Build Stronger Relationships at Work to Advance your Career


Be it at work or in your personal life, knowing your own personality and that of your customers, colleagues or friends enables you to build stronger relationships with more successful outcomes. Understanding different personalities helps to reveal what lies behind people’s outward behaviours. We can then communicate in a way that others can more easily understand and relate to.

Key Questions
• Do you know yourself well? Are you leveraging your natural strengths and working on blind spots
• Are you Maximising your potential at work and developing managerial skills?
• How are you Building rapport with 9 different personalities; Perfectionist, Helper, Performer, Creator, Observer, Team Player, Adventurist, Leader, Peace Maker

After the success of the Future Leaders Summit last June, PMEs (Professionals, Managers and Executives) took part in a follow-up enrichment session from the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Membership Department (MED) on 29 October 2013.

The workshop, jointly organised with U Associate partner Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), aimed to help PMEs build stronger relationships at work and advance in their careers through a sharing by certified Life Coach Entrepreneur and Author, Andrew Chow.

As the Founder and Managing Director of IdeaMart (S) Pte Ltd, Mr Chow shared his knowledge in the areas of leveraging on natural strengths, working on blindspots, maximising one’s potential at work as well as building rapport with the nine different personalities that can be found at the workplace.

Service Relationship Manager Joreis Ong said that the workshop has helped her learn more about relationships and establishing better connections with people.

Sudipta Mallik, who is an assistant fleet manager, found the experience useful. He said: “I attended the talk just to see if I’m doing things right at the workplace and to learn how I can work towards improving myself. The nine different personalities which was shared was helpful. It helps me relate to the different personalities at the workplace better.”

Around 100 participants attended the session which took place at the NTUC Centre.

Build Stronger Relationships at Work to Advance your Career Build Stronger Relationships at Work to Advance your Career Build Stronger Relationships at Work to Advance your Career Build Stronger Relationships at Work to Advance your Career Build Stronger Relationships at Work to Advance your Career Build Stronger Relationships at Work to Advance your Career

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Andrew Chow Most Professional Profile Picture : Makeover Inc

With the founder of Makeover Inc, the Beautiful Miss Brenda GohA montage of 30 pictures

A Montage of 6 different Head Shot

A montage of 30 pictures

My favourite are:



It is said that first impression in the social media age begins with your profile picture. As a professional speaker, it is even more important to have a professional yet connecting photo in our one-page synopsis, website, blog, Faccebook page, etc.  Though I have known The Makeover Inc for 3 years, I only decided to use them in 2012. The result is more than I can imagine. The photographer, George is friendly and fun, knows how to capture my essence in the precise moment even when I was chatting with him. He knows all the different poses which can bring out my strength. The customer service staff Angela is friendly and meticulous, the make up artist is patient and creative. Of course, last but not least, Brenda herself is always full of positive energy and ideas.

For high resolution of my pictures –


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Handling Tough Questions with Great Answers – The Commonality between Dating and Job Interview


“What are your weaknesses?”

  • No “correct” answer
  • Don’t share weaknesses related to the job at hand
  • Take a weakness and put a positive spin on it
  • Tell the employer how you’re improving upon it
  • Don’t give a strength disguised as a weakness (for example, “I am a perfectionist.”)

“Why did you leave your last job?”

  • Employers want to see if you’ll talk badly about your former employer
  • Don’t give into the temptation!
  • Even if you left for negative reasons, an interview is not the proper place to share dirt about your last employer
  • Stay professional
  • Great answer:“The cultural fit wasn’t right for me at that organization. This company would be much better because of [something in the culture you’ve researched].”

“Tell me about yourself.”

  • Keep your answer concise but comprehensive
  • A prepared elevator speech (30-to 60-second pitch about yourself) is a great tool to use for answering this question
  • Talk about accomplishments, traits, education and experience
  • Resist the urge to drone on and on –the interviewer will be asking more questions. No need to share your life story!

“Tell me about the worst boss you’ve ever had.”

  • Again, resist the temptation to divulge dirt on past experiences
  • Don’t vent frustrations
  • Great answer: “I’ve had all types of bosses, and some were much better than others at managing and communication.” It’s broad enough so you don’t come across as unprofessional, but still answers the question

“Why should I hire you?”

  • To answer this question, you need to have a strong handle on your fit at the organization—which requires some research
  • Perhaps you see that the organization lacks a clear marketing strategy, something you have experience in creating and implementing
  • Depending on what you find and your unique selling points, answer confidently and show the hiring manager how you will benefit the organization if they hire you
  • Talk about past accomplishments
  • Make them want to hire you

“Give me an example of a time when you had to [work in a team, think on your feet, work with a difficult client, etc.]…”

  • This is where the accomplishment stories in your cover letter and resume can come in handy
  • The worst thing you can do when asked to give an example of something is to panic and fail to come up with one
  • Come prepared with several stories that you can share about past experiences to show that you are capable in a variety of situations

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

  • Show that you’ve thought about sticking around the company and possibly moving up in the organization.
  • However, don’t say you see yourself in your interviewer’s position!
  • Discuss how your skills and traits can help you excel at the current position and benefit the company in the future
  • Don’t share anything too personal, such as plans to start a family or travel the world, which could take you out of the running for the job

DOs & DON’Ts

DO be courteous and respectful of every employee at the organization

  • You make your first impression at the receptionist or secretary
  • Make it a positive one!

DO bring extra resumesand/or your portfolio to the interview

  • The hiring manager might not have a copy in front of them or it could get lost in the shuffle
  • Your portfolio is a great tool to use to share examples of past work

DO give detailed examples along with your answers

  • Use accomplishment stories, past work assignments and projects and workplace situations to explain your point

DON’T answer questions in one word

  • A simple “yes” or “no” often isn’t enough explanation

DON’T inquire about salary/benefits/vacation/ etc.

  • There’s an appropriate time and place for this—and it’s not during your initial interview

DO ask for the interviewer’s business card and hand them one of your own.

  • This ensures you have the proper spelling of their name, their email address and telephone number

DO be honest and be yourself

  • Don’t exaggerate or lie during the interview
  • The hiring manager will likely find out and you’ll diminish your chances at landing the job

DO ask great questions

  • It shows your interest in the organization
  • It conveys passion about the opening

DO close the interview telling the interviewer(s) you want the job and asking about next steps

  • This helps to determine when you should follow-up and gives you a general sense of the timeline for the opening

DO write a thank you card after to the interview

  • Genuinely thank the employer for their time
  • Reiterate things you spoke about during the interview

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Power Networking Tips for Professionals, Executives, Managers and Technologists

Networking is one of the best personable way of spreading your influence through knowing people, forming connections; giving and sharing before you receive.

In this presentation, the power networking tips are presented in 4 categories:

P – Prepare before Your Venture

M – Mind Your Manners in Networking

E – Experience Sowing and Reaping

T – Take the Social Networking Plunge


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Christmas (20-23 Dec,2010) @ Conrad Hotel @ Bangkok, Thailand






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The CEO's Afternoon Tea @ Chihuly Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

Have you ever thought of having real afternoon tea with premium snack served by courses while chatting the afternoon discussing possible alliance or catching up with an old friend?

Check out Bernardaud Afternoon Tea @ Chihuly Lounge @ The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. It’s a cozy tea house in the afternoon and a Jazzy place by night. It doesn’t serve lunch but if guests wish to have their lunch there, it can be arranged upon request.

My good friend Jenny recommended this  place initially as a place who serve you after tea and snacks by courses. The idea intrigued me and frankly my impression is they serve everything in quick succession while tea was free flow.

That all change the minute we walked in, we were ushered to our table ….

Chihuly - Traditional Afternoon Tea
The Basic Table Initial Setup is a beautiful English tea set with heavy cutlery. Our round table adds a touch of classic elegance to the whole setting

Chihuly - Traditional Afternoon Tea

1st Course : Tea Cocktail served with a selection of Crackers with XO Chili Sambal


This looks like a typical welcome drink except that it really quench your thirst and opens up your appetite for the next 7 courses

Chihuly - Traditional Afternoon Tea

2nd Course : Tea Ceremony

Selection of Tea or Freshly-brewed Coffee


The tea is clear and smooth for the throat, the coffee was not worth much mentioning especially if you have tasted premium coffee brewed by baristas.

3rd Course : Carving Station Trolley

Beef Wellington, Horseradish Cream and Port Wine Jus


Salmon Coulibiac with Sauce Gribiche


This is our favourite and unfortunately we can’t have another serving. Every piece comes from the carving station trolley located just next to the glass window.

4th Course :

Tea Set Stand

Open and Closed Sandwiches

Smoked Chicken and Chestnut Salad in Laugen Roll

Avocado and Cream Cheese in Whole Meal Finger and Cucumber

Parma Ham on Olive Baguette

Scottish Smoked Salmon in Almond Buns

5th Course : Plain and Raisin Scones

Pistachio Macaroons

Lemon Cheese Cake with Meringue

Chocolate Praline Tarts

Strawberry Puffs


This is the most decorated course with 3 levels served in a wheel set; itself a great composition for photography. I decided to feature each one in detail with the following 3 pictures.

Open and Closed Sandwiches

Smoked Chicken and Chestnut Salad in Laugen Roll

Avocado and Cream Cheese in Whole Meal Finger and Cucumber

Parma Ham on Olive Baguette

Scottish Smoked Salmon in Almond Buns

Chihuly - Traditional Afternoon Tea

Plain and Raisin Scones

Pistachio Macaroons

Lemon Cheese Cake with Meringue

Chocolate Praline Tarts

Strawberry Puffs


An interesting incident happened as we were about to come to the end of the 4th course. A handsome waiter approached us and asked if we want another “wheel” of serving. Each guest is entitled to one wheel, they normally just served one and will only serve the 2nd if we want more. Thinking that it is the end of the 8th course (remember we had 10 items, we actually thought they serve everything at once), we asked for the 2nd wheel. Our excitement soon turn into disappointment as we see the identical food.

It was only after we finished off the 2nd wheel that another nice waitress came over to explain we are still at Course No. 4!  We realized we should have just moved on to 5th without asking for another serving.

Jenny and I would like to suggest to the management of the Cafe to explain the 8 courses in full before serving the customers. There were no menu given and all first timers will assume by the time the big wheel is served, it is almost the end.

This lovely staff explained to us there are more courses on the way when we thought we had everything. She keep ensuring our tea and coffee is always warm. Whether our cups are half empty, she will refill. Notice the trolley behind her? Thats the serving for 3rd Course

The use of match sticks for our tea was good old English fashion but it produces a stark burning scent throughout the cafe whenever one is used. We suggest using instant fire starter to enhance the eating pleasure at the cafe.

Chihuly - Traditional Afternoon Tea

6th Course : Berries with Bora-Bora Vanilla Cream


Honestly, by the time we come to this, our stomachs were full. In all fairness, this is a timely course to break away from all the heavy scones and bread earlier.

Chihuly - Traditional Afternoon Tea

7th Course : Raspberry Sorbet or Passion Fruit Sorbet or Mango Sorbet


This is refreshing but a little too sour for me, i wonder if this is a good fit to the overall English tea concept. However, RED always brighten up your table and your day.

Chihuly - Traditional Afternoon Tea

8th Course : Selection of Tea Cakes, Cookies, Kueh Lapis and Pralines


We were surprised we are back to cakes again, but we love the banana cakes, you can choose 2 from each tray. I wanted to have all but can only do it symbolically through a picture :)

On the whole, the venue and the afternoon tea provides the mixture of elegance and relaxation for a nice long tea session. Whether you are CEO looking for a nice tea place to entertain your client, or a tai tai trying to find new venue to rally more kakis, Chihuly Cafe is the place for you.

We spend 2.5 hours there on the last afternoon of 2010

If you wish to experience the classic afternoon 8-course tea, your damage is only a small

$39++ per person

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Hasty Hanoi Experience (4-7 Jan)

Business Culture

I only visited the financial sector in Hanoi, both banks are state-owned. The culture of civil service is almost identical with other countries. One of the banks I visited is owned by the military! There are always opportunities for training and consultancy in customer service, soft skills, grooming, workplace communication, social media, etc. The internet community is very savvy and there is great growth in social media community in the past 1.5 years.


Hanoi Trip 4-7 Jan 2011

Huong is my splendid translator in Vietnam. I was too eager to share my thoughts to our representative’s client that at one stage I find she was overly detailed. Later she explained that her job is to make my presentation understood by the audience and the POINT must be made as accurately as possible and not just a direct translation. I am humbled by the wisdom of this girl.

It is still a barrier. Even with people who knows English they prefer to converse in Vietnam and require a translator. Entertainment your client if you are doing business in Vietnam can be a whole day affair from lunch to meeting to tea break to more meetings to dinner.

Weather from Dec to Jan

Hanoi Trip 4-7 Jan 2011Yes! At 12 degree, we were on the road trying to smile and look cool in front of the cold camera

Honestly, I didn’t research on the weather before I reached Hanoi on 4 Jan. It was the 2nd week of winter and it went down to 10 degree. The fun was I didn’t bring any warm clothes except my jacket. It was manageable and I survived. The winter is relatively short in Hanoi about 5-6 weeks. The bad weather led to heavy fogging and plane delay. This bring me to another point.

Transit or Direct?

If you are going to Hanoi, just fly direct and avoid transit. Domestic planes in Vietnam are smaller and has frequent delays due to many reasons. Spending 5-6 hours in Ho Chih Minh airport can be like eternity without internet access. I had to walk some distance from international airport to domestic airport for my flight. The only consolation is I walked into the Business Lounge and rested there with drinks and food all on the house without showing my boarding pass. Just because I dress as a business class passenger, the staff assumed I am on business class :)

Choice of Accommodation

I know most business travelers would prefer 5-star hotel for comfort. However, if you are on your own and exploring business opportunities, choose a 3-star hotel with good customer service and free wi-fi. I stayed at Asean Hotel which provides a netbook for every guest regardless of room type. The rooms are very clean and food is above average.

It is near to the market place and allow me a chance to experience the authentic Vietnamese lifestyle. Personally I do not see the need to find a posh hotel if I am not on a holiday.

Amazing Traffic


Remember the time when we were young, we were taught to look left, then look right and finally left again before crossing. In Hanoi. I have to do that a lot. This video shows the better traffic condition on a normal weekday afternoon. In a busy T-junction, every car can be turning at 8 different directions without stopping. In some roads where there is no dividers, the view is even more scary inside the taxi. Amazingly I didn’t see any accident in 4 days. The only accident I witnessed was caused by me. I knocked down a motorist while I was opening my car door! She toppled along with her motor and caused a one-minute delay of traffic. I was told not to get out of the car while my Vietnamese friends did the talking.


Food in Hanoi is a little different from the south like Ho Chih Minh. Pho Bo is everywhere, Vietnamese have it mostly during breakfast and dinner. As I am crazy over raw beef, it’s heaven to me. I have only tried the street food from a run-down shophouse, yet to venture into those on the road side. In restaurants, there are a wide selection, the hot pot which is the chinese equivalent of steamboat is mostly vegetables and beef. So if you are not a beef lover, you may have your choice rather limited.Vietnamese food to be is already a fusion on its own. It has a little Chinese, French and Vietnamese elements.

Urban Development

The Seaprodex building which houses the office of my Vietnam representative – Talent Pool; used to be the most modern building in Hanoi some 15-20 years ago. The first to have a lift serving every floor. Now it is dwarfed by other sky scrappers. The skyline of Hanoi is painted by ultra modern buildings next to shop houses built before World War 2. The income gap is widening as the boundary of Hanoi keep expanding; now 7 districts. Almost everyone own a vehicle be it a car, motor or a bicycle. It’s hard to flag a cab on the road, faster to make a call to book one. There are very little night life in Hanoi except in 5-star hotel. Pub usually close by 11pm. SPA closes at 10pm; and I mean real SPA not some prostitute dens in disguise.

Surprise Surprise

I like to make a special mention of SF SPA ( The biggest surprise isn’t how professional the SPA is, or how spacious the venue was. The lady I found who speak the most fluent English in Hanoi happen to be the masseur who serviced me. She was in training in Singapore for the SPA industry for 6 months before the law changes on Work Permit. I encouraged her to become a tour guide or work as a customer service officer in the bank rather than to work 12-14 hours a day with only 2 days off in a month.

Talent Pool

Hanoi Trip 4-7 Jan 2011

Duong, the CEO of Talent Pool leads a team of dynamic ladies. Their forte is in Human Capital matching talents with job requirements from reputable clients who top players in the banking, oil and gas industry in Vietnam. With a branch in Ho Chih Minh, they can serve anyone; anywhere in Vietnam. Any regional search firm in Asia who is keen to have a Vietnam partner can consider working with them (

[slideshare id=6517700&doc=establishingprofessionalimageandpersonalbranding-110111083908-phpapp02&type=d]

Talent Pool will be my official marketing representative in Vietnam for all my training courses. I will be delivering the keynote for the upcoming Professional Image and Grooming Seminar on the 19 Jan, 2011. the details are attached in the above slideshare and those who are interested may contact Ms.Huyen, (097 379 1092)

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