Improve supervisor/subordinate relations!

John J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter. (2008). Managing your boss. Boston. Harvard Business School Press. (p.44 – 55).

Checklist [Selection/Paraphrased]

  • Understand his/her desired outcomes; push factors and drivers
  • His/her competencies, and areas of neglect/areas constantly unnoticed by him/her: ‘blindspots’
  • Work/Decision making style
    • ‘Listeners’: face to face briefings; ‘Readers’: written document then meeting
    • Active participant versus informing them only on key decisions (ask yourself whether you are deferential or more independent/strong willed; know yourself)
    • Information: openly share positive and negative information [how realistic is this?]; check if your boss knows enough about the issue at hand and provide more where necessary
    • Produce what is promised
    • Clarify mutual expectations
    • Tap on your boss’s time and resources wisely for the highest prioritised tasks/goals

Adults English – 3 helpsites : )

The company recently entrusted me with the opportunity to teach English to adults; I was able to find the below sites for preparation:

Three common tips: (a) understand the goals of the learners. For this Bowens suggested asking through conversations; (b) relate learning to their work or life (use but not be restricted by textbooks); (c) allow the learners to help mould the learning process [similar to what I learnt in (ACTA) – WSQ Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment].

Hope this helps!

HR Reflections

I was tasked to be part of the Recruitment process at work. Merrily, I took the chance to research!

This time the book is from Veechi Curtis. (2016). Small Business for Dummies. (5th Australian & New Zealand edition). Milton. John Wiley.

Curtis (Chapter 11) highlights the importance of a detailed and specific job description (5 qualities, quantifiable/clear goals, purpose, reporting officer etc). This becomes crucial for selecting the right candidate and even asking valid/suitable questions during the interview.

For the interview, she suggests:

  • Tests during the interview e.g. on the spot Excel calculations or note taking.(where applicable of course)
  • A scale say out of 5 or 10 is useful in tracking questions repsponses and comparing between candidates.
  • Unconventional questions – ask what the person would do if he/she became Prime Minister or President. [This is a good, and polite way to understand the person’s values and working style]
  • Inquire of the candidate how he/she tackled a difficult situation; also ask whether they would have used another method/way [Rather helpful in seeking out problem solving ability and whether the person reflects/learns]
  • [Trap] Find out what the candidate disliked or liked least about his/her previous/current company [Hmmm… I shan’t say more…]

‘Good’ regulation

Studied under David Jackman for the Diploma in Anti money-laundering (Module 4). See more about him at the end of this article.

It is my belief that a viable culture is vital for successful compliance/regulation. Hence, I am following up on his teachings on regulatory maturity (for possible further research). He states 4 stages/levels from the document Ethics for Regulators. (2016). [UK government site].

I quote here the middle two stages and highlight a tiny bit of the final stage.


2. Procedural

  • Question: What do we have to do?
  • Unthinking, mechanical compliance
  • Dispersed decision-making /decision-sharing
  • By the book – black or white answers, ticking boxes
  • Bureaucratic and costly
  • Jobs-worth, inflexible application of principles
  • Culture of dependency on ppolicies and procedures
  • Outsourcing ‘conscience’

3. Embedding

  • Question: How can we be more effective?
  • Making the business case
  • Reputational repair or building trust
  • Helps in delivering on objectives, no just a cost
  • Part of decision-making at all levels
  • Staff give space to grow and trusted to make decisions
  • Judgment led
  • Public accountability and kpis
  • Long-term planning of developing principles

4. Values-led would involve:

  • Question: What do we want to do?
  • Good habit not audit driven


Related posts/Information:

Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) – Singapore

Specimen Paper and Reflections – Anti Money Laundering


[from the main source article] “Regulatory Maturity:
1. Effectiveness of the regulatory body in delivering its stated objectives,
including the sophistication of the regulatory tools and techniques used
2. Maturity of the relationship between regulator and regulated, and other
3. Integrity of the internal regulatory culture, including the degree to which
the seven principles are embedded


David Jackman. Company Overview of Jersey International Business School. Bloomberg.

Read an article written by him in 2012. David Jackman: Business won’t be ethical until it shares society’s values again. The Independent. UK.

David Jackman. Strategic Advisor. Meet the ICA Advisory Committee. International Compliance Association. International Compliance Association. London.

‘Stronghold’ – Johnny Hunt

This links to Shame – Two Perspectives.

Two reasons why I picked the book up – Ravi Zacharias’ commendation on the front cover (I have read/studied/trusted a fair deal of CS Lewis, JI Packer, Timothy Keller. Thus I now turn to Ravi Zacharias, albeit indirectly.) The second reason, ‘strongholds’.

Johnny Hunt’s book, a sincere attempt, defines ‘strongholds’ as ‘any habit that got hold of you.’ (p.21).

One other learning point:

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. [Proverbs 28:13, ESV Old Testament]

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. [James 5:16, ESV New Testament]


Demolishing Strongholds: Finding Victory Over the Struggles That Hold You Back. (2017). Harvest House Publishers. [Bible versions used – English Standard (ESV); New King James (NKJV); New International (NIV)]

Memory weakness and epilepsy

William Barr, PhD, ABPP. Reviewed By: Joseph I. Sirven, MD (March 19, 2014). Types of Memory Problems. Epilepsy Foundation of America.

  • “Problems of attention and encoding” – information fails to become memory
  • “Problems of storage” – retention
  • “Problems of retrieval” – recall

Irene Elliott, RN, MHSc, ACNP and Janice Mulligan, MSW, RSW. How Epilepsy Affects Learning. (2/4/2010). AboutKidsHealth, The Hospital for Sick Children. Canada.

memory: a child may study a topic many times, but not remember it the next day


Diet and Epilepsy

Modified Atkins Diet

Modified Atkins Diet Can Cut Epileptic Seizures in Adults. (28 Jan 2008). Johns Hopkins Medicine. [Bold words my addition]

In 2002, Johns Hopkins researchers began testing a modified version of the Atkins diet in children with epilepsy… modified diet… high-fat focus of the ketogenic diet, prompting the body to generate ketones… allows more carbohydrates and protein, doesn’t limit fluids and calories, and has no fasting period… began testing it for efficacy and ease of use in adults.

30 adults with epilepsy, ages 18 to 53 years, who had tried at least two anticonvulsant drugs without success and had an average of 10 seizures per week, were placed on the modified Atkins diet… restricted them to 15 grams of carbohydrates a day. “… a few strawberries, some vegetables, or a bit of bread,”… most of its calories from fat-eggs, meats, oils and heavy cream-with as much protein and no-carb beverages…

…about half the patients had experienced a 50 percent reduction in the frequency of their seizures by the first clinic visit. About a third of the patients halved the frequency of seizures by three months. Side effects linked with the diet, such as a rise in cholesterol or triglycerides, were mild. A third of the patients dropped out by the third month, unable to comply with the restrictions… diet won’t be a good fit for all patients


Katie Barwick, Senior Paediatric Dietitian, Mater Health Services, Mater Children’s Hospital. (Nov 2011). The Modified Atkins Diet. Epilepsy Queensland Inc.

…high-fat diet… for difficult to treat seizures. Heavy cream, butter and vegetable oils provide the necessary fat… allows all protein rich foods… meat, chicken, eggs and fish. It completely eliminates sweets… lollies, biscuits and desserts… carbohydrate rich foods… bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals are not allowed in the first month… may be introduced later.

Children and teenagers with uncontrolled seizures may be helped by the diet.

Medications may act stronger with the Modified Atkins Diet therefore close medical monitoring is necessary.

The diet is generally used for a period of 2 years… If the diet is not helpful, it will be stopped within a few months.

Most children do not develop high cholesterol levels while on the diet. If a child develops high cholesterol or lipids, the diet can be modified to lower these.

This diet should not be started without medical and dietetic supervision.

See also:

David C. Spencer. (2017). Navigating Life with Epilepsy. New York. Oxford University Press. [Diet Therapy]