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  • Writer's pictureDave Veale

The importance of meaningful relationships


This summer, I was reminded of the importance within Vision Coaching of strong and meaningful relationships.

And the reminder arrived in the most pleasant way possible.

Lianne Krakauer, a coaching colleague who lives in Toronto, was planning a visit out my way on the East Coast and wondered if I had time to get together. No hesitation there – indeed, my wife Mary Ellen and I invited her and her partner, Kevin, to stay with us.

From there, it snowballed into an invitation to all the Vision Coaching coaches to come out to our place for a BBQ while Lianne was here. As our coaches live in various places across Canada, we often connect only by phone or videoconference – this was an opportunity to share time face-to-face.

We knew that not everyone would be able to attend but when that hot July afternoon arrived, a number of our colleagues had gathered to meet Lianne – and, in some cases, each other – for the first time in person.

Lianne reminded me that we had known each other for 10 years – a fact that startled me a little because it underscored how time gallops ahead.

Intelligence and skill

I first met her in 2012 when I was guest lecturing at the graduate executive coaching program at Royal Roads University, my alma mater, on establishing a coaching business. Lianne reached out to me after that and we met in Toronto, discussing over coffee how she could grow her coaching practice.

By 2013, I invited her onto the Vision Coaching roster. Lianne would later say that I helped her build her confidence as an executive coach but I can confidently say that she has brought so much to me and Vision Coaching with her experience, her intelligence and her skill.

And today, I count her as not just a trusted and valuable coach but a good friend. She recently wrote about our summer gathering.

“My Eastern adventure reminded me of the importance of taking time out of regular business routines to gather in person,” she wrote in an article on her website. “One leader I talked to has instituted what she calls ‘moments of togetherness’ for her team.

Meaningful and memorable

“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,” she wrote.

“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.”

I couldn’t agree more, Lianne. And our collective gathering over the summer underscored the importance of the relationships and the partnerships they build.

In this issue of Fresh Ideas, I also highlight another very important relationship – the one we have with Amy Ruppert Donovan. A pioneer in the executive coaching field, she has now also joined the Vision Coaching roster as Director of Learning and Development. I could not be more delighted.

Like Lianne, Amy is a friend and a trusted coaching colleague. We’ve already been working closely together in the development and launch of our revised Using the Coach Approach program which teaches leaders how to effectively use coaching skills at work. I’m excited to see where this partnership goes.


Dave Veale

Founder & CEO

Vision Coaching Inc.

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