Candid Conversations: Vivien Mangalindan
Candid Conversations

Your Personal Cheerleader

Nov 24, 2022, 8:45 AM
Vivien Mangalindan

Vivien Mangalindan


There you were in my training room. The topic was Communication and Confidence. Your English grammar and oral skills were perfect. Having grown up in various countries around the world - Canada, Italy and Australia - you were excellent in writing and speaking.

I observed three things, however.

Why were you so quiet?

Why didn’t you want to speak up?

Why did you hesitate to give your opinion during role playing exercises?

The few times you spoke, you seemed hesitant and unsure of yourself. But the content of your thoughts were outstanding.


What a gem! A hidden treasure. That’s what I saw in you. I thought to myself: “If only she would come out of her shell…”

I was delighted when you shyly approached me after the seminar. With your cute and charming smile, you asked me if you could have a few minutes of my time. Aha, that’s when I knew there was hope to help you shine. You had a desire to level up.


Sitting in the park. Lunches, meriendas and dinners at the poolside. Endless hours on the phone. All you needed was a personal cheerleader who believed in you - more than you believed in yourself.

We developed a friendship that eventually led to your asking me to be your ‘ninang’ when you got married.


Learning does not always happen in the classroom. Conversational learning. Learning conversations. You had tons of stories to share. Canada. Australia. Italy.

I enjoyed listening to your anecdotes from around the world. Without you realizing it, you were becoming an interesting conversationalist. What a joy it was to spend time with you, seeing you blossom right in front of my eyes.


All it took was for me to be interested and focused on you. Giving you my undivided attention, you felt seen and heard.

After a year or so, you landed a position in a prestigious workplace that many applicants were hoping for. We were not able to spend much time with each other, as the new office was quite a distance from me.

You fell in love, got engaged and got married - with me as your godmother. How confident and happy you had become.


I was surprised when you told me that you had enrolled in an MBA class. With a full-time job and a brand-new husband, I wondered how you would handle that.

To my surprise, you were tapped to be the speaker during your graduation ceremony. Imagine, the shy and quiet girl was now the shining star of the class!

You had many more achievements, which eventually led to your leaving the country because you were assigned by your office to fill a position in the U.S. It broke my heart to realize that it would be many years before I would be with you again. I held my tears back when you broke the news, but I knew you were more than ready to fly to greater heights.


In life, it is such a blessing to take the role of Personal Cheerleader when you see someone with the potential for success.

Be genuinely Interested.

Give them your Quality Time.

Allow them to feel Seen and Heard.

Give them Wings when they are ready to fly.

Simply remind them that you are just a breath away, holding a ‘safety net’ for them - just in case…

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