Archive for the ‘Decisions Making & Management’ category

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)

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)

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

(Source: wekie.com)

Ignore Them At Your Own Risk! Exploring The 5 Essence Of Managing Your Conflicts Without Making Them Worse

November 12, 2008

As I approached this training topic over the past 2 days, I’ve derived even more ways of handling conflicting situations and tough people. What I’ve always liked about “Conflict Management” workshops are the freshness and renewed challenges that keep presenting themselves.

What did I do? I basically encouraged the participants to explore the tough conflicts with me.

And throughout these interactions, I helped them to design the different approaches that they can use whenever the conflicts arise. It’s never a quick hit-and-run solution if you want to get to the root of the issue, but there are truly some words and approaches that can put you in a more positive light.

Do reflect and consider the following essence of conflict management:

1. When people get angry, they are exhibiting a inner set of conflicting values. These values often, though not always, have been accumulated over time. You want to recognize that in you.

2. Conflicting people want to be heard, and seriously do not appreciate receiving any condescending treatment.

3. They are also seeking support of some kind for their points of views. Notice when the areas of similarity might be for both your viewpoints.

4. These people have either an overly high or overly hurt ego of some kind and want to assert it unto people around them. Handle their egos with care!

5. Avoid getting too carried away to prove yourself right, because that’s exactly what conflicts can get you to do — get carried away and your conflict escalates.

(Source: wekie.com)

How To Integrate Leadership Communication Into Your Interaction With People

November 9, 2008

I completed the first segment of the training yesterday with a sense of satisfaction. Although it was Saturday, I was glad the participant-leaders were able to be dedicating their time to better themselves. After all, this course “Communication and Problem Solving for Leaders” was specifically customized for them.

We had a fair bit of in-depth discussion on what it meant for a leader to communicate. I call this “Leadership Communication”. The participants understood that the manners and style of communication were also very much affected by the leader’s personality. Hence, I was pleased when the leaders were able to integrate the various concepts into their practice.

When we explored the concepts of leadership communication, we also derived various ways of displaying them at work.

Here are some of them:

1. Understand how your staffs prefer to interact and communicate.

2. Discuss with them your corporate goals with values and how you are going to lead them to fulfill these objectives.

3. Seek to inspire them by communicating trust in their capabilities.

4. Remember that one key element of communication is listening, active listening.

5. Let your staff know that you understand them by communicating with empathy and your willingness to adopt possible, workable ideas.

(Source: wekie.com)

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Brain “Malfunctions” Whenever You Need It To Work Most

November 3, 2008

You’ve been through this before. It was crunch time. Your future depended on it. Your happiness came down to this crucial moment. The turning point of your life beckoned. It’s make it or break it time, do or die…

Yet as you cleared your throat to speak, nothing came out. It’s not that you’ve lost your ability to articulate. But your mind just went blank. Nothing came out of your mouth. Try as you might, your brain simply refused to conjure up the next piece of sensible information. It went on strike, right on the dot.

And it couldn’t pick a better time; especially when you are attempting that 10-points examination question to graduate, bracing yourself for that love confession sentence which you’re dying to utter, and of course, the moments of awkward public speech silence. It was still on strike.

Yes, your brain left you to hang… high and dry.

And here’s why your precious brain decides to leave for a short tea-break or ‘vacation’ whenever you need it to report for work:

1. You don’t understand or know your own natural biorhythm. I call this your PPPs, “Peak Performance Period”.

2. You’ve yet to learn how to focus on what motivates. As a result you give in to distractions, internally and environmentally.

3. Your own physical body does not acquire the sufficient or suitable nutrition to keep your brain working healthily.

4. You don’t have the right motivation and driving desire to propel yourself.

5. The lack of energy and rest makes us too tired for intensive mental work.

6. You got overwhelmed by the tasks and challenges that face you. You felt too ‘microscopically and atomically small’ for such a gigantic glorious mission that might change the history of mankind and the surface of the earth.

7. Anxiety, worry, frustrations, fear took over your mind and imagination instead of you being relaxed. The stress you experienced made your mind went ‘blank’

8. It’s the result of poor thinking and working habits you’ve, intentionally or un-wittedly, adopted over the years.

9. You have yet to master your mind to a reasonable, applicable level. The techniques of mind mastery and brain power continue to lie undiscovered for you.

10. You’ve never “wanted it to work” in the first place. You saw the act as a need and as an obligation instead of an all-inspiring purpose. Hence it’s because of your attitude towards the work.

(Source: wekie.com)

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.)

(Source: wekie.com)

5 Truths You Must Know About Winning The Inner Game OF Negotiation And Deals Making

October 18, 2008

Yesterday saw the completion of the 2 day Negotiation and Conflict Resolution training for a very popular multi-national corporation. I’ve always enjoyed conducting such trainings and handling the questions because they are usually challenging, tough yet so prevalent in our lives.

It’s never an easy task especially when negotiation skills seem to be needed almost at every turn and nearly every facade of our life. This requires us to raise our game of bargaining to a much higher level, especially for the ambitious. For it is through negotiation that many productive and profitable deals can be made. Progress is therefore dependent on your bargaining success.

To set you on a winning negotiation advantage, you’ve have to know the truth in playing the inner game:

1. Negotiation is a test of your mental strength and dexterity.

2. Negotiation requires you to compete on thinking speed and pushes creativity limits.

3. You have to possess superior sensory awareness and acuity to win the game.

4. Negotiation demands of you to attain emotional balance.

5. The one who can exercise greater linguistic fluency wins the game.

(Source: wekie.com)

When Your Negotiation Gets Tougher: 5 Ways To Turn The Tables In Your Favor

October 12, 2008

Two days ago, I wrapped up another session of the very rigorous “Effective Negotiation Skills” training. This training on Negotiation directly addresses the urgent needs of today’s working professionals regarding their personal lives and work careers. Checking on my schedule and bookings, there are already more runs of Negotiation training on the cards in the coming weeks.

It is often likely that the negotiation and the flow of communication will get tougher before it gets better. In this case, fret not. (You better fret not.)

Here are some of the ways to turn the tables in your favor:

1. Always remain steadfast whenever the situation gets tougher.

2. Clear your mind of negativity. You cannot afford to have these thoughts at all, certainly not at this moment.

3. Listen out for the incongruence in the other party’s communication. These provide clues to the ‘cracks’ on their stand.

4. Highlight to increase or decrease their values as your bargaining chips. The more of such ‘chips’ you have, the better your position is.

5. Get the firm assurance and commitment. A nodding of head will not suffice.

(Source: wekie.com)