Wisdom Through Healthy Discussion.

For some time now, I participated in a series of healthy discussions with a group of professionals from all over the world.

During the discussion, we would have a domain knowledge expert who will share his views and facilitate the discussion. We meet at least once per month and work – its really hard work – through an important and intellectually-stimulating theme or subject.

There are some tacit understanding and unwritten ground rules guiding our discussion.

First, we come prepared for the discussion.

That means we have to do our own research and analysis about the topic before the discussion. In addition, we aim to discuss and propose recommendation for current and future line of action and solution.

Secondly, we focus on predetermined purpose and goal.

At the end of the discussion, we hope to derive significant, meaningful and fulfilling outcomes. Outcomes that will not only value-add to one another but also to the people around us.

Throughout the discussion, we endeavour to be open-minded, objective and positive. In other words, we listen to one another and try to understand each other’s point of view.

We concentrate on performance and not on personality. We are interested in the subject matter and not on subjecting each other to any form of negativity.

As professionals, we don’t take things personally and call each other names. We also do not attack each other or seek all kinds of harm on each other.

We may attack the sin but not on the sinner, after all none of us is perfect. Our views are evolving and can be changed instantly.

When a presupposition or a point of view is put forth, we question the epistemology. For example, “How do you know it’s true?”

More importantly, “How do you know that you know is true?”

We are careful that our discussion is based on evidence and not on assertion.

We do not accept an opinion on face value and will try to evaluate it from all angles.

There is a hierarchy of evidence that we subscribe to in terms of credibility and acceptance.

At the highest level of evidence are clinically-proven evidence. These are evidence that have gone through vigorous studies, double-blind tests, solid evaluation by experts, and are published in a highly-regarded journal for further scrutiny.

At the lowest level are lies, half-truths, and misinformation. All of us are guilty in one way or another of holding such views as a result of make-belief, hearsay, and pop culture.

As a rule of the thumb, we discuss about why the topic is important and its implications on our life, community, economy and society. We also explore its potential problems and issues.

Then, we will look at the past and current information on the topic to have a stronger mastery of the subject matter. Inevitably, we will identify gaps of information or action that need to be addressed.

We will debate over many of the points that were raised during the discussion.

The argument may even get heated but it will be moderated by our commitment to ethos and a healthy sense of trust and respect for one another. Our motives are clear and we operate as a team.

We want to uphold each other’s interest at heart and seek a common good for humanity. Therefore, we adopt a high degree of responsibility, accountability and transparency.

That does not mean that we do not have to engage in conflict resolution every now and then. Fortunately, we have discussed about how to do it in an effective way and there is a buy-in from everybody.

Conflicts can be healthy and lead to positive results. We can become more united, wiser and better humans.

Conflict and provocative argument aside, our discussion is mainly fun, exciting and goal-oriented.

Ideally, we should be able to come out with a conclusion. We should be able to value-add on to our knowledge and develop an action plan.

Mostly, we make things more complicated and come out of the discussion, more confused than before it.

The discussion is usually long on doubt, uncertainty and question and short on conclusion, decision and solution.

It’s hard for many people to accept that being confused can generate a positive outcome.

We believe that it can be a start to a positive breakthrough and enlightenment.

To illustrate my point, they said that in the quest to reach the moon, the stakeholders went through a process of discovery and achievement.

In a nutshell, they went through the following milestones:

1. “Unknown unknown.” They don’t know what they don’t know. So, they need to come out with an effective plan to research and analyse about the project and how to manage it effectively and efficiently.

2. “Unknown known.” They need to harness information that are related to the project and channel them to achieve its objective.

3. “Known Unknown.” They need to fill in informational gaps so that they can take the necessary action.

4. “Known Known.” They make sure that they cover all the ground. Anything that can go wrong will not go wrong.

They work on having everything needed to land a man on the moon and they eventually did it on 20 July 1969.

When astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, his first few words to the world were “That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”

The first step to a quantum leap of progress in your life can very well begin with a healthy discussion.

I hope to see more healthy discussions, including debates and arguments in the coffee shop, marketplace, boardroom, cyberspace, parliament, and behind closed office and bedroom doors.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/ For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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