eNewsletter July 2007


Even confident people can be unnerved
by having to present in
public, especially to superiors.

The greatest fear that clients present to psychologists is their fear of speaking in public. It even outranks the fear of death. Thus, to paraphrase comedian Jerry Seinfeld, most people would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.

Paradoxically, one of the skills most highly valued by employers is for their employees to be able to speak both confidently and competently in front of an audience. Enter GCA Presentation Skills BootCamp.

This highly interactive and intensive 2-day workshop, is re-modelled from a military style Boot Camp, and designed to be a challenging and highly rewarding experience.

The intensive nature of this course builds instant rapport between group members, allowing for rapid learning through modelling and instant feedback. The emphasis on NLP techniques facilitates this process, enabling each participant to understand aspects of their own psychological make-up, which can then be enhanced to promote superior presentation performances. Practice in front of a peer learning group and access to videotaped presentations makes for constructive and instantaneous changes in performance ability.

Topics include: research gathering, knowing your audience, owning the room, overcoming nerves, structuring your presentation, organizing support material, building audience rapport, handing difficult audiences and fielding questions.

Participants will also learn nonverbal communication techniques, voice modulation to provide interest and drama, appropriate gestures to engage and sustain audience interest and other speaker–audience interaction skills.

To find out more about enrolling in this intense experience, please contact Lydia Persis, Development Manager at GCA.


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The Art of Listening
By Waleed Jameel
Business and Technology Manager, GCA

I called the Dubai Immigration office, the one over in Bur Dubai, a few weeks back to ask a few questions. I usually dread calling government offices. My experience over the phone dealing with them has been...entertaining. You pick up, you dial, you ask a question to your local immigration representative and wonder if you should have spoken louder; or perhaps in another language, or to God for help before you punched before you dialed. All in all, it's been a rather frustrating experience and I've developed low expectations in such dealings.

My expectations were completely shot out of the water by the treatment I received this time around. I dialed and a lovely lady answered. I asked my question and then the incredible happened- she repeated my question to me, confirming my request and then ending with, "Sir, is that correct?"

As a consultant, I go to new clients, old clients, small clients, big clients, but in all of my experiences, in all of these interactions, I have never once had anyone repeat my question, restate my need, and confirm their understanding of the situation. It was more than pleasantly surprisingly, it was downright amazing, and it was a reminder of how powerful a tool listening can be when properly done.


It’s sad but true, many people aren’t listening so much as they’re just waiting for you to finish talking

It's sad but true, many people do not listen so much as they simply wait for the other person to stop talking. Listening is not treated as an opportunity to learn, but rather, a necessary evil in the two-player game of conversation. That's not listening, that's just hearing what the other person says while waiting for your turn again.

In some extreme cases, people aren't even listening for complete sentences, they're simply waiting for key words to react to. Does that sound strange? Have you ever called a hospital to ask, "What are the hours of your radiology department?" only to be cut off at the word 'hours' and told that the hospital is open 8 to 1, 4-8 Sunday through Thursday, thank you and goodbye. Never mind that the radiology department often has longer hours than the general physicians, the phone attendant only had enough patience to get as far as the word 'hours,' and that was that. And the same is true of you and your colleagues in any office meeting. Sometime co-workers or managers are only reacting. However, a simple cure is available.

Next time you're listening to anyone, confirm what you've just heard. You may already be listening to them but letting them know that you've been actually paying attention goes a long way to build trust, improve relationships and establish credibility.

I took this lesson to heart the other day. In a meeting with an airline carrier as a potential client, the manager went to great efforts in explaining the system that he was trying to establish. He went over charts, stats, workflows, procedures, expectations...the works. My GM and I listened patiently and attentively, taking down notes throughout the informal presentation. At the end, I re-iterated his entire presentation back to him, emphasizing and highlighting on areas where he had placed emphasis and highlight too. All this but in my own words. His 30 minute presentation, back to him, in 30 seconds. He was delighted, "Yes, yes that's it exactly. That's what I need. Thank you".


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The Sounding Board
Profile: GLO and Facilitator
Ramachandran Nair
Feedback and views from the people closest to us- You.

"Good morning to all teams that attended the VSL workshop, 27- 28 June 2007.

I am writing to say that it was a pleasure to meet you all and work with you in the various teams in the workshops. I found it interesting with non GAC members in attendance as this opened up the think-tank in ways I was pleasantly surprised by.

I know that I have learned a great deal from the workshop and from all those in attendance. Personally, I would like to see this course become compulsory to ALL Customer Service, Sales Executive & Business/Route Development team members within GAC. I consider that this course would help GAC teams globally (not just in the Middle East) become a force to be reckoned with.

No matter how long we have been selling or in the industry, I consider that this course is, without a doubt, the best training for effective sales techniques that I have attended. The course opened up many areas for me.

I hope that you all found it as productive and useful as I did.

Thank you to Amanda for the great facilitation, I hope that there are more courses with such valuable content in the near future.

See you all again soon.

Kindest Regards "

Joanne Wilkins

Business Development Manager
UK - Middle East, GAC Regional

"Dear Colleagues,

A couple of months back in early April, having just enrolled for this 8 week course, I was beginning to wonder how I would manage the time taking into account my job requirements and other commitments I had, and in fact approached this course with some reluctancy. And it all seems to be just the other day that I first took upon the challenge of writing my profile and already it's time for a thank you note.

Have those 8 weeks passed by or haven't they? In fact indeed they have, but not before they have positively changed the way I look, perceive and approach life now. A big change when I look back at myself as of early April this year. And for this you all have been big contributing factors. Thank you for your valuable inputs. It's your ideas here and the suggestions that have significantly played their part.

To our facilitators, Waleed for guiding us initially and to Peter for being so patient and committed into replying to each of our text posted- these actions besides being guiding factors were also motivating ones. Thank you so much.

And before I leave, I would like to share that this course has left me believing that it’s not on 'how much I have done but instead of how much more I can do."

Thank you all once again.

Jerry Fernandes

Sales Manager, GAC Kuwait



Participants on the GCA Learning Management System know you as a course facilitator and a GCA Liaison Officer, but what role do you play in the GAC group?

Basically I am responsible for maintaining GAC Oman’s quality management system. We also have two other channel-two companies certified to international quality standards ISO 9001:2000, associated with GAC in Muscat.

Since I joined GAC Oman in 2001, massive changes have been made to our existing QMS, aimed at benefiting our customers and principals. During the QMS transition period, the entire system had to be reviewed and updated in line with the new ISO standard requirements.

As part of our improvement process, we have moved all our internal forms/templates into our Intranet, which ensures every staff member access to the latest version of documents/forms, thereby the usage of obsolete forms and documents become very rare.

In the beginning of 2007, we started designing a dedicated database for our QMS documents and forms, and a few months ago we have launched an exclusive database for QMS within GAC Oman. This further ensures that the policies and procedures that are part of our QMS are accessible to every individual staff member in the organisation.

I also work as Personal Assistant to a very understanding boss, whose continuous support and directives made me more active in the existing profile.

What exactly is QMS, and can it be tied back to GCA?

QMS is nothing but 'documented procedures'. The job that you do is documented, and once it is documented, you follow the procedure and see how you can improve the processes, further benefiting customers. A lay-down procedure and policy depicts an organisation’s approach towards professionalism in delivering its products and services.

For most people, QMS is a tedious topic. I am of the opinion that a course on QMS would definitely help improve the awareness on the subject within the GAC World. The enrolment should not be limited to new comers, but veterans of GAC World should also take the opportunity to learn what QMS is all about.

My strong recommendation here is that GCA should come out with a dedicated course on Quality Management System. This would be helpful for staff on all levels, and can help enhance their knowledge in QMS.

What are you interests, apart from QMS?

I started writing stories and poems while I study in school/college, I used to write poems and stories in various publications whilst I study. To me, writing is a learning process. It gives me great pleasure. The more you write, the more you learn and understand not only the subject, but the language as well. I dedicate a few hours of my weekend for reading and writing.

I write about life, living, office etiquettes / effective communication and topics that are common interests. After completing my first course with GCA (GAC Liaison Officer – GLO) I wrote about teamwork in one of the local publications, titled "Teamwork guides you to success". Our teamwork led our team members to reach for greater goals on a project that was part of the GLO course.

Having been a GCA participant yourself, how would you say your experience has been?

It’s been fantastic, what I most liked within GCA courses was the forum discussions, provided they are utilised with a dedicated approach and sincerity. They allow participants to interact with their teammates and develop an attitude towards learning; there I find the success of GCA.

GAC Corporate Academy has already reached the hearts of thousands within the GAC World in a short span of time. Now, its time for each employee to share their wisdom, power and eagerness to learn further, on any topic that would help us serving better our customers and principals across the globe. It’s a great beginning.

"Dear Amanda & GAC Corporate Academy Members I am delighted to state that this VSL course feedback in the forum was written by me after practical experience with customers & the business. Specifically- implementing it immediately after the course, leading to business opportunity/trust and faith with the customer, making the difference.

I hope it is ok by you for me to discuss the below with our Liaison Officer and Marketing Manager as a part of the company rules, as I do not mind sharing any value added solutions or experience with my seniors at GCA, especially if it makes a difference to the younger generation

Yes, I would like to be a part of any training and development beneficial for me and my Company. I am proud to be working with UPS/GAC wherein my Dept head and higher level Management think of me as a valuable member and give me this opportunity.

Thanks very much for the appreciation and your thoughts."

Geeta Raman

Key Account Manager UPS UAE LLC