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A coaching client was let go

The company then decided.

To give him another opportunity.

But he would have to accept a lower position.

Sure, it wasn’t easy for him to go back to an environment where he used to hold a higher position.

But he was determined to succeed at this second opportunity.

When his bosses recognised his determination, they were willing to invest in coaching sessions for his professional development.

Now, he’ been promoted and doing well.

All because he embraced a growth mindset by:

👍 Handing feedback positively
👈 Understanding the past doesn’t determine the future
✌ Turning a crisis into an opportunity



Non-Negotiable as a Leader

At a recent Strategy Meeting with a group of leaders,

I invited them to share ↘️

What they think are non-negotiable as a leader.

Interestingly, one of them said: “Leaders with fixed mindset.”

I cannot agree more.

I once had to work with a manager with a fixed mindset.

Then I had the opportunity to work with one with a growth mindset.

He was:

💡open to ideas,
👀 willing to explore opportunities
👂 pay attention to feedback

With him, the team is more engaged and our performance increased, which in turn contributed to the company’s profitability.

In today’s context, we cannot afford to embrace a fixed mindset.

Or else, the performance and profitability of our businesses will also be fixed.

SkillsFuture Fellowships Award 2018

As an advocate for lifelong learning, it was a delight receiving Singapore’s highest skills award – the SkillsFuture Fellowships Award last evening. Presented by the President of the Republic of Singapore, the award honour individuals as masters of skills and mentors of future talent. 

It was awesome meeting fellow awardees and hearing their inspiring stories. Love the many engaging conversations about growth and development. Here is the list of fellow awardees:

During the dinner, I took the advice of Nike “Just Do It” and bravely made my way to present my book Fly Free to our President. I never imagined that I will have this opportunity to gift a copy of my book to our President. 


Thanks SkillsFuture SG for the wonderful evening and congratulations once again to all recipients! Continue to inspire. Also special thanks to my publisher and friend Phoon Kok Hwa for supporting the nomination.

Indeed, with a learning mindset, all dreams are possible.



Awesome Lifelong Learners

It’s a wrap! Thank you Lifelong Learning Institute for the opportunity to partner you for this year’s #lifelonglearningfestival2017. Thank you Learn SG for supporting our Growth Series of 8 different sessions for personal development and professional growth.

As a consultant and learning facilitator, it gives me awesome joy when others embrace learning. There’s lots of other things one could be doing after a working day. Yet the participants made time to learn and some of them have been consistently attending all the sessions in the series.

Facilitating 8 evening sessions within 4 weeks was at times a stretch for us because some workdays started at 5am. Yet when evening time arrives, the #smiles and #enthusiasm of the participants energises us!

Participants also took the time to write us emails to share their thoughts on the sessions. These made our day as their sharing helps us to continuously value create in what we do. Here are some insights received:

  • On behalf of my friends whom I asked to join me in these workshops, I would like to thank you & your team of various speakers/facilitators/co-ordinators/cameraman, for all your efforts in making the workshops possible.  You and your team have truly been amazing! I must say that throughout my career with various MNCs, I have been sent to various corporate trainings both abroad and here locally, and none, I must say, can surpass the way your workshop is conducted.  There was never a moment I felt bored in class!  You truly have outshined all other Speakers/Facilitators that I know!
  • Appreciate all you efforts in making these events a successful and fulfilling ones. Your events are the most beneficial and wow to me..short but useful. Thank you very much.
  • You leave a very good impression on us with your welcoming big smiles at the entrance and throughout the classes. It’s not easy especially after a long day work. So thank you for this.  =) I have been very blessed by the teaching & sharing of Bernadette’s knowledge,
    Hopefully we will have opportunity to meet again or work together in future soon. She remind me of “Oprah” somehow.

Thank you to our 5 co-faciliators who are experts in their respective fields Phoon Kok Hwa, Michelle Ow, Terence Chiew, Lyn Wong and Yeo Xi-Wei, #awesometeam who supported tirelessly the administrative & logistical requirements Yvonne Chua, Jasmine Chang and and TS.

And of course, thank you to the 8 groups of #awesomelearners who participated actively and shared joyfully with each other. Collective #wisdom, #synergy and #lifelonglearning rocks! Much love!


Lifelong Learning Festival 2017

Growth Series

For this year’s Lifelong Learning Festival, we have curated a series of 90 minutes bite-sized sessions on a wide range of topics for personal development, professional growth and value creation.

Value Creation for Success

As market conditions and business environments change, value creation is critical for business and professional success in an increasingly VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world. Join us for an interactive and engaging session which explores strategies to further enhance personal performance and contribute to the team success.

  • What’s the mindsets needed to be future ready?
  • What are the 5 qualities needed to become a Most Valuable Professional in an organisation?

Monday 6 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Event Hall 2-2, Lifelong Learning Institute
To register: http://bit.ly/valuecreationforsuccesstalk


Connect with Your Clients More Effectively

The ability to connect with customers and provide a positive customer experience is essential for greater customer satisfaction and enhanced repeated business. Join us for an interactive session which provides tips for communicating more effectively with your clients.

  • The #1 quality to have to connect with your clients
  • Communicate according to your clients’ preferences

Thursday 9 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Training Room 1-1, Lifelong Learning Institute
To register: http://bit.ly/connectwithyourclients


Manage Your Triggers, Accelerate Your Success

Certain situations can provoke even the most rational among us into reacting and behaving differently. The ability to understand and master triggers will accelerate success and further enhance relationships. Join us for an engaging session which provide understanding on what are triggers and practical tips to mastering them.

  • Identifying Your Triggers
  • Designing a Plan for Positive Change that last

Tuesday 21 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Training Room 1-1, Lifelong Learning Institute
To register: http://bit.ly/manageyourtriggers


Gamification: Mastering the Rules of Engagement with Employees and Clients

Games have been played since the beginning of time. We all love playing games, but we only think of it in the evenings, and on the weekends. What if incorporating games could forever change the way you interact with your colleagues, your bosses and your clients?

Explore how you can harness game mechanics, principles and designs to effectively engage your employees or customers, and break new barriers in designing unique experiences with us!

  • Understand the principles of gamification, and how it affects engagement strategies
  • Use game design techniques as a tool to tackle interactive challenges and problems

Thursday 23 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Event Hall 2-2, Lifelong Learning Insititute
To register: http://bit.ly/gamificationmasteringtherulesofengagement


Building Future Ready Teams with Action Learning

The world is now standing on the brink of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. Indeed, across industries, there is clear evidence that the technologies that underpin this Revolution are having a major impact on businesses. To sustain growth amidst the challenges and disruptions in the future economy, a key imperative for organisations to be future-ready is to equip teams with a higher level of adaptability, productivity, nimbleness and performance.

The time is now for organisations to quickly to adapt their leadership development approach to build future-ready teams to “Future Proof” themselves. Join us in this talk as our speakers facilitate a discussion on leadership challenges in the VUCA world and how organisations can thrive in the VUCA world through Action Learning.

  • Leadership challenges in the VUCA world
  • Harnessing the power of action learning to develop teams
  • Get to experience a hands-on action learning session

Friday 24 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Event Hall 2-2, Lifelong Learning Institute
To register: http://bit.ly/buildingfuturereadyteams


Growth Mindset for Success

As babies, we do not stop learning to crawl, to stand and to walk because we decide it is too hard and not worth the effort. We fall, we get up and barge forward. So what changes this can-do attitude for some of us as we grow up? Why do some people thrive in the face of challenging circumstances while others buckle at the first failure? In this session, we gain a perspective on what world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered in her decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference and creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports.

  • Understanding the Growth Mindset
  • Applications of the Growth Mindset for Success

Tuesday 28 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Event Hall 2-2, Lifelong Learning Institute
To register: http://bit.ly/growthmindsetforsuccess


Journey Within to
Your Future Self

One aspect of journeying within, is being able to identify what is truly important – what is it that is most valued? What characteristic/quality is most important to you, that will be your North Star, to guide you into a purposeful future? During the session, we will support you in this exploration and identification. As you leave the session, you will be more focused and gain clarity on how to move yourself, and your team, forward into the future.

  • Understanding the Values that Drive You
  • Four Questions to Ask Yourself for Clarity on Decisions

Wednesday 29 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Event Hall 2-1, Lifelong Learning Institute
To register: http://bit.ly/journeywithintoyourfutureself


Facilitating Effective Meetings that Work

Meetings are necessary for group work to provide an avenue to share information, reach decisions & get jobs done. However, when meetings drag longer than necessary, with people talking over each other, tensions rising, no decisions being made or all decisions being made by one person who dominates the whole meeting, they become unproductive. Unproductive meetings lead to frustration and inefficiency.

Interested to learn how to make meetings more productive & inclusive? Join us for this interactive session where you can pick up some useful techniques to:

  • Make meetings work more effectively
  • Involve everyone in the meeting to generate ideas & reach agreements acceptable to everyone

Thursday 30 November 2017
7pm to 8.30pm, Event Hall 2-2, Lifelong Learning Institute
To register: http://bit.ly/facilitatingeffectivemeetings




Supported by LearnSG Seedfund:

Team Agility for Success


Back at MediaCorp, this time to facilitate a talk on Team Agility for Success.

Am not a fan of boring lecture style talks so we design talks that are facilitative with lots of interactive opportunities. Because talks can be meaningful conversation pieces to effect change.

During the one and half hours session, colleagues from different departments of MediaCorp interacted with each other and experienced team agility in process. Ideas and insights were shared, harnessing the power of collective wisdom.

That’s lunch time well spent indeed.



If you are looking for interactive talks for your organisation, drop us a note at enquiries@thedreamcatalyst.com for a chat.

Building a Culture for Growth

Was at 938Live The Breakfast Club for a radio interview with Keith De Souza on Building a Culture for Growth.

With the ever changing business landscape, it is critical for businesses to intentionally envision, design and implement strategies for building a culture that is agile, growth-minded and solutions-focused.

May more business leaders and owners listening in to the programme be inspired to start creating a strong company culture.

What strategies could we use to promote a growth culture in your workplace? Listen to the interview: Building a Culture for Growth


Building A Growth Mindset

An awesome afternoon facilitating conversations and learnings at the Building a Growth Mindset workshop, a project supported by the @LearnSG Seedfund. The more we share and tap on collective wisdom, the more joyous and rich is the learning!




No Natural Talent? Grow your Ability. It’s more lasting.

The Heart 11 Sept 2012


Read “Mindset, the new psychology of success” by Carol S Dweck recently. Wished I had read this in 2006 but hey, awesome to have read it now. 😊

Mindset BookThe author Carol Dweck, a Standford University psychologist, shared how having a growth mindset as leaders, teachers, parents, coaches etc can motivate people to reach their goals and success. That by praising effort rather than talent has long term positive effects.

I like to share about my art teacher Diana who demonstrates this growth mindset when teaching her students and the immense impact it has.

I was terrible in art in secondary school and believed that I had no talent. Then in 2012, a friend connected me with Diana as I was interested to learn how to paint.

The Heart (main picture) was completed at my first lesson. It was only possible because Diana shared that everyone can learn how to paint. So I focused on picking up the techniques required rather than on my past experiences of scoring low marks on art.

Through the subsequent lessons, I discovered that the times when I could be immersed in the learning process was when I enjoyed it the most. During the moments when I focused on whether the painting was pretty or not, was when I became stressed and felt like giving up (fixed mindset came to play).

The more I became interested in the painting process rather than questioning myself if I’ve talent or not, the more ‘in flow” I became. I would choose a different focus each time in order to learn different techniques eg painting koi fish, the sea or lace curtains.

The fixed mindset believes that intelligence is static which leads to a desire to look smart and therefore, a tendency to:

  • avoid challenges
  • gets defensive or give up easily when faced with obstacles
  • sees effort as fruitless or worse
  • ignore useful negative feedback
  • feels threatened by the success of others

As a result, they may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential.

On the other hand, the growth mindset believes that intelligence can be developed which leads to a desire to learn and therefore a tendency to:

  • embrace challenges
  • persist in the face of obstacles
  • see effort as the path to mastery
  • learn from criticism
  • find lessons and inspiration in the success of others

As a result, people with growth mindset reach ever-higher levels of achievements.

And we may have a growth mindset for one aspect of our lives, and a fixed mindset in another. For example, we may have a growth mindset as a manager but a fixed mindset when it comes to our relationship with our spouse.

Twin babiesTo me, the most important information is that we were all born with a growth mindset! Babies do not stop learning to crawl, to stand and to walk because they decide it is too hard and not worth the effort. They fall, they get up and barge forward.

As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart.

Carol studied thousands of people and in one of them, she and her researchers offered 4 years old a choice: they could redo an easy jigsaw puzzle or they could try a harder one. They found that even at this tender age, children with the fixed mindset – the ones who believe in fixed traits – stuck with the safe ones. “Kids who are born smart don’t do mistakes” they shared with the researchers. They want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed.

Children with the growth mindset  – the ones who believe you could get smarter – chose one hard one after another. They thought it was strange that why anyone would want to keep doing the same puzzle over and over again. Success is about stretching themselves. It’s about becoming smarter.

Understanding about the growth mindset has many useful applications for us both on a personal and professional level.

The way we self-talk/ self-coach, handle situations and relate to people will be totally different depending on the choice of our mindset. The way we motivate ourselves and others will also be entirely different.

Much food for thought and great insights for moving forward.