• Meeting : Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
    EQ,  Executive Presence,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Challenge Responding To Senior Leaders During Meetings? Quality Listening Is Key

    Two Leaders, Similar Challenge Tory, a senior director was in charge of a critical customer-facing component of the business. During big meetings, he had to answer the senior leaders about ongoing customer issues. When in the middle of an escalation, it is very tricky keeping the senior leaders satisfied on top of coordinating with the engineers and anxious customers. Tory was not alone. Many engineering leaders have such challenges. To make the problem worse, they often receive blanket feedback to improve their executive presence. Tory didn’t know what to do with such feedback. Another director-level leader, Tushar, also had a hard time thinking on his feet during such meetings. Tushar…

  • Country Road
    Happiness,  Stress Management,  WorkLife balance

    This Holiday Build Resilience Through Family Stories and Connections

    It is the holiday season. Despite everything that is going, I smell it in the air. Holidays are all about connecting with those near and dear ones, share traditions through food and other rituals. Even though this year’s holidays across the world had to be more virtual than in person, the spirit is no less. 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 wellbeing. In Nov 2017, after 20+ years, my geographically dispersed family  – my Mom, siblings, and cousins got together at our grandparents’ home in rural Bangladesh. Although the occasion, sending…

  • Flat tire- Image courtesy Pixabay.com
    Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management

    How is Your Emotional Tire Pressure?

    “I am just busy,” “I could use a nap,” “I am so tired.” Does any of these sound familiar to you? If yes, you belong to a very large group of working professionals who keep going every day despite all such feelings – it is like driving your car with low tire pressure. A 2017 article from Occupational Health and Safety said, 43% of Americans are too tired to function well at work. If it included the knowledge workers, it would have been much higher. And all these were before 2020. This year – the pandemic, the election, the social unrest, the forest fire, the blurred work-life boundary – we…

  • Forest tree roots Image by Allan Joyner from Pixabay
    EQ,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Cultivate Resilience For Challenging Times : 3C Model

    Today (Nov 4, 2020), Americans are anxiously watching TV, browsing the news sites, and social media feeds, following the result of this historic election. A few days ago, The American Psychology Association (APA) said 68% of American adults are experiencing election anxiety. I am sure the number has increased much more since the election night. 2020 has been a testing time for our individual and collective resilience. The pandemic, the Election, the blurred work-life boundary, and everything in between there is no shortage of it. I noticed that some people handled it a little better than others. The X-factor is their resilience. We may think that some people have it.…

  • Goats fighting: Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
    EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Stress Management

    Are Disagreements Hard For You? EQ Analysis Can Help

    A very passionate, competent, and committed gentleman, Nathan was a Product leader at a medium-size cutting edge tech company. Disagreements, differences in opinions, were a regular part of his job, yet it was hard for him. It ended up being a personal attack that costed his relationships. He felt awful. He wanted to establish what he felt right for the organization, but he didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Disagreements came at a high price for him. Nathan believed that there were only two options: not to raise his concerns and maintain the harmony or fight for his point and accept the consequence. Either of the choices sucked. As we started…

  • Applying Software Engineering Concepts in Coaching
    Leadership,  Neuroscience,  productivity,  Stress Management,  Success Strategy

    Applying Software Engineering Concepts in Coaching

    Many of you know that before coaching, I was a software professional, and I studied computer science in college. A common perception is that coaching is the opposite of software engineering. But in this past decade, I noticed many similarities than differences between these two.  Last week, I was talking to a client who has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and works for a cutting edge research project for one of the topmost tech companies. He has been feeling overwhelmed with his task list that keeps growing every day and has sophisticated interdependencies. I knew that one way to reduce his “overwhelm” state was to bring him to his strengths.…

  • Fire and Water - Image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay
    EQ,  Leadership,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Stressed About a Situation? Either-Or Thinking Could Be The Cause

    Case Study 1 Helen, a mid-level leader, was frustrated with her boss. He told her one thing, but his behavior during meetings was saying something else. She was confused, and the only conclusion she could come up with was he was not forthright. I noticed the anger was pretty high in Helen’s voice as she spoke. “You seem upset about this,” I said. “Yes I am, because…”- Helen tried to justify her anger. I offered her a quick breathing process, and it helped her feel calmer. I then paraphrased the situation. “Your boss told you X, and now in the meeting, he is acting as Y. You are curious about…

  • 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 –…

  • Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management

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

    Tim, a senior tech leader, recently spent a week at a meditation retreat. When I asked him how he was applying it, he said he didn’t have time. Stephanie, an HR Director, was treating 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 practice. The only problem is we use those as vitamin pills instead of customizing it to serve our unique style and need. Recently a client, who completed a six months coaching program with me, said…

  • Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Cultivating Resilience: Small Acts of Self-Care Goes a Long Way During These Trying Times

    It’s been a few months since we are in the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter how hard it is to accept, this is going to be a new normal for a while. When it started, we threw away our usual routine, scrambled together a makeshift home office (and homeschooling for those who have school-aged kids) as quickly as we could. But after a while, we started feeling tired, depleted, overwhelmed, and all sorts of such feelings. It was not sustainable. During a coaching session last week, I noticed that my client Claire’s energy level was lower than usual even though she was talking about a recent win…