About us

Our values are not found in the positions or roles we play, but in the quality of the interaction we bring to everything we do.


Robert Chisholm's strong belief in fairness, social justice and public service informs his life choices. He worked with the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ottawa and Atlantic Canada, where he was Atlantic Regional Director. He served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, the Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP, the Leader of the Official Opposition and as Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. He has served on the Boards of Directors of numerous organizations including Dalhousie University and the United Way of Halifax.

Today, Robert works with organizations and individuals who look to turn their visions into realities and their opportunities into results. He uses his experience, skills and values to provide strategic support for leaders and their teams during times of change, challenge and crisis.

As a principal at Simon Chisholm Consulting, Robert assists his clients by offering a confidential and respectful environment for solving problems. He understands that by building and maintaining respectful and authentic relationships, individuals and organizations will have a greater opportunity to achieve their goals.

Robert has a Master's Degree in Sociology, a course on Leadership in the 21st Century from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, certification in Negotiations and Dispute Resolution and is a Registered Corporate Coach (RCC) with the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC).

In his spare time Robert loves to golf, run, play hockey and read.


Passionate about social justice, Paula Simon worked at a senior level in the field for over 25 years with both the Federal and Provincial governments in three different Provinces. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Social Work from Dalhousie, as well as four negotiation and mediation certificates from the Harvard Negotiations Project.

Paula is an intuitive and passionate believer in relationships and human potential. Undeniably spirited, she brings a genuine interest to every encounter. Paula believes you and your organization can achieve their highest potential through authentic behavior and conscious decision-making.

Paula understands the importance of giving back to her community. She's been a volunteer board member of of Phoenix Youth Programs, the IWK Health Centre, Big Brother Big Sisters and President of the NS NDP. Paula currently serves on the Board of Governors at Dalhousie University.

Paula has recently published a book entitled, "The Gift of Loss" which shares her journey with Robert though the loss of their son to a life of hope, joy and gratitude. For more information click The Gift of Loss.

In her spare time Paula likes to paint and write.

Our services

Fundamental to the success of your organization is the alignment of personal with organizational values/purpose.

We will work with you to:

  • Lead and/or support principled negotiations
  • Help leaders ignite their passion and purpose to meet the organization’s goals
  • Help manage difficult challenges
  • Resolve conflicts and build relations inside and outside the organization


Leadership coaching

Confidential conversations focused on supporting your desire for change. If you are willing to explore why and how you do your work, are committed to replacing habits that cause you problems, with habits that better reflect your purpose and meet your professional and personal goals, we can help you achieve success.




The most common refrain I hear from leaders I work with goes something like this,

“I can’t seem to get on top of everything at work, its all overwhelming!”

“I’m being pulled in 17 different directions and I’m not doing anything well!”

“I feel like I’m letting everyone down!”

“I’m feeling worn down, worn out!”

Sound familiar?

When leaders decide to work with me the first and probably most important thing I can provide is a safe place to talk about what’s going on.
They talk and I listen. I ask questions and provide an environment for them to think out loud.

The most valuable part of this process comes from people saying things out loud that are normally just keep in their head. Things sound different when you say them out loud and clients are often surprised at how helpful this is.

I try to slow things down just by the way I conduct the session itself.

I introduce strategies to be used in their daily regime that provide a chance for them to catch their breath and gain/maintain some control over their work.

Like taking 15 minutes each day, maybe first thing in the morning or in the office in the early afternoon or at the end of the day, to shut out all distractions.

Set a timer and just sit quietly, breathe and let your mind go wherever.

If you land on a thought don’t act on it, let your mind wander away to something else. In the practice of mindfulness it’s recommended that you focus on your breathing. I highly recommend learning how to be mindful.

But initially I just want you to take your 15 minutes, commit to it and book the time in your calendar.

And breathe!

Another strategy is to schedule meetings with a little breathing room at the beginning and end.

Arriving at meetings late is bad form, you know it and everyone already there knows it. And if people don’t leave enough time to get to their next meeting they will be distracted until the end of the current meeting. So I do urge people to do themselves and everyone else a favour, leave enough time to get to meetings on time and participate fully until the end. Your effectiveness and the productivity of the meeting will go up as your stress level goes down!

Once people learn to be quiet and more disciplined, the sense of wellbeing gained will help with the feelings of being out of control as well as attentiveness and respect for others.

I’ll talk more about these and other strategies next time. For a handy bit on Mindfulness read this…

Be Nice

I came across a podcast a couple of days ago completely by accident (or so I thought!), that was very poignant and timely. 

I ended the previous day experiencing some considerable frustration because I couldn't properly articulate a concept I've come to see as essential in our lives, 'being nice'. Now, this concept has been with me throughout my career and while I haven't always held to my personal conviction to be nice, it has always been front and center and I have tried. 

During my transition into leadership coaching and over the past year in my work my belief that 'being nice' is essential to high functioning teams, good leaders and healthy relationships, has been confirmed. When you look at all the techniques and strategies to develop good leaders, if they aren't nice to themselves and others or don't expect a culture of nice, none of the tools will work. 

I've believed in the golden rule, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", all my life. It was passed down to me by my Dad and has been my guide ever since. 

This podcast on kindness was very clear, and seemed to be saying what I was thinking and  frankly kindness is much easier to define than 'being nice'. 

So I was thankful for two reasons, that the podcast presented such a thoughtful and articulate explanation of kindness and for validating my belief of how important this concept is. 

Check out episode #38 at:

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Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you

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Lead and/or support principled negotiations. We believe negotiations can lead to successful outcomes when conducted ethically, with respect and fairness and a commitment to sustainable relationships . We can lead or provide support for negotiations internal and external to your organization.

Dispute Resolution

Resolve conflicts and build relations inside and outside the organization. Conflicts arise and can be satisfactorily resolved with respectful communication and the identification of shared interests. Resolving disputes fairly and respectfully recognizes the value of relationships to those involved and the organization.


Our Philosopy

We believe that authentic relationships are the cornerstone of great work. We help individuals and organizations identify their key questions and inspired solutions. We will engage with you in processes that encourage truth telling and acknowledges that wisdom comes from within. In this way we will help you tell your story, and bring life to your organization’s values.

We believe that things happen ‘for you’, not ‘to you’. Whatever is happening in your personal and professional life, presents an opportunity for learning and growth. So rather than being a victim you become a ‘leader in your life’.

Some of the guiding principles we bring to every engagement:

  • Complete presence and attention
  • Respect and empathy
  • Strategic and focussed thinking
  • Careful listening
  • Appreciation of the value of relationships
  • Priority on respect and fairness
  • Calm reasoned approach
  • Constantly seeking potential and possibilities


We believe that authentic relationships are the cornerstone of great work. We help individuals and organizations identify their key questions and inspired solutions.