Schools, undoubtedly, are centers for learning. Teachers dedicate their time and expertise in helping students to develop their knowledge and skills. Likewise, teachers, too often require continual development in their professional abilities.
Being a school staff developer for an educational institution allows me to help teachers develop such skills by providing guidance and opportunities for them to grow.
Yet the workplace itself is evolving so rapidly. The workforce is made up of people of diverse backgrounds, age groups, cultures, behaviours, thoughts and beliefs. It was important, for me to continually upgrade my own learning, so that I can help the teachers whom I work with.
Thus came the opportunity to be attached to Emergenetics Asia Pacific as part of my Enhanced Professional Development Leave from 13 September to 18 November 2016. I was thankful to both Colin Yeow, the Deputy CEO and Deborah Chew, Chief Operating Officer, of Emergenetics Asia Pacific, for allowing me to be part of their team for this brief period of time, and learn from a local company how they develop their staff.
Emergenetics Asia Pacific is an organizational development consulting company dedicated to realising the potential of people in organisations, the community and at home. Through their propriety tool of the Emergenetics Profile, which measures both thinking and behaviourial preferences, they are experts in the way people think, behave and communicate in various environments.
It’s no surprise then that I started off my attachment by first getting my Emergenetics Profile done to better understand my own thinking and behavioural preferences. My profile was then briefed through a signature Meeting of the Minds workshop which explained the seven thinking and behaviourial attributes, showcased how different profiles tend to interact with each other, as well as demonstrated key applications of the profile in various environments.
The workshop was an experience, and I discovered more about the way I think and behave in relation to others. Colin subsequently met up with me weekly to discuss and work on different aspects of my profile, and how it can be applied in the workplace.
Sessions with Colin enabled me to deepen my self-awareness and equip me with strategies to heighten my interpersonal relationships and communication with people whom I interact or work with. One of these strategies is to put on different lenses when considering perspectives as well as interacting with people.
I also learnt about the practices and processes of the company pertaining to staff welfare and development including staff well-being, staff recognition, learning culture and leadership identification. These were important learning for me, as I was able to pick up practices that can be applied in the school environment.
In addition to the weekly sessions, I spent my time assisting the Operational Support team by sorting out and packing profiles for their clients, prepare resources for workshops as well as some stock taking. I learnt how Emergenetics Asia Pacific pays great importance to customer experience and service. It also gave me better knowledge of the resources and peripherals available, and how they play a part in the entire business.
Each member in the company is guided by their service philosophy, core values and team norms; they make effort to continually remember these and practise them in their daily work and interactions. Though they all have different profiles, they are able to work amicably as they use the common language of communicating – the Emergenetics way.
During my attachment, I was fortunate to be involved in the company’s Community Service Project – ‘Let’s Paint-A-VWO @ South West’ at St. Luke’s Eldercare in Clementi. Many companies do charity in kind, yet I am pleasantly surprised that Emergenetics Asia Pacific also does charity in time. The management had allowed the staff to carry out part of the community project (which involved painting three large wall murals) during office hours over a few days. Though the company is small, the contribution to the society was great.
I have learnt a lot during this time, and it has been a pleasure being attached to Emergenetics Asia Pacific. Thank you Colin for the time and guidance during the weekly sessions and everyone in the company for making my attachment a pleasant and a memorable one. Thank you for your part in my journey.