My Client Testimonies 

 

See what some of my clients have to say ...

"Engaging in an online Strengths Assessment to grow your human potential and intrinsic motivators"

Express Business Coaching/Mentoring

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, empathized with me, 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

Education - Personal Strength Awareness 

Before I became aware of my natural talents and intrinsic Strengths, I was allowing toxicity to overwhelm my natural motivation and ambition in my role as a senior leader within a school. I had no idea of the negative impact, not only myself but also others, in what we were trying to achieve together. I found it became difficult for me to be motivated. My natural positivity was affected by toxicity and I felt unable to impact the priorities which were important within the place in which I worked. This was causing undo stress in my role as a head teacher and was impacting my mental wellbeing and was having a knock-on effect on my personal life.

 

I sought assistance through a Strengths Coach and through talking with Sam, I could see that I needed to become more interdependent in my interaction with others, something I had never really thought about before, recognising that I cannot do everything on my own, and not to allow myself within the various environments and situations to become too ‘independent’ in my role and thinking, but rather to recognise the value we all bring as a team, when each of us can play to our natural talents and Strengths. The value of this has been in allowing me to become consciously aware of interacting through interdependence and with this, to enhance my role as a Maximiser.  Being confident in who I naturally am, and honest about who I am not, has enabled me to think about opening up to others and also help them recognise that I respond well to validation and praise and this is, in actual fact, part of the ‘needs’ of my particular Strengths, so I actually function better and am energised, when people endorse my efforts.

 

I chatted with Sam about her Strengths Organisation WITH helping us to create a Strength-based School at my place of work, but funding is an issue as our school is a small so we need to be careful how we manage our budget. However, I see how this programme can be of huge benefit to the staff and children that I work with, as it has already really benefited me and enabled me to see from a totally different perspective and how important it is to have an ongoing awareness of Strengths.

 

I personally found the Strengths awareness very useful and informative and would like to see the impact of this on other people, even beyond the school where I currently work. My business - ‘MyOwnTutor’ is being influenced as a result of restoring my positive thinking and has created a determination as a result.

Paul Lowther 2020 Gotham Primary School and Director of MyOwnTutor 

Nottingham, United Kindom

I read a book called ‘Great Leaders ask Great Questions’ and that is what Sam McDonald does. In fact the right questions that start and spark the thinking process, because any answers we ever want, lay deep within us, and Sam knows how to lead you within yourself for that answer.

 

Before I met Sam, I had a perception of myself that I was ‘weird’ or too hardworking. Sam, however, could see my Strengths just by speaking to me, and besides highlighting some of them, she pointed out how working in our non-Strengths, we are effectively wasting our talents. Thereafter, I had a desire to pin-point and develop my Strengths.

 

I worked with Sam to unlock the potential of my Strengths, as well as gain an understanding of who I was, not by looking at my weakness, though we did spend some time here, but by understanding that I will grow exponentially by focusing on my Strengths and asking others to pick up where i’m not strong. 

 

The results after working with Sam was improved Leadership, Communication and a better way of seeing people for who they are based on their Strengths and working on that. I now set more goals, have improved focus, and ‘delegate’ my weaknesses. I also celebrate my successes more.

 

What I would have loved, if I had the resources, was to have taken one of Sam’s Coaching Packages so I had a plan to focus on and work towards. This would have helped with an implementation plan and goals to work on my situation.

 

Before meeting Sam everyone made me believe I wanted too much out of life and therefore, I was kind of crazy in their eyes. But unlocking the potential of my Strengths has made me realise this is how I was created by God. I am born to do great things.

Dylan Coetzee 2019 South Africa

Trainee Coach Strength Awareness Session

Starting out on the coaching journey last year and introducing my clients to strengths, I realised what a huge difference it could have made in their lives, had they been introduced to this as a high school student. That inspired me to do the assessment with my 17 year old son, and I surely will do the same for my younger one when he is ready, probably also at the age of 17.

 

I wholeheartedly believe that this exposure, as well as career coaching, should be introduced at the latest during grade 11. University of Stellenbosch has a great gap year programme  that incorporates these themes, but why wait till post matric!!! Why can't the compulsory subject Life Orientation not have this to equip the kids for real?

 

I am so glad to hear that you are pursuing this dream of Interdependent Strengths Programmes into Schools at government level, as well as other environments. Keep up the good work.

Madri Milner June 2017 South Africa

Trainee Coach Strength Awareness Session

Starting out on the coaching journey last year and introducing my clients to strengths, I realised what a huge difference it could have made in their lives, had they been introduced to this as a high school student. That inspired me to do the assessment with my 17 year old son, and I surely will do the same for my younger one when he is ready, probably also at the age of 17.

 

I wholeheartedly believe that this exposure, as well as career coaching, should be introduced at the latest during grade 11. University of Stellenbosch has a great gap year programme  that incorporates these themes, but why wait till post matric!!! Why can't the compulsory subject Life Orientation not have this to equip the kids for real?

 

I am so glad to hear that you are pursuing this dream of Interdependent Strengths Programmes into Schools at government level, as well as other environments. Keep up the good work.

Madri Milner June 2017 South Africa

Trainee Coach Strength Awareness Session

Starting out on the coaching journey last year and introducing my clients to strengths, I realised what a huge difference it could have made in their lives, had they been introduced to this as a high school student. That inspired me to do the assessment with my 17 year old son, and I surely will do the same for my younger one when he is ready, probably also at the age of 17.

 

I wholeheartedly believe that this exposure, as well as career coaching, should be introduced at the latest during grade 11. University of Stellenbosch has a great gap year programme  that incorporates these themes, but why wait till post matric!!! Why can't the compulsory subject Life Orientation not have this to equip the kids for real?

 

I am so glad to hear that you are pursuing this dream of Interdependent Strengths Programmes into Schools at government level, as well as other environments. Keep up the good work.

Madri Milner June 2017 South Africa

Youth Strength Awareness Session

I must admit that when I originally got my results from the Clifton Strengths Finder, while I could see some aspects of my top 5 strengths within my personality, I didn’t have a firm understanding of what they really meant, nor how to harness them to make best for myself. Fortunately, Sam was there to come to my rescue! During our two-hour session, Sam was both sympathetic and professional when providing me with the tools I needed to truly understand myself, which is wonderfully empowering. 

 

With this new perspective, I have been able to, in my day-to-day life, effectively apply the knowledge Sam shared with me, and have had immediate results as a result of this. For example, my self-awareness has increased enormously, with me being far more in tune as how to ensure a healthy balance between my top strengths.

 

To be quite honest, I wish I had found out about Sam sooner: I really cannot recommend her enough! I have a new optimism and excitement about my strengths based future, and am truly grateful for the time with Sam to help me achieve this. 

 

Georgia Pallas May 2018 Student, University of Surrey, UK

Strengths Life Coaching

"The Strengths information is really insightful and has helped us to better understand how we react to each other in our marriage.  I still feel our understanding is at a very rudimentary level; so we will need to explore more about how to use this knowledge to help boost one another and generate momentum, whilst feeling supported in a way that meets our needs as individuals."

 

"On a personal level I found my Strengths played out recently when I went for an interview and was able to use this knowledge to be really authentic in my answers which, I felt, relayed back to the panel as a real passion for helping others to grow."

 

Greg van Heerden November 2017 South Africa

Youth Strength Coaching

Before having my strength awareness coaching session, I knew my strengths from an intervention at high school, but not much else. Having and using my strengths made sense as an abstract idea, but merely knowing about them was not enough for me to apply them to my life. Because of this, I sat for a long time with this information, and not putting it to any good use - all whilst in my life, personal issues and life’s other challenges were wearing me down bit by bit. The opportunity to have a strength awareness coaching session with Sam arose, and things changed from that moment.

 

This entire process has been, without doubt (and without hyperbole!) one of the most significantly eye-opening experiences of my year. After just one session, I viewed myself in an almost completely different light, because for the first time in my life, I had a clear sense of my strengths, and how I could apply them to every situation in my life.

 

Sam empowered me with the tools to live my life more effectively, without babying me through my journey, since my journey is mine alone to take, and that was perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of my strengths awareness session. It was very clear that my experience was unique to me, and I was given the freedom to explore my strengths in a way specific to me.

 

I recommend a strengths awareness session with Sam to literally everyone.  It is inspiring to think of the possibilities of a world where everyone has the veil lifted, and can identify and use their strengths; I encourage everyone to take their step toward achieving this.

 

Xilombe Tlakula July 2017 South Africa

Strengths Skype Coaching

In 2007 I completed the Clifton Strengthsfinder®. I received the assessment report naming and explaining my top five strengths. The follow-up coaching did not materialize and I never really applied these strengths to my work; rather to my personal life and development.

 

I am an introvert and I easily hide in my “cave”, sometimes doubting myself, and then ignoring what I have available in terms of strengths and talents. I have found this has slowed me down and held me back in my life and in my career. I had not seen my strengths as a business investment, ‘Use it or lose it’, however working with a Strength Coach has reminded me that I really like what I do, but I have to make myself visible. I know I do excellent work and I realized that my strengths help me, and I can find people with other strengths who can help me with the marketing of my business.  I feel strongly I need another Strengths Session to gel all the information. In the mean time I have joined groups that might bring me in touch with potential clients, i've engaged with a Marketing Coach, and I am planning to be more active on social media.

 

My coaching conversation with Sam firstly explained the value of my top five strengths, how they relate and interact. Secondly, the coaching conversation related other strengths to my top five. She was practical in her approach on how I could benefit from exploring my strengths.

 

Sam was alert, present and, at all times, attentive to my words and expressed thoughts. She allowed me time to consider my thinking and did not rush me.

 

I have been thinking that becoming more knowledgeable about my strengths can streamline my actions and support my energy levels. I am sensing my unique way of doing things will benefit by rigorously applying my strengths.

 

Annabe Tredoux May 2017 South Africa

Strengths Business Coaching

Sam McDonald is an authentic, positive, and caring, coaching professional. Sam’s modeling of Strengths coaching, always has a way of bringing me back to examine how my Strengths were at play, in impacting decisions I made, and how to use my strengths to get the results I was looking for. This increased my own self-awareness and confidence.  She attentively listened and then brilliantly asked great questions that took me deeper in thinking, and gave me clarity on the issues I was wrestling with.  She held me accountable for the action steps we designed, and I especially appreciated that because that continually encouraged my forward movement.  Sam McDonald is a gem

 

Carol Akey May 2017 Iowa, USA

Strengths Career Coaching

Although I had a sense of apprehension and vulnerability at the start of the coaching with Sam, I soon felt that I was on a journey of transformation in my life. Sam had understood the issues I was facing from the pre-coaching  questions and brought a sense of optimism and energy to my decision making. Her ability to challenge limiting beliefs and see past obstacles enabled me to explore new possibilities. More importantly Sam's strong grasp of how to apply my top strengths gave me confidence to take action in the direction of my goals and not to compromise my emerging career path by accepting employment that wouldn't serve me long term. Sam was always ready to spend extra time reviewing sessions and clarifying what we had discovered. This enabled me to feel energised and more readily to take action towards my goals.

 

I would recommend Sam unreservedly and am grateful for the time we shared over the last few weeks.

 

Robert Fenlon August 2016 Thailand

Express Business Coaching/Mentoring

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, empathized with me, 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

Through my sessions with Sam I was able to address one of my primary goals about what subject I was applying for university and why, this was also at a time when I was trying to write my personal statement. Firstly through discussions I gained the confidence and ability to produce a document I was proud of enough to submit to universities. The sessions also helped me really develop my own voice and thoughts in terms of focusing on why I was applying for History. It was through the coaching I have also really been able to build confidence in my speaking and presentation, feeling assured that I do know what I am saying and can be engaging. Furthermore at the end of the process I was able to come to a full realisation of my capability in terms of applying to Cambridge in order to say with self-belief that I am worthy and able. Sam helped me to realise and understand my priorities as a person and what values I hold that cause me to make the decisions I do. Thus in resolving conflicts with friends I understood how much I value their thoughts and opinions as well as my family’s in conjunction with my own needs. This realisation has manifested in practical implications in being able to make informed and wise decisions in daily life when it comes to communication and making plans of which I was not fully aware beforehand.

 

From our very first session I was impressed by the way Sam is able to just ‘get it’. It never failed to surprise me how much she understood exactly what I was trying to say sometimes even voicing my own statements back to me in words better than my own. Always warm and perceptive, I was made to feel completely comfortable in saying whatever I needed. I felt she was able to understand generational issues with the wisdom but no patronization. Our sessions were always focused and conducted with purpose, so even at times when I felt I didn’t really know why I was answering a certain question we would always tie it back to the greater issue at hand. There was brilliance in her skill of subtlety in guiding you to answer your own questions and reason with your own dilemmas, which allowed the sessions to end on a note of satisfaction and relief at solving the issue at hand. I can say with full confidence it was one of the most unique and fulfilling experiences I have undertaken.

 

Aatikah Malik November 2015 United Kingdom

Student Coaching
Career Coaching

My sessions with Sam were fulfulling and interesting.

I have a lot of barriers about the changes I want to make in my professional career and at one point found myself walking in wilderness.  With her help I was able to work through issues using my positive strengths and experience which enabled me to choose the steps I wanted to take in a stress free way and in my own time.

 

Caroline Redoules - France April 2015

Business Coaching

The experience of coaching has been quite extraordinary. I felt like I was bobbing around in an ocean with no direction.The sessions have given me an opportunity to stop and refocus on what it is I am actually trying to achieve.The introduction of the goal setting is something quite foreign to me and I quite honestly have always avoided it. Sam has really made me see how 

important goal setting is and more importantly giving myself a time frame in which to achieve these goals.

The goals that were set, some short term, some long term, are all mapped out and are achievable. The sessions have also brought to light my strengths and weaknesses and taught me to embrace what I am good at. I have always considered myself a fairly confident person and quite determined. Success is high up on my priority list, along with the love and well-being of my family. I feel that I am even more focused and more determined than ever to make Model Kids a success. 

My sincere thanks, to Sam McDonald who has started me on my journey. She is an exceptional coach and I have every faith she will go on to help many more people on their path to success.

 

Jess Kidwell Owner Model Kids South Africa July 2015

Business Coaching/Mentoring

I feel fortunate that I was able to work with Samantha. I have found my coaching/mentoring  with her  to be extremely valuable for a number of reasons.The support she has given allowed me to evaluate what I am seeing internally. Samantha  helped me understand what will make me successful in my coaching business as much as what will help me in the culture I find myself in at the moment. It would be very difficult to arrive at some conclusions without a fresh mind that came without prejudice, that I could trust.

 

She has provided a platform where I can experiment with complete openness. Samantha displayed content expertise, emotional intelligence, willingness to connect, honesty in assessment and impartial insights, allowing me and the business to expand.

 

Now, after the 12 sessions completed so far, I feel more confidence. I know what I am looking for and what direction I need to move in. I'm not sure how far my business would have gone working by myself, if it was not for the work I have done with her. I am sure I will work with this coach again.

 

Samantha thank you for the help you have given me so far.

 

Damian Michalski United Kingdom September 2015 - Training Specialist

During the coaching sessions with Sam I worked on goals for my business. Sam quickly built good rapport for the coaching relationship. Her feedback helped me to see my successes and recognise how far I have come on my journey. Her positive encouragement kept me motivated to keep going, even when I was struggling. Sam’s questions steered me towards significant insights that helped me move towards my goals and overcome the barriers that were sometimes holding me back. I often felt more inspired at the end of a session and determined as a result of Sam’s coaching. She has helped me prioritise my actions and develop action plans that brought results. Sam’s enthusaism made working with her a real pleasure. I have definitely benefitted from her coaching. Thank you Sam.

 

Karen Lendon Egypt September 2015

Business Coaching
Business Coaching

I had been thinking for a long time about expanding my business but had found it hard to motivate myself through a loss of confidence and clear direction. Talking to Sam really helped me to believe in my business and has given me the confidence to move forward with very clear goals, it was the kickstart I needed. Sam was very easy to talk to and after each session I felt inspired. I’m feeling really excited about the new opportunities that I have been given.

 

Megan Felton - Muddy Hands UK July 2015

Life Coaching

I completed twelve coaching sessions with Sam between July and October 2015.

I found Sam’s approach to be greatly energising. She asked many questions that made me stop and think, and most importantly motivated me to take action.  Her prompts were made with respect for my choices and values, but she was able to keep me on track and not let me waiver.  With each week that passed I found that I had taken at least one action. Each action led to further momentum, and as the sessions progressed I found confidence to move forward.  As a result of Sam’s coaching, I have been able to move forward to reach my goals with new found confidence and determination.    

 

I would have no hesitation in recommending Sam as a coach

 

Brian Fairchild - UK October 2015

Life Coaching

I have really enjoyed being coached by Sam. I found that for each session I gained more than expected – Sam has a way of knowing – she is very intuitive and this enabled the sessions to develop and also allowed me to think about myself differently. Sam was always focused on the issue at hand but also aware of previous discussions and my ultimate goals - which helped me to also focus, stay on track and get nearer to my overall aim - to being more confident. Sam has a caring, collaborative and non judgemental yet professional approach to her coaching with an appropriate mix of humour, intuition and challenge. She also has a very warm and friendly manner, which very quickly helped to built rapport between us. I have very much enjoyed our sessions together and would definitely recommend Sam.

 

Deborah Tarsh - UK October 2015

Youth Coaching

Coaching with Sam has done a lot for me in terms of setting and accomplishing my goals.

Too often in life we do not see, or maybe even realize, that what we need or seek in life, is right before our eyes. Through Coaching I have learnt a lot. I may not be there yet, but I am definitely a few steps away from where I want to be. 
I never in my life thought I would need or use a Coach, but today I’m proud to say, I am where I am because of coaching.

“ A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”- I have taken my first steps and I will not stop until I finish. 
 

Sbo Mahlase South Africa June 2015

Express Business Coaching

When I approached Sam McDonald Coaching, I was feeling totally overwhelmed with my life and business. I was anxious, whilst at the same time felt I was getting everything done that I needed to.

 

I can’t pinpoint a particular turning point when I decided to seek assistance, but after my two-hour session, I began to feel a sense of peace and reconnect with the here and now, no longer feeling pressurized to focus on future goals. Through this process I have allowed more time to focus on my personal needs, giving me an inner calm, enabling greater productivity each day. I have re-evaluated time spent in my business and am now working only on the important elements, by being more selective. The focus I find has allowed more creativity.

I now feel focused to have extra joy in the moment and am enjoying the time and space I have created for myself.

 

Tara Jones Feburay 2016 United Kingdom

Life Coaching

It was very interesting how we met - you noticed, from just one statement I made of being impatient, that coaching was for me and this has born fruits that I will forever to grateful for. The end result have been overcoming underlying issues, this being my success story.

 

Sam McDonald, my journey with you has been short and sweet with very significant memories and lessons learnt based on the manner in which you challenged my thoughts and reasoning. Work Life Balance has been one of the areas we covered considering the three legged pot concept of balancing family, work and personal life. This has been an eye opener, considering prioritizing stakeholders and decision-making. My understanding of rules that define my Values and Beliefs, including upbringing, I realized could be limiting my reasoning and decisions, and you played a big role in broadening my view to the decision making spectrum - doing an MBA, being a leader, a mom, a wife and role model and finding the most strategic resolution and most open minded view, to managing all these roles spontaneously and effectively.

 

Thank you so much for the support during the most difficult moments and challenging times and in supporting me to realize my purpose in life and how I can establish direction in whatever that I do. Thank you so much for the impartial advice, distinct listening skills and understanding.

 

As skilled as you are, you know when to push and pull, and that was really important to me. I gained courage to face any situation, and strategies that I will apply to numerous situations in the future.

 

I am grateful for the lifetime opportunity and experience you have given me.

 

Nwabisa Ntiyane CTE Managing Director South Africa October 2015

Strengths Youth Coaching

What were your issues prior to working with me?

I was unaware in which direction my life was going and didn’t really understand myself.

 

How was this impacting your life and school career?

Not knowing my strengths meant that I couldn’t understand when and why my strengths were becoming toxic and therefore was confused.

What was the turning point that made you decide to get support?

I saw that Sam was doing strengths coaching and thought I would try it to see if it would help me

Were you able to see results and what were they?

 

I was able to use my strengths effectively, knowing what strengths I was using and when.

 

What actions are you thinking of taking, that you were not doing before engaging with me? 

 

I am thinking of using my strengths efficiently, helping me with my everyday life.

 

What might you have stopped doing as a result of our working together?

 

I have stopped allowing myself to enter my toxic circle, and if I do ever go into the toxic circle then I am able to address this through interdependent thinking. 

 

Are there any long-term results for your future that you can see coming from these sessions?

 

In the future I hope to understand myself better and the reasons that I am or act in a certain way.

 

How else has your life/education  been impacted?

 

It has allowed me to work better within my strengths and use my time to work more efficiently.

 

What was it about Strengths Coaching you did find valuable, that others might gain from?

 

It gives you an insight into yourself and allows you to better understand the reasons behind your actions.

Personally, I believe that Sam McDonald is an extremely competent and dedicated coach. I thoroughly enjoyed our sessions together and would highly recommend her to others.

Ellie Helps 17yrs  August 2016 Kenya  

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