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30 Nov 2013

Making Problems Out of No Problems in 5 Ways

I had a good conversation with my friend that day who complained to me how many problems he has: family, business, work, finance and health.  I told him that actually he has no problems because all his problems are created by himself.  At first he wanted to throttle me, but later when I explained to him calmly, his mind started to open up.

At the end of our conversation he was so elated and thanked me profusely.  I promised him that I would stand by him no matter what happened.  He asked me to share what I taught him, that's why I created this post on my blog.

People make problems out of no problems in 5 ways: Craving, Possession, Clinging, Closing of Options and Never Negotiate.

Craving is the Beginning of Problems   

People craved for things, which is not the same as desire or wanting.  It's okay to want or desire things, but when you crave for things you become so hard up that you become irrational.  You just want to have things because that's what you want.

But if you pause and think further you'll realize that such craving actually serves no happiness at all because the process of getting it is so miserable that it negates any happiness that you may derive from having it subsequently.  In short, craving leads to more miserableness than happiness!

Possession 

Yes, humans like to possess things as it gives us some comfort feeling.  Like it's good to own that newest smartphone, and we like to extend such possession wanting to even non material things like friendship, love and family.

When people lose what they used to possess previously, they become very unhappy.  Some even do silly things like self-sabotage.

If you were to look further you'll realize that nothing in this world is permanent, not even the suns and the planets in the galaxies.  Since everything is in a flux and nothing is permanent, if you want to possess them, you're hitting your head against the wall.  

The solution lies in having clear understanding that it is alright to possess things as long as we do not become slaves to the idea of possession.  Otherwise we become 'possessed' by possession!

Clinging

Related to craving and possession is clinging.  People cling on to things and since nothing is permanent, such clinging only leads on to problems and nothing else.

Closing of Options

People like to close off their minds to options the moment they receive an objection or rejection.  For example, if you asked for a salary raise from your boss and your boss declined you, most people will take it as a closed case and they wouldn't dare to raise that subject again in future.

As we know, nothing is permanent and so too is rejection.  Today's rejection can become tomorrow's welcome.  Walt Disney went to 40 banks to ask for financing to build Disneyland in the 1930s and all rejected him.  Yet Disney did not close the idea and he went back to the drawing board and came up with a new proposal that is more attractive to banks.  The rest is history.

Never Negotiate

Everything is in this world is negotiable, as nothing is permanent and everything is subject to change.  When the conditions are right, things will become easy.  All you need to do is to negotiate to get the right conditions.  For example, if your boss rejects your request for salary increase, you can negotiate for an increase in non-monetary things like going for company-paid training.  This is a win-win way as the training will increase both your skills and your contribution to the company.  In time to come your boss will recognize your achievements and will give you your deserved increment.

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at Asia Trainers, details of courses at here.

2 Types of Training: Narrowing the Mind and Broadening the Mind

As a Trainer with over 17 years experience (part time since 1996, full time since 2001), I realized that there are 2 types of training in this world.  By training I don't just mean attending courses or lessons, the most common training in the world is direct experience or on-the-job training as known in the workplace.  The 2 types of training are Narrowing the Mind and Broadening the Mind Training. 

Type 1: Narrowing the Mind Training

This type of training narrows the mind, that is, the mind becomes more narrow after the training.  By 'mind' here I mean the thinking, both conscious and non-conscious.  This type of training, instead of letting the trainee knows what are the possibilities, restricts him to fewer possibilities.  For example, some corporate trainers teach people only certain fixed way of doing things and disregard other schools of thought.  They are dogmatic and usually claimed themselves to be 'gurus' or some form of special intellectual people.  In my opinion these people are 'sukus', not gurus.  ('Suku' is a Malay word for stupid).   

In direct experience training, after you've tried certain food, your choice of food becomes more narrow and you dare not try other types of food.  

There is nothing right or wrong with this type of 'Narrowing the Mind' training, for our mind sometimes need to be narrowed so that it's easier for us to think.  Otherwise if your mind is so broad you may be lost on what to do!

Type 2: Broadening the Mind Training

Many people called this 'Possibility Training', for your mind will be opened to more possibilities than you ever thought possible.  Your mind becomes broader and you have this concept of abundance instead of scarcity as in 'Narrowing the Mind Training'.  

We know that the mind is like a rubber band, after you have expanded it, it never goes back to its original size.  In corporate training, trainers typically broadens the trainees' mindsets by getting them to see things from the opposite, like 'internal beauty is more charming than external beauty'.  In fact all creativity and innovation are from broadening of the minds.  

The advantages of the mind broaden are obvious, but many do not realize the danger that if your mind is too broad, you could be on the verge of stupidity.  This is because your mind has no sense of right or wrong, and simply accepts everything and you will thus be easily manipulated by others.  By the way, by stating this, aren't I also broadening your mind?

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer and Coach at Asia Trainers, details of training programs are at here.

28 Nov 2013

How to Make Your 'Tree' Grow Faster in 7 Ways

We know that things come about on their own.  Once we have done our work, we can leave the law of nature to deliver the results.  But you must first do your work, like plant the right seeds and provide the right soil and environment so that your tree can grow easily.

Same as in management of people.  The seeds you plant today will grow into bountiful trees tomorrow.  You plant seeds by putting in the right systems so that your people can grow from the systems.  Your systems should not inhibit growth.  For example, if your remuneration system rewards everyone the same regardless of their contributions, good people will not grow.

There are 7 Ways that You Can Make Your People Grow Faster:
  1. Give them a Clear Sense of Direction of Where Your Company is Going
  2. Let them Set their Own Goals on When and How They Can Achieve the Company's Directions
  3. Your Remuneration System should be 70% Fixed and 30% Variable so that there is sufficient motivation to perform.  This will also remove the entitlement mentality. 
  4. 'Fertilize' them with lots of Ingredients like Good Ideas, Training, Inspiration and Motivational Pointers (like this blog)
  5. Protect them from the killing 'Sun', which is the Risk of Failure.  Have a good Risk Management System so that the risk of failure is lower.  For example, in our company we reduce of risk of failure by having role plays in the office so that when the staff go to the marketplace they know what to expect.
  6. Provides lots of 'Air', which is the Chance to Air their Views.  When people know that they have a say in their work, they will contribute more instead of just being 'yes men'.
  7. Have the Right Level of 'Water', which is Stress Level.  Like water, too much stress can kill people while too little stress will make people bored and remain where they are.  In fact, too little 'water' (stress) will also make them 'die' (passion dissipated) for they will channel their energy to outside work. 
By Andy Ng, whose course on How to Be a Great Boss has now reached Indonesia (Jarkarta).  For details on our management and sales courses, click here. Related articles:



5 Rules to Sell As Well As Apple's iPad Air

By now the whole world realizes that Apple's iPad Air has broken another new record for tablet sales.  Many people wondered what makes Apple successful while others like Samsung and LG are still fighting hard?

According to my teacher Andy Ferrari Norman, there are 5 Selling Rules to follow:
  1. Non-self. Yes, selling is about not focusing on yourself but on your customers.  You need to find out what customers want and give it to them.  Selling is not about the seller's ego but making customers heros.  Apple has obviously focused on the user's experience and not the brand awareness.  The App Store it created is second to none.   
  2. Impermanence: selling is about creating new things every now and then and making things non permanent.  That's why Apple has product upgrades every 12 months or so.
  3. Interconnectedness:  As everything changes, everything in this world is connected.  Apple pays attention to the connectivity of things: its apps work with its hardware and software seamlessly. It also has tie-ups with vendors like Facebook and Google Maps.  Apple did not create it own ecosystems that make it difficult to connect with the outside world (like Nokia's Symbian and Meego systems)
  4. Cause and Effect.  Apple knows that a seed planted today will grow into a tree bearing fruits tomorrow. But it knows that life is not a series of steps but rather a whole dance.  Nothing exists independently of anything else as everything is every thing dependent on every other thing. If there is a cause there will be an effect.  
  5. Unsatisfactoriness.  Apple knows that no matter how good its product is, people will never be satisfied.  This is because human beings are subject to unsatisfactoriness, i.e. we always want something better.  That's why Apple always has something up to its sleeves: it holds back some key features so that users will crave for something better in future.  In this way, Apple creates its own demand. 
By Andy Ng, Sales Coach and Trainer at Asia Trainers. Two such courses How to Close Every Sale and Sales Follow-up Success are now featured in more than 7 countries. 

26 Nov 2013

Up to 50% of Employees are Just Adding Work at Work and not Adding Value

Unknown to many people, many people are actually adding work at work and not adding value. 

You see, when one person is untrained in his work, he is not only not doing his work, but adding work to his colleagues.  Similarly, when people have poor inter-personal skills, they create work friction and lots of misunderstandings. As a result, their bosses have to step in, run team-building trainings, and put in extra manpower, all just to get the house on order.


Studies done by International HR consultants indicated that only about 30% to 50% of people are actually adding value in their work.  The rest are just adding work!  Worse still, some employees are adding trouble at work.  For example, they make careless mistakes and mislead customers.   


So the key to success in management is to ensure that your people are adding value at work.  Here are 7 ways that all employees can do to add value in their work:

  1. Do Self Quality Control and Self Audit.  This will ensure that things are done properly
  2. Come in slightly earlier than usual so that they can be ahead of their competitors
  3. Self Learn and Self Train on essential skills, like communication and writing skills
  4. Ask their boss every morning, "What is the one or two things that I can do to help you in your work?"
  5. Always on the look-out for ways to increase the company's sales, lower its costs, improve cash flow, reduce risks and improve profit margins
  6. Never leave things to chance, do not assume but always ensure
  7. Take Ownership in their work, do not blame, give excuses, or worse still, deny when things go wrong.  When you take ownership, you will be able to take responses and be accountable.
Whether you are a boss, manager or just an employee, if you do not add value to your company, you are adding value to your company's competitors.  For the world does not stand still, your company will lose out to competitors if it is slower than them.

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer at Asia Trainers, details at here.  

25 Nov 2013

An Advantage is Not a Benefit

One of the most confused communication in the business world, be it in sales or advertisements, is the concept of benefits.  Often people mistake features as benefits, and many also mistake advantages as benefits.

As we know, a feature is a characteristic of what you do. Like your company has 5-day week and 14-days annual leave.  This is obviously a feature and not a benefit.  A feature can be considered as an advantage if such a feature is not common.  But in today's world, 5-day week and 14-days annual leave are too common to be considered an advantage.

What about benefits?  They are not general things but things that mean something to people.  That is, people do really benefit from them.  So using the above example, if a person wants a career that offers fast promotion or good incentives, 5-day week and 14-days annual leave will not mean anything to him and are thus not considered benefits to him.

In short, benefits are special to the person.  So a same thing may be a benefit to one and meaningless to another.  Do not confuse advantages with benefits, or worse still, consider a feature as a benefit.

The following are the 7 most common benefits that we all crave for in this world, check to see if your company offers at least one of them.  If not, then your company offers no benefits at all!
  1. More Money
  2. More Free Time
  3. More Peace of Mind, Less Worry and Less Stress
  4. More Say (or Freedom of Expression)
  5. More Friends (and loved by others)
  6. More Happiness
  7. More of the Above
So from the real job advertisement (displayed outside a restaurant at Cathay Building), can you see that the so-called benefits are really not benefits at all.  Even if the company wants to call them benefits, they should call them differently, like instead of saying 'Performance Bonus', they should say 'Attractive Performance Bonus'.

If you want to call your advantages as benefits, you need to make them attractive to people by possessing the following 5 attributes:
  1. Specific (like '1 in 3 chance of getting performance bonus')
  2. Material and cannot be too small (like '5 sets of free uniforms provided annually)
  3. Given out timely (like 'performance bonus paid every month)
  4. Not too common (like 'uniforms designed by SIA designer)
  5. Transferable so that they will not be lost or forfeited easily
By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer at Asia Trainers, details are at here.

24 Nov 2013

No. 1 Secret in Sales that Few People Teach You

By the way, we are all in sales, regardless of whether we do selling as a career or not. For sales is not just about selling products and services but more of selling ideas.  For example, if you need your colleague to help you out in your work, you need to sell him the idea that helping you is good for him.  If you can convince him, you have made the sale.

The most and often overlooked secret in sales is to be in front of a qualified prospect when he is ready to buy, not when you need to make a sale.

You see when you are desperate to make the sale, you will be selfish and only look at your own interest. You will ignore or downplay the prospect's interest.  And your prospect will notice this, and he will not buy from you because he sees that you are just a sale pusher, not a problem solver.

A salesperson can only succeed if he is seen as a problem solver.  For all prospects have 3 problems, money, happiness and time.  Everyone in this world wants more money, more happiness and more time.  In business they mean the following:

1. Money - more sales, lower costs, higher profits, better cash flow and higher productivity
2. Happiness - less trouble, reliability, peace of mind, convenience, good review from customers etc
3. Time - less work for same or more money, no unnecessary work, go back home of time and speed

So my friend, selling is not about pushing sales to people that don't want to buy, but solving problems for customers.

By Andy Ng, Sales Coach and Trainer at Asia Trainers, details at here.

23 Nov 2013

Don't Overvalue the Low Values and Undervalue the High Values

You have all heard about people making headlines in winning awards, making the most money, achieve highest sales and being the first and the largest . We seldom heard of people winning awards for things such as help the most people, being the most honest guy and making the most sacrifice for others.

Yes, our world overvalue things such as make the most money, be the first, win titles, aim for bigger things and go for fame and recognition.  But unknown to many, such things are actually of low value. 

This is because it is extremely easy to achieve such things.  All you need to do is to put in lots of efforts to achieve them.  But it is very difficult to achieve the higher noble things in life: build character, make a difference, care for people, teach people and understand people with compassion.  Such noble things are often undervalued.  That's why no awards in this world are created for them.

If you were to look back to your school days, you will undoubtedly recall the top student who scored the highest in grades.  But can you remember such a person as 'being the most helpful student?'  Unlikely.  In fact you can remember till now your good schoolmate that helped you the most.  Yet such good people scored low in grades.  This is because our society overvalues the low values and undervalue the high values.

So my friend, don't make the same mistake as our society.  Do not undervalue your own values and overvalue other people's 'values', which are actually just achievements.  Overvalue your own 'low values' and undervalue others' 'high values'.

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at Asia Trainers, details here.


22 Nov 2013

2 Deadly Pitfalls of Managers that You Must Avoid

All managers must avoid 2 deadly pitfalls:
1. Control
Too little control or too much control is a problem.
Too little control would mean not having rules, but most often we see rules not followed and management never do much about it. For example, many companies have rules on working hours, but ask yourself how many management actually ensure that people come to work punctually? Many people have got used to being late, and the common excuse is they work late, so they can come late for work.
Many don't know that this is causing some issues in teamwork, e.g. if some people are not here by 8.30 am, how am I going to get certain things done without them?
So as a manager, make sure that you set the rules of the game.
A good rules of the game is Values. Values like honesty and 'Go Extra Mile' must be laid down and followed by all staff.
2. Losing Their Voice
It's easy for people to lose their voice after working in the company.
Initially new employees are out-spoken but after a while they got sucked into the system and dare not speak their minds. In fact many employees only dare to speak out only after they have tendered their resignation.
We know that it is very important for employees to speak their minds, otherwise what's the use of having them? Only with views aired can we then improve.
** If everyone has the same opinion, it means that either everyone is not thinking (just 'Yes men') or everyone is redundant!

As a manager, you must provide the avenue for people to speak out. I suggest having a WIFLE session, which is simply "What I Feel Like Expressing" sessions. Another way is to follow what Li Shi Min, the greatest emperor of the mightily Tang Dynasty in China did 1,400 years ago. Li Shi Min actually got every official of "Rank 5 & above" to submit a critique of the government's policies. What ultimately emerged is a very strong government that is in tune with the people and created the "Golden Age of China".  

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach and Trainer of Asia Trainers, details are here

21 Nov 2013

How Marissa Mayer 'Loot a House on Fire' at Yahoo

In just one short year since joining Yahoo in July 2012, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has turned around a failing company into one of the re-born stars in the internet.

Today, Yahoo regains the number one position as the most visited website property in USA, overtaking giant Google. It’s mobile products are considered cool once again and its quarterly revenues and profits are increasing.
 
Unknown to many, what Marissa Mayer used the tactic of “Loot a House on Fire” 打铁乘热, tactic number 5 of The 36 Stratagems. She fixed the weak Yahoo’s culture, hired a bunch of highly motivated and talented product people, and went on a buying spree, acquring 21 mobile start-us in 12 months. The biggest purchase was Tumblr US$1.1 billion. What's next? Blackberry? What'sapp? Dropbox?
 
In fact, Sun Tzu Art of War or 孙子兵法uses many tactics of deception. Such tactics, however, must be in line with overall Tao or 道 of the company’s mission: to be a strong Product Company.
 
Whether Marissa and Yahoo will remain successful is still to be seen, but one things is certain: without Marissa, Yahoo would not be what it is today – a strong and thriving company.
 

How about you? As a leader, do you depend on your people or fire-up your people and turn them into a fighting horse like Marissa Mayer?  Whether you’re leading your own organization or simply want to further your success, this rare course Leadership with Sun Tzu Art of War on 28 Nov Thursday 9 am will give you miles ahead of your competition. 

20 Nov 2013

Don't Frighten People with Your Ambition, but Balance your Ambition with your Empathy in 5 Ways

Ambitious people tend to give people the impression that they are too focused on their own success and will manipulate others to achieve their own goals.  Many such people, including some poor salespeople, tend to look upon every transaction as an opportunity to make a sale and get out.

On the other hand, Empathy people are those that have a long term perspective. They always think of others before thinking of themselves. They do not think of closing the sale as much as they think of opening long-term customer relationships.

A good salesperson balances between ambition and empathy.  Because he knows that if he is too ambitious, he will frighten away customers; if he is too empathetic, he will not be assertive enough to ask for the sale.

There are 5 ways that good salespeople balances between ambition and empathy:

  1. Ask Questions and Never Make Any Assumptions.  When you ask questions and listen to the answer, you put yourself into the other person's shoes.  One can never be ambitious if he listens to others!
  2. Do your Research to know the prospect's history.  This will give you an idea why they do things in certain ways.  Like some Japanese companies, they like to ask you for your family background.  This is their way of knowing if there is a good fit between you and them.
  3. Get Ready Alternatives.  Yes, let the prospect have at least 3 choices: the high price, middle price and low price.  Not just in terms of pricing, but also other things like delivery, color, accessories and specifications.  Don't be like Henry Ford, who said in 1926, "Customers can have any choice of color as long as it is black" and saw his Ford Motor Company being overtaken by new start-up General Motors. 
  4. Get Your Technical People Along When Meet the Prospect.  Because technical people are seen to be more technical and not sales oriented, the prospect will have a different attitude towards you the salesperson.  The prospect will be more open, and once he is opened, you can better understand his needs.
  5. Give the Prospect an Irresistible Offer. An Irresistible Offer is an offer that the prospect cannot resist, and yet does not make you broke. It is not a low price offer but simply an offer that best meets the prospect's most dominant needs presented in an attractive manner. For example, if your prospect wants to go green, an irresistible offer would be to let him be the first to go for the green option if he can decide today.  In this way the prospect is happy and you the salesperson will close the sale. Isn't this a sure-win win-win deal that balances between ambition and empathy?  
By Andy Ng, Sales Coach and Trainer at Asia Trainers.  Come for our Irresistible Selling course (last run for 2013) on 29 Nov 2013 Friday 2 to 5.30 pm.  Details of this course and our other courses are found here. 


19 Nov 2013

It Starts with Your Perception and Ends with Your Proceed

As we know, a person spends 2/3 of his waking hours working and commuting to/from work. Also, all our education is to prepare us for a better working life. Because of work, we are able to enjoy the lifestyles that we want.  

Yet many people feel unhappy when they are at work.  They only look forward to Friday.  It doesn't have to be this way.  In our training, we teach about these 4 Ps to be Happy at Work: Perceive, Pick-up, Prepare and Proceed.

Perceive

The first thing is to change the way you perceive your work.  Do not perceive it as work, for this will only bring you drudgery and misery.  Instead perceive your work as an opportunity for you to learn the most important skill of all: dealing with people.  When you come across difficult people at work, perceive them to be your teachers teaching you the finer points about human relations. 

By changing your perception from negative to positive, you will get enlightenment immediately.  Work is no longer a chore but a joy.

Pick-Up

After you have the right perception about work, you need to pick up the Right Wisdom of Working, which is what we called 'street-smart'.  Street-smart simply means you need to focus on getting the work done, and do not let your personal feelings and emotions affect you.  Like you still would meet the customer even if you don't like him, this is called street-smart.

Prepare

Yes, you need to prepare the right skills, knowledge and attitudes to do well in your job. The right skills and attitudes for the 7 most common roles are found in the picture below.

Proceed

Yes, nothing proceeds unless you proceed with action.  That means do whatever it takes, do not procrastinate and most importantly, get the work momentum.  By doing these, you will be able to overcome obstacles.

In short, the 4 Ps: Perceive positively, Pick-up the right wisdom, Prepare skills & knowledge and Proceed to Do.  

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer at Asiatrainers.com, details of courses are here.


18 Nov 2013

Building Your Brand in 5 Easy Ways

Mention the word 'branding' and most people will only think of international brands like Facebook, Google and Apple. In reality, we are each a brand, as a brand simply means what you stand for.

Today we may be a not-famous brand, but tomorrow we could be reaching out to people we never thought of before, as long as we build our brand in 5 easy ways:

  1. Know What We Stand For.  Yes, what we stand for are usually our deepest passion and innate desire to help others.  Like me AndyTheCoach, people know that I stand for coaching and teaching, for I gave up a high-figure Director post in a Japanese MNC 13.5 years ago to go into full-time coaching and training.  
  2. Do That Few People Do.  It doesn't need to be something big, all you need is that you don't do what others do and you dare to do what others don't do.  Like Steve Jobs in 1997, when he took over the interim CEO position in Apple Inc, he took just a $1 salary but asked for huge amounts of stock options that were worthless at that time as people don't think Apple will ever make it.  Steve Jobs did not do what most CEOs do: ask for big salary. 
  3. Persist in Whatever You're Doing.  This sounds obvious, as people will only take you seriously if you can persist in doing when others have given up.  Like Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg, he persisted in keeping Facebook advertisement-free until 2009 (6 years after Facebook gone overseas).   Today, Facebook's profits are in billions while other earlier social media sites like Friendster are now small shadows of Facebook's reach.
  4. Develop a Flagship Project that makes people take notice of you.  Like our "How to Be a Better Manager" 4-module course, since 2006, we have ran 62 batches in 5 countries including Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. 
  5. Focus on Quality Throughout.  Do not take short cuts and cut short on delivery, as this is the first sign of business decay.
By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer at Asia Trainers, whose courses on Sales and Management have now reached over 13 countries including Japan, Thailand, Maldives, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka. Details are found here

17 Nov 2013

The Best Communication You Can Ever Have in this World

Yes, the best communication you can ever have in this world will give you everything that want, be it money, success, happiness and peace of mind.  This communication, when given in a timely and targeted manner, will turn any suspicions into trust.  People will start to understand you, give you business, and most importantly, give you what you want.

What is this 'best' communication?  How much does it cost you?  Many times this communication cost just your thoughtfulness or mindfulness.  It does not cost you any money.


The best communication in this world that you can give to anyone is Giving. Yes, not just giving anything, and not just giving for the sake of giving, but giving something that is both useful and relevant to the person receiving it.  And giving without any conditions or expectations of rewards.  In short, self-less giving.


What can you give to people?  There are 7 things in this world that everyone needs and wants that you can give immediately:



  1. Love, just care and concern, a brotherly or sisterly love, friendship love, paternal love and simply manhood love.
  2. Benefit of Doubt, especially when it's hard to believe in others
  3. Private Space, as everyone has a little privacy to protect
  4. Wisdom, which is defined as information that can be applied immediately, like this post, and you are free to forward, copy and put inside your website or blog without asking me for permission, as long as you include me as the author.  
  5. Friendship, which is defined treating a person as a fellow traveller in this life journey.  Friends may not last, but friendship that is built on love lasts forever.
  6. Opportunity to Make Mistakes, with the understanding that it is really a mistake, that is, unintentional and not purposeful. 
  7. Love You, this is so plain and simple, yet many people refuse to accept another person's love.  When someone shows concern for you, like greeting you in the elevator, please give that person an opportunity to love you.  The best way is to simply accept his love, i.e. acknowledge his greeting and greet him back. 
By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at www.asiatrainers.com, please email him at andythecoach@gmail.com.  For details on his courses, please click here.  You can also watch the most popular youtube videos on the right side of our blog www.AndyNgTrainer.blogspot.sg 

16 Nov 2013

Why 'Like' is No Good and Other Most Ignored Commonsense

Commonsense tells us that there is no fire without wind, and everything happens due to causes and conditions. Yet many still believe in lottery and think that they can break laws as long as they are not caught.  What we teach in our training are all commonsense, yet they are not common practice.  The following are 5 Most Ignored Commonsense:

1. Multiple causes vs Single Cause 

It is A, B, C, D, E that leads to F, G, H, I J, and not A leads to B. You cannot just advertise and expect business, your people must also know how to close sales or there will be no business. Of course your product must be right to begin with.

2. Better than Late Than Never is Stupid! 

But the moment you say 'Later', you are closer to never. It's better to 'Just Do It' as what Nike said than to wait for conditions to be perfect.

3.  Time Simply Has No Value

It's not time that has value, but what you do to time that has value. 

How often we hear 'time is more than money' but later realize that having more time may be bad as we are too early for the market to accept us.

4. If it ain't broke, don't fix it

People like to change for change sake, and no wonder that makes people 'change sick'.  Like we see many buildings being torn down to make way for new buildings that lack soul. Also, many renovations are just a waste of the earth's resources.

5. It's Better to Dislike than Like

Like doesn't mean Good, and in fact dislike may mean more future business.  

For when you dislike something, there is motivation for you to improve it. All great businesses are from massive dislikes initially,  like Facebook, Twitter and Gmail. 

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer at Asia Trainers, details here

15 Nov 2013

Stop Making Money and Start Making Health Money Now!

As we know, making money, especially making plenty of money, is the goal of everyone. But because everyone is focused on making money, other things like environment, morals and health are ignored. Just look at the rapidly deteriorating air and noise pollution in cities like Beijing and Jakarta and you'll know what I am talking about.

Today the corporate buzzword is "Making Healthy Money". Like what Jack Ma, the founder of www.alibaba.com and www.taobao.com says, making healthy money will also lead you to making more money in a sustainable way.  And when your health is better, you can make even more healthy money and so the vicious cycle goes up.  By the way, 'healthy' includes not just physical health, but also mental and spiritual health.

Here are 5 Ways that You Too Can Make Healthy Money in Your Job or Business Now:
  1. Use computer systems and e-commerce systems to reduce wastages, improve communication and excess stock.  
  2. Reduce negative stress among employees by eliminating corporate in-fighting, office politics and ever shortening unrealistic deadlines.
  3. Promote Love in the workplace so that people can feel better, thereby reducing toxic in their bodies.  You can read more about "How to Use Love Professionally" at here)
  4. Keep a Clear Mind by Eliminating Trash in your cluttered mind.  One easy way that we use everyday in our office at Asia Trainers is weekly reflection on what to improve on.
  5. Do Things with Moral.  Yes, it is faster to make money in immoral ways (like copying instead of creating new things) but we know that such easy money are just 'easy come, easy go'.  When you do things with moral, you are creating positive karma and what goes around, comes around.  
By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer at Asia Trainers, details of training courses for 2014 are here...

14 Nov 2013

Follow From the Front and Other Qualities of the Modern Managers

Just because managers are successful now does not mean they will be doing well in the future. Based on training over several hundreds of companies in 12 countries since 1996, the following 5 are the  Must-Have Qualities that all Modern Managers are Expected to have: 
1. Follow From the Front
This is about removing roadblocks from the paths of employees to help them to succeed.  It is beyond managing people to empowering and engaging people.  It is about jumping with the people.
2. Make Use of Technology like chatrooms, Facebook and Linked-in
The modern manager will know what is happening faster from internet than reading newspapers, because the internet is instant while the print media is about yesterday.
3. Lead by Example
Do not just give out instructions, but be the first to follow your own instructions.  Go to the scene to get the real feel and lead from the front.
4. Embrace Vulnerability
Instead of playing it safe, managers must now have the courage to show up and be seen.  According to Brene Brown, author of “Daring Greatly” book, vulnerability is about taking risk and is not about being weak but being courageous. There is simply no innovation and creativity if you play safe.  In fact by playing safe you are most vulnerable! 
5. Belief in Sharing
In the past, the manager has all the information and make decisions for employees to implement. Today employees have more information than their managers and thus the modern manager must rely o employees to help make decisions.  We know that employees will implement in full the decisions they make rather than pass to them. 
If you too want to get the best out of your career, come for our best-selling management course (63rd batch since 2006) How to Be a Better Manager. It is on 4 Mondays 2 pm to 5.30 pm on December 2, 9, 23 and 30.  This course covers the modules on Leadership, People Management, Team-building and Communication.  Details are at here (note: limited in-house training is available, subject to a minimum of 8 pax. Call 6225-1784 Nisa.  

13 Nov 2013

How to Get People to Work Hard for You Without Much Money

We all know how hard it is to find a good boss. If you happen to be one, you can do the following 5 things that will make all your employees want to work for you without remuneration:
  1. Believe in them.  This must be the biggest reward for any person, for we often see doubters but hard to find people who truly believe in us. You believe that they can do beyond what you’re seeing now, that they are self-directed and can be trusted at all times. Such strong faith will turn all ordinary employees into extra-ordinary employees.
  2. Train them. Yes, training is considered a luxury in many smaller companies but all big MNCs over-train people. The 3 most important skills that you should equip your staff include communication skillspeople management skills and leadership skills. You must train people without condition.  Do not demand that they must return the benefits to the company, for doing so is not really training but just a trading transaction. True training is about believing in them so much that you would train them no matter what, even if they are going to leave you tomorrow.  If you can do this, you are a model boss. 
  3. Help them Pursue their Interests.  Everyone in this world like to do things that are meaningful and interesting to them, and if you help people pursue their interests, they will in turn help you pursue your profits. 
  4. You Teach them to Avoid the Painful Roads that you’ve taken. Everyone wants to know the short cuts to life success, be it in the area of financial management, upbringing of children, parenting, career management or romance management. 
  5. You Do Things for Them. We all need assistance in different aspects of our lives, and if our boss can for do things for us we will be more than grateful. The 3 most important things that a boss can do for their staff are taking the blame, making painful decisions and balancing family life with work commitments

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer with Asia Trainers, details here. For those that are interested in becoming a better manager, click hereWhether you are in top or middle management, if you too want to increase your team's productivity, now is the time.

What Sun Tzu Art of War Taught Us: Hard on the Problem Soft on People

As we know, Sun Tzu does not advocate a martinet-style of leadership. Instead, he states that a leader must be strong enough to executive the strategy in the organization. On the other hand, the leader must also be confident and trusting enough to allow his team to carry out the strategy successfully.  It is thus both HARD and SOFT: Hard on the Problem Soft on the People.  There are 5-Ways to Sun Tzu Leadership:
  1. Build Your Character, not just Your Image.  To Sun Tzu, a leader must be courageous, sincere and yet humane. But a leader must always appear to be in control of the situation, exuding confidence and assurance at all times. This confidence is not a facade, but based on true inside confidence. In short, if the leader has even one doubt, his followers will have several.
  2. Lead with Actions, Not Just Words.  The best way to show your character is not to talk about it, but set the example. Talk is cheap.  You should never say one thing and focus on another. 
  3. Share Your Team's Trials, Not Just Their Triumphs.  If you expect your team to sacrifice, you must sacrifice more. Prove to them that you do not think yourself special or above them.  In this way, you establish a bond with them that will take the team through the toughest times.
  4. Assign Clearly Defined Missions: Do Not Tolerate Confusion.  Your team must first understand how their efforts fit into the overall picture. Divisions within the organization must know how they support each other. There must be absolutely no in-fighting. 
  5. Make Your Strategy Drive Your Organization.  Do not fire-fight, instead fire up your people. Strategize properly and get your team drive the strategies.  Your organization should be driven by plans, not driven by despair

By Andy Ng, whose programs on Sun Tzu or Sun Zi Art of War, have been delivered on 5 platforms: Art of War for Sales, Customer Service, People Management, Leadership and Coaching. Details on courses are found hereWhether you’re leading your own organization or simply want to further your success, this rare course Leadershp with Sun Tzu Art of War on 30 July Wed 9 am to 1 pm will give you miles ahead of your competition. Related articles:

12 Nov 2013

The 4-letter RAST to Solving Any Problem

In our management and sales courses, we use this famous 4-Step RAST Model to teach our trainees in problem solving. I shall use the case of Getting Your Team to Achieve Their Goals as an example:

Step 1: Recognize the Problem

Recognize that there is a problem, and don't be egoistic or pretend that there is no problem.  The problem here is that our team is not achieving the goals, and we must not accept this as normal but recognize this as a problem.

Step 2: Actual Reasons for the Problem

We need to find out the Actual reasons for the problem, and not be blinded by some non reasons like opinions and 'everyone is doing this' type of excuse.  We must be thoroughly objective in finding out the actual reasons, and not be swayed by some subjective hearsay.  In this case study, we find out that the actual reason for the team not achieving their goals is a lack of competency and confidence.

Step 3: Solutions for the Problem

With the actual reasons out, we can pinpoint the exact solutions for the problem, which in this case would be training on soft and hard skills so as to beef up our team's lack of competency and confidence.

Step 4: Take Action Immediately

Yes, for solutions to work we must take action immediately or it will remain forever as a plan.  In fact, many managers tell us that the number one factor contributing to their lack of success is procrastination.  They feel that if they had taken action immediately, they would have solve the problem long ago.  As what Nike says, Just Do It!

So my friend, the next time you find yourself stuck in a problem, use the RAST model: Recognize the problem, Actual Reasons for the problem, Solutions for the problem and Take action immediately.

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at Asia Trainers, details at here.

11 Nov 2013

7 Ways to Use Love in Business Professionally

Of all the words in the English language, Love is the most mis-understood.  Many mistaken love to be attachment, lust, affection or relationship kind of love. We know that love is more than that.

We also know what Love is NOT. Love is not about possession, condition and blind faith.   Many say that love is an inner feeling, and when you express that feeling to the outside world, that feeling is called an emotion.

We define love as promoting the welfare of others.  It is to serve others, not ourselves.  It is to use your heart, not just your brain or your body. There are 7 kinds of love that we can use in business and at work:
1.  Showing Kindness, Care and Concern (non material benefits)
2.  Welfare and Material Benefits (e.g. money)
3.  Commitment and Loyalty
4.  Trust and Confidence in People, especially when the going is tough
5.  Empathy (to feel what people are feeling without them telling you)
6.  Friendship and Comradeliness
7.  Non-self, i.e. put ourselves behind others

Here are how we can apply Love in business in 7 Ways:

  1. In Managing and Leading People, to be Tough on the Problem but Soft on the People
  2. In Sales and Marketing, it is to customize the benefits of what you sell to the customer
  3. In Customer Service, to Go the Extra Mile and Serve from the Heart
  4. As a employee, our love to our employer is all about being Committed and Loyal to our employer and fellow colleagues
  5. In Problem Solving, it is about not adding another problem and looking for win-win ways
  6. As a boss, we express our love to our employees by taking care of them, material and non-material sense
  7. As a Government, we love our people by putting people in front of all our policies (i.e. people-based government)
Of course, love is not a noun but a verb, i.e. it is an action. To be loving we must act with love.  One must first love himself before he can love others.

My teacher once said: "If the freedom of your mind brought about by love is cultivated and enhanced, always practised, strengthened and properly undertaken, you will be blessed in 9 ways.  You will:
  • Sleep well
  • Wake up happily
  • Has no bad dreams
  • Be loved by humans and non-humans
  • Protected from harms and accidents
  • Have easy concentration
  • Have a healthy body and most importantly
  • Have a radiant complexion and look young; and, 
  • Be Richer in both material and non-material ways!  
Wow!  Since love has so many benefits, why not we love more?  Start by spreading this blog to your friends, and leave me your kind comments below...

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer and Coach at Asia Trainers, details at here.   Related articles on love include:
  1. Happy for no reason and here's why
  2. Improve your bottom life by improving on your bottom line
  3. Treasure your 1st Wife while she's still alive
  4. Stop Making Money and Start Making Healthy Money Now!
  5. The best way to love is to win without fighting
  6. Don't Overvalue the Low Values and Undervalue the High Values

10 Nov 2013

What Does Management Start With? Where Does it End Up With?

As we know, management is an art and not a science, and the best managers do not manage at all, for they make people better than themselves.  

I follow the 8-Path Wisdom in Management as follows, using how to ensure people hit their targets as a case study: 

Right
Understanding
Do we have the right understanding on the reasons for people not hitting their targets?  Is it due to lack of skills, motivation or attitude?
Right Intent
Is hitting targets our intention?  Or making people perform at the highest level possible our intent?
Right Action
What is the Right Action to Take if Lack of Skills is the reason for people not performing at the right level?  Let's say it is weekly training, plus monthly new challenges. 
Right Effort
What is the most positive action, every day, in both ourselves and our team?  How can we engage our people so that their  efforts becomes more effective?
Right Speech
How do we inform and engage our team in a way that moves them forward and builds bridges from past habits to a new model for sustainable business growth?  For example, is our conversation inspiring, or are their perspiring?
Right Livelihood
Is our team doing the right job that is the most suitable for them?  Is this their right livelihood?  
Right Mindfulness
How do we remain calm, caring and mindful of our people's aspirations and goals?  Are they mindful of what they do daily, or are they just going through the motion?
Right Concentration
What is the best way to reach our aspirations so that we can all focus our hearts and minds each and everyday? Are we having the right concentration in our daily work?  Or are we distracted by the urgent but not important tasks, like handling e-mails?  Remember, the most important tasks may not be urgent, but if you don't do them, they'll become urgent and important tomorrow. 
By Andy Ng, whose management courses on How to Be a Better Manager, How to Be an Effective Manager and Leadership with Sun Tzu Art of War have become best-sellers in both real-time and online. For details of our training programs, click here