All posts by Mike Heah

CEO & Founder of Corporate Coach Academy, Asia's Leading Coaching School. Attained the International Coach Federation - Master Certified Coach (ICF-MCC) Credentials in 2014. Winner of "The BrandLaureate Icon Leadership Award 2013 for Transformational Coaching". Founder of the 1st ICF Malaysia chapter & Chairman of Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches.

SUPPOSE A MIRACLE HAPPENED WHILE YOU WERE ASLEEP

There are lots of stories that talked about the difficulties to make change happen; whether it is about quitting smoking, becoming more patient, or waking up earlier.  

However, there is a way to make change a little more bearable when we believe that the change we intend to make is already happening when we are prepared to spot it.

This is what this title is all about, that change is taking place “while we are asleep, so to speak”.

We need not go far for there are already many ongoing changes: the physical changes we face as we grow older, the progress of the different seasons year after year although they contain unpredictable elements: the differences in severity of the seasons and the various ways in which time takes its toll on our bodies.

Let me ask you a question:

Suppose you have received feedback from the last 100 students you have taught where 90 per cent of the evaluations are favourable and 10 per cent are negative. You are going to follow up with in-depth interviews and can only talk to one group of people. 

Which group will you want to interview?  The 90 per cent one or the 10 per cent one?

The answer is the 90 per cent group because things are already working well for them (and not focusing on the 10 per cent where things are not working for them).

Hence, we should move away from paying attention on what is not working, but on what is already working.

As coaches or leaders, we make use of platform-building questions while in any problem-solving dialogues with these questions:

  • What do you want to achieve today?
  • How will you know that you have made some progress?
  • What would be the payoff from solving this problem?
  • How confident are you that something can be done about this?
  • When you have tackled this kind of problem before, what was it that was most helpful? 
  • What skills and resources did you discover then?
  • What has been going well for you?

This last question leads us in the direction of “problem-free talk,’’ which can generate evidences of resources, skills and positive events already happening. 

Another way to make change easier is to start with you. You cannot change other people’s behaviour, but you usually need to start by changing your own.  If you are up for that, you are the customer for change to happen.

The issue is often that we push for someone to make the change, rather than be the agent of change, ourselves. This is a natural state, but it is difficult to imagine how to make a difference unless we are willing to play at least some parts ourselves.

So be the customer yourself and to be willing to do something differently, to start or to stop doing something.

In my work as a coach for organisational change, I like to reposition the senior managers as the customers for change in the way of their attitude and behaviours. In this way, they can influence the middle managers and others to make the change.

So change is not so difficult when we look for things that are already working and when we set ourselves up as the customer for the change itself before others. There is an adage that says about this very well: Work on what you can control than with what you cannot control. This happens to be you and me!  

CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Call 03-62054488 or log in www.corporate-coachacademy.com for programme details. Live and virtual coach-learning is available. To register, copy and paste this link https://bit.ly/2uISyCx

WHAT MAKES COACHING EVOCATIVE?

People open up and find their voices when we help them to be mindful. By this it means getting them to reflect on their experiences in the present moment without judging them.  

Doing this helps the transformational process to take place as they realise how their actions are impacting themselves or others. The result is they often rise to new heights of ambition and ability, discovering, and in the process, finding powerful new solutions to even the most persistent and complex of challenges. 

This is when conversation becomes evocative as it sets in motion the process of raising people’s consciousness, which in turn raises increased self-awareness, self-knowledge, and even a self-monitor for them to track their future actions and behaviours until they become good habits. 

Coaches need to remember that there is no way to foster learning and growth apart from mindfulness. When there is mindfulness in learning, every conversation whether positive or negative, will be well-transferred into life experience.

But when conversations are full of pressure, demands and on the instructional “how-to do it” type, people then take hard-hitting consciousness into their efforts to improve performance at a superficial and mechanical level.  They try to remember doing the things and not doing them wrong.

However, when conversations are full of empathy, requests, and with curious “what-if’,’ people become more willing and able to play with variables and make appropriate just-in-time innovations.  They want to try new things, dare to fail and try again and again.

Understanding this, evocative coaches enjoy listening to stories, expressing empathy, asking questions and co-creating experiments that increase mindfulness.

By demonstrating an appreciative interest in the person, including the fullness of their experience, evocative coaches expand awareness to include what is happening in the moment, what needs are being stimulated, and what strategies or approaches are working better than others.

Assisting people to attend to such matters facilitates “natural learning”. According to Paulo Freire (2000), he called such facilitation as the raising of a “critical consciousness’’ that engages learners in “reading their world”. The goal of critical consciousness, according to Freire, is for people to become active agents in the creation of their own lives and the democratic ideal in society.

A clear and accurate appreciation of the present moment, without generalisations, exaggerations or evaluative judgments, is critical to continuous skill and performance improvements. One must recognise what is really going on. Evocative coaches learn to listen for the observational core behind stories and then, through empathy and inquiry, make those dynamics known to the teacher. It is not a matter of pointing them out, it is rather a matter of helping people to recognise and understand those dynamics for themselves.

Call 03-62054488 or log on www.corporate-coachacademy.com for programme details.  Live and virtual coach-learning is available. To register, copy and paste this link https://bit.ly/2uISyCx. Log on http://mikeheah.com to read Stories That Coach.

Coaching Engagement

WHY HIRE COACHES?

Q: Why do organisations hire coaches to coach their executives?

A: There are many reasons. Most importantly, leaders need to have new skills in order to have an impact on results and people in an ever-changing environment. These skills need to be learned and applied on a real-time basis.  Through coaching, results can be hastened, with no delay in their application and implementation.

POWERFUL QUESTIONS:

  • How effective are your leaders in meeting the challenges of your organisation?
  • What are their issues?
  • How long have they struggled to overcome them?
  • What methods have you tried using?

ENGAGING A SUITABLE COACH

Q: We are planning to engage an executive coach. What are the criteria to look out for in getting a good one?

A: The executive coach has to be familiar with the coaching issue(s) you want to resolve. Someone who has been a corporate executive before or has been exposed to executive and organisational work would really be helpful.

In addition, the coach’s value system must be aligned to your organisation, which is demonstrated by their approach and personal philosophy. For instance, if your organisation values internal competition over team harmony, then it would not be well-served by a coach who does not believe in it.

Check out their track record by asking for references to ensure their conduct is in line with the ethical code of professional coaching.

It is equally important that the coach comes from a certified coaching body where they have undergone a formal coaching programme over a reasonable period of time.

Lastly, there must be “human chemistry” between the coach and the person to be coached; without this, there will be no trust to move the relationship forward.

POWERFUL QUESTIONS

•   What is their area of expertise?
•   Who have they coached before?
•   Does it fit with what you want the coach to work on?
•   What do they say about their beliefs, values and perspectives in helping you resolve the issue?


For more info, call 03-62054488 or log in www.corporate-coachacademy.com for programme details.

THE BEST DEAL OFFER FOR HRDF TRAINERS TO BE GLOBAL CERTIFIED COACHES

What is Corporate Coach Academy (CCA)’s latest initiative?

We are doing an outreach initiative for HRDF Certified Trainers to become Global Certified Coaches during this lockdown period. We are offering them a never-before 55% off our normal programme fee, which works out to be only RM4,500 instead of RM10,000 to attain the Certified Associate Coach Credential. 

This is the best time as most of them will be at home and can now do something solidly long-term for their personal and professional enhancement.

Why is CCA making this very special for them only?

HRDF trainers are singled out by us to be a serious lot of professionals as they have demonstrated their commitment in their investment of time, effort and money to become HRDF Certified Trainers. We believe that we should support them to stay on course in their people development profession as well as to tap on bigger opportunities out there in the marketplace.

How does becoming Global Certified Coaches help them?

During this time, and for all times, it is imperative they should start to reposition themselves now for something more than just trainers.

Why?

Firstly, there are simply too many trainers with many of them training on almost the same areas: interpersonal skills, leadership skills, EQ skills, customer service skills and the likes. In such an over saturated marketplace, it is not only tough to compete but they also often get into a price war with each other that thins out their profit margins. This denies them of a decent living standard.

Secondly, forward-looking organisations are moving fast to invest in Coaching to power up their people leadership skills and also to use it as a strategic weapon to help their leaders resolve issues on real time basis. This is becoming absolutely necessary as changes in the world are moving too rapidly and leaders need to be up to mark to deliver immediate results. So, it will be a missed opportunity if trainers do not have these coaching skills and credentials.

And thirdly, by becoming coaches, they become much more versatile as they will have skills in both training and coaching.  There are so many things they can do with these skills.

Can you explain more about this Global Certified Coach Certification?

This is an ICF (or the International Coach Federation) coach certification. ICF is the world’s leader and standard bearer of Coaching whose credential is the only one that has a global standing where its coaches are recognised all over the world.   

There are 3 ICF Certification levels. We are encouraging them to go for the Associate Coach Certification, which is the first level of certification. It is a 4- module curriculum of 60 hours of coach-learning and 15 hours of coaching fieldwork.

The big advantage of studying with us is our teaching methodology can gear them up to acquire coaching skills very fast that will make them ready to offer themselves to their clients. The other one is our life-long coaching support through our very own Malaysian Association of Certified Coaches. In other words, they are never left high and dry after they complete their studies.  

The one that is for the HRDF trainers is starting on May 2-3, then May 9-10 and the last one on May 30-June 1.  

To make it extremely easy for them, we also provide a monthly installment plan.   

How do they register for this programme?   

They can register at https://bit.ly/33XJo2s or call 03-62054488 or visit our website www.corporate-coachacademy.com.   

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.

  
Call 03-62054488 or log in www.corporate-coachacademy.com for our full range of world class coaching programmes for all leaders. 

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.

WE CAN ALL INSPIRE SOMEONE, EVERY TIME

Let me ask you 3 questions:

  • When was a time when someone said to you that they were so blessed to have met you?
  • When was a time when someone told you how appreciated they were for something you did for them?
  • And when was time someone came to you for an advice that changed their life?

Please take a few seconds to think of these…………….

  • Can you recall any of these moments?
  • Why do you think they respond in this way to you?
  • How did all these make you feel?

I’m sure you have had these moments. You see, many of us have been and are still an inspiration to some people in our lives.

So to be an inspiration to people is really not just a tall order, not impossible, not meant only for the giants of mankind like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa or even Tun Dr Mahathir.  Indeed, we don’t need to make national headlines to be an inspiration to others. Many times, the most inspiring people in the world go unnoticed.

You see, they don’t do it for others to see, but really it’s for God to see.

I’m sure that you too have done many good things for people but they are unnoticed. So really who cares, for it’s for God to see.

There are 4 common qualities that I find in most people who inspire others:

  • Selflessness (not selfishness),
  • Generosity (not stinginess),
  • Courage (not cowardice),
  • Guided by a purposeful sense of service (not disservice).

So anyone with these 4 qualities are an inspiration to people.  A teacher who teaches well is an inspiration to his students.  A waiter who serves well is an inspiration to his customers.  A manager who grows his people well is an inspiration to his people.  And the list goes on.

There are very precious benefits that come to people who inspire others.

They fondly remembered us at the end of our lives. They get blessings, even luck when they give. Finally, there is happiness & fulfilment that comes with it too.

In my work with leaders, we often explore ways how they can make a difference and be more inspirational to their people. These 5 ways keep coming back as the ones that will make them more inspirational:

  • Stand for something
  • Act with passion
  • Show care and kindness
  • Demonstrate integrity
  • Listen more, talk less, and be a coach

Life is indeed too short for us to waste our time doing ordinary things. The Dalai Lama once said, we have no control of the past and the future; the only one we have control of is the Present.

So there’s no point sulking over our mistakes too much. There’s no point getting angry with someone because nothing is going to change.  And no point too getting stressed about something that hasn’t happen. Nothing is going to change.

So let’s use our time in the present moment to make the ordinary things we do, extraordinary. Let us lead a Life with a Purpose. It will make us special. It gives us the passion to do things with excellence.

At the end of life, we want to leave behind fond sweet memories of ourselves to others.  We want to leave our legacy. Our foot prints too.