The Happy Engineer Podcast

011: Explore the Powerful Connection Between Martial Arts and Engineering with Hansel Ramathal

In this episode, an experienced engineer and skilled martial artist will bring you the beautiful overlap of two worlds.  Hansel Ramathal has his black belt… and I’m not talking about six sigma. As a competitor and student of Judo, he has built a powerful mindset on the mat. From the perspective of an engineering career coach who has worked with Hansel, it’s powerful.

Discover how this mindset will change your work life and results immediately.

Hansel was recently on assignment in Japan with his wife and family. We discuss the culture of engineering, and the culture of courage across time zones. Have you ever felt like your brain was sweating because the pressure was so high? If you are on a global team, you don’t want to miss this.

So press play and let’s chat… or else your opponent will pin you to the mat!


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What an amazing conversation. If you have never explored the world of martial arts, the stories and parallels for your life as a leader in engineering are inspiring. Looking for a new way to exercise your body and mind? Put Judo on your list.

When was your last “aha moment” or true breakthrough in your awareness, action and results? If it’s been a long time… that’s a call to action by itself! Let’s connect (LINK TO CLARITY CALL) and see what’s holding you back. In this episode, I love how Hansel Ramathal compared his recent breakthroughs working with OACO to a chemical reaction driven by a catalyst. The key is that no reaction occurs without an outside agent.

The catalyst, alone, does nothing. The chemicals, alone, do nothing.

You have loads of potential energy to unleash, but your growth reaction will not occur alone!

Your “aha” is less powerful, and less likely to happen without support from a great coach and community. That’s not your coach speaking, it’s your fellow engineering leader sharing his real experience.

Sitting alone in a room, reflecting on your problems, and making decisions in a vacuum will not create the same breakthrough. So what are examples of what the catalyst might be?

It might be a great book. Read a book that has a radical new idea. The thoughts of the author are entering your mind, and may be a catalyst to change. It might be The Happy Engineer Podcast! This conversation with Hansel Ramathal may be a catalyst for you, because it’s something outside of your own thoughts entering in.

The truth is, if you sit alone with only your own thinking and you don’t bring new questions, new perspectives, new people, and new experiences into your life… Then you’re missing the opportunity to accelerate the chemical reaction of career growth. 

This is why everyone needs a coach. This is the reason that working with a coach is so powerful, no matter where you’re at in your journey. I know that sounds totally self-serving (I am a coach!). I’m not saying you need to work with us at OACO, but I am saying that you must open yourself to new ideas and new questions. Working with a coach is an incredibly powerful way to make that happen.

Let’s talk about one more thing from this episode: Stance.

Wow. I love this picture. There you are, talking to your coach before stepping onto the mat in a Judo competition. Sweat on your palms. Energy surging through your body. You want to win. Your thoughts are racing. The crowd is cheering.

What you do in the next few seconds changes everything. 

The importance of setting the tone, the energy, the attitude of your entire experience. This is taking your stance.

It could be a meeting today. It could be the day. It could be the year. It doesn’t matter if we’re taking a stance for the next five minutes or the next five years, the point remains the same. How you step onto the mat is going to have everything to do with how you move through that experience.

What does stance really look like? Start with being intentional to choose your thoughts. Show up with the energy and the intention towards what you want to achieve. Then apply the tools and tactics which are proven to win. Judo still requires technique and skill. But a poor stance will cause you to lose to a lesser opponent.  

Engineer, take action. Put this into practice. If you don’t know how, then reach out and get help. If this is not clear, don’t just go onto the next episode of The Happy Engineer Podcast and do nothing. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

This is the beginning of your journey to the career and life you dream about. This is one of many distinctions in the process of unleashing a growth mindset and bigger results. Our team at OACO would love to support you, but whatever you do, remember knowledge by itself does you no good. Only what you implement matters.

Previous Episode 10: Choose Passion with Seyka Mejeur




Hansel Ramathal graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology, USA with a master’s in chemical engineering specializing in Polymer Technology and with a Master of Business Administration from University of Cincinnati, USA. His career has spanned almost 25 years in the plastics industry in a variety of technical and commercial roles. He has worked for Celanese for the past 21 years, the last 3 years being on overseas assignment at Celanese Japan in a technical/commercial role. 

He has a background in product development engineering, compounding, laboratory management, product marketing, product management. Hansel is currently in a technical sales and commercial role since 2015.

Hansel enjoys family, travelling, meeting people, learning languages, volunteering in the community, and is an avid martial arts disciple.





Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: So glad you’re back engineers. I am excited about today’s guest. I’m here with Hansel Ramathal and he is a development engineer, global key account manager for Celanese where he’s got 21 years with the organization, and he’s got a special place in my heart because Hansel is a client of mine from a while back.

[00:00:33] We worked together here at OACO, and he has so many interesting areas and domains and dimensions to his life, his journey has just been a joy to partner with and to coach and I’m really excited to share some of what he brought into my life through that journey, and then share some of his own growth and experiences with you today.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:54] Hansel thanks a ton for making time for us.

[00:00:58] Hansel Ramathal: Thank you for having me on this podcast and really am honored to have a chat with

[00:01:04] Zach White: you. Thanks, man. Hey, where to begin. There’s a thousand places we could, but one of the things that I really loved in hearing your description of your experience, working with Waco and discovering some of your own path and journey for your career and growth and, you know, stretching to the next level was the aha moment.

[00:01:29] You know, you talked a little bit about having these aha moments and I really liked the way that you described it when we were working together. And I was wondering if you could take us back and just explain a bit of what that means to you to have an aha moment and your experience with that as we partnered together.

[00:01:50] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah. I’m happy to, um,  uh, when, when I was. In the program. It was really a time that I could focus on myself a little bit deeper. And in some of those focus sessions, um, I came to this realization that what I was going through in the modules was no different than when I’m actually, uh, on the mat.

[00:02:14] We’re doing my judo work. Uh, I felt. My, my posture, my stance, my attitude was really defining where the next movement would come from. And it was in that aha moment that I realized that I have a choice on how I’m going to act in the next instance. And your modules bring that into very good connection because they tell you that based on that you create the action that you’re going to deliver on.

[00:02:46] And that’s exactly what happens to me in the 10 seconds that I have to think on a judo mat.

[00:02:52] Zach White: Um, D do you feel like it’s possible for someone totally on their own too? Go on a similar journey and have these types of aha moments or what’s the catalyst. Maybe that’s the question I’m curious about in your journey to having that light bulb turn on?

[00:03:13] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah, Zach, you mentioned a very engineering and chemical word catalyst coming. That’s. Another of my passions is chemical engineering catalyst always comes not by oneself. Even a catalyst needs to accurate. And, um, in these aha moments, even though I felt it was just me at that moment, there is a group of people around me, colleagues.

[00:03:40] And in this case, uh, being part of the OIC of family, there was the O echo, uh, group that we would, uh, have discussions with all those, all those, uh, tidbits of information, play into these aha moments. You know, when we’re, when we’re doing anything, even I’m going to go back to judo because that’s kind of where I relate to.

[00:04:02] Even on that mat, as much as I want to filter out destructive thoughts, there is subconsciously an interaction that I had with colleagues, friends, family, coaches, that come into that five seconds of a subconscious decision that you make. You can only reflect on it later on, but at that. That’s what drives you to your next action?

[00:04:29] So, in, in, in what you just, um, uh, shared right now, there was a catalyst in those moments that was because I had started to go through this group, work with you and your other clients, and started to focus on what needs to change, what needs to be reflected upon. And what’s the next stance I do.

[00:04:50] Zach White: I love that started to focus on it.

[00:04:52] So I’m not a martial artist, but I love hearing you talk about it. Tell us first, when did you start in judo?

[00:05:04] Hansel Ramathal: My judo journey has been very interesting. Um, it was actually started. I started at when I was maybe eight or nine. And at that time, it was the time it was my mother’s antidote to getting two boys out of her afternoon fights, go fight somewhere else.

[00:05:25] Except as you know, right. Except as you know, judo is not about fighting. It’s actually about avoiding the fight, but being able to defend oneself.

[00:05:35] Zach White: Yeah, actually, tell me more about that. You know, the differences between different martial arts and where judo sits in that world. Maybe just go a little further.

[00:05:44] I imagine the engineer listening may not practice judo or know anything about, you know, what’s the difference between karate or judo or jujitsu. Just give us a little understanding on where judo fits in that world.

[00:05:56] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah. Yeah, this is, uh, I’ll try to be very brief. Um, as you know, uh, martial arts start historically, I started in the monasteries monks wanted to defend themselves.

[00:06:07] And so they’ll practice these arts because they have plenty of time on their hand. And there’s a lot of meditative practices in, in involved in that, um, that evolved into trays, judo as one of the modern martial arts. And Judah was created by a gentleman in Japan and GIGO Kano. And what he did was as a student of other martial arts, he observed that injuries were very rife and to take out injuries, to create some sense of community contribution to the society and personnel health.

[00:06:42] He created judo combination of wrestling cut out the, uh, without the punching and jujitsu ancient Japan. Excuse me, ancient Japanese jujitsu, which enrolls locks and holds. So what you see today on camera with judo is a combination of, um, movement throwing wrestling, like throwing and then pinning down. Um, and in inside all that is the nucleus of the original martial arts, which is what does your internal self.

[00:07:15] I feel like that’s what will come outside.

[00:07:21] Zach White: So earlier you made a comment with a key word that I want to explore deeply together, that you had this aha connection and exploring your career growth and career vision. And what does it look like to step out of your comfort zone and, and crush comfort and all the things we talk about at a Waco and connecting it to this idea.

[00:07:44] Of attitude, posture and stance, this, this word stance. And I remember when you first shared with me this aha that it, it absolutely resonated, and I don’t have the judo background, but tell us more about this idea of stance.

[00:08:04] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah, the, um, I, I want to go back to an anecdote or a moment back when I was, uh, competing in judo, uh, not very high level, but I was competing in a, uh, sort of a Midwest United States level, uh, tournament.

[00:08:18] And my, and I was all pumped up, what am I going to do? What am I going to do to this? You know, to my opponent and my coach at the moment just said, Hey, you don’t have to do anything. You know, everything. It’s all about the, you step on that mat. It’s all about that first two seconds of attitude and what he meant by that was the way you step into any arena.

[00:08:45] Whether it’s the mat, it’s your presentation. You’re going to make, it’s a big conference. Call that first two to three minutes, or I should say first two to three seconds, actually. How you enter that domain? Is what determines how the rest of the journey is going to play. And I’ve experienced that I’ve gone into a judo match feeling.

[00:09:09] I’m going to crush this guy. I know so much. And I came out as a loser and I’ve gone into a judo match where I’m kind of nervous, but I know that my coach has stolen me. I know everything. And I have surprised himself and myself coming out as the winner. So does the stance is all that we can control. And if we go in with a very positive outlook, whether we win or lose, we’re going to learn something from this that’s that that’s the attitude that I’ve now been trying to foster in these, uh, in the recent months of growth, personal growth is it’s not about.

[00:09:53] No, we hear it as a cliche. It’s not about the destination, but it’s the journey. But I would like to rephrase that. It’s about the stance in the first instances that determines how the journey is going to be

[00:10:05] Zach White: it’s about the stance in the first instances. And I love how powerful that idea is. I want to go back though, to something you said that I think is really.

[00:10:18] Challenging and confusing a lot of times when we think about, or talk about the idea of what confidence looks like, what a, what a confident or courageous, maybe stance would look like in our minds and our mindset and the words we might use to describe it. You said, I stepped into the, onto the mat sometimes with this attitude of I’m going to crush this guy, you know, kind of, uh, outward looking at the opponent.

[00:10:43] Uh, and then you lost. Tell me about, about that attitude, because I think that’s a really popular thing we see in sports. We see in movies, this kind of get, get pumped up around this idea of I’m going to crush the opponent. And I’m hearing you say that energy is not the energy that you’re looking for in your first two seconds.

[00:11:03] Like what’s the distinction there and why are we so fucked up with that?

[00:11:09] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah, I think the distinction is very subtle and it’s very easy to slip into either side of the window pane. But the reason I say that it’s, it’s a very controlled activity that you can do for the first few seconds, because if you, if you walked in and said, I’m going to crush the other guy, you’ll have just lost grip upon yourself.

[00:11:34] Because your grip is already on the other person in judo, the match starts without any grips. Your first goal is to get a grip on the other guy. So if men, if mentally you’re already gripping the guy, yeah. That seems like a positive play, but you don’t have the grip yet. And because you don’t have the grip yet, your mind is not focusing now on getting that grip because you think you’ve got it.

[00:12:03] So to boil it down to actually, I want to take it to an engineer level, please. When we look at a problem in front of us, I don’t think any professional engineer goes, oh, I’m going to get my hands all over that. As engineers, we, we boil it down to which part of that big problem do we understand facts around?

[00:12:28] And then we try to slowly get a grip on it. You know, and we work our way in that. That’s exactly how it works on Juro. You get, you know, you get, you get his sleeve and then you kind of inch your way up the sleeve. And then he lets go of the sleeve. You get the other sleeve and you kind of just slowly get your hands into as much of his grip you can get or his G.

[00:12:51] And when you think you’ve got enough internally, you feel that the energy is moving towards you. You move in with your throat. I’ve not seen, I’ve been the judo player that has just gone and bear, hugged the guy and try to launch whatever I know. And I’m on the floor. He just threw me.

[00:13:13] Zach White: This is really a beautiful metaphor to say, look, when, when you step onto the mat in your life, the moments of life, where you have a challenge.

[00:13:26] And opponent, uh, an area that you’re struggling with, maybe it’s not even a big negative thing. It could be a great opportunity, could be a loving relationship. Then you’re, you’re reconnecting. Maybe it’s, uh, a daily interaction with your spouse. So it doesn’t matter. Even the context it’s to say. When I step into that arena, when I step onto that mat, those first few moments, starting with an inward.

[00:13:53] Grip a grounding within myself of how I want to be and what I need to be in this moment to then begin having the impact in the world that I want to have outward and starting to get that grip, uh, infinitely scalable. And it’s, you know, how that might apply in our lives. You gave a great example for engineers on a problem, but how else does this impact you?

[00:14:20] Day to day where like, where do you have this thought and how does it change the way that you live?

[00:14:25] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah. You know, um, Zach, I actually wanted to send out a note to you a few weeks ago because, um, I remember our very first conversation. You talked about a concept of framing and at the time I, I kind of thought, okay, framing the sun’s like you’re again, creating agendas before you go into a meeting, but it was more than that.

[00:14:48] Um, I realized that framing is that moment where you check in with yourself and you check in with the other person that this is kind of what we’re going to be doing today. Is that okay? And I think, I think that relates to what I was just talking about. Checking in with yourself for any activity, um, is to find out how are you doing today?

[00:15:12] Recently because of those, um, because of the word framing and understanding that a little bit deeper and connecting it to my martial arts background, I’ve found that as I have conversations with my colleagues, I’ve been able to be very conscientious of their time and my time. And I’ve been able to communicate to them, uh, that this time with God, for each other is going to be a quality time.

[00:15:39] I’ve got things that I would like to cover. What else is it that you’d like to cover? I’ve become very intentional with that conversation. It might sound awkward to some people, but I think I’ve not yet had anyone telling me after that, that, oh, that was a waste of my time. They’ve actually a couple of people have thanked me for giving them back 10 minutes of the assigned meeting time.

[00:16:05] Um, I now. Reflect that as, yeah, that’s actually what happens even when you’re on a judo mat or in a, in a martial arts tournament, the match time is five minutes. Nobody said you need to take five minutes to throw the guy. So it’s not about throwing, but two to come out as accomplishing your target. You know, it could be one minute.

[00:16:30] It could be two minutes, but if you get a grip on yourself, Check in with yourself, checking with the other person, you know, you could be more efficient on everybody’s time and also enable everybody has got what they intended for that.

[00:16:49] Zach White: For, for the engineer listening, who may want to work with an engineering career coach, if they’re wondering, what is this framing thing that Hans was talking about?

[00:16:54] You know, you gave a good, a good example, but just to put it in a box, you know, in any interaction with another engineer, with a team, if you’re giving a presentation, it’s almost irrelevant the context, but you’re creating the container. And in essence, the five minutes and the mat, and we’re saying, Hey, here it is.

[00:17:13] The space that we’re going to occupies together and in our time, Yeah, this is what we would like to accomplish. So the framing in very practical terms would be, you know, Hey at Huntsville, it’s really amazing to have some time with you today. What I’d love to do is record an episode of the happy engineer podcast with you.

[00:17:32] We’ll take about half an hour and during that time, I’d love to explore a few of the key learnings you had in our program and learn more about martial arts with you and give you a chance to share your heart and your wisdom with our audience. And then at the end, maybe we’ll have a few minutes. We can just catch up.

[00:17:46] Does that sound good? Yeah. Sounds great. So he says, yes. Yeah. Most I’d say 99% of the time you get a, yeah, that sounds great. The framing, what I love about this connection, that’s a really great example that I have made, known what I need to get from this situation that’s in benefit or connected to the agenda of the time.

[00:18:10] And I’ve. Not only grounded myself in my stance, but I’ve also made it known my intention to the other person, what I’m here to accomplish. You know, I’m, You know, I’m, I’m, I’m going to throw you today. This is, this is the plan. And, um, people respond really well to seeing and being given clarity on my needs, what we are here to do.

[00:18:34] And so often we don’t express what needs to happen and we are, we don’t stand strong for the thing. Must occur, you know, for our agenda, we feel selfish or we feel like we don’t have the control, or maybe it’s, I don’t have the title or I don’t have the authority. So simple concept and a really great metaphor around this idea of stance.

[00:18:55] Honsel tell me then what would be the words, uh, rather than I’m going to crush this guy, if you were going to describe the stance that you do bring into some. Moments of your life. How would you describe it in words for people? What is Hansel’s stance?

[00:19:14] Hansel Ramathal: Uh, I would use the word collected, uh, you know, as in you’ve you’ve done some reflection and bundled up your thoughts.

[00:19:22] There are some uncomfortable thoughts. There are some comfortable thoughts, but I’m collected. Uh, I would say another stance would be. You know, chest, chest up and forward, not, you know, on back foot looking, leaning back. And the reason I say that is in Zach, you and I have talked about this even in a presentation as you stand before an audience, if you’re always on your back foot, in the corner of the projector, the audience very quickly reads that energy and they say, He’s running away from his slides, literally speaking.

[00:20:05] Yes. Versus you are not staring back at the screen. You’re in the middle of the room. You’re kind of taking a few steps left and right. But you’re really engaging with everybody. You can’t establish that after you’ve gone to the back of the room, you know, but if you do that in the beginning of the presentation, Even if you withdraw for a moment later on the audiences looking at it, because this thing, this is planned, this guy has got a plan here.

[00:20:39] Zach White: I love that word energy. And how you described that. And you know, just for the engineer listening, this, isn’t only in a physical presentation kind of environment. Like console’s talking about it also applies even people who see this on YouTube, you know, the podcast. Be able to see, but as we record this one, what Huntsville said, you know, chest up and in, I, it, it immediately triggered me to do these exact same, uh, movement and bringing my energy up when he changed his energy as the same on zoom or in any other context, it can even be, be translated over the phone, just through your voice and the energy that you communicate.  If you need help on this, it’s a perfect time to work with an engineering career coach.

[00:21:13] There there’s so much that happens. And so the connection between these ideas, it’s not just philosophy, it’s very real and the physical and an impact. Our body through, you know, in our subconscious mind in a lot of ways that are extremely influential. And you know, you know, I wasn’t expecting you to change my posture just there, but just by doing that, it, it happened.

[00:21:36] And so I think I just want engineers to understand that these are really important concepts because, you know, you might be thinking, how do I land this next interview? Or how do I, you know, get that next promotion? And we’re thinking about these tactical things, right? Lots of what separates the very upper echelon or that best candidate from the majority are these small things.

[00:21:57] It’s not that they have a degree from a better school than you are. They said a better example of how they are great with teams in a behavioral interview. Yeah. It’s the way that they influence people through these, these micro behaviors. And the energy and the stance that Huntsville’s talking about. I don’t know if that triggers any thing for you, but would you agree with that?

[00:22:21] Or what have you experienced with that?

[00:22:24] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah. Um, recently, you know, you mentioned zoom and chains that we are all well, some, some in some countries we are still, uh, doing, you know, web-based meetings. I’ve noticed that if, if you’re talking to a client and they’re not on image, but you’re on image. So you’re projecting yourself.

[00:22:44] To me. That’s a very positive way of showing them. I’m not hiding behind a screen somewhere in the corner of Japan. I’m actually. They’re staring at them and I’ve gotten some very key questions answered. Now. I don’t know whether it was because they saw me on camera, but I believe that being able to deliver that energy, uh, visually and through audio gets, gets people to believe in you trust in you.

[00:23:18] They, they, they know that you’re right. I know I’m preaching to the choir because we are all doing image-based work right now. But I think to be able to project your intention and your words physically via the camera is the next best to being in front of them.

[00:23:37] Zach White: Totally. So speaking of being in Japan, you have had a really unique global experience in your lifetime and as an engineer and in your career.

[00:23:47] And. Yeah. Oh, Waco is the Oasis of courage. And when you went through our program, you know, we spent some time unpacking this idea of courage in our career, what that looks like and how it, you know, as a catalyst to things happening and creating results and getting out of our comfort zone. Um, I’m really interested to hear you share some of your perspective around this idea of courage.  Working with an engineering career coach to build courage.

[00:24:13] As it relates and interacts with culture between, you know, maybe a us culture and the Japanese culture where it’s different, but some of the points that maybe were surprisingly the same or how you had to show up with courage in that context, what would you describe in terms of courage and culture and that interaction?

[00:24:35] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah. Thank you for that question. That’s actually a very profound question because. In typical and I’m by no means an expert on Japanese culture business. I’m a student of Japanese culture, just like everybody around me. Um, but what I’ve noticed is courage, courage is good to have, but courage is not good to demonstrate in Japanese business sense.

[00:24:59] And the reason is because, uh, Are coached in, in, in cohorts and you’re never encouraged to step outside your group. It’s a group think society, which has positives and maybe some limitations, but because of that, um, showing up with courage has taken a different realm. For example, I’m a foreigner. I don’t speak the language fluently.

[00:25:26] Um, therefore. One of the mindsets I had when I first came here is I cannot make phone calls on my own. I lived in that igloo shell for awhile. And then I realized, you know, if you don’t come out of that shell, nobody knows you’re inside it. And so I started making customer phone calls on my own. Which was the most harrowing experience.

[00:25:55] Um, but you know, once I stepped out of that, I made a ton of mistakes. Linguistically probably made a ton of mistakes in terms of the honorific language usage, but the customers are the most graceful people I met. They gave me information, they talked slowly. They wrote back the conversation to me in an email.

[00:26:18] So they knew I could translate it and get actually the key requirements that I was asking. So I learned a very big lesson from that, that my fixed mindset was telling me, you don’t know the language you’re not from here. You can’t make these phone calls, my growth mindset that give it a shot. What’s the worst that’s going to have.

[00:26:44] Somebody hangs up on you and nobody hung up on me till this day. Uh, so, so that has really fueled my, it has actually, so it says an a boosted. My why and the why is I love to talk to customers? Why should I stop myself from picking up the phone and calling somebody and using the language that I know? And we just talked about energy.

[00:27:09] Energy is I believe 50% of the conversation. So that’s in a nutshell of what I’ve learned in Japan. You know, it’s all of my U S training kind of helped me, but I was back to ground zero here. So I had to relearn this art of step outside. What is your boundary of today?

[00:27:33] Zach White: Yes. Yes. This is a really subtle point you made, but I want to highlight it again, that courage.

[00:27:40] Is not something that has to be done. in a boldly public way, in the context of business or relationships that courage in many cases is just happening inside your own heart and mind to shift from that fixed mindset to the growth mindset and, you know, courage. Always puffing your chest and, and banging on your chest, like Tarzan and going out and doing something or being a hero.

[00:28:06] You know, it really is something that begins in many ways, a quiet, centered, grounded stance of shifting out of a, a fixed place and saying, I’ll give it a shot. And it actually could be in a way silent, no one even sees the courage happening it’s just in, within yourself. And, you know, for folks who feel like they’re not courageous, W, well, that’s a choice that you are able to make and it doesn’t have to be grandiose or match someone else’s, you know what you see as correct.

[00:28:36] It may just be you taking that one small, subtle step and picking up the phone and giving it a shot. So be honest with us. what was it really like in your emotions and in the experience that first phone call, like, take us to that. When, when they answered the phone in Japanese, like, what were you experiencing?

[00:28:55] Uh,

[00:28:57] Hansel Ramathal: I don’t know if there’s a word to describe it, but I, I dunno. I think I was sweating from my brain. I forget my hands and I

[00:29:05] Zach White: was sweating.  Haha, engineering career coach proud moment there.

[00:29:08] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah. But I, yeah, I think I mixed the guy’s name up. I asked, can I speak to Mr. So-and-so? And I think I even mixed up his name and the person said, oh, you mean, this person is like, yes, it was one of those names where it can, the two syllables can flip both ways and I flipped it and, uh, they, they called the person to the phone and they were.

[00:29:32] A five second silence. And he had to say, hello, is somebody there? And oh yes. I’m Hansel from Celanese. Is it okay to speak right now? And, and yeah, yeah, it was those first, those first 10 seconds. Uh, I mean, just, I think they were like slow, like a slow motion incident.

[00:29:54] Zach White: And after that call, what was. The sort of coming down off of that sweating brain high, like tell us where was the point where you realized like, that didn’t kill me.

[00:30:09] It actually wasn’t that bad. Like tell us the arc of the growth for you.

[00:30:15] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah, so it was during the call actually, when I was trying to ask him a couple of. So, you know, I was asking, what kind of chemical resistance do you need for this polymer? And I got the word for chemical resistance, but the thing he didn’t quite understand how then he, then he, then he put it together.

[00:30:33] It was doing that at that moment that actually he said, oh, let me, let me, let me give you some more information. And I felt like, thank you, God, because I’m going to sit back. He’s going to be telling me stuff. And I have a moment to recollect my thoughts and not hunt for the next word. And he did. He told me a bunch of stuff.

[00:30:53] Maybe I understood only 50% of it, but I was trying to just make some notes of words that they don’t know. And as I came off that call and I said, thank you very much for your time today. And would it be okay to, um, confirm all this by an email? And he said, yes, I’ll send you an email now, which actually I meant, can I send him an email and he would confirm, but he said, no, I’ll send you an email after this.

[00:31:15] So he was gracious enough. So when I got off that call, I remember actually not sitting down, but walking outside my house and just kind of facing a little bit yeah. All that energy. Yeah. And then coming back and actually going to a store nearby to get a snack for myself. So, you know, it was before I joined your program, but Zach, that was what I learned.

[00:31:39] Go reward yourself. And I did, I went and bought a snack from the store and came back and sat down and yeah. There was an email waiting for me. I mean, the guy had to his word written down an email with what we talked about.

[00:31:55] Zach White: I love it, such a great story. And sometimes we’re all guilty of making that next step, you know, seem like this huge insurmountable thing.  I can relate as an engineering career coach.

[00:32:07] And you mentioned the mindset of fixed mindset. I don’t speak the language. Therefore I can’t make these calls by my. And that limitation when, when you had the courage to just say, I’ll give it a shot, you get to the other side of that. And boom, suddenly a whole new realm of possibility is available to you.

[00:32:27] Right. That’s really, really amazing. So Hansel, if, if you were going to say, you know, one other really big shift for you. In the last six months as you’ve really been leaning into personal growth and development. Is there anything else that stands out as like, this is what has shifted or changed in my mindset or my approach in that time?

[00:32:47] Hansel Ramathal: Absolutely. You and I have talked about this many times, but it has been around the use of my time and energy. Um, and by that, I mean, We all have stuff that fills up our calendars. Literally from the minute we wake up in the morning and switch on our phone there’s stuff we can all put into there and pack it.

[00:33:10] Since, since I have been working with you, I am a very big proponent of the focus funnel as you call it, but basically a funnel and efficiency of your day. What matters when does it matter? And will it matter tomorrow? I’ve, I’ve gone into a habit literally, and I’m not kidding. I’ve got into a habit of literally discriminating the tasks by that criteria.

[00:33:39] Because in that I have found now a lot more time to meditate, to take little relaxing breaks in the middle of my day. You know, maybe my managers should notice that I have time on my hand, but, uh, you know, I have time on my hand because it’s allowing me to think strategically for some customers that I cover.

[00:33:58] So I can actually take a walk and think, what am I going to do with that customer? Because they want to know about this product. How are we going to plan that launch a few months? I would not have I had that. If I sat in front of my computer, staring at my inbox, And, uh, you know, just going through the email drill, you know, every minute, um, that’s one big shift in my focus and the other shift has been able to communicate that to my colleagues.

[00:34:29] You know, I’ve told my colleagues, I will look at email in the morning and in the afternoon, anything urgent, you have my phone number and between the times of four in the evening and six and eight. I am with my family, taking care of my kids, making sure they’re fed. And we as a family, we spend time at dinner after six, I probably will be coming back to catch up with some stuff at work.

[00:34:55] But that’s the, that’s my calendar that I have created for today’s situation in my life.

[00:35:03] Zach White: There’s so much we could dig into and we don’t have time today to explore. I’m sure the engineer listening. It was like, wait, how did he do that? What do you mean time and energy. And I want that life that you just described.

[00:35:14] A lot of us feel like we’re in that endless rat race of the inbox is never at zero and I’m a slave to, you know, not having enough time. And so I’ll just say for now, you know, those shifts tonsil talked about are super powerful. And if you need a coach, get a coach because it’s, it’s just so important to understand that relationship of time and energy and how to set the boundaries in place and communicate those and uphold those in a way that meets.

[00:35:41] Your vision and values for your life and your, and your family and the focus funnel credit to whom credit is due, you know, Rory Vaden, uh, and the book procrastinate on purpose. I recommend everybody go grab a copy of that is where you’ll, you’ll learn about the focus funnel. It’s a really powerful framework.

[00:35:57] Um, you know, that we, we show our clients and. Huntsville. I I’d love to keep going. There’s so much, uh, to discuss, but in the interest of time and, and getting you on with your day and letting the engineer listening, you know, not be with us for hours and hours. You know, one of the things that I believe is a great engineering career coach and great coaching, have this in common questions, lead and answers follow.

[00:36:20] And so if the engineer listening to this conversation wants to be happy. What is the best question to lead them?

[00:36:30] Hansel Ramathal: I would say, what is my stance today? What is my stance now? Because the rest will happen with that stance. So ask yourself, what stands do you want to take to have a very good rest of your day or rest of your month?

[00:36:49] The rest of your life? Oh,

[00:36:53] Zach White: perfect. To end. What is your stance? I love it. Hans, thank you so much for making time for this. You know, You know, if somebody listening wants the opportunity to either learn more about Celanese or to connect with you, is there any place you might point them to, to be able to catch up with who you are and what you’re doing in your career?

[00:37:13] Yeah,

[00:37:14] Hansel Ramathal: absolutely. I I’m I’m I’m on LinkedIn, I’m on Facebook and you know, I’m always open to new connections and then learning from other people. So, yeah. Um, beautiful have had to do connect.

[00:37:26] Zach White: Thank you so much for sharing your, your heart and your wisdom and the connections between judo and the martial arts and our life as engineers.

[00:37:34] Incredibly powerful concept around stance. I hope everybody takes this and, and really not only thinks about it, but takes action on it. So on. So I hope we can do this again sometime. Thank you so much.

[00:37:47] Hansel Ramathal: Yeah. Thank you, Zach. And thank you for having a conversation with me and really loves what you’ve done for me as well.