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I am a HR Manager and conducting job interviews is almost a daily affair for me. Despite
this exposure, I am not happy with the results; many wrong people have been recruited
much to the chagrin of my bosses. To me, I am doing all those things that other HR
Managers are doing as well. So where do I go wrong? How do you think I should improve
to be a better job recruiter for my company? c
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ë  c

There are 2 things you can learn from coaches. One of them is to ensure that you keep your
talking to the minimum. This seems logical but there are many HR Managers who feel so ³big´
about themselves because they have the power to hire, so much so that ³telling´ becomes a
symbol of showing this off to the candidate. The power of talking less gives you the power of
observation to spot for ³gaps´ in what the candidates had said earlier and now.

The other advantage is that we get more opportunity to observe their body language which will
tell you a lot more about them. When we talk less, we automatically listen more deeply and
curiously. This leads us to ask more probing questions that are directly related to the
observations that we have made, thus helping us make decisions that are more accurate.
c c

J cc c

{c Have an open mind, free yourself from distractions and show ³compelling´ curiosity; you will be
amazed how much more you gain in your observations because you talk less and listen more. c
Ñ c 

{c Honestly, how much time do you spend talking compared to the candidate?
{c What can help you to listen and observe more the next time you are interviewing?
{c What will you be listening and observing for when the candidate is talking?
{c What key questions will you be asking to find out the suitability of the candidate to the job they are
applying for? cc


I am not sure whether I am the one having communication problems or it is the others who have
them. This has been going on for a long while, leading to misunderstanding and argument about
³this is what you said, and not like what you are saying now «´ and many other reactions that are
not taking anyone of us forward. So instead of pointing fingers, I have now decided that the onus
is on me more than the other person to manage this. I want to be able to get to the bottom of other
people¶s messages and intentions so as to know exactly what they mean. I do not want to get
depressed, angry or in any negative emotional state. How can I improve myself in this area? c
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ë  c

Vongratulations! You make a good coaching client because you rather control what you can (that
is, you) than trying to control what you can¶t (other people). One of the techniques that I share
with my coaches is the technique of ³conscious perception´. This is about having a format to re-
evaluate any form of communication before you finally accept it as ³this is it´. c

You take 3 positions when you use this: checking on the negative, neutral and positive
possibilities in the message. More important than this, you also go beyond the message to check
out the possible state of mind of the sender. Take for instance, someone who does not send you a
message to thank you for a favor. He or she could be busy and not because of lack of appreciation
of what you have done for him or her. c
J cc c

{c When a message appears rude or negative, do not react straightaway; instead give yourself space to
think and reflect. Look for ways to give the message and the sender the ³benefit of the doubt´.
Ñ c c

{c What is the message as it appears to me right now? cc

{c What other meanings are in this message?
{c What state of mind was the sender in at that time that make it understandable they wrote it this
{c How can I accept and be positive of its actual meaning rather than the one that I currently have?


ës an owner, I am not happy with the performance of my senior executives. They do not have the
mindset and skills that will make them higher performers in a business environment that is getting
tougher and tougher by the days. They are not as concerned as I am; or to simply put it ³not hungry´
enough. How can I make them move faster, take more ownership, think harder, work harder and do
things right to ensure we do not sink together? I have done enough pep talks already and I do not
have time to train them, as most of time I am out in the field getting in the business; after all who can
be a better salesperson than me who is driven by greater motivation than this bunch. Is re-training
necessary and can a coach take over my place in this area to gear them up?
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ë  c
Let me deal with this in 2 parts. c

Firstly, executive coaching or coaching for your senior leaders can help a lot. I am not sure about
your managers, but there are many of them out there who have been promoted to their positions
based on their previous diligence and technical excellence. ës such, we should not blame them
for what they are today. ëctually, few would go for leadership positions and deliberately don¶t
want to be unprepared for them. Many could not resist the money and prestige that come with
the promotion and overlooked the fact that this comes with job responsibilities and the ability to
do them.c

Now for the second part. Voaches do not train alone; they coach and train at the same time.
Unlike conventional training, coaching is based on real time basis, which is based on their
current issues and challenges in the workplace, thus accelerating performance a lot more.
Inevitably, your senior executives will get to update their skill set because current situations
require them to. When this happens, they will then be able to transmit and multiply the positive
changes that they have made to many more layers of the organization. c
J cc cc
When hiring an executive coach, ensure that they are well-trained and are certified coaches who have
spent some good years at senior levels of organizations. ëlso, find out to what extent they share your
values and philosophy in this goal.
Ñ c c

{c Do you have a choice not to do something to improve the current state of affairs with your
managers? cc
{c If left in this state, what is the possibility that things will improve for the better? cc
{c Do you prefer a method of intervention that is designed to get your people closer in addressing the
³real things´ of your organization or one which further equips them with more knowledge on
leadership and management? cc
{c What will you do now?ccc

I am sure you must have heard of this saying ³enjoy the destination as much as the goal itself." It
took me years to understand this myself till I experienced what it was like getting what I wanted
yet feeling the ³void´ inside me. This ³void´ is about feelings of emptiness, meaninglessness and
sometimes, even nothingness.c

^ t Is It?

This personal experience always reminds me whenever I support my coachees to set and get their
goals. I always co-create with them to find the joy in their journey as part of the game plan. Think
about it, would you enjoy mountain climbing if all you want is getting to the peak only? Very
likely, you will not enjoy the freshness of the air nor notice and appreciate the lovely butterflies
around you, the rich flora and fauna, the breathtaking landscape, romantic sceneries and the many
other wonders of the world around you.

Think about it; is life all about chasing after goals alone? Sure, we can¶t afford to be ³goal-less´
because without them we will not get the push forward nor the ³fire´ to ignite our lives. But when
you have to give up too much of yourself to pursue them, then it is time you do some serious
thinking about your life and your purpose in this world.

^ en Is A Go Not ^ort Its Efforts?

I have, and perhaps you too have experienced it, when your hard-nosed boss tells you ³I don¶t care
how you do it, just do!´ If this comes too often from their mouth, then I would strongly
recommend that you better call it quits fast before they turn you into human robots in this world!

I am particularly strong about this feeling because our life in this world is temporary, and most of
the goals we want are temporary in nature; a car, house, a rewarding career to even a lovely person
you want to live with ³forever´ will be taken from us one day. There is no guarantee of permanence
in any of these areas. It is sobering to think about it, but it is true.

So what is something that has permanence and is 100% worth working towards? It must be a goal
that is not dictated by forces outside our control, be that our boss, the economy, nature or another
person. So what is this goal? This goal is to gain deeper and deeper self-knowledge about
ourselves, or knowing what we are made of.

^  Is Sef±Knowedge A Go?

I truly believe that self-knowledge is the most important goal in our lives. In the end, all we are
ever left with is ourselves, our experiences and what knowledge we have gleaned through that
process called Life. The best we can hope for is that we have gained so much about our own
awareness that we discover more about who and what we are, and unfold more and more of our
untapped potential so that we can touch more people¶s lives in this world.

The worst thing to happen is that we have been asleep throughout our lives, refusing to learn and
grow from our experiences and stubbornly declaring innocence, ignorance or even proclaiming
that there¶s nothing else to learn or that you are already living a perfect life and being a perfect
human being!

In my way of thinking and in working with my coachees, I often get them to reframe their goals;
that they are there to help them in the process of discovering who they are and their strengths,
qualities and abilities they never knew they had.

We also should not feel irresponsible when we do not consciously set goals for all areas of our lives;
for Life itself has an uncanny way of throwing up challenges anyway. You could say there is no

In the same light, we should not cry and moan when we do not reach our goals because there is one
thing that is far bigger than what we have anticipated: Personal Power. True personal power is the
kind that comes from our life experiences and as long as we have good self-knowledge of ourselves,
it can NEVER be taken away from us or by anyone, unless we choose to give it away. If we do that,
it then create the whole cycle of feeling like a victim in life.

B To Top

1. What are you really like? Describe yourself. c
2. Why do you say the things you say?

3. Why do you do the things you do?

4. What do people say you are?

5. Whyis it that you can get along with some people, but not with others?

6. Why are some people so difficult to you?

7. What makes you so difficult?

8. What is good about you?

9. How do you want to be seen by others?

10. What must you do to change to fit into the perception of others?

11. What is required to make you become psychologically and spiritually a whole being?

B To Topcc


It is not easy to decide on this when you are at a crossroad in your life, choosing between
doing what you are passionate about or doing what your heart tells you what is the right
thing to do at a given time in your life. c

Ideally, happiness comes around when you can follow your dream. I tell that to my clients
too, and I am sure you too have heard of this noble advice over and over again. Sure, this is
everyone¶s desire to do the things that make us most happy if we all have the luxury to
choose what we want instead of what we need to do expediently. The world will indeed be
such a happy place when we can do this.

But God has his plans; most of the time, it is mysterious and we can¶t understand, even
accept. When this happens it simply throws us off from our dream plan. Take for instance,
being retrenched from your job, suddenly lose a source of income or having dried up all your
resources trying to start up your business that did not work well. If you are on your own
with no commitment or responsibility, I guess it¶s your call whether you want to throw
caution to the wind and keep going.

Is Yours A Broen Dre?

But what if you still have a family to support? Is it wise, desirable or appropriate to keep on
this path of following your dream if it means others will be impacted by your action? Will
this be selfishness on your part if you did that? I would think so, it is like becoming
dreamers living in fantasy.

Personally, I had my fair share of experience here as well. I had to keep a full time job for 23
years although I loathed it, forgoing my dream to start this coaching business till 7 years ago.
In my work in certifying people to be coaches, I always come across many people who came
in very passionate about wanting to be in this profession of building and growing people, but
for some important reasons, they have to settle to be a ³non±revenue generating´ certified
coaches for a while, even forever.

Is T is Sef-Betr?

When this happens, do you feel guilty, regretful, frustrated, angry or even betraying
yourself? In the beginning, I went through much soul-searching and questioning whether I
was just copping out on my dream and passion and whether I should just jump ship and let
fate decides for me. But I am glad that I didn¶t, and it is the same thing that I advise my
friends and clients when they decide to shelf their dreams, maybe for a while or maybe
forever. The point I am making is not to feel that all is lost but instead to reframe to find the
other passion in the alternative as Life demands us to do.

We have to face the truth that not everyone can follow our passion. There are times in our
life when we have no choice but to follow our heart.

ënd these two options are not mutually exclusive. So when we take a detour from our
original plan do not feel that we have betrayed ourselves. Life (and God) moves in
mysterious ways and it¶s impossible for us to know for sure why things happen the way they
do. ëll we know for sure is that they just do and we make the best of what we have to do, and
be happy!

B To Topc

1. What does your conscience or that "little voice" inside your head, say about it? c

2. Vould it hurt anyone, including you?

3. Is it fair to all those who are affected by your decision?

4. Would it violate the Golden Rule of ³How would you feel if somebody did it too´?

5. Have you been told it is wrong?

6. Deep down, how do you feel about it?

7. How would you feel about yourself later if you did it?

8. What would people you respect say about it?

9. Vonsidering the above, what do you need to ³abandon´, and what do you need to take on?

B To Topcc

Many clients have told me how disappointed they felt about giving feedback. Some
comments range from ³my intention was good but I never can get my friend to change for
the better´ to ³he was reactive when I gave him the feedback when all I wanted to do was to
improve his situation´ c

Does this sound familiar? Have you been in similar situations about giving feedback to
others, when a favour becomes a disfavour, or a service becomes a disservice? Just before
you give up on giving feedback to others, allow me to highlight 3 cases on what we can learn
about this highly important, but when it is misused, can become a fatal tool as well.

^ en Is Feedb A Critiis?

The first case is about a client who raised an objection that feedback is never always good
because the other person may not be accepting it. So here¶s the background to this case. He
is the head of department in a government hospital. He said that he was never able to get his
junior medical technicians to stop smoking in the hospital compound.

ëlthough this feedback and advice were good for them it was not heeded. On probing further
to find out why such good feedback and advice went unheeded, I uncovered it was the way
he relayed his feedback to them. Personally, he hates people who smoke. So when he
noticed his people smoking, he felt that it was time to go to war against smokers.

In that frame of mind, he was giving ³feedback´ on their indiscipline and on the harms of
smoking. Obviously, his moods, choice of words and body language made them felt that they
were being criticized instead of getting feedback that was well intended for.

^ en Is Feedb A Be Ge?

The second case involves a coach-student and me who was the coach-facilitator for a recent
coaching program. She felt that I was been slighted and reacted negatively when she gave
me feedback on how I could improve my instructions for greater clarity so that she and
others could do a better job in their presentation. Shame on a coach, if he acted this way! So
did I? I was more disappointed than been slighted by it. Why was it so? There¶s a learning
lesson about feedback giving.

To start with, the mental outlook of the feedback giver has to be positive and who honestly
regards giving feedback as a healthy practice. When this belief is warped then guilt show in
their faces and mind when giving the feedback.

Secondly, we need to be honest of the intention behind the feedback giving; is it to honestly
help the person improve or is it to find a person to blame for their poor performance?

^ en Is Feedb A Feedb?

The third case also involves me and another client who is an avid reader of my weekly
articles. In one of our conversations, we spoke about the insights he gained from reading my
articles. The conversation took a different turn when I asked him where I could improve
further so that I can attract more readers. He looked me into my eyes and he asked me to
confirm that I really want this feedback from him. When permission was granted, he told
me, with great sincerity and humility how I could chunk-down the articles with short
subtitles (like what you are getting now) to make reading much easier especially for the busy
ones to leave and go back to it with ease. I really appreciated and thanked him for his
feedback and I immediately worked on it.

So what¶s the learning lesson? When feedback is solicited and when the feedback giver is
sincere and humble, it makes a world of difference to how feedback becomes a gift to the
other person.

So when we really want to be of service to others through feedback, the result must be
uplifting and empowering to both parties; for true service supports all people in developing
and enhancing their potential.

B To Topc


1. What will you do to prepare yourself before giving the feedback?

2. How can you make your feedback so constructive that people feel so encouraged and
motivated by it?

3. What will you say to compliment people for something the person has done well, before
giving the feedback?

4. How can you ensure that feedback is given as close to their actions as possible?

5. How can you combine your feedback with good advice so that people know exactly what,
where and how to improve?

6. What will you do to be direct, firm and yet be free of any negative emotions or personal
agenda lest they uncover your real intention?

7. What will you do to follow up fast in order to anchor the positive change of mind of the

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