Sunrise at Royal Roads University

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted. Here’s why – I went back to school. A lifelong learner, I’ve continually been studying organizing and productivity principles but this fall and winter, I decided to invest more fully in learning how to better bring about sustainable change.

Bringing a coach approach to consulting

I began the Graduate Program in Executive Coaching in September, immersed in a classroom on the historic Royal Roads University campus in stunning yet serene, Victoria, BC.  The photo above was taken on one of my morning walks.  That was before I knew that you’re not supposed to walk alone…something to do with bear and cougars!

From now through April 2016, I will spend half my work time studying and further developing coaching skills. Already in this learning and in this work, I feel at home.  It’s feels like everything in my life has been leading up to bring me here. It simply fits like an exciting pair of new shoes that is unexpectedly as comfortable as your favourite slippers.

So, what is coaching?

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as :

“Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Just three weeks away from the completing the first half of the program, here is some of what  I have learned.


Coaching truths

  1. I will be listening more than talking.

It will be my job to stay curious and create a safe space as I ask carefully crafted questions to prompt self-discovery and awareness. To be sure issues are understood and options well-explored, I’ll be actively listening for both what is said and what remains unsaid and using appreciative inquiry to learn more.

  1. You hold the answers.

The solutions which stick are more likely those that we naturally gravitate to rather than those that might be prescribed.  I have worked with different types of coaches – from ones who ‘tell’ to those who are non-directive.  Even though I may be excited about a coach’s idea during a session with a ‘telling coach’, I’m rarely as confident about the direction upon further contemplation.  There is not much more gratifying to me than experiencing someone’s ‘aha’ moment that unlocks a profound shift.

  1. Results matter.

Coaching is about creating change. It’s an ideal fit given that I’m achievement oriented and that many of the clients I attract feel similarly.

  1. It’s a longer term partnership.

While I’ve witnessed extraordinary things accomplished in a 10 minute laser coaching session, deeper results can be achieved through a longer term commitment, generally three to twelve or more months.   In knowing you more fully, I can better support you.  This takes trust and patience.  Think of it like a slow-cooker, not a sauté. The flavours are that much richer.

A new focus

I have often said that organizing and productivity is not rocket science (though it certainly is neuroscience!), and that there is no one right way to do things.  It’s important to come to solutions that work for each individual. I will be drawing on my over ten years’ experience as a Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant, as well as fifteen years in the corporate world, as I coach to help generate action plans which feel natural and compelling to commit to. I will be facilitator, champion, guide, and supporter to open new possibilities.

What about organizing?

My focus is on working virtually with clients to help get organized at home, be more productive at work (and vice versa) and facilitate better work/life integration.  While this means I will personally be doing less hands-on organizing, I do have a team of very capable organizers ready to assist. I will also be working on packaging my knowledge and approaches in guides and tools to help you on your organizing and productivity journey.

The invitation – open for a limited time

While completing my coaching training, I have a limited number of spots open at a Special Rate for my Introductory Executive Coaching Program.  It includes 5 sixty (60) minute calls with email support during our engagement.   You must book by December 31, 2015 and sessions completed by March 25, 2016.


If you’re ready to start making changes, schedule a complimentary Discovery Call to talk further about this offer.  If someone you know is feeling stuck and this might help them move forward, please pass on this post.

I leave you with another photo from Victoria and look forward to serving you.


Dawn at Royal Roads, Esquimalt Lagoon

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