Dream Catalyst

Blog Archives

Thank You for Being You, the Being Part of Business Culture


When was the last time someone at your office said “thank you for…”? Or when did you last expressed your thanks to a colleague?

In our fast paced of never ending to-do lists and responsibilities of day to day business dealings, many of us have forgotten the decency and joys of being a human being to our fellow colleagues.  Yet the irony is that the workplace is where we spend a large percentage of our time in. Because we often forget the being part, that gives rise to a sense of disengagement or conflicts at work.

In a company I consult at, one of the issues they had was that of staff retention. The majority of the team was there for less than 2 years. An initial initiative was to engage the employees in “conversational sessions” by departments centred on value branding and bonding, and also to listen to their joys and woes of working in the company. The conversations opened up new spectrums of insights and effect relational changes almost immediately.

Colleagues got to share and listen to each other’s strengths and values. Affirmations create positivity while sharing about values allows for greater understanding of people’s motivation and actions.

A few weeks after one department’s session, the HR manager shared with me the remarkable difference in one of the manager’s demeanour and attitude. This manager had started to smile more and was more patient when dealing with others. And when I invited her to join us for a group coaching session on management skillsets, she was open to learning (a surprise to her colleagues). During the session, the manager shared that she realised that when she was caught up in the busyness of work, she often has a serious look. Which may have made her seem unapproachable. When her colleagues quip that she was smiling more, she replied almost innocently, “I smiled because you were all smiling at me every day. I just had to.” And she gave us a beautiful smile.

This was a manager who was driven by her value to ensure the company was profitable. Because if the company couldn’t survive then her colleagues will not have a job. Prior to the conversational sessions, she never had the opportunity to articulate and share about her values. As such, her colleagues often misunderstand her actions and queries on finance matters. In turn, she heard the sharing from her colleagues on how positivity and smiles are important for them.

That one conversation opened up opportunities for change and growth. It was an opportunity for colleagues to just be.

I was not surprised by the result. I had seen this happening again and again. In numerous journeys, with different clients.

No matter how toxic a business culture may have become, there is possibility for change. When the core returns to a state of positivity, shifts start to happen. And the core is always made up of people. And so we begin with that, to build and affirm. Followed by changes in processes and systems to sustain the change.

The being part of us always give strength to our doing part.


We are 7!



I love birthdays and I love the number 7. So today calls for much laughter and joy as Dream Catalyst celebrates our 7th birthday!

As I reflect on this special day, this quote by Charles Bukowski comes to mind. “The Free Soul is rare but you know it when you see it basically because you feel good, very good when you are near or with them.” 

When I first came across this quote, my thought was “what if we create more opportunities for souls to be a free soul?” Then surely, we will amplify the magnitude of goodness felt. So that the free soul is no longer rare, but exists in abundance.

I am glad that starting Dream Catalyst provided me with opportunities to do exactly that. To create a better world for all by helping businesses, teams and individuals to build a positive work culture. In so doing, may we continue to be amplifiers of goodness.

Thank you for being a part of our awesome journey!




Dislike networking? Here are 3 tips how to start enjoying them!



When I started Dream Catalyst, the most given piece of advice was “go and network”. So I went for various business networking events.  In my head, I knew that it was great advice but I didn’t really enjoy them.

Networking at that time wasn’t fun nor was it meaningful for me. It did not match my values in relation to work (purposeful, engaging and creating value) and so I stopped going.

This year, I decided to give it a go again at the firm encouragement of friends. But this time round, it is a totally different story. I am absolutely enjoying my networking experience and have been encouraging others to do likewise.

For those who dislike networking, here are 3 tips on how to start enjoying networking:

Tip 1: Follow Your Heart

I enjoy fun and so I decided to look for networking events that were possibly fun too. Likewise, you have to decide on what type of networking events work best for you. The following are some events I have attended in the past months which were enjoyable.

I stumbled onto LadyBoss through facebook and decided to sign up for the panel discussion. I like the relaxed feel of the event and enjoyed meeting fellow women entrepreneurs and leaders.  The conversations were light and engaging. There were also opportunities to chat about work. Perfect mix.

“Marketing to Women”, the panel discussion at the last Ladyboss event

Jackie Yeo, the co-founder of Ladyboss, shares “In the past, many networking events which I have been to have been mostly dominated by men and it was difficult to find other women entrepreneurs to talk to. So the idea for LadyBoss events was to have events where women entrepreneurs know that most of the other attendees will be women entrepreneurs as well! It will be a place where we can find comfort in knowing we are similar in so many ways, build new relationships, collaborate and more. LadyBoss Asia though is part of a much larger vision where LadyBoss would signify a movement, one that empowers and inspires women through entrepreneurship. The LadyBoss movement would comprise of media, community, events and more throughout Asia.”

When you follow your heart and attend events that you resonate with, often times you will connect with other like-minded individuals. Such was the case with Christine whom I met at my first Ladyboss event. We hit it off so well that we met up separately for lunch.

With Christine at LadybossAsia
With Christine Liao from Meggnify

Through her, I learnt about Flow and absolutely love the positive vibes. Chatted with Jonathan from Meggnify who shared that he started Flow to be a support group for Entrepreneurs and like minded individuals to gather and provide support for each other through the journey. “The Journey of Entrepreneurship is often tough and lonely and others often do not find it easy to understand why we are doing it. Having benefited from a support group like Flow ourselves many years back, we at Meggnify therefore decided to pay it forward and try to benefit the many other startups out there as well.”

shriJoining a professional body is another way to network. I recently joined Singapore Human Resources Institute as an associate member and attended its #SocialHR. Love the positive vibes and the sharing by the invited speakers.

Another way that I follow my heart to networking is signing up for seminars and talks. Am enthusiastic about ongoing learning and so, I decided to marry the both. So far, it has worked out positively. New learnings and new business opportunities have emerged.



Tip 2: Go With A Friend

Some members of my WhatsApp Group had so much fun attending a networking event that we decided to continue the conversations over supper!

During my journey to rediscover and enjoy networking, I realised that some of my friends shared similar concerns about networking. So I decided to start a WhatsApp group amongst my friends so that (1) we could share information on upcoming networking events, (2) to attend the events together for those who are keen and (3) to share resources.

One of my friends Karen Pang who offers personal concierge to help you regain the luxury of time, has found the WhatsApp group to be useful.  “Building a business, let alone a successful business takes a lot of time and drive. It’s so important to have a network of friends and associates to draw energy from and keep me going. By surrounding myself with people who share a similar drive and ambition, we are more likely to move forward as a group. Being in the WhatsApp group gives me the opportunity to instantaneously share information and even cross-sell our service and product, it also allows me to get a ‘booster shot’ of assurance and positivity whenever and wherever I needed one.”

PS: do remember to mingle and not just stick to your friend(s) the whole night. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of signing up for that event.

Tip 3: Create Value

Like attract like.create-value

If you intend the networking session to be meaningful, then be someone who creates value for others.

When you meet someone at an event, engage them in conversations. And be generous with information or sharing that is useful for them. The key words being useful to them, not just focus on pitching your business or products which you think is useful. 🙂

Creating value for others makes the networking experience a human- and heart-centred experience.

I found that creating value for others makes the networking experience a human- and heart-centred experience. It allows us to flow back into fundamentals of being human – to connect, engage and help each other.