SimonChisholmAboutUs

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

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.

Paula

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

SimonChisholmLeadership

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.

SimonChisholmThoughts

Thoughts

Awareness

We allow ourselves to be controlled by our emotions when interacting with others, often to our detriment.  I don't mean we shouldn't feel things, I mean we need to understand whether the emotions we experience are appropriate. 
 
I often have clients say, "that's just me", when describing an aggressive response to being challenged. What they are saying in effect is that this is how they have learned to respond when they 'feel' under attack. 
 
So rather than responding to what someone says or does based on the content or context, the response is based on the emotions that have been generated and that are historical in nature. 
 
Here is an excerpt from, Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goldman, which so clearly describes this dynamic.
 
"An old Japanese tale; a belligerent samurai once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. But the monk replied with scorn, “You're nothing but a lout - I can't waste my time with the likes of you!”
 
His very honor attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling his sword from its scabbard, yelled, “I could kill you for your impertinence.”
 
“That,”  the monk calmly replied, “is hell.”
 
Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the samurai calmed down, sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight.
 
“And that,” said the monk, “is heaven.”
 
The sudden awakening of the samurai to his own agitated state illustrated the crucial difference between being caught up in a feeling and becoming aware that you are being swept away by it. Socrates’, injunction “Know thyself” speaks to this keystone of emotional intelligence: awareness of one’s own feelings as they occur."
 
We can learn to be aware, it takes commitment and being generous of others.

 

Taking the time to reflect

Taking time to reflect is something I recomend to all my clients. If you're feeling overwhelmed, inundated by demands or you're just having a hard time getting a handle on what's going on, build in some time to stop and think about it. And if you "don't have time", read this article:

https://hbr.org/2017/03/why-you-should-make-time-for-self-reflection-even-if-you-hate-doing-it

A crisis of character

I wanted to share an interesting and important article I found. It provides a fascinating look at the world of the entrepreneur. And I would suggest many leaders who 'lose' themselves in their respective roles. In the case of entrepreneurs, as this...

Getting a handle on your work

I mentioned in my last 'thought' about how leaders sometimes hit that point where they are, " omg things are out of control, I'm so busy I don't feel I'm doing justice to anything or anyone! " I suggested it was so important to help them get it all...

Breathe!

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...

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...

Proud to attain RCC designation

I recognize that its important for clients looking for a coach to be confident their coach practices in a way that meets accepted ethical and professional standards. I was pleased to receive instruction and guidance in leadership coaching from...

We need to expand our definition of Entrepreneurship

This is a great article about the need to redefine our definition of entrepreneurship. I've always thought of myself as an entrepreneur, always looking for opportunity to create value for the customer and ways to productively respond to risk. I...

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

This is a great article, I recommend it to everyone and here's why. This is how I came to understand life in the aftermath of my son's death, it's become part of my philosophy. Simon died almost 30 years ago and I thought my life was over. My...

Taking time to reflect

Taking time to reflect is something I recomend to all my clients. If you're feeling overwhelmed, inundated by demands or you're just having a hard time getting a handle on what's going on, build in some time to stop and think about it. And if you...

Don't be afraid

In my life and work with leaders I see how fear of failure, criticism, ridicule or disappointment, prevents people from moving forward and living their best lives professionally and personally. I've referred people to this very famous excerpt from...

Being a Coach

Being a leader is challenging and exciting at any time, during these periods of rapid change, even more so. Whether you're in politics, business, the trade union movement, public or not for profit sector you have to be on your toes at all times....

SimonChisholmNegotiation

Negotiation

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.

SimonChisholmPhilosophy

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

About

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