7 Lessons on Conflict Management

Every team that works together, will face with conflict at one time or another. How does your team usually resolve its conflicts? Avoidance or Aggression? Either way, it is not ideal. The paradox of conflicts is that despite it being one of the most common and ubiquitous happenings in teams and organizations, a majority of people struggle to deal with conflicts. Here, we share some (short and) wise words from well known mediators and thinkers on the best ways to deal with conflicts. 

  1. Jeff Muir – Resolution of Conflict

One of the shortest lessons on conflict management, complete with illustrations. Go from definition of conflict to how to resolve conflict all in less than 3 minutes!

2. Sunshine Hung – Conflict Styles

“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.” Says William James, American philosopher, psychologist and physician. Learn about the 5 different conflict styles, and the characteristics of each style. Most interestingly, each conflict style is related with an animal! Are you a shark, an owl, a fox, a teddy bear or a turtle? Conflicts will never be the same again with these associations – imagine you were adopting a “turtle” conflict style during a conflict, the thought of that imagery popping into your head might lead you to immediately switch styles! 

3. Margaret Heffernan – Dare to Disagree

Despite the most common approach to conflict being avoidance, Heffernan shows us that openness alone cannot drive change. Instead, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates how the best research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree. Yet, a whopping 85% of American executives faced issues at work that they did not dare to raise! Are we spending a lot of time and resources scouting top talents, but not creating an environment that can draw the most out of them? An awakening talk that provokes re-thinking how managers should lead their teams , and how we all should teach our next generations. Openness is not the end, it is the beginning. 


4. William Ury – The Walk from “Yes” to “No”

Mediator and Author of “Getting to Yes”, William Ury starts off with a humorous way to look at all conflicts – a difficult arithmetic problem. He offers an elegant and simple way to create agreement in even the most difficult situations — from family conflict to, perhaps, the Middle East. “When angry, you will make the best speech – which you will regret!”. Thus, his recommendation to “go to the balcony” – illustrated with examples such as Abraham and Nelson Mandela. 


5. Katy Hutchison – Restorative Practices to Resolve Conflict/Build Relationships

Katy Hutchison became a Restorative Justice advocate following the murder of her first husband. After ten years of sharing her story internationally to over five hundred schools and community groups, she views the education system as the structure with the most potential to affect positive social change. Sharing her own parents’ style of education, she describes what she views as her ideal way of educating the young – “Time In”s. 

6. David Venter – Nelson Mandela, Negotiation and Conflict Management

Professor Ventor has a wealth of local and international experience as both a facilitator of negotiation interventions, and a trainer and advisor of negotiators. He advised governmental departments such as the police and the department of Justice, as well as the government of Nelson Mandela. Another talk that uses Nelson Mandela’s style to teach negotiation and conflict management. Mandela’s ability to bring love and peace to a mass of anger and hate, is something that we must emulate. 

7. Jim Ferrell – Resolving the Heart of Conflict

Jim Ferrell, author of The Anatomy of Peace, claims that we like problems. With a great sense of humor, Jim covers how perception (our perception of others, and others’ perception of us) can drastically change how a conflict unravels and resolves. 

FREE sharing session on Brain Training Tips (20 Aug ’19)

A child under 4 years old functions at GENIUS level.

  • How can you, as a parent, maximise this opportunity to build up his/her cognitive power within the comfort of your own home, without expensive courses and teachers?
  • How do you build up strong cognitive skills from a young age, so that your child has a head start in school later on?
  • How do you establish concrete learning skills that can last them a life time?
  • How can you increase your child’s focusmemory and creativity?

My next sharing session on brain training activities to do at home is coming up! Next Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 12 noon. Sign up HERE now to ensure you have a slot (it’s free, so it gets snatched up rather quickly!)

If unsure what it’s about, read my previous post about the top 10 brain training tips for children.

See you there if you’re available! 🙂

10 situations that lead people to working from home / working remotely

Influence of developed digital technologies 

Since the Internet and other digital technologies have conquered our lives during the last decade, it has brought about great flexibility as well. Developed information and telecommunication technologies allow people to work remotely, no matter where you are – at the office, at home, in public areas or on a trip. 

It has enabled people to work online and organize things from a distance. Just by having a computer and Internet access, it is now easy to get in touch with a different part of the world. 

In the future, it is predicted that more people will work from home. With office space in London and New York being so expensive, many firms now considering the option of saving money by encouraging their staff to work in their pyjamas. It is beneficial for both parties: the company saves money for office expenses; the employee also does not have to pay for transport and can save the hassle of commuting to and from work everyday. Instead of having to bury their noses in strangers’ armpits on crowded trains, they can work via e- mail, Skype and other virtual networks that have emerged in recent years. 

There are many benefits from home- working, provided it is properly managed.

Here are different situations whereby people will opt to working remotely:

1. Mothers. Years ago, women had a different position in society. They were mainly homemakers, and men were responsible for the earning the bread. Now the times have changed. Not only do women in general want to have their own careers, they want to be financially independent as well. As a result, mothers nowadays with small children will seek different ways to juggle work while still being able to run the household. Working from home gives the best option for them, to work while being able to keep an eye on their children, as well as run errands as and when needed. (more information on how this can be done at a later post)

2. People taking care of the elderly or a sick family member. Sometimes it happens that members of family get sick and somebody has to stay with them at home and take care. Thus, it is useful to be able to work from home once having some flexible time to care for a needy family member. 

3. People living far away from the office. Some professions (accountant, SEO specialist, manager, etc.) allow working from home. This opens up the option of recruiting people who do not necessarily live near the office, thus a large talent pool is created. Employees who do not live near the office can also consider not moving house just for the job, or can avoid long commute hours on a daily basis which can be draining.  

4. Teenagers and students. Usually teenagers are financially dependent on their parents’ support. However, they are constantly looking for new different ways to earn some extra cash. Online surveys, such as Survey Bee, are easy ways for teenagers and students to earn extra pocket money just by sitting in front of their computers in the safety of home.  

5. Disabled people. They usually have difficulties to access the labor market and most of the time cannot physically access the office with ease. However, some of them are still able to work remotely or online, if they do not have any mental or physical disorders. Working remotely gives these people an option to remain financially (or partially) independent. 

6. Professions such as programmer or developer, blogger, web or graphic designer. As computer technologies have affected our lives dramatically, need for specialists who can help with web design, programming has increased significantly. And this trend is only growing, so the need for them does as well. 

7. Freelance writer, photographer, professional video maker, translator. Writing of articles, books, reviews does not necessarily need real presence at the office. These freelancers are able to work anytime and anywhere they want to. Knowledge of foreign languages has always been valuable and useful. In this case again, being a translator might lead to having an optional chance to work from home and anywhere the person wants. 

8. Online tutor/ teacher. Some traditional professions, for example, a teacher, do not need real visual presence anymore. Due to the Internet technologies, it has become easier for many specialists. For example, a teacher, by using Skype, can have an online contact with a student and convey his knowledge of maths, languages, physics, etc. 

9. Home businesses. If a person already has established his own circle of customers through other means, there is an option to move the business home to become a home business. There are also home businesses that just require good internet connections, such as blog shops. 

10. Unemployment can also lead to start working from home. There are different ways how people can start working from home, especially by using the latest Internet technologies. For example, online selling, paid for click sites, participating in focus group can bring some financial benefits even if the person is unemployed officially. 

Ways to Eliminate the Startup Chasm

Geoffrey Moore, the man who wrote the essential read for every Startup founder “Crossing the Chasm”, spoke about how to deal with the chasm as if it never really existed! 

Before knowing how to deal with the chasm, know what it is: 

  1. If you introduce a disruptive innovation into any community, anywhere in the world, that community will self segregate into 5 responses: technology enthusiasts (3%), Visionaries (15%), Pragmatists (33%), Conservatists (33%) and Laggards (15%).
  2. Technology Enthusiasts. These people buy into the very beginning of the innovation, being interested in the innovation itself. They will download the alpha product. Even if they have no need of it, they just want to know what it is. E.g. Google Glass – I don’t need it, I don’t know what it is, but I just want it! They don’t care the heck about the economics of the product, but its properties. And very passionately about the properties. The other four groups depend on this group to tell them if the product really works. So make sure you impress them.
  3. Visionaries. These people are not so interested in the properties of the disruption, but the power of it. They want to use it to re-engineer whatever they care about. E.g. Netscape navigator re-engineering the world wide web; Jeff Bezos re-inventing commerce over the internet; Apple re-engineering the music industry. They redefine whole industries. When visionaries succeed, the consequences are enormous. It affects everyone. The impact is big, and when they don’t happen, they become just “small, smoking craters” that just go unnoticed. 
  4. Early Majority / Pragmatists. They follow herd mentality and look for the flash point. They will say things like: I think I need this technology, but I don’t think I can afford this, nor want to really invest this amount of money in it. I want to use this technology when it is ready for prime time. I will first poll my peers to see what they are doing. No one’s doing it? Nah. OH WAIT. EVERYONES DOING IT?? Ok, I’m getting it too! They are very interested in what you’re doing, want to know everything about it, but don’t really buy it. But, when they do buy, they buy it in a big way. They are the ones that deploy technologies over the entire enterprises. E.g. social community, cloud computing. 
  5. Conservatists. These are the ones who will say: This thing will never work for me. You’ve used it? Ok, maybe I’ll get it. Hopefully by then it has been completely debugged, and it should be manufactured in such a large scale that it is cheap.
  6. Laggards. “You guys are instruments of the devil. I’m going to be Amish. I’m not going to ever be a part of this crap.” 

The first 2 groups like to go early, and they represent “The Early Market”. These people do it because they want to win, and be part of the new opportunity. Just talking about your technology and yourself can sell your product to the early market. The remaining 3 groups wait longer. They are pragmatists in pain, the ones that actually face the problem and need to solve it. They look into the chasm to see if there is anything to help them. They actually need you, but are skeptical to picking up new things. The gap between the 2 big groups is The Chasm. 

It’s a completely different game when dealing with the two different group. Instead of just talking about the technology (which will bring you your early market customers), the pragmatists want you to show you understand them. Not to come across as a technologist, but someone who understands their problem thoroughly to help them solve it. 80% of the time you need to focus on them, not you or your product.

The tornado is when the board flips. From “No way”, to “Yes, I must have it!”. 

To deal with that inevitable startup chasm, here is what Geoffrey Moore recommends, as the 4 Adoption strategies: 

  1. Get BHD not SLDs. Big Hairy Deal not Small Little Deals. Sell yourself into trouble, and work your way out. (Basically exaggerate using the future, pretending it is in the present). Do this with big, flagship customers to get yourself started ahead of the herd. 
  2. Isolate a very specific use case for this particular product in a particular industry. Get very application specific. That is why crossing the chasm is so hard. You love your technology so much, that you don’t want to customize it just for someone who actually wants to use the technology for something else. E.g. Jobs created the Mac, but the Graphics department wanted it. Jobs was upset because the Mac was not meant for just Graphics but for everyone, but when he backed down, the Mac was adopted by the graphics department, which then snowballed to the sales/marketing department and then everyone else. Just hit that first bowling pin, then go on and on and on…
  3. Catch the wave. Set the default, and Just. Ship. It. Catch it within that time frame. Miss it like Nokia, and you miss it forever.  
  4. Go after the herd. Maintain a relationship to keep market share. Now apologize to those you offended in the 3rd adoption phase, and get their feedback. It is now about maintaining a long term relationship with your customers.

What makes you succeed at each of these adoption stages, will make you fail at the next one. From one to another, be a Liar, then focus on the customer, then ignore the customer, before apologizing to them again to maintain a long term relationship. So you need to be extremely clear of which adoption stage you are currently playing to. The difficult part is not just deciding where you are, but getting your entire team to agree on the same stage! 

If you make the wrong choice, stop immediately and switch gears! Don’t argue who made the wrong choice, but switch your direction immediately and start marketing differently. The good thing about these 4 strategies is that because they are so different, the moment you know you are wrong, and you switch 180 degrees, there is a very high chance you will get it right!

101 Inspirational Startup Quotes!

Those who have been in a startup, or who are working in a startup, will understand the many obstacles and low points that almost every startup would face. Many a times, you want to give up. It’s not an easy journey, it’s like doing a phD — or maybe even harder. So how do you overcome the low points each time as an entrepreneur? Here are some motivational startup quotes from successful people who have been in that position, to keep you going, when the going gets tough. 

  1. “Always choose your investors based on who you want to work with, be friends with, and get advice from. Never, ever, choose your investors based on valuation.” Jason Goldberg, American film and television producer
  2. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that” Anthony Volodkin, Hype Machine founder
  3. “Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations” Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Media founder and CEO
  4. “Don’t worry about people stealing your design work. Worry about the day they stop” Jeffrey Zeldman, A List Apart Publisher
  5. “Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  6. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it” Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder 
  7. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder 
  8. “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to every evening think what can be done better tomorrow” Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA
  9. “Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don’t find one, it’s you.” Mark Cuban, AXS TV chairman and entrepreneur
  10. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen” Scott Belsky, Behance co-founder
  11. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once” Drew Houston, Dropbox founder and CEO 
  12. “Fail often so you can succeed sooner” Tom Kelley, Ideo partner
  13. “Get big quietly, so you don’t tip off potential competitors” Chris Dixon, Andreesen Horowitz investor 
  14. “It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower” Paul Graham, YCombinator co-founder
  15. “Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create” David Karp, Tumblr founder and CEO
  16. “Best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch” Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder and co-editor
  17. “I doubt I’ll ever go back to corporate work. Once you see the light, there is no turning back” Magnus Jepson, WooThemes co-founder
  18. “The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something” Seth Godin, Squidoo founder, author and blogger
  19. “When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘wow, I sure felt safe” Tom Preston-Werner, Github co-founder
  20. “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” Milton Berle,  comedian and actor
  21. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  22. “I don’t believe that old cliche that good things come to those who wait. I think good things come to those who want something so bad they can’t sit still” Ashton Kutcher, Actor and investor
  23. “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world” Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO
  24. “Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” Michael Dell, Dell chairman and CEO
  25. “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying”  Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO
  26. “A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about – 1. What its product is. 2. Who its customers are. 3. How to make money” Dave McClure, 500Startups co-founder 
  27. “In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination” Steve Case, AOL co-founder
  28. “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me”  Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post Media Group president and EIC
  29. “Always deliver more than expected.” Larry Page, Google co-founder
  30. “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late” Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
  31. “When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue” Josh James, Omniture CEO and co-founder
  32. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over” Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO
  33. “Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else” Sara Blakely, SPANX founder 
  34. “I never took a day off in my twenties. Not one” Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder
  35. “Diligence is the mother of good luck” Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States
  36. “If you define yourself by how you differ from the competition, you’re probably in trouble” Omar Hamoui, AdMob co-founder
  37. “You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down” Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
  38. “A person who is quietly confident makes the best leader” Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures co-founder
  39. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over” Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder
  40. “Sustaining a successful business is a hell of a lot of work, and staying hungry is half the battle” Wendy Tan White, MoonFruit co-founder and CEO
  41. “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”  George Lorimer, journalist and author 
  42. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder
  43. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance” Steve Jobs, American entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, who was the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc
  44. “Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don’t tell” Lisa Stone, BlogHer co-founder and CEO
  45. “Behold the turtle, he makes progress only when he sticks his neck out” Bruce Levin
  46. “Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.” Ryan Freitas, About.me co-founder 
  47. “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker, Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author
  48. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist 
  49. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody” Bill Cosby, American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist
  50. “To win without risk is to triumph without glory” Corneille
  51. “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake- you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” Adam Osborne,  Thailand-born British-American author, book and software publisher, computer designer and entrepreneur
  52. “To succeed… You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” Tony Dorsett, Former NFL player
  53. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” Thomas Watson, Sr., Former chairman and CEO of International Business Machines
  54. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell, American engineer and entrepreneur who founded both Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain
  55. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin, English naturalist and geologist
  56. “The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” Peter F. Drucker, Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author
  57. “The golden rule for every business man is this: “Put yourself in your customer’s place.” Orison Swett Marden, Successful hotel owner and spiritual author in the New Thought Movement
  58. “You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance.” Lee Iacocca, Businessman, 18th-greatest American CEO of all time
  59. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Bill Gates, American business magnate, investor, programmer, inventor and philanthropist, co-founder Microsoft
  60. “If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” Donald Trump, American business magnate, investor, television personality and author. He is the chairman and president of The Trump Organization and the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts
  61. “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.” Debbi Fields,  founder and current spokesperson of Mrs. Fields Bakeries
  62. “Always choose your investors based on who you want to work with, be friends with, and get advice from. Never, ever, choose your investors based on valuation.”  Jason Goldberg, American film and television producer
  63. “I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” Jeff Bezos, American Internet entrepreneur and investor. He is a technology entrepreneur who has played a key role in the growth of e-commerce as the founder and CEO of Amazon.com
  64. “Don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once.” Drew Houston, American internet entrepreneur who is best known for being the founder and CEO of Dropbox
  65. “You don’t need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea.” Larry Page, Google co-founder
  66. “It’s better to make a few people really happy than to make a lot of people semi-happy.” Paul Graham, YCombinator co-founder
  67. “Turn a perceived risk into an asset.” Aaron Patzer, Founder, Mint
  68. “Don’t find fault, find a remedy. Anybody can complain.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  69. “I try not to make any decisions that I’m not excited about.” Jake Nickell, Co-founder, Threadless
  70. “Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.”  Jack Dorsey, American web developer and businessman widely known as a co-founder and co-creator of Twitter, and as the founder and CEO of Squar
  71. “Make your team feel respected, empowered, and genuinely excited about the company’s mission.” Tim Westergren, Founder, Pandora
  72. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” Arianna Huffington, Co-founder, The Huffington Post
  73. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman
  74. “Learn by doing. Theory is nice, but nothing replaces actual experience.” Tony Hsieh, American internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is the CEO of the online shoe and clothing shop Zappos.com
  75. “We try to solve very complicated problems without letting people know how complicated the problem was.” Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President, Apple
  76. “Honesty is the best policy.” Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, Entrepreneur
  77. “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, Entrepreneur
  78. “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, Entrepreneur
  79. “One today is worth two tomorrows.” Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, Entrepreneur
  80. “Well done is better than well said.” Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, Entrepreneur
  81. “The one thing Startups need is Focus” Don Norman, Author, Design of Everyday Things
  82. “The second most important thing for entrepreneurs is to build what people need” Don Norman, Author, Design of Everyday Things
  83. “Its better to be late than to be early to Market. Late you can catchup.” Don Norman, Author, Design of Everyday Things
  84. “User experience is the whole experience, the closest i can think of is a trip to disneyland” Don Norman, Author, Design of Everyday Things
  85. “The day you start your company you are over your budget and behind schedule – Normans Law” Don Norman, Author, Design of Everyday Things
  86. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple
  87. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple
  88. “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple
  89. “Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple
  90. “Innovation is not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple
  91. “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” Thomas A. Edison, American inventor and businessman
  92. “There is no substitute for hard work.” Thomas A. Edison, American inventor and businessman
  93. “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” Thomas A. Edison, American inventor and businessman
  94. “There’s a way to do it better – find it.” Thomas A. Edison, American inventor and businessman
  95. “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  96. “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  97. “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  98. “There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  99. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  100. “Being too early is worse than being too late for a new product” Don Norman, Author, Design of Everyday Things
  101. “Make the world a better place one green dot at a time” Don Norman, Author, Design of Everyday Things

Now that you’re done reading, GET BACK TO WORK ON YOUR STARTUP!!!

10 Brain Training Tips for Children

Last week, I was invited by some friends to conduct a short sharing session with a group of mummys / mummy-to-bes, on some brain training tips for children. In a fast-paced Asian society, children here are subjected to tonnes of enrichment classes from the age of 4 months. Yes, you saw it right. 4 months old! And for some very good reason too, which I will mention shortly. However, business people are also tapping vigorously into this keen sense of parents to keep their children ahead of the rat race. As a result, it is not uncommon to see parents forking out thousands of dollars PER CHILD PER MONTH on enrichment classes. Is this necessary? I personally don’t think so. In fact, there are many great ‘enrichment’ stuff that we parents can easily do for our children in the comfort of our own home. And this is precisely why I accepted the invitation of my friends to conduct the sharing session.

Before I proceed further, why is it so important to start brain training at such a young age?

  1. The infant brain makes up 10% of their total body weight, as compared to 2% in an adult. Over two-thirds of their metabolic energy also end up in the brain, as compared to less than 10% in most adults.
  2. A child has 100 billion neurons at birth – about the number of stars in the Milky Way
  3. A 4-week old fetus forms 250,000 new neurons every minute, as compared to hundreds per day in an adult.
  4. A 3 year old child’s brain is already 80% of an adult size, compared to their body weight which is still at 25% of an adult size.

Taking the above points, we can see that infants and pre-schoolers are gaining new knowledge and forming new memories at a much faster rate than in adults. Thus the saying that a child under 4 years old functions at GENIUS level.

So what are some ways a parent can perform simple brain training activities for a child, FOR FREE, in the comfort of one’s home?

  1. Building blocks / Lego. Free play with these or similar building blocks can help train fine motor skills and facilitate greater complex interconnectivity of the brain.
  2. Tangrams. These are really fun, and besides creativity, trains spacial recognition in children. (This is critical for future mathematical concepts such as tessellations and 3-dimensional physics)
  3. Simple memory games. There are many simple ways to conduct these, including the commonly played memory card game
  4. Music. Not referring to those new-age press-button musical toys, but old-fashioned pots and pans / stick and bathtub kind of music.
  5. Lots of movement. This includes all kinds of movements of the body, from dancing to running to climbing to acting crazy. Basically moving the body in as many ways as possible, and making sure cross-midline movements are made (i.e. right hand moves over to the left side of the body, left leg moves over to the right side of the body, etc)
  6. International chess. Don’t be surprised. It’s actually not uncommon to start children at 2 or 3 years old playing chess. There are tactics to teach children at this age, and the key is to normalize your expectation – nothing goes more than 3-4 minutes per game, and usually it only involves 1-2 chess pieces. But this is the best game that can evolve into many levels of higher complexity as the child grows – without needing anything new. This is a great website that gives tips on how to start.
  7. Cuddle your child a lot. Parental touch and security is so easy to give, but can go a long way. There is extensive research done on this topic, and it is evident that the effect of touch on brain development goes beyond humans and mammals. (see worms here)
  8. Introduce boredom. Children need to have stand-and-stare time to learn how to be creative, be resourceful, self-discipline, and to focus.
  9. Load up on the omegas, mint and antioxidants. This is critical. Mint family has been shown to boost memory. I personally give my children and myself a healthy dose of antioxidants from Ningxia Red. This is a really awesome and tasty drink made from Wolfberries, pomegranates, blueberries, aronia berries, cherries and many more fruits. These above fruits are commonly known to be high in antioxidants, and wolfberries is also highly used in traditional chinese medicine for good eye sight and good immunity. What’s not to like about this power-packed drink? Get yours here, or PM me to find out more.
  10. Sleep well. The brain converts information to long term storage when one sleeps. So make sure your child gets lots of sleep.

So that’s it! 10 very simple and low cost brain training activities for your kids 🙂 Hope they are useful. Should you want to know more, stay tuned for my updates on when my next talk / workshop is 🙂

The 7 habits of highly effective teams, and how you can achieve it too

Teams can be fun, engaging and inspiring. But as a team manager at work, what you really want is essentially a productive and effective team. So what are the common habits of highly effective teams, and how can YOU also achieve that with your own team? The most effective teams:

  1. Take the initiative. The key to being proactive, is realizing that you hold the responsibility for your own actions and decisions. By understanding that you yourself are the one who will either benefit or suffer from the consequences of your actions, you will naturally take the initiative to plan for possible future problems, make an effort to improve the situation, and think of ways to become more productive. Blaming others or leaving the work (and thus your fate) to others may make you feel better temporarily, but it is not effective at all.
  2. Focus on the final goal. Effective teams have a very clear vision of what their future should be, and are focused on a final goal that they must work towards. As Steve Covey says, it is the “ability to envision, to see the potential, to create with [their] minds what [they] cannot at present see with [their] eyes”. Develop a team missions statement right at the start. Focus on that mission, and work towards that goal collectively as a team. Check back on that mission regularly, and use it as your guiding pole, to make sure that you are always on the right path to success. This would avoid getting distracted by other work that has no impact on success, and would lead your team to focus their time and energy in achieving the final goal in the fastest time possible.
  3. Set priorities. Teams have limited time and resources. They cannot do everything and do them all great, within a limited timeframe. Thus, to be effective, they have to extremely results oriented. As a team, decide your priorities based on the missions statement, and focus only on the important tasks. 
  4. Create win-wins. A good and effective team works together in a cooperative manner. Collaborative team members COMPLETE one another, and not COMPETE with one another. Too often,  people think that in order for one party to win, the other needs to lose. But in a win-win mindset, everyone wins, the end result benefits everyone. Make your team understand that “there is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” Hence, seek win-win agreements that are mutually beneficial and satisfying, so that resources are focused on achieving the actual team goal instead of being wasted on trying to stand out within the team. 
  5. Seek to understand. Many people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. This habit is especially evident when there are disagreements within a team. Disagreeing is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is only healthy if used correctly! Communication is extremely important in teams, particularly during disagreements. Strive to understand first, before seeking to be understood.  Everyone in the team must understand the other person’s point before starting to defend their own perspective. Don’t hear with your ears, but listen with your heart and mind. (read more on how to reap the full benefits of disagreements here)
  6. Synergize. One plus one equals 3, 4, 5, 6…. Two heads are better than one. When a team is truly synergizing, they can come up with solutions that are way better than the sum of all the single solutions each person could have come up with individually. They can achieve a lot more than each of them could have done so independently. An effective team understands this principle well, and strives towards amplified success by tapping on the synergistic effects of teamwork. To generate synergy within your team, stay open-minded, communicate well, and actively brainstorm new solutions to old problems together. 
  7. Maintain work-life balance. Great teams, no matter how amazing, are still made up of humans. Humans with flesh, blood and feelings. They should thus have the time to rest and re-energize. As a team manager, ensure that you preserve and enhance this greatest asset you have — your team. There are many ways to do this: Go on a team outing; allow team members to work from home to take care of a child; have coffee breaks together; encourage them to work out at the gym; etc. Only when your greatest asset is well taken care of, can your team be effective when they work.

Steve Covey’s best selling book “The seven habits of highly effective people” is a great read. Highly recommended!

Does working from home work?

There has been a long debate on the efficacy of working from home. As a full time working mom (FTWM) who struggles on a daily basis on the amount of time I can squeeze out to spend with each of my children, I ponder about this possibility ever so often. Professor John Roberts and his team explored whether working from home benefits the company and the employee. The team conducted a study over a 10-month period at CTrip.com (http://www.ctrip.com/), a billion-dollar NASDAQ-listed (http://www.nasdaq.com/) company in Shanghai. He discovered that having employees work from home generates a win-win situation. 

For the individual:

  1. Employees were happier 
  2. Employees saved time commuting

For the company:

  1. Saved on real estate
  2. Employees worked 9% more
  3. Employees worked 4% more efficiently → total 13% gain.
  4. Fewer employees quit

For the society:

  1. People can choose where they live
  2. City congestion eased with fewer commuters and fewer people having to live in busy cities just for their work
  3. Better family and community life

To further the net 13% gain for the companies with employees working from home, if the employees chose to work from home (i.e. decided to work from home knowing the negative sides of it, such as lack of social interaction), the number jumps to 22% gain in productivity. The net savings per employee who worked from home was estimated to be approximately the annual salary of the employee! This is highly significant from the company’s point of view!

So, given the great benefits of remote work, why doesn’t everyone jump to it? There are, of course, negative sides of working from home. For one, as mentioned above, working from home removes a large part, if not all social interaction from colleagues. Some individuals feel more lonely as a result, while others who are working in more creative sectors become less innovative due to the reduced chance to bounce ideas off colleagues. As such, the huge benefits of working from home are only applicable for a selected group of individuals, and these are the people who should strive hard to get their companies to let them work from home, if they haven’t yet done so (more on this at a later date). 

For more information of the study, watch this short video by Professor John Roberts from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he talks about how his groundbreaking study of call center workers in China provides the first scientific evidence that working from home can produce big gains in employee productivity. He conducted the study in collaboration with Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom, and Stanford GSB graduate students James Liang and Zhichun Jenny Ying.

John Roberts is the Emeritus John H. Scully Professor of Economics at the Stanford GSB. His teaching and research involve the application of economic and strategic (game-theoretic) analysis to management problems. His specific areas of current interest involve international business, the organization of the firm, and the connection between strategy and organization. He also has published extensively on industrial competition, emphasizing how informational differences among various parties affect strategic behavior, and on complementarities as a driving force in organizational design and strategic choice. As well, he has helped develop new techniques for deriving robust conclusions from economic models. Most recently, he has undertaken controlled randomized experiments in large firms to investigate the effects of changing management practices.

111 Motivational Team Quotes

In almost everything we do, we have a team. At a normal day job, at a startup, even at home (hubby and I are a tag-team to care for our children!) There’s no running away from teaming with people. And teamwork is important and awesome! Here are some motivational quotes for you and your team 🙂

  1. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Andrew Carnegie, American Industrialist and philanthropist
  2. “In union there is strength.” Aesop, Ancient Greek fabulist
  3. “A team is more than a collection of people. It is a process of give and take.” Barbara Glacel & Emile Robert Jr.
  4. “Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.” Brian Tracy, Motivational Speaker and author
  5. “Gettin’ good players is easy. Gettin’ ’em to play together is the hard part.” Casey Stengel, American Major League Baseball outfielder and manager
  6. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  7. “In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.” Mark Sanborn
  8. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist
  9. “Teamwork: Simply stated, it is less me and more we.” Anonymous
  10. “If you can laugh together, you can work together”  Robert Orben, American professional comedy writer
  11. “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Michael Jordan, Professional basketball player
  12. “T- Together E- Everyone A- Achieves M- More”, chambless
  13. “A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle.” Proverb
  14. “Teamplayer: Once who unites others toward a shared destiny through sharing information and ideas, empowering others and developing trust.” Dennis Kinlaw, President and Chancellor of Asbury College
  15. “Teamwork divides the task and double the success.” Anonymous
  16. “Teamwork is working together — even when apart.” Anonymous
  17. “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much” Helen Keller, Author and political activist
  18. “There is no ‘i’ in team but there is in win.” Michael Jordan, Professional basketball player
  19. “I’m not under too much of an illusion of how smart or un-smart I am because filmmaking ultimately is about teamwork.” Guy Ritchie, English screenwriter, film director and producer
  20. “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” John Wooden,  American basketball player and coach
  21. “A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide.” Mickey Mantle, American professional baseball player
  22. “The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” Lee Iacocca, Businessman, 18th-greatest American CEO of all time
  23. “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team” Phil Jackson, American retired professional basketball coach and former player
  24. “Either we’re a team or we aren’t. Either you trust me or you don’t” Ally Carter, in Heist Society
  25. “To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important than competing with one another”  John C. Maxwell, evangelical Christian author, speaker, and pastor
  26. “I love teamwork. I love the idea of everyone rallying together to help me win.”  Jarod Kintz in A Zebra is the Piano of the Animal Kingdom.
  27. “With an enthusiastic team you can achieve almost anything” Tahir Shah, Indian author and journalist
  28. “No matter the disappointment, you simply cannot divorce your favorite team.” Kevin Walker in These Moments Pass: Poems
  29. “Teamwork makes the dream work” Anonymous
  30. “A leader must inspire or his team will expire”  Orrin Woodward, Author
  31. “Teachers call it copying..we call it teamwork!” Anonymous
  32. “Only by binding together as a single force will we remain strong and unconquerable” Chris Bradford, Author
  33. “Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” Patrick Lencioni, American author on team management
  34. “Trust is knowing that when a team member pushes you, they are doing it because they care about the team” Patrick Lencioni, American author on team management
  35. “Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal” Patrick Lencioni, American author on team management
  36. “Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results” Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha, Infopreneur and inspirational coach
  37. “If two men on the same job agree all the time, one is useless. If they disagree all the time, both are useless” Darryl F. Zanuck, American film studio executive and producer
  38. “It doesn’t take strength to win. It takes the true heart of the team to win.” Emily Voyles
  39. “Teamplayer: Once who unites others toward a shared destiny through sharing information and ideas, empowering others and developing trust.” Dennis Kinlaw, President and Chancellor of Asbury College
  40. “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” Jim Stovall, Motivational speaker, author
  41. “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps” Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman
  42. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”  Babe Ruth, American Baseball Player
  43. “It is not a question of how well each process works, the question is how well they all work together.” Lloyd Dobens, Former NBC news reporter and correspondent
  44. “Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity.”  Vince Lombardi, American Football Coach
  45. “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” George Shinn, Owner of Charlotte Hornets basketball team
  46. “Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.” Bill Bradley, American NBA Basketball Player and Senator
  47. “Great teamwork is the only way we create the breakthroughs that define our careers.” Pat Riley, American professional basketball executive, former NBA coach and player
  48. “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
  49. “When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.”  Joe Paterno, American Football Coach
  50. “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”  Vince Lombardi, American Football Coach
  51. “The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side” Margaret Carty
  52. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French Pilot, Writer and Author of ‘The Little Prince’
  53. “No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork and determination a person can overcome anything.” Anonymous
  54. “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defences, or the problems of modern society.” Vince Lombardi, American Football Coach
  55. “When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it is ready to climb.”  Patanjali
  56. “The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.” Knute Rockne, One of the America’s greatest coaches in college football history
  57. “Your most precious possession is not your financial assets. Your most precious possession is the people you have working there, and what they carry around in their heads, and their ability to work together.” Robert Reich, American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator
  58. “Many hands make light work.” John Heywood, English Playwright and Poet
  59. “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit” Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American industrialist
  60. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” Stephen Covey, American educator, businessman, and author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’
  61. “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” Napoleon Hill, American author of personal success
  62. “There’s nothing greater in the world than when somebody on the team does something good, and everybody gathers around to pat him on the back” Billy Martin, American Major League Baseball second baseman and manager of New York Yankees
  63. “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work” Vincent Lombardi, American football player, coach, and executive
  64. “Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be”  Jimmy Johnson, American football broadcaster and former player, coach, and executive
  65. “A job worth doing is worth doing together” Anonymous
  66. “A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others” Norman Shidle, American Author
  67. “A successful team is a group of many hands but of one mind” Bill Bethel
  68. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers” Stephen R. Covey, American educator, businessman, and author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’
  69. “As a team leader, create teams who: Care, Cooperate & are Committed” Anonymous
  70. “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others” Ayn Rand, American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
  71. “Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it” Brian Tracy,  motivational speaker and author
  72. “It is amazing how much people can get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit.” Sandra Swinney
  73. “Do you want a collection of brilliant minds or a brilliant collection of minds?” R. Meredith Belbin,  British researcher and management theorist
  74. “It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit” Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States
  75. “Synergy — the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously” Mark Twain, American author and humorist
  76. “Team members who feel threatened but who are not aware of it become rigid — and that stops teamwork” Will Schutz, American psychologist
  77. “Teams share the burden and divide the grief” Doug Smith
  78. “Teamwork is the lynchpin in our long term success” Ned Lautenbach,  retired Partner of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc
  79. “The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses” Napoleon Hill, American author of personal success
  80. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it” Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
  81. “The path to greatness is along with others” Baltasar Gracion, Spanish Priest
  82. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” Kurt Koffka, German psychologist
  83. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team” Jason Fried, 37signals founder
  84. “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team” Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
  85. “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” Vince Lombardi, American Football Coach
  86. “When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when you team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.” Bo Schembechler,American football player, coach, and athletics administrator 
  87. “Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” SEAL Team 
  88. “If a team is to reach its potential, each player must be willing to subordinate his personal goals to the good of the team.” Bud Wilkinson,  American football player, coach, broadcaster, and politician. 
  89. “People have been known to achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.” Dr. Allan Fromme,  American psychologist, teacher, and writer
  90. “When he took time to help the man up the mountain, lo, he scaled it himself.” Tibetan Proverb 
  91. “In order to become a leading home run hitter, a batter must be surrounded by good hitters, otherwise, the pitchers will ‘pitch around’ him. Likewise, many successful people became that way from being on a good team.” Laing Burns Jr. 
  92. “Teamwork is neither “good” nor “desirable.” It is a fact. Wherever people work together or play together they do so as a team. Which team to use for what purpose is a crucial, difficult and risky decision that is even harder to unmake. Managements have yet to learn how to make it.” Peter F. Drucker,  Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author
  93. “If we were all determined to play the first violin we should never have an ensemble. Therefore, respect every musician in his proper place.” Robert Schumann,  German composer and influential music critic
  94. “Many of us are more capable than some of us . . . but none of us is as capable as all of us!!” Tom Wilson, American actor, writer, musician, painter, voice-over artist, stand-up comedian, and podcaster
  95. “Good teams incorporate teamwork into their culture, creating the building blocks for success.”  Ted Sundquist, American football player, manager and commentator
  96. “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” H.E. Luccock, American Methodist minister
  97. “The ratio of We’s to I’s is the best indicator of the development of a team.” Lewis B Ergen, American actor
  98. “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” Bahá’u’lláh
  99. “A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of others.” Norman Shidle, American author
  100. “Teamwork. A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.” Justin Sewell, American author
  101. “Strategy is not a solo sport, even if you’re the CEO.” Max McKeown, English writer, consultant, and researcher specialising in innovation strategy, leadership and culture
  102. “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” Ryunosuke Satoro, Japanese writer
  103. “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” Proverb
  104. “A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.” Proverb
  105. “One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up, add just a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but teamwork dynamites.” Jin Kwon
  106. “Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.”  Virginia Burden, Author
  107. “A single leaf working alone provides no shade.”  Chuck Page,  American politician
  108. “No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, lecturer, and poet
  109. “A snowflake is one of God’s most fragile creations, but look what they can do when they stick together!”  Anonymous
  110. “It is a fact that in the right formation, the lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.”  Anonymous
  111. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

How long does C-Sect recovery take?

It depends on what “recovery” means to you, but below are my own experiences towards recovery after a cesaerean:

  • 2 days – get off bed to go toilet (forced by gynae to do so, she says it will aid recovery. Also they took off my urine catheter so i had no choice)
  • 10 days – removal of wound dressing, external skin is healed and can shower without feeling pain. Weaned off painkillers.  
  • 2 weeks – no longer need to walk with my hands on my tummy (partially psychological, I believe). No more pain in daily activities, but still cannot really laugh or cough too hard
  • 1 month – binder can be taken off more regularly with less discomfort without it. (before that, I wore the binder 24/7 except when showering – nurses helped put on binder immediately after the operation while I was still in the operation theatre. It was a 1 piece binder that costs $10 from qoo10, verified useful by my gynae. I would recommend a simple binder as there are many other things to do after childbirth! The simpler the binder, the higher the chances you will wear it longer)
  • 3 months – slight feeling when I touch the c-section area. Finally, the skin feels like mine!
  • 6 months – can lie comfortably on my tummy. This is also the time when gynae declares me fit to go for vigorous exercise like swimming and jogging
  • 7-8month – skin on c-section area feels completely normal, senses are completely back. 
  • 1 year – no longer feel pain when i scratch c-section area. meaning skin sensory is back, internal healing is also close to complete
  • >2 years – Doctor’s advice for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), which means it takes that long for complete internal healing of the wound.