Archive for the ‘Coaching and Counseling’ category

6 Proven Methods To Make A Dry Training Session Come Alive

April 4, 2009

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’.

(Source: wekie.com)

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How You Can Master The Art Of Training

March 30, 2009

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!

(Source: wekie.com)

The Art Of Making Your Mentorship Meaningful

January 24, 2009

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.

(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)

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)

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.

(Source: wekie.com)