Article Interview with our Founder - Understanding the uniqueness of CMA Transformative Coaching

"Awaken the Potential WITHIN through transformative coaching" by Smart Investor. The Chief Editor of Smart Investor catches up with our Founder, Ben Koh an ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC) on his vision to become the catalyst to transform organisation and people through transformative coaching.

Attending the coaching course conducted by Master Certified Coach and Mentor Coach, Ben Koh, has been a rewarding experience. During the 4-days intensive “Transformative Coaching” course held in Kuala Lumpur, June 2016, Ben shared his knowledge with would-be and existing coaches to enhance their skills in creating transformative and more sustainable change in their clients.

Unlike a consultant or a mentor, the coach is not an expert in the client’s field. Instead, a coach’s role is to help his clients have a higher thinking capacity to reflect on their issues rather than expand their skills to do the job better. “ The environment is always changing and therefore can be quite frustrating. Negative emotions if left unchecked can limit people in decisions and choices that are made, ” says Ben.

The Master Coach who has over 17 years of experience across 17 countries in Asia, explains that his coaching framework integrates the science of Emotional Intelligence and Positive Psychology approach to enhance the learning ability to become a coach. It emphasises awareness and clarity and in that heightened state of consciousness, one will be able to look deeper and realise his real internal desires. He will then be able to create solutions that are sustainable when he is able to align his actions to his real intention, according to Ben.

One of the things that coaching does is to stimulate thinking and understanding to help the client to be a better thinker- not just thinking for a solution but the ability to think through the situation, he adds.


Smart Investor (SI): Can you share with us what make Coach Master Academy unqiue or the most trusted coach academy?

Ben Koh (BK): Coach Mastery Academy is an academy but it is more of an academy that is propelled by a vision to inspire positive change through mastery coaching. We have an in-house coaching proprietary framework - Awareness, Clarity & Choice Conversation that is based on an empirical approach to effect change. The change that we want is sustainable change.

What will make change sustainable depends on how the coach shows up during the coaching conversation. One of the hallmarks is being present in the moment – meaning that the coach is aware and able to notice how his own thoughts are influencing the way he communicates with his client, so that he is more mindful in his choice of words. In being present, the second key skill is really the way you listen: how you listen and what are you listening for.

This is vital to enable change because for many people, their intentions are being buried or distracted by the circumstances in life and they end up with responding to pressing needs or just to accomplish their duties. Through the alignment, we help them to be courageous and bold to their commitment to achieving their goals.


SI: How can coaching contribute to effective leadership that will benefit the organisation?

BK: Leaders are expensive because they are the people that think for the company. They need someone to talk through their thought processes - what are the things that they know that they did not know yet that they need to know; and what are the things that they know and need to do more of; and what are the things that are holding them back that they did not know.

What is holding them back or what is causing them to be stuck and not escalating upwards to be effective? In most cases, it is not a functional gap, as they have the experience and knowledge to do the role very well. But there is something else that is limiting them - and one of the things we noted is the way they interpret the situation, the way they integrate the situation and how they are being reactive.

These are not gaps but these are awareness. Coaching helps to heighten their own awareness to use their own wisdom to be adaptive, to evolve, and to create a different way of managing the same things better. This is very different from the logical thinking process of analysing, troubleshooting and reasoning, where the motive is to improve the situation.

They need to engage in reflective learning thinking process like  connecting, synthesising, linking - these are thinking process that stimulate deep learning. And when leaders are able to think in this manner, where we trust that they have enough experience, skills and resources, the organisation will then be able to leverage on them to give a better outcome.


SI: How can coaching help the leaders align to the organisation’s goal?

BK: There is a myth that coaching is for personal development. That is only partly true. Coaching as an industry has a high commitment to the stakeholder because it is a service industry. The coach has a strong obligation to the stakeholder who pays the money - to deliver the result for the stakeholder, that is, to align its people to the organisational goal.

The first thing is the client (the person being sponsored) must have the awareness in term of his alignment to that company’s goal and what is keeping him in the current level of reference.

And the beauty of transformative coaching is once you know what is holding you at the current level, we then turn the conversation and ask the client what can you learn from this experience about yourself at this current situation in terms of what your value is, in terms of what drives you, what is important, in terms of who you are and what it tells you about that.

Once the client is aware of his own internal motivation, therefore in moving forward, he can then adjust that motivation to be more aligned with the organisation goal. If the client is not aware of his own motivation, we cannot ask them to do things to get them to meet the organisation’s goal. That is just giving out instructions, where the change will not be sustainable.

CMA coaching philosophy begins with the fundamental principle that awareness is the first step to all change activity, and out of this awareness, you can then do the learning, out of learning  we can then co-create a more effective and impactful outcome.


SI: What are the changes you want to see in CMA graduates?

BK: Firstly, we want them to be a change agent that inspires positive and sustainable change. Secondly, because the vision is true for them, we want them to be fully committed to their learning as a coach because the impact that they deliver for the client will depend on how committed they are in continuing to sharpen the craft, the commitment to learning and constantly pushing themselves towards artfulness and mastery. This is vital because going forward, the economy is relying more and more on people’s potential.  And coaching is the right tool to help the economy to achieve that. 

Interview Article: The Chief Editor of Smart Investor catches up with our Founder, Ben Koh an ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC) on his vision to become the catalyst to transform organisation and people through transformative coaching. Find out how coaching contributes to effective leadership that will benefit the organization and how it helps leaders to align to the organization's goal.