Testimonials by Projects:
Teach For India 2015-2016
Teach For China 2014-2015
From the coach
"Today ended my six coaching sessions with XXX, she is a great coachee. I did tell her that I am more than happy to have a phone chat to follow up some of the actions set for future, may be once a month… The experience has been beneficial for both of us, I want to thank you for all your great effort in making this possible. Coaching XXX in her meaningful work over the past two months was one of the most rewarding coaching I have done...it is a real gift for me...thank you!"
Daisy Tse, Beijing
From the coachees
"Haseena has been my coach for the past 6 months. Her coaching sessions have really transformed my life. The way that she makes you feel so comfortable during the sessions (which happened over Skype) is remarkable. She has helped me set a goal for myself and guided me in every step of the way to achieve it. She did an amazing job of helping me find my own solutions. By the end of our sessions I truly got to know myself much better and this has helped me tremendously in both my personal and professional life."
Annie Sidotam (Teach For India Fellow 2014 - 16)
"The support I got through APAC Pro bono coaching was immense. The coaching helped me a lot in understanding my strengths and areas of development. It helped me in working towards my goal. My coach Nigel, helped me in dealing with my weaknesses and always encouraged me and gave me that courage to face the challenges. He helped me understand myself better, thereby giving me a chance to improve myself. I opted coaching so that I can be better at communicating with other people. Every aspect of the coaching was extremely useful to me. The sessions we had always left an impact on me and always will. Especially, the way he set some goals and expectations, like taking initiative in conversations, being an active member in group etc, helped me to work towards them. Especially, the conversations around how different people dealt with different situations made me think that change is possible in me. The support I received through different personality tests, articles etc helped me a lot. Initially I was a bit anxious, but slowly I opened up and it really worked well for me. I would highly recommend this coaching to others as there is a lot to gain from it. Thank you Nigel and APAC team"
Yodhini Bhavani (Teach For India Fellow 2015 - 17)
"Today I am still continuing the APAC coaching call with Puay and its has been the incredible. "A lot of times I told her that I had a great conversation with her clarifying my thoughts and building more confidence to articulate my opinions. Puay, I would like to appreciate you once again for the time you have spent with me. There has been a couple of time when we had to postpone our calls but you were always very patient and hopeful. I was confused between coaching and mentoring and I always wanted a mentor for myself than a coach, so initially I was very apprehensive but later I realized the importance of coaching, understood its long term impact. It is very inspirational and helped me reflect on my core experiences. There was a lot of time that you challenged my thinking, provoked my emotions, and left me with questions to introspect but all of that led to me being a better me today. To me you had own the program the same way like how I did. I actually felt every time that I was your close friend sharing my deepest secret with you without any fear or hesitation. Puay you asked me many insightful questions and gave me the time and space to think and allowed me to be myself completely. I never wanted to end the coaching call and hence I was keen on taking up the paid services, however I was shocked when you asked me to pay you in the form of multiplying impact. For me you truly are a rock star and would love to continue having those meaningful conversations with you developing the professional and personal me."
Swarnava Gupta (Teach For India Fellow 2014 - 16)
"We are very grateful towards all of you (APAC Coaches) for extending this kind of invaluable service to us. Thank you very much for the time you have spent with me. I appreciate your patience in putting up with my postponing the sessions. Initially, I was apprehensive that coaching could help, thinking that I have been with the Home Nursing Foundation for a long time and that there was no need for improvement or change. Subsequently, I realised that coaching is actually very different. It is very effective and should be extended to other Volunteer Welfare Organisation (VWO), other home nursing. Prior to my session with you I was unaware how inspirational coaching can be. "
Lim Watt Choon, Deputy nurse manager, Home Nursing Foundation, Singapore
"I was offered pro bono coaching by apac through the NGO sector. I was instantly very interested to take this opportunity. I was not 100% sure what the process would entail but I overall I thought it would give me tips and advice on how to be a better leader, communicator and perhaps help me put a little structure into my heavy workload. I was expecting it to be all work/business related.
I quickly learnt it was much more than that. It was a personal journey that took me through my work, my personal life and certain challenges I had been facing. Coaching was about discovering what was important to me and setting goals in those areas to help me achieve them.
I enjoyed going to all my coaching sessions. Catherine was open and relaxed and allowed me to lead the way, I also found her questioning insightful and eye-opening. She gave me time to express myself, gave me space to think and really be true to myself in the sessions. Because of this, I was truly able to benefit gratefully from all the sessions.
I would recommend coaching to everyone. It so rare these days to find the time to go within ourselves, to listen to ourselves and understand what we need and want. It's also rare to have someone who genuinely listens to you and helps you find your way to goals. A very empowering experience - thank you"
Centre Manager, First Vision, Hong Kong
"Coaching was offered as a personal and professional development opportunity through our organization. Only in my early 20s and remotely located in rural China (detached from the urban, western world to which I'll be returning), I figured it would be helpful to get different perspectives on some of my challenges and struggles and some choices that needed to be made at the moment. I had never been coached before, but the title of the program sounded encouraging and I expected to learn from this experience. I also expected the advice of someone older or from a different background. What ended up happening was all this and much more through the artful process. Melinda didn't tell me the answers, and she didn't offer the cookie-cutter answers that I was seeking for a quick fix of my challenges. There were no "Five steps to xxx" or "Ten phrases you can use to xxx." though eventually she also guided me to this information because I'd requested it. No, my coach was kind of like a medidative partner or the voice inside my head, asking incredibly crucial questions everyone should be asking themselves when they open their mouths or do anything. Many of these questions began with "Why." I've often asked why of the things happening around me, it's just as important to ask why of myself. Over the course of coaching, we talked about the issues I came in with but my coach was also supportive of issues happening in real-time over the course of the coaching period. Surprisingly, and not-so-surprisingly, the issues that came up were very related to those I had initially brought forward, as 90% of the things I say and do today are what I did yesterday, says my coach. It was a wonderful learning process, I firmly believe I am a different person today because of it. "
Teacher , Teach for China
A Coaching Journey
"I found the following in my Inbox and was intrigued: ‘Why are we providing coaching to NGOs free of charge which otherwise cost thousands of HK dollars per hour basis?
Because we want more small to medium sized NGO leaders to experience the power of coaching, a tool of growing importance. And we believe that by enhancing the effectiveness of leaders, in turn, they will create an even bigger impact to the community they serve.
We also believe that the most powerful coaching arrangement ideally starts from the leadership team of the organization. And the success of coaching is highly depending on the willingness and the commitment of the selected coachees’
I was intrigued mainly because as the Director of the Samaritans I have always strived to be the very best I can be. But being at the ‘helm’ can be a lonely place without a sounding board or a reality check.
I wasn’t really sure what I was going to talk about because of the confidential relationship we have with our callers. Nothing that transpires between us is ever spoken of outside Samaritans. That is the rock on which Samaritans stand and to me confidentiality is the overriding principle that cannot be bowed
But I thought even if I don’t know quite what I am going to talk about, this is an amazing gift. Someone is willing to listen to me and guide me. So I said Yes Please.
I met Sally at the petrol station and as we drove to the Centre I knew that I was in the hands of a capable, caring, trustworthy and delightful person.
Sally always challenges me. She asks questions like “Is that open to negotiation?” “If not how are you going to accomplish your goals?” Indeed what are your goals? She referred me to people who had been in similar circumstances to get their take on the challenge. I particularly liked the way she doesn’t allow me to dwell on things that hadn’t gone as well as I had hoped and said “We are at this point here and this is the way forward” So no wasted discussion on what might have been. She was particularly inspiring when I was beginning to feel weighed down. ‘You can do it’ she said ‘you’re bright’ I was amazed at what confidence she had in me and as a result I had confidence in myself and renewed energy.
So what is coaching? To me it is a two person discussion on identifying goals and owning them. At looking at the possibilities and options. At being gently guided not bamboozled. Being challenged to look at what can be achieved.
I was able to achieve something which I really doubted I could do. But with inspiration, ground work and preparation, calmly being able to gather my thoughts and present them succinctly I was able to achieve that goal.
Could I have done it without Sally’s coaching, guidance and belief in me I am not sure. Perhaps but I am sure I couldn’t have coped so well.
If anyone asks me the value of the pro bono coaching I have received I would say it is priceless. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to grow and develop."
Liz Chamberlain, CEO of The Samaritans, 24 Hour Multi-Lingual Suicide Prevention Services, Hong Kong