SHEILA WONG’S MEMOIRS FOR 2nd HALF OF 2010
Continuing my memoirs for 2nd half 2010 – Part 5 (Final)
LIVING LIFE AND LOVING LIFE
To do that, we must have a balance. To truly give and to fully accept. Let me share with you some of the rewarding times I have had with work, voluntary service and family togetherness.
1. BURSA MALAYSIA
I had a very exciting and interesting experience when I did the grooming workshops for Bursa Malaysia, across the board, two years ago. This time when I did the one-day seminar and two-day workshop, I was extremely pleased to find some of the former participants sitting in the class.
I was very motivated by the fact that these highly intelligent senior managers were interested enough to want to come again. I could see that they were very committed to their work, and at every break, they would be back at their desks, and still got back on time when class resumed. No wonder they are leaders – people with responsibility and accountability plus a commitment to excel. Some of the ladies and men were already naturally good-lookers with a good sense of dressing and charming etiquette.
There is a beautiful woman, Sarjit from Bursa who has touched me with her authenticity and sincerity. She gave feed-back when due, for me to improve and enhance my delivery. She was encouraging and kind every step of the way. She was warm and friendly not only to me, but also to my colleagues. She used the tips and shared generously with the rest of her colleagues about it. A very beautiful woman indeed, extrinsic and intrinsic.
I truly felt blessed that Universe has rewarded me with such wonderful participants like her and many like her, to come into my life.
2. AICI MALAYSIA
This is getting to be more fun. Every quarter, we organize an event and invite members and guests to participate.
This would not be possible without the team effort of the Board. Being VP Events, Cherrise has been doing a great job. She put in a lot of effort each quarter, to make sure that the event was run smoothly.
The last event for 2010 was one that was filled with star glamour. Evelyn, as VP Marketing, with her connection, got our hottest and most-on-demand Malaysia Top Model, AMBER CHIA, to be our guest-of-honor. We were all star-struck by the sexy, sensual and sensational presence of Amber. She is simply gorgeous! Apart from that, she was so accommodating, taking pictures with just anyone who wanted a shot with her. The guests were all so thrilled with that.
Jacqueline did us proud, with her talk on “Designing Your Way to The Top”. Useful tips spiced with humour, had the audience entertained and enthralled.
Josephine was in her element and did a terrific job as an emcee. The exhibitors certainly make the whole atmosphere seemed like a carnival. Truly memorable to a great finish to a great year.
3. FAMILY FUN AND GET-TOGETHERS
What better way to round up 2010, but by spending quality family time with my loved ones in Melbourne. A time to rejoice and reflect – that’s what Christmas is to me.
Kenneth was back in Malaysia for 1.5 years before returning to Melbourne since August, so it was really great to see my big brilliant boy again. I miss this fella.
We celebrated Isabelle’s birthday the unconventional way – lighting up the lanterns in the back garden, singing her birthday song and blowing her birthday candles together with her four dogs, Husky, Macey, Chloe and Baby. My Isabelle is expecting her first baby. When I look at her with her rounded belly, I find myself looking at me when I was carrying her 27 years ago.
Estelle has grown to be sweeter, in her nature and her looks. She is more tolerant and even-temper ever since her sister got in the family way (that’s according to Isabelle). While waiting for entry into university, she is now working as a casual in a Chinese restaurant. It’s funny to see her in her waitress uniform. My baby has grown up.
Heard of the biggest spread in Melbourne. My 3 children and my son-in-law Ben, treated us to a sumptuous Asian buffet at China Bar. The longest buffet train with a wide variety of Asian cuisine – Chinese, Indian, Japanese. It was so so sinful. I had fresh succulent oysters, Peking duck, roast pork, fried kuayteow and couldn’t eat more. My husband, Steven, had a hearty appetite that night (recently his appetite was not good – must be the family togetherness that has improved it!). He stomached quite a large amount. The queue at the entrance was long. Seemed like the people in Melbourne love buffets. I like the posh interior of the restaurant and the service was highly commendable.
Feeding the birds at Dandenong was part of the itinerary. The weather was just right that day – comfortably chilly for me but warm for my family. I love the outdoors. The parrots were having their siesta when we arrived. So Steven and I took a stroll into the woods. The two girls and Ben prefer to be comfortable in the café nearby, having their coffee and cakes.
I didn’t have enough of Dandenong. For me, the holiday is not complete without a visit to my favourite Ms. Marples. As usual, it was running a full house and we couldn’t wait for 2 hours, for our turn. So we opt for somewhere nearby, a place that have caught my attention during the last few visits I was there. So we went over to Flippin Pancakes. Flippin Pancakes was a great pleasant surprise. The restaurant was also very “English country” like Ms. Marples but much bigger. The “Duck with Orange sauce” was yummy and the pancakes were heavenly! Isabelle didn’t have enough and wanted to go back again the next day for more – must be a pregnant woman’s craving!
Christmas in Melbourne is not complete without a visit to the Christmas show houses at night. I am just amazed at the effort that the residents took to decorate their gardens, roofs and varendahs with twinkling lights, Christmas ornaments, live-size puppets of elves and fairies. I just enjoy taking in the sights of these fairylands.
Boxing Day had me up very early, to get good bargains at the sales at Chadstone. Ben was very kind to ferry me and my two girls there to shop. Ben waited an hour for his car park while we shopped. Somehow, I found that this year’s Boxing Day shopping is not so fun as it was stressful to be packed with human traffic inside the mall. We had to literally fight for a table in the food court for our lunch. One consolation though – I got fantastic bargains for my Florsheim shoes.
My most memorable moment in Melbourne was the shooting of a TV commercial for China Bar chain of restaurants. Steven and I acted as the middle-aged couple enjoying our dinner at the smaller and busier China Bar restaurant in Box Hill. It was awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning with all the diners looking on during the shooting. After a while, we got into the action and it was a very interesting experience – which got us nostalgic about our experience as extras for Entrapment movie, a long long time ago in Petronas Twin Towers.
Ending the year with my family was a beautiful one. I have had a good 2010, and I look forward to a grander and better 2011, where I will have a smooth flow of lucrative business opportunities, more opportunities to transform more peoples’ lives, fantastic holiays with my loved ones and family, good health, good fortune and love.
The time now is 10.35 pm 7 January, 2011 Melbourne time. Do lt me know if you have enjoyed my memoirs as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you.
Continuing my memoirs for 2nd half 2010 – Part 4
SPEAKING OUTSIDE OF MALAYSIA
Variety is the spice of life. Besides Maybank, Amway, Allianz & Dell wherein I am a regular feature, I had the honour and pleasure to come in touch with some of the most wonderful people from other parts of the world, sitting in my training or seminars. Some of my more memorable ones are:
1. BANGKOK – After a short stint in Vancouver, sharing my experience with First Timers during Annual AICI Conference, I flew to Bangkok with Enrique on another speaking assignment for Toastmasters District 80. I was the plenary speaker on “IMPRESS TO EXPRESS” and Enrique was one of the workshop speakers on “MAGIC WITH POWERPOINT”.
Bangkok Airport was rather quiet after the “RED SHIRT/YELLOW SHIRT” drama. The Organizing Committee took extra precautionary measures to ensure that our entry into Bangkok was smooth. They sent travel agents who had connection, to whisk us directly from airplane into their limousine. It was a very assuring feeling.
No curfew could stop me from having my much-needed Thai massage. It helped my jet-lag of 48 hours from Vancouver to Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok.
The warm welcome from the Thais and the organizing committee was enough to make us feel that the “risk” was well worth it. The number of delegates dwindled down to 50% as the fear of more riots stopped most of the Hongkies from coming. Only six from Hong Kong turned up. Surprisingly, the Singaporeans were brave enough to venture out of their country to be at the convention.
District 80 is not new to me, as I have spoken at their annual convention in Macau a few years ago. I conducted a full 3 hours image seminar, as an opening to District 80 Annual Convention. As was usual, the participants were eager to find out what was their body shape – including the men. It was gratifying to know that men and women alike took an interest on their professional image, as most of them are trainers or aspiring to be one in the near future.
I particularly enjoyed the shows that the Thais and the Singaporeans put up, especially the ballroom performance by my good friend and former International Director of Toastmasters International, Gea Ban Peng, DTM.
The Thais spared no expenses to bring fun and civility into this convention. The orphans of Thailand, the handicaps and the Thai movie starlets all came out in full force, to entertain us and make merry. It was hard to believe that such warm-hearted and generous people had just seen blood-shed in their country!
The warmest hosts and the most loving people – that is how I would describe my beautiful friends from Manila, AICI SAS.
On the day of arrival, I was given a special welcome as the speaker for the AICI SAS Conference. With my 5 other friends from AICI Malaysia, we were picked up at the airport for transfer to our hotel. Next, we were picked up again by another driver, to a dinner hosted by Elizabeth. All my transfer convenience were being taken care of by my charming friend, Delby.
Dinner was 5-star service with exquisite fusion of fine Filipino and Continental cuisine plus a 5-star set-up. It would have been great if we could have some men for company! Elizabeth, like the true Image Consultant, was the Gracious Host. She moved with the grace of a butterfly, from table to table, and explained to us each course of the way.
The crowd at the convention may be small but the activities planned, were like for thousands. My AICI Malaysia group (Kay, Jade, Peggy, Wendy Liew and Evelyn Ch’ng) and I had a terrific time. We networked with our friends from China, Singapore, Australia and Singapore. Lynne Marks, AICI International President was there to support the event.
It was a convention of glamour as every delegate came, dressed to kill, during the Saturday night banquet. TV starlets joined AICI as associate members, with an interest to become future image consultants. The fashion show was just fabulously fantastic, with the local designers showing off their designs. I must say that Filipino designers’ creativity are simply amazing. And Delby is one of them.
Organizing chair, sexy Olen made a sensation (as usual) with her looks and her words. I loved her natural openness and spontaneity.
I enjoyed my friend, Imogen’s talk on Blogs. She was certainly a master in this subject. I believe a lot of us benefited from her topic.
The topics on the different cultural language/etiquette were definitely something different and refreshing as after the talk by four different speakers from four different countries, there was an open forum. This allowed the delegates to ask questions.
Representing Malaysia, I spoke on “MALAY ETIQUETTE” and used Rasa Sayang as my opening gig. I could see that the audience enjoyed the interaction, the “joget” and the tips on the Malay customs and etiquette.
If I have more time, I will definitely stay a few more days, just to shop at Makati and have their crabs and baby ribs. Mmmmm. Mouth watering memories.
Special thanks to AICI SAS for the most memorable conference so far.
Continuing my memoirs for 2nd half 2010 – Part 3.
CHIANGMAI WITH MY “CHEE MUIS”
Some people come to your life, for a reason, a season or a life-time.
I know for sure that my girlfriends come to my life for a reason and a life-time. The reason is to give me that balance in life and each time we are together, it’s like a life-time of squealing good fun, good food and good company.
We had this verbal arrangement when we came together after my daughter, Isabelle’s wedding in December 2009, that we must get together for a holiday away from Malaysia, at least once a year.
So we started last year with a short trip to Krabi. After such a good time, we planned our next holiday immediately. As usual, my good old “chee-mui” (buddy), Fong Ming got hold of the special deal from Air Asia to Chiangmai. What would I do without Fong Ming and Air Asia? One helped to plan my holidays and the other gave me great cheap fare so that I have extra $ to shop, eat and be merry.
Imagine what 8 boisterous women can do, when they get together? Plus teaming up with another 8 crazy friends of Regina? Even the two vans with our two drivers were rocking with laughter, all the way from Chiangmai/Chiangrai/Chiangmai!
My beautiful “chee-mui” Regina, unofficially appointed tour manager, had the whole four days planned for us, making sure that our creature comfort is being looked into, every step of the way.
We had the best food that I have ever tasted in Thailand, in serene surroundings, cheap shopping, massage, massage and massage. Regina arranged the most quaint-looking boutique hotel, with all the frills – private Jacuzzi, fresh hot breakfast cooked by the pretty Chiangmai girls infront of us, by the pool-side. It was HEAVEN!
The white pagoda is a must-visit. It is a sight to hold and behold…. So majestic was the feel – the whiteness, the pureness, the vast expanse of the building, could be seen from afar.
The tea plantation was just awesome. The hills came alive and if the tea plants have a voice, you would have heard them singing in the wind.
What made the whole trip most memorable was that we found pleasure in everything we do. We shop for trivial stuff, laugh at silly things, release all our inhibitions and let loose our tongues with words that were normally forbidden when we are back at work.
Thank you to all my girlfriends who were there with me at Chiangmai – LeAnn, Saw Bee, Kathryn, Irene, Jee Peng, Regina and Fong Ming.
I look forward to next year’s trip to China with them.
THE OLDER, THE YOUNGER
I am pretty sure that most of us, as we get older, we want to do the stuff that we used to do when we were younger.
I want to have that nostalgic feeling this year – more so since my family can’t come back for my birthday. Yeah, I want to have that “yesteryear” feeling when I could danced till the wee hours of the morning – a revival of my youth!
That was what I did, on my birthday in December. I held a party for 30 guests – all my chee-muis, my very old buddies and my SWET family – in Indochine Restaurant at Terrace @ Hock Choon. We had the place all to ourselves.
What a wild party! My chee muis came in multi-colored wigs and did a MAMA-MIA routine. The SWETies and SWETers?? performed a “pantomime” and use the scene in UP YOUR IQ as their storyline. The star, Chee Wah came up with rubber tits and impersonated me. The two guys, Stanley and David, were the most voluptuous women I had ever seen, bouncing their boobs and bums. Yours truly, did an opening gambit “BIG SPENDER” with Enrique.
What we didn’t know until much later that night, was that our laughter, squeals and speeches were amplified on the loud speakers, into the streets.
I believe we became the overnight sensation at Terrace @ Hock Choon.
Thank you, my dearest friends, for bringing alive the good old days and my youth…..
Continuing my memoirs for 2nd half 2010 – Part 2.
Energetic, Enthusiastic & Encouraging are 3 words to describe the beautiful and bold Amway participants who came for my “POLISH UP YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING” seminar.
I spent about two months travelling round Malaysia and Singapore, covering Petaling Jaya, Ipoh, Penang, Butterworth, Melaka, Batu Pahat, Johore Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Miri, Sibu, Kuching, Kuantan, Kota Baru and Singapore.
Until now, I find it hard to believe myself that I actually did 17 sessions in MANDARIN, and only 5 sessions in English. A person who has no Chinese education – yes, that’s me – speaking to a crowd of between 100 to 600 people in Mandarin! How did I do it? It was really all thanks to the participants who came.
They came from all walks of life and all age groups – Diamonds, Emeralds, DD and home users – from 60 years old to 16 years old. They all had the same positive attitude and the respect they showed me – that’s what make them so beautiful.
If I stopped to take a drink, they applauded as a way to encourage. If I stopped to cough out my irritated or dry throat, they applauded again, to show they understood about my discomfort. If my power-point failed (which it did, in a couple of towns, they forgave me because they associated that with Murphy’s Law. If I lost my voice in the middle of my talk, a candy or the Amway mouth spray would quietly appear on the prop table inconspicuously for me to ease my throat. I did not know who placed it there, but I knew it was one of them, thank you very much.
I was not short of volunteers. If I asked for five volunteers, I got ten enthusiastic ones rushing to the stage. So much so I had to put a stop to it, as I was worried the stage would collapse.
They were a sporting lot, with a great sense of humour and ever willing models. What I liked most was their consistency in their rousing welcome and respect they gave me – every town, every city that I went – I had the same treatment.
To all those who attended my AMWAY seminars – thank you for making me feel like a star. You are the true stars!
I owe my experience in conducting workshops in Mandarin, to Allianz. Last year, I went to Ipoh, Penang, Melaka and Johore Baru to train the Allianz agents there, apart from their agents in Klang Valley.
This year, I felt privileged to speak to their top agents in Sibu and Kuching. The people in Sibu were quieter but very attentive. They immediately applied the grooming tips shared, and saw positive results in their sales, according to Allianz Regional Manager (ARM). Talking about which, this ARM, impressed me with his motivational style of speaking. I believe he was the one who was instrumental in motivating the East Malaysians to work towards their goal. He is one amazing guy, who never sleeps. He appeared to me to be on the job 24 hours. The training in Kuching was highly charged with excitement due to the high energy level of the participants. I was very happy to be invited back again in Johore Baru and Klang Valley. The agents in Allianz are an advancing group and I could sense that these people are high achievers.
My observation all these years of the management team in training is that they are very cohesive, cooperative and very fast-moving. It takes a great leader to lead a great team, and their head is definitely a fantastic leader.
Enough about work for the moment. For the next part, let’s get on to the fun flair.
In the wink of an eye, another 6 months have passed. When you are busy and happy, time really flies.
Today, the last day of the 2nd half – December 31, 2010 is CELEBRATION DAY! A day to rejoice and reflect. I have had six months of good fun & fulfillment on the job, great company with my gorgeous friends on my travels and magical moments with my loved ones.
Let’s start with the business bit, and finish with flourish on the fun flair. To make the reading light for you, I will break up my articles and post them on this page daily (which will take about 5 days).
IT DOESN’T FEEL LIKE WORK
Even if this is the last day of my life, I will still continue with what I do for a living – image coaching, consulting and training. It doesn’t feel like work. Infact this is food for my soul, for I feel so “oh” so fulfilled. The rush hours in the mornings, the transfers at the airports, the heavy lugging of my image props, the long hours of standing – they are all worth it.
Taking turns with my team-mates, Cherrise and Jade weekly to speak in front of 30 enthusiastic ladies at DELL in Cyberjaya is a joy. Pockets of information are delivered to them every Wednesday. They are very attentive and take a little while to warm up. But once they are warmed up, they are with us all the way. We are still doing it weekly and hopefully will continue for another few seasons. It would be wonderful if we can get the DELL men into these sessions as we do need a mix of both genders to sizzle up the etiquette & dining talks.
If speaking weekly to 30 ladies was a breeze, speaking to a few of them in their DELL Career Fair in Penang, was a big challenge, as I had to compete with the surrounding exhibitors’ booths for attention. There were many people milling around the fair but to get them to sit down, required every ounce of my energy and experience.
My experience with speaking to an empty audience during a packed book fair helped tremendously. I changed the topic around, and started with make-overs. Nothing can draw attention than live make-overs, and I did just that, to pull the crowd over. It worked! And that helped me to get my presentation over smoothly.
Another learning curve for me.
Lately, I have been conducting image workshops to lots of Gen Ys. They are very vocal, curious and brainy! It is very stimulating to be engaged with them. Their antics tickled my funny bones and I have a hard time to keep a straight face (sometimes!). The “hip & happening” are the ones who follow the trends – the guys come in light grey suits, slim grey ties and polished leather shoes. They looked like they just stepped out of the Metropolitan fashion spread.
The more “funky” ladies would be batting their “ostrich” eye-lashes and use ridiculously towering heels. How do we put a stop to that, and to tell them that that is a serious taboo in a bank? Well, I had to “window-dress” the words to let them know the adverse effect it has on them professionally. It’s soooo interesting with this battle of wits with this group.
The Gen Xs come with more experience and definitely more maturity. They are already climbing up the corporate ladder and are ready to embrace more sophisticated styles to show that they have substance. No out-dated attire that has a touch of “yesterday”. Yet no outrageously “Sex In The City” stuff for them. They want to conform without comprising on being “on brand”. It is mentally invigorating to be engaged with this group.
With the Baby Boomers, they too do not want to lose out. With their maturity and stability, those that are already there, would like to equip themselves with the secret on how to appear affluent and yet affable. They have gone places and are still on the go. They are comfortable with who they are and what they are, and would like to take the next step to acquire that style.
I enjoy the diversity of the cultural backgrounds and the age groups of the Maybankers and look forward to being with them in 2011.
(to be continued tomorrow)
SHEILA WONG’S MEMOIRS FOR 1ST HALF OF 2010
If space travel is fast, time travel is like lightning speed. Looking back, so many things have happened. There were the PEAKS and the VALLEYS – more peaks than valleys. Valleys are my learning curve. Peaks are my milestones. I embrace the valleys as I learn more from them. I celebrate the peaks and also learn from them.
Today, the last day of the 1st half – June 30, 2010 is PLATEAU time. In fact I have the luxury of 9 days for my Plateau. A time for reflection. A time to see how far I have gone, what have I achieved and more importantly what I have learned.
Let’s start with end of 2009.
I realized that I have only another one month to go before the deadline is up for my CIP. I have set myself a target timeline of 3 months to complete my compilation. It was a huge challenge with the weekly corporate trainings that I was conducting, the amount of proposals that I have to turn in, the preparation work for UP YOUR IQ (Image Quotient), and helping out Enrique in his P&P trainings.
So I gave myself three more months for my CIP, and then another three more months. It dragged on to nine months. Every day in a month, I only managed to do that little. It’s like a single ant making a mountain.
That had to stop. Priorities were set. In that single month in December, I worked through day and night, ignoring the aches on my back and inside my back. Luckily, my husband was back and he ran out to do all the photocopying for me. That helped tremendously as I didn’t have to stop half-way.
Be 1st week of January, everything was ready. I sent by courier, one huge box to Angele Desagne in Canada, for her assessment of my CIP. That courier cost me a bomb!
It was worth it – every cent of it.
TWO GOOD HOLIDAYS WITH MY LOVED ONES
Last February, I visited Krabi with my girlfriends. I went again in January with my husband, son, Kenneth and youngest daughter, Estelle. This holiday was planned by Steven. I got the dates a little mixed up, and had a triple commitment – Lay Kun & my ex-staff Connie’s weddings, SIDC training on the Monday that we were supposed to fly back. In the end, Kenneth and I flew back one day earlier – on Sunday, leaving Steven and Estelle behind, to enjoy a father-daughter holiday in Krabi with my sister-in-law Annie & her daughter, Connie.
The sun, sea, spa, shopping and sight-seeing were absolutely fabulous. Everyday, Kenneth and I went for at least one round of massage. This time, I didn’t go kayaking. I just loved to have dinner by the beach, watching the sun-set. It was therapeutic. Kenneth made a beautiful Thai-silk 3-piece suit. It was a bargain. Estelle bought some sun-dresses for her and Isabelle.
To complete my annual holidays with my whole family, I took the second part of my family holidays – this time with my second child, Isabelle and son-in-law, Ben. They paid for my holidays in Bangkok.
Thai Massage was a MUST in my itinerary. The 1st thing when we touch down, was to look for a good massage place. We found such a place at Paragon Shopping Mall. Going back to our hotel, Amari Atrium, was an unpleasant experience. To avoid the long queue at the taxi stand, we took a “Toot-toot”. We were being charged triple of what we would normally pay a taxi to take us back to the hotel.
Besides that, I love the shopping experience in Paragon. I was given 5-star service at the Christian Dior counter. Needless to say, I bought more than I needed – emotional buying. Conclusion: Great customer service leads to a silent up-sell.
One of my best discovery of Bangkok – apart from its mystical temples, snakes, crocodiles, tiger shows, floating markets, is BANGKOK has one of the best MUSICAL in the world. If you ever go to Bangkok, you must go to SIAM NIRIMIT and watch their musical. It was magnificent. This musical tells the history of SIAM – the natives, the Chinese migrants who settled in Siam, the culture, the religious belief, etc. The props were something so amazing – they have a river on stage, volcanoes, lightening, fairies flying above you, real elephants, real goats and chickens on stage and a cast of more than 100 artistes. The sad thing was the theatre was only half full.
If you have not heard me complementing the food at Krabi, it’s because it’s really nothing compared to what we had in Bangkok. We had some really good Thai Chinese food in a typical Thai restaurant, complete with their famous dessert “Mango Sticky Rice”. I took down the name of that particular restaurant, as I would be going again in May. Of course, I didin’t know then that it was unsafe in May to venture to those areas dominated by Red Shirts.
I love shopping in Bangkok. I bought this beautiful violet-blue shoes (which I lost in April – I think in Janda Baik). It was chic and so so comfortable. So sad to lose them. And the Thai silk scarves. I bought loads of them, used some for my image workshops and gave some to the SWETies. I am just crazy over the accessories from Bangkok – highly affordable!
Still don’t understand why civil war can happen in beautiful Bangkok – a country of smiles, charm and civility – which can turn into hostility….. Anyway, it’s not my business.
1ST PEAK – BOOK LAUNCH OF “YES, YOU CAN LOOK SLIMMER”
After eleven months, my second book “YES, YOU CAN LOOK SLIMMER – Size Doesn’t matter, Shape Does” was officially launched on January 26, 2010.
That was my 1st peak. Read about this recount in my earlier post.
2nd PEAK – CIP
February, 2010 – I received the most beautiful email of the month. I have officially passed the mark of CIP. A special remark from Angele “It was a pleasure to browse through your binder. It was nicely organized and easy to follow. Thank you for making my job as reviewer that much easier. “
My special thanks to all, who have helped me, generously giving their time to write the testimonials. They are:
AICI – Christina Ong, Pang Li Kin, Imogen Lamport
CLIENTS who have become friends: Ang Siew Gaik (Allianz Life), Tan Wee Mian (Johnson Controls), Emily Wong (Maybank), Brenda Marshal (Air Asia), Rosalind Wee (Ireka), Chen Voon Hann (CAS Group), Rajam (Maybank), Alison Pereira (Bursa Malaysia), Victor Ong (Help University), Woo Man Loong (MAA), Ng Lay Ling, Ngan Teng Ye, Carol Chan (ex-IOI),
FRIENDS: Enrique Tsou, Nancy Liew (D’U Adv), Foong Weng Tuck (D’U Adv), Gea Ban Peng (Singapore), Poh Kim Siong (Singapore), LeAnn Tang
3rd PEAK – AICI MALAYSIA
February, 2010. Happiness come in double dosage. Almost at the same time, I received an email from Clare Maxfield, AICI VP Chapter and Heather Taminga of AICI, that our AICI Malaysia chapter has been approved.
Clare has been instrumental in helping us to get our chapter approved. No question that I had brought up was too trivial for her. She was prompt and efficient. If anyone ought to win any award during AICI Annual Conference, she should be the one.
WORKSHOPS , SEMINARS & COURSES
As usual, I was, and still am, busy with in-house corporate image trainings and public talks. I take delight in every single one of them. All the sessions have a different experience, a different feel as I deal with different people from different background, different culture and religion.
Some of my more memorable ones are:
1. NESTLE MALAYSIA – When a group of nutritionists come together, to gather and learn stuff that are non-nutritional – the result is FUN. The role plays were just hilarious so much so that I couldn’t help my own thunderous laughter. The participants were just ingenious. Who would have heard of a “husband” telling a “waiter” that his “wife” is a “vegetarian” when she devours meat. And the role of wife was enacted by his superior, a regional manager!
2. UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM –
As I entered the grounds of the university (beautifully landscaped), I felt that I was visiting a campus in the English countryside. There were posters of me with the title “Your Winning Image” pasted around the auditorium.
The atmosphere was charged and the auditorium was filled to maximum capacity. 400 young and eager students from University of Nottingham turned up to learn about professional grooming & etiquette.
The participants were garbed in all sorts – from checkers pants, to shorts, micro-mini skirts, “maggi-mee hair-dos”, crocs!, slippers to singlets. There was not a single student who came with proper shoes.
Happily, they came on stage to show off their “vital statistics”. They loved the limelight. Yet, underneath all the humour and hilarious laughter, they were listening with intent.
And I know for sure, they will use some of the tips that they have learned, when they go out into the workforce.
About thirty of the local students were so keen to know more that they signed up for our UP YOUR IQ (Image Quotient) seminar on April 17 & 18, 2010.
One of them was the lucky winner of a free Personal Shopping service plus RM360.00 worth of professional attire. That will prepare him nicely when he goes for that job interview after he graduates.
EEC-7 (PROFESSIONAL COURSE FOR IMAGE CONSULTANTS)
Bold, Beautiful and Brainy – that’s how I describe them. Coming from diverse culture and different professional background, they were funny and at the same time serious.
Chinese, Indian, Malay – English and Mandarin mediums – IT, Sales, First Aid & Safety, Insurance – so different and yet with the same burning ambition – to be a renowned Image Consultant. Dedicated and committed to do well, and they have turned out well.
Proudly, some of them already have clients within two weeks of graduation.
TTT for IMAGE CONSULTANTS (Advance Level)
A special advance course for our SWET EEC graduates. Specially developed to groom our graduates for another level of image consulting – merging academic, technical, technology and commercial into a powerful synergy – SWET SIS.
My partner, Enrique and I developed this program, after experimenting it ourselves. After four intensive days of grilling and grueling, this batch definitely turned out to be poised and polished on their presentation skills. We let them out in the market, and the feed-back from clients were highly favourable.
That’s another of our PEAK.
I have more to share on peaks, but I think I will leave them for my special columns on “UP YOUR IQ” and “PERSONALIZED BRANDING COACHING”. These are life transformation peaks and they go deep into my soul.
And I have more time, I will also share my speaking experience in Bangkok and with Amway. They are great stories and have to be told separately.
What about the Valleys?
I sure have my fair share of them.
Like on two different occasions when I had to deal with some hostility from a few Gen Ys sitting in my class.
The Gen Ys are altogether a total different species. They are highly intelligent, inquisitive but don’t like you to be intrusive.
Most of them are curious and vocal. They could be so sweet and sincere. And yet they could be down-right obnoxious. I beg your pardon! I mean some of them could be, not all.
There was this group of 30 new recruits sent by their corporation to be trained by me. They have the IQ.. Now to bring out their EQ.
Out of the 30, 4 of them were downright rude. They felt they owned the world and they know better than anyone else. They were having their own private conversation when the lessons were going on.
Could I let that go? Definitely not. I had 26 who wanted to know what was appropriate business behaviour. These 4 were classic examples of what was inappropriate business behaviour.
Did I act “Ms. Right” or “Ms. Nice”. Your guess is right: “MS. RIGHT”. The best way to educate a class is with real life examples.
At the end of the program, I had 28 who were inspired to use the tips to help them in their new career. The other 2 remain defiant. I have done my best. That was my Valley. I felt lousy for more than a week.
What did I learn? Loads…. On the behaviour of Gen Y – how I could with that better.
Coincidentally, there was an educational workshop on this, which I attended, during the AICI Annual Conference in Vancouver in May. That definitely helped me to deal with the Gen Ys better. I used that when I did my recent training with a group of 44 graduates at SIDC. It worked!
2nd Valley – I think I will also leave that for another day.
As for now, I like to come to a close on my journal for the first six months of 2010. As mentioned, I will write some of my other exhilarating experiences some day – when I have my Plateau.
Let me know if you have enjoyed reading them.
The time now is 11.22 pm June 20, 2010 Melbourne time.