Tough-minded Human Resources Management is gaining in popularity as an academic subject and a workplace philosophy, according to a lecturer. Patrick Kwan, a visiting lecturer, told a workshop organised by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Centre for Professional and Continuing Education, that by 'tough,' he meant assertive - not combative. He said human resource managers should earn respect by being pro-active and by using 'gentle strength'. The one-day course was attended by more than 20 personnel staff, who were given practical advice on how to be 'tough-minded' in their dealings with work colleagues. One of the participants, Christine Lai, said the workshop gave her a new insight into Human Resources Management. 'I was attracted by the stimulating idea of tough-minded management,' she said. 'It helped me reinforce a positive attitude towards people and treat others as I want to be treated,' she said.