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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
adapted from Coaching Commons Posted: 06 Jan 2009 04:48 PM CST
Andrea Broughton and Linda Miller of the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) have just completed an international research project funded by The Foundation of Coaching, examining the factors underlying women’s progress through organisational structures and the reasons why women in senior management positions in the USA and in Europe decide to accept or decline board-level jobs.
Here is what they have to tell you:
We talked to women about the factors that encouraged and/or slowed their career progression, along with the reasons for their decisions regarding whether or not to take up board-level or senior management positions.
We hope that the research will inform the debate in the US and worldwide and illuminate the development of further coaching topics and strategies that might be needed to help greater numbers of women progress into board positions.
In particular, we aimed to answer the following research questions:
We first carried out a literature review in order to find out what the key issues were for women in managerial positions in organisations, and the types of studies that had already been conducted on the factors that may help or hinder their progression in organisations. We then conducted semi-structured interviews either face-to-face or by telephone with experts and with senior women in Germany, Greece, Sweden, the USA and the UK. A mixture of senior women were interviewed, some of whom had held board-level positions and some had not. A mixture of techniques was adopted to obtain the sample, including gaining contact through women’s network organisations and academic institutions, snowballing, and through further contacts made when carrying out interviews of expert representatives. In total, 32 interviews were carried out.
Our interviewees had experienced a range of barriers to progression into senior management and board-level positions. These included perceptions about women’s management style, difficulties with masculine organisational cultures, general experiences of discrimination, difficulties in gaining the right experience and gaining access to the right people in an organisation in order to be able to advance. Other issues discussed included overall confidence problems, the difficulties caused by having non-linear careers, and the problems of family commitments.
We asked interviewees how coaching could help them to progress in organisations and to overcome some of the barriers they outlined. From their responses, it is clear that coaching can make a key contribution. The areas in which coaching can help women progress into senior positions included:
In addition, it was recommended that coaching be offered as early as possible as well as at key career transition points and that coaching for men – as key gatekeepers to board-level positions – should focus on what they can do to help move more women into senior positions.
We hope that this research has fulfilled its original aim of increasing understanding of the factors that influence the career progression of female managers and believe that it provides a useful contribution to the debate.
We next plan to turn our attention to the particular issues faced by people from ethnic minorities in gaining support for progression into senior positions at work, and are currently exploring potential sources of funding for this work.
Andrea Broughton is a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES),
Linda Miller is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies in the UK.
Why would a person choose group coaching instead of individual attention? .................Bonnie Chan, an executive and business coach at Coach Lite, said group coaching was for someone looking for collective wisdom.
This was especially suitable when the desired improvement was organisational, not personal, and when performance outcome was dependent on more than one person, such as collaborative work in a company, community or charity purpose.
According to Ms Chan, group coaching is a better method for achieving performance and realising an organisation's mission.
Companies or organisations are the biggest client base for group coaching. Sometimes, they can comprise colleagues from one office or from different branches across regions, participating in one or two 90-minute sessions a month for up to three months.
Ms Chan said, in many cases, group coaching was employed to address interdepartmental conflicts in organisations and remedy the problem. "This gets department managers to co-operate and understand what the other is doing," she said. "Also, throughout group coaching, we can point out blind spots, look at communication skills, attitudes and examine documents from their own perspective and that of each other."
Mentor coaching is another form of group coaching, whereby experienced coaches teach trainee coaches working towards certification. Ms Chan said it was a chance to share their experiences in a relaxed and supportive setting.
While she said group coaching was a relatively new concept in Hong Kong, people interested could opt for this form of self-help instead of more costly individual coaching, which usually costs from HK$2,500 to HK$3,500 per hour. Rates for group coaching tend to be 20 per cent higher, but the cost is typically divided between the participants, or paid by the company.
source: SCMP Classified Post
If you want to have a direct influence on the direction of our Community, now is the time.
The elections of HKICC's Executive and Management Committee are due to be held at the HKICC's Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Date: Thursday, April 24, 2008
Time: 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Address: Football Club, 3 Sports Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
article from china daily with interview with coach bonnie about coaching in Hong Kong
By Steven Chen (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-08 11:49
HONG KONG: Throughout history, men and women in troubled times have gone in search of spiritual and personal enlightenment and found it in the guise of any number of human and metaphysical forms.
In a metropolis like Hong Kong, more and more residents lead stressful lives and have tried to find a new zest for living with the help of a professional life coach. [China Daily]
In Hinduism and Buddhism, there have been the swami and the guru, in Greece, the mentor and in the West, in physical and literary form, the teacher and sage.
Times and priorities have changed. In today's fast-paced society, the modern guide comes in a new form that of a personal development or life coach.
But unlike teachers of the past, or today's other mentors, a life coach does not give out the secrets to happiness, but instead unlocks the potential that resides in anyone to live a fulfilling life by getting them to take charge, says a local expert.
"Life coaching is about getting someone to take action, to get what they want out of life," says John Lamont, a development coach and principal of I-D Coaching.
"The answers to a happy life are inside everyone, and I believe each one of us instinctively knows what we want and need to do to be satisfied in life. It is just a matter of bringing it out."
During coaching, which takes place over a period of months to even a year or more, coach and client meet at regular intervals, to discuss, devise strategies and report on progress towards goals that have been generated by the client, he says.
"As a life coach, I don't tell clients what to do," he explains. "I help them see the possibilities and the positives, and we set out steps that the client has created in consultation with me. There is no one fixed way to do anything, but by coming from the client, the steps to achieving goals suit the person and their way of life. They are then easier to take."
He adds that his role is to help identify personal goals, develop the steps to achieving those goals, and then guide the client in getting out there and doing them."
The root cause of an unfulfilled life, he says, is a modern existence that puts us in a never-ending cycle of work with little rest.
"It is because of the lives we lead. People today are too busy. They work many hours a week, and they have too many things to do, so other important things get left out," he says.
"Rarely do people get time to sit down and really think about what they want out of life, and the steps necessary to take them there. Then they lack the drive to go out and do them."
Consequently, he says people instead lead "reactive" lives.
"That is, they only take action in response to things that happen to them they look for a new job when they lose their old one, they look after their health only after they've been sick and they 'wait' for things to happen."
He says a common goal is to change careers, or find a boyfriend or girlfriend. "People think if they wait long enough, love will just come along," he says.
"But with life coaching, a person takes steps it may be calling up friends to get introductions, joining in activities to widen social contacts, even joining a dating agency. These may not all succeed, but by increasing social activity, you are increasing your chances of reaching your goal."
Bonnie Chan agrees with this principle.
"We live in a world of so much information and in society, it is easy to become confused. Life coaching helps the individual clarify their wants, needs and values," says Chan, president of Hong Kong's Coaching Community, a leading association of coaching professionals.
"Coaching's main function is to identify areas that need 'improvement,' and we help individuals empower themselves by helping them decide what action to take, and then being there as they take it."
Lamont, who previously worked in human resources consulting and recruitment before becoming a coach and opening up I-D in 2002, says the principles of running an effective business can equally apply to personal development.
"Just as a company has different departments accounting, communications, sales which need to function effectively for the business to do well, we can see life as comprising 'departments' as well," he says.
"We have career, family, relationships, finances then there may be other areas in which people have goals but never pursue, like education or improving health. If you can have achievement in each of these areas, you could be considered as enjoying a good life."
If the lessons learned and the benefits derived from life coaching sound like homespun advice, plain common sense easily dispensed by mothers and best friends over coffee, it is because they are, says Lamont.
"That is the whole point. If these strategies and steps weren't straightforward and easy to grasp, people wouldn't do them. But a life coach helps a client identify his goals and stays with the client until those goals are achieved."
In a typical partnership, he says he might meet a client once a week, and has to discuss and report to him about his progress towards his goals.
"I may set tasks for the client to complete. But I am not judgmental. I do not tell the client what to do. The client figures it out with my help, and I monitor him till he does it," he says. "And I offer alternatives. What suits one person may not suit another. So clients learn how to see different ways to achieve their objectives."
Perhaps the most important asset that a life coach brings to the table is a unique perspective, says Lamont.
"Just like a business partner, a life coach advises and helps his partner move forward. But I am not a client's best friend, relative, husband or boss. I don't have an 'agenda' that I bring to the relationship. This means as your coach, I don't need to be polite or avoid telling you things to please you or not hurt your feelings. So I can be objective. I can tell you where you are doing well and where you are not."
He says that just like a business partner, he cares about a client's life and success.
"A life coach brings honesty and a commitment to be solely interested in helping his clients achieve their goals," he says. "How easy is it to find someone who is willing to meet with you and is totally focused on helping you do what is best for you? Such a relationship is not easy to find."
So with a seemingly sure-fire way to happiness within reach, why isn't everyone living a rewarding life?
Ways to a fruitful life
"Everybody has the answers within them, I believe," says Lamont. "But they just don't get out and do it. We live in a society that is based on conformity. We need to fit in with people. We have rules which everyone must follow.
"This can dampen a sense of initiative make us reluctant to step out of the boundaries around us. So whether by social conditioning or having busy lives, people often do not go out and get what they want."
And with the image of a life coach being that of a well-dressed adviser, dispensing wisdom to equally well-dressed executives, Lamont, whose client list includes groups and high-profile executives from leading local and international companies, admits that the perception of a coach is one outside the needs of the ordinary worker, housewife or student.
"But this isn't so," he insists. "Life coaching can benefit anyone and the principles that are applied to achieve goals can apply to everyone. What is different is the goals themselves."
At around HK$750 to HK$800 per session for individuals and even more for corporate groups, the cost of a life coach may be too high for many people, something which Lamont admits does explain the greater proportion of his client base which is made up of cashed up professionals.
However, that may change, says Chan, whose community boasts 40 experienced coaches.
"We started with 20 in 2002, but this is growing steadily. With more local coaching courses and interest in coaching on the rise, there will be many more coaches available in the coming years. Increasing competition should drive down prices."
As for the notion that distinct local or Chinese values call for a different approach to personal fulfilment, it is simply "not true," says Lamont.
"I've found no matter what the person's background is, when it comes to happiness, underneath the surface, people have similar goals.
"It is assumed locals are more reserved and timid and not wanting to speak out. But in a private conversation, they can be very open. Hong Kong is a busy city and culturally, people may not feel they can discuss their goals with friends or family, so saying what is on their mind is not something that locals would get a chance to do."
Because of this, he says "life coaching can be a great benefit."
在香港，要成為教練並不需要考牌，但為了確保行業的專業性，早在01年已有一群從事教練工作的人士走在一起，成立了香港專業教練協會（Hong Kong Coaching Community）。其主席Bonnie Chan表示，教練行業在香港和內地正逐步發展，雖然現在渴求教練的主要是大企業或中產階層，但隨著社會結構日趨複雜，估計市場對教練的需求會增多。她期望有朝一日能做到「一人一教練」。
現時，「人生教練」（Life Coach）的薪酬每小時約港幣800至1,500元，而「行政人員教練」（Executive Coach）則是3,000至5,000元。有說教練行業未能普及的原因之一是由於收費貴，Bonnie表示，這乃見仁見智。
美國教練認證 在美國，由於教練行業發展蓬勃，故此有不同組織推出相關的認證，部分的要求更相當嚴謹。 以International Coach Federation（ICF）為例，要成為該會的Professional Certified Coach（PCC），必須接受125小時訓練，並擁有750小時的實習經驗；若要成為Master Certified Coach（MCC），更要接受200小時訓練，並擁有2,500小時的實習經驗。現時本港有不少教練也擁有以上的資格。 參考網址：www.coachfederation.org/eweb/
Source: Recruit Online
最近一個名為"Master Coach Alliance"的聯盟正式成立，旨在互相扶持，創會會員包括4間專門提供事業教練服務的公司：CoachLite.Com、VP Worldwide Limited、FocusOne及Progress-U Limited。其創辦人本身曾先後服務本地及外國著名的公司，近年紛紛自立門戶，推動事業教練服務。
VP Worldwide Limited培訓導師兼行政教練Vivien Pau，服務的客戶較多元化，由部門主管至行政總裁。據她說，為清楚了解客戶的問題，在提供服務之初，她會到公司觀察對方的工作情況，例如在會議室一角留意他主持會議的過程，散會後以不記名方式探問其下屬對他表現的評價，然後再與該名主管的談話中，反映下屬對他的意見。日子久了，可透過電話給予服務。
有數年當事業教練經驗的Progress-U Limited行政教練兼導師Charlie Lang，早已擁有機械工程和國際市場學位，他傳授的秘笈涵蓋領導才能、變革及銷售方面，而針對性的施教包括三方面：1. 針對個人發展的"Life Coaching"；2. 針對公司發展的"Corporate Coaching"；及3. 針對企業家的"Business Coaching"。
FocusOne行政總裁Douglas R. Gerber更加是資深教練，且十分熟悉內地市場。他說現時內地興起聘用事業教練的城市，主要是廣州、北京及上海，但服務性質跟香港有別，內地的較著重針對公司和生意的發展，香港的則較著重個人的發展。不過Douglas補充說，內地的事業教練行業正全速向前發展。 -->
Source: Recruit Online