This workshop was conducted at the Amazing Borneo Tours Conference Room. It was a joint effort between Amazing Borneo Tours and Lifeskills Training Center. The admission to the workshop was free of charge and the workshop lasted from 9am to 4pm. The workshop was conducted by two speakers, namely, Audrey Koh Sui Ean (B.Education TESL HONS UK) and Chai Lee Fong (Talent Management & Certified Advanced Behaviorial Analyst). Their topics for the day were English Foundation & Critical Thinking Skills respectively.
The attendees for this workshop were mostly tourism industry team players. To them, effective communication skills are important, as their job requires them to have interaction with people from all over the world. Critical Thinking Skills was also taught in this workshop to encourage creativity and problem solving.
The attendees were taught proper written grammar and encouraged to engage in a “Proper English” speech exchange. At the end of the session, confidence in speaking in the English Language was observed. This would, in the long run, greatly enhance the travel experience for many tourists who come to visit Sabah.
Today’s increasing trend towards globalization, advances in IT and other developments in society have brought considerable convenience to our society. Although, more often than not, it has resulted in a reliance on technology. Many a times, we opt to rely on our smartphone instead of using creative methods to solve a problem. We fear that in the long run, our thoughts and intelligence would be disjointed. This is why during our Critical Thinking Session with Chai Lee Fong, participants were given a set of puzzles to solve. Through the session, we were reminded to exercise not just our fingers, but most importantly our brain. Participants were encouraged to use depth in their thinking skills, and this is essential to problem solving; especially during a crisis.
Having experienced the Sabah Earthquake, it was important to us as a company to improve the image of our state and nation. A lot of media attention and light was shed on our heroic Malim Gunung (Mountain Guides). Unfortunately, many of them, spoke limited to little English, and struggled during the media interviews. As such, we decided to extend our workshop and bring it to them. The event was held at the Meeting Room of the Kinabalu National Park and was extended to all mountain guides and staff who worked at KNP.
We started the workshop with Kenji (Amazing Borneo’s Sales Director), giving a speech in a mixture of Bahasa Melayu and English. Upon hearing a familiar language, it immediately broke the ice in the meeting room. After which, hands come up more often and responses are shot out more readily throughout the session. Many times, we receive feedback that the mountain guides were a quiet and reserved bunch. However, many do not know that a large part of their reserve is due to their lack of confidence in conversing in English. When surrounded by their own, they are more confident and less shy of making mistakes when speaking in English. This was also one of the reasons why we preferred to bring the workshop to them.
The initial objective of the workshop was to encourage them to open up and embrace the English language, however, much to our pleasant surprise, many of them made a considerable effort to speak in good grammar after the session with Audrey.
During the Sabah Earthquake, critical thinking skills were one of the most important steps in crisis management. Our mountain guides braved through the cold and harsh conditions to help the climbers get down the mountain. At the time of the crisis, where several routes were blocked by fallen hedges and stones, creativity and critical thinking skills were essential in paving new paths. During the workshop, we were impressed with the mountain guides . They were active in solving the given puzzles. This serves as a further reminder to us that it is important to rely less on technology and to actively exercise our most important asset to the human race--our depth of thoughts and intelligence.