Archive for December 2008

A New Thought For The New Turn Of The Year

December 31, 2008

As the clock goes ticking away, the world awaits the turn of the year. Many people look forward eagerly to the arrival of 2009 with a sense of anticipation and hope. A hope that the New Year will be better, a wish that the current outlook will be brighter, and a yearning that personal lives will be smoother.

This year, 2008, has been filled with turning events, ranging from tainted scandals, to elections and change of governments, from terrorists events to monumental human achievements. These are all worth reflecting, analyzing and discussing, along with the fact that they provide lessons worth learning.

Granted some events are beyond our personal control, but there are surely things in life that we can affect and have some influence over. These things that we can do, no matter how miniscule, are things that we can do. And that is enough, for now.

Therefore as we watch the hours, minutes and seconds drawing closer toward the countdown, what we can hold in our mind is this:

What can I do next?

In the light of merely having the events happen and sweep pass us, what we can ponder about are the things we can do for ourselves and the people around us. This simple thought in the form a question can drive people to create ultimately massive changes in the world.

At the very least, it will set us of in the direction we want in our lives. Think about the allure of knowing what your life in gear the very moment the clock strikes twelve. I would be pretty excited by the prospects of this.

Some of the questions that you can think about on this last day of 2008 in preparation for the New Year include:

— Do I want to treat people better?

— Do I intend to work on my communication?

— Are there things that are left over to accomplish?

— Am I ready to quit unproductive things that I should have stopped long ago?

— What can I pay attention to in my life?

— What has been sitting there, idling, screaming for me to work on?

— Have I taken the following step towards my dream?

Whatever that, in your perspective, would be meaningful to you will hence add that value to this turn of the year. After all, if we are to carry something forward from this departing year, we might as well bring over the residual learning and our dreams to the next 365 days.

May you take a closer step towards your life goals and Excel Beyond Excellence!

Have a wonderful New Year! See you in 2009!

(Source: wekie.com)

Top 5 Mistakes Managers Make When Leading Their Teams in Problem Solving

December 28, 2008

Over the past few Saturdays, I had been conducting a series of trainings for the management team of a multi-national corporation. In this training, “Communication and Problem Solving Skills for Leaders”, I focused on getting the leaders in the company to be able to converse well and lead their team to solve various work and life problems.

Of course, as we all know, life is never a piece of cake nor a walk in the park. What’s never ending are the problems, obstacles and issues that crop up now and then. Some are within anticipation, while others hid themselves to sting as the most unexpected moment.

Many managers and leaders were thus left in the dark or at a loss of what to do.

Hence, for this particular article, I would like to highlight on 5 of the most common mistakes that were made when the team is being led to resolve the problems. It will obviously be wise to steer clear of them and they serve as a reminder to avoid committing them.

These top 5 mistakes made by managers are:

1. The manager does not know the problems and he is unable to define them well.

2. The manager has no clear resolution steps formulated with the team.

3. The manager allows the presence of internal bickering and too much politicking.

4. The manager has tasks allocated to the wrong person.

5. The manager has overly unrealistic demands without fair consideration.

(Source: wekie.com)

A Personal Birthday Tribute To You

December 25, 2008

Being born on Christmas Day has its interesting merits. From receiving only one present to having many people remember you, it has always been a refreshing encounter whenever I reveal my birth date. Birthdays are always special, to that person on that day.

Just as reaching another year indicates another year older, it always implies that you’ve “made it through” another 365 days. You’ve survived through the tough times again and you are now celebrating it once more. In short, “you’ve arrived.”

While I congratulate myself for reaching another Yuletide season unscathed, I also remember those who’ve help me get here. It’s not just the familiar faces, but also those unsung heroes who have played special roles in moving me along, even if it for that flash of a second. Indeed, every body in my life played a part.

From those who’ve been critical of me to my inspiring participants and strongest encouragers, I thank you. For it’s because of you that I’ve made it, again. Every word from you influences my thoughts and forms another bit of my behavior. Truly no man stands along, nor lives alone (except on a marooned island.)

Simple words can sometimes share the deepest and most purposeful meaning. Therefore, 5 simple words to those I’ve met, gotten to know, trained and worked with for the year and the past years of my life, and to those who are reading this: I Thank You Very Much.

Merry Christmas to you.

Related article: My Birthday Thoughts And My Thanks To You, My Friend

(Source: wekie.com)

From A Time Of Birthday Reflection To A Year Of Growth

December 24, 2008

As I sit here in the middle of the night typing out my thoughts, I can’t help taking a quick glance at my organizer. Flipping the dogged-ear pages back and forth brought back a sense of sweet nostalgic feelings. I remembered just a year ago, on my Birthday; I made my annual reflective recollection in my own quiet time.

It brought to mind how thankful I was for the year’s encounters. I also remembered the friends I’ve made in my talks, trainings as well as those who had engaged me as their personal coach. The contributions they’ve allowed me to make in their lives had helped in my grand appreciation of the world at large.

These fuelled my realization of how complex the entire human race can be, yet how simple the solutions can turn out to become.

Paradoxical, perhaps? Yes, indeed.

And you’ll be surprised how much an irony life can turn out to be.

Nonetheless, to me, it simply means how clear cut I can see the answers to the problems are. These insights now merge into an experience and discovery I’ve deeply treasured in my personal capacity as a citizen of my community and of the entire universe. Hence, I strive to add these values and learning into my work as a speaker and trainer.

In the course of this year I’ve been receiving an increasing amount of speaking, coaching and training engagements. They are often packed back to back, at times running for a series of days. Hence a nearly continuous standing up of 8 to 11 hours a day makes my legs demand that I treat them to a warm massage and a deep healing rub. Despite their lamentations, I carried on “mis-treating” them. But, it’s all worth it.

It’s an emotional high whenever I speak or train! No joke. I’ve never been as serious as now. 🙂

Therefore, this is what makes me grow. I’ve discovered that: When I’m doing what I truly love, it’s all worth it!

Ok, I know some people will exclaim, “But I’m not doing what I love?!!”

Then, my friend, it’s time for you to reflect, and find a reason to love what you do. And you’ll start to grow too.

Complex problem, simple solution.

Merry Christmas to you!

(Source: wekie.com)

5 Important Steps To Super-Charge Your Relationship Communication In Life

December 19, 2008

It was just a few nights ago where the evening newspaper, Lian He Wan Bao, published my advice on the headlines and the inner page. I was engaged by the organizers because of my expertise in relationship communication and my experience in coaching different people.

Based on what the reporter had observed, I was being interviewed and shared some practical tips on how people can improve their relationships with each other.

As a Professional Excellence speaker and trainer, I am passionately interested to see people communicate better, build quality relationships, eventually be competent in all the Professional Excellence skills and ultimately excel beyond in various aspects of their lives.

Indeed, we must start to consider how the world has changed and evolved. It’s through our self-reflection and mutual consideration that we can discover enhanced ways to relate with one another.

Be it with colleagues, parent and child, staff and boss, friends or other forms of interaction, you have to be more tactful and remain sensitive to your relationship building skills. Fortunately, there are 5 of such important steps to make our communication so much better in our relationships and interactions.

The steps are:

Step 1: Consider the other party’s position first.

Step 2: Understand how the way you communicate your viewpoints can affect that person and your relationship.

Step 3: Seek to bridge the gap between both perceptions by establishing the common purposes.

Step 4: Practice saying those sentences to yourself before you talk in person. Ensure they come across acceptable.

Step 5: Check for mutual understanding and appreciation during the communication process.

Remember, Communicate Well, Make Your Relationship Excel!

(Source: wekie.com)

The 5 Major Keys To Facilitating Ideas Effectively

December 14, 2008

When I completed training the government leaders on Facilitation Skills last week, I was pleased with how this useful skill would open up the mindset of many people. After all, what we are looking at is the regulation and facilitation of ideas, thoughts and opinions. And everyone will somewhat have certain level of viewpoint. Even choosing to not have an opinion is also an opinion.

What matters most the essence of getting these ideas out of the person’s mind, conjured and packaged into something useful, practical and applicable. While these are always subjective, they still contribute somewhat to the progress. All it takes is a shift in paradigm.

Hence, the following crucial keys will prove useful whenever you facilitate ideas and thoughts with your group:

1. Never discount the value of an idea without first putting it to fair examination of worthiness.

2. Create the safe, encouraging environment for sharing.

3. Realize that an idea need not stand alone. It can be combined and rehashed with other ideas.

4. Set the ground rules of interaction and ensure that everybody is on the same page.

5. Just because there are critiques to the idea does not imply that the idea is not workable.

(Source: wekie.com)

If You Are Happy, You Are Worth At Least $20,000

December 8, 2008

Suppose you were given the choice of hanging around with happy hearty people or slugging it out with the depressed gloomy grouches, which will you choose? And why?

Well, chances are, most people do prefer the smiling faces with that sincere joyous mood than to see the frowns on the facials.

It’s little wonder that we are so driven to want to be happy. Perhaps the journey towards happiness might be a bit mystical and obscure, with the unpredictable climate of changes in different life dimensions. However, being around happy people do seem to help alleviate those drowsy blues.

According to Dr. Nicholas A. Christakis, who has just recently concluded a study on happiness and its interactive results, he said, “Your happiness depends not just on your choices and actions, but also on the choices and actions of people you don’t even know who are one, two and three degrees removed from you,”

Hailing from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Christakis, a trained physician and social scientist, affirmed that, “Emotions have a collective existence — they are not just an individual phenomenon.”

The study by his team of researchers had analyzed data, statistics and information ranging from 1983 to 2003. It was based on the happiness of 4,739 people as well as their social connections. These included their spouses, relatives, close friends, neighbors and co-workers.

It emerged with evidence that the more happy people you know and surround yourself with, the more likely you will be happier yourself. Hence, happiness is contagious, it gets “spread”.

Co-researcher, Associate Professor of Political Science, James H. Fowler from The University of California, San Diego said their research discovered the link that “if your friend’s friend’s friend becomes happy, that has a bigger impact on you being happy than putting an extra $5,000 in your pocket.”

Drawing from further data, they determined that your neighbor’s joyfulness and delight can improve your own happiness by 34 percent. Your happy network and contacts will increase your joy by 15 percent, while your friend’s happy friend or your closed one’s elated friend adds 10 percent to your chances of being happy.

Finally, your friend’s friend’s friend, the 3rd degree contact, will add 6 percent to your personal joyfulness level. Be with any additional unhappy person, and you become unhappier by 7 percent concurrently as each negative person enter your contact.

This means that your happiness level is able to affect people around you and your close acquaintances.

A note to add, the researches are not advising that you change all melancholy your friends, but strive to work together for an improved relationship.

Extending from other previous studies, they asserted that an extra $5,000 improved your chances of happiness by 2 percent. This, Dr. Christakis, would imply that “a happy friend is worth about US $20,000”

That’s what I call a golden smile. 🙂

(Source: wekie.com)