As a Singapore StrengthsFinder coach, I have always loved to explore how StrengthsFinder as a tool can be customized based on different cultures. Earlier this year, I wrote an article on integrating StrengthsFinder and the Chinese culture. This time round, I hope to share about integrating StrengthsFinder in the Unique Singapore way - using the Singlish language to describe the 34 StrengthsFinder talent themes.
A little context about this article. It was inspired by the different celebrations that took place in Singapore for the past week. As Singapore celebrated its 51st National Birthday, many will have thought the celebrations will die down quickly. Few will have expected that a days later, the gold medal win by Joseph Schooling in the Rio Olympics brought the whole nation of Singapore into a celebratory mood again! It felt like a second National day celebration!
In Strengths School™, the team decides to immerse into the celebrations by spontaneously going into a brainstorming on how the StrengthsFinder language can be expressed using the unique Singlish language. In this very small country filled with diverse races and ethnic groups, our Singlish language is the reason why a Singaporean can be easily recognized by another Singaporean regardless of any location around the world.
After brainstorming, the team created a customized StrengthsFinder Mug for one another, each mug having the unique Singlish description of each other's StrengthsFinder themes (the 1st Singlish StrengthsFinder MUG)! Using this beautiful mug that was created for me, I hope to share my top 5 StrengthsFinder themes in Singlish!
StrengthsFinder Activator - Chop Chop Curry Pok!
Chop Chop means to hurry up, to speed things up! Curry Pok is simply a rhyming slang. The idea of speed describes that character trait of an Activator! I think the team in Strengths School™ Singapore will definitely agree that I like to do things quickly. Getting into that momentum is something very important to me. In fact, when Mr Ideation Jason Ho thought of this idea to celebrate with Singapore, my Activator says "AWESOME! Let's do it NOW!"
StrengthsFinder Communication - Wah Can Tok Sia!
This Singlish phrase as understood by Singaporeans, have several meanings. This phrase can be used to describe one who has an ability to talk himself out of a situation. This phrase also can mean one who spoke in such a charismatic and dramatic way to wow a crowd and create an impact. Sometimes, this phrase also describes a chatterbox who goes on and on during a conversation. I think this Singlish description fits the Communication theme perfectly and in describing me!
StrengthsFinder Strategic - Cham Siong
This Singlish phrase means to negotiate in a strategic way by exploring different alternatives to create a win-win for both parties. This phrase is often used in the buying and selling of commodities and products. Buyers and sellers try to "Cham Siong" and create a win-win deal. The outcome is often to make the deal work in such a way that keeps both sides happy. My wife often comments that I love to shop and the outcome of negotiating a win-win deal seems to give me a greater satisfaction than that of acquiring the product.
StrengthsFinder Self-Assurance - Ai Zai
This Singlish phrase means "Be confident". It is a phrase used by Singaporeans to encourage others to be confident (usually before a competition or before an exam) and to let them know that "they can do it!" I personally like this phrase as it describes how a Self-Assurance Singaporean person like myself often draws confidence from deep within by whispering to my inner being "Ai Zai, you can do this!" This pep talk allows me to focus on my inner strengths and overcome the fears that are caused externally.
StrengthsFinder Command - Garang
This Singlish phrase means bold, courageous and fearless. This phrase is often used and heard during National Service, a period when Singaporean males of a certain age are conscripted into the Singapore Armed Forces. The phrase is usually used to describe a certain kind of person who exhibits bravery and fearlessness in overcoming challenging obstacle courses. I personally find that this "Garang" phrase describes my Command theme aptly especially during crises. I often find myself becoming "Garang" and I enjoy rising up to challenges in a chaotic situation. I often find that people get the best out of me in very trying situations. The positive feedback is usually about how my composure leads others forward by giving clarity in directions. I feel a great sense of satisfaction whenever I can help to move people out of a crisis situation, knowing that remaining status quo is like standing on quicksand.
Concluding Note: I am a proud Singaporean and I love the unique Singlish language. I'm also a Singapore StrengthsFinder Coach who is passionate to use the Strengths language to make a difference. It is a great joy for me to integrate the Strengths language with the unique Singlish language and to present the 1st StrengthsFinder Mug (Singapore Edition)! #StrengthsFinderMugSG
Written by Victor Seet
Activator • Communication • Strategic • Self-Assurance • Command
As a Gallup Certified Singapore Strengthsfinder coach, Victor is passionate about strengths engagement and now runs his own training company, Strengths School™ (strengthsschool.com), based out of Singapore. He has been actively giving Strengthsfinder leadership and team building workshops to businesses and schools in Singapore as well as Hong Kong, China (Shanghai) and India.