Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

Meet Mutiara Alam: A Facilitator Passionate About Women Empowerment

This is InnovatorsBox’s “IB Backstage series, where in celebration of InnovatorsBox’s 6th year anniversary that’s coming up in November 2021, we are highlighting the stories of our incredible team members.

Mutiara Alam truly cares about how you feel and think. She will ask you deep and meaningful questions and won’t shy away from helping you explore further with even deeper questions. Her hunger and passion for helping others feel heard, and for creating safe spaces comes from her own experience of knowing what it feels like to not have it. 

When we first met in D.C., Mutiara told us how discovering networks like StartingBloc and InnovatorsBox helped her develop personally and professionally by learning how to express and comprehend one’s thoughts. As a result, she committed herself to assisting other female professionals in her community to learn how to build safe rooms, find the courage to speak up, be curious, and be boldly creative as soon as she returned to Indonesia. She has always been an advocate for social change, especially advocating for women empowerment.

Mutiara is assisting more female professionals in Asia build safe spaces, speak up, and be themselves. It’s a joy to be working with Mutiara, who is passionate about others and works hard to improve her talents to continue helping more people express themselves boldly and creatively. 

In my Q&A with Mutiara, we explore what makes her so passionate about women empowerment, why is coaching and facilitation important to her, to what advice she’d give to young female professionals, and more!

MONICA:  How would you describe yourself in three words?

Mutiara:  Curious. Committed. Compassionate. 

MONICA:  Why is creativity important to you?

Mutiara:  Creativity allows us to dance in the moment and expand our experience that leads us to countless possibilities.

MONICA:  What was your favorite project, experience or memory working at InnovatorsBox?

Mutiara:  My experience from being a student at InnovatorsBox and now a facilitator makes my heart warm. I didn’t imagine that I would be in this position. I joined the first cohort of Rethink Facilitation in July 2020. Then, I joined the company as a facilitator around September 2020. It has been a fun journey. 

Trends about work:

MONICA:  Why is facilitation important for you?

Mutiara:  It is an essential skill, both in my personal and professional life. Facilitation skill allows me to navigate difficult conversations with an open mindset and less stress. 

Facilitation skill allows me to navigate difficult conversations with an open mindset.

MONICA:  Why is coaching important for you? How can we have a more coaching mindset or skill if I can’t access a coach?

Mutiara:  A coach functions like a mirror for the client to see the topic at hand. I see coaching as a space for our clients to get curious about what’s present in the moment, gain awareness and make conscious decisions on the next step. This is something that we can also start practicing by getting curious about how we feel and where our feelings come from. The awareness will help us make a move from a place of wisdom.

MONICA:  You coach a lot of female young professionals. What advice would you share with them in what they can do or should do more? 

Mutiara:  I noticed a lot of my clients put judgment on themselves. “I shouldn’t feel this way.” “I should be more that way.” Instead of putting judgement and pressure on how we should be doing, how we should be feeling or how to conform to society’s standards, there is power in embracing what exists in our space at the present moment. Through that powerful state of being, we can do so much more. 

A coach functions like a mirror for the client to see the topic at hand. I see coaching as a space for our clients to get curious about what’s present.

MONICA:  How do you balance everything and advice for others?

Mutiara:  I recently learned the art of doing one thing at a time and being okay with taking a pause when needed. At one point early this year, I had 6 projects, both volunteer and paid work, at once and I fell sick due to tiredness. So, I had to sit down with myself and really look into all the work that I’m doing and see what my priorities look like. As an example, I took a pause on my book writing project and decided to continue next year. 

In the meantime, I am focusing on my coaching training program with a scholarship from CoActive Training Institute. It took a lot of me to let some things go because I’m passionate about each of the work that I’m doing. By shifting my perspective, I see it now as me honoring my passion, my body and my whole being by doing one thing at a time and giving the work and my passion my full attention. 

Getting to know Mutiara

MONICA:  What advice would you give your younger self?

Mutiara:  Let go of trying to do everything at once. Let go of judgement. Dance in the moment. Give yourself permission to be. 

MONICA:  What is a book that you couldn’t stop reading?

Mutiara:  The Secrets of Divine Love by A. Helwa 

MONICA:  What are you listening to lately?

Mutiara:  BTSJamais Vu, Zero O’Clock, Permission to Dance and my all time favorite: Magic Shop.

Let go of judgement. Dance in the moment. Give yourself permission to be.

MONICA:  What are you watching lately that you really enjoyed? Why?

Mutiara:  I’ll sound like a BTS fan—yes, I am—but I really enjoy watching BTS variety shows such as BTS In the Soop and RUN BTS. These shows are always successful in making me laugh and warm my heart.

MONICA:  What is your favorite way to decompress? Why?

Mutiara:  I recently started playing with beads, I make a bracelet or a mask strap. I usually do it in the morning when the world is just starting to wake up. The practice makes me grounded and stay in my present. I also make bracelets to remind myself of my insight on coaching. So, I translate my insight to the bead colors and combinations.

MONICA:  Who are musicians or creatives that inspire you?

Mutiara:  BTS. I keep saying them, but they really inspire me. Without a doubt, they are all talented musicians. They keep challenging themselves in their music, dance and performance. Beyond that, they are grounded, unapologetic about who they are, genuine and have a great work ethic. As an Asian working in a global space, I can relate to how they are facing challenges in the industry because of their race and where they come from. Being the world’s biggest group doesn’t make it easier for them. I feel for them as I experienced it myself. The way they responded to hate and challenges they face are just inspiring for me. They keep doing what they do best, they are still grounded, and they work hard.

MONICA:  If someone is visiting Jakarta for the first time, where would you recommend they go, eat, or do?

Mutiara:  I think people go to Jakarta for business more than pleasure. Though the city definitely has an appeal of metropolitan lifestyle, it’s definitely a gateway to see the beauty of Indonesia. I would recommend people to stay for 3 days and explore the museums. Most of Indonesia’s best museums are in Jakarta; National Museum of Indonesia, National Gallery of Indonesia, and Museum MACAN (Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara). Then, you can fly to other destinations in Indonesia to see the beauty of nature. Take your pick: mountains, beaches, forests and more. I would recommend Lombok or Labuan Bajo for relaxing beach scenes, and Yogyakarta for the Borobudur temple and Javanese cultural scene. There are so many places I want to recommend, I can go on and on, but that’s all for now.

MONICA:  If you could travel anywhere and do anything, where would you go and what would you want to do? 

Mutiara:  I would love to go back to Labuan Bajo, Indonesia and have a week of sailing trip. I took a trip in 2019 where I stayed on a small ship for 3 nights. I was closer to nature than I’ve ever been before: listening to the calm sea’s lullaby, waking up watching the sunrise, getting mesmerized by the sunset, and staring at the wonders of sea/land creatures. I saw Dolphins, Manta rays and Komodo dragons! Those moments were special, so I want to experience it again.

I also want to visit DC because I miss my friends and my mentors at university. Plus, I want to go to Seoul to watch a BTS concert (I have to say it so I can manifest it #btsarmy).

Thank you, Mutiara for being you, for bringing your authentic and passionate self to the work that you do and people you impact. We look forward to doing more and going far together!

To connect with Mutiara:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/brownbeautyid

LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/mutiaralam

About the Author

Picture of Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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