On 15 August 2022, SMOU’s Industrial Relations department organised a Personal Effectiveness Course and Fireside Chat for some 20 SMOU Foreign-Going Deck members. SMOU General Secretary Ms Mary Liew greeted members and commended their keenness for learning by signing up for this course. She shared how she is a firm believer of taking responsibility for one’s learning, and how this will set them apart from the rest.
Led by e2i trainer Ms Yasmin Abdeen, the course saw members learning how to develop their soft skills and managing communication in the workplace. As communication is a two-way street, Ms Yasmin elaborated how people from different cultures may approach punctuality and certain actions differently. As such, familiarising members with the various gestures and slangs might help them understand another individual better, thus boosting effective communication.
To further value add to the workshop, members were encouraged to voice the communication barriers they faced on board. The sharing session helped the facilitator to understand the situations that they were met with, and helped provide advice on how to prevent the scenario from reoccurring again. SMOU General Secretary Ms Mary Liew and Emeritus General Secretary Mr Thomas Tay were also in attendance for the fireside chat. They rallied attendees to speak up on their challenges as it is through speaking up, that they would learn how to react in future should the same obstacles arise. Through their encouragement, members felt strengthened to share their concerns and views. It was a meaningful and fulfilling discussion with the SMOU officials and workshop facilitators and members left feeling certain and empowered with the session.
After the workshop ended, members headed down to Lighthouse Bistro where they exchanged conversations with one another over a meal. As this was the first in-person workshop and gathering they attended since the pandemic, members were excitedly networking and sharing a laugh with each other. Having adhered to the virtual platform for the past two and a half years due to safe management measures, members were eager to finally be able to interact in-person instead of being behind a screen. SeaVoices joined in to touch base and get a sense of how COVID-19 was like for them, the challenges they faced, as well as to gather more insight of the effectiveness of the workshop.
Mr Bob said he appreciated SMOU for specifically choosing such value-adding workshops that would benefit them in the workplace.
SMOU member Mr Manimaran, said the session helped him gain more insight into others’ experiences within the industry and has helped him understand different cultures more.
Mr Benjamin said this course was helpful as he learnt how to better communicate with others and be more understanding towards others in the workplace. As interpersonal communication is something that takes time to develop, Benjamin put his new skills to use during the dinner at Lighthouse Bistro, initiating conversations with other members at the venue.
SMOU is a strong advocate for lifelong learning, and looks forward to seeing more members signing up for courses that would help them be more effective in their workplaces. As effective communication is a powerful resource, SMOU hopes to conduct more of such workshops in future.