Appreciate The Deeper Level Of Negotiation…

Posted July 31, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Excel Beyond Excellence, Living Life, Negotiation Dynamics, Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts

Training overseas has always been an exciting experience for me. The days before traveling are filled with a sense of anticipation. At the same time, I get to read up and prepare more to adapt to the customs and cultures of that country I am traveling to. This also gives me an opportunity to further customize my trainings and talks in accordance to the practices of the locals. I enjoy it thoroughly. Besides, who would turn down the chance to make more friends from other countries?


I was in Indonesia recently for an intensive training on “Effective Negotiation with Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP)”. This program was specially designed for the staffs of a major international bank. This time round, I incorporated plenty of important negotiation concepts into the updated version of this essential skill.


And I was very pleased with the participants. Ranging from the eager learners to the sincere appreciators, they made my trip to Indonesia feel welcome and the warmth was undeniable. The sharing included a part of their culture, one that embraces service quality. I am deeply impressed by their commitment to customer service excellence.


We moved into discussing on the deeper concepts of negotiation. The exchanges and enquires were filled with fervor, reflecting the innate desire to acquire negotiation comprehension, fast and rigorous. I was up to the task, for I loved such interactions. It was negotiation-in-training at its best.


As a result, these were some of the in-depth negotiation concept discussed:


1. Negotiation is a skill you cannot do without in life. It happens almost everywhere.


2. Negotiation requires knowledge of human psychology and behavioral understanding.


3. The better you can negotiate; the sooner you will attain your life goals.


4. The outcome of negotiation is sometimes already determined before you meet the other party.


5. Negotiation is often an art too, not just merely scientific procedure of technical transaction.


6. Negotiation exists because of our primary emotional nature.


7. Negotiation is at times, not what it seems.


 It does take reflection, application and close observation to further appreciate what these concepts mean. Yet when one sees beyond the fundamentals and include the strategies, the ways to get your intended outcome through negotiating become clear as sky. I encourage you to contemplate on these reasoning and integrate them into your daily practices as a negotiator of life.

May you Excel Beyond Excellence in your negotiations!




5 Ways You Can Gain A New Perspective Of Life

Posted May 31, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Excel Beyond Excellence, Learning and Education, Living Life, Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts

These few weeks have been extremely packed with the training workshops and coaching. These trainings range from Anger Management to Counselling and Leadership Management Skills, tapping on the different aspects of human behaviour and capacities.


In addition, what I truly like are the experiences I’ve encountered and the new friends I’ve gotten to know, be it at the workshops or the social gatherings. It does speak of the need to see the world beyond what our personal perspectives can offer.


In the midst of us being in pursue of whatever we hope for in life, I’m just wondering how often do we take time to smell the roses, stopping by the tracks to appreciate what we might have missed.


To look at life in another way, consider these:


1. Stop being busy for the sake of being busy. Start re-evaluating the reasons why you work at what you are currently working at and the ultimate purpose behind it.


2. Speak to someone whom you consider to be in a much worse off condition than you. You’ll discover how much difference in lifestyle there can be.


3. Attempt to perform a regular task in an irregular way. For example, take a different route on your way to work or to school. Discover the things you don’t usually see along the way.


4. Read an article that is usually outside your common area of interest. If you’re into baking and cooking, why not explore a book about the Milky Way of the galaxy and see if there’s any ‘correlation’ that you may derive out of it. You’ll be surprised how creative your mind can get.


5. Mediate your mind and reduce the pace of your living. Allow relaxation to handle your life’s demands. Not everything must be done in a panicky, hurried manner.


These exercises hence form an essential part of our growth and development as a citizen of the world. It becomes a beginning foray into what might be beyond the mere hustles and bustles of mere busyness. Or perhaps it may give you a new meaning to what life and living is all about…


At the very least, it sets you on the path to Excel Beyond Excellence.


Seeking Your Passion: A Reflective Speech On The Chase For Activities Points

Posted April 9, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Living Life, Passion, Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts

Many people have been chasing after their desires. Some made it while others chased in vain. During one of the recent Club meeting in National University of Singapore (NUS), I got to hear a speech sharing by one of the upcoming exciting speakers, Chrissy Phoong. She gave an account on her journey in the National University of Singapore where she participated intensively in a number of Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs). Towards the end, she shared with us the using of a gold coin to seek her passion.

Her speech was one that warrants reflection and was apt as a reminder to us. How many of us are seeking our passion and living it out? With her permission, I publish her speech below.

Do think about the lessons we can learn after reading what she had shared. I wish you a life that is filled with passion everyday.

The Chase for CCA Points in NUS
Ever wondered what foolish enthusiasm will lead you to do? Let me enlighten you what happens if that irrational passion is translated to an innocent and naive foreigner who’d just entered the university without any peers. She goes on to take 6 Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs), having leadership roles in 3 of them, with complete disregard for her other responsibilities as a student. This is the tale filled with drama, times for being deliriously happy and times for being downright dejected and depressed.

This is the story of me, Chrissy Phoong less than two years ago in NUS.

I was enthusiastic about everything when I first came to my residence hall. Though I was living in this small enclosed box-like area without the ever-comforting luxury of air-conditioning, I was still excited. I was finally out of my parents’ clutches. The Malays have a saying for people like me, ‘katak di bawah tempurung’ which directly translates to a frog under a coconut shell. I was too sheltered to the point of ignorance of the outside world. Though I’m a city girl from Kuala Lumpur, I was like the country mouse who first came to the city and only saw the splendors and shimmering sights of everything. In my first year, I was too entranced by the lure of CCA points and brand-new activities, not knowing what I was getting into until I opened the Pandora’s Box by joining too many of them.

The CCAs I joined were as follows: I was in the residence block committee where we were in charge of the welfare of the residents, the Programme Head for the King Edward VII Malaysian Night where I had to organize the heart and core of the event, a journalist in the hall publications committee, I joined the hall’s softball team, a sport which I was completely clueless about, the English Literary and Drama club where later I was chosen to be co-movie director and co-script writer, and also the Vice-Lead in a newly formed sub-committee, ASEANpreneurs in the NUS Entrepreneurship Society. It’s a mouthful to explain about the 6 co-curricular activities and trust me, it’s a whole lot of responsibilities entrusted to a nineteen-year-old.

Joining all these inevitably damaged my academic performance and it was really quite a miserable aspect to contemplate at that time. It affected me so much that by just hearing the phrase, “What’s your score?” would launch me into the cycle of self-doubt and contempt. Looking at my results was like a tornado sweeping me off my feet and I was clueless about when and where I was going to land. I really thought there was no meaning in life as I was studying something I was not passionate about. To say it was a difficult time for me at that time would be an understatement.

Nevertheless, despite all these negative feelings, I can’t bring myself today to regret what I’ve done during my first year. I’ve gained experiences that I would never have obtained if I concentrated only on my studies. Some of the things I did during my first year were what the Japanese termed as ‘ichigo ichie’ moments, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

During that first year, I discovered the wondrous world of writing which has become one of my passions in life, discovered the art of movie production, won my first ever and possibly last gold sports medal for Inter-Hall Games, and found friends who would be with me through thick and thin in Singapore. Despite the poor academic performance, I’ve truly learnt a lot and matured exponentially as a human being during my first year.

During my 2nd year, I was wise enough to move out of my hall as I was pretty sick and tired of having to climb 200 steps to reach my room every day, and having to wait for the infrequent shuttle buses to the Engineering Faculty located at the other end of the campus. I was also more selective in choosing my co-curricular activities. The three committees I joined suited my passion for the cause and my pursuit for learning. These three committees were NUSSU SAVE, The Ridge and of course, Toastmasters.

During my course of being a news and sports journalist for The Ridge, I had the chance to interview teamNUS Aquathlon. One of them gave me a very nice piece of wisdom which I would like to share with all of you. Every day we are given a gold coin to spend. I chose it to buy memories that I might not have the chance to experience it again.

As youths, this is our golden time. So, why not spend that gold coin seeking for your true passion, to find a meaningful purpose in life? I did that, and I’ve found my passion. What about you? Have you found yours? How would you want to spend your gold coin today? Tomorrow? In the future? Think about it.


6 Proven Methods To Make A Dry Training Session Come Alive

Posted April 4, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Coaching and Counseling, Facilitation Proficiency, Learning and Education, Perspectives, Presentation Dynamics, Public Speaking Success, Reflection and Thoughts, Train-the-Trainer

There are times whereby you have to conduct trainings that are highly technical, theoretical or academic-based. To a trainer, one of the first few considerations in such seminars include how to work with the participants without losing their attention or having them dozing off. A challenge worth taking on indeed.

As the training engagements came in, I’ve encountered the different training subjects that provided varying levels of complexity. Not only is one limited by training time, there are also a number of constraints that affect the outcome and quality of the training. When the topics demand such rigorous examination, the audience interaction may need to be better planned and balanced. One must create some ways to make the training come alive and with vibrancy.

Hence, here are some quick tips I can offer you when you are faced with dry training sessions:

1. Address the WIIFM: What’s In It for Me. Make them accept and understand the importance of your topic to their work.

2. Share captivating personal examples and stories. This will make them sit up and listen to you instead of just being focus on the bullet points. For example, when you point out a concept, share the stories after that on how you applied the concepts.

3. Make your PowerPoint slides interesting to view. You can use graphics and filling it with colors. Test out your PowerPoint to ensure they get the point across yet can be interesting to look at. (This is mostly applicable for dry topics. For soft skills, it must be to tone it down instead.)

4. Keep the information simple unless this is a full academic course requiring close examination, keep the concepts easy on the ear and just highlight the major points. The details can be read by them in the notes. It’s not that you are under performing, it’s that human mind cannot take in so much deep information at one go. If you must go heavy, may sure you spread out the deep academic contents through the trainings.

5. Energizers are also useful whenever you see the energy and enthusiasm dipping. They can go beyond mere clips and can include mini exercises such as head rotation and arm stretching.

6. Vary your tone, body language and delivery to keep the audience glued to your “performance”. Grab their attention with jokes, quizzes and mini-rewards if you wish. Let them know you are the ‘star of the moment’.


How You Can Master The Art Of Training

Posted March 30, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Coaching and Counseling, Facilitation Proficiency, Learning and Education, Perspectives, Presentation Dynamics, Reflection and Thoughts, Train-the-Trainer

This year has been extremely amazing, the trainings contract and speaking engagement have been coming in much more and faster than before. These few weeks continuously saw the training sessions lined up one after another. Thus, it provided me plenty of great opportunities to interact with so many people. I thank them ever so sincerely for the chance to share with them. It has made my work as a trainer and public speaker so worthwhile.

Throughout life, we seek improvement and progress. In order to attain greater advancement, we acquire attitudes, skills, techniques and strategies that will propel us towards our dreams. And behind the scene, within every lesson and workshop that you attend, is the person who ensures that you gain such competency, the Trainer.

When I was conducting the workshop, Train-The-Trainer, for a major government institution a few weeks ago, I stressed on the importance and responsibilities of the trainer. We are not here just to spend time nor pass the days. We are here to transfer the skills of competency, from a newbie to a ‘know-how’, from a know-how to an expert. We should seek to make this difference in our participants’ lives.

The 5 day training came to a most touching conclusion, where all of us, the participants-trainers and I, reaffirmed our commitment towards adding the value to our future participants and quality to our trainings. We had got to know each other better over these days of teaching, of practice and of sharing. I know in the deepest of my heart that they will emerge better trainers than before. They had shown that they had it in them.

The journey to become a trainer is by no means easy. While the ‘Trainer’ tag is easily pinned on, the expertise and effectiveness is hardly a god-given. It takes continuous learning, coupled with fine-tuning for betterment.

In a nutshell, here’s how you can master your training skills:

1. Get some experience in training. Being in the game is important, and experience is what is needed. You need to step into this industry first.

2. Get some humility to learn from your previous training experiences. Without humility, you can’t learn effectively.

3. Get reflective on how you can improve from your encounters, content delivery and training methodologies.

4. Get a mentor from the training industry who will coach you, share specific training techniques and help you work on your training skills intensively.

5. Get feedback from participants and observers. They can highlight ways where you can better appeal to them and enhance their learning.

6. Get creative. Experiment with ways to deliver your training so that you can discover your style of delivery.

7. Get on your feet! Nothing beats the power of taking action. Persistent action.

Here’s wishing you the very best in your training career!


How To Apply Emotional Intelligence At Your Workplace?

Posted March 1, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Beliefs and Values, Career Management, Conflict Management, Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal and Relational, Management, Mind Mastery, Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts, Teamwork Tactics, Work-Life Balance, Working Wellness

Many trainings, coachings and meetings have taken place over the past few weeks. They come in at a faster pace than I can write about them. Fully packed weeks I must say. In my deepest of heart, I consider it a bonus being able to reach out to so many people within these few short weeks. And these are definitely the perks of being a public speaker and trainer. The honor is definitely mine.

One of the most intensive trainings I’ve conducted just a week ago was “Emotional Intelligence at Work” for a major government institution. Real issues were presented to me and I took the time to address them, knowing how my comments would affect the participants’ career and lives.

As they shared and generated more interest in human behavior at the workplace, I was impressed by how they could react with the concepts taught. Talk about accelerated learning. After all, when you put in heart into what you are doing, you couldn’t wait to make it work. That was what I witnessed.

When it comes to the workplace, emotions can fly. More often than not, bosses judge the staffs while customers always have to the right to complaint. You can’t underestimate the power of emotion. They will simply overwhelm you when you’re not in-charge of yourself.

Here are some ways you can apply better emotional intelligence to your work:

1. Respect emotions, the power of emotions.

2. Understand your emotions do and will affect others at work.

3. Commit to looking at the useful and productive side of the tasks.

4. Check yourself if your responses and motivations are driven by purposeful emotions.

5. Create a list of emotions that you want to display at work.

6. Insist on making yourself a positive influence with your colleagues.

7. Let yourself immerse in the joy of creative juice with your tasks.


7 Important Things You Must Know To Excel In Your Table Topics

Posted February 1, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Communication Competence, Excel Beyond Excellence, Perspectives, Persuasion and Influence, Presentation Dynamics, Public Speaking Success, Reflection and Thoughts

When I stepped into the auditorium yesterday, the enthusiastic mood of the audience filled the air. Indeed, they were present to learn and acquire the art of public speaking. The fervor to learn was undeniable. You will be inspired by their passion and touched by their willingness to improve.

As I presented my workshop on “Table Topics Triumph”, I could see all of the participants gripping on to their pens, ready to note down the various pointers that I would cover. When I asked for their suggestions for table topics, the willing hands would raise up. We were never short of ideas when it came to topics. I liked that.

Most of all, I take honor in having the privilege to contribute my knowledge, expertise and services to the participants. I appreciate them coming forth with enquiries and their answers to my questions. This is what sharing is all about. We grow together.

Adding on, there are important things that can further help you if being excellent in Table Topics is your aim:

1. The audience is smart. Never underestimate the people you are addressing nor look down on them. Treat them with worth and respect.

2. Remember to answer the question. Instead of getting too carried away with your opinions, get back to attention to the topic eventually.

3. Ensure that there is a logical flow to your speech. In the midst of time pressure, it’s easy to be way too scattered with your speech. Keep it flowing smoothly.

4. Avoid the dreaded awkward introduction where the audience knows that you are unsure. This usually serves as a major obstacle to an otherwise great speech. Stand your ground on this.

5. Use the stage positions to display compare and contrast if required in your speech. This will enable your audience to differentiate your points within a very short time in a quick duration of your speech.

6. Let the topic drive your speech and its content. In this way, your entire speech will come across as more coherent and answering to the topic.

7. Know that there are always multiple angles to approach the topics. Short of being too absolute, topics can truly be answered from more than one methodology. Work on showing your perspectives of the topic, allowing it to make sense with the audience.

At the end of it all, it’s ultimately your show. To put up a positive display of your speaking prowess, correct and constant practice is essential.

Here are my best wishes. May your speeches always Excel Beyond Excellence!


The Art Of Making Your Mentorship Meaningful

Posted January 24, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Coaching and Counseling, Communication Competence, Facilitation Proficiency, Interpersonal and Relational, Learning and Education, Living Life, Mentoring to Excel, Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts, Relationship Dynamics, Working Wellness

It was early this week that I met up with my various Mentees. I’ve always enjoyed such meetings because this offers an opportunity to catch up as well as speak up on the different issues faced, both in communication and in life.

Upon reflection and recollection of my mentorship workshops, I took greater strides to apply some of the concepts into my mentoring style. Because of the different personalities and experience you’ll come to face with from others, the mentorship relationship becomes ever evolving. That’s why mentoring is an art in itself.

When you employ the strategy and tools of mentorship, you effectively put in gear the cycle of change. It takes tact in communication and sensitivity in implementation. Very much have to be tied down and set up between the two of you, be it you being the mentor or the mentee.

I suggest employing the art of creating a “Meaningful Mentorship” by paying attention to the following pointers:

For Mentors:

1. Inculcate the spirit of sharing for the two of you.

2. Understand that learning is two-way. While your mentee learns from you, so can you learn.

3. Create a culture of mutual communication for trust and reliability.

For Mentees:

1. Know what makes your mentor tick so that you know how to maximize his accomplishments.

2. Ask the right questions to get the best practices.

3. Respect and show appreciation to your mentor. When you show appreciation, your mentor feels appreciated and is willing to support you further, giving more in the process.


7 Practical Ways To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence And Mental Dexterity

Posted January 16, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Communication Competence, Creativity and Innovation, Emotional Intelligence, Health and Well-Being, Living Life, Mind Mastery, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts, Work-Life Balance, Working Wellness

For these couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a number of courses that are coming up for the year. A significant time was also spent on customizing them to fit into clients’ demands. In addition, the training and coaching sessions have also be rather packed. A very fruitful start for this New Year indeed.

The past 3 days were spent conducting the highly intensive training on “Emotional Intelligence at Work”. As the training is customized for a major government institution, I highlighted specific examples where the participants could display Emotional Intelligence (EI) for themselves as well as in their daily dealings with their bosses, colleagues and customers (BCC). Through the sharing and discussions, I was extremely pleased to know that the participants found even more ways to apply emotional intelligence beyond what was taught. Now that’s empowerment for them!

Leading on, here are some of the practical things you can do to raise your Emotional Intelligence as well as the agility of your mind:

1. Appreciating others for the effort done in the projects, irregardless of the extend of the success.

2. Have daily greetings to your fellow colleagues, and mean what you say.

3. Think positively empowering thoughts and be solution-oriented to maintain your mental health.

4. Harness the quick learning from every task for future improvements.

5. Reflect on your own behavior and the outcome of your action.

6. Work on mending the differences with others instead of harboring animosity.

7. Give yourself a reason to arrive at work with enthusiastic energy each day.


What You Can Do To Boost Your Sales, Negotiation and Persuasion Techniques

Posted January 6, 2009 by wekie
Categories: Communication Competence, Excel Beyond Excellence, Learning and Education, Negotiation Dynamics, Perspectives, Persuasion and Influence, Reflection and Thoughts, Sales Success

What I truly love about full day trainings on Sundays is that the streets are so peaceful whenever I travel to the workshop venue. And it always gives me newly energized perspectives to share differently. Hence for the recent Sunday training, I decided to add even more value to provide more concepts taught.

This was a customized training on “Selling Skills and Persuasion Techniques” for a major company in the industry. The large group of audience was highly participative and massively added to the fun and laughter. While sales techniques were practiced, I was also glad when I showed them how to further create more strategies that work.

Let’s explore how you can boost up these vital techniques of yours:

1. Be willing to experiment with different variations

Understand that there are no absolute fixed techniques that will work perfectly. You have to mesh the techniques with your personality and your mannerisms. As a result, varying circumstances do call for an invented strategy sometimes. While impromptu techniques may not work all the time, it adds to the fun of selling and negotiation.

2. Learn to be observant of your potential customers

Your customers, when you are observant, will give you plenty of clues to know how to sell to them. There are always signs and cues that will somewhat provide you hint as to whether you are ‘colder’ or ‘warmer’ to getting the sale. However, your part is to train yourself to be observant enough to detect these all-important, profit-generating, quota closing signals. Experience through interaction does count very much in this case.

3. Work with a persuasion mentor by sharing your encounters

Your mentor for persuasion should be competent enough to detect, highlight and analyze your various blind spots during your interaction with your customers or colleagues. This will certainly help to accelerate your learning curve on this skill. In addition, your sharing allows you to further encapsulate your thoughts through your expression, giving in greater reflection and learning.

When you conscientiously work on these pointers, you will, over time, experience a greater sense of understanding towards applying addition sales and persuasion techniques. These hence, become an integral part of you eventually.

Wishing you the results that Excel Beyond Excellence in this New Year!