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29 Apr 2014

The 7 Tasks that Cannot Be Delegated

Following my article on 22 April 2014 about the 7 Truths in Management, the part on Delegation attracted the most comments.  In our management training, we often emphasized 7 children: the 7 Tasks that Cannot Be Delegated. They are like your 7 children, if you abandon them, you're abdicating them.  That's sinful! 
  1. Giving Authorization.  This is very obvious, you cannot delegate approval and authorization, thus you have to sign documents yourself.  
  2. Strategic Planning. You can get consultants to help you, but at the end of the day, you must select what strategy to take.  When it comes to planning, you can delegate the details to your subordinate, but the overall master plan must come from you.
  3. Praising People.  You can delegate scolding, but compliments have to be dished out by yourself.  If you are afraid that your hair will stand when you praise someone face to face, you can do it via electronic ways.  But no matter how busy you are, a manager's job is to inspire motivate and lead people, thus you have to praise people yourself.
  4. Showing Care and Concern for People.  You cannot ask your staff to call the person on your behalf to express your care and concern, for sincerity is most important in giving out such love.
  5. Taking the Blame.  Yes, you can delegate taking credit but taking blame must be shouldered by you and you alone.  We know that bosses are the problems, and all great bosses are the first to take the blame and last to take the credit.  
  6. Apology.  Apology has to be done at the highest level or it has no effect at all.  That's why Ms Pak, President of South Korean, has to personally apologize for the ship's fatal accident that killed 200 people in April 2014.
  7. Delegation.  This is most important, for you cannot delegate delegation.  That means that at the end of the day, you are still responsible even though you have delegated the entire tasks!  Like Apple Inc. has outsourced its manufacturing to Foxconn, but it has to be personally responsible when a fire broke out at Foxconn's factory.    
Related articles:

28 Apr 2014

Another 7 Ways to Selling the Impossible

Note: Next "Selling the Impossible" training is on 16 March 2018 Friday 2 to 5.30 pm. Details at here
Following our article on Selling The Impossible where we listed the 10 situations, there are another 7 situations developed from ideas with our readers as follows:
  1. Your top salesperson has now joined your competitor, and he pulled with him all your regular and good clients. 
  2. Your prospect has a very small budget, and at this price, you are making a loss.
  3. A bad apple has spoilt the reputation of your industry.
  4. Although your pricing is not high, your company suffers from poor quality reputation.
  5. Your prospect likes what you have, but his boss prefers to deal with another bigger and more established vendor, even though their offer is worse than yours.
  6. Your company's management has just restructured and now prefers to work with self-employed resellers instead of salaried salespeople like you. 
  7. A new competitor has just emerged out of nowhere, and you are at a loss for what to do because there has never been a serious competitor before.
In our sales and marketing training, we coach people that impossible means 'I'm possible'. That means we can still change our tack and come in from a new creative angle. Since the world is impermanent, there is nothing that cannot be changed. Thus we can turn impossible to possible by the following:
  1. Your top salesperson has now joined your competitor, and he pulled with him all your regular and good clients. You can still approach these customers and let them know that your company is not just one salesperson, and offer to make a difference and move them with your sincerity. 
  2. Your prospect has a very small budget, and at this price, you are making a loss. It's time to be honest and let your prospect knows that if you lose money on this project, you cannot support him in future. Your prospect will have to pay more in future as there is one less vendor.
  3. A bad apple has spoilt the reputation of your industry. It's time to make a difference!  Demonstrate to people that you are very different from that apple. In fact, such an opportunity is good for you to brand yourself at almost zero cost.
  4. Although your pricing is not high, your company suffers from poor quality reputation. While you rework on your quality, you can focus on other areas like price, service and delivery lead time. People don't mind low quality as long as that it is matched with a lower price, like China's smartphones.
  5. Your prospect likes what you have, but his boss prefers to deal with another bigger and more established vendor, even though their offer is worse than yours. Keep in contact with your prospect, and let them know that size does not equate to quality. Continue to fight based on only 2 things: you being a gentleman and you have a good offer.
  6. Your company's management has just restructured and now prefers to work with self-employed re-sellers instead of salaried salespeople like you. The boss is always right, you should take this opportunity to become an entrepreneur and work yourself to be the top preferred re-seller.
  7. A new competitor has just emerged out of nowhere, and you are at a loss on what to do because there has never been a serious competitor before. Start to differentiate and sell on value. The only real competitor in this world is yourself. Only you yourself can compete with yourself. So stop looking at your competitors and work to improve yourself. 
By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, details of sales training at here.  Related articles on sales and management:

27 Apr 2014

Hard Words Make Work Hard

Of all the 5 senses of the human being, speech and words are the most prevalent use. The other 4 senses are sight, touch, smell and taste.  

In this modern age, we have very good communication tools, like the internet and satellite.  It takes no time to send out news to the other side of the planet.  Yet it takes lots of time for people to truly understand what is communicated.  In fact communication has become very difficult.  Fathers cannot talk to children, managers cannot talk to their staff and salespeople do not talk to their customers.  In short, communication is blocked.  There is little listening.  

Many people do not realize that when we say something poisonous, they are more harmful than giving people poisonous food.  Also, words are more harmful than wars because at least you can prepare and defend in wars but people could spread bad words about you via social media and you could hardly stop it.  

In fact words have the power to stay on for years after they are spoken.  Think back of the harsh words that someone scolded you when you were young and you'll know what I'm talking about.  Our words are very powerful, wars are often started due to people using harsh or had words.  

As a manager or working professional, you know that hard words do not produce hard work.  Hard words cause work to be hard.  Hard words are often spoken due to anger, habits, ego, prejudice or simply out of ignorance.  Some people do not hesitate to poke fun at people, call people names or even gossip, for they feel that such little acts are 'just fun and quite harmless'. 

The reality is different.  What you consider as funny or harmless could be most hurtful to people for years.  When you shout, slander, curse, laugh at people, scold or even condemn people, you may give that person a complex, take away their purpose in life, make them feel lost, and in the worse situation, drive them to suicide.  In the office, people use hard words without realizing.  My goal is to give people enough reminders so that the next time they use words, they are more mindful of its negative effects and take care to not hurt people.  There are 7 ways that people use hard words that hurt people without knowing:
  1. Generalizing. When someone is irritated, we say he is furious.  The use of the word 'always' always caused great hurt as it makes people look bad with little chance of recovery.  
  2. Hinting.  This is more subtle, like hinting that you will be poor by referencing to another deprived person.  The issue with hinting is that it often points to the extremes, thus causing great suffering.
  3. Exaggerating.  Like making things worse than what it is. Like extrapolating people's bad situation
  4. Lying. White lies are often used without any feeling of guilt. The thing is that if you get into the habit of telling white lies, you will have to tell more lies to cover up the earlier lies.   So the hurt keeps on multiplying.
  5. Blame.  Blame is to put the onus on other people or situations.  Like the Korean ship that was overloaded and collapsed killing 200 people blamed 'market pressure on costs' . The issue is that the listener will feel more hurt as no one is now responsible.
  6. Comparing. This has similar effect as hinting, but is more direct.  The problem is that the comparison is never fair.  By making things worse than what it is, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  7. Never Listen.  This is beyond not hearing or listening to people's words.  It is the use of hard words that include jumping to conclusions, making prejudice comments, making false assumptions and most fatally, making dire predictions that take away people's confidence totally.  
By far this is the most hurtful and it is used most often because people never realize it at all.  They say, "I confront him for the reason and thus I did listen".  The problem is that when you confront him based on conclusion that you've already made, there is no way for this person to defend at all.  Like your staff is late for work and you asked him by saying, "Late again?  Today what is the reason?  MRT on fire?"  Such statements are definitely hard and harsh.  Do you think that the staff will be motivated after hearing this and put in more hard work?  Such words only make the work hard and hurt morale.  With lower morale, work will be affected.  

So my friend, the next time you open your mouth, use the key board, touch your touch screen or use the pen, be mindful. Do not use hard words that hurt people.  Use kind words that uplift people.  By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, details of courses at here.  Related articles:
  1. The Sun Zi Way to Negotiate Effectively
  2. Mention this and the whole world listens to you
  3. The Best Communication in the World is Giving
  4. The SAD Way to Solve Problems
  5. An Advantage is Not a Benefit
  6. Meet the High Value Middle Manager
  7. Top 10 Ways to Add Value in Your Communication

26 Apr 2014

Leadership is about Adding Value and Top 10 Ways to Add Value

I just came back from an international convention attended by over 1,200 people.  Over a 3-days period, there were many discussions about leadership.  One person said that he was trained in leadership many years ago but now he needs refresher training.  Another said that many people are not trained in leadership and thus they were not as effective as desired.

I was glad that nobody said that leadership is about having authority, title or expertise.  At least this organization of 54 years in existence has got the right understanding of leadership.  But I was surprised that nobody defined what exactly is leadership, which is strange because they spent so many hours discussing about leadership.  

What's the best and most comprehensive definition of leadership?  It is Adding Value to People's Lives.  In this concept Adding Value includes Serving People.  So Servant Leadership is not one style of leadership, as what some people think, but one aspect of leadership.  Other aspects of leadership includes creating and maintaining order, changing people, making people happy, managing and administering effectively and being authoritative.

Since Adding Value is what differentiates a leader from a non-leader, what exactly is adding value?  It is firstly not minus value, not maintaining value but simply add on, add and multiply value.  Whatever you do, do not just do something, add value in whatever you do. There are 10 ways that you can add value easily on a daily basis without costing money:
  1. Add Time.  Give people space.  Give people time.  Do not rush people unnecessarily.  Many people like to give people very short lead time and sit on it later, which is sinful.
  2. Add Life.  A leader does not add years to people's lives, but add life to people's years.  Add life means to add meaning and positive emotions to peoples' lives.  
  3. Add Happiness.  Happiness is pursued by everyone, and if you can make people happy, you are adding value.
  4. Add Peace.  Peace of mind, peace of body and peace of action.
  5. Add Money.  This is the most obvious, it's the Show-Me-The-Money thing.  Money includes non-monetary tangible benefits.
  6. Minus Waste of Time.  Help people to save money, like don't beat around the bush when raising issues.  Also, don't ask people to do things that have no purpose, which is just a sheer waste of time.
  7. Minus Suffering.  Everyone hates to suffer and a leader that can bring an end to suffering will be loved by all.
  8. Minus Unhappiness.  This is milder than suffering but is the tiny irritations and inconveniences that add up to unhappiness.
  9. Minus War.  Everyone hates war, and the biggest wars happening today are within ourselves.  It is the feeling of being torn between 2 things that are equally good. Like many people are torn between buying Samsung and Apple smartphones. 
  10. Minus Wastage.  The biggest wastage in this world is a waste of energy, which is comprised mainly of mental energy.  Why is it that we can spend hours doing charity services and don't feel tired but the moment we are engaged in fruitless arguments we feel tired straight away?  Mental energy is the reason. 
Of course there are other ways to add value but I would consider them to be sub-points of the above.  Like adding knowledge, adding ideas, adding comfort, minus confusion, minus discomfort and minus headaches.  

By Andy Ng, whose leadership courses had, since 2009, reached as far as Africa's Tanzania.  Details of courses like How to Be a Better Manager, How to be a High Performing Employee and Limitless Selling are found at here.  Related articles:

25 Apr 2014

How I Become Powerful Instantly without taking Drugs

We know that nothing ever happens to us is a good thing or bad thing from its own side, because, if it were, then everyone would experience it that way as well.  For example, we may find someone irritating in the workplace, as if his 'irritating-ness' were something inside him that was flowing out and flying across the room to us.  That of course is not true.  That person's irritating-ness was just our perception. In reality there is almost always someone who finds this person to be good and lovable. 

In short, people have no quality within themselves.  People are neutral, blank or empty.  What we experience is just our perception.

What causes our perception?  It is a combination of factors: our own experience, the environment, our opinion, others' opinion and most importantly, our own state of mind. If we are in a joyful or loving state of mind, we will have positive perceptions.  If we are in an angry or hatred state of mind, we will have negative perceptions.  That's why they say that what we personally experience as irritating is actually coming from ourselves.   The way we see things is coming from nowhere but ourselves.  

Once we understand this, we can become powerful instantly.  For we now know that everything begins with us and if we change the way we see things, things will start to change instantly.  How can we use this to our advantage?  We need to have so called positive mental imprints.  To do so we need to do the following 5 things:
  1. Love ourselves, as only with love can we see things from a loving angle
  2. Be grateful with what you have, for gratitude is the starting point for us to appreciate ourselves
  3. Have an open mind, for only when the mind is open can it be filled with positive imprints
  4. Have peace within ourselves, for only with a calm mind can we be positive
  5. Consciously feed our minds with positive imprints, like this article, or go for quality training that not only teach you things that you may not know, but also solve your problem on hand.  Take a look at the write-up of some of our programs and you'll have a positive mindset soon.  
Note: The above article is extracted from "The Diamond Cutter" book, the world's oldest printed book.  Other related articles include:

24 Apr 2014

Insanely Simple Way to Get Good Performance from Anyone

This is so shockingly simple and yet few use it because we were trained in schools to be one-sided in our social interaction.  My participant at this morning training just sent me an email saying that the training 'was very good and motivating'.  I replied him that I was just responding to the participants who were so hungry and eager to learn and they made me unconsciously and consciously go the extra mile.  

Scientists today conclude that your mere act of observing something will influence that thing's behaviour.  So if I look at you with curiosity and enthusiasm, I will make you want to share with me more and motivate me.  On the other hand, if I look at you with prejudiced lens, my negativeness will make you become defensive and hold back giving it all in your performance. 

So my friend this is the insanely simple way to getting high performance from your team: Look at them with an open heart.  When your heart is unlocked, your mind will be wide opened and with it ideas will just flow like a waterfall.  Opening your hearts mean that you give that person positive emotions in the following 7 ways:
  1. Portray a Pleasant Attitude
  2. Be Grateful
  3. Carry a Warm and friendly smile
  4. Show your Eagerness to find out more and learn from them by asking questions
  5. Adopt an Open body posture that is not tense and fairly relaxed
  6. Listen to beyond what they say (tonality, voice, pitch, pace, resonance and facial expressions)
  7. Most importantly, get into the flow of interactions and suspend your judgement for the moment.
You can try this out easily for new staff or people that you seldom interact.  It's difficult for you to do this to a person that you have been dealing with for a while and both of you have negative opinions of each other.  But if you have patience and sincerity, people will be moved sooner or later.  In short, take the first step and give the other person a positive emotion!

By Andy Ng, creator of How to Be an Effective Manager and Sales Power courses, details at here.  Related articles on life, business, management and sales include:
  1. Create the Conditions and Environment for People to Surprise You
  2. Be Limitless in your Sales by asking Limitless Questions
  3. You must make this big payment first to receive any reward
  4. Be hard and soft in your teaching to people
  5. What we need is Strong Leadership, not Strong Leaders
  6. The best education in the world exists 2,500 years ago
  7. How to Impress Your Boss without licking his ass
  8. Selling the Impossible Made Easy

23 Apr 2014

Selling the Impossible Made Easy

Note: The next 'Selling the Impossible' is on 16 March 2018 Friday 2 to 5.30 pm.   Details at here
Today's article is about advanced selling strategies - how to Sell the Impossible.  Many people consider the following 10 situations to be selling the impossible:
  1. Prospect has just bought from your closest competitor
  2. Your product pricing is way too high to be considered
  3. Your salespeople has little knowledge to close the sale
  4. Prospect has no money to buy
  5. Prospect has no time to even look at your offer
  6. Prospect has just suffered a financial loss, thus no mood to talk about anything
  7. The Government has just introduced additional taxes to discourage your trade
  8. Other than pricing, your delivery lead time is too long, specifications are too uncompetitive and your credit terms are totally unattractive
  9. The morale of your sales team has just plunged to new lows due to corporate changes
  10. A new very aggressive competitor has just entered your market with a 50% price cut
In our sales and marketing training, we coach people that impossible means 'I'm possible'.  That means we can still change our tack and come in from a new creative angle.  Since the world is impermanent, there is nothing that cannot be changed.  Thus we can turn impossible to possible by the following:
  1. Prospect has just bought from your closest competitor - we rejoice at our customer for making a decision and assure them that we have not forgotten them.  We will continue to update them of our latest offering and see what ways we can help them get the best out of their existing vendor.  Customers will be moved and consider us as friends.  With relationships built, we have just sold them on the world's most important product - trust.
  2. Your product pricing is way too high to be considered - we would sell the value that our product come with.  We let the prospect calculate the savings he can get, which is simply the value he get from us minus the price he pays.  
  3. Your salespeople has little knowledge to close the sale.  We do not close the sale at the first call and follow-up with a series of calls to get closer to the sale.
  4. Prospect has no money to buy - we work out instalment plans or even offer substantially reduced price for scale-down specifications, thus giving them value for money
  5. Prospect has no time to even look at your offer - we visit them and let them try out our product for free. 
  6. Prospect has just suffered a financial loss, thus no mood to talk about anything.  Waiting is the best strategy for we are not manipulative salespeople. 
  7. The Government has just introduced additional taxes to discourage your trade. We will offer to absorb the additional taxes - only for those who can commit now
  8. Other than pricing, your delivery lead time is too long, specifications are too uncompetitive and your credit terms are totally unattractive. In this case we focus on our customer intimacy service and unique experience that they can only get from us and no where else.
  9. The morale of your sales team has just plunged to new lows due to corporate changes. It's time to close more sales now and morale will be automatically boosted once people see the money.
  10. A new very aggressive competitor has just entered your market with a 50% price cut.  We will not join the price war but instead focus on what the new aggressive competitor cannot do - strong local track record and support.
By Andy Ng, whose newest Sales and Customer Service Power course is on 21 March 2018 Wed. 9 am to 5 pm. For those that cannot attend one-day course, come for this abridged version How to Close Every Sale on 27 April 2018 Friday 2 to 5.30 pm.  Related sales articles:
  1. Top 13 High Value Costless Things to Give to Your Prospects
  2. The 21 Ways to Add Value When Your Price is Higher
  3. Change the Way You Sell in 7 Ways
  4. Build Your Brand Up in 5 Ways
  5. Salespeople, not the market, is the problem
  6. What they still don't teach you in sales training
  7. How to Pitch in an unannoying way
  8. There is simply no limit in what you can sell when you do limitless selling
  9. Questions to get people to switch their vendor to you instantly
  10. 5 Most important things to cover in your next sales training

The 7 Truths that Rock the Chair I'm Sitting on Now

Following yesterday's blog on 7 Shocking Truths, people asked me if I could elaborate further from there.  If you were, like my friend, read all the management and business books out there, you will get nothing but confusion.  That's why I like to once and for all cement the following truths:

1.  Suppliers Are More Important than Customers
We often said that customers is king, but if you do not have the right type of goods and services to sell, you have no business to sell to that king!  Unfortunately, most schools do not teach people how to treat suppliers well.  There are 3 things that every supplier look for: fast payment, business referrals and advance order information.  Do not give your suppliers nasty surprises, or treat them like a beggar.  Give them the respect that they deserve: fast payment.

2. Employees Want to Do More than What You Told Them
It's shocking to hear this: many employees don't mind to do more than what they were told as long as they are being appreciated.  Do not underestimate the creativity and innovative geniuses of your people: just look at how creative Facebook postings they do and you'll know what I am talking about.

3. More than Money: What Keeps Your People Morale High at All Times is How They Feel Towards You
This is so obvious, yet many people think that they can treat people like dirt and people will stay as long the pay is good.  People that stay but have low morale are worse than people that leave fast!  Unbelievable but true!  From now onwards make it your job to keep high morale.  Remember, morale is like a lady's skirt: the higher it goes, the happier are your people (just for fun)

4. Love Them or Lose Them
The fastest way to lose good people is to not love them.  Loving people is not about affection, nor is it about possession or conditional love.  Pure and sincere love is inspiring and uplifting, and the 4 loves in the office are Compassion, Equanimity, Rejoice and Kindness.  Click here for article on this.

5. You Cannot Sell People Anything and Everyone is Selling Ice to the Eskimos
People love to buy but hate to be sold, so you cannot sell anything to anybody.   Everyone is selling ice to the eskimos because no one wants to buy.  What you can do is to create the conditions and environment for people to buy by themselves

6. People Don't What You Say But Follow What You Do
Leadership by example is the only leadership in the world, just like service from the heart is the only service in the world.  What you say, people resist.  What you do, people believe.  Action always speak louder than words. 

7. There is Nowhere to Escape but to Fix the Engine Now
Yes, the only way to go now is to acknowledge what is not right now and take steps to correct them.  One of the fastest way to do so is engage an external trainer to impart in your team the essential skills and knowledge to survive in the business world.  Do it now and do it with heart.  We are waiting for you at 8201-4347!

By Andy Ng of or here.  Related articles:
  1. Happy for No Reason and Still Sane
  2. Your True Bottomline Has Nothing to Do with Profits
  3. The best communication in the world
  4. Solving Singapore's Labour Shortage Problem Permanently
  5. How Sun Tzu Made all Leaders Redundant
  6. The First 4 Strategies that Made McDonald's Rich
  7. Avoid the 11 Mistakes Everyone made on PIC Claims

22 Apr 2014

The Only Motivating Reason for People to Buy

What motivate people to buy?  Why is it that some salespeople seem to have no challenge in selling, while others cannot even get people to part with one dollar?  

People are motivated by a 'What's In It For Me?" attitude.  If you want your prospects to buy your products or service, you must give them the 'It" or good reason to buy.  

We know that people don't buy just for the sake of buying.  People make decisions based on the vested interest of the outcome of the decision.  The challenge of every salesperson is to learn the interest or motive pattern of the prospect - know that motivates them to say yes.  If the salesperson focuses on the motives behind their desire to purchase, and supply an incentive to that motive, he will fulfil their desire and get the sale.  It's that simple.  

What then are the underlying motives for people to buy?  There are 11 emotional reasons in order of importance: They are all to feel:
  1. Good
  2. Powerful
  3. Liked
  4. Loved
  5. Useful
  6. Energized
  7. Free
  8. Appreciated and Validated
  9. Peaceful
  10. Healthy
  11. Like a Hero!
The above are the feelings that drive the sale.  But we know that all decisions must be supported by logic, and the 7 logical reasons for people to buy are to:
  1. Save Money
  2. Save Time
  3. Reduce Trouble
  4. Make More Money
  5. Be Efficient
  6. Be Effective
  7. Have an Edge Over Others
By Andy Ng, the next How to Close Every Sale seminar is on Friday 5 June 2014 9 am to 12.30 pm.  If you prefer more in-depth coverage with over 328 strategies, come for Sales Power on 3 June 2014 Wed. 9 am to 5 pm. Early birds that register by 19 May 2014 will get 1 seat free for every 2 seats registered.  Click here for full course schedule or text to us at 8201-4347.  Related sales articles:

7 Shocking Truths and Yet Most Don't Know Them

Through discussions with people in my How to Be a Better Manager courses, I realized that many people, despite working for over 3 decades, have grossly mis-understood the 7 common concepts in management.  As a result of this wrong view, they do things the wrong way and wondered why they have lousy results.  Now you have the chance to know these 7 truths and not be thrown around.  The 7 most common mis-understood concepts are:

1.  Teamwork
Many people thought that if the staff get along well with little conflicts, teamwork is good.  Some people even think that if they go for offsite teambuilding training, teamwork will be improved automatically. There are even those who think that as long as there is harmony, teamwork is excellent.

Nothing can be further from the truth. Teamwork is defined as nothing but Together Everyone Achieve More, with Achievement as the main criteria.  So if the team get along well but the performance is mediocre, there is simply no teamwork!  On the other hand, if the people quarrel but together can beat the competition, teamwork is good! 

2. Delegation
Many people think that if I delegate the work to you, it is your responsibility to get it done right.  Also, many people do not do anything other than delegating the work.  For example, they do not teach and guide people how to do the work.  Most importantly, they do not give people sufficient authority to the person to do the job well.  So in reality, they are not delegating but simply abdicating

Truth is that delegation is about delegating the task but the responsibility stays with you.  Also, you have to consider if the person that you delegated the task to is competent and has the time to do the task.  If not, there is simply no delegation as the task will be thrown back to you later!

3.  Customer Service
Customer Service is not about niceties or doing everything to please the customer.  It is also not about over-servicing until the business makes a loss.  Services that are way beyond your core business are not considered customer service but entertainment service.  

Successful companies will tell you that customer service is nothing but solving customer's problems and make them feel good with a profit.  It is about service from the heart and not serve from head to toe. 

4. Communication
Communication is not about public speaking, talking well and having good voice.  True communication is the response you get, and many a times silence could be the best form of communication.  The ultimate in communication is about connection, whereby people are not just convinced but also connected to you. It is beyond impressive or elegance. 

5. Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing are never about selling more and more goods and services to people.  Sales and marketing is never about selling but about buying.  It is about creating the conditions for customers to buy by themselves.  The best salespeople don't sell, they simply plant the seeds and nurture the plant and attract customers to buy the plant.  

6. Finance and Accounting
Many people think that bean counters are just people who churn out reports and squeeze every cent to maximise profits for the company.  True finance and accounting is about creating sustainable growth and delivering healthy profits to not just the shareholders, but also other stakeholders like customers, suppliers, government, employees and society at large.  

7. Management
This is the most mis-understood concept.  Management is never about managing people but managing time, resources and energy.  People can never be managed but their energy can be managed.  You manage people's energy by inspiring and motivating them to greater heights and make people better than themselves. 

By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, details at here. Related articles in management include:
  1. Become a Real Manager by breaking glass
  2. How to Create the Conditions for People to Out-Perform
  3. 3 Reasons why people are unhappy at work
  4. The QUIET Way to Handle Objections
  5. How to not get drained at work
  6. Are you doing limited selling or limitless selling?
  7. The most expensive training in the world
  8. Top 11 Mis-understandings about PIC

21 Apr 2014

Creating the Conditions and Environment for People to Surprise You

The other day I suggested to my friend to invite a speaker that we both know to speak at our monthly networking event.  My friend said that we have heard that speaker's speech before, and he finds that 'he is so-so, nothing special'.  When I told my friend that I have heard that speaker spoke before recently at another event and find him to be very inspiring, my friend again said, "But he is nothing special".

Is this situation familiar to your company?  How often have you heard of bosses saying that so-and-so is nothing special, only to find him went over to a competitor company and became famous?  You may wonder how is it that two people working in the same organization, having similar education and experience, can have very different opinions on the same person?  This is more puzzling when you discover that people actually haven't changed, it is the environment and conditions that made people change.

Behavioural scientists said that the difference in a person's performance, be it a singer, artist, manager, salesperson, engineer or speaker, under different situations, can be as wide as 90%.  As much as 80% of that difference can be attributed to the conditions and environment that a person is in.

That's why in our management training we teach people that a manager's job is not to hire the best people available, but to make the best out of the people available.  A good manager is one that can turn a mediocre performer into a star performer as long as he can create the conditions and environment for people to perform. The 7 conditions and environment are:
  1. Open and Transparent environment, where people can see directly what are the rules of the game and what they can do and cannot do.  People will then use their resources to create the best performance possible;
  2. Positive and Encouraging environment, where people are free to make mistakes and will not be penalized for that;
  3. Satisfying and internally rewarding conditions, like being able see 'likes' immediately, get praises abundantly and receiving validation even when things go wrong;
  4. Progressive difficulties that challenge people to do better with rewards;
  5. Forgiving culture when mistakes are made;
  6. New ideas and new approaches are encouraged, generated and given free play;
  7. Most importantly, a loving environment where people can feel the loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity and connect with one another at the heart level.  When people are connected, miracles can happen.  Impossible become possible, perspiration become inspiration, self-centredness become selves-centredness
With these conditions and environment, excelling is a daily pursuit, no obstacles are considered too high to overcome, and any constraints quickly become just stepping stones to success.  There is no need for any external rewards, because people derive so much internal satisfaction and happiness in doing a good job that they will keep on doing it even when no one is watching.  For performance has now moved from 'doing my best' to 'excelling'.  Isn't this the utopian workplace that everyone is dreaming about?

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer of Asia Trainers, details of "How to Be an Effective Manager" is at here.  Related articles on management and leadership include:
  1. It all starts with Law of Leadership
  2. Promotion to Manager as easy as 1-2-3
  3. Don't Be the Leader if You Want to Lead Well
  4. Why-What-How of High Performance
  5. What has Kindness got to do with high productivity?
  6. What to do when you've run out of money to motivate people?
  7. Be as successful as a successful movie
  8. Don't ask questions, ask limitless questions instead

20 Apr 2014

Asking Limitless Questions in 5 Ways

Questions are the answers, and if you want the right answers you must ask the right questions.  

Most people never ask questions, and when they ask questions, they often ask the wrong questions.  You know that your question is wrong when it does not give you the answer that you want.  Note that asking stupid questions is still better than asking the wrong questions.  Also, asking questions at the wrong time, either too early or too late, is also counter productive. 

It's obvious that when your question restricts or limits you, it is not a right question.  On the other hand, right questions place no limits on your choices, they are also called Limitless Questions.  There are 5 Ways to Ask Limitless Questions:
  1. Questions that Open Up Your Choices and not limit them.  Like "How can I do this in future?" "What resources can I tap into?" vs "Can I do this in future?"
  2. Questions that Lead you to Real Choices and not pseudo choices.  A pseudo choice is an impossible choice where your chance of success is very slim.  Putting this as a choice may, on the surface seems limitless, but in reality is limiting you.  Like with your current budget you only can afford a Japanese car but you ask yourself "Is Mercedes or BMW better?", you are really asking a stupid question that discourages others to answer you.  
  3. Questions that encourage others to answer 'no'.  Like you ask people "Are you free to talk?" versus "Am I calling you at the bad time?", the former prompts others to say no while the latter lures them to say yes to you. 
  4. Questions that Uplift People.  Like "Can I count on you?" versus "Can you do this?" and "If not you, who else?" versus "Can you be the one?"
  5. Questions that Lead Others to Say Yes.  We called this in our Sales Power training "Yes Questions".  There are in fact 8 ways to ask Yes Questions.  We shall cover this in another blog.  For now, use these 5 limitless questions and your life will be limitless.  
By Andy Ng, training courses at here.  Related articles:
  1. Leading a Wholesome Life in 7 Ways
  2. Both Hard and Soft will Solve Your Problems
  3. People learn best when they are learning without even realizing
  4. Making a Difference as a Manager in 7 Ways
  5. Ask for Refund if your training program does not cover these 5 elements
  6. The Magical 5 Ways to Success as per Sun Tzu Art of War
  7. The HAPPY Way to Build Great Teams

19 Apr 2014

Have You Taken Wholesome Food Today?

When we say that a food is wholesome, we mean that it is healthy, conducive and generally sound.  Same for thoughts and actions, for they can wholesome or unwholesome.  

It is not the act that is good or bad, but it is the act's wholesomeness that will determine if that act is good or bad.  

For example, if you are sleepy and tired, sleep is wholesome.  But if you sleep whole day, sleep will become unwholesome and thus no good.  If we hurt someone and regret it, that regret is wholesome.  But if your regret leads you to a guilt complex that colours whatever that you do in future, that regret is unwholesome. 

In the same vein, when our thinking helps us to see clearly, thinking is wholesome.  But if our thinking is clouded by prejudice and inhibits us from seeing clearly, that thinking is unwholesome.  Here are 7 ways that we can can live more wholesomely everyday:
  1. Start with the right intention: is it only for our own good and not for others?  For example, if you scold someone, is it for you to vent your own anger or is it to get that person to wake up?  Intention determines everything.
  2. Eat wholesome foods and avoid unwholesome foods
  3. Breath in and out wholesomely, which means have slower and more calm breadths
  4. Expose your mind with wholesome things like positive words and phrases, uplifting stories, inspiring experiences and healthy ideas.  Be on the guard for unwholesome thoughts so that they will never enter your mind.
  5. Appreciate what you have now instead of complaining what it should be now.  Appreciation allows us to see the good in what we have now and from here we can develop wholesome thoughts and actions. 
  6. Work on improving yourself everyday.  One of the best way to do this is reflection: what have I done today that is better than yesterday?  If by 9 pm you still cannot find it, start doing it now.  This could be a new learning, care and love for someone.
  7. Serve or Help others.  Service to others is life's highest purpose, for the inner happiness that you derive from helping or serving others is second to none.  This must be the wholesome act that is beyond yourself. 

17 Apr 2014

The Biggest Payment in this PAP (Pay and Pay) World

The PAP always tells us that we have to Pay and Pay as nothing is free in this world.  Everything we have to pay a price, sooner or later. Most people think of payment as paying money, but the biggest thing we pay in this world is Pay Attention.  Other than that, Paying Respects is also another big payment.  We also have to Pay our Dues and most importantly need to Pay on Time.  

By far the most liked payment is Pay Compliments.  We also like people to Pay us a Visit, and people who Pay their Fair Share.  

Since Pay Attention is the most important, we should pay attention to it or pay the price later on.  What is Pay Attention?  It means to give care, to give thought to.  Its opposite is Ignore, Disregard, Neglect, Overlook, Misunderstand and Forget.  The 13 most important meanings of Pay Attention are as follows:
  1. Listen
  2. See
  3. Observe
  4. Attend
  5. Be Aware
  6. Be Mindful
  7. Watch out
  8. Look
  9. Consider
  10. Follow
  11. Regard
  12. Take to heart
  13. Obey
What are life's 7 most important things that we must pay attention to?
  1. Our health - are we in the pink of health of in the brink of hell?
  2. Our temper - especially when we are caught up in emotions
  3. Our thinking - for everything starts with our thoughts or view (click here for further details)
  4. Our understanding - seek first to understand, then to be understood
  5. Our mind - are we mindful of what we are doing or are we just bodies doing without minds?
  6. Our money - is inflation eating up our money? 
  7. Our family - are we drifting apart or drifting closer?
By Andy Ng of Asia Trainers, details of training are at here. Related articles:

16 Apr 2014

Hard and Soft in Training and the Best Training Structure

People often asked me how a good training program be structured. To me it should be 70/30: 70% hard, 30% soft. 

Hard means the tactics and detailed how-to while soft means the motivational and inspirational aspects. For we know that without the motivational aspect, the trainees would not want to take action.  Without the detailed 'How-to', they too cannot take action, that's why you need both.  For example, our typical sales training (like How to Close Every Sale) will include 89 tactics to overcome objections and close sales.  However, it also covers the inspirational aspect, the 'why' and purpose of sales closing.  Experience shows that this approach will satisfy 80% of the attendees, while the remaining 20% people need different structure.  No matter what, a good training program should cover the following structure:
  1. Current challenges faced and the root cause of the challenges
  2. Why this approach can help to resolve the challenges
  3. Definition of this approach, what it means and what it does not mean
  4. The way to this approach, e.g. 5-Ways to Leadership success
  5. The strategies, tactics and stratagems using the above 5-ways
  6. Further ways to go about this issue, including the best practices of the best companies
  7. Exercises, case studies, games and role plays to illustrate the above concepts
  8. The Ultimate in this concept: what is the highest level to achieve
  9. What to do if this approach does not work?
A typical training program would use the following 5-ways to teach the trainees:
  1. Dynamic talk, with interesting examples, stories, and appropriate humour
  2. Question and Answer, where the participants will be provoked to answer questions
  3. Playing of video clips and music to add life to the content
  4. Use of colourful and picture-rich slides to add impact to the visual experience
  5. Games, exercises, role plays and demonstrations to understand and apply the concepts.
Of course the most important aspect of any training program is the delivery: how the trainer can do the following 3 things:
  1. Teach people something new or something that they may not know
  2. Get into the trainees' challenges and provide instant solutions
  3. Inspire the trainees that they can do more to achieve results they never think possible.
Finally, the trainer must touch the trainees' hearts and get them to change.  That is the one and only purpose of training.

Note that a good training program SHOULD NOT be the following:

  1. Showing off of the trainer's expertise
  2. Imparting lots of ideas but without practical application
  3. Boring
  4. Unstructured
  5. Too relaxed
  6. Too tense
  7. Bombastic with complex charts, diagrams and pictures
  8. One-way flow, that is, there is less than 10% interaction between the trainer and trainees
  9. Too long, as humans can at best absorb no more than 2 hours without taking a break
by Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach of Asia Trainers, to view the full synopsis of our programs, click here. Other articles related to learning and development:

14 Apr 2014

Say Yes to Love in the Office Without Getting Into Trouble

Everyone talks about the importance of love, but most people mistakenly equate love to personal affection, i.e. the kind of love when people are in a relationship of love or romance.  We know that true love is one that is more than that.  Love is defined as a Strong Positive Emotion that's Warm, Uplifting, Endearing and Inspiring.  Love is unconditional and non possessive. Love knows no boundaries, language, race or religion.  Love of course is a verb and not a noun.

Ultimately you must feel love in order to understand love.  To do that, you need to be connected to people.

There are 4 types of love that we teach in our courses: Loving-kindness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy and Equanimity.

1. Loving-kindness
This is the most sincere type of love, the tenderness and consideration towards others.  Its opposite is Anger.

However, many people mistaken Loving-kindness to be Affection.  You express loving kindness when you are kind to others in your words, action and thoughts.  You are kind, not harsh.  In the office, you can express loving kindness in the following 10 ways: Courteous to colleagues, Help out, Be gentle, Be Considerate, Listening, Offer Suggestions, Kind, Loving, Responsive, and most importantly, Be Present. 

2. Compassion
Compassion is the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.  It is a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering.  Many called it Empathy.  It's opposite is Cruelty.

Many people mistaken compassion to be passionate grief or sharing grief, which are not love but sorrow. You express compassion in the office in these 10 ways: Being Merciful, Forgiving, Lenient, Forbearance, Charitable, Pitiful, Humane, Tender hearted, Easy going, and most importantly, Sympathetic. 

3.  Appreciative Joy
The opposite of Jealousy and Envy, Appreciative Joy is the wholesome attitude of rejoicing in the happiness of others.  Happy with the happiness of others.  Like when you see your neighbour strikes lottery, you rejoice in his happiness without feeling attached or envious. 

Many people mistaken Appreciative Joy to be Exhilaration, which is a feeling of too much lively and cheerful joy.

In the office, you can express Appreciative Joy in 10 ways by giving people Praises, Validation, and by Being Happy, Upbeat, Positive, Encouraging, Congratulatory, Admiration, Cheerful and most importantly be Joyous. 

4. Equanimity
The opposite of Equanimity is Restlessness. Equanimity is the Steadiness of mind, having an equal mind, and a high state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by emotions or experience.  Equanimity is the absence of clinging and aversion.  It is the attitude of regarding everyone as equals, irrespective of their present relationship to oneself.  Give people space. 

For example, I express equanimity when I remain impartial to disputes between two factions and showing fairness to all staff.  Many people mistaken equanimity to be callousness, which is an extreme form of calmness that becomes detached or indifferent.

Equanimity can be experienced in common forms in daily life. When a grown-up son settles down with his own family, he begins to lead an independent life. Although his mother still has her feelings of loving-kindness, compassion and appreciative joy towards him, they are now combined with a new feeling of equanimity. She recognises his new independent and responsible position in life and does not cling to him.  In short, you give people space. 

In the office, you express equanimity in the following 10 ways: by being Impartial, Tolerance, Placid, Tranquil, Sober, Patience, Cool, Calm, Composed and most importantly, Even Temper.