Embrace your imperfections - Reflections of a coachee

Part 1 - Taking the plunge

Hello, I am Yvonne Chin and I am so happy to be talking to you today! I graduated from Taylor’s University in August 2018 and I am currently working as an Event Manager.

Reflecting back on my life, what a big transition this is from the course I graduated in i.e. a course in Bio-technology. I quickly realized in university that event management was the area I wished to spend time on and not to be working in a laboratory.

To a large degree, I had the resources in university that helped develop my communications and leadership skills and provided me the confidence to get into event management. I wish to share with you this journey of self-discovery that I took in university - and I have my knowledgeable and experienced coach, Jeff Cheah, to thank for it.

It was in Taylor’s university that I first went into event organisation as part of my extra-curricular activities. Whilst organizing the first and second conferences as team leader of events, I realized I lacked communication and leadership skills to lead my team. Nonetheless I was, and still am very competitive.

A close friend of mine had made so much progress in terms of holding leadership position although both of us started off at the same level. I felt that she had advanced whilst I stood still. Therefore, I decided I had to up my game and I took the plunge! For the third conference, I applied and interviewed for the position of Conference Director…and succeeded! Then the butterflies settled in my stomach.

It was during this period that I heard about pro-bono coaching provided by International Coaching Federation, Malaysian Chapter (ICFM) members to some students of Taylor’s University. I went for their talk and was taken up with what I heard.

Personal Coaching, as I understood it, was all about setting goals, creating awareness, self-discovery, identifying options and taking action. During the talk, students and coaches picked up little cards depicting different animals. Students were paired off with the coaches carrying matching cards to them. That was how I met my coach, Jeff Cheah.

My first impression of my coach was that he was really experienced and knowledgeable. I was nervous. I did not get along easily with people, even students, what more with someone older. However, Jeff was so approachable that I soon got over my nervousness.

Our first coaching session was in May 2017 and it focused on setting expectations and goals.

In that session I identified that I wished to work on my communications skills, public speaking and leadership. Jeff asked me a lot of open-ended questions. All simple questions but they made me think.

For instance, he got me to articulate where I was in terms of the goals I wanted to work on and where I saw myself one year down the road. He used a scaling method i.e. on a scale of 1 – 10 where was I now and where did I want to be.  He also got me to picture how a 10 out of 10 will look, what I would feel, hear and see when I got to that perfect score of 10 in terms of achieving my goals.

I believe this visualization of the goal and connecting it with emotions made the goal that much clearer and it fired me to take action.

Read Part 2 - Overcoming my inner critique

ICF Malaysia Coach Shantamala

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