Category Archives: Personal Resilience

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.

OF GRIT. PURPOSE. LOVE. FAITH.

Seldom  we see these 4 words being stringed together as one.

But they are in this story that holds a very special meaning for us, parents and even much more so to the hero and heroine – our son, Kian Joo and his wife, Danielle. 

Here’s their heroic story……

Most newly-weds would usually prefer a romantic and stylish holiday as their kind of honeymoon.  But for these 2 newly-weds, theirs is not. Their idea of a honeymoon is one few would not want, even think of.  It’s one that is built around grit, purpose, love and faith. It has all the trappings of toughness, discomfort, adventure, with no place for beaches, fine dining and moonlight romance.

Their long-term planning was a pledge that they made together to do the rarest form of honeymoon which was to walk the 800 km route taken by Saint James from northern France to Western Spain to a sacred place called Santiago de Camilo where his tomb lays.

It was a torturous honeymoon journey that took them 44 days to walk.  Unless we are made of the tough materials that they have, there’s a high possibility that we would break under the heavy strains of a long journey that seemed to have no end, the scourges of burning  heat, excruciating pains oozing out from feet blisters over blisters, without proper nourishment and living conditions to comfort them.

The power of the mind over matter can’t be better illustrated here than in their epic story which will be forever etched in their minds.  Even as parents, theirs have a thing or two to teach us about life that when we have high purpose and faith in God, we will find the grit to make the impossible, possible.

When they wept openly with joy upon stepping on the soil of this sacred place, we  too wept inside us for we could feel the euphoria that was inside them.

Somehow, their story reminds us of a saying: ‘Challenges are what make life challenging and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful’.

We are truly proud of them and thank them for this invaluable lesson they taught us and everyone about living life to the fullest. 

 

 

Learning To Walk Again

Certain moments in our lives are very defining. They have the potential of making us take a hard look at our lives. My ‘certain moment’ was the time during my hip problem, the surgery that followed and the painful recovery time that I am still undergoing.   

I call this article ‘learning to walk again’ because it’s about this particular chapter of my life that has taught me never to take things for granted any more.   

You see, walking, running, jumping were activities  I took for granted. I never consciously attribute them as God’s gift for me. Never was I grateful that I was so mobile where in ‘happier times’ I could do so much – jogging for stretches, climbing up the hills around my area, playing football and basketball in the mud and rain, and so on.

Then unexpectedly, this very thing I took for granted became the very thing that was taken away from me. My mobility was severely hampered during the late stages of my hip pains. I couldn’t move a fraction of what I could do previously. It took another beating during the surgery and the recovery period that reduced me to a child who couldn’t walk to learning to walk again – in baby steps with a walker and now a walking stick. 


At this time now, every step I make is precious, an achievement.  I am now so very thankful to the One up there for giving me a second chance. I feel so thankful too to Angeline’s loving tender care during this whole episode.  I’m also thankful to well wishes from my friends, their gifts, their visits and their prayers. 

Adding them up together, they all are helping me to walk well again. 

Thank You!

COACH MOVER – HOW TO STAY ON

Excerpts of my Keynote Address at the 12th Coach Convocation, Awards & Network 2017

The topic on Coach Movers’ and ‘Coach Forgetters’ is always close to my heart.  It has a lot to do with the sustainability of coaches in the coaching profession.

I spoke on this at the last convocation, and because of its huge importance, I intend to speak and build on it again on this grand occasion as well.

‘Coach Movers’ is a phase that I coined to describe those coaches who make things happen; they are successful in moving on and on to become even more successful and fulfilled professional coaches; who can live their dreams, can fulfill their passion and can contribute to a happier world!

On the other hand, ‘Coach Forgetters’ are the ones who wait for things to happen; obviously it does not normally happen through such ‘remote control’ ways.  Due to this, they experience disappointment as they have few or no opportunities that are needed to fuel their dreams, passion and life mission for a long time.  Because of this, they soon have to abandon and forget their dreams, passions and mission to stay on as coaches, for which they have spent so much time, money and great effort on.   This is sad for this was the very reason they became coaches in the first place.

It is my sincere hope that all of you here will remain as ‘Coach Movers’ all your lives; with none as ‘Coach Forgetters’ at all. You are built to last!

So today, I like to share a couple of tips (and coaching questions) that might help you to rise to the occasion to remain strong ‘Coach Movers’ always.  They have the caliber to weather through the good and not so good times to remain steadfast as successful and fulfilled coaches for a long time to come.

The first and the most important tip of it all is for you coaches to build and sharpen your ‘marketing mind’ (instead of just developing your ‘product mind’).

By having a marketing mind means becoming ‘ hunters’ who dare and want to go out into the jungles of the unknown marketplace to find their hunt (or opportunities) instead of staying under the shade of the cool and comfortable ‘coconut tree’, waiting for the fruits to fall which might not happen at all.

This staying under the cool shade of the coconut tree means becoming addicted to their comfort zone: for instance, they like to be in front of their laptops, in the privacy of our homes, quiet libraries, big bookshops, the closed doors of training rooms and so on.   Another e.g. would be putting your professional life in the hands of middlemen to market your services to customers while you wait and wait for them to give us the good news soon.

The hard truth is: purely staying on as ‘product experts’ (just building their skills alone) does not often bring them sufficient coaching opportunities to remain as ‘Coach Movers’.

I personally know of quite a few good coaches who solely focused on further improving their product skills and knowledge to gain success alone.   So they spent their life savings to earn more and more qualifications.   They ended up disappointed and disillusioned because the customers did not automatically come to their doorsteps and neither did they know how to get them at all.

A ‘marketing minded’ coach has 4 invaluable attributes:

One of them is a creative and innovative mind. With this, they stand out among the many and reach customers better and faster.

To have this, always ask yourself 2 coaching questions:

a) How can I be positively different from most of my competitors?

b) What will get customers’ attention, faster?  

The 2nd attribute is the human quality of courage, determination and perseverance.  

The road to success is a long and winding road (like the Beatles say) for no matter how good you or your services are, you are bound to face many failures and disappointments along the way.

To stay on strong against this, always ask yourself 2 coaching questions:

a) What is my biggest benefit when I stay courageous and fearless at all times?

b) What will I tell myself to stay this way when the going is tough?

The 3rd one is the quality of people connection.

Always remember the best product means nothing to the customer if he doesn’t like or trust you.   And you have little time to build this; you have to be quick and fast at all times.  But when you know how to do this well, the impossible becomes possible.

Always ask yourself these 2 coaching questions:

a) What can I do to make my customers feel very special?

b) What is the best way to greatly impress them?

Finally, the 4th one is your discipline to deliver excellent service consistently.

Bear in mind, you can only disappoint the customer once, and that’s usually the end of the story.   So always deliver with true passion and maximum commitment. This will automatically empower you to give your all to wow them.

Always ask yourself these 2 coaching questions:

a) Which areas of my service will wow my customers most?

b) What will make my service a most unforgettable experience for them?

Staying on course will surely bring you lots of goodness and also to the people who come into your life.

For when you grow, everyone grows, and the coaching community will grow; ……  and grow we will, to become a vibrant coach community!

This is truly my dream, my hope and prayer for you all.

So let’s all be ‘Coach Movers’. We are built to last!!

 

How will 2016 look like?

MH - Blog on 2016

Not being a prophet of doom, I see this year to be fraught with lots of challenges that we already have experienced in the 2nd half of last year.

I was in Penang for the year end break and I noticed how expensive things were here. Imagine that! Just the 3 of us having to incur almost RM100 for eating hawker food! This was shocking! My thoughts suddenly went to the lower and middle income folks and I wonder how they can survive in such times. I was actually trying to a get a ‘reprieve’ from the high cost of living in KL only to find that Penang is no escape for me. It’s no difference, perhaps more expensive in some aspects.

The general scenario has little to shout about. Business has not been good too. A friend of mine who repairs windscreen has his business hit by almost 90% downturn. My poor elder brother John who is a lawyer is suffering by the same margin. So are all the people I have met. Not forgetting me, my business has been hit too!

But as the law of life goes on, there will always be ups and downs in almost all facets of life. Health can take a turn for the worse before it becomes better. Relationship is the same. Stocks follow the same rhythm of life as well.

So we should not cry foul with the current situation; instead we should be adaptive, resilient and innovative to turn corners where we can circumvent them to reduce their adverse impact on us and our loved ones.

I can’t help but think of coaching as a tool to build the self generative abilities of people to deal with the present and future for success and fulfilment. This has prepared me very well. Not this time alone but the others in the last 30 years. I hope my readers are well armed with these abilities to take the bull by its horns so that we still can make the best of our lives while living purposefully and meaningfully.

Let’s make the best of 2016 no matter what it is.

A TRUE TEST ON MY RESILIENCE

We all have our down time in some parts of our lives. Some people seem to have them occasionally while some seem more, and for some, funnily, even strangely, have a full dose of bad moments over a short period of time!

This last category is where I place myself as, strangely and funnily, the month of August, which the Chinese regards as the ‘ghost month’ has many misfortunes that have befallen me and my family too.

So what are they? Having ‘bad patches’ with my wife and  son over some misunderstanding,   getting sad news about a brother of mine who had landed into trouble, watching my dog,Vision, getting badly injured in a fight with another dog, making wrong business decisions that is taking my company a little backward.  

 
And …  to top it all, nearly going blind if not for an urgent operation to save my left eye, and then the consequence of forced ‘redundancy’ that is leaving me feeling useless, depressed and hopeless for over a week now  with nothing to do as I have to be out of action in order to rest my eye. This resting period is not as straightforward as I would like it to be, as  it is coupled with the misery of having to follow a disciplined regime of eye care exercises as well.

Isn’t all these a whole lot of mishaps to take on in less than a month? So how did I survive through this period? I must admit it is not easy, really. If not for my resilience that has been built during my early days, I could have been shattered quite badly. So I do a number of things to keep my sanity, or rather stay in balance.

God is perhaps the closest and the most immediate person I call on through my prayers asking for His divine, spiritual and mental support. He is giving me great strength to stay afloat.

 

Doing this means also meditating and reflecting to stay calm, be present and be patient. I do more reading these days too;  it keeps my mind ‘fluid’ and enriched too with knowledge to grow my wisdom further. This does not mean I do nothing about resolving issues directly, but there are ones that I do nothing for them as they “heal” by themselves.
While doing all these, I stay mindful to keep it focused with positive self talks to reframe all these misfortunes from the negative to the positive.  And this is what I did during this turbulent period :  learning to rest, indulging in other activities besides work, and coming to terms with myself that I am not indispensable as others can do what I think I can only do. I guess I also got closer to my family and appreciate and love them, especially my wife who is always by my side.
Do you have similar misfortunes in the month of August too? Why not share how you overcome them?