We spoke to Fazilah Rahman, Corporate Services Manager, and Farah Samat, Corporate Services Assistant, who undertook the same journey and were keen to share the impact of their experiences. Both of them have worked at Rajah and Tann Singapore LLP for about two years.
A Valuable Common Experience
Fazilah, 41, and Farah, 23, were pleased to share that the workshop process itself was a high point for them. “It’s the joy of being together. We barely have time to mingle with one another. During the course, we got to understand each other better. It’s a time to really learn and have fun! ” Farah beamed. Attending the workshops with colleagues from various departments also enlivened the conversations leading to greater understanding and appreciation of one another’s work demands and constraints. Both Fazilah and Farah commented that they were invigorated during the workshops, and among those who attended the workshops, there is now more give-and-take and commitment to resolve issues together.
Leading for Excellence
A Corporate Services Manager, Fazilah remarked that the workshops have honed her managerial skills. To lead her team to deliver quality service, she is now more conscious of being sensitive to her staff, and being inclusive by sharing management issues and constraints openly with them. This also includes jointly setting goals and specific timeframes with her staff. By being forthright and clear, she finds her team more cohesive and committed to the vision of the organization.For many, working with internal customers can be a bigger struggle than dealing with external clients. In this aspect, Fazilah shared that she has learnt to be more understanding and more intentional in applying ‘different strokes for different folks’ to achieve win-win outcomes. She cited an example of her interactions with an internal customer who always seems tense and flustered, but whose services are crucial to her. Having taken the time to apply her learning, Fazilah has been able to empathize with the frustrations and problems faced by this colleague and she is more confident in their working relationship.
Empathizing and ‘Wiping Off the Coffee Stain’
Farah, Corporate Services Assistant, quipped that being ‘more forgiving’ is one of the most direct outcomes for her. She explained emphatically that clients have their anxieties too and when conversations turn tense, it is crucial for her to learn about their circumstances first. She elaborated, “We don’t know their stories. We need to put ourselves in their shoes…we also have to be mindful of our tone.”
In working with her colleagues, Farah shared the importance of approaching each of them appropriately so as to avoid triggers that might cloud the issues at hand. Going for win-win outcomes has become a priority and she is now mindful of good practices in her interaction with others. Farah explained, “For example, when I convey a message, I would avoid mentioning names so that the situation is seen for what it is, and as such, I invite the team to look at the situation, rather than assigning blame.”
She shared a mantra gleaned from the workshops that now guides her – ‘wiping off the coffee stain’. Simply put, when one has drunk his coffee at a common area, he should be mindful enough to clean off the mug stain so as not to inconvenience the next person using the area. To Farah, this phrase illustrates the need to be other-centered, a central theme in the workshops, and to demonstrate ownership. Farah added that as one person begins to live by the mantra, he or she would create a ripple effect and bring about a more caring culture. He or she would also have the ability to stop a cycle of bad habits and bring about a positive change.
Capelle Academy is an accredited training provider with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).
Capelle offers programs under the following WSQ frameworks:
- Leadership & People Management (LPM)
- Business Management (BM)
- Executive Development and Growth for Excellence (EDGE)
- Service Excellence (SVCF)
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