To Err is Human…

This is a busy week indeed. Days and nights, somehow I had something important to do. No wonder now I can sense that my body is complaining, “Wait man, have mercy, I need help here, put me to sleep”. However, I told him, “sorry mate, I have the  CCM Chemicals lecture notes to prepare.”. Yeaaah, I have a short course on Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) Study to be delivered at Hotel Selesa Pasir Gudang, tailor-made for the engineers and technicians from CCM Chemicals few days from now. Since CCM originated from ICI and HAZOP was founded in ICI Ltd of UK, they are familiar with the subject matter. The planned course must therefore be a truly hands-on and down-to-earth kind of thing. Sounds exciting isn’t it. And excitement is what I like to have. Anyway, before I really get into serious matters, let me write this entry.

Today I spent the day at Pandan City Hotel, located adjacent to Pasar Borong Pandan. Can you believe it? A hotel at Pasar Borong !  I guess, as business world is becoming more complex, wholesellers need a better place to rest. Perhaps they now need to do more thinking and strategizing. I wonder if the smell is nice in the morning? Comments aside, I was there to evaluate  business plan presentations by IMGLAD trainees. That was the first time I saw the newly developed area near Pasar Borong Pandan. It was quite nice and spacious. The hotel provides a comfortable surau for Muslims to pray. It was very kind and thoughtful  of them.

The presentations went well. Today’s seminar was designated for about half of the total trainees that IMGLAD now have. The other half was there yesterday. I decided to play various different roles –  sometimes cheerful, sometimes aggressively attacking the proposals put forward by the groups. Most of the time, my questions were thought provoking, putting them off-guard.

Some of the trainees did really well communicating their ideas. Some were convincing. Some were really creative. As usual, as part of learning, all need to improve further.

One of the groups somehow got somewhat excited (or perhaps irritated) by my criticisms. They argued their case really hard, and as usual, I followed up with more provoking questions and comments and waited for their responses, smiling. That made them defensive. After few exchanges of comments, due to time constraints, we ended the session and proceeded with the next group.

Later  when we had called it a day, the group came to me apologizing. I said to them, “It was OK, there’s no need to apologize.  I planned it to be a bit hostile to see how you would respond. That was all a part of learning”. I then explained to them on the better strategy to handle such situations, the difference between debate and business presentation etc. And now, I’m smiling. Well, the real world is definitely more harsh than the simulated one that I created today.

To our younger readers, remember this. To err is human. Nevertheless, human need to learn – from their mistakes and better still, from mistakes of others.


About Dr. AA

I am an educator, professional trainer, safety consultant, researcher, social worker, outdoor enthusiast, and a thinker.
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