• 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…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand,  Stress Management

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Are you feeling stuck in your job? Are you having a lack of motivation? Are you feeling like quiet quitting? It must be hard to carry on like that. On top of it, when someone asks you about your career vision – it could be even more frustrating. It happened during a seminar when I asked the audience to do a visioning exercise. A gentleman got frustrated and challenged me, saying, “none of these works; I tried everything, and it doesn’t work!” Though I felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. But I also learned something from it. It is difficult to project into a future vision –…

  • 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…

  • My cat and I
    Happiness,  Stress Management

    Life Lessons From Adopting A Pet

    A few months after the pandemic started, we decided to get a kitten. Even though my daughter had been asking about it for a while, I was not looking forward to the additional responsibility. I was afraid of the mess the cat would create around the house. And it did. You can imagine the stress and the fights we had during those early days. Fast forward 18 months, and the mess is still happening occasionally, but fortunately, I no longer am stressed about it as I was before. What has changed? Over the past 18 months, we taught ourselves about taking care of a cat and its behavior; we experimented…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • A Resting Dog - Image by Pitsch from Pixabay
    Career satisfaction,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Work-life integration,  WorkLife balance

    Feeling Stuck and Unmotivated? Invest in Your Emotional Vitality First

     Feeling stuck and unmotivated in your job? Not getting enough recognition or the upward mobility you deserve? Getting feedback that you are not doing enough? A software engineer in the mid-level in her career, let’s call her Veronica, came to me with this recently. She sounded pretty frustrated and depleted. As we spoke further, I realized that she had been feeling this for a few years; the pandemic only made it worse. The current job was no longer serving her; she needed to move out.  But the only reason for staying was her lack of energy to focus on a job search or interview preparation. It became a chicken and…