Sunday, August 21, 2011

How to identify Real Monsters in the Workplace, Classroom and simply anywhere. Even monsters have evolved, why haven't you?

Is this you?

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Monsters everywhere
The reality is, we all have to face "monsters" in our daily lives. Be it at the workplace, film shooting location, your home and even on the street, our country is riddled with all types of "monsters" in every shape and sizes. If you're a CEO or boss of a company, your monsters are your competitors in the market. Even normal folks are faced with monsters daily - what's more for a celebrity or public figures? Like myself, I was at the ramadan bazaar market, shopping for some delicacies, a few of the stall keepers gave me the eye and occasionally a few cat calls. Monsters came into being because of some jealousy, laziness to take any effort for themselves or discontent.

All shapes and sizes
Monsters also come to me in  the form of employers. Once, a well-known telecommunications company whose HR manager called me up and offered me a top managerial position. He was sweet-talking to me about the conditions of their organisations, I've discovered even more little monsters inside the company - a total opposite of what were described by the employer. Finally I have to reject the offer. Friends can turn into monsters too, when after they got what they wanted through or from you, you never hear from them again. As an experienced Communications Strategy Coach, I've encountered my fair share of "monsters" in the forms of students, production managers, film directors, producers, CEOs, managers, peers and occasionally a few acquaintances. The most prevalent form of them are usually my students, because during class sessions, when the heat is on, and they've got to learn - true colours are hardly covered up. In fact, if you're a good experienced Coach, you will always succeed in unveiling their true colours.

My fashion students having a group discussion
Monsters in Disguise
This is an important aspect of my coaching, because I need to know who I am helping and coaching. A human being is an extremely complex creature, with layers of psychosomatic make-up that only a sharp-minded Coach can pierce through and see. Unfortunately in my case, I have like 80 of them to deal with now! In my past practices, I usually deal with one manager and CEO at a time - which is more profitable for me in terms of value, thinking back. I have encountered some strange behaviors from people from top level management too, which I won't mention here. But the most interesting insight I got is, they're all the same. Like my current group of students who aren't in any top level positions, their basic characteristic and surface psychology make-up is really not much different.

At one of my motivational sessions
My Best, Natural Proprietary Tools - Listening and Observation Skills
First, you have the talk-without-caution monster. Being a teacher and Communications Strategy Coach, my listening and observation skills are my most important assets. There are many times I would secretly lay a trap for my students, simply to make them to open their mouths to speak, and boy, do they speak. And plenty of ethically wrong and professionally unacceptable comments too. Things commented were on other people's sex, physique and personal life - are simply topics one must avoid in a professional setting. One student I regarded as smart actually commented about me, "Hey, teacher, why you never get sick? So strong like a bull. You always seem to be in the class everyday". This comment was uttered just a day before the exams. At times, I tried to put all these comments in the proper context, knowing that English is their second language. But my instinct told me - this student was hoping to escape the exams.

Lies Among Words
Second, the monster liar. This type of monster will tell lies in order to appear more intelligent in class. Their use of the English language will often sound thick in accent to give the appearance of articulation, but when you actually ask them to write, their mistakes are so glaring, the construction of the sentences are totally off-putting, you will begin to wonder if this person actually knows what he/she's talking about! And worst, it's so hard to help this person simply because he/she lies. A good teacher always check the fact twice before committing to heart. In my current case now, I am receiving lies daily through my ear.

The Surprisingly Strong Monster 
The third monster is the grab-and-punch monster. This types are usually very energetic when they are working. It's a good thing to be energetic during work, but at what cost if one does not know how to control the use of one's strength? When they are placed in a learning environment, their energy just plunges into oblivion. This is because in a learning environment, I always  treat everyone fair and with no bias. And the environment is always calm. In this type of neutral situation, this type of monster thought they simply have to grab the social ladder and appear to be the leader of the pack. Sometimes they would make a scene in the class by shouting or objecting to certain topics, just to keep their blood and adrenalin pumping. There was an instance I was holding a book, and this woman just grabbed the book from my hand with such heady strength! I almost tripped over the table, just to hang onto the book. Imagine that. The last time I got into such physical situation was when I was starring in the commercial, getting an awful hit on the head by a football:

Communications Strategy Coach
Temptations everywhere, and not one is worth a drop
The final monster is the one who tries to get under your skin (or bed). It happens a few times already, and it is bound to happen too, a few members of the audience who likes to know me better (outside the classroom). Personally for me, I will always decline certainly because during the duration of the class, I want to be professional and fair with everyone regardless who they are. Incidents like asking me to sign their log books with really specific details like handphone, email, address even is a big no-no for me. I understand we are all humans, and bound to get attracted with each other in a few levels, but as a Communications Strategy Coach, my objective is always very clear - to help my clients in their communications skills. Period.

So how does a Communications Strategy Coach like myself handle these monsters? Mind you, these 3 categories are just the tip of the iceberg, there are still many sorts of "monsters" in disguise below. Again, patience is still the one value a great coach would have over others. And of course, over 1000 thousand strategies and special proprietary tools an experienced coach like myself would use at my best advantage to help my clients in caging these "monsters" or at least put these monsters under leash. Do you have any monster you want to tame? The time to act is now.

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