Category Archives: Speaking from the Heart

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

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. 

A BOOK DEDICATED TO EVERYONE

An excerpt of my book launch speech at the 13th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking (CAN) event held recently….

I stand here today feeling very fulfilled and proud that I have gone full circle to become a full-fledged coach-author with the launch of my fourth and latest coaching book Dialogue with the Sales Coach.

Technically, I have completed my writing life mission in contributing to all the 4 coaching niches of: organizational coaching, life coaching, leadership coaching and business/sales coaching, written in 4 distinctly different coaching books in my name – Dialogue with the Coach, Dialogue with the Life Coach, Dialogue with the Executive Coach; and today, Dialogue with the Sales Coach.

What makes it even more fulfilling for me  is being able to launch this book in front of my own coaching community (that I have built in my 18 years in coaching) and on this grand occasion of the 13th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking event, which I always regard as the highest point in Coaching and in my own coaching career.

Dialogue with the Sales Coach is a coaching book written and dedicated to everyone: sales and non- sales people as everyone is in sales and we need to be good at it as well – be it selling a product, service, idea, proposal, or even selling ourselves to others.

However, there is a special group of people that I have also written this book for – they are the Coaches who are exceptionally dear to me, and whom I have always want every one of them to be successful in their lives, and in their coaching careers.  I want them to be ‘Coach Movers’ always – a term that I coined 3 years ago.

Typically, Dialogue with the Sales Coach is a coaching cookbook – everything about how to be successful in selling together with all the recipes for sales success. They are all well-captured here; from how to set a strong sales foundation, to how to get customers, how to close the sales and how to take your business successfully to the next level.

Written in the same style like my other 3 books, this one also has 100 sales cases, 100 successful methods and 400 powerful questions to stretch your imagination for even better ideas and ways.

It is very simple, short and very easy to read. This book can be used in many ways: as a reading book, a story book, a reference book and even as a coaching workbook.

I started this journey of writing in 2009 and now it is 2018, averagely, writing a book every 2 years and I am glad that I have been able to keep to this pace with focus, discipline and also with the support of 3 very important people to me: my 2 ‘Angelines’: my wife Angeline (who is in Melbourne and unfortunately is unable to be here, and my 2 children),  and the other Angelin Loo, and  Josephine Ong, my 2 sidekicks who have been with me all these years, as well as in my writing journey.

Before I end, with honor and appreciation, I like to give this latest book of mine to my very dear friend, Tan Sri Datuk Dr M Jegathesan. He too has been with me through most of my coaching career and journey.

Thank you again for being here at this 13th Coach Convocation, Awards & Networking event and at this launch of my latest book, Dialogue with the Sales Coach.

Adios but Not Goodbye, Jee Kor Ma!

My 6 brothers and sisters called our late aunt, Jee Kor, or Second Aunty but we have always regarded her as ‘Jee Kor Ma’ or in English – ‘Motherly Aunt’. 

She was Jee Kor Ma or ‘Motherly Aunt’ to us because she was truly a mum to us who always treated us like her own children, very similar to her own very loving 5 children: Ah Kwang, Ah Ghim, Niramon, Jenny and Bunny.

For all the years in her long life, she consistently showered us this motherly love, although we were far separated by distance (we in Malaysia, and she in Thailand) and time as we could only get to meet once a while and that time was brief and short as we had duties back home to attend to.

All of us were always so very touched each time we get to meet her again. Her happiness in seeing us again was so extraordinary, very much like the biblical story of Mother Mary’s joy after finding her missing son, Jesus, in the temple.

During this brief time with her, she would drown us with her generous love – her gentle touch, her kind words and her curious questions about us, not forgetting the plentiful delicious Thai goodies she would stuffed into our bags for us to take home, as she was so afraid that we would go hungry without enough to eat.

Jee Kor Ma’s story of love for us is very much seen in her own family as well – very, very admirable for the selfless ways and sacrifices she made to bring up her 4 children at all costs, overcoming the suffering poverty that was inflicted on her when she came to Thailand from China some 80 years ago.

Today her children are very happy and successful people because of her.  It is because they get to follow her footsteps. They take on her values and qualities. Even her loving grandchildren and great grand children are showing much of her great traits. What a blessing!

While we are so sad to lose her, we are also very much at peace for we know she is now in heaven, a better place, a happier place with Jesus, and all her brothers and sisters as well those who had all gone before her.

She was the last Heah clan of her generation on earth, but now reunited with all of them again in Heaven.

So we will only say adios to you, Jee Kor Ma, but not good bye, for we will be united with you one day when God says it’s time too.

Till then, May the Lord Jesus always protect you and Rest in Eternal Peace, Jee Kor Ma, until we meet again!