Frequently Asked Questions
How can I register for The AsiaWorks Basic Training?

The AsiaWorks staff are prepared to answer any questions you may have, offer additional assistance, and provide you with registration materials. 

What is The AsiaWorks Basic Training?

The AsiaWorks Basic Training is a specifically designed educational programme, built on the premise that each of us already has within us the ability to transform the quality of our lives. It is that transformation which enables us to produce more satisfying results in any area of life. The AsiaWorks Basic Training is different from most educational courses in that there aren't any long lectures to listen to, notes to take, or answers to give in examinations. Instead, you actively engage in exercises which allow you to participate in your own learning and discovery. The course is not about developing a better intellectual understanding of yourself. Instead, you have the opportunity to experience what is true for you by bringing into play the physical, emotional and intuitive parts of yourself, along with your intellect. The AsiaWorks Basic Training offers opportunities to practice what you are learning through interaction and participation.

How can I achieve so much in just five days?

As with anything of value in life, The AsiaWorks Basic Training is designed in such a way that you are able to produce results through the course only if you are willing to work for them. Set up like a gymnasium, the course provides the equipment (metaphorically) for you to work or exercise on, and offers coaching and supervision to maximise your efforts. But it is ultimately up to you to set the agenda and do the work. In The AsiaWorks Basic Training, you look beyond the beliefs, feelings, thoughts and actions that make up the content of your life - to the context, or the way in which the content is held. While changing the content of our lives may take many hours, or years, or may ultimately be impossible, transforming the context can take but an instant. Moving from a position where we are an effect of life reacting to the events and happenings in our lives, to a place where we are causing the results we intend, is when transformation occurs.

Will I change or become a different person after taking the course?

As with any experience in life, how you react to new or different information is totally dependent upon you. What is true is that when a contextual shift occurs, nothing is the same anymore, and everything is the same. When a 'recontextualisation' occurs, the content is likely to remain the same. It is the context that transforms, allowing for expanded experiences of self-expression, success and fulfillment. In the course of our lives, we all change. In fact, just about the only thing we can count on is that change will prevail - nothing stays the same. Take for example, the transformation from childhood to adulthood. You could say that people remain basically the same, but with expanded views of life. New opportunities, challenges and events emerge with transformation. In the same sense, taking The AsiaWorks Basic Training may in fact have a dramatic impact in your life ... and you'll still be the same person. You'll return to the same family, friends, and career, and you'll still experience the ups and downs of life. What will be different is your acknowledgement that, in most cases, you choose how to experience every moment and that generally, you can transform your experience, anytime and anywhere.

Will taking trainings with family members or friends have any effect on our relationship?

The AsiaWorks Basic Training is a group experience, yet focuses on personal awareness. Some people prefer to explore this in the company of people they do not know well. Others find it useful, and fun, to share this experience with people who are close and important in their lives. Taking the AsiaWorks Basic Training may in fact have a dramatic impact in your life ... and you'll still be the same person. It is not "better" or "worse" to do the training on your own or with someone close. This is a personal decision that is best explored in the preparation calls.

Will the Basic Training change someone's personality?

As with any experience in life, how you react to new or different information is totally dependent upon you. Graduates of the AsiaWorks trainings share that the experiential nature of the training offers them tools to transform the context of their lives - how they respond to the content of their lives can shift, allowing for expanded experiences of self-expression, success and fulfillment. New opportunities, challenges and events emerge with transformation. Taking the AsiaWorks Basic Training may in fact have a dramatic impact in your life... and you'll still be the same person.

How will taking The AsiaWorks Basic Training affect my career performances?

Transformation is reflected in every aspect of life. Results people report after taking The AsiaWorks Basic Training include: 

Recognition of areas of life that may not be working, with clarity in finding solutions to the problem.

  • Willingness to be more open and honest in personal relationships
  • Breaking out of comfort zones, and excelling beyond self-imposed limitations
  • More risk-taking and taking on of challenges
  • Ability to handle stress more effectively
  • Becoming a team player
  • Increased clarity in career and personal life direction
  • Ability to consistently produce results with less effort and energy expended
  • More satisfaction with work and accomplishment.
Why should I take The AsiaWorks Basic Training? Won't the process of the transformation happen naturally?

Yes, in fact life does allow us to work out conflicts and resolve issues naturally whether or not we are consciously aware of the process. However, it is knowing how to transform experiences that brings with it the power and the ability to make a difference in the world. In The AsiaWorks Basic Training, we become conscious of how events develop, thereby moving again to a place of being the cause. The AsiaWorks Basic Training is designed to speed up the process of transformation, thereby accelerating and increasing our experience of success and fulfillment.

What is experiential learning?

Experiential learning is a discovery process, in which learning happens through participation--at the physical, emotional, and intellectual level. In a discovery process, there is no one right answer that applies to everybody. The learning is individual rather than general, personal rather than impersonal. 

Experiential learning, simply put, is learning by doing, learning by actively participating. It's hands-on learning--experimenting, trying different approaches, discovering what works by doing it yourself. 

Experiential learning is nothing revolutionary. It's the way of learning that comes naturally. It's how you learn to walk, to speak your primary language, to use chopsticks or a knife and fork, to swim, to ride a bicycle. It's how you learn all of the vast amount of knowledge and skills you acquire in the first five or ten years of your life--90 percent of all you ever learn, according to some experts. Until just a few hundred years ago, experiential learning was the way that all human beings learned everything they learned. Click here to learn more about Experiential Learning Theory.

What actually happens in The AsiaWorks Basic Training?

The course consists of three types of activities. First, there are short lectures delivered by the trainer on such topics as accountability, communication, intention and keeping agreements. Second, there are exercises designed to enable students to experience directly what the trainer has been discussing. Third, there are opportunities to share with other students what was learned during the exercise. The exercises vary in form. In some, students work alone. In others, students work with partners. In other exercises, students participate with either a small group or with the whole class. This interaction with other people in the course is a vital part of The AsiaWorks Basic Training experience.

What types of exercises are included in the trainings?

During an AsiaWorks training, you will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of learning processes that allow you to look freshly and constructively at important areas of your life. The value that you derive from these exercises will depend on your willingness to participate fully, and to apply what you learn to your daily life. 

Here are descriptions of the kinds of learning processes used in AsiaWorks trainings: 

Interactive Discussions
Over the course of the training, the trainer will speak to the group about a variety of different subjects related to contemporary adult life and he or she will suggest a point of view, or way of thinking, about these subjects. The purpose of these discussions is not for you to agree with what is said, or adopt the trainer's point of view, but rather to provide you with an opportunity to clarify your own attitudes and ways of thinking. In this way, you may become more aware of your values, your direction in life, and what you are committed to. You will also have an opportunity to see more clearly how you participate in group situations, which may translate to your interactions with your colleagues at work, or with your friends or family. 

During the training, you will be asked to participate in several one-on-one interactions with other participants, which we call dyads. In a dyad, you may be asked to answer a series of questions, complete statements, describe something that happened to you, or assume a particular body posture. Dyads provide opportunities to look honestly at specific personal issues and to support your partner in doing so. For some participants, this may be an emotional experience. 

In a mingle, you will move about the training room, having brief interactions with many different people. As in dyads, your communication with other people during mingles is structured. 

Small Group Exercises
On the first night of the training, you will choose around 10 other participants to work with in a small group. Over the course of the training, you will have an opportunity to meet a number of times with your small group to discuss what you are learning and to share your experiences. You will also participate together as a group in certain training exercises. A training room volunteer who has already participated in the AsiaWorks training will act as your small group leader. 

Ground Rules
The Basic Training Ground Rules are designed to assist everyone in working cooperatively within a consistent format. During the first session of the training, the trainer will review the Ground Rules and ask that you agree to follow them as a condition of continuing in the training. 

As part of the training, you will have an opportunity to participate as a team member with other participants in a number of different games. These games will allow you to see more clearly the role you tend to play in group situations and may reveal to you your attitudes regarding competition, cooperation, leadership, personal integrity and other aspects of interpersonal relationships. 

Closed-Eye Processes
During closed-eye processes, you will be guided by your trainer in visualising situations from the past and in creating a positive vision for your future. To facilitate relaxation and promote creativity, during these guided visualisations, background music may be played and the lights may be lowered during these exercises. 

At many points throughout the training, you will have an opportunity to share about yourself, what you are learning with other participants,and to listen to the experiences of others. This sharing may take place one-on-one, in small groups or before the entire training. 

Interactions With The Trainer
At times, you will have an opportunity to interact directly with the trainer. The trainer's perspective is that you are capable of dealing effectively with the circumstances in your life, and that a stance of personal responsibility is more effective than a stance of powerlessness in the face of life's demands. In addition, the trainer assumes that you are striving for joy, fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment in all areas of your life. Interactions with the trainer will allow you to examine your attitudes, assumptions and behaviours, and you may feel challenged or uncomfortable in dealing with the unfamiliar. 

At the end of each day, you will be given a homework assignment to be completed before the next day's session begins. The homework is designed to assist you to reflect on your experience, bring greater clarity to what you are learning and prepare you for the next day's session.

How do I know The AsiaWorks Basic Training is for me?

Ultimately, there is no way to be sure The AsiaWorks Basic Training is for you without actually taking the course. However, we are so sure of the product that we offer a satisfaction guarantee.

Will anyone call me to prepare me for the Basic Training?

We call enrolled students to ensure that they are prepared for the AsiaWorks Basic Training, in terms of scheduling, enrolment paperwork and, importantly, personal goals that they wish to achieve during the week. It is our experience that the more thoroughly prepared a person is, the more fulfilling their experience in the training room.

Is Basic Training only available from AsiaWorks ?

AsiaWorks has offered a full range of trainings to the public since 1993, and is the largest and most successful public training company in the region, serving approximately 10,000 Basic Training participants each year . We are aware of smaller competitors offering similar products in certain cities, however, we can only attest to the high quality of our product, and we believe our product is the best.

Why are AsiaWorks graduates not allowed to tell me the content of the training?

Participants are asked not to disclose or share the experiences of others who were in the training with them, for reasons of personal privacy. They are also requested not to share the specific processes used in the training in order to preserve spontaneity and new learning opportunities for future participants. 

This website attempts to disclose everything possible about AsiaWorks trainings, and AsiaWorks staff are ready to answer any unanswered questions.

Do I have to talk about myself in front of the group?

Only if you choose to do so. AsiaWorks supports the notion that the greatest value in life comes from participating fully in it. While students are invited to participate actively in The AsiaWorks Basic Training, participation is a matter of choice. For some, wholehearted participation may involve taking an interpersonal risk, such as talking in front of the group. In any case, what is important is for students to become increasingly aware of the choice they do make, and the clarity and decisiveness with which those choices are made.

Will I experience any emotional discomfort in the trainings?

It is possible. During the trainings, you will have an opportunity to look honestly and openly at important areas of your life. At times, you may experience thoughts and feelings that you have not fully explored before. For most people, this is a fascinating, exciting and positive learning experience. However, for some, facing life's issues honestly may evoke uncomfortable feelings, such as sadness or resentment. 

The experience of the trainings are unique to each individual and there is no way to predict in advance exactly what you may think or feel. As a participant in the training, however, you should be aware that you may not be comfortable at all times. For example, you may be asked during an exercise to recall your childhood and you may remember something that was painful or difficult for you at that time. 

We recognise that some people may wish to avoid any experience whatsoever of uncomfortable feelings such as sadness or anger. Therefore, if you have any concern about your willingness to participate fully in the face of possible discomfort, we recommend that you reconsider your participation in the training at this time.

Why can't we take notes or make a recording in the Basic Training?

The AsiaWorks Basic Training offers opportunities to learn through interaction and participation. Unlike traditional school, where taking notes and studying and memorising concepts is the learning method, AsiaWorks is experiential learning. You will have the opportunity to experience what is true for you by bringing into play the physical, emotional and intuitive parts of yourself. Taking notes or recording the process puts you in the role of observer, rather than participant, and can be distracting not only to others, but can lessen your personal experience. Experiential learning, simply put, is learning by doing, learning by actively participating. It's hands-on learning-experimenting, trying different approaches, discovering what works by doing it yourself. It is how you learned to ride a bike and learned to walk. In fact, we believe, it is the most powerful way to learn . Click here to learn more about Experiential Learning Theory.

Is The AsiaWorks Basic Training designed to solve problems in people's lives?

No. The purpose of The AsiaWorks Basic Training is not to solve anyone's problems, although many people do report that as a result of taking the course, their "problems" become opportunities for learning rather than barriers. The AsiaWorks Basic Training is for people whose lives are working and who recognize that there is always more available. Participating in The AsiaWorks Basic Training is an excellent way to realise this potential.

Are AsiaWorks trainings a substitute for psychological therapy?

No. AsiaWorks Trainings are experiential educational programmes designed to enhance personal effectiveness. The trainings are beneficial for the vast majority of participants who seek to increase personal effectiveness and overall satisfaction in life. However, they should not be taken to resolve emotional problems for which therapy or similar treatments are generally used. 

The trainings are not psychotherapy or counselling, nor is it intended to be a substitute for psychotherapy or counselling of any kind. Psychological disorders are not addressed in AsiaWorks courses. AsiaWorks staff are not mental health professionals, nor are they trained to treat psychological problems or to provide treatment to an emotionally or psychologically distressed person. The trainings are not a psychological support group or a therapeutic environment. If this is what you are seeking or what you need, AsiaWorks cannot serve you. 

People who mistake the trainings for an alternative to therapy may experience adverse consequences. If you have, or believe you may have, a problem requiring psychological treatment, please do not attend any AsiaWorks courses. We urge you to consult a qualified professional.

Are the trainings appropriate for those with alcoholism and/or other chemical dependency?

No. To maximise the value of the trainings, you will be asked not to drink alcohol or take any non-prescribed, mood-altering drugs during the course. If you are dependent on alcohol, marijuana or another similar, non-prescription drug, and you would experience difficulty in not using this drug for a period of 5 days, we recommend that you not participate in the Basic Training at this time. 

AsiaWorks trainings are not designed to assist people to deal with problems such as alcoholism or chemical dependency. If you have this kind of problem, we encourage you to seek qualified professional support.

Why doesn't AsiaWorks advertise?

AsiaWorks has experimented with a variety of marketing tools, including advertising in certain markets. We have found that personal testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing, or customer referral, from graduates of our programs is the most effective way for us to market our training to the public.

Is AsiaWorks a New Age religion?

No. AsiaWorks is a company - a secular business organisation with no ties to any religion. Our trainings are not faith-based, but honour and respect the world's religions and spiritual traditions. 

In our trainings we provide an opportunity for open dialogue on some of life's questions. These are often the same life questions and values that are explored in religion, in philosophy and in everyday teaching, such as honesty and trust, choices, personal responsibility, integrity and so forth. 

This exploration can create an opportunity for training participants to examine their beliefs, to deepen their personal faith, or to question it. If, as a practising member of your faith, you are concerned that participating in a discussion about beliefs that may be different from your own would be a problem, we ask that you seek counsel from your spiritual leader. 

We do not provide counsel on matters of religious belief nor ask that anyone change their religious beliefs. We believe that religious questions are appropriately addressed within the faith communities.

Is AsiaWorks multi-level marketing?

No. AsiaWorks is a training and consulting company which offers both highly customised training products to corporations globally, and fixed-date, general interest workshops to the public across Asia. AsiaWorks trainings tend to develop a loyal following of customers who are delighted with their experience and want to share it with friends. Customers receive no financial incentive for referrals.

Why do AsiaWorks graduates sometimes use jargon that I don't understand?

AsiaWorks trainings explore contemporary life questions and values and offer alternative points of view for consideration. The issues explored are those commonly discussed in the popular media and in university classes in philosophy and sociology. And, like a University class or study group, AsiaWorks trainings are a group educational experience, and new friendships and social groups often form around this shared experience. Buzz words and jargon vocabulary are sometimes used to telegraph the meaning of a concept. If you have any question about the meaning of a phrase, please ask for clarification.

How do you respond to websites and media articles with negative views about AsiaWorks?

An internet search for AsiaWorks will yield a myriad of results and some of them lead to websites that wrongly persist in portraying AsiaWorks in the realm of cults and questionable organisations instead of in the realm of personal development, experiential education, coaching and management training. Click here for our response to negative articles about AsiaWorks published on the World Wide Web. 

There are websites and media articles authored by representatives of organised religious groups that disagree with the right of healthy, responsible adults to participate in a group setting in dialogue and exercises that may provide a challenging point of view and/or have an impact on the way they approach life. 

We believe in freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and we regularly investigate legal remedy for individuals or groups that persist in advancing their cause through defamation.

What is your response to old "news" stories about trainings?

First of all, the old "news" that comes to our attention is not about AsiaWorks. 

From time to time, old news articles (magazines, television transcripts, websites) about various trainings and/or training companies turn up and people look to us for comment. 

Here is what we have heard about lately:
In 1994, the U.S. women's magazine Redbook ran an article entitled, "I Lost my Husband to a Cult." 

Redbook magazine, according to its website is described as:
"Redbook is the must-read magazine for today's young, married woman: an individual as passionate about her own needs as she is about those of her family. Each issue offers exciting, provocative features that address all the aspects of her life---everything from stylish fashion and beauty portfolios to scintillating stories on keeping her marriage fresh, to ideas on balancing home and career demands." 

While this article may fall under the category of provocative features or scintillating stories for young married women, it is a story of one person's opinion and experience of a troubled marriage and two people's different approaches to the relationship. The approaches described – attending marriage counselling, looking for ways to "fix" a relationship by attending a personal growth training, couples drifting apart - make the kind of story that sells magazines.

Is AsiaWorks a cult?

No. AsiaWorks is a training and consulting company which offers both highly customised training products to corporations globally, and fixed-date, general interest workshops to the public across Asia.AsiaWorks trainings tend to develop a loyal following of customers who are delighted with their experience and want to share it with friends. Customers receive no financial incentive for referrals.

Why does AsiaWorks use volunteers to staff the trainings?

We offer volunteer opportunities as a way for interested Leadership Programme graduates to support their continued growth and goal attainment in a stimulating and challenging environment. This can be done through voluntary staffing of Basic Training, Advanced Course or other workshop programmes, as a Small Group Leader. Small Group Leaders receive coaching in how to facilitate effective discussion and support the training staff within the room logistics. Leadership graduates who have demonstrated exceptional results in their personal goals and have significant experience in staffing programmes, may apply to become coaches, or Leadership Programme Seniors. All programmes are completely voluntary and we welcome our graduates to mentor others and stay involved with AsiaWorks.

Why do volunteers staff the AsiaWorks trainings?

AsiaWorks promotes the availability of voluntary service opportunities to training graduates that offer both skill-building and mentoring - and are similar to those of a business or fraternal service organisation, such as Chambers of Commerce or Rotary International. AsiaWorks graduates volunteer for many reasons, but many of them do so in order to make a contribution to the development of others , as well as to practice their own leadership and coaching skills. AsiaWorks Leadership Programme graduates also regularly engage in community service projects in their community. Read about some of their contributions here.

Is providing enrolment referrals or bringing guests to AsiaWorks guest events mandatory for Basic Training and Advanced Course graduates?

No, but it is encouraged. Like any company, we are delighted when our customers are happy with our product and refer their friends and family to us.

Why does my friend ask me to take the AsiaWorks training? Do they get a reward if I attend?

There is no financial incentive or reward for customer referral. AsiaWorks public trainings are graduate-driven, meaning that AsiaWorks relies on positive word-of-mouth and referrals from satisfied customers. When you have a great experience, you are likely to want to share it with others. Leadership Programme participants, who have continued in the AsiaWorks core curriculum are very satisfied customers who want to, and are encouraged to, enrol friends and family in future trainings

Does AsiaWorks offer a financial incentive for customer referrals?


Does AsiaWorks provide scholarships?

Yes. At the discretion of city managers, scholarships may be awarded to individuals with interest and financial need, including members of the clergy and educators. In some cities AsiaWorks offers annual free classes to workers of charitable organizations.

How do you evaluate the safety and effectiveness of your programmes?

AsiaWorks pursues on-going evaluation and quality improvement programmes. We undergo rigorous internal review of all our business practices. We work with licensed psychologists and educators to review the safety, appropriateness and effectiveness of our training seminar content. We provide on-going customer support, graduate relations programmes and encourage feedback in our effort to continually improve our programme offerings.

Is it compulsory to take the Advanced Course after the Basic Training?

No, but we do recommend it.The AsiaWorks Basic Training creates an awareness of what is possible and is designed to speed up the process of transformation, thereby accelerating and increasing the experience of personal success and fulfillment. The AsiaWorks Advanced Course is an interpersonal experience, which offers you the opportunity to move beyond awareness into the sphere of creation and action.

Will the effect of the training be lessened through translation?

In most cities, the AsiaWorks trainings are offered in English with translation. This has been proven effective with over 15 years of experience in multi-lingual cities. Native-language speaking staff members and graduate volunteers are available to assist you if you do not understand. If you have any question about the meaning of a phrase, please ask for clarification.

How are trainers certified to facilitate AsiaWorks trainings?

Please read About AsiaWorks Trainers for a detailed description of the training apprenticeship programme.

I'm thinking of taking the course, but I'm still a bit apprehensive. Is this a common feeling?

Yes. The AsiaWorks Basic Training is unlike the standard lecture-oriented seminar or classroom education we are used to. Feelings of uncertainty and even skepticism are a natural part of the course. This process of self-examination, questioning and then making a decision is a valuable experience in itself. It is likely that your considerations, those things you consistently give consideration to before making a decision, are similar in all areas of your life, whether you're making a decision to take The AsiaWorks Basic Training, change your career or make any other important life changes. The specific considerations common to you, and the ways in which you have dealt with them, along with how you would like to deal with them in the future, are actually a part of the process of beginning The AsiaWorks Basic Training.

Can I continue in the same training if I need to leave while it is in session? Can I be late? Why are there ground rules about being on time?

In AsiaWorks trainings we strive to create a relationship between students that honors each others commitment and sincerity in participating in all parts of the training. A set of agreements, or ground rules, is essential to creating that relationship of a learning community. 

Ground rules for the Basic Training can be viewed here. 

Being on time is a fundamental rule that respects all participants, and is not exclusive to AsiaWorks. For example, if you arrive late at the airport, then it is unlikely that the airplane will be waiting for you, to do so would be extremely disruptive to others. 

It is our policy to start the trainings on time, and to follow a set of ground rules for participation. If for some reason you cannot participate fully, we suggest you reconsider attending the training, or attend at a time when you can participate fully.

Why doesn't AsiaWorks divide training hours over several weekends or holidays or more weekday evenings? Why does the training finish late at night?

The Basic Training is scheduled so that the majority of participants do not have to take time out from work to attend and allows for the time to assimilate the learning.

Where can I get registration materials for AsiaWorks?

Contact your local office or click here for the Programmes Sction.