Archive for the ‘Mentoring to Excel’ category

The 5 Essential Abilities You Must Have To Manage Negativity In Your Interactions and Relationships

July 27, 2008

Today was the first day of the Befrienders’ Course. We’ve covered the key essentials and the know-how of being a Befriender. On the next Sunday, I will be conducting the second day of this training where I will show them how to interact well with their clients, creating positive outcomes for themselves and others.

The overall purpose of this course is to equip these Befrienders with the essential skills to better relate with their assigned families. These families have multiple issues and are in lesser privileged situations. It’s becomes imperative that the Befrienders are oriented to cater to the differing demands of these families.

Hence here are the abilities you must have to better manage the negative situations.

1. Have powerful mental states to remain assertive and influential

2. Use optimism to handle pessimism artfully.

3. Create humor to connect and draw people closer.

4. Display appreciation and acknowledgement of who they are.

5. Be resourceful to provide aid when needed.

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Where Does Your Emotional Balance Begin?

July 19, 2008

It’s often that we face pressures and demands in our lives, from career, family and other situations that we participate in. We speak of the toils and the stress, the unfairness and injustice, the complainers and the negatives. And at times, there appears to be no way out of this spiraling emotional trap.

However, in various coaching and consultations that I conduct, we explored the ways to better attain a sense of emotional balance. While it’s not necessary an easy or simple task to overcome these, negative emotions can, nonetheless, still be managed.

Thus, in the effort to better attain a balance, where do all these management of emotion begin?

1. It begins from Your Willingness. You must be willing to take that step to want things to be better and to look at another paradigm. Without your willingness, any advice is futile. And that sole willingness must come from you.

2. It’s maintained by Your Willpower. You will be constantly bombarded with negative thoughts and some unhelpful emotions will flow back again. Hence, your willpower becomes your staying power for prolonged emotional balance.

3. It’s contained within Your Wisdom. How then can you decide how much is consider balance and what positive paradigm to operate from? This will depend on your wisdom to interprete and decipher the meanings behind how you feel. A coach will better help you fine-tune your emotional system but you must be the one to receive that ‘enlightenment’. It’s still your path after all.

Take time to work on these aspects of attainting your emotional balance. Strive persistently and you soon realize how an improvement of power emotions can help you to Excel Beyond Excellence!

What Really Matters In Making Your Mentoring And Coaching Relationship Work?

July 6, 2008

It has been to a privilege and honor to get to know so many friends over these years as a trainer and consultant. Some of whom I’ve gotten to know better through mentoring them. It truly warms my heart to see these dear friends making leaps and bounds in their career and achieving breakthroughs in their personal lives.

One of the most common questions I’m asked in my Mentoring and Coaching workshops is this: “Wekie, what really matters in making such mentorship and coaching relationship work?”

My answer is: Your Heart.

It’s your heart that allows you to touch lives and change them for the better. And it’s your heart that can move the toughest of stone will.

But what does it mean by The Heart of Mentoring and Coaching? Let’s explore what does this entails:

1. Sincerity within yourself

2. Selflessness of service

3. Commitment to improvement

4. Passionate in being positive

5. Acceptance of others

6. Confidence in rising to the challenges

7. Gratitude and Appreciation of each other

As you continue to mentor and coach someone, check yourself against these traits that lie within your heart. When you want to make your mentoring and coaching work, your heart will be there to make it Excel Beyond Excellence!

How To Overcome Your Participants’ Learning Resistance In Your Training?

July 3, 2008

Over these few days I’ve been traveling to and fro a major government institution. This is because I have been conducting a 5 day “Train-the-Trainer” course for the organization’s people. The training is specifically designed to help the current trainers of the organizations to acquire even more advanced training skills and competency in capability transference. Today was training Day 4 out of the 5 days.

While we have discussed and worked on many different aspects of trainings, one major topic today stood out: Learning Resistance.

If you have been conducting training, you will realize that from time to time there will be some participants who display resistance to learning. They tend to cast doubts on your sharing, suggestions and strategies. They question your methodologies and disbelief your ways of application. And you just get the feeling that they are “not getting it”

Hence, here are some steps you can overcome the learning resistance in your participants:

1. Have awareness of the learning resistance in the different topics you teach.

2. Be sensitive in your mannerism of speech and delivery to such resistance.

3. Acknowledge to the particular person that his resistance and doubts are valid.

4. Make the resistance appear normal to have rather than a sore thumb. “Normalize” it.

5. Give the solution and answer the issue directly. Address that resistance and suggest how to reduce or eliminate it.

6. Provide the assurance that you, as his trainer, will be there to support him and answer his doubt in the course of his application of your solution.

7. Get an open commitment. Ensure that his mind is somewhat open enough to give it a go and is committed to make it work overall.

When you artfully apply these suggested steps, you will be more equipped to handle and overcome the resistance that appears in your lessons.

Practice until they become a natural flow and an instinctive reaction to your participants. Your training will thus be even more poised to Excel Beyond Excellence!

The 3 Major Essential Focuses Of Your Coaching (Without Them, Your Coaching Effectiveness Will Be Drastically Diminished)

June 25, 2008

It was fully packed for training yesterday. Daytime was the conclusion of the 2-day training on “Coaching Skills for Leaders” for the leaders of a major government statutory board. At night, I made my way, rather, “rushed” to the National University of Singapore Toastmasters to conduct “Training for the Meeting Appointments”. That was very intensive as well with all the meeting roles training packed within that couple of hours.

During the training for the coach-leaders, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what the leaders shared and the challenges they have highlighted in coaching. The result was a workshop peppered with funny anecdotes and witty comments, in addition to their acquisition of the deeper lessons behind what coaching really is.

And of course, it was also my pleasure and joy to answer one of the top commonly asked questions of how coaching might not work despite continuous coaching sessions.

The answer is, arguably, Focus, the focus of your coaching. Without the right focus of every session, you will not know if coaching has been worthwhile or has taken place effectively.

What sort of focus? You might ask.

Here are 3 of these major focuses of the coaching dynamics that are so essential for effectiveness to occur:

1. To move your client from a perspective of limitation to a perspective where there is variation. In this manner, “The Limitation versus Variation Perspectives and Paradigms of Coaching” becomes the broad-based focus during the flow of your coaching.

2. To get your client to have a worthwhile goal in mind and be willing to work towards it. If he has such a worthy end goal in mind, anything that happens along the way becomes merely a process of achieving his goals. Conversely, not having any end goal tend to turn almost everything into obstacles and distractions. Hence this format of coaching becomes a fundamental structure of “End-Goal Coaching”.

3. To get a clear indication of acknowledgement and approval before moving on along the coaching process. In one of the dynamics and techniques of “Signposting and Positive Progressive Indications”, your client must truly agree with you so that you can transit to the next coaching phase smoothly without hesitation. This is also a strong sign of progressive coaching effectiveness.

When you take time to pay attention to having these focuses present in your coaching, you will start to have a clearer indication of where the process of the client might be. With this understanding, you’ll definitely be in a better position to assist your client to Excel Beyond Excellence!

What Every Coach Must Know About Coaching To Get The Best Results

June 15, 2008

Yesterday night was another session of public speaking coaching. I was extremely pleased to know that the participants have marked improvement in their speaking and presentations.

Some of them showed eloquence in speaking, while a number of them have taken better control of their fear of speaking to the audience. This must also be attributed to their hard work and attitude of persistence.

Being a coach and trainer over these years, I’ve also understood that there must be certain premise prior and during the coaching. All these are kept in mind to bring the best results to his clients:

Hence, the follow would truly be crucial:

1. A coach should understand the strength and weakness of his clients.

2. A coach should have a customized plan of practice for individual client.

3. A coach should be willing to deviate when necessary upon discovering possible new paths to coach their clients.

4. A coach must keep an open mind to understand what might be external to his paradigm.

5. A coach should help his clients stay motivated to experience positive results.

6. A coach must connect well with his clients to derive the best possible rapport.

7. A coach must put his clients’ interests first.

It is with these in mind that the coach can truly make the largest possible stride, working with his clients towards Excelling Beyond Excellence!

What You Must First Understand If You Want To Become A Successful Trainer

May 15, 2008

Yesterday evening was a presentation meeting with a difference. The Brilliant Advanced Toastmasters and UBS Toastmasters Clubs decided to organize a special meeting that focused on developing training skills for potential trainers.

Having been a trainer for 18 years, a mentor and a coach for numerous professional and novice trainers over the years, I was invited as a guest Evaluator to provide feedback and advice on the training skills of the presenters. In the midst of my comments, I highlighted several “first-you-should-know” concepts about being a competent trainer.

To add on, here are some of these important concepts you must first understand before you embark on this interesting journey:

1. A trainer is also a performer. (It does not mean that you have to be hilariously funny or jump frantically around like a chirpy chimpanzee.)

2. Command and control is extremely important to the trainer.

3. A successful trainer must have sufficient audience relating skills.

4. A training is not a mere speech, not a briefing and most definitely not a lecture.

5. A training, while focusing on the skills, is first and foremost, a people connection process.

6. You must first establish your credibility with your participants.

7. Always be mindful of your stage setting.

Keep working on your training skills by first digesting the above pointers. Wishing you a journey of Excellence towards becoming a successful trainer!

The AEIOU Approach of Befrienders

May 5, 2008

It’s never easy dealing with issues in life. What’s more, we are talking about helping others with problems and challenges in their life. However this was what a group of dedicated people did. They chose to sign up as Befrienders to families in need and for the underprivileged. Their undying passion for improving the lives of the less fortunate must be recognized and saluted.

At the part two session and conclusion of the “Befrienders’ Training”, I can feel their eagerness to help and serve. It’s with such single purposeness that the training was so much more motiviational and inspirational. Congratulations on your graduation and well done to everyone!

As a Befriender, the next level will also involve contacting and interacting with the families and clients. Here’s an approach that has proven been useful in making the meeting work. It’s the AEIOU Approach of a Befriender:

Acceptence. The acceptance of the clients, their background and their values is vital. While not all these values or behaviors can be useful, it’s the acceptance of who they are that opens up the doors for helping.

Empowerment. Befrienders should seek to empower their clients instead of creating reliance. Help them to help themselves.

Improvement. With a constant desire to improve, dire straits can be reversed and problems can be turned around. This should be the purpose of all Befrienders..

Outreach. It’s not just mere contacting the clients but the outreach into their world and know their thoughts. The outreach psychologically will also mean that Befrienders can also touch the hearts of their clients.

Uniqueness of application. No two clients are alike. You have to be sensitive enough to apply different communication and relationship building strategies to different clients.

It’s with a sincere wish that you can go forth to help and change more lives with the friendship that you extend. Make your life Excel Beyond Excellence!

7 Vital Things You Must Keep In Mind When You Handle Difficult People

February 27, 2008

Today was another enriching day as I worked with the Consultants. During my full-day training on “Managing Difficult Clients”, the Consultants shared with me the various types of tough people that they encounter at the work place and in life. Plenty of real life examples emerged and we took the incidents into practice during the role-play. This is followed by their insightful sharing of what they have learnt.

In addition, I also share with them the proven ways to better manage these difficult people as well as the key points to remember.

1. It’s really about the power between both of you.

2. Sincerity and clarity of the relationship is important.

3. Use the pre-frame and set-up to your advantage.

4. You can install further set up within your conversation. This will keep your clients on track and within your intended scope of discussion.

5. Strive to pin-point the underlying issue and resolve them instead of reinforcing their negativity. Be forward looking instead of reliving the hurting memories.

6. Keep the clients rational towards issues rather than associating them to overwhelming emotions.

7. Avoid personalizing the issues by checking your language and comments.

As you embark on serving your clients, it is imperative that these pointers be employed as much as possible. In this way, you will be better positioned to attain positive results during your consultations.

May you Excel Beyond Excellence!

The Keys to Enhance and Enrich Your Counseling and Coaching Sessions

January 22, 2008

It was Sunday two days ago, a much waited rest day for many. Yet I applaud the overwhelm number of people who turned up for the full day training. This showed their commitment and their strength to care for others. This made me inspired too and the energy in the training was amazing. In this session, “Essential Counseling and Coaching Skills”, I was training them to become better Befrienders.

A Befriender will need both the sets of skills to relate effectively to their clients. Because of the fast changing pace and trends of modern societies, the Befriender will have to be more equipped in handling varying demands and client types.

The clients they take on will typically have more multi-facet issues that are interconnected with each other. This makes the counseling and coaching sessions with the clients even more fluid. This further means that the direction of such encounters might take on different dimensions and perspectives. Being even more prepared is so much more crucial nowadays.

Hence in the training, we explored the keys and techniques of making their meet-up session more enriching and meaningful. Some of the keys were:

1. The Importance of Rapport. Without rapport with the clients, you won’t have trust with each other and openness in the counseling and coaching relationship. This becomes the key bridge for effectiveness in the sessions.

2. The Art of Validation. When you first validate and support the emotions of your clients, they become more confident. They also become more aware of what they are going through. Validation becomes more of a ‘forward moving’ determination instead of a ‘getting-stuck-in-the-now’ situation.

3. The Need to Establish Commitment. This seeks to put in the will and determination of the client to following through the plans that were set out. A regular commitment check is crucial to ensure progress is made. I always share this notion in a brief sentence, “No Commitment, No Progress.”

4. A Time To Equip the client instead of spoon-feeding them. It’s always a gray area as to how much might you be spoon feeding your client. If you realize that you are doing things for them instead of guiding or advising them to do it for themselves, then perhaps that might be a time for a re-evaluation of your counseling or coaching progress.

It’s better to equip them with the skills and attitudes of empowerment instead of depriving them of the ability to make things happen without you. It’s never clear-cut, but you can always choose between “giving the fish” or “teaching them how to fish”. The latter is usually better in the long run.

5. The Understanding of  Priority Setting matters so much more. Prioritizing helps both you and your client decide which major issues to focus on and the consequential steps to take. It also gives you a progressive plan as a result.

With so much in demand, you have to start deciding the key scope because there is no way you can resolve all issues at once. Most requires a clear minded exploration of personal priority. Discuss this with your clients, help them grip their situation tight, and begin to set out a priority and a plan for your sessions.

As you proceed in your meeting up with your clients, do keep all these keys in mind together with whatever was shared in the trainings. Do strive to incorporate these skills so that you can enhance your capability as a counselor and a coach. Remember, it’s really about your clients and the lives you are about to change.

Best wishes to you and always Excel Beyond Excellence!