THE COACH MATERIAL IN YOU

How do you know you have the “Coach” material in you? The simple answer to this big question is when you enjoy being with people or have a way with them.

Let us understand the first one – enjoy being with people.  People who enjoy being with others are essentially people persons. A large part of their lives involves doing things with people. They are keen on activities that center around people such as reunions, birthday parties, community projects, or business-related networking events. They are comfortable with people and vice versa. They have a good time because they connect quickly with the crowd. People are drawn to them too. Within a short time, you will notice they are engaged in active conversations with everyone, be they strangers or friends.

Do not mistake these “coaches” for sales people who are highly sociable. And neither are they party animals who love fun and social chatters.

They are also not extroverts. In fact, many coaches are introverts. They may be the quiet type but they speak up when they have to. I call them “measured” conversationalist.  They are unlike “loose cannons” who speak profusely without knowing when to stop. Generally, they like to listen more. This is because they have high respect for others.

Humility is one of their traits, projected by their openness to accept people’s views and opinions without arguing to have theirs heard. Yet they stand tall and are well-assured. All these make them “attractive” to people.

Now, let us understand the other aspect – they have a way with people.

By this, I mean they have some form of personal power. They are natural influencers – they either have a calming effect on people or are adept in convincing them.

They also communicate well and that creates harmony in people around them. They are persuasive and can make people open up to them or draw them out of their security or comfort zone.

Due to these abilities, people often seek their advice. They can enlighten people, which is evidenced by the many appreciation messages they get from others for having touched their lives.

People with the “coach” material usually have a calling or realisation that they are good with people. The urge to do something for others increases over time. This makes them more curious, even impatient to do something about it. They yearn to get more meaning as they have found their purpose in life, that is, to make a difference or leave a mark in someone’s life.

  
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IS BECOMING A COACH FOR YOU?

Coaching is not for everyone, but it may be for you. Coaching is in demand today. Many business consultants, therapists, teachers, trainers and advisers find coaching appealing as it complements what they are doing. Coaching adds value to their services. Hence, more people are making a switch to the coaching profession.

At the same time more people are seeking coaches to help them either to resolve issues or achieve goals. The power of coaching lies in the coach’s ability to raise the self-awareness of people to remove blind spots, find new opportunities, and most importantly, move forward in life.

Coaches do this well because they focus on the relationships with their clients. Their ability to engage in deep and non-directive conversation helps the clients to make breakthroughs in their lives through self-discovery.

When coaches deliver good results, their reputation and earnings grow. On average, it takes three to five years to become a competent coach.

Take this little quiz to see if coaching is the right profession for you or simply enjoy it as a hobby or an opportunity to contribute to others.

Statement

  1. I truly enjoy working with people.
  2. I like to help people.
  3. Many people come to me for counselling.
  4. I am open to learning and unlearning.
  5. I can persuade well.
  6. I am ready to do something that revolves around people.
  7. I am prepared to invest time and money to move to a new career.
  8. I am a confident person.
  9. I have a good relationship with people.
  10. I am a good listener.
  11. I understand and accept people and their views.
  12. I am good at setting goals.
  13. I have strong follow-through skills.
  14. I communicate well.
  15. I am curious about people.

Yes = 3
Somewhat = 1
No = 0

Should you score 30 points and above, then becoming a professional coach may be the best career for you.

For details, call +603-62054488 or visit www.corporate-coachacademy.com

COACHES AND THE COVID-19

Like all others, many mishaps can also befall on coaches in the Covid-19 situation now and for a while.  The fact that many coaches are independent professionals means that they can ill afford anything untoward that is caused by this virus infection. It can be rather damaging to both their business and health.  Indeed, coaches can regard themselves as ‘high risks’ as their career is centered around having conversations with people at a pretty close distance.  As the Covid-19 is spread primarily through droplets, coaches need to be extra vigilant and careful not to contact this virus, both inside and outside coaching.

Here’s something for coaches to think about, even to act on immediately. 

For coaches who are in the business of coaching or simply coaching entrepreneurs, they have to acknowledge that business may be affected. Coaching can be one of the first thing that individuals or organisations will axe during such times. The continuing slowdown in the global markets coupled with an uncertain political climate are making this business even tougher.

Coaching Session

Coaches certainly have to be more innovative and work harder and smarter during this time. The old ways of getting coaching business need a total relook both in business direction and the types of clients as well.  Coaches need to reframe; even to change their present clients to those who are less affected or are prospering during this time.  For example, the clients from the medical and the financial services industries are doing well while those in consumer products are not.

Now let’s look at the health side of things.

Whenever there are personal coaching assignments, there’s a great need to exercise great caution and care, ranging from coaching the client at a further distance, washing your hands before and after each session, using the handkerchief when coughing and sneezing to reducing the touch of handshakes or hugs and many more. Even putting on a face mask to coach may be a good thing to do should you be coughing or sneezing regularly.  Postponing session when there is suspected health risk should be considered even if it means a loss in business.

I like to strongly recommend coaching virtually without any physical encounter. This is probably the safest measure of them all. 

Don’t feel uneasy to discuss this frankly and openly with your clients. As much you want to protect yourself, they too want this as well.

Coaches should keep themselves safe and healthy at all times because any symptoms can take you out of action for a while.  This can affect income returns in a substantial way and many can ill afford this to happen. This is not all. If any coach is victim to this virus, it can be a stigma and bad publicity which is not good for our reputation and business. 

So coaches need an extra dose of living clean and healthy at all times.  Our stakes are very high, the price to pay is equally high too.

A SPIRITUAL REMINDER FOR 2020

1 Jan 2020 in Fátima, Portugal as a pilgrim on a pilgrimage to pray to Our Lady of Fatima was indeed a dream came true for me and my family who came too.

Choosing this day to do wasn’t only meaningful but purposeful as well for this was the sacred place where Mother Mary appeared to 3 shepherds and revealed 3 life changing secrets of the world to them. The feeling was indescribable to be here on the first day of a new decade in my life.

Instead of delving into the details of these 3 secrets, I rather share with you the common theme that i discovered in all of them. It is really about the need for love, compassion and appreciation – the giant pillars of good relationship and life fulfilment that we can do with much more. The secrets reveal the increasing turmoil and turbulence in the world that only can be cured with them.

Love is the opposite of hatred. Compassion is the opposite of acceptance. And appreciation is the other side of arrogance.

This is the message I gotten from here. A super reminder that I need to be always mindful of. They are my treasures that I took back from this sacred place of Fátima.

I share them with you too. Have a blessed and fulfilling 2020!

THE REAL COACHING JOURNEY BEGINS NOW

Excerpt from Keynote Address by Dr Michael Heah at
14th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking 2019

Thank you for your presence at this 14th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking ceremony. This is one of our biggest gatherings, and still continues to be the only kind in the world where we formally pay homage, recognize and celebrate the success and achievements of coaches on a grand scale, year after year.     

Going by what we are witnessing here today, our vision of ‘growing a vibrant coach community in Asia has already being fully realized. Today’s gathering is definitely one of the clearest evidences of this.

With another 150 leaders becoming certified coaches this year, this brings the total to 2000 certified coaches that we have built over our 16 years to grow very good coaches with the skills and passion to touch and make a big difference in people’s lives.  And of course, your own lives as well.

I still remember our first convocation 13 years ago. It was a humble one. It was held at the pool side of a condominium for only 10 coach graduates. Since then, it has evolved over the years to be what it is today.  Look how it has grown in size, in elegance and in pride.

Thank you all for your support, your trust and belief in us that we are the best coaching school to build the best coaches for the coaching industry.

However, your coaching journey has not ended yet. This is why I wish to speak on this subject called: ‘Your Real Coaching Journey Begins Now’.   

You see, to become certified coaches is indeed quite a journey by itself, and I’m sure you will agree with me, don’t you?

All of you have had put in many hours of learning, and getting your coaching hours (till yesterday). Your efforts, sacrifices and the discipline are highly commendable for successfully staying on course to reach this far.   

Hats off to all!  You are all now not just certified coaches but very good certified coaches of the ICF (International Coach Federation) brand name!

Dear coaches, the truth in getting this far is still not far enough. The final point is yet to be reached. In mountaineering, it is said that you have arrived at the base camp. Now is to take your climb to the peak of success. This next path might be more challenging and steeper than the first part of your journey.

And when you have the drive and stamina to move on to the top, you are then called Coach Movers (and not Coach Forgetters who back off and return back home).

Coach Movers are coaches who always keep to the 5Ps of Success.
They are:  Purpose, Positivity, Perseverance, People-centeredness and Playfulness.

Firstly, keep to your Purpose. This is your rock that grounds you, spurs you on and guides you firmly to the peak of becoming a successful coach.     

Secondly, Positivity is your daily motivation to carry on even when the going gets tough; be it about getting clients, retaining them or dealing with competition. Craft out your own self-talks for it to be your mantra of staying positive always. What is yours?   

Thirdly, Perseverance is the iron inside that gives you the mental strength to never say die, never give up on your purpose. Every hurdle you cross; every failure you wake up from; they all give more strength to your perseverance.

Fourthly, People-centeredness is about building your character and social skills to build and expand your network, be it: clients, fellow coaches, stakeholders and good friends. You will succeed well when you have the support from every corner for you are nice, trustworthy and interesting.

Finally, Playfulness is the fun, the sense of humor and the lightness you put into your life to enjoy every moment of whatever you are doing. Work hard, but make sure you play hard as well. Remember the old adage, all work with no play makes Jack and Jane dull persons. So be playful is to be game and interesting to everyone, and ourselves too. Make the world a happy place too!

On this note, from my bottom of my heart, I sincerely wish you coaches, all the very best in the next stage of your journey. Stay connected always, with CCA (Corporate Coach Academy), MACC (Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches) and all your coach friends.

To the friends and guests, thank for being here to share this celebration with us; to the convocation team, thank you for the coach-mentoring support you have given to our coaches, to MACC for providing a lifelong coaching support to our coaches.

Stay on top of the game, and be the best coaches in the world!

Thank you!

Michael Heah, ICF-MCC, PhD

A LATE SAS BLOOMER, WITH NO REGRETS

We all live in different life circumstances.  Some blossom early in their lives while others like me, took a longer time. In short, I was a mediocre student throughout my 10 years in St Anthony’s. I achieved no A, scored no sports medal and neither held any high position at all.

But I have something proud to show; a unblemished record of staying a true blue Anthonian for my entire schooling days till 1969.

And I got many blessings out this loyalty although not accolades for I did not make a mark in other pursuits.

Here’s how.

My first blessing is in receiving 10 best years of Christian brothers’ education that enriched my mind, body and soul for my future use. What made it better was the support of a lineup of exemplary teachers who modeled the Christian brothers’ way of growing people.

And my second one is the precious opportunity to live during the SAS Golden Era. And studied with towering giant students who put our school on the national and world maps through their brilliance in the academics, sports and leadership arenas.

Throughout these years, I remained a silent spectator, watching all these goings-on with envy. But somehow, I was soaking in all these Anthonian values and practices that finally showed up some many years like a slow and late bloomer.

Today I am a Master Certified Coach with my Coaching School that teaches leaders to be better leaders that uses the same Anthonian principles of Faith, Charity, Discipline, Integrity, Health, Relationship and Excellence.

I continue to use them whenever I can as I journey on in my mission to teach and share with my children, students, coaches and others.

So the Anthonian Way Of Life lives on for a late bloomer like me.

Many thanks to the Christian brothers and teachers for ‘raising me up to stand on mountains and to walk on stormy seas’! (Josh Goben)

Michael Heah, PhD, MCC, Class of ’69

Character Flaws That Can ‘Kill’ a Coach

One day a coach-student tearfully confided in me that her introductory coaching session with a mentor coach was in shambles.  She said, “I went into the session feeling big and was really looking forward to meet my mentor coach, but I came out, feeling so small with every bit of my confidence destroyed”!

What should have been an uplifting coaching conversation to motivate the coach-student to become a better coach became a demoralising session where she was criticised and talked down for doing the coaching wrongly!  Obviously, a bad experience like this not only harm most people but can be traumatic to the point that it can destroy them for a long time to come.

But an incident like this is not a one-sided affair as it can also harm the coach’s reputation as well, and eventually his coaching career because this bad experience will be shared with many other people.  His future as a coach will be in flames, so to speak.  

Sometimes, coaches forget that their success depends many times more on their character than their skills and knowledge.  They can go on and on to build them but without a good character, nothing is going to work.  Whether it is in upgrading or adding onto their qualifications, clocking in more coaching hours, or exposing themselves in international conventions and seminars, it will all come to nothing if little is done to build their character as coaches. 

Here are five killer character traits that coaches should avoid having. 

The first one is arrogance.  Being a coach does not mean you are above others, especially the ones you are coaching.  Never think you are smarter, luckier and more superior than others.  When you have this attitude, you will likely be talking down on people with an “I-know-it-all” image.  This is not all.  You will also be making lots of judgements, criticisms and telling people what they should do instead of helping them to discover their answers.  Thus, the most fundamental principle of Coaching is being contravened!

The next one is a negative outlook on people.  Instead of supporting their coachees to see the bright side, they get into the “detective” work of furrowing further “holes” in their lives, causing more emotional pains to them. How can they enjoy a coaching session when it is more of a hell ride for them?

Another is the lack of passion for people’s growth. Many a time, coachees often wonder whether their coaches are genuinely helping them, or are after their money. If they are of the latter, you can see through them in their lackadaisical attitude, dull face, lifeless voice and their lack of energy.  A coachee can never be lifted up by coaches with such kind of negative persona.

One other is the lack of integrity and strong self-discipline. They compromise with themselves on quality, give in or give up too easily, lack discipline, tell lies, exaggerate facts and many, many others.

The final character killer is the stress in the coach caused by his own messy personal life either due to financial issues, relationship problems, health challenges and many others.  His life is somewhat in a mess and this is usually manifested in his erratic behaviours, wrong choice of words and disturbed appearances.  Somehow you will know that something is not working well for him.  So how on earth will you have the trust and confidence that this coach can help you?

Avoid the Boring Way to Explain What Coaching is

Every sales item needs to be well-packaged for greater selling success. Jewelleries are displayed in nicely lighted display showcases; foods are photographed to look really appetizing, and the list goes on. This applies when explaining or selling Coaching to people.

Many coaches describe Coaching in a dry, textbook way by explaining that “it is a process to help people find their answers through using listening and questioning.”

The tip here is to find a group of compelling words that sound nice to the ears about Coaching that will make potential coaching clients take action on it.

One of them which I use often is: ‘Coaching is simply a very insightful conversation between 2 persons where the coach helps the other person to see the many more opportunities before his eyes that they otherwise can’t see without a trusted companion next to them’.

Find those words that also fit well with the background of the person. If the person is, for instance, a lecturer or trainer, then words like being a personal tuition teacher to the person are nice words to his ears.

So go out there and attract potential clients to your Coaching with the right compelling words that sends music to their ears.

Don’t Tell People You are a Coach!

The word ‘coach’, or the verb in the sentence ‘I can coach you’ can be very intimidating words that can put people off or make them defensive.

Why? People don’t like to know that they need the help of a coach. They don’t like to know they are a weakling, or they have a problem and that a coach is their ‘saviour’.

I know of coaches who get nowhere with their clients when they pitch their business this way.

The tip is not to be too eager, even too loud to say you are a coach or they need coaching from you. Be gentle, even polite to use other more accepting words like a trusted or professional friend, a close partner, or collaborator to help them find brilliant ways/solutions for their issue or goal.

When in the conversation, be patient, respectful, and show curiosity and deep interest in their issues instead of being anxious to push them to find solutions.  Make them always feel that it’s their session and that you are there with them because it is their decision.

Doing it this way makes them feel that you are a trusted partner, and not a coach who is there to coach them.  Such nice feeling helps them to open up to share, resulting in them achieving their goals faster and better.

What Makes A Good Coach

Although John and Sam are both coaches who have been in professional practice for a while, they have different measures of success. John is enjoying far more of it than Sam who is still struggling to make ends meet.

5 factors attribute to this disparity.

The first is purpose. For John it is a calling. He wants to a difference in people’s lives. He loves to give a helping hand to someone who either wants to grow or overcome an issue in their lives. The authenticity in him is obvious. People are naturally drawn to him.  As for Sam, he got into this profession out of ‘no choice’ option as according to him ‘there’s nothing else better to do. So for him ‘its just a job’. It’s obvious how he would behave when he’s with his clients.
 
The next factor is the sense of responsibility. John is highly responsible in many areas. He does everything to improve himself for he wants to do more for his clients. He keeps his words and delivers on his promise. His clients trust him greatly.  As for Sam, he works more like a ‘clock watching’ employee. He does little to improve himself. He’s calculative and gives the minimum to them.  His clients see him as someone who’s only waiting for his fees to be paid and nothing beyond this.
 
The third factor is the firm and fair way that John engages with his clients.  He holds them accountable to what they promise to do and is assertive to take them back when they fall off the line; yet he’s fair when they need some breathing space at times.  His clients respect him and this enhances his influencing abilities on them. The results tell it all. Success rates are high too.  Sam, on the other hand, is too relaxed and too compromising on almost everything. Whether they succeed or fail, it makes no difference to him. He has no performance standards to guide his practices. As expected, results are few, with disappointments more.
 
The fourth factor is John’s process mindedness where smart game plans are built with clear pathways to the goal.  As for Sam, he has none because he’s not all rounded in his thinking. His clients have no clear direction on how to move forward.

Lastly, the fifth factor is being observant with the ability to self-observe himself to know what feelings and emotions need to be managed for greater self-awareness.   Sam, on the other hand, doesn’t have this which explains why he’s temperamental without knowing how to be in control during challenging times. He loses credibility in the eyes of his clients.