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A Thrilling Night Igniting the Fire in our Hearts – The IAC Pan Greater China Chapters Annual Dinner 2009
by Karen Au
It was a night filled with warmth and cheer. It was a night for friends and strangers to share life, love and fun. It was a night when people with different nationalities were connected and united. It was a night when spirits were inspired and enlightened. It was the night that marked the first time in history – and signified the ignition of the sustaining passion - The IAC Pan Greater China Chapters Annual Dinner 2009.
The event was jointly organized by the IAC Hong Kong & Shenzhen Chapters driven by the initiative of Coach Bonnie, who established the 1st IAC chapter in Greater China. I was honored to be one of the members of the organizing committee to create the special time together with other friends whom I did not know before, yet I could feel their generous support and sensed the deep connection right from the beginning. We decided the theme of the dinner to be “Sharing Love, Inspiring Life” – which we believed is one of the wonderful ingredients we experience in coaching.
Held in a local restaurant in Shenzhen, the 1st IAC Pan Greater China Chapters Annual Dinner 2009 attracted over 40 IAC members and friends around the region, including coaches, coaching learners, trainers, executives and university students, who have a keen interest in coaching and sharing from the heart. The event started with an activity of “Sharing of Blessing and Aspirations” which set the scene for the guests to exchange views and get to know each other. What could be more meaningful for us than to count our blessings and affirm our goals at the beginning of the New Year, and share that with old and new friends who have common interests with us?
The President of IAC, Ms. Angela Spaxman had extended her heartfelt support to us by being our honorable guest and the keynote speaker. It was her presence that drew us closer to the big family of IAC, and reinforced to us that the world of coaching is virtually borderless. Coaching is a universal language that transcends our professions, culture and status.
The rest of the night was immersed in the atmosphere of cheering and sharing. We cheered for the opportunity to meet and unite; we shared our inspirations and dreams for coaching. It was particularly enlightening to see that we had made a milestone in the development of coaching in China. As commented by Coach Meiling, “The program was nicely organized with time to connect, share ideas and have fun…Not only was it a valuable opportunity to meet with other coaches and coaches-in-training, it also gave me new insight on the trends of the coaching profession in Greater China. It was positive and encouraging.”
What really motivated us was the fact that the idea of coaching had already been spread in the new generation in China. Jane, a university student, shared, “I think the dinner was fresh, and I met many different kinds of people, who have one thing in common – strong interest in human beings and developing themselves and helping others. They inspired me that coaching can apply to many fields.”
The end of the dinner was highlighted by the activity of appreciation. All the participants exchanged words of gratitude, encouragement and appreciation to each other, affixed each with stickers in a heart shape, symbolizing that our words were expressed from our hearts. It was the moment we experienced once again the power of affirming one’s potential, which was so touching and awakening.
We were not only glad to see that the theme of the dinner “Sharing Love, Inspiring Life” had been actualized by all the guests’ hearty presence, but also delighted to realize that the seeds of coaching had been planted in the field of mainland China with the devoting efforts of coaches and coaching learners in the region. We could foresee that more and more IAC chapters would be established in different cities of China in near future. Although the event was over, fires were ignited in our hearts, and our passions to nurture the growth of coaching in our homeland will be sustained and exalted.
Please click here to share with us the precious time in the IAC Pan Greater China Chapters Annual Dinner 2009. Special thanks to Summer who helped us to take snapshots throughout the night to capture our memorable moments.
Karen Au is a personal coach and also a consultant in corporate training and development. She has passion to support people to thrive and excel in personal and corporate lives through coaching. One of her lifelong missions is to build the culture of collaboration and appreciation in every organization. Karen can be contacted at email@example.com.
The highly anticipated time had come. Nine coaches from the Hong Kong IAC Chapter spent a weekend on an intensive practicum retreat to pursue the certification challenge. We hired Coach Bonnie Chan (IAC-CC and IAC Hong Kong chapter leader) as our mentor coach to support us on this journey. She picked the venue: the Agile Changjiang Hotel Resort & Golf Course in Zhong Shan, located on the southern part of the Pearl River Delta in Guangdong Province, China, about a 90-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong. The facility was lovely. We felt like were on a holiday getaway. I think this helped set the scene and mood for our group to experience relaxation, fun and loads of learning ahead!
We met once before the retreat so we could get an idea of what would happen. And as the discussions evolved over the weekend, I sensed the positive energy of the group filled with openness for sharing, interactions and feedback.
Through this intensive mentor and group coaching practicum we enjoyed the beauty of the Masteries and the art of masterful coaching. We were also learning more about the IAC and the road to certification. We practiced—and practiced more—with each other as we took turns being coach, coachee and observer. For many of us, it was the first time making session recordings—quite mind-boggling for the technically-challenged. It took courage to listen to those recordings and to be critiqued openly in a group. But the debriefings as well as the individual consultation with Coach Bonnie made it all worth while. (Read more about planning your own coaching retreat here.)
This group process helped each of us to explore our coaching uniqueness. We shared our favourite coaching questions. We identified our intended target markets and specialized areas of coaching like women executives, leadership coaching, transitional coaching and spiritual coaching. On a deeper level, we shared learning experiences such as greater self discovery, the powers of appreciation and expansion of client’s potential—which are all keys to empowerment.
We all had a glimpse of what masterful coaching is about. It seems light yet deep, and shifts are achievable within a short time. The most effective coaching at this higher level seems effortless and powerful.
As the retreat drew to an end, we as a group were more inspired, more confident of our knowledge and what we are able to achieve. The goal of IAC certification seems closer and more reachable now. With support from each other and our mentor coach, we know that our coaching journey will continue with greater enthusiasm, passion and success!
Lorraine Lee is passionate about coaching and supporting people to be the best they can be in all areas of their life. She is a personal and professional development coach who works with a diverse range of managers and professionals. Lorraine is also a voluntary coach to undergraduate students transitioning into the workplace. Lorraine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.