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Finding beauty in chaos COVID-19

The last few days have caused extreme anxiety for most of us because of the fear of COVID -19. The fear-mongering happening on the internet did not help much either. The internet showcased some hilarious memes on the hoarding of antibacterial gel and toilet roll. Although I laughed at some of them, the thought did occur in my mind ‘does hoarding all the purell and toilet paper really make one secure from this virus?’

It is true that we all have different personalities and I am not recommending altruistic behavior here. You may also ask what do I gain by giving my supplies to others? Nothing tangible other than a good name or prayers maybe. It is true that people don’t hoard because of malicious intent but because of a mere desire to protect themselves. Money can buy hand sanitizers and with that some peace and stability but more sanitizers and masks do not guarantee extreme protection and immortality.

Here are a few things we can do in this time of chaos:
1. Discover your Entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, a degree of the disorder of the universe. In this case, we are witnessing people transforming their lives into a more chaotic and disorderly one. Does our life really need to be this chaotic? Can we stop and think for a second before we flow with negative thoughts?
2. Find structure in strategy: You know the things you have to do this week. You may also need to work from home with children around you as the school is out. Plan this week ahead of time to reduce chaos and frustration. Yes, you can do it!
3. Enjoy some idle time: Most of us don’t get idle time because of our busy schedules. Let us dig our creative side by putting our feet up and thinking about stuff we haven’t thought about in a while. Spend time with your family and enjoy these precious moments.
4. Use technology to socialize: Most of you may have hundreds of friends on social media but have you thought about getting to really know some of these people. Some of their work or quotes may have inspired you in many ways, let them know that they have inspired you. Have a virtual coffee with a friend you have not talked in a while.
5. Find the meaning of your life? What does life mean to you? Prioritize. Find your new life goals.
6. Show gratitude: Let us appreciate the people around us. Let us be grateful for our family. Let us show our sincere gratitude to the healthcare workers working round the clock. Let us lend our support to these heroes in any way we can, be it child support, caring for their elderly, etc.

To those who are living in fear or are feeling extreme anxiety especially over their career or business, I extend my sincere support. I am a career and leadership coach and I am happy to help in any way I can.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

Re-branding at the time of COVID-19

I am happy to announce the re-branding of my business. I have realized over time that my skills, educational background, and experience are the biggest asset that I have to offer to my clients and hence my new website https://hamnasiddique.com/ is named after me.

I welcome every one of you to subscribe and as a complimentary gift from me receive some information on your intelligence/emotional intelligence guide to discover and learn more about your intelligence. This can be used to advance your career/business further and strengthened to improve your expertise in your career/business.

My blog on behavior patterns, blocks, and biases we face as humans is a huge part of this website. I started this coaching business to have a career in which I feel fulfilled by helping people who need expertise while also helping me with my financial independence. I saw this niche in the market, where I felt people are suffering in silence when it comes to their career and business, without getting any help from an expert. Needless to say, the chances of business or your career surviving are much higher with the help of an expert than without one, especially in the current climate due to COVID-19.

For those of you, who are business owners, I can help in managing various projects by getting yourself organized and prioritize your higher income-generating project or help in finding the mindset blocks that have been putting you off various business ideas and projects.

For executives and leaders, especially from the corporate world, I was there and I know how it is. I am happy to help you with your leadership skills, motivate you by finding your strengths and passion. You will be happy to discover a new ‘you’. You will learn how to communicate with your employers and colleagues effectively by enhancing your strengths. This will also help in guarding yourself against any damaging effects on your career and health. If you have catalysts in your personal life that is affecting your functioning at your workplace, we can discuss that too.

Several healthcare workers, especially physicians had reached out to me due to the current situation. I have also seen various posts and articles on the unrealistic expectation of bravery and emotional detachment from physicians. Physicians have every right to be intimidated by the current situation that created an environment of chaos and disorderliness. Prioritizing patient care and working long hours in a disruptive environment can lead to burnout over the long term. I would like to emphasize the wellness of these clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide my full support and a medium to vent through my coaching sessions.

 

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

How to embrace our emotions?

Imagine a boardroom full of people trying to solve complex issues. Chances are the level of emotions may be displayed in the room depending on the hierarchy of the leaders, where the top leader in the room is in a better position to display her emotions. The employee in the lowest tier of the leadership tries hard to hide her emotions. The western civilization has embraced the ethos of an emotionally amputated decision-making roundtable where the solutions are more technical and less emotionally comprehensible.

It is true that technical solutions can be utilitarian compared to an entirely emotionally motivated action. Purely emotionally driven behavior can lead to an uncontrollable situation with mob-like conduct spreading like wildfire. Hitler’s Nazi Germany was a good example of this. The propaganda created by Hitler at the time exploited the emotions of the people and stirred up hatred that leads to violence and hostility towards people who seemed different from them. The Milgram Shock experiment conducted by Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University highlights the conflict an individual experiences between obedience to an authority figure and personal conscience. Milgram questioned whether Adolf Eichmann, German high official and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust and his officers were accomplices or were just following orders. The experiment involved “killing” innocent humans by administering a shock. It was finally concluded from the experiment that ordinary people follow orders easily if coming from an authority figure. Subsequently, the authority figure can also misuse their power and autonomy to make irrational decisions.

What role does emotion have in all this? When we are stuck in a situation such as the above, either as a leader or a follower, dig into those feelings. Explore the emotion and check if it is in favor of morality. Aristotle argues that virtues regulate our emotions. Whether it is true or not can we not explore the virtues that we possess, for instance, fear of people different from us by trying to understand these people by getting to know them through their culture and develop courage?  Can we not dig into these emotions and find out if they arise out of an old mindset and family belief or is it in line with the current boisterous time that we live in? If these emotions are pragmatic and guide us to a more principled path then surely revelation of these emotions can aid in the situation. Extreme measures are taken to hide emotions in organizations but isn’t it time to change this outlook and use these to our advantage. Leaders could embrace this by incorporating positive emotions such as gratitude in the organization. These emotions can also lead to reciprocal altruistic behavior by persuading the other individual to boost their morale reinforcement further.

Displaying positive emotions help in recreating positive experiences again in life and subsequently, reliving these positive experiences create a kind of adaptability in people, in the sense that negative and unfortunate experiences can be interpreted in a positive way. This is in relation to adaptation theory that suggests that under normal circumstances, people tend to adapt to positive variations in the environment. They reach a state of hedonic neutrality. Increasing gratitude can prevent this fall and people appreciate it even in hard and adverse situations by interpreting it in a more positive light. This means even when an employee is having a rough day at work, the feeling or the remembrance that the employee is with helpful people in a good environment can help them feel better about the situation.

Going back to the story of Hitler and Nazi Germany, the Jews looked different from them. Hitler was bothered by how different they looked and stayed away from them in his younger days. I wonder if Hitler had explored his emotions and questioned his hatred and tried to create a sense of psychological safety for himself by getting to know them, the hatred would not have spread like wildfire. Leaders of organizations could create a sense of psychological safety too by getting to know the people who work for them and create history for leaders of tomorrow by showcasing the empathy and gratitude in making positive influences. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place to be if we nourish our human side to harness a future that we would like our future generation to live in?

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

Leaders! The disastrous Cognitive Bias that sank the Titanic

 

We all remember the opening scene of the movie ‘Titanic’. People are waving their hands to their loved ones, not knowing they will never see some of them alive again. Just watching it today still brings out my raw emotions. The giant had the nickname “unsinkable”. There is a rumor that Capt. Edward John Smith had said, “Even God himself couldn’t sink this ship”. Oh, but the ship did sink. Immediately, it was said that the iceberg caused the ship to sink but what sank the ship? It was believed by many that the ship is too good to sink. Studies indicate that we base the quality of a decision or behavior by its result, ignoring many extenuating factors that could eventually result in the success or failure of the action. The titanic carried 2,200 passengers but lost 1,200 precious souls. Despite the ship having hundreds and thousands of meat and edibles, it carried only 20 lifeboats, ignored 30 different ice warnings.

The belief that there is no chance of a disaster and it is better to risk the lives of these people with just these lifeboats and ignore all other signs and warnings is because of a cognitive quirk known as “outcome bias”. Outcome bias can make us increasingly risky but at the same time, make us rejoice in the outcome of this risk if it was a success. Leaders who take risks on various projects or physicians who make irrational decisions without weighing in the pros and cons of the consequences of their actions are leading themselves into an irrational and unethical state of affairs.

The employees may follow the leader assuming this individual can navigate through unusual and difficult circumstances unlike them and sometimes adhere to ‘groupthink’. The biggest and most famous example of groupthink is when John F. Kennedy, in 1960, decided to proceed with the plan of President Eisenhower to land in Cuba’s southern coast to overthrow Fidel Castro’s communist regime. The spirit of camaraderie led his team to follow his decisions blindly; after all, he was the commander in chief. A leader always hopes for the best outcome for her project. If the leader has been successful in various other projects and has accumulated numerous years of experience, she may underestimate the risks involved in future projects. Overlooking facts, hoping for the best outcome is a catastrophic mistake made by many in the top management. These leaders are praised if the outcome was successful and criticized if the outcome was ineffective.

This is pertinent for government policymakers who implement various initiatives. Needless to say, it is true when it comes to sports too. A player is either criticized or praised for the result but not for the effort and the performance she put in the game. If the Titanic had not sunk or the outcome of the maiden voyage was successful, no one would have mentioned the negligence of the people or the inferior quality of steel used for the Titanic. Whether you are a CEO, project manager, policymaker, or physician, you must factor in the risks involved in a project or a case. Let the successful outcome not lure you into another project without weighing in the risks involved in it. Let us all focus on the process, not the outcome, and free our minds from this skewed irrational haven of hope.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

Are you unhappy with your career?

 

 

I grew up in an environment where career counseling or guidance was rather nonexistent. I had a couple of choices to choose from to pick my major and not a lot of thought was put into it. We planned vacations more elaborately than my career. My father, being a successful banker and a good role model, due to his success, I presumed that is the path I should take. Soon I realized that as much I love Accounting and Business; I could not be confined to these disciplines alone for the rest of my life.

Shortly after my graduation, an insurance job fell on my lap, and within a couple of years, I was working in Lloyds of London feeling empty inside but making big bucks or should I say quid. The feeling was ironic as a few years back I yearned to be here and I thought I would be overjoyed if I had this job but here I was unhappy and questioning my life choices. I remember sitting on top of high-rise buildings in London and not feeling the content I should be feeling. There was an emptiness, a big void, and even after having a great job, I felt like an underachiever. This feeling made me feel emotionally paralyzed inside. Over the years, I became good at ignoring this feeling and tried to move on with my life.

And move on…I did…to the United States of America. I continued to feel lost with no help. It took some time to reflect on my likes and interests by myself. I decided to study psychology, as I have always had an interest in it but never had a chance to study it. I saw my move to the United States as an opportunity to go back to college and major in psychology. It was a big move for me as I had to revisit my fear and the emptiness I was talking about earlier. I decided to come face to face with my fear and joined college. It is hard to forget my first day as I decided to sit in the front row right under the professor’s nose. I enjoyed and galloped through every class that was offered. Years flew like weeks as I discovered my passion for psychology.

Today, I am proud to say that I am a coach. I realize that I took a complete 360-degree turn in my career. I love helping people achieve their dreams – dreams that have been ignored or hidden for years. I noticed the emptiness in me and decided to do something about it. I realized that if I did not do it for myself, no one else will. I realized the importance of career coaching the hard way, which is why I give career coaching a priority. I have created a unique career coaching program for my clients who need a little help in their careers. This is an investment for your life. Don’t be stuck in a job that you hate or feel half fulfilled. We can work together and explore your options in the career you already have or would like to have. We can also help locate your strengths and find a career you would like to transition to. My career package includes Career Planning, Transition, Leadership, and Exploration.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership development and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|

 

Why is our emotional well-being our last priority

 

Why do we place our emotional well-being below everything else?

I would like to take the help of psychology, my passion to help answer this question since in the past we humans have taken the help of psychology to understand our complex and complicated human existence.

But let us not forget Biology, the discipline which defined the first difference between a man and a woman. Biology taught us that men and women have different physical parts and slowly these physical parts were connected to our psychological qualities. The men were expected to look masculine and masculinity was associated with strength. Women physically exhibited fertility and femininity, that were linked to the soft touch and gentleness of a caregiver. What does this caregiver do? Stays domesticated; away from the public eye, putting everyone else before her, always working hard, doing chores, having no time for herself. What do the men do? Gallops to the public arena, looking strong and ready to face the world and solve the problems of men and women. That seems a lot on the men’s shoulder too.

The women look at these men and envy them for their easy access to the public arena. Men look at these women and said to themselves they are tired of being strong but will never give up the public arena as this is where we belong. In between the war for survival both the men and women suffer. Our minds and emotional well-being became our last priority. The survival in this materialistic world takes precedence over everything else. Instant gratification takes over. It became important to show people we have everything we need even though we are empty inside.

Our minds, our feelings, our well-being is concealed within ourselves, even concealed from ourselves sometimes. How do we reintroduce ourselves to these minds and achieve a state of balance and emotional well-being? It is simple. Access it.

Yes, it is that simple. Now, you may do it yourself through your rituals of prayers, meditation, or just look at your behavior pattern, make a plan, and follow-through. But sometimes, we know that we need someone to motivate us to achieve what we have been looking for and keep us accountable for our actions to reach our goal since it is so much harder doing it alone. Life coaching helps in getting to know yourself, know what makes you happy, what comes naturally to you, and live the life you have always wanted to live.

Hamna Siddique is a Career and Business Mindset Coach who focusses on leadership and personal development. 

Email: hamnasiddique@goldbridge.llc. https://hamnasiddique.com/| ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|