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Pauline Fleming

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Women of the week: Pauline Fleming

Pauline Fleming is truly unique. A professional life, business and leadership master certified coach who is also a certified speaking professional, Pauline is one of only three people in the world who hold these accreditations. Coaching clients through both personal and professional matters gives both Pauline and her clients a comprehensive coaching experience. “I’m not strictly a life coach… I cover all three: life, leadership and business coaching. Where those [aspects] intersect on a venn diagram is the sweet spot for the individual’s success. Those successes or learning opportunities are transferable,” Pauline explains, “We… go deeper, and [clients are] able to leverage what’s already in them.” By focusing on all aspects of her client’s lives, Pauline can pinpoint what’s missing and help them apply a solution to both their professional and personal lives.

Pauline first began coaching after moving across the country from British Columbia to Ottawa in 2001, finding herself in a new city shocked, and with no family nearby. Looking for guidance, Pauline hired a coach for herself to help with the effects of moving thousands of kilometres. Through being coached, she realized that coaching would be a great fit for her professionally. “I realized through the coaching that that’s what I had been doing as a teacher that I loved,” she says. Eager to begin coaching and helping others, Pauline organized a Ladies’ Retreat for the Heart and Soul at her home. “I knew about 50 women so I invited them over for [the Retreat]. It turned into a retreat for women on a quarterly basis. The first was in August of 2002 and 20 of the women couldn’t make it… but the other 30 showed up and asked ‘when’s the next one?’” Pauline reminisces.

The retreats eventually turned into pro-bono coaching for stay-at-home moms, but quickly evolved into a larger scale operation, with Pauline coaching Fortune 500 business leaders and business owners looking to improve and expand their company.

“I found a groove in working with service providers, people who care so much [it’s] to their own detriment… they’re people pleasers. They’re leaders who care, and I love working with people who put people first,” Pauline says. “Now I focus on both of those sizes, whether it’s a small business with a leader that has no employees but knows they need them or [a larger company.]”

Enthusiasm, Pauline says, is one of the most important aspects of coaching. While she is passionate about coaching and helping her clients, Pauline’s goal is to impassion her clients and help them realize their potential. “They’re not just there for a pay cheque; it’s not meaningful, it’s not giving them purpose. Whether they have a salary job or they’re running a business and they’re not sure if they’ll be able to pay their mortgage. Whatever it is, they all want to make a difference,” she says. “I’m an optimist, I’m not a Pollyanna. I’m a realist. I choose to look at the positive and strengths [in my clients].”

The passion and enthusiasm that Pauline exudes in both her personal and professional life are one of her strengths, but the qualities have tragic origins. “My dad passed away from heart disease at the age of 42. I was only 18,” she says. “So I learned at a young age that you shouldn’t wait until retirement to have a trip of a lifetime, or to do the things that we love. We have to do that sooner and stop wasting our lives.” Pauline’s unique philosophy combines Carpe Diem with analogies of chocolate. “We have a lot of things in our day that we have to do, but the things we love to do are our ‘chocolate’ for the day. In your life, what’s your ‘chocolate?’ What do you love to do?”

A self-proclaimed “recovering over-achiever,” Pauline Fleming has overcome personal difficulties and combined her unique set of skills to become a successful coach whose goal is, simply, to help and inspire.  Working with clients from different businesses all over the world, she works to help everyone and anyone find the “chocolate” in their professional and personal lives.