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Reaching “Peak Performance” & “Working It Till You Make It”

Episode #1096: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Larraine Chang, an Executive Coach, Consultant, and Founder/CEO of Ascension Associates out of Hong Kong, shares powerful stories of transformation from her coaching practice and her personal mantra of “work it till you make it.” Larraine gives a powerful definition of the role of a coach and shares great insight from her journey as a lifetime learner. Join us as we dive into Larraine’s background, certifications, and insights gained from her high-impact coaching career.

About Larraine Chang

Larraine Chang is an Executive Coach, Consultant, and Founder/CEO of Ascension Associates out of Hong Kong. She is a member of the International Coaching Academy (ICA), a strengths coach, and an OKR-certified coach. She helps executives find their potential within themselves by using a strengths-based approach in her coaching. She helps executives see through a bigger lens, gain a wider perspective, lead with purpose, connect with trust, and command with executive presence. In her practice, Larraine also conducts leadership development workshops to create workplace well-being and teaches managers to embrace a coaching mindset.

Through her company, Ascension Associates, she provides executive search and selection services for clients she’s had for 8+ years. Prior to starting Ascension Associates, she was a recruitment director for a local Hong Kong boutique financial services firm. Larraine has obtained certifications such as Certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator from the Center for Appreciative Inquiry, a level two Certified-OKR (objective key results) Coach, and a Certified Strengths Coach from Gallup. In addition, Larraine is certified by the Institute for Executive Coaching and Leadership as a Certified Organizational Coach and Team Coach.

In 2020, on her way to attaining credentials with the ICF, she became a Corporate Wellness Coach and a Scrum Alliance Coach. Larraine uses her many certifications and her years of experience in business and recruiting to help executives. She volunteers as a role model of economic empowerment for girls in Hong Kong.

Key highlights

The role of a coach & achieving peak performance

Timestamp 07:40

In a discussion of Larraine’s journey to coaching, Larraine gives a powerful definition of the role of a coach. She shares that “coaching is not just about fixing people… it’s also about getting people to become even better at where they are and maintain their highest level of peak performance.” She does this in her coaching through various certifications and by using a strengths-based approach. Larraine shares a powerful insight from her coaching client, where they shared that she “gave them the self-confidence” they needed to excel in their career. She works with her coaching clients from the perspective of “what can I do today to make your life become better?”—ultimately helping them achieve their highest level of performance.

Finding your voice

Timestamp 28:35

When asked about the mentors that have impacted her career journey, Larraine shares insight from her first mentor Vivian. This mentor told Larraine that she had “[her] own voice” that was different from other students in University. This compliment and insight gave Larraine the confidence and affirmation needed to excel in her career. Larraine shares that this encouragement and reminder from her mentor that she was “different from others” and that her “perspective is not a regular perspective,” gave her the “push” that was needed to move forward in her career.

“Work it till you make it”

Timestamp 35:18

Larraine’s personal mantra is “work it till you make it.” She explains that you shouldn’t “fake it till you make it because that would give you imposter syndrome” but instead everyone should “work it till [they] make it.” Larraine states that “you keep on working on something ‘till you make the progress that you like” by “fine-tuning” and “pivoting” until you find what works for you and your goal. In her coaching, she helps her clients do this by helping them “face themselves so that they can find their own solutions.”

“What can’t stop you?”

Timestamp 40:52

One of Larraine’s favorite questions to ask is “what is the one thing that cannot stop you?” She asks this question to give her clients “that injection of courage” and help them in “affirming” themselves by understanding “this is actually what I can do, nothing can stop me, I can go forward.” Severin responds by sharing that “sometimes it’s the words themselves that are most powerful… a question can be very powerful.”

Reflexive questioning

Timestamp 43:31

A tool from Larraine’s coaching toolkit is what she calls “reflexive questioning.” This type of questioning acknowledges the emotional response of self from outside influence. In using reflexive questioning, she encourages her clients to be “more self-aware,” “to be more accepting,” and to realize “because the other people are behaving like this, that’s why I’m like this.” These questions empower clients to acknowledge their emotions and make more effective decisions.

Download the transcript

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