Here is the March E-News. I trust you are tracking your 2007 goals and well on your way to achieving them. This month’s E-News covers:
Personal Accountability
Implementing Collaborative Learning
Managing Difficult Conversations
SMR News
Personal Accountability

The greatest challenges come not from competitors or the needs of customers but from within oneself. To get employees to recognise this is a great challenge. How do we get our employees to shed the victim thinking and simply choose the path of personal accountability?

John Miller who promoted the QBQ - the question before question for personal accountability says the path towards personal accountability is in getting employees to move away from pity party to success party.

Personal Accountability presents us with a tremendous opportunity to contribute by using personally accountable, ‘I’ questions rather than ‘they’ questions. The performance culture driven by the concept of being, doing, having is emphasised as opposed to having, doing, being culture in the area of Personal Accountability.

I will be hosting a FREE Teleseminar on Personal Accountability. All you need to do is to pay for your phone call. Email to register your seat.

Tele seminar title: Personal Accountability
Date: 19th March, 2007 (Monday)
Time: Malaysian time 3.00pm - 3.30pm
Duration: 30 minutes
Implementing Collaborative Learning

We discussed in the last e news about the three essential components for collaborative learning -  intentional design, co-labouring and meaningful learning. Sometimes the research on instructional methods is highly criticized for comparing average classroom sessions with carefully designed experiential learning. Hence, there is a need for comparing the best classroom session with the best experiential activity.

Results show greater learner satisfaction, involvement and learning based on the results. Though most of the research is often in the educational setting, my own experiences in corporate training can vouch for it - I have found experiential learning extremely powerful.

The criticism from practitioners that collaborative learning takes more time and results in the content not being followed is being overcome by the strong results. Collaborative learning when well done leads to far more effective learning results and greater return on investment.

For more details, visit
Managing Difficult Conversations

Managing difficult conversations is a key to effectiveness in any context whether it is at the work place or in personal life. Successful relationships require we manage the difficult conversations (spoken and written) to prevent serious differences and bridge the gulf of differences in what people believe and feel.

When stakes are high, the outcome uncertain; people feel deeply about the issue on hand and when self esteem is affected; the issue is forgotten and the person is attacked, the conversations become difficult and awkward. Usually, people either quit or fight – the typical fight – flight syndrome that psychology classes teach us. We have a responsibility to deal with such situations effectively. There is a need to identify the common structure underlying difficult conversations and manage all the separate conversations taking place in any difficult conversation.

1. What happened conversations based on perceptions - which are right?
2. The Feelings conversation - Do I deal with them or quit?
3. The Identity conversation - Is this destroying my self esteem?

Great Managers and Trainers in a collaborative mode operate more effectively on these three realms. They avoid the blame game; they are constructive, turn sources of anxiety into sources of strength.  Getting straight to the purposes by discriminating your INTERESTS and PURPOSE is often the route to success. Framing the objective of the conversation to maximise the outcome is a path towards success.

While at University, I was very fond and still am of the book Games People Play. The fundamental book for Transactional Analysis outlines the games people play. I am always amazed by four statements that impacted me and are of great significance to all of us in our life:

I am not Okay – You are Okay
I am not Okay - You are not Okay
I am Okay – You are not Okay
I am Okay – You are Okay

Many of us get stuck at level 2 or at level 3. Healthy relationships must migrate to level 4. As Managers, Leaders and being in a training role, we have a responsibility to get people to the okay stage even after a difficult conversation. The famous lines from Napoleon Hill are often a success factor in dealing with difficult conversations -

“If you want to be the person you want to be, then you must WALK, TALK and BEHAVE like the person you want to be.”

We all make mistakes but it is never too late to address our weaknesses. Unfortunately, most of us preach best what we need most. For a full FREE article, email
SMR News

It is a month since we moved into our beautiful new office. Things have been very hectic with Asia HRD Congress just around the corner. We are pleased that the Asia HRD Congress Speakers Committee has invited Professor Don Kirkpatrick, Elliot Masie, Craig Rispin and some great professionals to address the Conference. For more details, visit

We are also pleased to inform that SMR USA Inc. is now officially operating with Professor Don Kirkpatrick as Chairman Emeritus, our Board of Director Ajay as a Director with Dr. Jim Kirkpatrick and Ravi Rajagopal in senior positions. This is our first serious step in taking HRDPower™, our flagship software product to the United States of America.  Personally, I have been as busy as possible and working out at the gym after a short break.

Take care and will be in touch next month.
March 2007
Asia HRD Congress 2007
Trainers Meet Trainers Going Places...

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