Archive for the ‘Change Management’ category

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.



Exploring The Essence Of What It Truly Means To Be A Befriender

December 6, 2008

As Day 2 of the double Sunday Befrienders’ Training last week came to an end, some participants lingered on. We managed to discuss on the real life issues that faced the client’s families. These are not merely misunderstanding but real cumbersome problems that plagued these families and existed for a long time.

Being a Befriender implies that one ought to be ready to serve that special friend for the troubled person. Your presence could sometimes make the difference between the family’s hope and despair. You bring the hope, the comfort and the possibilities of a brighter outlook to their own future.

The following essential points thus become crucial for the Befriender:

1. The key to being a Befriender is Trust. And you will be entrusted with many untold information divulged by the family you befriend.

2. You have to balance the Ethics issue with your Integrity as a Befriender.

3. Your perspective of life is called into challenge. Be steadfast but receptive to other lifestyles that exist for your befriending family.

4. You should help the family prepare for a life after you. Guide them as a friend to help themselves live better on their own.

5. Both of you are eventually transformed, enriched and empowered in the process. It’s not only that the family gets better; it also becomes your personal reflection to appreciate life.


Understanding The Art Of Building Communities: What Really Matters In Fostering Unity Among Your Social Groups

December 1, 2008

In the previous mid-week was another insightful training where I was training the government leaders on “Building Communities”. This allowed the leaders-managers to better implement policies, steps and strategies to bring about unity to the citizens, the public as well as their own workplace departments.

Men, being social creatures, do not operate alone. So long as they have to interact, communities and network will be formed. The evolvement of groups towards something useful and purposeful will thus always remain a major exercise for the leadership at hand.

Being a Sociology major, I was extremely pleased that my education and knowledge can be put to good use. We explored the key concepts in how human beings interact and the dynamics where social groupings are formed. My other major, Economics, contributed strongly to our analysis of the coming trends in Singapore and its living standards. Topping it off with a Psychological spin, we are off to a more positive direction in shaping our societies and lifestyles.

To make building your communities more relevant and accomplishable, consider the following essentials:

1. Decipher the local culture and its underlying meanings.

2. Predict the future trends for this community of yours.

3. Analyze the changes needed and the steps that must be taken.

4. Make sure these changes move in continuum with the receptivity of the social groups and trends evolvement.

5. Gauge the unity and happiness levels of its citizens.

*** Related article: How You Can Build Better Communities? 8 Steps For Effective Policy Implementation To The Masses


5 Relevant Reframes To Help You Reframe Your Problems

November 1, 2008

One of the most common encounters I have in my trainings is that I get asked with regard to how to solve problems. And these problems placed before me range from work-place issues, career conflicts, personal motivation blockages, social and romantic relationship queries, marital concerns, life threatening obstacles and the likes. It’s always refreshing and an useful brain exercise in quick thinking to guide them in reframing these problems.

Yesterday’s training “Reframing Problems Into Opportunities” dealt specifically with resolving problems itself. The participants opened up to share and we take another look into how problems can be perceived differently. Lots of interesting cases were thrown up, examined, diagnosed and possible future were presented to them. It was most mentally stimulating indeed.

Hence, here are some of the relevant reframes we discussed. When employed, they will enable you to better reframe your problems.

1. Everything you read, encounter and experience is an attempt at reframing the problems in your life.

2. See them as issues and situations, rather than as problems.

3. Understand that for every issue, there are at least 2 sides of the coins.

4. You can choose, if you choose to. Therefore, choose to choose first.

5. The key lies in the solutions you have, not the problems you are having.

(Just a quick point to add: If the problems in your life get too overwhelming or unbearable, please get a coach or mentor now. Talk to him or her immediately. Time is of the essence.)


How To Keep Your Mind Sane In The Face Of Financial Insanity?

October 13, 2008

Over these couple of weeks we keep hearing reports of people suffering from depression as a result of the world-wide financial turmoil. Indeed, there are such trying times where investors are caught off guard. The deep regrets and sense of loss over their depleted funds are indescribable.

In my recent personal coaching and consultations, there are several individuals who come to me as they have been experiencing this diabolical bout of depression and anxiety. They had difficulty geting over the loss of their hard-earned money.

Yet, no matter how bleak things may be. One must not lose their mind still. It’s the key thing you can depend on for now. This will hence demand from you a greater mental dexterity than before to tide over this uncertainty.

Do consider working on some of these ways to better enable a sane mind in the midst of these insane times:

1. Plan your day. Make it meaningful and live the day usefully.

2. Read from your favorite joke book. Better to take your mind into a world of joy than to go into the other extreme. Focus on the lighter side of life.

3. Meet your mentor. Have a talk with someone you respect and get some practical tips to handle crisis better.

4. Indulge in a new hobby. As you stay out of the market, why not take it as a time to do something you haven’t been getting down to? A new hobby will keep your life enriched.

5. Call a counseling hotline. Sharing with a stranger allows you to pour your hearts out. The trained counselor may just be the listening ear you need.

6. Work out your savings. Stay rational with your money management. You live to fight another day.

7. Meditate. Stay mentality calm. Peace out.


5 Important Questions You Must Ask To Improve Work Performance

October 6, 2008

Organizations and companies have goals and aims for every new year or term. However, not every one of them takes time to reflect and check if the staffs are performing well as compared to what the organization wants. In my consultation with the organizations, I help them consider how ‘on-course’ are they towards their intended achievements for both the short and the long term.

Thus, here are the important questions that will enable you, the manager and leader, to assess the work performance relative to your organizational goals:

1. What is the sense of progress for the work?

2. Are there any obstacles in the midst of working towards the company’s goals?

3. What are the avenues to better resolve this?

4. Which are the milestones that have already been achieved?

5. How can they move on from now on in order to hit the target?


5 Things You Should Watch Out To Provide A Sense Of Stability And Steadiness At Work

September 29, 2008

As this is another work week where people engage in various commercial and institutional events, it’s imperative that you take positive action to provide that much needed stability in the midst of the busyness. This will also help your workplace acquire a sense of steadiness and fair predictability.

In some of my recent coaching and consultations to companies, I advised on certain elements that will be helpful to create a better workplace culture. Here are some of the things you should watch out for to create that dependability in your work environment.

1. Watch out for your display of Emotional Intelligence at work

2. Watch out for the way you communicate.

3. Watch out for how your work relationships are build.

4. Watch out for how conflicts arise and nip them in the bud before they escalate.

5. Watch out for the efficiency in your work responsibilities.

Why Flexibility Exists And Why Is It So Important To You?

September 10, 2008

One of the new speakers that have been actively attending our Club activities is Natasha Lai. You can notice her eagerness in learning and enthusiasm for improvement. And I’m glad she is set on her path to present her projects with flair and with competence.

During a recent meeting, Natasha spoke on a well balanced topic about flexibility. It’s a timely reminder about our need to exercise flexibility and its usefulness in our lives. Therefore, with Natasha’s permission, I post below her informative speech on this very crucial and practical subject.


What is “flexibility?” Body contortionists have it. Managers need it. Rigidity just hates it.

Flexibility is the capability to bend without breaking; or it could also mean “to be adaptable.”

Here are my 3 points why I think flexibility exists and why is it so important.

Firstly, flexibility enhances your personal growth.

Just like how muscles grow when they are stretched, personal development takes place when your limits are stretched. Ever been in a situation where you had to think on your feet and come up with a solution within a given time? Situations like that help you realize your potential and help bring out the best in you. Being flexible also means that people will be less lazy. You actually need to be pretty hardworking and do a fair bit of thinking to be flexible. Let me explain with an example.

I was involved in a Youth Expedition Project to Thailand 3 years back. Our main task was to conduct an English camp for the students in a primary school. We had everything planned out, curriculum and all. The camp was supposed to start the day after we arrived at the school. However, there was some miscommunication between us and the teachers, and they thought the camp would begin on the day we arrived. As we arrived promptly, there were more than 40 students waiting to welcome us upon our arrival. Hence, with no more than half an hour we got things ready and started the camp program. My team members worked hard and no one complained despite the sheer exhaustion we faced from the long journey. Through this experience, we realized the value and importance of flexibility.

Secondly, flexibility coaxes creativity and innovation from others and you.

There was a young dance instructor who taught ballet. She wanted to let her students explore their creativity so she told them to mimic animals in the zoo. The girls were braying, neighing, bellowing and crawling all over the floor, as unglamorous as little ballerinas could be. Just then the principal of the dance school walked past and was highly displeased with what she saw. She confronted the dance instructor and told her not to repeat the activity ever again, as it was not in the dance curriculum and would tarnish the reputation of the school. She was more concerned with upholding the prestigious image of the school, than with encouraging students’ creativity.

Since dance is a form of art, shouldn’t developing creative expression be the main focus? With such a rigid dance curriculum, those budding young ballerinas just might have been deprived of an opportunity to discover their full creative potential.

Finally, flexibility is necessary because unforeseen circumstances occur to you every single day.

Once I was wearing my perfectly comfortable pair of Birkenstock’s sandals. As I was going up the stairs, I tripped and fell! Oh, how humiliating that was! Comfortable as they were, the sandals were too rigid. Not only did it cause my books to fly out of my hands and scatter themselves neatly all over the floor, my knees kissed the ground, and there were probably more than 10 pairs of eyes that witnessed my stated embarrassment. Another time, I was wearing this pair of green rubber slippers. Again I tripped, but this time – the slipper bended and I was able to regain my foothold. *phew!* I wouldn’t dream of going through the same awkward experience once more. Thus, flexibility also prevents unexpected circumstances from becoming too imaginably horrible.

Have you ever watched gymnasts do their thing? I was watching videos of gymnasts to better understand the meaning of flexibility, and they simply took my breath away! Watching them twist, turn and bend their bodies in every single conformation possible, had me worrying that they might hurt themselves or break a few bones. Then it occurred to me that the hard work they put into long hours of intensive training increased their physical flexibility. The warm up stretches they did before each routine also prevented them from getting hurt easily. That is why I believe flexibility is so essential in our lives. In my case, it saved me a whole lot of embarrassment.

In conclusion, do not just settle for comfort, a routine lifestyle or a good image, but ensure that in your life, there is – flexibility.

How You Can Build Better Communities? 8 Steps For Effective Policy Implementation To The Masses

September 5, 2008

It was an extremely busy time for me yesterday. As a trainer, I was concluding Day 2 of the “Building Communities” training and was rushing afterwards to another venue to begin the private evening seminar on “What Men Want”. That made for a fast-paced day, fully enriching and exciting.

As discussed in my training, policies are there to ensure things get on to whatever goals the management wants to achieve. They are critical to how the future can progress. Be it in managing a club, a community, a town, a nation-country, global region or even for worldwide use, policies are there to keep things running in the intended direction. Challenging as it might be at times, they are essential. Hence the training for the past 2 days on “Building Communities” was designed to address this issue, ease the transitions and handle other situations that might arise.

Whenever you want to implement a certain policy to a large group of people, you can further make use of the following 8 steps:

Step #1: Study the ground’s feeling first by setting up the survey systems.

Step #2: Derive an understanding of the cultures and the people who will be affected by your policies.

Step #3: Decide on two levels of perspectives: The short term and the long term. (You may find that sometimes one contradicts another.) You have to make the call on which position to take.

Step #4: Establish bridges and connections with the communities that will be affected. Inform everybody about these bridges.

Step #5: Keep the communication channels flowing back and forth as events and policies evolve.

Step #6: Craft the proper promotion strategy and branding process.

Step #7: Monitor the situation for minor fine-tuning yet ensuring the main plan is being adhere to.

Step #8: Remain vigilant in responding to any changes and be the listening ear for the communities.

Whenever usefully policies are effective implemented, the benefits to the communities are tremendous. Hence, the artful application of the above steps will make your management impressive and the outcome Excel Beyond Excellence!

8 ‘C’ Steps To Overcome Crisis in Your Life

September 1, 2008

In life, we do face that occasional crisis. For some, they occur once in a long while and to others, it seems to be a regular happening. From the departure of loved ones to the onslaught of health matters or even a major financial disaster, one might find these too much to bear. But bear, endure and preserve you must.

You might ask why do they arise? It’s a question that its beyond our human mind and comprehension. The mysterious setting of situations and the triggering of events demand that you understand the bigger picture of how everything works in this life. It’s a question that most social scientists, philosophers and the likes have debated over the millennium.

During the private coaching and counseling sessions, I’ve worked with a number of individuals facing such crisis and more. Recently I’ve counseled a friend who felt lost in the challenges of living and barely surviving in the storms of life. We worked through intensively on the issues and the paradigms begin this. And I’m extremely pleased to report that this friend-client of mine is now on the way to a much better and empowered lifestyle.

What then can one do when a crisis dawns, here are the 8 C steps to help you overcome the crisis:

1. Calm your emotions

2. Clear your mind

3. Craft out a resolution plan

4. Customize it to the specific situation

5. Clean out the cause of the crisis

6. Create the emotion of enthusiasm in your endeavor, no matter what.

7. Carry out your plan

8. Continue to see the possibilities and the positives