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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Journey Into Coaching

Why did I take up Professional Coaching? Was it something that I had long contemplated and deliberately planned to do or was it one of those flavour of the month that would be cool to have on the list of training attended.

Actually, desperation led me to the path of coaching. I was going through a difficult pace at work, staring at a dead end situation without a clue for solution. Four long years had passed since I embarked on an ambitious human capital transformation program through several change initiatives, to developing technically competent Engineers into effective Leaders. Towards that end, we rolled out an ambitious Management Training Program that incorporated modules such as Strategic Planning, Performance management, Delegation, etc. Unfortunately, the training investment did not produce the desired results, due to operational constraints and failure in learning at the workplace. I was faced with a dilemma. How do I make managers see the light of what must happen to see through changing the status quo. That’s when I turned to coaching - a means to an end. I surveyed the market and coincidently found Thomas Crane running “The Heart of Coaching” workshop. What interest me more was the follow-up “Train the Trainer” workshop for those wishing to conduct in house residential programs. I realized the potential of the program as a breakthrough tool in getting leaders commited to engaging the workforce towards  creating high performance work culture. I attended the 2 days program and experienced  renewed energy and faith. The cure to my pain was finally answered. And, to support my plan, I brought along two managers.

Upon returning from the “Heart of Coaching”, I met my boss and presented my proposal to institutionalize coaching across the company. The idea was to run in-house coaching  programs with work-related coaching hours leading to professional certification. I suggested that, to make savings, I shall conduct the trainings upon attending the certified TTT. Before I could continue, my boss retorted, “What makes you to be qualified to coach?. He further added, ”You know how it is, you can’t change a leopard’s spots”. I was stunned and speechless, unable to make much of what or how to respond. I felt an implosion inside me. For the first time in my career life someone had boldly challenged my capacity and capability! 

Over the next few days, I thought long and hard. I had to consider coaching in a different momentum, one that could take me beyond the interest of my job and workplace. Now, it was for personal development on how it can help leverage me as a better leader. I performed an online search and connected with my network of friends to find out the best coaching program available in the market in terms of accreditation, applied value, duration, cost, coursework flexibility of payments, recognition, etc. After much sourcing, consultation and deliberation, I finally found my destiny with ICF accredited Corporate Coach Academy in Kuala Lumpur.

Coaching is a manifestation of significant behaviour that is tangible, genuine, experiential, actionable and measurable. It comprises of actionable steps that cannot be rhetorically overlooked, undermined, brushed aside and neglected by managers and supervisors.

The essence of the coaching model at CCA is founded on 3 simple steps, i.e the role of the coach is enable a coachee to :
1.SEE - Acknowledge that a serious problem exists and need to be resolved, now!
2.SAY –Create remedial solutions and commit to schedule plan of action steps.
3.DO- Execute the plan, report the progress and tweak it to success.

After 7 months of labour, sitting through exams, mentor coaching, 120 hours of assignments and recorded evaluation test, I finally made the cut. I could now add the title CPC to my name card. So, now what - where do I go fromhere?. Acquiring the modality of powerful questioning has not only made me a better coach but, more importantly, enveloped me in state of deep learning and heightened my level of consciousness and forward action.

Coaching, for me, was a life changing experience. It has undeniably made me a far better person– stronger inside. The greatest transformation I see in myself is the submissive acceptance to let go of things that are temporary and transitory in nature. As I learned how to coach others, I went through a metamorphosis, self-reflective and reviewing my own disposition - life plan, desired goals, happiness factor and priority of values such as trust, love, kindness, relationship, networks, money, patience and even anger. The coaching adventure served as crucial ‘check point” to refreshing my own personal life - making sense of the journey travelled this far and new path that I want to map out vis a vis to my destination. I have awaken from my own filters, limiting beliefs and have worked to become a better listener, communicator, leader, motivator and human.

Although I do not pursue coaching as a full time professional career, it dominates and plays an overwhelming role and influence in my training and consultancy works. I help people, at all levels, see their talent potential and the spirit within them to achieving excellence, generating solutions with ease and committing to action on goals. My passion and focus still remains in the arena of human capital management. I leverage on my coaching skills to offer objective, visible and measurable results of people performance to achieve effective operational outcomes and better business results. Having a strong footing in the areas of strategic mapping, performance management, competency mapping, change and leadership development, I help organisations see the gaps and breakthrough in connecting the dots. At the individual level, I feel a sense of fulfillment in reaching out to help (sometimes, pro bono) people become a better - be it in career or life.

If not for that chance encounter with my CEO, I would probably not have gone into professional coaching. Hence, I owe my gratitude to him for kindling the fire within to go on this journey. Thank you, Mr Mac. 

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