My Writings

Reflections on Life and Leadership

Most Recent Articles

7 Key Reasons Why Asking Powerful Questions & Coaching Works Better Than Giving Advice

We’ve all got an irresistible urge to offer advice. It’s a basic human instinct. We often switch to our expert, advice-giver, answer-it, solve-it, fix-it mode. A recent medical research study revealed doctors interrupt their patients with advice within 11 seconds. (Phillips, K.A., Ospina, N.S. & Montori, 2019) But why do we feel compelled to...

9 Steps To Make The Most Out Of Difficult Conversations

“The right word at the right time will unlock the door to treasures - the wrong one will close it forever” - Rasheed Ogunlaru Think about a discussion you have been planning to have with your manager. For example, to ask for a raise. Perhaps as a manager, you may need to terminate an employee or resolve a conflict with a co-worker. These are some...

Want To Improve Performance? Before Giving Feedback, Give People These Four Things

Do you use feedback as a tool to improve performance? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. Most managers see (and use) feedback, most of which is negative or critical, as a tool to improve performance. If you give positive feedback too along with the negative (the sh*t sandwich), we all know that people tend to focus on the negative and...

6 Reasons People Are So Unhappy At Work

According to this study cited in Forbes, more than half of the US workforce is unhappy. Gallup surveys show that nearly two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work. In my own experience of the last 15 years and the numerous stories I have heard from people in multiple countries, I have heard and witnessed the same. Why do we wait for Fridays...

5 Simple (But Not Easy) Steps Every Manager Can Take To Improve Work Culture

If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning. - John Mackey I have been leading teams for 12 years in companies such as Yahoo, Booking.com, etc in India and Europe. When I look over the last 12 years, I get a smile on my face on recalling...

How To Respond To Anger Like The Adults We Are Supposed To Be?

In my previous article on anger, we saw that anger hides what we care about. If we look deeper and take the time to introspect, anger can tell us what we really value, and which value has been violated that resulted in the anger. Anger can communicate a lot of important information, but only if we are willing to listen. Can you control the...

3 Ways Strong Leaders Manage Intimidating Employees With Poise and Confidence

If you are a leader or manage a team, it is not uncommon to come across someone in your team who intimidates you. This might be because they are better than you in a particular skill and that brings your insecurities to the fore. Or it might be because the person might be overly assertive, has temperament issues and you are trying to avoid...

5 Unconscious Ways We Limit Our Own Freedom

I still remember that morning of excitement. It was supposed to an relaxing long drive in my new car, but I had no idea how the day would turn up. As I started the engine and pushed down on the accelerator, I got busy admiring the posh interiors and the sophisticated dashboard of my car. As soon as I got on the highway, I turned on the cruise...

10 Powerful Conversation Questions to Connect with Others on a Deeper Level

Do your conversations seem artificial and meaningless? Do you find it difficult to go beyond niceties? What do you do when the answers you get are rote, scripted, and hide the “real” stuff underneath them? The innocuous “How are you?” at the start of a conversation often begets a rote and scripted response like “I am fine,” or “I am doing good.”...

7 Empathetic Questions To Ask At Work to Understand And Support Your Colleagues

One of the most important tasks of a leader is to support her people with the challenges they face. However, in the pressure-filled and fast-paced routine of everyday work, the challenges each one of us face might not be easily identifiable. Due to workplace culture and social taboos, people might be struggling with some very important issues but...

5 Research Backed Reasons Taking Regular Breaks Can Help You Get More Done

If you have a lot to do, take regular breaks. Find out about the counterintuitive advice of taking breaks to get more done. Are you surging ahead in life? Is your life becoming too fast for comfort? Why not take a break? What did I just say? Do you think you have a lot more to achieve and you just can't afford to take breaks? Does this sound like...

The 7 Most Powerful Investments You Can Make. They Are Not What You Think

What comes to your mind when you are asked about the most powerful investments you should make? Is it stocks? Is it bonds? Or a new house? Real estate is the safest investment, you might have heard. If you ask me, I would say, neither! Over the course of my life, with its few successes and numerous failures, I have come to see another type of...

Why Unreasonable Goals Are Better For Your Growth And Success?

Have you ever achieved something you aimed for still felt like "meh"? Do you feel "empty" on the inside despite being successful by usual standards? Here is how to achieve meaningful success by overcoming our deep psychological need to play it safe. If you have ever done any writing on a computer, you would have relied on copy and paste. It's...