February 27, 2020

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Soft skills are some of the most difficult competencies for people to understand, to define, to recognize, and to demonstrate. Though they're extremely fluid and highly personalized to each individual, soft skills are a critical component for professional success — and are often the most distinguishing factor between people finding their way up the corporate ladder, so make sure you show off your soft skills right. As the name suggests, these skills aren't as solid and clear-cut as others. Soft skills are also referred to as transferable skills, interpersonal skills, or social skills. Soft skills may include nearly any ability that pertains to the way you approach others or handle your professional life. Soft skills are difficult to measure. There aren't many tests or professional certifications that will demonstrate your proficiencies in these areas.

Hard skills, in contrast, are those skills that are very easily measured and defined. This includes things like accounting, computer programming, plumbing, or dentistry. You can easily obtain a degree or professional certification in these areas. They're very teachable, and almost always attainable if you have the means to pursue a formal education in that area. Hard skills apply to very specific professions - hard skills lock you into a particular occupation. On the other hand, soft skills are more flexible and can serve you well in numerous occupations. Though it takes more effort and creativity to properly demonstrate these abilities, they're valuable to almost any job that you might pursue. It seems evident that the higher you climb in your organisation, the more soft-skills you require to manage people and take on leadership roles.

While leadership skills are most relevant to those in a business management position, don't think that you have to be at the top of the pack to showcase these soft skills. Demonstrating that you're an effective leader will serve you well in any industry or position. Management competencies are typically considered soft skills because they're so difficult to measure. Good managers are skilled with problem solving and project management. They're usually good at performing essential research and analytics. Strong leaders also know how to handle interpersonal issues that arise with those around them. They have critical observation skills that help them identify problems.



Team building inspires groups of workers to communicate through a series of planned events that are fun & motivational. These events can be used to determine strong points in an individual’s personality, such as leadership skills. This can benefit the individual by giving them greater job satisfaction & the opportunity to progress to their full potential as their strengths are highlighted. This is a circle of reward, with positive feedback following positive action; a far more efficient way to have efficient workers. Job satisfaction is an important part of a person's employment. Feeling worthwhile, worthy, part of a team & having a sense of achievement within the working environment are essential elements to happiness. These feelings can motivate a workforce & ensure they are at their most productive, & in turn, this attitude will motivate their colleagues. Working on the premise that happy staff are productive staff, companies often find that team-building events positively affect the productivity of individuals, teams & the company as a whole. Team building also benefits the team as a whole. When people who rarely work together are forced to communicate, they can discover that they enjoy the interaction & continue to network & bond with different people back at the office. Those who previously may not have been getting along will have to forget their differences in order to overcome an obstacle & their dislike is be diminished as the work together for a common goal. Most offices contain allegiances between certain groups of workmates & divisions are often clear between these groups. Team building helps break down these barriers by creating a forced interaction between the established groups & creates opportunities for networks & friendships to develop.


How do you get a group of people to work towards a common goal and how exactly do you pull the whole thing together? In many types of group situation, and particularly in complex discussions or those where people have different views and interests, good facilitation can make the difference between success and failure. As a facilitator, you may need to call on a wide range of skills and tools, from problem solving and decision making, to team management and communications. The definition of facilitate is "to make easy" or "ease a process." What a facilitator does is plan, guide and manage a group event to ensure that the group's objectives are met effectively, with clear thinking, good participation and full buy-in from everyone who is involved. To facilitate effectively, you must be objective. This doesn't mean you have to come from outside the organization or team, though. It simply means that, for the purposes of this group process, you will take a neutral stance. You step back from the detailed content and from your own personal views, and focus purely on the group process. The secret of great facilitation is a group process that flows – and with it will flow the group's ideas, solutions, and decisions too. Your key responsibility as a facilitator is to create this group process and an environment in which it can flourish, and so help the group reach a successful decision, solution or conclusion.


It’s important to get the right people to speak at your seminars and events. Depending on the theme, topic and audience, the speaker will need to be able to communicate the message, captivate the audience attention, maintain professionalism and most of all to address the issues - it’s not enough to be able to fulfil some of these requirements – it’s critical that the speaker does all of it. We have access to a global host of speakers on a multitude of topics cutting across all disciplines, professions, causes, fields of study, gender, age, etc. These may range from specific leadership themes to very technical topics such as town planning and local governance, agriculture (research and extension), economics and finance, etc; here are some examples:-

“The Role of Fiscal Policy and Public Finance in Macro-Economic Management”
- Chua Tong Ka, formerly Public Service Commission, Malaysian Institute of Management

“The Importance of Accounting Standards and the Role of Accountants”
– G. Shanmugam, Head MIA Professional Development Centre (MPDC)

“Importance of Good Governance & Transparency in Developing Nation-State”
- Datuk Dr. Mohd Tap Salleh, former President, Integrity Institute of Malaysia

“From Crisis to Recovery - Leading Change Towards 2020”
- Datuk Seri Dr K. Govindan, expert on development economics and contributed to a series of Malaysia’s Five-Year Development Plans starting with the Third Malaysia Plan (1976-1980) to the Tenth Malaysia Plan (2011-2015). In more recent years, his involvement has been mainly in economic crisis management - these include the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) to manage the 1997 Asia Financial crisis and since 2008 under the current Prime Minister. He was also responsible for the EPU team that prepared the Report on ‘Making Malaysia a High-Income Nation by 2020’. Last position held in EPU was Deputy Director General of EPU. He now holds the post of ED and Group Deputy CEO of the Rating Agency of Malaysia (RAM). He also served on Advisory Teams to raise economic planning capabilities in Botswana, Cambodia and Uzbekistan as well as undertaken technical advisory missions in Argentina, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe to assist in economic crisis management.


Since Malaysia is highly sought-after location for workshops plus benchmarking visits and study tours for many developing countries, SkillFocus has developed and designed comprehensive programmes for such visits to enable and optimize learnings from the Malaysian experience and has done several of these programmes in the past few years, in particular for the public sector. The company also provides information, consultancy services and contacts to organizations and individuals on the design and development of such visits. SkillFocus programmes have been consistently highly rated for its standards of delivery, superior organizational skills and professionalism on the job.

Typically, a study tour would be 1-2 weeks duration, and the programme will be customized to each client based on their requirements/needs and expected outcomes. It may include some or all of the following:-

  • In-class training sessions by our trainers
  • On-site training by subject-matter experts
  • Engagements with subject-matter-experts or guest speakers to speak on selected topics
  • Key-note speakers at very senior level
  • Visits to organizations earmarked in the programme
  • Field visits to relevant sites e.g. agriculture, operations room, etc.
  • Tour programme that includes cultural orientation
  • Meeting with relevant Embassy

We may also organize side visits to neighbouring (Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) countries depending on the needs of the client.

We also will devise a suitable social programme for after office hours, to include visit to places of interest and to expose our guests to local culture and everyday life in Asia.

At the end of the programme, our guests will spend the final part of the programme developing individual and team action plans, indicators for success and follow-on actions, build on the insights and lessons learned from the Asian experience and training into their work and priorities back in their home country.