The glue that binds us all together is known as communication. Yes, communication is the key to success not only in your personal relationships but also in your career as well. Regardless of your position in an organization, it is vital to know how to carry yourself and speak intelligently. As people also say, "first impressions matter". You may be dressed to the nines but if you do not come across as an effective communicator, then I'm sorry you will have failed to impress. Welcoming yet another batch of officers from MINDEF (Ministry of Defence) for the one day communication workshop, it's always fun meeting new participants and being to value-add something to their lives. For this alone, I feel extremely blessed.

It does not take quantum physics for one to understand that once you master the flow of communication at your work place, you become a master at communicating with impact.





Here's the top 5 communication tips I have put together. I hope everyone finds them useful! Be assured you will find success – from the boardroom or a gathering.

1. Practise effective communication as often as possible. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. It's just like working a muscle - the more we work it, the stronger it gets. Like it or not, communication is a social skill that has to be learnt.

2. Emphatise with others. Our facial expressions, body language and emotions play a key role in workplace communication. Communication is incomplete unless we incorporate the non-verbal aspects of communication as well. Sometimes, simple head nods or leaning forward are effective examples of emphatising with others.

3. Convey your message positively and convincingly. In this world, we are either sold or trying to sell. It can be an idea, product or service. If we want to convince others to accept our idea, product or service, there is no better way to convey it positively and convincingly in our message.

4. Be clear and concise when communicating. If we can be clear and concise in our written submissions, why not apply the same rule to a verbal communication? Think before you speak because once the words leave our mouth, you cannot retrieve them. It is always better to be succinct than verbose.

5. Practise good listening habits. God gave us two ears but only one mouth. Many of us speak more than we listen. We fail to understand that it is better to first understand, then be understood.

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One of the most memorable quotes from the 1994 hit movie Forrest Gump was this immortal line “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." 
 
That’s what happened to the young Gump when he received a nondescript box. He did not have the faintest idea of the chocolate variety inside that box.
 
Many times in life – even if it’s a nondescript, we can still make meaning from it even before we open that box. All we need to do is to have a good grasp of the circumstance and the target we are interacting with.

This is the beauty of life mastery profiling.

To kickoff this first training in 2013, I welcomed a department of enthusiastic uniformed and civilian officers from MINDEF. Coming from all ranks and clearly all in the mood for learning, it was all systems go from the start of the workshop.

As the Chinese saying adopted from military strategy goes, 知己知彼、百战百胜. Translated into English, it means 'know yourself and know others, and win a hundred victories from a hundred battles fought'. With clarity comes the ability to act.

The premise is simple and straight-forward. If you understand yourself and others, you will build closer relationships across all stratas of society – from work, family, friends to love. More importantly, you will minimize misunderstandings and bond with better rapport.

What makes each of us tick? This is not a science but an art in itself. Living and working in harmony with others is not a Herculean task. As long as we remove the uncertainties and replace them with certainties, the road ahead becomes smoother, wider and easier.

Harnessing the best of both East and West to heighten one’s learning, this unique blend was potent enough to get the participants excited. 

From the East, I introduced the more than 2000 year old concept of the five elements. Each element supports and controls another. Are you in control or being controlled by others? Similarly, are you supporting others or are you in receipt of others’ support?
 
From the West, I shared the popular D.I.S.C. concept and knowing the personality type of each makes it easier for us to interact with others.
 
Less you think it was a mere coincidence, it wasn’t. Poles apart they may appear, the East and West blended perfectly and reinforced each other.
 
Confidence stems from the fact that you have complete mastery over yourself and others. That is the hallmark of a true victor in life. And for the MINDEF officers, I’m sure they will agree with me wholeheartedly.

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