“They are often overlooked for promotion. Others take credit for their work, and over the years these scenarios add up, causing imposter syndrome and resulting in a downward spiral of low self-efficacy.”
Neelu Kaur is a facilitator, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Executive Coach, and Burnout Management Specialist. She has fifteen years of experience specializing in adult learning and leadership development in large organizations ranging from financial services and consulting to the technology industry.
Putting all her expertise to work, Neelu wrote a book called Be Your Own Cheerleader: An Asian and South Asian Woman’s Cultural, Psychological, and Spiritual Guide to Self-Promote at Work. This is reportedly the first book written to help professional Asian and South Asian women conduct themselves in the North American workplace.
Be Your Own Cheerleader examines why it is difficult to switch between Eastern and Western culture at work; what is the ‘recipe for disaster’; what does it mean to be ‘Bred up in the We, Flourishing in the I’; 10+ tips for speaking. It also recounts the author’s personal experiences struggling and being strong as an Indian woman in corporate North America.
Neelu is also a certified yoga teacher, Ayurveda specialist, and Ericksonian-trained hypnotherapist focused on bringing mindfulness and stress management practices to individuals, teams, and organizations.
In an exclusive interview with Eastern Eye she answers some of the questions her book examines and much more. Continue reading.
What inspired the idea for your book?
Self-advocacy and self-promotion have been challenging for me throughout my career. As an Indian-born American raised in South Asia, my people come from a collective culture based on ‘we’. Self-promotion is something that is frowned upon in many Asian and South Asian collective cultures. The United States is an individual culture, very focused on the ‘I.’ This is especially true in corporate America.
Throughout my career, I noticed that some people were very comfortable talking about their achievements. I felt boastful or shy doing this and it cost me many growth opportunities and promotions.
The pivotal moment when I realized that I took up self-advocacy was when I was laid off in 2013, from a large financial services company. I was working there as a facilitator and coach and when I was escorted back to my desk to collect my things, I looked around and noticed those still in their seats were very good at tooting their own horn.
At that moment, I knew it was a skill I needed to cultivate. My book came many years later after I realized that it was not just me who found this challenge but many other Asians, South Asians, and underrepresented voices.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I wanted the title to be something people could relate to and quickly understand what the book was about. The subtitle came after I decided on the three areas I was going to focus on, which are the Cultural, the Psychological, and the Spiritual aspects of self-promotion. These areas resonate most for me because of my work in mental health and wellness.
Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
I wanted to be a writer since my earliest memories. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I hope that ‘Be Your Own Cheerleader’ opens the door to many more. There are many books and authors that have inspired me. I got the most inspiration from spiritual books by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Abraham Hicks, Deepak Chopra, and Eckhart Tole… to name a few.
Please share some tips to help Asian and South Asian women speak up.
What is a stereotypical character?
There is a lot of advice I offer in my book and in the ‘Be Your Own Cheerleader’ workshop series. A couple that I think are easy to implement immediately: Turn the ‘We’ and ‘I’ dial up and down based on the situation. See the article : Saint Louis Cheerleading Trials 2022-23. For example, if I’m consulting a team and we’re brainstorming, I’ll turn on the ‘We’ dial where everything is focused on the group’s efforts.
When I make a business development call where I’m selling my services, I need to talk about my accomplishments and credentials. This is where I turn the dial ‘I’. Because of the situation you are in, you can now turn up or down the ‘We’ and ‘I’ clock, and dance harmoniously between the two worlds.
What are stereotypes 3 examples?
The other tip is something I like to call an ‘Interruption Shield,’ which are words or phrases used to jump back into a conversation if you’ve been silenced. The words or phrases should sound like something you feel comfortable saying. To see also : Carolina Panthers’ David Tepper stops building new training facilities. I often say, ‘If I can, ‘I can’,’ ‘We can go back to…xyz.’ These are phrases that we practice over and over to feel more comfortable speaking for ourselves and help build the muscle of self-advocacy.
In the book you talk about ‘uncomfortable with confrontation + Unable to speak up for myself + Consistently worried about others’ perception = HUGE failure in corporate America.’ Please elaborate.
- When you come from or grew up in a collective ‘We’ based culture, it is very difficult to speak up for yourself. It’s a skill we have to learn and practice every day because it wasn’t modeled for us.
- What does it mean to be “Bred up in the We, Flourishing in the I?”
- When you are raised in the collective cultures based on ‘We’ (Asia and South Asia), it is very difficult to make a name and a place for yourself in the individual ‘I’. Not only are you unskilled at advocating for yourself, but you’re also unsure of how to take pride in your work or accomplishments. Asian and South Asian women are silent in situations where they need to use a bullhorn because they are unsure and lack the skills to speak up for themselves. They are often overlooked for promotion. Others take credit for their work, and over the years these scenarios add up, causing imposter syndrome and resulting in a downward spiral of low self-efficacy.
What are some examples of stereotypes?
To succeed in the ‘I’ is to dance gracefully between the two cultures (east and west), and to celebrate and clearly articulate your individual achievements. Read also : The Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Announce Auditions In April For The 2020 Squad.
What do you have to say about the waning reading habit?
- I’m seeing more local bookstores popping up around New York City. I guess it depends on who you ask. As an ongoing junkie, I enjoy audiobooks, reading high-level synopses when appropriate, so I don’t know if I fully agree with declining reading habits. We can consume information in many ways; however, I don’t believe that a physical printed copy of a book will ever go out of style.
- Why are stereotypical characters used? While they can be harmful or hurtful in real life, writers often successfully use stereotypes to help connect readers to a story, to help build a story, or to break a perceived notion about a character.
What is the meaning of stereotypical characters? Stereotypical describes an action or characterization that is oversimplified, heavily imitated, or given by tradition. As in Aesop’s Fables, stereotypical characters behave in a predictable way, or according to type, which, in Greek, literally means striking in a form or impression.
What is a stereotype give an example?
Here are some examples of stereotypes to help you become more aware of them in your daily life, and to avoid them. Girls are more docile and want to please others. Boys are not so good at listening to instructions and are less attentive. Girls will sometimes sulk too long on almost anything.
What are 3 sources of stereotypes? Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination often come from:
inequalities in society.