Welcome to the third episode of the Eva Women Podcast!
We had the absolute pleasure of having Sangbreeta Moitra, award-winning speaker and founder of Transform Exponential, in the studio with us. We learnt a lot, we laughed a lot and she gave us more food for thought than we even could have imagined. She also asked a lot of great questions which will surely encourage you, our listeners to do a bit of personal and corporate soul searching. Enjoy this fun and engaging chat as she tells us about her experiences with Ted Talks, the Dutch coffee culture as a way to meet people and how building relationships can help transform your career.
Building Relationships to help you transform your career.
Sangbreeta Moitra… What an amazing journey…
Sangbreeta specialises in human behaviour and how it impacts culture, change, and personal leadership. She is the founder of Transform Exponential and has won the TEDx award for her talk ‘Transform Your Presence’. (Please insert YouTube link of the talk in the speech title)
We love working with Sangbreeta at Eva Connections, partly because she is an expert in decoding the brain- behaviour- branding pathway and identifying why people think, believe and make choices the way they do.
Sangbreeta’s background and the importance of public speaking
Sangbreeta grew up in India and, at the age of five, was encouraged to undertake elocution lessons from her teacher after reading a poem in class. After initial fears of speaking on stage, she soon grew into the role which, from an early age, suggested that a future of public speaking lay ahead. At 12 years of age, she was practising and reciting Shakespeare’s works on stage.
“Public speaking is an instrument – a vehicle through which people can share their vision”.
The vehicles people use to communicate are different. For some, it’s writing; others may use podcasts. For Sangbreeta, it was public speaking – even though she was a self-proclaimed “shy and nerdy child”. However, on stage talking to audiences in a live setting is where she felt most alive, to the point where she took part in over 100 live speaking competitions in her teenage years.
Along with her love for speaking was a voracious hunger for reading. In fact, Sangbreeta’s parents would often catch her reading under the sheets with a torchlight when she was supposed to be studying for exams. She attributes everything she is today with her childhood and that thirst for wanting to learn and communicate more.
Finding her feet in the Netherlands
After successfully applying for her master’s degree in Biology (she specialised in Neurobiology), Sangbreeta moved to the Netherlands. It’s here where her journey really began after realising that while the lab wasn’t her future, understanding human behaviour and its impact, was.
While Sangbreeta focused on growing her professional experience in corporate management in the pharmaceutical industry, working in that environment helped shape her understanding of the way leaders think, act and decide. Working on neuro diseases, learning about things that are related to the brain and even operating in corporate leadership revealed patterns about behaviour and communications or lack thereof.
“Leaders weren’t able to explain their value beyond their job title, companies who couldn’t explain their value beyond a bullet list of their products.”
In 2015, Sangbreeta began creating professional content around the subject, starting with a pen and paper and writing in a cafe. She then gave a few talks on small platforms in local communities of about 15 attendees.
Soon, her talks grew significantly, especially after someone from Shell asked her to speak at a company event. Next, she spoke at bigger Shell-related events, including a talk at Shell London.
She soon won plenty of public speaking awards from the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. By this point, Sangbreeta began to envision an entrepreneurial career in speaking, training and advising, even though she was still working full time. In 2017, she pitched her unique idea at a TEDx contest and won, leading to her TEDx talk in TEDx Rotterdam. The result was the birth of her brand, Transform Exponential.
Advising women on transforming their presence
Sangbreeta truly believes that you need to understand how you want people to feel when they’re interacting with you in a professional environment. What is that feeling that is synonymous with you? Whether you’re a professional, leader or pioneer, it’s important that you go beyond the services you provide. We’re more than bullet lists of skill sets.
“How do you want people to feel when they work with you and why?”
The power of showing the value you offer to people without the need to fall back on a job title is key. It’s also vital to understand the feeling you give people when you’re communicating with them, whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, interactions with your boss, client, vendor, or even communications through email.
How do you want people to remember you once you’ve finished building relationships with them? In her talks she mentions how major brands like Nike and L’Oréal don’t just brag about being number one – they set a tone of emotional connection, whether through “just doing it” or “being worth it”. It’s all about the feeling you evoke from people.
How to stand out in your career
Sangbreeta gave some valuable advice in terms of how women can stand out in their careers, you first need to rise above your resume. How do you want people to feel when they work with you? Understanding your single greatest strength and how to capitalise on it plays a major role in this.
“Remember to capitalize on your single greatest strengths.”
Whether you’re an amazing planner or excellent communicator, finding a career path that capitalises on 90% of where you excel will help you stand out naturally. This is especially relevant if you’re an entrepreneur, and Sangbreeta advises that you focus on your key strength and outsource the parts where you’re not so good.
Starting a business might mean that finances are low, and outsourcing isn’t a realistic option. However, Sangbreeta suggests there are methods of achieving this without spending a penny. One of the primary ways is to trade your skills with other talents who have the skills you require to advance.
For example, they might excel in business management but need help with public speaking. If you’re a public speaker, you can help them with their needs while they help you with yours. The real strength lies in your primary quality and how you can make that work for yourself and other people.
Learn More about Sangbreeta
TEDx award-winning speaker and leading expert on hacking human behaviour and how it impacts change, culture, personal leadership, feedback and building meaningful relationships in the workplace, Sangbreeta Moitra gives talks, trainings, mentoring and advising to top corporates across the world. Her clients include Nike, Booking, Shell, Tommy Hilfiger, ING Bank, NN Group among others. Passionate about a human-first work culture, Sangbreeta is a champion debater and public speaker, and has been featured in The Huffington Post and The Financial Express. She currently lives in Amsterdam and is deeply involved in diversity, inclusion and women in leadership events in The Netherlands.