Joy Khoo

Cues and Views

Executive coach Joy Khoo, in brief.

Joy Khoo

Home: Oakland, CA.  Birthplace: Taiping, Malaysia.  Profession: Executive coach.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Languages spoken: English, Malay, Indonesian.

Current project: Raising a swallowtail caterpillar.  It’s now in diapause and am waiting for it to emerge from its chrysalis.  Recent professional development: Sensory awareness.  Latest accomplishment: Earning my Master Certified Coach certification with the International Coach Federation.  Latest contribution to others: Team lead for Cycle for Survival for eight years in a row, to raise funds for rare cancer research.  Hobbies: Drawing mandalas, bird watching, playing my singing bowl.  Recent travel or adventure: Mushroom foraging in Sonoma Coast for the first time.  Was told by the guide that I had found the biggest yellow knight mushroom that he had ever seen in fifty years of foraging.  Last book read: I Will Not Die an Unlived Life, by Dawna Markova.

What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Curious.  How do you define a perfect friendship? Being present, holding space with non-judgement, offering solicited advice when needed.  What is your greatest joy? Watching birds and babies.  What natural talent have you neglected? Playing the piano.  What is your favorite place (or way) to spend money? On travel, my personal and professional development and self-care.  What is at the top of your bucket list? Going to Kerala for panchakarma (Ayurvedic treatment) and to experience more of India.  I had visited India in 2012 and absolutely love the culture.  How do you relieve stress? Breathing, listening to some singing bowls, going to nature.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Spa and nature.

What movie have you repeatedly watched? Avatar.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? A wallpaper of a beautiful birch tree who lives in France.  Besides your parents, who has had the greatest influence on your life? The Dalai Lama.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Follow the energy.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? Car sharing apps.  What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Nature.  Where do you rank in birth order amongst your siblings?  I’m the only child of my adoptive parents and tenth of twelve biological siblings.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? My divorce in 2004. It was heartbreaking and sparked a deep personal exploration that opened up my world and, ultimately, led to my coaching work.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?

Humanizing the workplace.  Creating space for my clients to allow themselves to be human, to play, to be more creative, to be more in their bodies and to connect with nature.

What change would you like to see in the world? Less time with devices, more time connecting with one’s self, with each other and with nature.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Less is more.  What mega-trend most excites you? Hybrid work.  What mega-trend most concerns you? Dependency on devices; nature deficit disorder.

What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Wanted.  Inspired by my journey through major milestones like my adoption and divorce.  Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? Audrey Hepburn.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? A book signed by the Dalai Lama.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? Solo time out in nature, going to a Buddhist monastery to receive a blessing, calling my family to say goodbye, getting a massage, eating my favorite noodles and vegetables, lighting a candle and celebrating the blessings in my life. What advice would you give your younger self? You have permission and the freedom to create whatever you choose to create.  What day in your life would you choose to re-live? Meeting my biological mother and siblings after 51 years.

Personal motto: I have choice.  Favorite quote: “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble” (John Lewis).  Desired epitaph: Free as a bird, rooted like a tree.

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