Besides building confidence through grooming and communications, the other fastest way for staff of any organization or company to work smarter and boost productivity is through team building.

The size of each team is immaterial. Take a leaf from history and the Spartan armies have shown us that despite their limitations in size, they were well-disciplined and well trained in combat.

That is the power of a team! And we are going to experience it for ourselves.

Welcome to today's team building workshop for Mindef. If you think we are going to rough it out under the blazing sun, you are wrong…Today's team building workshop is a special edition as it is done indoors.

Designed for the newly hired Mindef officers who hail from different office locations, one of the key components of any team building programme is the ability to help foster better and open communication between colleagues, employees, as well as between the employees and the higher management. Good working relationships does go a long way in improving understanding, cooperation and ultimately, this is reflected in the quality of the work being done.

If you ask me, it all boils down to trust. And trust leads to better productivity.

It's never easy to bond people together because we come from different backgrounds and bring with us different experiences (some good, others bad). When made to come together, there will inevitably be some friction or conflict of sorts. Imagine if you had to accept the group-think as the norm, instead of thinking about your own interests all the time.

The participants today rose up to the challenge and I must congratulate each and every one of them for an excellent job done. They accommodated, they laughed and they enjoyed each moment…while steam-rolling through the different challenges and games thrown at them.

Do not be deceived that an indoor team building workshop is easier than an outdoor one. It does take guts, courage and a certain level of intelligence to navigate through the day. Yet through it all, when one accomplishes all the tasks, I'm 100% positive the participants will look back with fond memories the good times they had, while internalizing the lessons taught.

Let the good times roll…and let the team building camaraderie flame ignite brightly in each and every one of us :)


There are many ways in which we can contribute back to society. Giving money is one of them. Volunteering our time is another. If you ask me, I would prefer the latter. Just ask the residents of Moonlight Home for the Aged & Handicapped. I'm positive they would rather see a visitor's face or hear a comforting word, then be left on their own holed up in a room of four walls…

Together with other title holders, we descend on the old aged home nested in the Serangoon/Yio Chu Kang area. This is our community charity project for this year. Approaching the bright and cheery orange gates, our hands are full of goodies which we have packed in the morning. Yet enter the same gates of the old aged home and we are greeted by tales of desolation and resignation.

It pains me to hear of such tales of how some senior citizens have been left in the care of the home because they have been regarded as a social nuisance by their children. One senior lamented that she has not seen her daughter at all for the past two years ever since she stayed at the home. Sometimes I really wonder where the so-called virtue of filial piety has gone? Maybe it has been eroded over the years. Anyway, as we did not hear both sides of the story, we are certainly in no position to judge. It could also have been that the children are incapable of taking care of their elderly parents and felt it was in their best interest that professional care be hired to look after them.

Whatever each resident's reason could be for admission here, it was the job of us volunteers today to bring a little cheer to them. Besides giving them the food items we brought, we started to fill each room with the tunes of Chinese, English and Malay songs. Some folks even joined us when they heard a familiar Teresa Teng number resounding in the background.

Being in the position to give back to society makes me feel privileged. This is something meaningful and it shows there is still humanity left in this fast-paced world. If we can make it happen, I'm sure all readers out there too can start caring and sharing.


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