Dinah Salonga does not look like a Yogi. In fact, she looks like an executive — which, of course, she also is. She’s had 30 years of management experience in the IT industry before she started practicing yoga in 2005. If you’re looking for an authority in high-stress management, Salonga would be the perfect person to consult.

She knows how you can find emotional balance in this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world – and the three steps she gives are easy enough to follow.

The key here is learning how to make all these our automatic responses in stressful situations.

Especially with the work pressures in IT companies, teaching these steps to your employees will help them emotionally cope in difficult scenarios; perfect for the incoming holiday stress!


Yes, we know who we are and what we’re capable of. But that is not what self-awareness is.

We often make decisions using ‘auto-pilot responses’ without us becoming aware of it. One good example of this is our “bahala na si Batman” response to a stressful situation. We may not know it (or maybe, even deny it) but we base our decisions mostly on how our emotions feel about a circumstance.

The body typically processes an emotion within 90 seconds. After that time, we have already judged if a situation is being a threat or a reward. And then, we act based on that judgment.

So all we need to do is to wait for this 90-second cycle to complete. Take a pause first, and then you can choose how to respond to a situation afterward.


Once you’ve learned to become more self-aware, the next step is to understand how to respond to a circumstance, instead of just reacting.

If a co-worker is giving you problems, take a pause. Breathe. Figure out the issue.

It would be so easy to feel wronged — that would be our natural reaction. But you have to be in control.

Managing your intuition means that you must stop for a while before reacting. This gives you time to properly process what happened.

We could be blowing things out of proportion, and we often do. Responding doesn’t have to be right at the moment. You can choose to respond later, or not at all.


What’s empathy? This is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings.

As human beings, we all want to be happy. We hate suffering. We can appear to be strong or handle hardships well. But the truth is, we essentially want these same things.

We are also naturally wired to feel what others feel. This is through our “mirror neurons.” It’s why we cringe when we see someone else in pain, or get kilig whenever we see someone proposing to their partners.

To develop empathy toward others is to find similarities. See others as being “just like me.” Based on scientific research, when we wish kindness or happiness on others, we experience the same thing.

Taking our example of our co-worker giving us problems, you can simply empathize with that person’s issues and wish that person well.

It certainly lessens the tension. You’ll be spared from carrying heartache around. That energy will be best spent on that deadline at work. And if you’re stressed about that, repeat the process all over again.

So there you have it. Be self-aware, manage yourself, and empathize. Practice these and you’ll build a happy work environment!

This topic is part of the Philippine Software Industry Association Enablement Seminar Series to strengthen the knowledge of IT industry leaders. They make the Philippine IT industry globally competitive by providing holistic education to IT and software talents. Globe myBusiness, a leader in the ICT solutions and telecommunications field, is partnering with PSIA for this enablement seminar series.

Looking for more tips that’ll help you with managing your business efficiently? Check out Globe myBusiness Academy’s Expert Advice section to learn from different industries and professionals.

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