Today we have the huge privilege of having Shane Yan with us! This feature is part of our Truth Series.
Author of dream-discovery journal Wide Asleep, Sound Awake and the Managing Director of Savoir Asia, Shane Yan is a certified life coach who helps people help themselves. Today also happens to be her birthday–so on behalf of the UnD team we’ll like to wish Shane a Happy Birthday too~
We hope you enjoy our feature with Shane Yan today!
Wan Wei: Hello Shane! Can you tell us more about yourself and what you are doing?
Shane Yan: I have several mottos in my life from the accumulation of different experiences in my life:
- Make new mistakes
- Create impact
- Don’t live life with regrets
“If I were to die today, would I regret it?”
I had a near death experience some time ago and this question popped into my mind. The answer was no because the image of Growthbeans Coaching Circle (GCC) appeared.
GCC, which has been running for two years now in Singapore and Beijing, is an initiative founded by my twin, Shamantha, and I to bring people from all walks of life together to create a safe, collaborative and supportive ecosystem.
In this ecosystem, we can tap on the knowledge sharing economy of the people who form the ecosystem to learn, share and grow together and be happier individuals in the process.
That was how I knew I was on the right track. I discovered that my passion and calling lies with working with people to help them become a better version of themselves. I do this through training, coaching, facilitating and team building. I am also a reiki practitioner, author of the book “Wide Asleep, Sound Awake” and co-founder of Savoir Asia Consulting Pte Ltd and Growthbeans Coaching Circle.
Being able to create impact and value is important for me, and I do that through helping individuals as a life coach, supporting groups through the Growthbeans Coaching Circle and partnering organizations via Savoir Asia.
On an individual level, I am passionate about providing people with a non-judgmental space to help them uncover their blindspots, reframe their perspectives and deal with their mental and emotional barriers that keep them from moving forward or achieving their goals.
I believe in the potential of every individual to create their own possibilities and I take pride in my ability to help people, in the shortest time possible, to empower themselves to deal with their present challenges. It is heartwarming and fulfilling for me to see how individuals are able to break out of their shells and transform into the person they want to be.
So it was a personal acknowledgement when a coachee of mine reached out to me recently to say that his mother wanted to speak with me as she and his therapist (whom he had only seen once) are curious to know how I managed to work with him to change his mindset, enhance his wellness level, and help him find his motivations to start his own company within 3 sessions.
On an organizational level, I enjoy partnering up with organizations to listen to their challenges, working with them to define the core issues and customizing programmes to meet their exact needs. We address their people and soft skills development as well as collaboration challenges through the creation of psychologically safe spaces, and delivery of customized programmes consisting of team coaching, individual coaching, teambuilding, facilitation and training. Being able to see individuals break out of their silos to work and collaborate with one another as well as to be open to differing perspectives is also very rewarding.
So what exactly are we doing? We are out on a mission to create safe spaces for people increase self-awareness, to build authentic relationships, to pick up the soft skills required for now and the future, and to learn, share and grow into the person they want to be to be happier individuals.
Wan Wei: How would you define “the truth”? Is there a truth, or is everything subjective? How do you tell?
Shane Yan: There is only one truth, but that one truth may not always be known to us. Why? Because unless we are privy to all the facts and knowledge of the universe, the truth will still be hidden from our views.
Truth has two sides to it – the objective truth (fact) and the subjective truth (our ladder of inference based on our experiences, lens, cultures etc). I think it is not as important to define the truth as it is to be able to be willing to learn, unlearn, relearn so that we can continuously embrace new truths as we go through new experiences. At the end of the day, it is also dependent on the attitude and subjective relevance of the ‘truth’ to us and what we choose to make out of it.
The truth will remain true until new data is found to prove our previous truth untrue regardless of whether it is an objective or subjective truth. For example, in the 1990s, our truth of the universe was that Earth is the only place where water exists. However, the development of technology and science helped NASA discover tons of evidence that some moons and planets (e.g. Mars) have a lot of water. To some, this truth may present exciting possibilities while to others, it may not be relevant to them.
If we look at something closer to our hearts, on the topic of love, some people may have spent their lives thinking that love is about hurting others because that was the environment they grew up in while others may learn about love otherwise. Yet as they undergo different experiences, they may discover more about love than they had originally understood it to be.
We could learn that love hurts when we experience heartbreaks, or love is very giving when we are in a beautiful relationship. Our truths are created by the narratives we draw from our experiences which are factual events.
When truths involve humans, it becomes more abstract because of the myriad of subjective experiences, emotions and projections that enter the picture. How do we then discover our own truths?
It involves a great amount of self-awareness, of being able to see ourselves objectively from a third person’s perspectives and to observe our lens, our narratives, our values, our beliefs…anything that makes us tick as a person.
When we are able to enter a space where our mind, body, heart and soul are aligned and they are in agreement with the environment we are in such that we are able to be at peace with ourselves, we would have found our truth – at least until new data from new experiences enter the picture to provide us with more feedback about us and then we have to go through the entire process to find realignment.
Wan Wei: What are the three ways you can tell the truth to someone without being offensive?
Shane Yan: Fundamentally, we are emotional creatures wanting to be valued, wanting to be appreciated and wanting to belong. Our own credibility and the rapport or relationship we have with the individual also makes a difference. It isn’t easy to listen to hard truths (which again can be subjective) so the timing must be right.
We cannot force our observations onto anyone who is unwilling to listen so we need to seek permission. What is key is to be able to empathize with the individual, to be clear on the intention and to communicate it to the individual in the way that he or she prefers.
Instead of sharing three ways, perhaps we can ask ourselves three questions:
- What is our genuine intention of wanting to share this truth with someone?
Sharing a truth with someone always works best when it comes from the goodness and best intentions of our hearts to help the person grow. Having a hidden agenda will definitely not be a good idea.
The receiving party needs to know why we are sharing the truth so that they can feel psychologically safe with us and to be able to trust our intentions.
- How will this truth potentially affect the person?
There must be a reason why we find the need to communicate a truth to a person.
We need to see from the individual’s perspective and understand how this information may be important, useful or relevant to him or her.
- How are we intending to communicate it? Are we able to remain objective and not bring our own emotions and judgment into the picture?
If we look at how our brains function, tapping on the thinking preferences of the Emergenetics framework, we have four thinking styles we should speak to when we communicate:
- Analytical – wants the logic, facts and evidence
- Structural – wants to know the practicality and consequences
- Conceptual – wants to know how this might conflict with one’s bigger purpose
- Social – wants to know how it might impact people, wants empathy
All truths require facts and evidence and must be provided. It is also important to remain objective and to deliver the different pieces of information in the tone and manner in which the other person wants to receive and at the right time and place.
Wan Wei: What are the three ways a person can accept the truth without being offended?
Shane Yan: We need to realize that for someone to come forth and share a feedback to us usually takes courage and we should appreciate it, whether we feel it is true or untrue.
I think we have to be honest with ourselves, if we cannot accept/embrace the truth with an open mind, then perhaps we should not seek it. If we do want to know, then we must ready ourselves for it.
We must remember that we have the choice to decide how we would like to react to it and the attitude we want to have towards it.
Someone with a growth mindset would be able to take in the information with an open mind and use it to inspire further growth and development. Whereas someone with a fixed mindset would likely be defensive about it.
The questions for us to prepare ourselves for it would be:
- How important is it for us to know the truth?
- How might we like to reflect on what has been told to us and use that as a growth opportunity?
- What can we appreciate about the person who has gathered courage to share with us what most people might not?
Wan Wei: On a parting note, can you give us a painless tip to check if a person is not lying to himself/herself?
Shane Yan: Look at yourself in the mirror and continue to observe yourself from a third party perspective throughout the day.
If you like what you are seeing, and how you are feeling about yourself and what you are doing, I will say great for you!
If you have a nagging feeling deep within you that you have been ignoring or putting aside for a while, time to check in with yourself or find someone who will be able to provide you with the safe and objective space to listen to your inner voices.