experience for hosts and guests alike. Take, for example, my client Fernandez, who was planning to host his parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew for a ten-day holiday stay. Being a meticulous planner, he anticipated the potential chaos and asked for guidance in a session with me to prepare for the upcoming gathering. Later, he said that the preparation helped him stay composed and enhanced the enjoyment of the time spent together. If you are like Fernandez, you may adopt some of these strategies for…

  • Clock, brain, bulbs
    Coaching,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management,  Work-life integration,  WorkLife balance

    Three Strategies That Reduced Stress for a Busy Executive

    Sheela, a senior executive at a renowned Fortune 500 company, sought my coaching services to improve her quality of life. She said her demanding job was taking a toll on her. Early morning meetings disrupted her morning self-care routine, and recent layoffs added even more stress to her already crazy schedule. As a result, Sheela felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and helpless. Sheela’s story is all too common among high-achieving professionals. Running after work deliverables alone was no longer feeding her soul; she valued her relationships with her family, friends, and team. Balancing these different areas of her life became a challenge, but with coaching, Sheela could find a way to improve…

  • 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 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 succeed. Other than the hyper-achiever, there are several additional traits: pleaser, perfectionist, and victim, to name a few. My top two are hyper-achiever 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 uttered this with a big sigh as she and I met over coffee on a 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…

  • A man sitting with hands holding this head
    EQ,  Happiness,  Neuroscience,  Self-leadership,  Stress Management

    5 Strategies To Withstand Turbulent Times

    The current economic crisis and the layoffs by major companies created anxiety among workers, even those who have not been directly affected. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft’s HR Chief wrote about a global human energy crisis saying that about half of the employees are burnt out. In addition, UN Secretary-General warned that the next pandemic will be about a mental health crisis. While economic downturns are not uncommon, it is beyond our control. Finding a new job or growing our business is not entirely up to us. But still, when we face a setback like job loss, it may feel personal, “there must be something wrong with me; it must be my fault.”…

  • Coaching,  Communication,  EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  Stress Management

    Direct Communication Doesn’t Have To Be Hurtful

    Stuart, a mid-level leader at a corporate, came to me as he wanted to be more approachable. “I am very direct, but people take it negatively.” I want to influence without causing animosity. Megan, a director at a non-profit, had difficulty giving corrective feedback; she worried the recipient might get hurt, so she used a long-winded way that often got lost in translation. Stuart and Megan had limiting beliefs that direct and kind can’t happen simultaneously; you have to choose one or the other. But Brene Brown taught us, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind”. Brene Brown The purpose of direct communication is to convey the message as clearly as…

  • Holiday, Gingerbread house
    Happiness,  Stress Management,  WorkLife balance

    This Holiday, Build Resilience Through Family Stories and Connections

    It’s the season. Despite the job losses, economic downturns, and everything else,  holidays are in the air. This season reminds us to connect with what is important that we often forget amidst our daily grinds. Every culture and religion celebrates holidays, some at different times of the year. Still, all those have a common theme – people reunite with their near and dear ones through food, festivities, stories, and other rituals. A few years ago, in a rare family get-together,  I got another chance to remember how these connections and touchpoints help our resilience and overall well-being. In Nov 2017, after 20+ years, my geographically dispersed family  – my mom,…

  • 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…