Last month Kevin and I hit the road and traveled to Atlantic Canada, with a delightful stopover along the south shore of the St Lawrence River in Quebec. We hiked the cliffs of Grand Manan Island on the Bay of Fundy, swam in the frigid waters of the Atlantic in Nova Scotia, and spent several days getting to know the city of Saint John New Brunswick and the surrounding area.

My professional connection to Atlantic Canada started ten years ago when I had the good fortune to join the executive coaching roster at Vision Coaching. While I’ve met many wonderful clients and coaches since then, this was my first trip east and a chance to meet face-to-face.

Dave Veale, VC Founder and President, and his wife Mary Ellen (who is also an executive coach) welcomed us into their home and invited our coach colleagues for a lovely evening on the Kennebecasis River. Gathering over food and drink in a casual scenic setting led to some interesting conversations about the cultural, political, social, economic, and environmental issues in the region.

There is nothing like visiting a place to deepen your understanding of its people, customs, and culture.

Besides the discovery of fabulous Maritime food and wine – yes there is good wine in the Maritimes – these conversations were incredibly instructive to understanding the lived experiences of the people I coach. While Vision Coaching works with diverse leaders across Canada and the U.S., there is a special connection with the people of Atlantic Canada who work in sectors as diverse as forestry, energy, education, food and the arts. Understanding their unique history, culture and environment was more valuable than I anticipated. It is far removed from the professional urban Toronto world I have lived and worked most of my adult life.

My Eastern adventure reminded me of the importance of taking time out of regular business routines to gather in person. Whether you do it locally or take the opportunity to travel, there is something special about the bonding moments that occur when you are face-to-face.

One leader I talked to has instituted what she calls “moments of togetherness” for her team. Another leader puts regular coffee dates into her calendar to meet outside of the office at least once a week with an employee, a peer, or a stakeholder.  Both leaders have noticed the difference it makes to meet in person in terms of the information that is shared and the trust that builds. People often feel more energized and connected when they meet in person (with all due respect to introverts who tend to find in-person gatherings more draining).

Conversations that take place in person over a shared meal, a walk, or a cup of coffee are usually more meaningful and memorable. We engage all of our senses when we meet with someone in person, especially if we meet over food.

While I continue to coach primarily by zoom, and fully appreciate the advantages of working remotely, I am committed to making more time for connecting in person with clients and colleagues. Being present with someone in their home, work place, favourite café or brew pub creates a shared experience that simply cannot be replaced on a screen.

For those clients and colleagues I missed seeing on this trip out east, my sincere apologies. I will be back! For those located in the GTA or passing through on a visit, reach out and let’s meet up for coffee. My treat!


Mentor Coaching Program – Space available starting in September

Are you a coach looking to qualify or renew your ICF credential? We offer 10 hours of individual mentor coaching with a program format that will allow you to complete your required hours within 5 months. To learn more, please visit

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Using the Coach Approach to bolster effectiveness

I’m delighted to share with you that I have partnered with Vision Coaching to offer a unique and engaging coaching skills training program.

Using the Coach Approach is specially designed to equip leaders and professionals with the modern skills and tools needed to lead and collaborate more effectively.

In this program, you will gain new insights and strategies that will help you create exceptional results in employee and client engagement, foster high-performance teams, manage change, build capacity and improve performance effectiveness.

Contact me to learn more.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy end of summer!