by Susan Korb
The International Association of Coaching
(IAC) and the coaching profession are growing
and expanding throughout Asia, and in December,
2007, I was privileged to speak with IAC
Board of Governor’s member, Bonnie
Chan, MSc. IAC-CC. Bonnie resides in Hong
Kong, China and speaks fluent English, Japanese,
Mandarin and Cantonese.
In Chinese, Chan translates to Little Swallow,
and traveling expansively was natural while
Bonnie was working in the electronics field
and opening new offices in China. She has
also worked for the Hong Kong Trade Development
Council promoting trade all over the world,
including taking care of Japan and China
markets, and some U.S. markets. Bonnie is
President of the IAC Hong Kong Chapter and
an Honorable Advisor of Hong Kong International
Coaching Community. She also is a PhD candidate
in Applied Eco-Psychology
Natural curiosity attracted Bonnie to coaching
in 2001. With twenty years of international
trade and management experience she began
an Internet search using key words, including
leadership. That was her initial introduction
to the concept of coaching. The idea intrigued
her as she understood counseling, yet
coaching was different. As her search expanded,
she discovered information creating many,
many questions. Was it difficult? What was
When she hired coach Angela Spaxman, Bonnie
asked her lots of questions about how to
learn coaching. She became a Coachville
member while still working, getting coached
and learning about coaching. She discovered
she already was coaching her team. Bonnie
began to arrange internal workshops for
staff in China using a coaching style. Instead
of hiring outside coaches or trainers, she
was in a position to choose to try the coaching
herself and she developed confidence.
In 2003 Bonnie became a full-time coach.
She offers executive and business coaching
in Chinese (Putonghua and Cantonese), English
and Japanese, and treasures the opportunity
for exposure to different cultures and people.
With coaching expanding rapidly into the
Asian market, the IAC and its coaches are
joining the growth. This began in earnest
in the spring of 2007 when Bonnie contacted
Natalie Tucker Miller, President of the
IAC, requesting permission to translate
the IAC Coaching Masteries™ into Chinese.
The first draft was finished in September,
and Bonnie then recruited a team to assist
in completing this huge project. The aim
of translation was, just like the English
version, to have one Chinese version that
can be understood and used in all the Chinese-speaking
cultures of the world.
(Left to right) Summer Chan, Tan Chew-yen, Angela
Spaxman and Bonnie Chan working on the IAC Coaching Masteries™
The translation team consisted of Bonnie
Chan, IAC-CC, Tan Chew-Yen, Summer Chan,
and Angela Spaxman (rectification on English
nuances). The Rectifying Team comprised
of Julia Zhu, Selene To, SK Shum, Nana Wong,
Leo Siu, and Diane Chan, who provided feedback,
suggestions and comments. To get a copy
of the completed translation,
During our conversation Bonnie advised
that many companies have branches and regional
offices in Hong Kong, and there are many
opportunities for English-speaking coaches
to work in Hong Kong. Many bilingual senior
executives are very interested in hiring
an English-speaking coach.
With the growing Asian market, coaching
is no longer considered a luxury for senior
executives. They are in need of transition
coaching for development and implementation
of programs and cultures within their companies.
Middle management acclimating to fast economic
development is hungry to know about coaching.
There is a large opportunity for English-speaking
coaches in the Asian market and an even
larger opportunity for those with local
With the Chinese translation of the Masteries virtually
complete, Bonnie’s focus has turned
to a Japanese translation.
If there are any Japanese coaches who would
like to work with her in co-translating for the benefit
of more Japanese-speaking coaches, please
She would very much appreciate assistance.
As the parent of an 18-year-old son and a daughter of 15,
Bonnie is keen to use coaching skills for
parenting. In 2005 she and two other coaches
wrote a book in Chinese called “ParentCoach”.
It sold out in three months. The book was in
the top-ten ranking for about two months and
a 2nd edition was printed.
Bonnie Chan has already made a large contribution
to the development of coaching in Asia,
and the IAC is very proud and grateful to
have her energy and commitment as part of
our leadership team.
Please get to know Bonnie further through
her website: http://www.coachlite.com/.
Susan Korb is a life coach and buddy coach
in upstate New York. Her blog is at