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The main character of this issue is Catherine, the person in charge of Aman Suria [YeLaoShr] center. After working in [YeLaoShr] for more than ten years, the various incidents that happened to her have trained her to be who she is today. People who have left will not come back and what has happened cannot be changed. This might sound a little pessimistic but these challenges have given Catherine unforgettable experience and growth which have brought her the achievement she has in [YeLaoShr] today.
“I used to have very poor grades. I don’t like reading and I feel very bored with dull things.” Surprisingly, Catherine managed to serve in the educational sector for such a long time even with her educational background. This has something to do with the change in values that [YeLaoShr] has brought to Catherine. “In 2006 and 2007, I didn’t have a full-time job. My friend recommended me to work in [YeLaoShr] as part-time. After working in [YeLaoShr], I realized that learning and teaching can be done in such a creative way while Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and tatabahasa can be taught using these methods! If I knew these methods, I would have passed my exams with flying colors!” Catherine who did not have any teaching experience and had never dealt with children was being trained in [YeLaoShr] to be a full-time teacher. Catherine has learned a lot from the trainings and courses and therefore, she strongly believed that [YeLaoShr]’s teaching method is beneficial to the children.
The darkest period when life does not go her way and emotions are out of control
When she served at the OUG branch, her work was not smooth. “My relationship with the president, Ms. Lim wasn’t very good that time. We had some conflicts due to the difference in what we believe in and this caused us to have knots in our hearts. In May 2014, it was almost the expected date of my childbirth so I took my time off earlier. However, due to some miscommunication between us as I took my time off earlier , it caused she could not manage the center properly on that time, some more we had some conflicts before so I decided to resign from the center.
After resting for two to three months, Catherine wanted go back to work in [YeLaoShr]. So, she talked to the founder, Carol about her situation with Ms Lim and she hoped that she can work in another branch. As a result, Catherine was assigned to the branch in Sri Damansara. Other than teaching, she took charge of training the teachers too. In March 2015, Catherine had health issues and she was forced to resign. She took more than a year to rest and when she recovered in August 2016, she talked to Carol about coming back to work in [YeLaoShr] again. “I asked Carol, am I capable of taking over a center? I am very grateful that I was given the chance and was assigned to be the person in charge in Aman Suria branch.”
Catherine said that after leaving [YeLaoShr] for a few times due to different reasons, she still wanted to come back because the teaching method in [YeLaoShr] can really help many students with poor grades just like her. It is not easy to be persistent in achieving her goal because she faced a huge challenge again when she was in Aman Suria. “it was very hard for me when I took over the job.” For example, some classes that were skipped in the beginning of the year can be replaced at the end of the year and the teaching method of the teachers here were slightly different. When Catherine was trying to correct the situation, the parents and teachers gave her a lot of pressure. Moreover, she had to bring her child along to work while trying to adapt to the new environment and dealing with all the problems in the center. It took her one week until she collapsed and resigned.
“Carol talked to me patiently. She said: ‘This is your choice. If you choose to take a step back, then you will return to your original life; but if you manage to overcome this obstacle, you will get what you want.’ In fact, she knew that I was having a hard time during the year I left.”
Throughout the year where Catherine did not work, she had no income and all she did was staying at home, taking care of the child. She was deeply affected by her emotions every day. “My child has learning disabilities and my husband who is not good at rhetoric had a hard time communicating with him. The other family members did not seem to be able to accept my child and I did not have income so money was another problem… With all these issues, there was nothing I can do but to keep everything to myself. I could not spend time working and there was no proper way for me to release my pressure. I ended up blaming it on my child. Catherine also mentioned that her child once had hand foot mouth disease. He had fever and cramps from time to time and it lasted for about 20 days. At the same time, she had arguments with her husband and she finally lost control. She blamed herself afterwards and punched the wall with her bare hand. She could not write for a few days due to that injury.
The question Carol asked reminded Catherine of all the hardships during that one year. “If I give up now, I will definitely go back to the original life where I had suffered so much from.” Catherine gave a thought about it. She was the one looking for Carol so that she could go back to work in [YeLaoShr]. She should not give up so easily. Holding on is not just for her own sake but also to help many children to regain their interest to learn. Therefore, Catherine retracted her resignation and stayed.
Poor leadership that leads to organization failure
In year 2017, Catherine started having her own team. After solving the issues left by the last person in charge together with the team, Catherine regained her self-confidence. She thought that it was going to be a new beginning. However, another nightmare began.
“I felt that I was too confident that time and I became so complacent. I neglected so many things and I lost my team at the end.”
It was a late October after Catherine’s birthday and her team dropped her shocking news where all of them decided to resign together. After asking for the reason, the team members started expressing their dissatisfaction towards Catherine. “They said that I had problems managing my emotions. I complained too much about the problems I faced at work, family and friends. They had received too much negative vibes from me. Other than that, I always go to work late and leave early. When I first took over the center, I was always there until they left. I started leaving earlier after the business got on the track and this made them feel like I am irresponsible……” After listening to what the team members said, Catherine remained silent and she could not fight back. “They were right. I did not communicate with them and I did not play the role as a leader well. They had a hard time because of me and there is nothing I can do now to clean up the mess.”
This incident has triggered Carol and she came to understand what was going on. The colleagues who wanted to resign talked to Carol as well. “I was so guilty and I felt so bad for them every day. Looking at their resignation letters and there was one who wrote that ‘I will never come back here’. Then only I realized I had hurt them so deeply. Even until today, I do not have the courage to apologize to them.” The team who resigned left one by one in the next few months. Catherine had to start hiring to fill the vacancies although she still could not forgive herself for the mistakes she made. With all these pressure from both her family and business, Catherine was still on the verge of collapsing in March 2018.
[YeLaoShr] is the turning point in my life
“I’m so grateful for Teacher YongLiang. His “Charismatic Leadership” course has saved me.” Catherine then took part in the training course hosted by the chief lecturer of [YeLaoShr], He YongLiang, that has given her a real sense of relief.
The training course was divided into eight lessons. In the first two lessons, Catherine did not really want to cooperate. In fact, she did not want to talk too much about her personal feelings, although she did not show how reluctant she was. Until the third lesson, Catherine told herself: “Since I’m already here, I should give it all out and I shouldn’t waste this opportunity to learn.” After making up her mind, Catherine cooperated actively in all the sessions like the assignments, stories sharing and self-reflection. In the class, she shared all her experiences selflessly, including her team who resigned. “I learned how to manage my emotions in this training course. Teacher YongLiang mentioned that if I’m trapped in my own emotions, I’m not the only one who suffered but also the people around me. So, I’m responsible for my own emotions and I need to learn to let go.” Her outstanding performance in the training course had won her the Model Student Award. This award is for the student who has the biggest change. “I cried again when I received the award. This is because I have never won any award my whole life and I have been looked down since young. Other than Teacher YongLiang, Carol attended this training course as well. I’m so grateful for their trust towards me and I can never make it without their support.”
After knowing the methods, the next step is to apply them. Catherine applied what she learned from the course to her daily work and she tried her best to make things better. In year 2018, Catherine managed to form a great team who worked well together. There were five of them, JiaEn, YangQi, TingTing, JingWen and LiNing who became Catherine’s right-hand man. Although four of them have left the team for their own reasons, they are still very supportive unlike the team who left in 2017. Whenever Catherine needs help, they will always be there for her. The contrast between this team and the team who left in 2017 has shown how much Catherine has improved in terms of her behavior and sense of responsibilities. “Sometimes when we are lacked of teachers in the center, they are just one call away. I really appreciate their kindness. LiNing starts to work at 6 every morning but she once came to help right after work at 5 in the evening until 9 at night. JingWen is the happy pill of the group. I was short of hands in April and she wasn’t sure if she can help. However, a few days before April, she told me that she will be able help once she finished her task. Although YangQi who is still studying is only working here as part-time, she is willing to help even during exam period and she continues doing her assignment after work. I am touched by the text messages from TingTing which showed how much she cares about me……”
Catherine never thinks that working in [YeLaoShr] can bring such a huge impact to her life. Now, she can face her sadness and anger openly instead of suppressing the emotions which will then cause more harm. “I used to think that people should not show their emotions so I always tried to hide them and avoid showing people my soft side. I didn’t know that the more you suppress your emotions, the easier it is to lose control.” People have been telling Catherine that she is very influential. This makes her feel that she has to be more cheerful in order to bring more positive vibes to the people around her. Catherine is very grateful that she has met [YeLaoShr] who is willing to accept all her weaknesses and provides quality trainings for her continuous improvement and growth. “After being a bad student for so many years, I stopped feeling that way ever since I joined [YeLaoShr] and this is the biggest change in me.”
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