"Heron Associates provided a one-day team-building workshop for our firm in Calgary. Leslie and Peggy led us through a series of very stimulating, fun, thought provoking, and mind expanding exercises that very practically helped us further coalesce as a team. This is evidenced by the fact that we continue to practice many of the activities we learned in the office a year later. The day was very much appreciated by all involved. I would highly recommend the Heron team."
President & CEO of JF Mackie & Co.
"Leslie Cotter began her ‘Creating the Life you Want’ workshop at the Psychotherapy Networker conference in Washington D.C. in March 2009, by personally welcoming each person as they walked in the room. For me this truly set the tone of the day. Leslie used our names throughout the day validating each person with respect and care. The activities provided new and fresh ways of looking at our personal stories. It was a delightful day and very helpful with so many rich activities and resources to take home to continue my own journey and to use with my clients."
Madeleine Lane, LMFT, MA
Director of The Family Center
St. Louis, Mo.
"In April 2007, Leslie Cotter came to South Africa and ran a half-day workshop for the entire staff of our Vuleka School. It was so wonderful to spend a morning thinking and doing things for ourselves because as teachers we never have the opportunity or time to do this. Leslie started the session by doing absolutely fantastic ice-breaker games. It did not take long for staff members who did not know each other to be laughing together like old friends.
Leslie taught us to dream and think of what we want to achieve and improve in different areas of our lives. One of my staff members who came from a very poor background said that she had always been taught to be content with her lot in life and didn’t know that people could dream and think of ways to improve their lives. As a result of the workshop, she is trying to move out of the squatter camp she lives in and has applied for a home in one of the low cost housing projects.
I highly recommend Leslie, and I believe that any organisation that cares for people should ask her to work with their staff."
Melanie Sharland, Headmistress
Johannesburg, South Africa
"I have been a classroom teacher for 33 years and have always been keenly aware of the need children have to understand and deal with their emotions. As educators we often sidestep this arena because we don’t want to unleash anything in the classroom that may be hard to deal with since we are not necessarily trained psychologists—not to mention the time constraints that pressure educators to stick to the state mandated curriculum. Although I often try to tackle emotional problems in the classroom, what transpires isn’t always meaningful or enduring.
Last year I took a risk and accepted Leslie Cotter’s offer to work with my fourth and fifth grade students on the topic of friendship. This is a topic rife with emotional turmoil during pre-pubescence, and I was spending a good deal of time outside of class dealing with arguments and hurt feelings.
Leslie warmed the students up by engaging them in a movement game, which broke the ice and got them interested. Leslie has a wonderful synergy with children, and they were instantly interested in connecting and working with her. By combining art, music, movement, and conversation she created a lovely and meaningful experience for all. Students were given time to think about what friendship meant to them, the qualities of friendship they needed in a friend, and how to be a friend to others. My students had a very frank discussion about what gets in the way of friendship and what builds friendship. They articulated beautifully the nuances and complications we all struggle with in friendships. All students participated equally—the shy, the outgoing, and those who usually do not engage.
Our time with Leslie was a powerful experience for all and one that carried over for the rest of the year. We displayed the beautiful Friendship Trees we drew during the workshop, and when disputes erupted, the children were able to engage in introspective conversations that helped them work out their problems. Looking at the Friendship Forest surrounding us gave us a vocabulary to build on and reminded us daily of our commitment to build strong friendships."
Fifth Grade Teacher
South Whidbey Intermediate School
Langley, Washington, USA
Executive and Life Coaching
"Leslie Cotter has the wonderful ability to help a person achieve clarity and to cut through to what is essential. It's not simply the discussions we had on a regular basis that helped provide perspective, she has been an invaluable resource in suggesting books that she felt would be helpful to me. These provided the tools to achieve my external goals as well as to access that which lies underneath what motivates me.
Even in the midst of difficult times, Leslie helped me think through what was truly meaningful for me. One result was an intimate 50th birthday celebration with family and close friends that allowed me to connect to them in special ways. It was a celebration that I will cherish my entire life."
Vice President of a large financial institution
Wall Street, NY, USA
"Once a week, Leslie Cotter took me for a metaphorical stroll out of the dilemmas and demands of my job so I could look at things differently, lower the drama, and go happily back to the hubbub. We looked at things near at hand and far into the distance so I could see where I was going and where I wanted to end up. I loved the images we came up with to fortify my resolve, encourage my rebellious side, and fire up my imagination."
Elementary School Principal
"I have worked with Leslie Cotter for over a year on a coaching basis. Her input has been extremely valuable in developing ideas and strategies for dealing with the inevitable problems and issues that come up in both business and my personal life. I recommend Leslie as a business or personal coach to anyone who would like to improve their personal relationships and make their management style more effective."
President & CEO of a prominent Canadian investment firm
"I was the managing director of a large banking business who chose to step out of corporate life at the age of 45 in order to follow a different career path in a family-owned business, but most importantly to achieve an improved quality of life. Leslie started coaching me soon after I made this change, and we held regular inter-continental telephone coaching sessions over the next year and a half, with less frequent follow-up sessions since then.
Leslie's coaching helped me come to my own conclusions about what I really wanted and was essential to enabling me to get out of the rut I was in and convert a new way of life I envisioned into reality. Leslie helped me to crystallise my life goals, align them with my career goals, and devise a plan to achieve them in both the short and longer term.
Leslie's coaching helped me improve my understanding and practice of work/life balance as well as sustainable improvement in my personal organization and changing my approach to personal wellness. She also helped me think differently about interpersonal interactions in the areas of family, friends, and business. This has resulted in profound and beneficial changes in some key relationships (for which I will be eternally grateful).
As a busy person with time being my most scarce commodity, I was very aware of the necessity to focus on personal growth and development—key components of a successful life. Leslie's coaching was a significant contribution to the most meaningful period of personal growth in my life so far. Each session was entirely different, structured but flexible, and I always ended feeling that real progress had been achieved.
Leslie's coaching gave me the inspiration and tools to move from success to significance. If you're at a crossroads in your life, I couldn't recommend her coaching enough. I am not able to thank Leslie sufficiently for the difference that she has made in my life."
Former Managing Director of alarge banking firm in South Africa
Current Managing Director of a family owned business
"After retiring in 2001, I spent several years keeping myself as busy as ever serving on corporate boards and immersing myself in two significant volunteer activities. Four years after retiring, I started to sense that what I was doing too closely resembled the consuming nature of my career work.
While traveling with Leslie Cotter and her husband David Whyte on a poetry trip in England, Leslie suggested I try life coaching with her to explore new directions for my life. We worked together for a year and the results were transforming. She helped me develop a multi-year plan to reduce my volunteer work, to have more time available for grandchildren, and to spend time on physical training, meditation, and personal friendships. Today my life is more balanced and continues to evolve as I follow through with my life coaching plan. I have benefited greatly from my work with Leslie and strongly recommend her as a top-notch executive and life coach."
Retired CEO of a NYSE traded public real estate company