Archive for the ‘Decisions Making & Management’ category

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?



If You Disagree With Someone…

October 5, 2008

It’s normal.

It’s human.

It’s a part of growing up.

It’s a portion of learning.

It’s a reflection of a lesson.

It’s how new worlds are defined.

It’s how new knowledge are acquired.

It’s how we get out of our comfort zone.

It’s how our dimensions are pushed beyond.

It’s how we escape from our mental ivory tower.

It’s how nations rise and fall, and rise again.

It’s how civilizations are torn and re-built.

It’s how progress for mankind is made.

It’s how we avoid becoming obsolete.

It’s how perspectives are expanded.

It’s how breakthroughs occur.

It’s just the way humans are.

It’s how we start to excel.

It’s just the way you are.

It’s just the way life is.

It’s life.

If you disagree with me,

Congratulations! Welcome to Life!


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.

How Neuro-Linguistic Programming Helps You To Manage Your Human Resource Matters At The Workplace

September 27, 2008

I was invited to give a talk to a number of human resource mangers and leaders from various companies yesterday. The talk entitled, “Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Skills” enabled me to introduce to them the origin of NLP as well as sharing with them the various concepts and techniques that will empower them to become better HR managers.

The participants were highly interactive, fun-loving and made further enquires about this practical technology of human excellence. I was glad to provide the information which can direct them to what they are looking for. And their commitment to their jobs in implementing effective HR policies for their staffs earned my respect and salutation.

Similarly, when you apply the understanding of NLP technology and concepts unto your human resource matters and issues, you will discover that NLP:

1. Gives you specific strategies to build rapport and deepen relationships with the staffs at work, influencing them faster than before.

2. Guides you to better avoid, deflect and handle conflicts and tough situations arising from work.

3. Provides you the practical tools and relevant technology to better formulate human resource policies. It also takes you into effective implementation strategies that let your staff ‘buy-in’ to these policies or directives.

In short, NLP enables you to Excel Beyond Excellence!

5 Ways To Increase Your Leadership Emotional Intelligence

September 16, 2008

If you are a manager, director, supervisor and the similar titles, you will be in a position to exert your leadership over your team. However, just being in this position does not immediately entitle you to become a respected leader. You’ve got to demonstrate high level of emotional intelligence in leading, facilitating and influencing your members.

At today’s training on “Emotional Intelligence at Work For Leaders”, I explored in greater details what does it mean to have better emotional intelligence as a leader. Plenty of real-life examples and scenarios were brought out for discussions. In addition, I shared with my participants the practical yet simple strategies to apply at their workplace.

I was also very pleased that the leader-participants were interactive and contributed to the discussions as well as derive further learning. It’s my pleasure and honor indeed to be serving them as their trainer. I wish them the very best in their leadership and management journey.

Adding on, here are more ways you can increase your leadership emotional intelligence:

1. Have an in-depth understanding of your personal leadership styles and tendencies

2. Understand that your own leadership has it own strengths and weaknesses. Find out what they are and work on them conscientiously.

3. Be comfortable at confronting tough leadership situations and decision making under crisis.

4. Display artful tact, empathy and diplomacy when handling conflicts and sensitivity, especially with difficult people.

5. Discover how you can appreciate your team members, staffs and subordinates in different and sincere manners.

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.

5 Ways To Be AWARE And Remain Relevant To The Changes Around You

July 30, 2008

I was impressed by the turnout of the crowds. Today is the launch of “Step Out For Change” program of which I am the Course Developer and Lead Trainer. What I also noted were the various companies offering employment opportunities for the visitors as well as upgrading of skills and knowledge.

For the launch of this event, the organizers invited Mr Gan Kim Yong, the Acting Minister for Manpower and Advisor to Chua Chu Kang Grassroots Organizations as the Guest-of-Honour. At present was also Special Guest, Mdm Halimah Yacob, Deputy Secretary-General of National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and Member of Parliament. As this is hosted by South West Community Development Council (CDC), the Mayor of South West District and Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Dr Amy Khor, was also there to officiate the event.

Following his tour of the exhibition venue and the program briefing, the Guest-of-Honor, Mr Gan, had a chat with me. In the midst of the conversation, I shared with him the key reasons why I designed the program in this manner and the underlying benefits it will bring to the program participants. We also had some quick mutual sharing on the upcoming trends that our society will soon experience.

As this is a nation-wide program for all women in Singapore, they are welcomed to benefit from Stepping Out and changing their lives for the better. After all, nothing remains the same and Singapore as a society is indeed evolving. One must hence be able to better grasp the opportunities as they unveil.

In line with coping with changing times, here are some ways you can become more AWARE in being relevant with the modernized world:

Be Alert to your surroundings

Work your plan conscientiously

Align with the right people.

Relearn your skills and learn new techniques.

Exercise for renewed energy

How To Become An Effective Leader In Extreme Situations?

July 28, 2008

The tireless leader faces different challenges every single day. These challenges and issues range from the most mundane to the most critical of circumstances. Nonetheless, decisions have to be made, stands have to be taken and actions are to be implemented. This happens no matter how crucial and urgent the situation is. It’s all in a day’s work for the most ferocious of leaders.

A report in Today’s paper presented an interesting and insightful article that reflected this topic: On how can a leader face the most extreme situations. Lyndon Rego, an Innovation Incubator Director, espouses this responsibility of the leader, that he must face it and work it out, sometimes with bold moves.

Here are the details of his report:

How To Become An Effective Leader In Extreme Situations?

CRISIS, as anyone who has been through one would know, forces people to think and behave in new ways. Extreme crisis exponentially ratchets up that response.

Crisis response requires both planning and improvising. Planning and preparation helps enable rapid coordinated action. At the same time, plans are always insufficient.

A plan is a starting point, but every situation will involve something unexpected. Your logic and imagination cannot factor in every contingency. People need the capacity to read and understand a situation and improvise their approach as the reality unfolds.

Taking into account some of the lessons learnt by those who have faced extreme crisis can better prepare you for such situations.

SySteMS fail

Infrastructure, technology, alert mechanisms and communication may fail or be insufficient. Processes fall apart, leaving you in unfamiliar territory. The failures may be brief or long-lasting, confined or extensive. Ongoing or systemic problems, while manageable in routine circumstances, may be a serious problem in a crisis.

tHe picture iS diStorted

No one has a complete picture of what is happening. People on the outside may have a sense of the big picture but may lack accurate, detailed and critical information from within the crisis zone. In contrast, people in the middle of the crisis see what is in front of them but may be cut off from what is taking place elsewhere.

tiMe iS coMpreSSed

Moving forward or tackling a part of the problem may be risky in the absence of solid information, but doing nothing is not a choice. As the crisis evolves beyond the immediate, the time pressure eases, only to be replaced by the complex demands of a protracted crisis or recovery.

autHority iS liMited

A crisis can easily trump existing structures of authority. Whoever is “in charge” is whoever is there. If organizational protocols require strict adherence to command structure and approvals, they may hinder rapid and effective responses.

new leaderSHip eMergeS

A crisis will generate previously unexpected and unknown leadership capabilities. Individuals will step up to rescue or respond. New organizations and networks rise to provide aid and assistance.

preparing to face criSiS

How does an organization prepare people to do what it takes during a crisis? What is it that allows people to do extraordinary, unexpected things that are outside of their experience and training? When it comes to facing a crisis it is about your people and your leadership. It is about organizational culture.

Organizations and individuals will be better equipped for crisis (and daily operations) when executives and managers act and speak in ways that:

1. Forge relationships. Personal connections and good relationships are literally lifesavers in a crisis. Build quality relationships with a broad base of stakeholders before a crisis. Make it a priority to behave in ways that build trust in you and in the organization. Show respect for others and demand others to behave in ways that show respect, too.

2. Develop flexibility. Build a culture of flexibility and adaptability. Emphasize action-taking and good judgment.

3. Encourage courage. Show you are willing to stand up for the courage of your convictions.

4. Support risk-taking. People make mistakes; they will make mistakes during a crisis, too. Establish a culture that supports good-faith risk taking. When people act with integrity for the organization and the mission, the need to know they will not be penalized or made scapegoats.

5. Enable empowerment. Insist that local leaders make decisions based on the situations they face. Educate them and support them along the way. You cannot hold on to authority when times are good and then assume people will be empowered in a crisis.

Watch Out For The Weakest Link (And The 5 Forms They Exist In Your Team)

July 18, 2008

Whenever you run a team as its Leader, watch out for the weakest link. This link does not just refer to the bond, but it also refers to a certain person or a group of people. When left unnoticed, it will destroy the harmony and synergy of your team. And over time, your team will work harder than ever, yet not deriving the results or achieving the goals you intend.

A team must hence function in tune with each other, irregardless of each individual’s talents. The lone ranger cannot eradicate crime and injustice in the whole county.

Conflicts could be part of the trait in your team, but it need not be negative. It’s when those conflicts escalate into something unhealthy for the team that it becomes the weakest link. A festering link means that you must administer the antidote or face the spread of unhappiness with your team. Should you not pay attention and wait till it’s too late, well… it’s too late then.

Never assume that it will blow over or it’s no big deal. Human beings don’t merely forget. Some remember, some remember with a vengeance.

You’ll see them in these forms:

1. Some will be so negative that nothing gets done. — The Naysayers.

2. Some will sap the energy out of the rest of the team, leaving them worned out, tired and listless. — The Energy Sappers.

3. While some will hold your team’s progress back so much that it actually retards. — The Retarders. (not retard!)

4. Some infuse complains into other members with no providence of sensible solutions. — The Constant Complainers.

5. And then, there are those that simply talk with no action. — The Mere Talkers.

Your team is only as strong as the weakest link.

You either work it or weed it out. Work with your team, build the cohesiveness together or you’ll have to remove that person. You make the call.

Watch out for the weakest link

7 Steps To Creating A Sales Plan That Will Powerfully Boost Your Results

July 13, 2008

Many salespeople have been working on better plans to increase their sales results. Being able to plan is a crucial part of executing an effective sales design. It is when a sales plan is well thought out that can you maximize the chances of closing the sales. In my consultations with the various companies, I’ve emphasize that such an effective plan will exponentially increase their revenues. And it’s not that difficult or challenging to implement too.

Furthermore, two days ago, at the conclusion of the 2-day “Dynamic Selling That Shows Results” seminar, I highlighted again the importance of having a sales plan and the ability to manage it well. I was glad that the participants took to considering better ways to improve their sales and meet the quotas. This had also made the training most productive and results orientated.

In a nutshell, here are the steps to the plan:

1. Decide if your plan is to be management centric, product centric or customer centric.

2. Focus on developing your selling points that cater to customers.

3. Package your products and selling points in favor of the customers’ preferred design.

4. Publicize and market to raise awareness of products and entice customers.

5. Know that your timing of the sales execution matters immensely.

6. Craft out opportunities in your plan for up-selling and cross-selling.

7. Always remember to fine-tune the loose ends in your overall plans.

When you can take time to design your intricate sales plan, you can use it to smoothly allow your product and services to move into the hands of your customers. Take time to consider the intricate effects of each step of your plan.

When delicately and effectively designed, your sales will Excel Beyond Excellence! Best wishes.