Sam McDonald Coaching - Our Story so far ...

I was fortunate to have been raised by an optimistic, future driven, Mother who has the Strengths of Significance, Self Assurance, Belief, Strategic, Individualisation and Futuristic, to name a few. Growing up my Mother would say “everyone has God given talents, you just have to find what they are”.

Imagine my excitement now, knowing she was right. However, when I unlocked my Strengths for the first time in 2007 there was no real great excitement. I remember saying “So I know who I am, now what?” in response to seeing my top 5 Strengths. I had no idea of the next step. It wasn’t until I Certified as a Strength Strategy Coach that I began to understand how important it is to know how to effectively apply our Strengths.

If you have ever felt suppressed in your life (often mistakenly labelled depression), it is likely that you have found yourself in situations where your Strengths cannot contribute, so in plain English, you cannot be the person you have been put on the earth to be, and feel like a square peg in a round hole, de-energised and unable to contribute what comes naturally to you. The issue is this can create huge negativity because we have an instinctive need to contribute, self actualise, and have purpose in our lives. Our Strengths are the very thing that gives clues to what these natural instincts are.

In 2016 I began to see that working alone did not fit into my ethos of Interdependence, which is how I came to form working relationships with trained Strength Coaches from all over the world who fit in with our ethos of symbiotic partnerships. We facilitate and model interdependence and work with and for people from all over the globe in business, education, families and on an individual level. We believe Strengths, Purpose and Interdependence is a lifestyle.

It was in 2017 that myself, Rob Fenlon and Kelly Parks began to see our synergy regarding Strengths in Education. Our dream, to see Strengths Programmes in Schools from Pre-School level as a pro-active vision of creating a great future for people to instinctively know who they are and can make informed choices as to how they effectively use their talents with self and others. Kelly recently un-locked the Strengths of another two thousand (2000) children from as young as five years of age as she has a great belief in beginning this process early so one does not have to ‘unlearn’ behaviours.

Rob understands the joys and the challenges of inspiring students to reach their potential, having over 25 years global teaching and education management experience in UK, Thailand, Burma,United Arab Emirates and Australia.

Rob Fenlon & Sam McDonald after a weekend working together in the UK

“As Strength Coaches we are pioneering a dream to unlock the Strengths of the World”

At Sam McDonald Coaching we invest in everyone we work with, in a spirit of understanding everyone has something great and unique to offer, an immense pool of resources and positive un-tapped potential. We want you to discover YOUR STRENGTHS and who YOU really are. When you take the Strengths Assessment, your Talents and Strengths are uncovered, then together we can begin to see how you naturally think, feel and behave in any given situation, because this is basically what a Strengths Assessment tells you.

When these Strengths are applied in the right role for you, you can begin to perform at your absolute best. Strengths are not just applied in a work environment, they are intrinsically carved into our very DNA and we are using them both effectively and ineffectively all the time. The trick is to understand what your Strengths need in order to effectively contribute to any given environment and to do this with others in mind. This we can ‘loosely’ refer to as Interdependence. "80% of people are unhappy in their work"

It's time we rejected the lie we are sold in life, the belief we hold, that it's natural to be unhappy in whatever we choose to do. At Sam McDonald Coaching, once you know who you really are, and work towards this, setting clear, measurable goals, you can be all you were meant to be and serve yourself and others in a way that brings you immense joy and rewards.

Tinus van der Merwe specialises in Strength Strategies for Optimal Performance and we have co-created a number of opportunities within organisations to offer interdependent facilitation programmes for great results and relationships increasing:

Engagement, Team Work, Leadership, Performance & Productivity.

At Sam McDonald Coaching, we work with motivated clients using the Strengthsfinder® assessment and Rules of Engagement© as power tools for:

  • Introducing Interdependence as the "Rules of Engagement©" in all relationships with self and others

  • Strength Based Interviewing & Recruitment

  • Assisting motivated individuals to fall back in love with their lives & careers, re-engaging in their environments & leveraging their strengths

  • Working with high achievers to discover their value and purpose

  • Assisting Students gain greater self awareness, expediting their career path, building confidence and self-esteem and making proactive decisions now for their successful future. *Working with families to help you love again.

  • Reducing toxicity and assisting with long-term strategies for lasting transformation.

We teach Interdependence as Rules of Engagement© as key to healthier environments - choosing this over 'Dependence', 'Co-Dependence' & 'Independence'

You’ll see at Sam McDonald Coaching we have Coaches who are pure individuals, as we all are, bringing something unique from their set of Strengths. Take Kirstin Waddell, a certified Creative Grief Coach, who I work with in Cape Town, South Africa, who uses creative art-making activities and creative conversations to help people who are struggling to come to terms with grief, helping create meanings that reflect and support their sense of urgency, belonging and hope. I could never empathise the way she can. I’ll let you into a secret and tell you that Empathy is a ‘non-strength’ for me, no.30 in my 34 assessment. If Kirstin was obliged to work in an environment where Empathy was not seen as important, this could become a huge trigger for her, because her need to empathise with others is innate. This is how she contributes her strength of empathy with and for others. I’m sure you’re beginning to get this now. So ask yourself, “what are my Strengths?” Each and everyone of us has been blessed with 12-15 Strengths. Once you know what is in your ‘tool box’ you can begin to get to grips with what you really have to offer the world. "See a person for who they really are, hold them in high esteem, and they will become what you see"

Our dream at Sam McDonald Coaching is for each individual to confidently know, with a sense of vulnerability, where they fit into the world and to understand their valuable uniqueness through their unique set of Strengths, Interdependence and Purpose. You have carried these things with you, sometimes unknowingly, all your life. We cannot define ourselves by our material possessions, our value comes from within and is intrinsic and immutable, so wherever you go in the world your innate value goes with you.

“You are your Strengths, they are part of your very own DNA”

Every single one of us has talents and strengths

“There is a 1/476.trillion chance of anyone having the same top 10 Strengths in the same order as yours."

"The Express Business Mentoring/Coaching Session I had with Sam McDonald brought fresh light to my strengths and more clarity to my aspirations. Sam listened well to me, had compassion, and stretched my conscious mind to grasp more of my awesomeness. I left the session with clear answers to a burning question and an increased assurance of my personal resources that would cause and enable me to thrive in my business. Thank you Sam!

Rita Edah April 2016 United Kingdom

Collaborative Coaching Partnerships - if you are a certified Strengths Coach and would like to work together, get in touch.

Book your company Strengths Facilitation Training or your Individual Session here

Down-load our free ebook here to understand all about what Strengths are and how you can apply your Strengths for a healthier, happier, life for you and others.

Read our Blog here where you’ll find real life stories as well as articles on Coaching and how this can empower you in your life to create “the life you love to live ...”

Sam McDonald has been married for twenty five years and has four children. Their home is in Camps Bay in South Africa. She is a Strengths Strategy Coach & Business Development Partner of Strengths Strategy® Inc., the leading strengths application organisation in the world.

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