COACHING: It Takes Two!

In the last few years, coaching has become the professional development model of choice. What is coaching you may ask? It is a unique conversation between two people in which the coach asks leading questions and the client reflects on and gives his or her answers. This brief definition illustrates that coaching opens doors and encourages the client to name and claim issues. For prospective participants, this definition of coaching begs many questions “What happens during a session? How does the coaching dialogue ‘work’? Why is dialogue so important?

The purpose of the program on June 8 is to explore these questions in a coaching setting. Working with Rona and Pat, you will experience both the coach’s role and the participant’s; you will gain insight into how the learning and action processes work and you will leave ready to embark with confidence on your own professional coaching experience.


The Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago

Wisdom and Fortification for Aspiring Pilgrims
Friday, April 13, 6:00 to 9:30 PM
Saturday, April 14, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Marlene Cameron (Camino Walk 2010)
Patricia Klinck (Camino Walk 2004)


Walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela is a turning point in the lives of many. Some complete the journey, others stop and come back another time, some simply stop. As the Spanish say you walk the Camino you need to walk.

If you are considering walking the Camino some time soon, our program will give you the advantage of preparing yourself for this challenging journey and the time to ask all your questions. Our purpose is that you will build a greater sense of confidence and a better understanding of the physical, emotional and mental challenges that you will face.

Not everyone who starts the Camino is able to complete the entire walk to Santiago.  Regardless of  your goal, Marlene and Pat will share what they learned on their journeys – points that you cannot learn in a novel or guidebook.

The day and a half program will include:

  1. History of the Camino – the quest that has attracted millions of people over centuries to undertake this personal pilgrimage
  2. Training – what you must do to condition yourself for days of walking and how best to undertake this training
  3. Trekking & Topography – how to pace yourself in order to sustain your physical and emotional well being
  4. Equipment – what you will need to take with you, what not to take and how to purchase a properly fitting backpack
  5. Where to stay – Albergues vs. hotels and pensions
  6. Accommodation options and meals
  7. The advantages and trials of travelling alone
  8. The advantages and trials of travelling in a group
  9. Arriving Home
  10. Anything else you would like to know before you go.

We hope you will join us. You will come away from this program with a practical understanding of your undertaking and with tools, knowledge and confidence in tackling this life-changing journey.  It might be just what you need to make the final commitment to undertake your personal pilgrimage – whatever that takes you.


3Marlene Cameron undertook her Camino walk alone from September 8 to October 17, 2010.  She stared in Roncesvalles, Spain and travelled for 40 days to reach Santiago.  Marlene will share her experience of travelling solo and what you can expect if you decide to go it alone.

1Patricia Klinck walked the Camino in the fall of 2004 starting in St-Jean-Pied-au-Port, France and walked without a break for 36 days. Pat travelled with friends, who were much faster walkers.  She will share what she discovered were the gifts and challenges of travelling with others.

To register for this program please provide your contact information

Email Address:
Daytime Telephone:
Evening Telephone:
The dates you are planning to travel:

The fee for this program is $175 payable by personal cheque or PayPal.
The location of the workshop will be announced later.
To Register Contact:  Marlene Cameron 403.209.2142  or

Welcome to blog #4!

Welcome to blog #4!

You will find chapter 4 of my Camino Story under the heading ‘Writing’.

Under ‘Coaching‘ is a re-work of what coaching means to you, the client.

The former ‘Home’ page has also been re-worked to explain the KeyLinks Vision.

Please feel free to share the blog with friends and colleagues and to contact me for more to chat or have more information. I can also be reached on Skype.

It’s Lonely at the Top

The move to apposition of responsibility and decision making seems to entail crossing over an invisible line that marks the manager as “other”. Where conversations and support were once the norm, colleagues now stand back and wait to see what actions the manager will take. Even in the most supportive contexts, managers recognize in their discussions that it is “lonely at the top”.

Mangers recognize as well that developing a strong administrative team only partly meets their needs. Although the team may be a highly competent and confidential one, some problems and some solutions are not really appropriate for them to handle. In the highly competitive environments of senior and middle management, peers may be supportive but not always. Often they are competitors and all too often problems are seen as a sign of weakness.

Some managers are fortunate enough to have a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about management issues and is also a strategist. These individuals are also able to separate their support for the persons from the issue at hand. They are rare in the lives of most managers.

Recognising that isolation is detrimental many organizations try to set in place mentoring schemes, management programs, etc. However their effectiveness may be limited by the individual’s perceived need for strict confidentiality. Although organizations strive for collaboration the impact of politics and competition are major values and stumbling blocks. All too often, managers feel the need to protect their backs and one way to do this is to not divulge their concerns and problems.

For these reasons and others, the “Running Mate Program” has been developed. Unlike mentors who provide support for employees to advance in the organization, Running Mates are those who help set and keep the pace. They are there for support, encouragement and the extra energy needed to meet challenges and obstacles. The purpose of the program is to address the isolation of managers through one on one dialogues with a consultant whose extensive experience as a senior manager qualifies her as a confidante and an organizational strategist. Her recent work in applying research on leadership to the restructured organization and its demands on managers ensures support for new ways of thinking and leading.

The consultation will provide you with the opportunity to
– explore your unique understanding of power and authority
– provide a strictly confidential relationship in which you design your strategies and solutions
– develop a personal professional plan to enhance your leadership
– assess your conversational style in order to have greater impact in meetings

Coaching and Cancer Interview

In this video I relate my experience with cancer and coaching: