5 Winning Mindsets for 2021

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It is already the second month of 2021, so what do you have planned for the rest of the year? For some of us who have not taken the time to reflect and look forward to it, let us do that today.

2020 was a very challenging year for us. It was a time of chaos, changes, and personal transformations. The year started with a volcanic eruption that forced us to wear masks to avoid inhaling toxic substances. Just a couple of months after, we were plagued by the COVID-19 virus so we had to continue wearing the masks. This went on for the rest of the year, until today. Then toward the last quarter of the year, we experienced the wrath of typhoon Ulysses. With all these happening, it is not surprising to see that some Pinoys felt like giving up and have not recovered until now.

Conversely, for a few us, 2020 was a year of new opportunities. New ways of doing business were developed. We worked through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by transitioning some of our activities online. Training, seminars, and conferences were done this way. Food and Items Delivery services have also become more popular than ever. Online businesses flourished. Even live-streaming became commonplace for gamers and sellers. This confirms that even in the darkest of times, we can always find a silver lining.

So what mindsets should we have this year so we can see that silver lining and bring our mojos back? Let’s find out some.

  1. “I am in Control”

2020 may have been a roller coaster of things that went out of control but 2021 offers us hope. We may have been scared of travelling or making plans for the year in 2020, but this is the time to take back that control. Of course, that said, safety protocols will still be the primary consideration. The government has been more relaxed with the quarantine and health measures but that does not necessarily mean that so should we. We may need to plan around the conditions of our new normal, but we should not let it solely impact our decisions. We need to get back to planning celebrations for life’s milestones. We need to start putting together a list of things we want to do or accomplish for the year. For our career-life, this is the time that we start owning up and taking responsibility for our actions. We need to put some planning onto to the outputs we deliver at work. We should not blame the conditions of the pandemic when we fail to deliver. Instead, remind yourself that you are responsible for it all. You can start small by setting daily schedules and by listing down the things you would like to accomplish in the week. Then, as you do this more often and get your grove, you can plan more activities farther forward. This year is truly the time to say that you are in control.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

  1. “I have to tell my truth”

Some of us may have been keeping a flawless front to show everyone that we are okay. But the pandemic may have taken its toll on our mental health. Months and months of seclusion, limited social interactions, and being with the same people at home all the time can be quite draining at times. It is okay to admit it if that is how you feel. Know that there are a lot of people out there that feel the same. Keeping things to yourself can only make you more stressed. It is important to have this same mindset at work. In the past, you are expected to always know what you are doing at work. This year, there may be changes brought about by the pandemic that makes us feel like we do not know how to do some things anymore. Do not fret; everyone is as frazzled as you. We have to learn to communicate this positively with a tone that expresses that we are willing to take action. We have to collaborate, whether you are a manager or a rank-and-file employee. Managers need to understand the impact of the changes. If you are an employee and are having a hard time, you may tell your boss, “Here are some challenges I have for this new undertaking. These are the things I have tried out… Here are some things I will try moving forward… Do you have other suggestions?” These words will not come naturally if you have not accepted your truth. Once you have had acceptance, these can be very powerful statements that will help you go through your tasks. It also helps your manager see that you are proactive in trying out things you can do on your end first before bothering him. Again, all these begins with accepting your truth.

  1. “If I can’t change things, I will change the way I see them…”

If mindset number one does not work for you because you keep seeing things that are out of your control, then you may try this mindset instead. Looking at things from a different perspective may help you find a solution or a lighter way of seeing things. By doing this, hurdles that seem too stressful to think about may be seen less negatively. Know that by looking at a problem through a different perspective, you may find a silver lining. When we started working at home, some of us hated the isolation and the feeling of being trapped. But for others who saw things differently, they found relief from traffic as a sliver of sunshine. What used to greatly stress them out was gone. This may apply to many situations. There is always a better way of looking at things. See your challenges as something that can help you grow. You always have something to gain at every difficulty; it may be a new experience, a new piece of wisdom, or knowledge. After going through something challenging, take time to reflect as well so you can see what went well (there is always something that goes well) and what did not go so well. Making this a habit helps speed up the process of adapting to the new normal.  

  1. “Piso pa rin yan”

One of the things we can noticed during the pandemic are things on sale here and there. This is expected as businesses try to squeeze everything that they can earn from their merchandise at a time that demand is low. Some Filipinos, who are lucky enough to have kept their jobs, spent a good deal of time scrolling and adding to cart, taking advantage of sales. But instead of just buying because things are on sale, assess whether you actually need them or not. These are volatile times. Not to be a pessimist but we can lose our job any minute. Think several times about whether or not what you are buying is a need or merely a want ― We do not need to discuss what that means in lengthy detail, right?

Filipinos usually go with, “100 lang naman”. Instead of this say, “Piso pa rin yan”. Just because you are lucky enough to keep the job and have the means to spend does not mean that you are entitled to splurge on anything not necessary. When you buy something you “just want” that costs 100 pesos instead of 250, you did not save 150 pesos ― You spend 100 pesos! Every peso counts, so save as much as you can. If you are working at home, that means you are saving on daily fare or gas. Use this money to upgrade your internet so you can be more productive at work. Else, put the savings in a bank so you have something to use in case things do not work at best.


Regardless of what profession or industry you work in, these mindsets can really help you build a winning year. If you would put these at heart and truly live by it, you will surely enjoy a 2021 that is full of happiness whatever ups and downs come your way. Remember that nothing is sure about the future especially when we are still in the process of transitioning to a new normal. We may not be able to live our lives the same as we used to, but change is something that is really welcome. When we welcome it, we are definitely on our way to a great year as well as the rest of our lives. How about you, what are some mindsets you can add to our list? Comment it below.

Top 10 Common Mistakes Employees Make That May Ruin their Career

Whether aspiring for a top-position in the company or just wanting a comfortably sustainable work-life, we all want to be successful in our careers. Some employees work extended hours and go the extra mile in order to build credibility. All struggle to meet deadlines to please our boss or just get a good rating on our annual appraisal. But did you know that despite all these efforts, there are a few mistakes employees make that may result to the opposite. In this article, we will examine them and find out how we can avoid them from ruining what we have worked for.

Top 10 – Turning Down Colleague Invitations.

We are not working to make friends, but it would not hurt if we have some. Turning down invitations to a party, lunch, or other simple get-togethers can greatly impact the way your work with colleagues. Of course, we do not mean that you need to get uncontrollably get drunk with them, only that these gatherings provide an opportunity to build a better understanding on how your coworkers communicate. It is okay to share some of your personal information in these sessions, but you do not need to share too much that it fuels office gossips. Instead, focus on asking questions, making observations, and listening so you can discover more about your coworkers.

Top 9 – Basking Too Much in Glory/ Knowing Too Much

One major reason why you got your job is because your accomplishments speak about your abilities. As such, there is no need to repeatedly share and go over them with coworkers. Sure, you may have done something great in a previous work engagement; now let your results speak for themselves. Especially in the Filipino culture, discussing your greatness is not exactly seen positively. It may come off as overconfident and entitled. When someone talks about your achievements however, just say a simple thanks or any gesture of appreciation. You do not want to send them the message that you do not value their appreciation of your success, but you also do not want to oversell it.

Top 8 – Forgetting Their Professional Image

We often want to express our individuality through clothing. This does not always mean that we can wear whatever color of hair we want. Our workplace usually has a dress code, whether documented or unspoken. Consider getting the vibe or researching about the do’s-and-don’ts in the office. Having tattoos these days is also often not an issue, but in some offices and work designations, it could be taboo. Have a general understanding of how acceptable this is in your workplace before you decide to get one. When unsure, just cover it up as much as possible. Always wear clean and well-pressed clothes when going to work however relaxed your workplace is with the dress code. Ideally, wear something with sleeves and collar. Most managers believe that dressing well can help you get ahead at work and it sends the right message to everyone. Of course, we are not claiming that good clothing will get you promoted by itself, but neither will bad clothing for sure; so choose wisely what you would like to express to your coworkers and managers through what you are wearing.

Top 7 – Not Making Eye Contact

When we mention work, we mean we are busy as a machine that sometimes we forget that we are still humans. Sometimes a coworker or two approachePassive Listenings you to ask about a very pressing work-related question. Because you are so consumed with your task, you end up multitasking; passively listening on one hand and typing on your computer screen. While you may not see the immediate impact, this behavior makes you lose a very important aspect of communication: visuals and feedback. By not doing eye contact with your coworker, you are sending the message that they are not important enough to merita chunk of your time. Imagine what impact that message can have to your direct reports, or even to your manager. When you are busy and can absolutely not attend to the person asking, pause what you are doing and calmly ask how urgently they need an answer. If it is not urgent, set a more reasonable time for a quick conversation at your soonest possible chance. If it is urgent, then attend to it right away. This will make sure that you are sending the right message and that you are there for things that truly matter.

Top 6 – Abuse of Technology

So you have a new phone and you get excited to SMS your friends that you do this even during office hours. During meetings, you are either looking at your phone or laptop. It seems no one can get between you and your phone. While these gadgets are great and can make work-relation communications easier, a lot of people overuse their gadget at work. Whether false or otherwise, this sends a message to everyone that you may not be as focused. Minimizing your face-time with your gadgets can go a long way. When in a meeting, using the old-fashioned notebook can encourage more interactions and helps you focus on taking notes only on the important items of the meeting. In the work-area, it is a best practice to assign a regular place where you can safely keep your phone. This will minimize the distractions it can create to your daily work.

Top 5 – Lack of Netiquette

Perhaps because technology is always evolving, we may not have enough time to establish norms in etiquette for using the internet and other such advancements. For instance, while some are engaged on their phones for non-work activities, some use technology for work-related tasks, but a little too much. During the pandemic, some managers seem to think that they can call, video-conference, SMS, or email to communicate work tasks at any time of the day. And they also sometimes expect results pronto. We definitely need to be reminded that work-life balance and work-life integration need to take place regardless of whether we are in the office or working from home.

There are a lot of other things we can still improve in terms of Netiquette. Work email should also be written with finesse and professionalism, avoiding miscommunication. Highlight words and phrases using cool colors instead to red, to avoid misinterpretation. Minimize the use of all-caps to avoid appearing to be angry. Wear what you would wear in the office when you are at home for a video-call. The list goes on.

Top 4 – Saying “I don’t Know”

There is nothing more annoying that hearing someone say, “I don’t know…” especially if you are asking something within their work responsibility. So while you should not lie about things that you know or do not know, there is always a more professional way of handling it. Try saying,

“I do not have that information right now. Let me find out…”

“May you point me to where I can get that information?”

“Allow me to look into this further. I will get back to you in a bit”

“I apologize that don’t have that data. Let me verify it.”

Top 3 – Procrastination

Sometimes, our worst enemy is ourselves. In a workplace where everything is all about deliverables and results, there is no excuse for not meeting the deadline. But when we manage our time, we often find little things that distract us from our real priorities. We sometimes delay doing the more complex tasks to as further down the line as we can because it is usually difficult to start. We may not realize that procrastination is NOT about being lazy. It has nothing to do with your will power. It is a natural response to being stressed. So, just like all other responses to being stressed, you can condition yourself to minimize procrastination by using the 5-Second Rule, as explained in her book by Mel Robbins. When you catch yourself procrastinating or when you feel yourself avoiding your task, acknowledge that you are stressed. Allow five seconds to think about this and acknowledge then force yourself to work for five minutes. Just five minutes. Then, tell yourself that you will do whatever it is you want to do afterward. Then, you will realize you are already putting more work. This technique will also will improve how you focus further on in the task.   

Top 2 – Gossiping

Nothing turns off a manager more than an employee who likes gossiping. Talking about other people in the workplace really takes the cake among the list of things that can ruin one’s career. Being in the habit of gossiping may take away any possibility of future opportunities for you in the workplace. Instead of spending your time on gossip, learn new skills, and focus on your tasks instead. Gossiping is a form of procrastination so, if you are one of those who may tend to love talking about other people’s business in the office, you may perhaps also use the 5-Second Rule to manage yourself (And perhaps you can instead procrastinate by watching cat and dog videos online).

Top 1 – Overpromising and Underdelivering

This often happens to us Filipinos because we find it hard to say, “No” to people. As such, we end up accepting multiple tasks from our managers. Each task we accept is a promise that we need to deliver on. However, when the number of tasks pile up, it becomes unmanageable and puts us into a spiral of undelivered promises. This greatly hurts our career and other possible work opportunities in the future. So, how should we avoid it? Only accept work that you can manage. If you manager gives you so much more than you can handle, learn to negotiate. Discuss with your manager the tasks you have at hand and provide sufficient evidence that the tasks are not possible to complete. You may also ask for movement of some of your other deadlines and emphasize on the business impacts of assigning an additional task to you. But keep in mind not to decline tasks only for your convenience.

So there you have it. These are our top 10 common mistakes employees make that ruin their careers. It is okay if we may be guilty making these mistakes ourselves, as long as we know that awareness can lead to taking control of the matter. The next step now is to manage yourself by using some of the tips we discussed.

Do you agree to our list? What other mistakes do employees make that ruin their career? Share your thoughts by adding your comments below.

Freelance Work: How to Survive During the Pandemic

Not all professionals get paid on a regular basis, freelancers get paid after completing a project. This is a challenging kind of work these times of the pandemic because there has been a decreased demand for them. So if you are a freelancer or are planning to be one, how can you survive?

Regardless of the situation, finding work is challenging. This becomes even more challenging during the pandemic as you also struggle to balance work and personal life. Aside from that, there is also the feeling of isolation that we all need to deal with. Like everyone else, you need to maintain your sanity and mental health in order to adapt to the new challenges.

So how do we really survive during the time of the pandemic? We have a few tips.

  1. Assess the situation. These transformational times require that we take a step back and look at what we are dealing with. Check your finances. How much have you saved? This way you can plan how much you can spend monthly and how long you need to secure a new project and get your next pay. Of course, if you assess that you will take long before this happens, you will need to adjust your spending. Check your operational costs for things you can minimize such as utilities, insurance, and others.
  2. Reach out to others. Reconnecting with your network is a great way to check for possible opportunities. Have a win-win mindset. If there are job opportunities and projects you cannot take on because it is out of your scope, refer these to people in your network. This way, they also have a greater chance of referring you to others in case your expertise is needed. It is also okay to build a support community. This could be a group on social media, an email group, a little club. You may think that you are in competition, but you will be surprised how sharing best practices can work for the better of everyone. Plus, this will help with maintaining your mental health and steering you away from your feeling of isolation. Talk about your challenges with others and perhaps healthily share suggestions with each other on how to address such.
  3. Innovate yourself. You may think that you have good enough experience, but identifying new ways of offering your service is not a bad idea. Are there new ways that you can add value to your services? An after-sales component perhaps? And of course, innovating yourself can also be about learning new skills. If you are a graphic artist specializing in digital drawings and logo, try another area such as photo editing or layout. You can also expand to learning video editing, writing, and many others. Now, remember, do not need to be great to start, but you do need to start something to become great.
  4. Always be ready showcase your skills. Always prepare a portfolio showcasing the different styles you have can work with. For example, if you are creating logos, show your potential client previous logos and concepts you have created for others. Do not make a sample logo using the same potential client’s information. Remember that some of them may only be fishing for ideas, which is not wrong, but you have to make sure that you also protect yourself. In your portfolio, create multiple approaches you have taken in previous project. For example, if you are a writer, your portfolio can include different articles you wrote for different industries. Showing the variety of what you can do definitely helps you secure the project.
  5. Secure your pay. Dealing with multiple clients mean you also deal with several payments (Hopefully). One problem for freelancers in the Philippines is that they get paid either really delayed, or in worse cases, not even get any payment at all. Some clients cancel the project after you have already put so much effort into it, then leave you without any payment. So how do you avoid these? First, you need to ensure that you have a documented agreement outlining the scope of the project. Then, document the payment scheme. Ideally, you have to get a 50% down payment before putting more effort into any project. If the client asks for a sample work, do not give a sample by doing exactly what they need just give them a portfolio. This ensures that if they like your artistry, they can make a decision to hire you.

Understanding the Value of Psychometric Tests

Psychometric Test

Are you an HR challenged with selecting the right person for the job? Do you want to address attrition by hiring people who would be a good fit for the job opportunities in your company?

A psychometric test may help you!

What are psychometric tests? Psychometric tests are standardized methods used to measure behavior and mental capabilities. This employs the use of the scientific method together with statistical and other principles for objective measurement. In different industries, psychometric tests are used to evaluate a candidate’s fit to certain roles. Certain roles require specific cognitive, comprehension, and personalities so that the person assigned to it can deliver with maximum effectiveness. A standard psychometric test allows an employer or assessor to uncover certain traits that match those. These pieces of information are usually difficult to extract using face-to-face interviews.

Should psychometric tests be a sole basis for hiring? No. The recruiter still needs to identify and ascertain other factors before facilitating a psychometric test. There are still a lot of other requirements aside from personality, cognitive ability, and comprehension. Recruiters still need to review the candidate’s resume, conduct an interview, and do background check.  While the psychometric test can provide good information about the potentials of an individual, it can never check a candidate’s work history and analyze gaps that may indicate their fit for the role or otherwise. Some companies also have specific skills tests that provide objective data on the candidates’ abilities.

Does everyone agree that a psychometric test provide a good barometer for job fit? Not everyone does. But it is worth looking into. We have to take into account that psychometric tests are examined statistically so they are built through an objective process in order to gain unbiased results. Because everyone is presented with exactly the same questions, the method offers a very good chance of providing reliable data from your response group. The information gathered is predictive of a candidates’ potential performance in the job.

Our final verdict. There is no single approach that can be considered best in selecting from prospective candidates. Even the traditional one-on-one interview has its own limitations and downsides.  A combination of a few proven approaches may really benefit you in making sure that you secure the best candidates for the job. This means that there is value in looking into psychometric tests for evaluation.

To know more about how you can select the best candidate for your company, you may also want to check our premium e-Workshop on Recruitment and Selection in the New Normal.


Memos for Workplace Communications

At this time when the COVID-19 pandemic has overturned the usual way we do business, we are faced with multiple overwhelming changes that make requires a lot of communication. If we are to drive people toward success in the middle of this crisis, it is important to keep them informed at all times. They need to know about new business strategies and considerations. If you are an HR practitioner, memos will be your good friends.

These are one of the most common and simple means of communications in the workplace which provides a short and direct communication to your staff in regards to important matters and reminders. There are two reasons why we create a memo: to bring attention to issues and to solicit actions toward issues. Memos are used to share updates and new processes within the company. They can also be used when providing more information about company decisions. They can also provide information for trivial items that people need to be reminded of, for example, cleaning up the pantry sink after use. Memos are truly versatile and important so everyone needs to know how to write them professionally and with clarity.

Here are some tips that may prove helpful when you are creating your memo.


  1. Purpose Must Be Clear and Brief.

 When creating memos, it is critical that you use simple words and phrases. Your purpose is not to impress people with your wide vocabulary, instead you want them to take action on certain workplace issues and reminders. It is okay to use jargon only when you know that the intended readers will be able to understand the message despite using these. When using acronyms, it is also good to define these so that everyone can fully understand, for example, it is better to write down “To Be Announced” than put TBA and get too many employees asking the same question. Using simple words can definitely make more impact for your memo.

 Other than clarity, it is important to have brevity. This means that your memo should not take too much of other people’s time to read. Get the fewest number of words you can to express the most number of thoughts. There must not be any room for words that do not add meaning. Putting such as, as a matter of fact, needless to say, in terms of, the fact that, in order to, all of the, at the end of the day, are some phrases that may either be eliminated from your memo or shortened using a word. As most writers would say, KISS – Keep it short and simple!

  1. Audience-Focused

 Memo is not creative writing, therefore it should be made with your reader in mind. You need to clearly determine what kind of readers are going to find your memo on the pantry wall or wherever you may post them. You need to use this information to decide the overall tone of your memo. For example, if you know that your readers are likely managers, you must use a formal tone with much attention to details. If you are targeting a group of sales person to convince them to send their sales reports on time, you may need to use a bold tone that can persuade them to act quickly. If you know that your employees are too busy at work, you will want to create memos with two or three quick sentences so that they do not need to read for a long time where your posted memo is. What words can your reader most clearly understand? What can they easily relate to? There are many other factors you can consider, but writing for your reader and not yourself  is one of the most important things to keep in mind in writing a high-impact memo that achieves its purpose.

  1. Objectivity

 Your memo should not have opinion, preferences, emotional language, and subjectivity. Saying, “The management would truly appreciate if everyone can wear the proper protective gears before entering the laboratory…” is less than ideal. Instead say, “The management requires the use of proper protective gears when entering the laboratory.” This sends a very clear sense of the action that you would like the employees to take. The first sentence makes it appear like it is a mild request where employees still have the prerogative to follow or not. If you want people to take action, do so.

Emotions should also not be present in a memo. Saying, “Our manager was very angry with the late submission of reports last months. Please do not disappoint him further by repeating the same this month. All reports need to be submitted on time.” Is very counter-productive. Some people may take it the wrong way. Saying, “Please submit all reports on time to avoid delays in processing” could replace the entire paragraph. This also provides a more objective deliver of information that should call for action.

  1. Friendly but Professional

 While it is okay to have a formal tone for the content of your memo, it is a much more informal approach to sharing information in the workplace. Compared to a business letter, it has a more relaxed and easy-to-follow structure. It is sometimes used to address unofficial speculations from the grapevine, so it only makes sense that it should be much more forward and relatable for your employees. Being informal, all the other tips can be easily achieved as you do not need highly technical terms when creating it.

At this time of crisis, it is definitely important that we keep communication lines open while considering social distancing. One possible way of sharing information without having to consistently call a meeting is through memos. Any HR or professionals in the area of leadership need to make sure that their skills in creating memos is in tip-top shape so that information can effectively be passed on to employees as we go through various changes in the way we work.

If you would like to refine your Memo Writing Skills, you may also attend our webinar sessions on Business Writing: Creating Memos, Emails, and Other Office Communications. Our next Communications for HR e-Workshop will be on 5 June 2020. For more details, you may contact us through the following:

 For inquiries. You may contact us from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday except holidays, through the following:

  • Landline: (+632) 3433 3342
  • Smart Mobile: (+63) 998 562 4984 to 85 / (+63) 0921 978 0078
  • Globe Mobile: (+63) 917 317 4985 Contact us
  • Email: training@competad.com or seminars@competad.com
  • You may also visit our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/COMPETAD/ and send us a message there.

5 Things to Know About COVID-19

With all the things happening now in the country and throughout the globe in regard to the Corona Virus, we would like to also help in disseminating valuable information that can help in our battle amidst this pandemic. Below are some questions you may have about it and some of the simple answers you need to know.

What is COVID-19?COVID-19 V2

The Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) has been declared by the World Health Organization as a global health risk as of 11 February 2020. It originated in Wuhan, China and made headlines across different countries around the globe as it became a pandemic. It was originally called NCOV but was officially declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as COVID-19 on 11 February in order to avoid confusion with any other types of corona virus.

The novel corona virus is part of a bigger group of viruses that cause sickness in animals and humans that usually cause respiratory issues. These respiratory problems may range from common colds, difficulty in breathing, to a variety of more acute symptoms. Some corona viruses that belong to the same family as COVID-19 that we are previously familiar with are MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

How and Where Did it Originate?

The whistle blower doctor for the corona visus is Dr. Li Wen Liang. When he got sick, he posted in a social media platform in China saying that there is a new virus that is infecting individuals. This alarmed officials so he was detained by the public security bureau and was asked to sign a document declaring that he was only disseminating false information. A week after this, he dealt with a female patient who has glaucoma and was also infected by the corona virus. In January 10, he started to get symptoms such as coughing. The next day, he also developed fever. To avoid spreading the disease to his pregnant wife, five year old child, and children, he decided to stay in a different house. Then, he was brought to the hospital. Days later, his parents also got sick and was also brought to the hospital.

10 Days later, January 20, more people have been infected by the virus, which prompted the Chinese government to declare a state of emergency. Initially, Dr. Li tested negative for the virus. However, on 30 January 2020, his results came positive. His case worsened in 4 days until he eventually died. On Feb 11, WHO officially declared the name of the Novel Corona Virus as COVID-19 in order to avoid confusion with other types of corona viruses.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus can be transferred among humans and animals. These can be spread through droplets. These droplets come from the mouth and nose through human or animal breath. When a person with COVID-19 breathes, droplets fall onto nearby surfaces; tables, walls, etc. When a person not infected with the virus touches these surfaces and touches his eyes, nose, or mouth, they will allow the virus to enter into their bodies. It is also possible to inhale droplets from the air exhaled by an infected individual. This is why it is extremely important to maintain a distance of 3 feet from a person who is sick. Current studies show that, COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets, rather than through air.

What are the Symptoms?

The COVID-19 virus has a 5 to 24 days incubation period. This means that you may not immediately detect that you when you contract the virus. Incubation period is the amount of time it takes for the virus to fully develop and show the symptoms. What this means is that you may have the virus and not show any symptoms in the first few days after contact. The symptoms may begin gradually and start out mild. People infected by the virus may experience the following symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Dry Cough
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing (severe cases)

There are also cases of COVID-19 that are asymptomatic. This means that they are infected and aare carriers of the virus but do not show any signs and symptoms at all. They also report to feel well. This is why quarantine and social distancing is very important to ensure that we minimize the likelihood of contacting the virus from asymptomatic individuals.

What can I do to avoid getting COVID-19?

The first thing you really need to do especially during the quarantine is stay at home. However, if going outside or to high-risk areas cannot be avoided, these steps may also help:

  1. Frequently clean your hand by washing with soap and water and disinfecting.
  2. Cover your nose with a bent elbow or tissue when sneezing. If you used a tissue, discard it immediately.
  3. Avoid contact with anyone who has cough.
  4. If you have cough and difficulty breathing, go to the nearest hospital to get checked.
  5. If you have mild symptoms, follow the above steps and stay home.
  6. Keep a meter’s distance away from people when you need to go outside.
  7. Do not touch your face as much as possible.
  8. Refrain from activities that may weaken your lungs such as smoking.

We hope that you stay home and stay safe during these times of challenges. Have a good day everyone!


Five Important Life-Lessons for Leaders

Leadership is a skill that we can learn throughout our lifetime; it never stops. In the same way that other professions require some form of continuous learning, being a professional leader also means that we have to keep an open-mind and a thirst for learning. No one can claim that they already know everything there is to know about it. As people change and as new generations get introduced to the workforce, getting a new perspective in leadership is always a good idea.

For business leaders, the task of leadership becomes extra challenging because of the need to juggle your ability to manage people and company resources. You need a mix of creative leadership as well as adherence to processes and procedures. You also need to be aware of the business, legal, and psychological impacts of your actions.

In this article, we have collated five items that are important lessons for leaders so you may reflect on how you can improve in these different areas regardless of your tenure and experience.

Saved Pictures

Inspire Teamwork. Effective leaders are not those who always speak in terms “me.”  This is not because he avoids using the first-person pronoun when he speaks. Inspiring team work is about influencing people to think in terms of “we” – the team. It is about making the team understand the function that everyone needs to fulfill. When a leader inspires team work, the members do not dodge accountability. They feel answerable to their actions and lack thereof. To achieve this, a leader must be able to give credits to the members for their accomplishments. Leaders who are credit grabbers will never be able to inspire teams. Instead they will breed distrust and resentment among their members.

Build Self-Esteem. As a leader, you set the intensity for your employees’ attitude at work. Employees usually build a positive work attitude when they are happy with what they do. This happiness can be closely associated with their self-esteem. In business, your clients, previous and current employees, competitors, family, and even friends may give you dozens of criticisms. This goes the same to each of your employees. More often than not, criticisms are very stressful to hear. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal Mart says that employees need to have a good self-esteem in order to be effective at work. Constantly criticizing and pointing out their flaws and short-comings is a guaranteed way to lower their morale and performance. Even Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Group of Companies, says that leaders should always “look for the best in people”. This is easier said than done. While it is helpful to provide feedback to employees, make sure that you do not exclusively about short-comings. Little achievements need to be celebrated, too. When you do this, you reciprocate your employees’ trust. When you give trust to your employees, you teach them to have trust in their own abilities, too. This builds their self-esteem and inculcates a sense of “i-can-make-a-difference” in them, allowing them to become more driven and results-oriented.  

Encourage Other’s Development. Leaders should aim for their employees’ success. They should encourage them to be the best they can be. True leaders help their direct reports get promoted. Looking out for people’s best interest and growth helps you build a more positive relationship with them. The moment that a leader feels scared that their employees can get better than them is the moment they fail as a leader. True leaders don’t create more followers; they create more leaders. This is because true leaders are hard to find. The more leaders you have in your company, the better equipped your company will be for growth. The more growth your company has, the better opportunities you create for yourself and your employees, too. Employees are like seedlings; it is the leader’s job to nurture them, water them, cultivate them, and watch them grow. As a leader, you need to mentor people: coach them, help them make decisions, allow them to learn from mistakes, guide them to reflect on their actions, and help them celebrate their little successes.

Learn to Effectively Communicate. Needless to say, none of the things a leader must do can be accomplished without communication. Getting people onboard and aligning them to the goals are essential in accomplishing anything. As you go through the journey, you also need to ensure that everyone is in the loop with what is going on. Understanding and discussing your milestones and challenges as a group is truly very crucial. Making everyone understand the big picture also greatly impacts the results of any given task. As a leader, you should allow an avenue for open-communication, sharing of suggestions, and brainstorming. Efficient means of communication using different technologies is a vital part of this process. Sometimes, leaders do not even step out of their comfort zone to adjust to the new workforce. The Millenials and Generation Z workers, a huge part of our workforce now, are fond of technology. As leaders, we should be able to make use of this available means of communications. Using a mode of communication that people understand, people can relate to, and people are passionate about is truly very effective.

Listen. Many leaders claim that they listen, however, they truly don’t. They only listen to respond rather than to understand. As Stephen Covey shared in his book, “Seek first to understand then be understood…” This is a very powerful way of getting the best out of people. Great ideas can come from the most unlikely employees. In order to tap into these, a leader must learn to genuinely listen. If a leader fails to listen, then you will be surrounded by people who have nothing to say. Many experienced leaders feel that there is not much to hear as they think that they have already heard everything. But one thing is sure; there is always room for learning when you listen. Listening builds a good relationship with your employees; it helps them feel empowered and it helps you as the leader become more influential to them.

These five may not be exhaustive of all the important life lessons a leader must learn, but we feel that these are most important. If you are able to learn these lessons, it can truly take you a long way into your leadership journey.


For more information about enriching your leadership stay tuned for more of our articles. You may also attend one of our training or workshop. Please check our calendar for more information. You can also contact us directly. 

Holy Week Thoughts: Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

The Holy week, also known as semana santa, is definitely an event Filipinos look forward to. Even weeks ahead, many Filipinos take time to plan activities for it. Some take advantage of the holy week to go on a well-deserved vacation while others go for reflection and prayer. As majority of the country’s population comprises of Roman Catholics, visiting different churches to pray is definitely part of the tradition. Our team members took part in visiting a church last week. We went to Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Sta.Maria- Tungkong-Mangga Road, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan. As expected, legions of devotees and followers were at the site; so many that you will have to stay under the scorching heat of the sun for a long time of queuing at the gate. Once in, you will be able to see even more people in the front grounds and along the pavement as you come closer to the church. While there, we devoted a few prayers and went on to quickly join a procession that celebrated the Stations of the Cross. We thanked God for all the blessings and challenges he has brought to us in the past year.

Grotto Edited

The church ground was far from the celebrated serene landmark we were expecting. Sure there were still people praying. A mass was also being held when we arrived, but the crowd was definitely noisy. Outside the church, children were running around; horse-playing on sacred grounds. There were a lot of vendors parading logos of the products they were selling in different colors: Mineral water, beverages, candles, food, toys, religious items, oils, and many others; name it and it is there. Of course, with all these comes all the rubbish. Without any intent of generalizing, Filipinos are not well-known for their discipline in managing trash. This made the team very sad. With the lack, or maybe only lack of visibility, of garbage cans in the area, people littered all over the place. Our team members had some trash, too, but we kept it in our bags until we found a bin to throw it into.

As students, most Filipinos have had their share of repetitive values education lessons emphasizing the importance of a clean environment. I am sure that our teachers, to the point of being redundant, has told us that we need to avoid littering, even when no one is looking. But how has this affected us as we grew older? Was there any fault in our educational system that we seem to not have retained this important piece of information?

I could not tell what goes wrong in this scenario. People go to a place of worship to give thanks and praise their God for the sacrifices He has made for them. In return, these same people trash his sacred grounds. In a sermon by John Wesley, an English cleric and theologian, in 1778, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” While the bible never really directly or literally said this, it does make sense. How can we expect to have our soul cleansed when we cannot even keep our physical surroundings clean? Even the Israelites and other religions were all concerned with the concept of “clean” or “unclean.”

Trash Grotto (2)

So maybe let us take it out of the context of religious reasoning and be a bit more practical. When you visit your friend’s house, would you throw your food’s plastic packaging in their yard? Would you do the same when you visit an old teacher’s house? Not normally, right? It is but a common practice of courtesy to keep the place as clean as possible when you visit the place of someone you care for or respect. It makes you wonder why these devotees cannot do the same when they are visiting the place of God.

A friend of ours commented that Filipinos may not have remembered this lesson in school because we are taught by our teachers to pass the exams, not to keep the lessons in mind. This truly is very sad. I could not even tell if our friend is right; he might as well be. One thing is true: education was only there to help us make a living; but our decision become educated throughout our lifetime defines whether we do what is right rather than just what everyone else is doing.

We may not be able to change everyone, but we hope we can reach out and impact the few who are able to read this. Our hope is that more Filipinos can decide to become educated in the next Holy week, or maybe more regularly, so that cleanliness would be something they can consider to always keep in mind. If you agree, please share this article and together, let us reach out to more Filipinos.   

Understanding Adult Learning

When it comes to seminars and workshop, people often ask what adult learning is. Seldom do people realize that the way we learn as children and adolescents is very different from how we do as adults. This is because as adults, we are usually able to make our own decisions independently and we can be responsible to our own success. We use the information we have in order to make these decisions and choices.

Adult Learning

In 1985, Malcom Knowles who pioneered in adult learning has observed that adults learn better given certain conditions. He also made assumptions that learning in adults is based on 5 assumptions. First, he mentioned that as an adult matures, he moves from a dependent personality to being a self-directed human being. Second, the person’s experience becomes a very healthy source of valuable information that grows over time. Third, the adult learner becomes more oriented toward developing and learning things that are relevant to their role in the society. Fourth, the adult learner wants to immediately apply what they learned rather than delay its application. Fifth, that the person’s interest and motivation toward learning is innate.  

Let us attempt to understand these conditions so that we can see how we can create better training programs for our adult learners.  

Adults need to understand the importance of learning the information. Adults tend to retain information which they see as valuable to the things they do on a daily basis. During learning events, it is important to discuss how the new information can be used in practically at work. By discussing these, it motivates the adult learner to remember the information that is shared. It also helps them make an active decision to learn.

Adults need to learn using a method that is appropriate to them. There are different types of learners and you need to create a program that can touch base with most of these learners. Most learners are either Kinesthetic, Visual, or auditory. But there are many other learning styles for adults.

Experiential learning is always more powerful. Experiential learning is when adults apply what they have learned. You will notice that workshops allow adults to have an opportunity to test out what they learned through exercises. Sometimes, it even requires role-playing activities to experience the learning firsthand. The application is usually immediate so that the adult learner is able to retain the lessons longer and more effectively.

Timely learning. You need to allow the participants to learn something that is appropriate to their needs. Timing is important. When you schedule the learning session, put it at a time that they are thinking actively. If you have a choice between morning and evening after work hours, the former may be the better option as they are not yet tired. This gives more readiness for them to learn. Lessons related to recent life events also prove to be learned faster.

Positive Encouragements. It is very important for adults to feel encouraged to do the task. Boosting their confidence always works better than shaming them in class. You need to make adults realize that they have the power to apply change because most of them rely on habits. Validating that they have done the task successfully based on standards help them feel ease in getting out of their comfort zone and trying new things. 

Adult learners are never to be treated like the younger students. They should be given some level of autonomy. To see the contrast, we should realize that teacher-centred learning is never applicable. Adult learners cannot just be quiet listeners who will do what they are told; they have to be involved, encouraged, and motivated so that they can comprehend and retain information long-term.   

COMPETAD Launches Communications for HR Workshop

23 March 2019, COMPETAD Training and Professional Development Services has conducted its very first-Quarterly HR Learning Session this 2019 at the 2nd Floor Marsk Building in Aurora Boulevard. The workshop was entitled, “Communications for HR” which was attended by thirty HR participants from different industries. The session was facilitated by our very own, Mr. Philip Nucleus Sia I, a Certified Human Resource Professional by the International Federation of Professional Managers (IFPM).

Communications for HR Event

Topics during the half-day session included a quick review on the Common Grammar errors for the HR professionals make, Email Usage for HR, Body Language, and Vocal Communications. It was a fun-filled session that was jam-packed with learning. The session was very interactive with activities geared toward engaging the participants while illustrating the learning points being shared. One of the highlights of the session was a quick demonstration and exercise for vocal communications. The participants were able to practice proper breathing exercises to help them project a fuller, more audible voice tone that they can use when public speaking. The audience also had their share of pronunciation exercises to help them sound more natural and neutral when speaking in English. Another highlight is the sharing of the concept of postural feedback, where the participants were made aware that their actions not only affect others but it also has an impact to their own body chemistry, hormonal constitution, mood, and confidence. The crowd was very engaged as they did power poses to help boost confidence and focus.

The 1st Quarterly Learning Session was an overall success. The participants enjoyed learning during the session, with a few of them even saying that there was no dull moment during the workshop.

More About Our Quarterly Learning Sessions.

COMPETAD’s Quarterly learning sessions are tailored to the needs of HR professionals, focusing on things that HRs should know but often times overlook. The sessions are great as they are interesting, tailored to the HR profession, and very friendly to the budget-conscious learner. The sessions are only Php 799 per participant, which is also offered at Php 599 to those who take advantage of the early-bird rates. COMPETAD developed these programs in order to provide the community with an alternative way for continuous professional development for those who are new and a bit more experienced in the profession.

COMPETAD Secretariat for the Quarterly Learning Sessions, Mr. Michael Natividad, mentioned that he still feels that there is a lot of room for improvement in reaching out within the HR Community so the organization is still bringing forth more topics in the coming months. He said that with a more aggressive awareness-building effort for these value-conscious programs must be in place so they could appeal to a larger community and make the learning available to anyone, even the start-up professionals.

This year, there are four topics identified for our Quarterly sessions, which we felt are good start-off points for HR development. Communications for HR has already been completed but we still have three topics to offer: Etiquette for HR, Labor Relations Basics, and HR Professional Image. We shall release more information to you as we move forward in the coming months regarding these programs.