You are receiving this email because of your relationship with Directions Consulting. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe at the bottom of this e-mail

CJNg _ 2.jpg



    Here's the March 2011 issue of Psyche-Selling TM eNewsletter, and this time round, we have invited a guest contributor, Mr. Jerel Bonner, to give us some insights related to behaviors that lead to business success.


    Time and again, people have been asking what are the secrets to success.  And time and again, I have been telling people, there's NO secret to success.


     Perhaps I have misunderstood the word "secret", and have taken its meaning too literally.  While in my view, there may be no secrets to success, there might be some key competencies that could lead you to greater success in whatever you are doing.


     Hence, this month's topics:

  1. The 6 Competencies of Business Success; and

  2. How to Make Your People Work Smarter AND Harder


     This issue's main article is on  "The 6 Competencies of Business Success", and we will be looking at some of the most commonly needed competencies to succeed in today's fast paced global economy.


    In brief::

  • There are 6 competencies to business success, and each of these competencies is connected to all the different tasks and assignments each of us “do” every day. If you master the ordinary, you might just achieve the extraordinary.;

  • While continuous improvement is probably the most important competency for us to master, most of us sit back and wait for management to announce the training plan or budget before we do anything to improve ourselves. We tend to be very passive, sometimes;

  • While most, if not all, people would like to have success, the majority forget that success is but a journey.  One moment you can be very successful, but if you are not careful, the next moment you will not.    Read on... ...  


    To read the rest of this newsletter, pls. click here (


    In the meantime, if you believe the way you think now shapes the way your future holds, please feel free to check out the next workshop on  Lateral Thinking in Shanghai (in Chinese) from 7-8 April 2011.  Or attend our half-day version of the Six Thinking Hats (in English) on 25 March 2011.


The 6 Competencies of Business Success

by Jerel Bonner


     Business is all about the bottom line numbers and at the end of the day, it is the compounded affect of many individuals’ performances that affect those numbers. Peter Drucker writes about being an ‘effective executives’, Covey is known for his ‘7 Habits’, and there is even a story on the web titled “Steve Jobs 12 Rules of Success”. The 6 Business Competencies for Business Success are what people ‘do’ to become successful. Knowing how to be effective or being aware of the rules for success must be followed up with personal action.  These competencies are the actions needed to be victorious in today’s fast paced global economy.


     These 6 competencies are:

  1. Continuous Improvement

  2. Measuring

  3. Creating Value

  4. Planning

  5. Communicating

  6. Networking


     Each of these competencies is connected to all the different tasks and assignments each of us “do” every day. Take email for example. People send billions of email everyday, yet most of them are a waste of time and create more email. Some companies spend millions of dollars training employees on email efficiency. They do this to cut the costs of disk space used saving emails, reduce network traffic sending emails, and most importantly saving peoples time from writing and reading emails. All of this has a minimum impact on the business if the company does not measure how these principles are applied to each individual’s behaviour.


     Let us now drill down into each of the ‘6 Competencies’ to get a better understanding of what we must ‘do’ to achieve business success!


What Gets Measured Gets Done

     Competency 1: Continuous Improvement
    This is by far the most important competency to master. All of us want to be better at what we do. However, unfortunately, we do not plan our own investment towards our self-development. If you are not changing faster than your field, you will be left behind.
     Companies are always looking for their employees to improve their processes, branding or quality. Yet most employees sit back and wait for management to announce their training plan or budget before they do anything to improve themselves.
     You must be constantly learning today, to be victorious tomorrow. You need to create a plan to improve your weaknesses, or more importantly learn how to mitigate it’s impact on your future. It has never been easier to learn thanks to the Internet. You can watch videos, listen to podcasts or read professional blogs from the top consultants.  e-books and iPads can put thousands of pages of reading material in your hands within minutes.
     If you do not have a plan to improve, then your plan is not to get ahead. Top talent always find a way to get better faster in a more cost effective manner than the rest of the pack.
     Competency 2: Measuring
     As stated at the beginning, business is about numbers, and numbers are always measured. To reach the goal of any challenge in business you must be able to measure that you are heading in the right direction. The same holds true in your quest for victory. All of the competencies addressed in this article hold no value if you are not measuring your accomplishments. Without assessing these skills, or any other business variables, how can you tell when you reached your targets?
     When improving your communication skills, if your goal is to write less emails to your clients that like to talk, how will you know success if you don’t measure that you are writing less emails to clients A, B, and C.  If you choose to improve on making better presentations so that you can close more sales, you have to make more presentations’ that are evaluated by great presenters that can you advise on what you did well. How can you be confident that you have mastered planning meetings better if you do not evaluate how the changes you made to planning your meetings delivered more effective meetings.
     Measuring your own improvements is the first step in becoming better at measuring the value you create.  Once you can evaluate the value you add to yourself, you can recognize value you create for others


How do You Create Value?


     Competency 3:  Creating Value


     As mentioned at the beginning business is about the bottom line, and to keep profit margins healthy companies are focusing on finding ways to move to higher value services or products.  No company wants to get cut out of the game bleeding to death on razor thin margins. In today’s world success is based on telling others about the value you create for others.  Therefore, if you want a thrilling career with regular upward movement, you need to be talking about the high value you create in your role.  Being able to share your success and victories with others will make you a sought after individual.  The more you improve on your skillfulness in articulating the value that you created for your clients or organization without bragging the more people will want you on their team.


     The most important is learning how to distinguish what is valuable to others.  This connects with measuring and communicating.  Having the knack to recognize what others find valuable is a true gift for a triumphant business career.   If your are selling water meters, you need to learn what is more important to your client, less maintenance for recalibration or very accurate readings due to old pipes under the streets.  Having the wisdom to focus on what is important to others be it short-term sales, or long-term customer retention, will speak volumes when it matches what is important to the other person in the conversation.  If it is valuable to them make it valuable to you.

     Competency 4: Planning


     Most married couples will plan to buy a home based on where they want their child to go to school.  Yet most of them will not spend enough time researching their next job position inside or outside of their current employer, until a vacancy opens or a recruiter calls with an opportunity.  Many individuals do not identify which key skills they need for their next position until they are not offered an interview for a position they desire.  Now is the time to plan which aptitude to develop for tomorrow’s promotion.


     No matter what the situation, at some point, you need to have a ‘plan’ of actions to move forward.  The first plan is how to improve on your weaknesses.  That may include; identifying a report’s or meeting’s objectives; who to contact; how to contact an individual; understanding their audience’s role; getting a group to accept a proposal or just planning one’s week.


     To be effective in today’s work environment, individuals need to be more active in their planning.  Who are they inviting to a meeting, what is the goal of the meeting, how much time for each part of the meeting, who will take notes, and how will people report back on their tasks are some examples of being more detail oriented on planning.

     If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  I once went on a sales trip to Argentina. My company sales agent setup a meeting with the client of a large telecommunications company. The meeting was a complete failure because the sale agent did not know that the company was having financial problems, and that the client had been informed that he would be let go in two weeks. This customer was no longer in the position to make a purchasing decision!  Talk about poor planning, it cost my company thousands of dollars for that sales trip and no value was created.

Networking for Winners


     Competency 5: Communication


     In today’s high tech, always-connected world, people are easily distracted by all the information being communicated at them.  All this digital noise is being pumped to our smart phone or other digital device in a matter of seconds.  To communicate with others we need to plan our messages based on how others like to communicate.  If we are too busy to do something once, then we surely do not have the time to do it again.

     Additionally, we need to slow down our communication process to confirm that the individual really understood our message and the reason it is important to them.  We need to check for confirmation of details. We need to validate what we heard with what they really mean.  We must ensure that we summarize what was agreed or disagreed so that there are no misunderstandings afterwards.

     This connects with planning. Who do we contact by phone versus who do we write too. People that are talkers preferred to be called, and prefer short written messages. Individuals that like to read, like longer written messages with details and will ask for information in writing.

     Competency 6 Networking

     Whether we are introverts or extroverts, we are still people. Things are made for us to read, wear, eat or use. So to win in your career you need to have a network of people that you help and that can support you. Thus, you need to ‘plan’ to build relationships that are built on value, not just numbers. and other social media sites can waste your time if you add people you do not know just for the sake of being ‘connected’ to hundreds or thousands of people.

     Good relationships with people in your network allow you to practice what you have learned when trying to ‘improve’. You can ‘plan’ to practice your sales skills with less risk of making a critical mistake. Helping someone in your network change companies could lead to them being the key decision maker in your next sales call.

     A strong network is created by planning who to connect with, how to add ‘value’ to them, and supporting them in their goals and dreams.  Leverage on the Givers Gain principle to profit from your network.

     Need help in improving your competencies for business success?  Simply e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.

Power Breakfast Hour: 20 April 2011
Double Bill Feature: How to Make Your People Work Smarter AND Harder + The 6 Competencies of Business Success


     Join International leadership, innovation and sales force effectiveness consultant c.j. Ng and guest speaker Jerel Bonner in this Power Breakfast Hour in Shanghai where you will find out:

  • If it is true that smart working staff tend not to work as hard, and hardworking people are not that smart;

  • How to improve the thinking and flexibility of hardworking people;

  • How to motivate smart employees to work harder;

  • What are the 6 competencies that are critical to success in life, work and business;

  • How you can continuously improve your 6 competencies in cost and time effective ways;

  • How to communicate and network effectively to greater success


VENUE:  Crowne Plaza Shanghai • 400 Panyu Road (near Fahuazhen Road) • 上海银星皇冠酒店 •  番禺路 400 号 (靠法华镇路)

DATE: Wednesday, 20 April 2011

TIME: 08:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 



     To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only. The room can only take in 18, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations to 


     You can also download our Power Breakfast Hour video on Taking On the Giants: How to Sell to BIG Companies even when You have Small Budgets and little Brand Recognition Part 2.


     Pls. check out our web sites and for more inspiration.


Need a Keynote Speaker for your Annual Conference?


     Whether you are holding a conference for your regional staff, resellers or even customers, we have the right speaker who can help you deliver the spirit of your conference, and effect positive changes to meet your goals.


     The topics our speakers can speak on include:


    • Achieving Exceptional Customer Satisfaction, Productivity and Talent
      Retention by Boosting Your Employee Engagement

    • Using the Six Thinking Hats to Win More Sales and Get More Customers

    • Why Some Sales People Succeed While Others Fail?;

    • How to Lure Away Your Competitors' Key Accounts, and Make Them Buy from You Instead?;

    • Improving Sales Productivity by Motivating the Sales Force;

    • Sun Tzu and the Art of Strategic Decision Making;

    • The End of Guanxi as We Know It!; and many more!


     Simply e-mail your requests to or call +86-21-6219 0021 for enquiries.  Sample video and audio recordings available upon requests.


Practical Tips for Managers:

How to Make Your People Work Smarter AND Harder


By c.j. Ng


I was recently talking to one of my clients, Philips Lighting, and they somehow started to ask me if I have any good sales people to recommend to them, so they can hire and strengthen their sales team.

In a candid response, I told them that while the job market is full of sales people, the really good ones are really hard to find.

So they responded and asked me why that is the case.  So I thought about it for a while, and told them what struck me as a phenomenon not just for sales people, but for all kinds of people.  The smart employees tend not to work as hard, and the hardworking employees tend not to work as smart. 


Sometimes, smart employees try to do more with less time and effort.  Most of the time, they ended up simply doing less.  Sometimes, the hardworking ones work round the clock non-stop, only to realise that all their hard work has got little (if any) impact on their goals or business results.  Only a handful few work hard AND smart at the same time.

So the next question is, what if we either could not find, or could not afford the higher pay as demanded by the smart-and-hardworking new hire?  Does that mean we will have to compromise our workforce's productivity as such?

The good news is no.  We don't have to make such compromises even though our new hires are not perfect.  In fact, we CAN quite easily train them to be smarter, and inspire them to make greater contributions.

Currently, I'm a certified facilitator with de Bono China, where we provide the tools to help us organise our thoughts, generate simple yet practical ideas, and drastically improve our creativity.  The Founder, Dr. Edward de Bono, has helped many companies and individuals to make quantum improvements to their bottom lines.  The most prominent case could possibly be the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.


Prior to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, ALL previous other modern Olympics lost money.  Los Angeles became the ONLY bidder for the 1984 games, and the Olympics are falling into oblivion.  In fact, the 1984 Olympics made US$220 million PROFITS by doing the following "simple" things:

  • Use existing facilities instead of building new ones; and

  • Rather than relying on revenue on ticket sales, the 1984 games created history by selling corporate sponsorship and television broadcast rights.

The above strategies look simple, because they are viewed in hindsight.  Peter Ueberroth, the organiser of the 1984 Olympics, attributed his success from a talk by Dr. de Bono, which he attended a few years prior to the game.  If by merely attending a "talk" one can bring unprecedented success in an international sporting event,  learning to work a little smarter should be quite an easy objective to achieve.


Dr. de Bono will be coming to Beijing and Shanghai in October 2011.  You can download details here.

Now that you have made your people work smarter, time to get them work harder.

However, after getting smarter, they might turn around and ask you, "Why Should I Work so Hard for YOU?".

In fact, some companies intentionally make their employees less smart so that they don't ask questions like these.  However, if your competitors' people are a lot smarter than yours, you might be pushed out of business in very soon.

Hence, the responsibility of answering the above question lies on the leaders, rather than the followers.  If you are able to excite your people to exceptional performance, you will have a bunch of hardworking AND smart working people committed to your (and their) success.

In fact, "Why Should Anyone be Led by YOU" is the title of the most downloaded article in Harvard Business Review, and is now a best-selling business book, as well as an inspirational leadership training programme (which I'm one of the Certified Facilitators).

Hence, if you would like to boost your team's engagement to deliver exceptional business results, you will need to:

  • Build a sense a Community

  • Be Authentic

  • Let your people feel Significant

  • Excite them!

You can also refer to BlessingWhite's web site for more details.

If you would like to get more and better ideas how to make your people work smarter AND harder, you can e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha.  All information shall be kept in confidence.



Sales... ....the lifeblood of a company, a matter of "life and death", survival or extinction.  Indeed, something that needs to be studied, applied and re-modified consistently.


Yet today,

  • many companies still don't have a coherent approach as to how they can generate more sales and achieve better margins;

  • many sales people are still lying to their customers so that they can meet their targets at the end of the month;

  • many customers are still waiting ethical and professional sales people to help them find out their real needs, and provide solutions that work


Psyche-Selling TM is set up so that companies and sales people can make healthy profits and STILL provide genuine solutions to customers.


Psyche-Selling TM would like to create an environment where customers can trust sales people to give them what they want, and NOT be pushed with all kinds of products and services.  In return, customers will become loyal fans of these ethical and professional sales people, and repay them many fold for the long-term.


Psyche-Selling TM will not rest, until the above is achieved.  Not just in China. Not just in Asia.  But everywhere where buying and selling takes place.


Psyche-Selling TM is a wholly-owned brand of Directions Management Consulting Pte Ltd that specialises in the field of improving sales performance by enhancing the performance of the entire sales team.  Apart from the regular "selling skills training", Psyche-Selling ng TM conducts pre- and post-training analysis, interviews, monitoring and reviews, working closely with managers and even senior management, to deliver real improvements in sales leadership and performance.


Hence, Psyche-Selling TM would like to be known as the preferred choice of outstanding and remarkable clients, and pride ourselves as such.  We will also be continuing to assist our clients achieve greater heights in 2009 and beyond.


Enquiries and suggestions, pls. e-mail or visit



Mailing Address: Shui Cheng Nan Road 51 Lane No. 9 Suite 202 Shanghai 201103 China