Grow Inside & Out Talk

I gave a short talk on appearance, poise and behavior for the ushering and welcome ministry of Focus on Christ International Ministries.

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Taboo Topics

Sometimes, the atmosphere in a social gathering can be ruined just because of conversation topics that are considered taboo, off-limits or too intrusive. Asking about a person’s salary, talking about someone’s sex life, poking fun at religion or bullying people because of it… it may seem like others have accepted this as a norm, but it’s good to be reminded about manners, respect & courtesy.

SPEAKING AT LSGH AGAIN !

It’s always a joy for me to speak at La Salle Greenhills. When I was first asked to give a talk (I was actually subbing for my very good friend Ginny), I WAS SO NERVOUS! I was overwhelmed with the thought of speaking in front of a huge crowd of boys! I sought advice from some of my teacher friends and really went in with tons of prayer. I give credit to God for everything–the boldness to speak, the ability to engage and influence them. Watch the video below and see how much I had with the Grade 11 boys.

Insights and Notes from the 16th Leaders and Achievers Summit

img_4472-001I always look forward to opportunities to improve myself through learning. For the past few years, I’ve been taking online classes offered by universities and have benefitted a lot from the excellently-planned educational material that I can access from the comfort of my own home. I like that I am able to listen to professors’ lectures from across the globe, submit my assignment on a weekly basis, participate in lesson discussions with classmates from different nationalities and of course, test my lesson retention through weekly quizzes.

Books are definitely good learning and reference material, allowing readers to be somehow mentored by the writers as they share their life, passion and research. The most exciting for me it seems, are seminars and conferences. Being a public speaker myself, it is a joy for me to listen to seasoned professionals and subject-matter experts who bring their varied education, background and experiences. The fact that I can actually interact and network with them in the flesh is a bonus. I especially like it when they open the floor for questions for it allows attendees to clarify insights and seek the speakers’ viewpoints.

I recently attended the 16th Leaders and Achievers Summit organized by Salt and Light Ventures. They brought together six world-class speakers who shared their experience and insights on Creating Leadership Value and strengthening one’s personal and leadership brand.

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Gerry Plana, the CEO of Investors in People UK (Philippines) started the day with “Leadership Branding Defined.” In his talk, he outlined:
-the value of the brand and how leadership benefits from a brand
-understanding the two main strains which produced a multitude of leadership brands today
-developing one’s personal leadership brand
-developing an organization’s leadership brand

Continue reading

Covering Jacqueline Whitmore’s Press Conference in Manila

When I heard that Jacqueline Whitmore would be one of the speakers for the 16th Achievers and Leaders Summit at Shangri-la, I immediately got in touch with Salt and Light Ventures to inquire about the learning event. The Achievers and Leaders Summit is a conference that brings together influential leaders of various fields with ideas that inspire and provoke change. The event is often well-attended, allowing companies and individuals to be briefly mentored by world-class speakers towards a better work life. This year, the focus of the ALS is Creating Leadership Value.

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Jacqueline Whitmore is an international etiquette expert, a bestselling author and a certified speaking professional. With years of experience under her belt handling various functions, Jacqueline has developed and defined her own leadership brand which she has seamlessly tied up with her etiquette expertise.

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She has released three books so far: Poised for Success, How to Mingle, Network and Remember Names and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work.

Below are snippets from the press conference.

Etiquette Lesson: Is it appropriate to ask a couple “Why don’t you have kids yet?”

NO.

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Sure, this question can be masked with “concern” but really, their decision to have kids is none of anyone’s business. This is a common embarrassing question in Filipino social gatherings and I have seen how couples at the receiving end of the question squirm uncomfortably. See, the couple may actually want kids but may have some challenges reproducing. It isn’t their fault that they are experiencing that. Why add insult to injury by asking them a sensitive question?

On the other side of the spectrum, the couple may have that mutual decision not to have children. Again, their reasons are none of anyone’s business. Do not take it against them for it is their choice. Before anyone considers asking this question, I think it’s wise to consider:

  • Why must I ask this question? What is my motive?
  • Am I friends with the couple? Do they consider me as someone they can trust? – Personal questions like our example above may be alright for people the couple trusts. Don’t just blurt this out when you meet them for the first time or if your friendship hasn’t deepened just yet. Chances are, if the couple grows to trust you, they will mention it without you having to ask.
  • Will it directly affect me if I don’t get the answer to the question? Am I “concerned” or just curious?

This may seem like a common question that’s thrown around but it pays to be mindful of how the other party would feel. Remember that courtesy is appreciated by a lot of people–it makes them want to continue talking to you or listen to what you have to say.

Stay classy!

Etiquette Lesson: Can I take any vacant seat on a plane?

Depending on the rules and regulations of your airline, there are some carriers that allow passengers to take any seat they want on a first-come first serve basis. Airlines like Air KBZ of Myanmar let passengers pick their seats but you’ll have to be quick!

For flights with reserved seating arrangements, you must comply with the rules. You only take the seat you’re assigned to. Unless you’re traveling with a group and you’re okay to switch places, then that can be arranged
In the event that you’re not happy with your seat and wish to switch, and you see that there are vacant spots, you will have to wait until boarding is done. Politely speak to the cabin crew and ask if you can be transferred to a vacant seat of your choice. Don’t just voluntarily sit there without asking for permission.

Image courtesy of www.gocabincrew.com

Image courtesy of http://www.gocabincrew.com

In the case that went viral on social media between Melissa Mendez, Andrew Wolff and his friend Rey Pamaran, you can recall that the actress was on Pamaran’s reserved seat so that she could take a picture of the clouds. Reports say that she informed them about it when the two got to their seats but this didn’t turn out so well.

I think a nicer way to have gone about it is waiting for the passengers who reserved the seats to arrive. If she wished to take a photo, she could have asked permission properly. I guess it would be a different story all together.

Remember, when you’re on a plane:

  • Be polite, respect the cabin crew and your fellow passengers. Behave in such a way that you’d like to also be treated, don’t intentionally disturb other passengers if you yourself do not want to be disturbed.
  • As soon as you board and find your seat, stow away your carry-on luggage in the overhead bin or under the seat.
  • Try to use the restroom before the plane takes off. If you get an aisle seat, that’s fine. But what if you get a window seat and you’re seated next to people you don’t know? Of course you will have to excuse yourself as you stand and squeeze yourself to get out of the space.
  • Think twice before making a scene. If someone insults you, be the bigger person and think: If I respond to this behaviour, what will I gain? Would it be better to keep my silence? How should I properly respond to this without letting my emotions get out of control?
  • Let the cabin crew know if you need any help, if someone is harassing you. In this age of camera phones, everything can be captured and shared online. You might be a viral superstar before you even get to your destination.

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

The test of good manners is to be able to put up pleasantly with bad ones.
Wendell Willkie