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.
Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
We can lead or provide support for negotiations and dispute resolution internal and external to your organization
Gift of Loss
The Gift of Loss is a testament to the power of love, the resiliency of the human spirit and ultimately the story of a child whose short life inspired remarkable transformation in the lives of others.


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.



Based in Halifax Nova Scotia, Robert uses his experience, skills and values to provide strategic support for leaders and their teams in the areas of negotiations, conflict resolution and coaching. He offers his clients a confidential and respectful environment for solving problems and he understands that by building respectful and authentic relationships, individuals and organizations will have a greater opportunity to achieve their goals.

Robert’s approach to leadership coaching is to work with strengths, clarify goals and look for the alignment of values. From a confidential place of support and encouragement he will help leaders and their teams find what they need to be their best. He has achieved the ACC designation from the International Coaching Federation and is committed to upholding their Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and the integrity of the profession of leadership and executive coaching.

Robert has earned a reputation for fairness, executive presence and collaborative leadership over his extensive career in the private and public sectors. He worked with the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Ottawa and Atlantic Canada, as an educator, researcher and negotiator and lastly as Atlantic Regional Director. He spent nearly 17 years as a politician, 12 years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia, the Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP, the Leader of the Official Opposition and then a term as Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. Robert established his own consulting business providing important service in the areas of Public Affairs and Employee Health and Benefit Plans, Human Resources, crisis management and communications. He served on the Boards of Directors of numerous organizations including the Prior Learning Centre, Dalhousie University and the United Way of Halifax. Currently he is a member of the Board for the Public Good Society and volunteers with the IWK and United Way of Halifax Region.




PaulaPassionate about social justice, Paula Simon worked at a senior level in the criminal justice 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, served on the Board of Governors at Dalhousie University and as President of the NS NDP.

Paula has recently published a book entitled, "The Gift of Loss" which shares her journey with Robert through 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



Our clients really do say it best. We appreciate the faith and trust they put in us to help them in the areas of negotiations, conflict resolution and coaching. Their willingness to be open, frank and honest, often in times of stressful change encourages reaching positive goals.
  • “Robert’s appoach was grounded in gaining an understanding of this broad agenda, the elements of success for the individual involved and my objectives for success. Robert’s methodical approach has been very well received by all involved and I strongly recommend him.”
    Dalhousie University
    • Ian Nason
      Vice-President, Finance and Administration
      Dalhousie University

  • “We have experienced real changes in behavior on the part of our managers and are excited about their potential to positively impact the future of this organization. The individual feedback we received from our managers was very positive. We highly recommend Robert’s services.”
    Port of Halifax
    • Catherine McGrail
      Associate Vice-President
      Cruise/Operations and Corporate Affairs

  • “Robert is a very skilled professional. He listened carefully—developing and executing a comprehensive plan that met our needs. I am very pleased with the results of his coaching; he achived the objectives as set out and more. I would have no hesitation in recommending his services.”
    Halifax Convention Centre Corporation
    • Carrie Cussons
      President & CEO
      Halifax Convention Centre Corporation

  • "Mr. Chisholm’s advice and guidance were very effective. We would highly recommend his services as he was warm and sincere. We would not hesitate to use his services again."
    Dockyard Testimonial
    • Mark Samson
      Recording Secretary
      Federal Government Dockyard Trades and Labour Council East

  • “As a ‘millennial’ that was in need of guidance on both a professional and personal level, Robert’s coaching led me through the process of taking inventory as to where I was and defining where I wanted to be. During our one on one conversations he listened empathically and posed questions that caused me to truly reflect on what I was saying which allowed me to clearly carve out my values, goals and aspirations. Robert’s coaching provided the opportunity to develop a greater sense of who I am as a person and I have been able to confidently apply this new found knowledge in all areas of my life”
    • Young Professional feedback

  • "Biggest gain was what I learned about myself."
    • Manager feedback

  • "I have to say it has been most enjoyable and has made me really look in the mirror. To slow down and think about my actions and values. To listen. Work in progress for sure."
    • Senior Administrator feedback

  • "Don’t take things personally, I do a good job so be comfortable with that."
    • Senior Director feedback

  • "Having someone to talk to that I can be completely candid with and there is no judgement allows me to work out any challenges or perceptions I have that are an issue for me."
    • Senior Director feedback

  • "Thinking before reacting and understand the possible implications of my actions."
    • Director feedback

  • "The coaching has had a positive impact on my interaction with other members of the senior team."
    • Senior Director feedback

  • “Robert is a fantastic coach and mentor. He’s one of the best listeners I have ever encountered in my professional life. Robert understands what really affects people at work, power, authority, self-awareness, emotions, everything. I can see Robert helping people working in government, academic and industry. His strategic bandwidth is impressive.”
    • Dr. Sylvain Charlebois/Professor/Professeur Titulaire
      Professor in Food Distribution and Policy

  • "For the past two years, the Halifax Port Authority has worked with Robert Chisholm serving as an Executive Coach to numerous staff members on a variety of topics including relationship management, goal setting, and personal development. Robert has a great ability to communicate with a variety of personalities and the experience to navigate various organizational challenges. He can connect with each individual and challenge them to think outside of the box, view things from different perspectives, and to develop solutions that align with missions and values. Robert has been an asset to the HPA team and has or recommendation."
    Port of Halifax 2
    • Paul MacIsaac
      Seniour Vice President
      Halifax Port Authority


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.



Understanding discrimination...

One of my responsibilities/blessings as a leadership coach is learning. My work with clients involves being present, listening without judgement and asking questions. To do this I read what others are saying about issues such as: trust, teamwork, anger and discrimination. This helps me ask better questions and move forward on the journey to be a better coach and a better person.

For example leaders are increasingly expected to make organizations more welcoming and representative of the community. But why are these efforts so difficult, so long in the making and so slow in the implementation? I was curious about what people who are engaged are saying about race, gender and intersectionality. To that end, I recently read two remarkable books on these issues: “So You Want To Talk About Race”, by Ijeoma Oluo and “The Person You Mean to Be”, by Dolly Chugh..

I consider myself an ally in the fight against discrimination but at this time is that enough? These authors helped me consider more directly my white male privilege and whether I was truly listening. Was I hesitating to have the difficult conversations when it was necessary, instead of speaking up? If I didn’t step up and call out racism and discrimination when I saw it, was I really an ally?

Chugh challenged me to go beyond being a Believer and become a Builder. And Oluo helped me understand my privilege and to take time to ask how my experiences would have been different were I a black man.

As I learn more I integrate these lessons into my professional and personal life.

Everyone Needs a Coach

I love this piece. I’ve been learning about and practicing leadership coaching for almost 3 years now. At every step I’ve thought to myself how helpful it would have been to me, in my various leadership roles over the past 35 years, to have had access to a coach. Especially as I witness the benefits it brings to the leaders I work with.

There continues to be however a belief that only leaders who have problems need coaches and that working with a coach is almost a sign of weakness. I post this video as a reminder that using a coach is like doing anything else to help yourself get better, like following an exercise program or eating better. As leaders you have an enormous impact on your organization and the people around you, make the most of it.

Check out the video here.

Is trust a problem in your organization?

We spend probably 30% of our life working so doing something meaningful in an environment where we can work hard and be successful, be part of a team and feel and be appreciated, is important. In order to do these things one important ingredient is...


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...

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...

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...


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...



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.