Men Suffering on “The Never Enough Hamster Wheel”

Clients come to Waypoint for a vast array of concerns. In this blog I am going to be speaking to the tired, worn down, and weary male client that has been exhausted by the hostile manipulative behaviours of a person or persons within their life story. As I listen to the individual accounts of men who express difficulties with others, that  is, difficulty with those who exhibit narcissistic type characteristics, I am never surprised at the level of fatigue, lack of motivation and pure exhaustion exhibited in my client’s body language or speech. As the session roles along and with probing questions what surfaces is typically a coping style that resembles a hamster wheel stuck at the level of “never enough”. It is though the lever had been stuck at this setting as far back as they can remember. They do not know how to do life at any other level. In a nutshell it goes like this: the person (s) in their life yell “jump” and the client attempts to please, respond, anticipate, and appease the never ending demands of the narcissistic type. For the record reinforcement is taking place from both sides, but note the end result. These men end up hating their lives as much as they are now hating the narcissist and then they start fantasizing of a new life free from the tyranny of that hamster wheel.

I offer empathy and slowly work with clients to re-gain, or for many for the first time, foster a sense of the “self.” Again as things surface it is obvious the more dysfunctional the family of origin (those families with rigid prescribed roles) the less of a sense of “self” the client exhibits. So what is the remedy to all of this? How can men take responsibility for their lives, assert themselves and march to the beat of their own hearts instead of the demands from those around him?

My clients’ are trying to make sense of the conflict within their own lives and truly want to be part of healing, but don’t know where to start. In coaching we always start with the only person who can exercise any control in any given situation and that is the client themselves. Once a client begins to internalize that they have agency (choices) they begin to notice a sense of “existence” within themselves. At this point they are coached to exercise this sense of “self or I exist” within the context of their lives. This is where the relational problems actually get much worse before they get better. This is when the client needs the most supportive coaching possible. Those who are accustomed to manipulating the male are typically going to up the ante (increase what is at stake for both sides).

So what is at stake when the dominated male wants to exercise their own “self?” Two major reinforcements of behaviour are at play. The dominated male will often acquiesce in order to get his legitimate needs met that have been driving his unhelpful behaviour all along. That is, the need to belong, the need for acceptance and simply the legitimate human need to be loved. On the other hand the narcissistic type, that is, the demanding person ups the ante of “coercive control” in order to get their own needs met. The thing is the narcissistic person’s “needs” often come from a place of deep insecurity and not vulnerability.

Typically these needs include the need for control; reassurance, comfort on demand, and the need to recruit allies. More often than not the narcissist’s own lives are filled with turmoil resembling a battlefield. They have spend a good deal of their time in relationships using war like tactics in order to fulfill themselves. Unfortunately for them they are never truly fulfilled. This is why they repeatedly move on to soft targets (unwitting males seeking love). Think of the narcissist like a drug addict. The need for the next fix, that is, public recognition, control over their own narrative, delusions of grandeur (not based in current reality etc) and a drive and lust for admiration. When these wounded souls connect they get locked in a dance where one partner becomes increasingly passive and the other becomes increasingly demanding, diabolical and destructive all the while blaming the more passive compliant partner. Let’s take a look at the typical pattern. In this case we are talking about a male client, but the converse is also true for a female client suffering under the weight of becoming passive in a narcissistic relationship.

Most often the manipulative person will start off controlling their partner with lower level manipulations and increasingly “up the ante” along a continuum in order to gain the upper hand against the more passive male. It often starts with infamous pouting, murmuring under her breath, rolling her eyes, grumbling within listening distance, being passive aggressive, gaslighting, creating no win situations, sabotaging, yelling, & especially blaming. The manipulative person does not see the world as a place where different perspectives exist. For them the only perspective is their own. If these destructive behaviours do accomplish getting the dominated male to capitulate then the narcissist graduates their tactics to include punishing. Punishing is often displayed by targeting the dominated male in much more severe ways; such as being excommunicated from the group, children and grandchildren used as pons, personal boundaries being crossed, publicly disrespected, smear campaigns spread by gossip & slander, as well as dirty looks especially in public etc.

I knew one male whose best friend died and his seethingly angry sister showed up to the funeral and made it clear that she didn’t want to talk and walked away when he said hello. The fact that someone would treat someone in mourning in such a disgraceful way speaks to the fact that nasty people are really good at one thing. They have perfected the art of being nasty. Think about it like this, when a person acts nasty to get people to give into their demands and compliance is achieved what happens? The nasty behaviours are reinforced and this person truly does get really good at being nasty. The problem for them is that nearer the end of their lives the only remaining people within their circle are those there due to fear of reprisal. Not a recipe for love for sure, which is the more vulnerable need they are missing in their lives.

The men who are entangled with these narcissistic types suffer in silence for years and yet they come by all of this honestly. These people pleasing (and ultimately partner pleasing) behaviours have been programmed into them since infancy. The legitimate need for love and acceptance was dangled before them like a carrot from demandingly harsh parents. In other words, they have been programmed from childhood to be manipulated by their world so when they encounter the abusive types they are often trapped into these dysfunctional and toxic relationships.

Men lose their voice in this world as the result of abuse much the same way women experience a lack of voice after abuse. Going along to get along is often a coping strategy that served a child who suffered extreme punitive antics from hostile and angry controlling parents.

So how does the dominated male deal with this? What can he do when he finds himself in this never ending hamster wheel of never enough? Typically even when he changes relationships the problems remain. These narcissistic types find him at work, on the baseball field, and in intimate relationships. How is that so? The answer to his problem is that he must change how he seeks love. He must no longer jump to the demands of the bottomless pit female or others exhibiting similar traits. He must risk push back in the form of anger, reprisal, & public ostracism as he extracts himself from their selfish ways. He must be coached to recognize the difference between love and manipulation. Love does not demand its own way. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. Love will demonstrably care about his well being. In other words he will “matter” in the most respectful sense of the word in the context of any relationship. Check out 1 Corinthians 13. 

Decision making and movement forward only takes place when the client comes to see they can only control themselves and let go of pleasing others. These men must face the fear of disappointing others and they must let go of people pleasing. They can no longer view their role in this world as making others happy. Letting go of outcomes and allowing the other person to deal with their stuff is not easy, as they will blame shift and use every tactic possible to guilt you and reel you back to where they had you.

It is at this juncture in coaching where the male client becomes stronger as they recognize their right to be loved in the most healthy way possible. They get strong and begin to look within their current situation and examine whether or not they are being manipulated or loved. Knowing the distinction and receiving validation through coaching impacts their lives in ways they never thought possible. Their life begins to change dramatically. No longer are sulky demanding women or demanding insecure males interested in him anymore as they move on to their next target. These types can’t get what they want out of him so he becomes less desirable of a target. In other words he is no longer a “good fix.” He is free of them and seeks out healthier and much more mutually loving relationships.

Although what is said above is true note that this will not be easy. He will need to be more courageous than he has ever been in his existence. The seriousness of the fall out as he detaches himself for the sake of his mental health will come at a cost. The narcissistic types will make sure of it. Depending where he was entangled in this dysfunctional dance he will suffer for taking control of his mental health. Remember he was entangled with those who have severe mental health issues (narcissism and manipulation are a serious mental health issue). Leaving these toxic relationships will devastate many aspects of his life. He may suffer a wide variety of losses through a brutal divorce. He may lose all of his money, his reputation, and his career. He may even lose his children and grandchildren.

These men often stay stuck in these relationships as the threats are real. It takes courage to change and become who you were meant to be, and it takes courage to go through the gauntlet to get to the other side. Both women and men stay stuck in abusive relationship dynamics for good reason. But if you persevere just think of the freedom you will gain in your spirit. Imagine a life where you are no longer made to move by the demands of others or externally driven by the choices of other rather than making your own. Imagine feeling the wind on your face knowing you are good enough just by being yourself.

So what is the other side like? What happens when the dominated male no longer allows himself to be dominated (especially from the women in his world). He grows and blossoms and becomes who he was created to be in the first place. He becomes a man who knows he is worthy of love, caring, and tenderness in a world that is often harsh and self centred. He becomes strong and authentic. He is no longer led around by the bit and bridle of the domineering. He leads his own life with dignity and is someone to be admired. Even his children will come to see what an incredible strong and courageous man he is.

Are you ready to get off of the never enough hamster wheel?

If you are a dominated male caught in the never enough hamster wheel feel free to reach out knowing it won’t be easy, but it will be well worth becoming the man you long to be.

As a word of wisdom and a first step:

Steer clear of those people who exhibit the following character traits: Resentment, bitterness, grudge bearing, meanness, judgment, self-aggrandizing, misery, hostility, demanding, antagonistic and faithlessness.

Look for the following character traits in yourself and surround yourself with people who also exhibit the following: Compassion, love, forgiveness, gentleness, goodness, mercy, self control, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and faithfulness.  Those of us who possess these character traits are often found to be on the receiving end of those who have the opposite traits.

Intentionally look for those with good character and start making decisions of who gets to be within your circle instead of leaving your fate up to punitive angry people. Time to take control of our own life. You get to decide.

Reach out to George from waypoint and get the support you need to move you forward.

Take good care,



Why: why we believe professional certified coaching is the best form of support for most of life’s difficulites

Coaching is gaining in popularity. People are no longer viewing coaching as it relates to fitness & sport. CEOs of large corporations & institutions, small business owners, career minded people, college students, couples’, stay at home parents, young adults, middle aged and the elderly are all hiring personal coaches to assist with everything from transitions of life, break ups, work performance to couples coaching. Coaching is quickly becoming a much sought after support system due to the fact that hiring a professional coach works. The proof is in the fact that coaching moves you through wherever you are and helps you get to where you want to go!

What is important to know about coaching is that professional /certified coaches are not taking some weekend warrior course on life coaching. Professional coaching is so much more comprehensive and skilled than that. So check the credentials of your coach before you move forward.

Professional /certified coaches have to go through extensive training from an ICF recognized school that includes theory, coursework, mentoring, observations, and over 100 hours of active “hands on” coaching before they even embark into the field. ICF, the International Coaching Federation is a governing body that has its own criteria that needs to be accomplished before the coach can be certified by ICF. There is a significant /important Code of Ethics that coaches are required to follow as well as one must prove competence in the core competencies outlined by ICF by submitting video footage etc. A comprehensive, timed final exam is also required. Coaches are also trained to know where clients may benefit from other therapies and are required to refer clients on if this is the case. The thing is most people do NOT need therapy. There are people who need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist, but coaching is quickly taking people helpers to the next level. Coaching is a very empowering process when administered from highly accredited and certified coaches.

George and Lesley are certified coaches though Canada Coach Academy, ICF (International Coaching Federation) and Christian Coach Institute. George & Lesley “each” have 30 years teaching, coaching, counselling and working in the area of advanced Educational Psychology experience and education. Both George and Lesley hold advanced post graduate degrees in Ed. Psychology so the “learner mindset” is prevalent in the work we do as coaches. Life is viewed as lessons to learn from and making plans with new thinking.

So why did George and Lesley decide to get into coaching? Why not social work or psychotherapy etc? Both George & Lesley have advanced graduate work in Educational Psychology and each of us have a total of 16 years combined in University course work. So why did we pursue the coaching route that parallels many of these helping professions? The answer is compelling, but not difficult to figure out.

At times in our personal lives we had reached out to therapy styled professions in the past and the results were disastrous. Here are the reasons we decided we could offer people something above and beyond the poor supports that we experienced. We knew there had to be a better way.

  1. Often we left more discouraged than prior to walking into the session. We believe this happened because of a “deficit” model. Essentially in other models the therapist is acting as the “expert” and the client/ patient is seen as someone who has a deficit that needs to be fixed. We believe that with significant psychiatric concerns this model has a place, but for most people who are relatively mentally stable and not suffering from an organic untreated mental illness this model falls extremely short. The model we use is one that sees the client as a whole person who can benefit greatly for the opportunity to have a safe space to think out loud and be guided through an extremely powerful & creative process. With strategic questioning, a safe space, and a trusted relationship with the personal coach the client then leaves the session with feelings of self empowerment and self determination. Walking out of an office should never feel as though you are deeply flawed. You are human and you have what it takes to work through your concerns with the right support. At Waypoint we won’t let your negative self talk cause you to feel inferior with us and we will never act as superior towards you. Instead we will continually remind you of the truth so you can kick that negative self talk to the curb.
  2. Other times we felt as though the therapist was injecting themselves, their biases, and their solutions into our story with catastrophic results. Your story is your own. No one has walked in your shoes. It is unprofessional for anyone to inject their biases into your situation. At Waypoint the only advice you will get are honest observations that you allow us to share at your discretion. We ask permission to share our observations and we respect your space as it is yours alone. We will poke holes in your unhealthy beliefs as you will discover they are getting in the way of what you want. We will do so respectfully as we are highly trained to “stay in our lane.” At Waypoint you can know you matter and we will observe without judgment, and ensure you are the designer of your path forward.
  3. Other times the “times up” which typically cued the end of the session was implemented with terrible timing. Either the therapist wasn’t able to move the conversation to where we would be able to leave on a definitive note with steps of action or the session was terminated at a significant point of vulnerability. Because we want our clients to make progress and we don’t want our clients to feel cut off after they leave a session we have created unique ‘in-between” session coaching at no extra charge. Waypoint coaching does not end at the end of your session. You can always reach out to us in-between your session. We also develop ongoing in-between session work where necessary and we do hold you accountable to meet your goals. No one leaves a Waypoint session in tears.
  4. Other times trauma was completely mistaken for drama. If you are experiencing any trauma whether at work, home or in any area of your life we have the expertise and training to identify it and support you in a way that is often overlooked by other deficit models of therapy. When a therapist appears to be watching your life the way they would watch a drama unfold on TV it is time to get out. We won’t allow you to blow up your life if you are experiencing trauma, but instead will guide you through the appropriate self-regulation strategies you will need to get yourself back from the aftershocks of your traumatic experience. This way you can move forward informed thus making solid decisions from a place of stability and consideration. At Waypoint we won’t let you blow up your life when you’ve been traumatized. We’ve got your back!

With extensive educational backgrounds in Educational Psychology and years of experience both George and Lesley are able to create curriculum that enhances coaching during the in-between sessions. That is, you get more support than you ever would with another type of counselling or therapy. These assignments are therapeutic in nature as they are tailored to the unique needs of every client. We use assessment tools to help identify your strengths, and we help you put your strengths to work. Coaches help people in the area of mental health, relationships, careers, business, and yes, also fitness pursuits in such a way as to give the client the level of respect that is second to none. We don’t pathologize clients (we do not diagnose clients or find flaws that need to be fixed). We do not set ourselves as above our clients, but we do know that we can walk our clients through a process that is empowering which develops self determination at its core.

With a professional/certified coach all of the addictions, trauma, and pain from life is handled in a much different way than with other strategies that have fallen short. We do not blame you, yet we hold you accountable to the plan that YOU create. We develop curriculum/assignments/reflections that are unique to your own learning style. We deal with shame from a place of self discovery while fostering life changing self-compassion. Coaching is a strength based, client centred approach to supporting you in whatever place you find yourself. The philosophy and paradigm for coaching is the belief that you have everything you need inside you to make the decisions you need to make to plan a way forward. We take you through a process at your pace, and support you to find the strength you didn’t know you had. It takes time to change thinking, and to overcome the hard things that you have endured in your life, but we are here to show you that the best is yet to come. It is a privilege to come alongside you to work together in whatever place you find yourself.

We offer a no-charge 40 minutes over zoom consultation so that you can determine if coaching is right for you. After that initial consultation you have the choice of meeting over zoom or in person at our office located in Steinbach, Manitoba. If you are reading this article then perhaps the time is right for you to get started.

So why did we go into coaching? We decided to be the kind of help we would want for ourselves, our loved ones, and for those in this world who are hurting, ready for change, traumatized, tired, and/or just ready to be inspired. Please feel free to read our reviews both on google and on this website.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1

We look forward to working with you,

George & Lesley

The Destructive Nature of Anger: anger & pain and circular transmission

Anger. You see it everywhere and especially now during Covid fatigue. People in grocery stores are losing patience with one another. The maskers are angry at the anti maskers. People are becoming increasingly frustrated with arrows on the floors and especially angry at those who don’t follow the arrows. Tempers are flaring and people are tired, frustrated and ANGRY.

I’ve had a number of clients coming to me of late asking for help with their anger. They know they are losing their personal battle with their inner anger gremlin. They find themselves at their wits end as they are noticing they are losing friends, hurting their intimate relationships and bumping, more like smashing, into co-workers completely unaware on how to deal with this powerful emotion. Conversely I have clients in my office suffering at the receiving end of someone else’s anger. Whether it be within the context of toxic family of origin members, toxic workplace environments or at the hands of toxic bosses whose idea of leadership is in fact dictatorship. I will be writing more on leadership for the benefit of all at a later date.

Whether you want to control your own anger or figure out how to get off of the floor due to someone else’s destructive anger this article is designed to help you sort through your emotions and give you the tools you need to move forward. You are not helpless, but this emotion is not easy to navigate alone.

People get angry for so many reasons. Anger was designed to do good. Anger is an emotion intended to produce action and it was given to us so that we could be energized to move in the direction of correcting a wrong in this world. Don’t believe me? Think back to the last time you were angry. Did you perceive some kind of injustice? Whether the perceived injustice was towards yourself, towards your loved ones, or for some important cause that required your help? Anger mobilizes us. You become ready to fight, to swing, to run, to do something about the injustice when you are angry. I’ve heard it said that those who have been severely abused and suffer from learned helplessness or a loss of personal agency, do good to get in touch with their deep anger as this often is the momentum they require to propel them off the floor. What one may do with anger is what will determine whether the action will move circumstances towards a positive outcome or towards a more destructive one.

To understand that anger is a strength-building human emotion when used properly, and conversely a destructive force with far reaching implications when used improperly is the first step in taming this powerful emotion. To channel your anger into what you want instead of blindly finding yourself in the middle of what you don’t want is in fact deep work in self awareness.

The people who end up in my office wanting to work on their own anger management are greeted with unconditional positive regard and know they have a safe place to explore this malady that has been messing up their aspirations in life. However, those who want to deal with their own anger in a healthy and constructive way are a very small fraction of the population as most people who go to anger management do so only when their lives are falling apart or when they have been ordered to do so by the court. Those who volunteer themselves over to self examination concerning their own anger, and include a sense of personal compassion, are those able to make the shift from being controlled by their anger towards the kind of person they want to be. These are the “anger over-comers” who work diligently at developing a strong sense of self control & self respect and these are the people who are more likely to chart a mature path forward. The word “maturity” isn’t meant to sound derogatory here. I will use this word in the clinical sense, that is, to manage oneself, create space to discern the problem at hand, and to choose to act in ways befitting a man or woman who maintains personal dignity.  Developing and maintaining dignity is important as well as giving dignity to others, regardless of the choices others’ may make. This creates self determination within your life story. In other words your dignity is not based on the behaviour of other people.

We have all been the recipient of someone else’s anger. We have all been on the receiving line of injustice imposed on us by another’s desire for personal gain, revenge, one up woman/man-ship and at the extreme side of the pendulum “sadism.”

Here are some examples of various abuses and misuses of anger experienced by the recipient (s), although this list is not exhaustive. “Overt” faces of anger include: Yelling, making cutting remarks, sarcasm, obvious exclusion at work or family systems, cutting you off from children and/or grandchildren, slander, property theft, property disposal, property destruction, manipulation, deception, being framed/blamed for things one has not done, swearing at a person, physical hitting, slapping, kicking and any other form of physical &/or sexual abuse.

Other examples of more “covert” or passive aggressive forms of anger include: Showing up late, calling last minute to cancel, taking credit for your successes and ideas, planting seeds of distrust & suspicion about you to people you work with or to those in your personal life, assassinate your character to those you love, excluding you from family functions while inviting members closest to you, the silent treatment, interrupting while you are speaking, jumping to conclusions about anything you have said or done without talking to you about it first, forming opinions (aka making assumptions) about you without first inquiring about your point of view, using your things without returning them, mocking you publicly, & gossiping about you behind your back. Gossip deserves its own article so I will write more to that at a later date. There are many more examples of what people do to people when they are angry and feel justified to engage in these mean, nasty and sadistical behaviours as noted above. Research indicates that these passive-aggressive forms of anger are significantly more used when the perpetrator believes they can get away with these behaviours and not get caught out. In other words passive-aggressive behaviours (as described in the covert expression of anger) are used by those who want to express their anger without taking responsibility for their role.

Nothing puts a person in touch with having a sense of helplessness more than the infamous smear campaign designed to hurt & destroy one’s sense of value and worth. The devaluing of another person is a common trait among narcissists and is meant to cause pain (saddism). When your pain makes someone else smile you know you have a narcissist or worse in your midst. So having observed anger misused in the workplace, family of origin systems, social pecking orders, and life in general there are some things that you truly can do to manage your own anger and manage your response to someone else’s anger aimed towards you. You can regain a sense of control, of personal value, and of personal agency, that is, sensing you have some influence over your own life & situation without succumbing to the lie that you must act or retaliate.

For starters, let’s get real.

We all have an inner anger gremlin. This is a fact. You cannot sit and point fingers at someone else’s inner anger gremlin as four fingers are pointing directly back at you and yours may even have more hair than theirs. So let’s talk about anger, how we learned to cope with it, how we can unlearn those destructive ways, and how to make a shift in the only person we have control over, that is, ourselves.

Recall an incident where you experienced any of the above experiences at the hands of someone else’s anger.  If so, pause and think about how it made you feel. These words are often noted: hurt, rejected, offended, insulted, saddened, out of control, condemned and…ANGRY. Yes there it is. Anger is also in the mix when you’ve been hurt by someone by their lack of ability to manage their own anger.

Angry people do not communicate very well. Feelings of hurt often turn to feelings of anger and out of control anger turns to rage. Rage on the loose impacts your brain. Rage will distort your reality and your mind will look to find evidence to back up the intense feelings that you are experiencing. Your perception becomes altered and your body kicks into flight or fight mode.

You were designed for your sympathetic nervous system to kick in whenever there is a threat, real or percieved. Your sympathetic nervous system directs the body’s rapid involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations, and when this response is activated you get a rush of hormones that boosts your level of alertness accelerating your heart rate ensuring the you have extra blood going towards your muscles. Your body does not know that the perceived threat is not physical and that a wild animal is not chasing you. Your body has no idea, but your mouth goes dry, your armpits sweat and your fists become clenched along with your jaw.

The most important part of dealing with your own anger and/or your response to someone else’s anger is to become aware of your body. Yes, your body. Your thoughts are busy racing so right now you need to get your body back to calm. Good decisions are never made when your body is in flight or fight mode. So how can you get your body back to calm?

You need some private (the only you know) kind of tools in your tool box that can help you get your body’s sympathetic nervous system under control. You can create your own list, but here are some strategies:

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Excuse yourself with the intention to come back
  • Find a rock

Hands: Take notice of your hands. Are they clenched. If they are clenched then open them up so that your palms are open. Make the mental connection to this personal gesture as a reminder to yourself that you do not have to fix people or situations. You do not have to insist that anyone or anything come through for you in order for you to be okay. A child makes these demands of life and people. This is why we call it a tantrum. As painful as the circumstances you find yourself, and the injustice that you are experiencing are facts and the stories you tell yourself. Stop telling yourself stories about what is happening. Know that your wellbeing, survival and future is not based on whatever is going on. Open palms. Insist on nothing.

Feet: Notice your feet. Particularly notice the soles of your feet. Note what year it is. Where are you standing. What are you wearing? You are grounding yourself in the here and now. You are not back to the event where you felt traumatized by someone in your childhood or the out of control boss at work from years back. You are in the current moment and the former events are NOT happening. You are feeling triggered. These are merely old emotions that you can feel, experience  and let go. You are in the here and now. Nothing is as bad as you once felt.

Excuse yourself with the intention of coming back to the table: If you find yourself feeling way too intense that you know you are probably going to react instead of respond to the situation then you may have to excuse yourself. Tell those you are with at that moment that you need a few minutes, and inform them that you will be back to discuss the issue as soon. Give them a timeframe or reschedule. Once you are away from the conversation practice using your hands and feet as a reminder of giving up control over people and events as well as grounding yourself in the present.

Find a rock: and write a word on it that reminds you of who you want to be in every circumstance. Perhaps you write the word “peaceful”, “loving”, or “dignity” for example. Choose a word that defines for you who you choose to be in this world write it on the rock and put it in your pocket. Keep it with you always or at least until you have internalized your ability to stay grounded.

Something that has become increasingly obvious to me as I coach people who are dealing with their own anger or don’t know how to respond to the anger of others is that, without a doubt, people are touchy.  More often than not people over react to others and circumstances. Often people think the worst. So if people are over reacting, thinking the worst of a person or situation, and they are easily angered they are in fact not managing their own nervous systems. In general people say things that never should be said and they also snap at one another in ways they would never want done to them.

For the most part I have witnessed people treating others in ways they would NEVER want others to treat them. They have a tendency to re-write their level of innocence and typically cast themselves as the victim and the other person as the villain. Yes, some people are control freaks and they run roughshod over others to get what they want. Some people need to have reminders that there are boundaries around you that they are not allowed to invade without consequence. I will discuss more on boundaries in a later article. What I want to emphasize is that MOST people have significant difficulties managing their own anger than most realize.

Unmanaged anger blows thoughts out of proportion, creates miscommunication, emphasizes the weakness in others and discounts any strengths. Unmanaged anger creates a “victim” storyline in your life and casts others in the role of villain. Thought distortions, self inflicted drama, cutting people out of your life who deserve better, are often the result of unmanaged anger. Anger management problems are the unwelcome gifts you have received from your family or origin. These gifts will keep on giving if you don’t figure out how to manage your own anger for if you don’t understand that healing truly does begin with you then neither will your children and the cycle will just keep repeating itself.

There are some things to never fight over. Don’t fight over money, because you can’t take it with you. Don’t fight over material possessions as you can’t take them with you either. Don’t fight for others to be or act in a certain way as you cannot nor should you try to control anyone. If someone exhibits anger problems that inflict pain on you just know they should not be in your inner circle. Remember the number one trait of a narcissist is they lack empathy and for anyone to be in your life they must show empathy towards you. If someone doesn’t care how they make you feel, what you think, nor consider you going forward they do not belong in your inner circle. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Manage your own anger and remove yourself from the toxic self entitled anger of others. Doing so will create the peaceful experience that you hold dear and you will be a role model for generations to come.


Until next time,



Getting Unstuck For Real

As a coach I hear a lot of people talking about circumstances and situations where they feel truly stuck. I can empathize with the pain that stuckness creates. The indecisive quagmire of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” scenarios. Nothing is more mentally painful than to find yourself in the middle section of the “I want this but I don’t want this” continuum. Personal inner turmoil ups anxiety and anxiety is the worst state to make any decision possible resulting in more stuckness. Stuckness is  universal, but I am here to tell you that there is no universal answer to your stuckness.

If you research this topic you will find a lot of people talk at length on how to get unstuck from a difficult situation. Often their answers will appear trite as they preface their help lines with “If you only…” or “You should…” or how about “Why don’t you just..” The list can go on forever. It is disheartening when the person you enlist to assist you just doesn’t get it.  I am going to approach stuckness from a very different paradigm. I am here to be a voice crying out to you in the wilderness to tell you that you are actually stuck for a very GOOD REASON and this reason is what is causing a lot of indecisiveness in your life. The resulting indecisiveness is merely a symptom to why you are stuck. You need to get to the root cause that is unique to you. A one size fits all approach will NOT work.

Many people helpers will try to work on your indecisiveness instead of the reason for your stuckness. For example, some helpers might try to help you get your energy back by encouraging you to start implementing positive self talk (although positive self talk is always helpful). Perhaps doing jumping jacks every morning might help? No it won’t. Your problem isn’t that you are not doing jumping jacks, nor is it negative self talk, and it certainly is not looking for moments of zen and restfulness. The bottom line is that you are in a pit. You need a ladder, a rope, and the strength to pull yourself out of that pit. I won’t coach you to fill your life with what isn’t addressing your biggest concern or your personally identified level of stuckness. That would be a waste of time.

Recently I listened to an audiobook on how to coach yourself so that you could change your bad habits to good habits in 30 days. While listening I noticed that I became increasingly agitated. When I reflected further I realized that I was agitated because all the author did was use overused -one size fits- all cliche pep talks that I found to be annoying and unrelated to the specific concerns experienced by any given individual. If any of us could get unstuck by looking at memes, reading cliches or positive self talk there would be no need to hire a coach let alone be reading this article about “Getting Unstuck For Real.”

So let’s get real about your reason for the stuckness in your life that is causing you so much internal distress. Let’s talk about what you can begin to do to help yourself to climb out of that pit.

Competing Commitments:

Competing commitments are often the culprit behind your stuckness. When your values/deeply held beliefs compete with your other deeply held beliefs you will stay stuck in your pit. What you value in your heart of hearts is battling with a host of counterfeit values called “shouldas, oughtas, wouldas and couldas.” These four constructs are often what keep you stuck. They are not your actual values or deeply held beliefs but are constructs that you picked up through your life story. This is why I say you are actually stuck for a very good reason. My role as coach is to challenge the shouldas, oughtas, wouldas, and coudas that are distracting you from being able to identify what it is you truly value. Once you are able to identify what your true values and deeply held beliefs you will be much clearer on which path to take.

No one wants to feel stuck, loop back into old patterns of self destructive behaviours, or suffer the inner turmoil that comes with making a decision that hurts regardless which path you choose. You are in a difficult situation. Indecisiveness is a very sneaky culprit that preys upon the perfectionist & people pleaser in all of us.

Imagine with me that an acquaintance whom you’ve met through mutual friends seems to be increasingly showing up in your circles. At first you don’t pay much attention to them. You don’t notice them all that much. Then suddenly this acquaintance “friend” has seemingly made themselves very comfortable getting all set up in your house. You watch as they raid your refrigerator, take over your comfy chair located directly in front of your big screen tv. This acquaintance is annoying, troublesome, and inconsiderate. Say hello to indecisiveness.

Let’s work together to uncover what has brought you to this level of stuckness. Lets work to support you to discern what values and deeply held beliefs matter most to you. So before we ask indecisiveness to leave we assess your competing commitments in order to get you out from that space between a rock and a hard place. Together we can find out what you really care about so that you can make some hard choices ensuring what you value most is being addressed in the decision that you choose to make. At this point you can ask indecisiveness to leave and open the door to “Quality of Life”.


Thanks for reading,




Manage Conflict Through Coaching and Find Peace: Conflict Series, Work, Home & Play Part 1


A little text book thinking to start. Conflict has been studied and analyzed at various levels in our society and for a variety of reasons. The quest to understand conflict notes that when we seek to resolve disputes and mitigate conflict it truly does enhance our personal and professional lives. Solving conflict in respectful ways actually increases our sense of well-being.  That being said, conflict has been studied to reduce the glut of cases within the court systems, to reduce marital breakdown, as well as workplace discord along with the ensuing unproductively. Another hope to reduce unproductive conflict is to lessen the negative impact on children while fostering a civil and caring society.

No one with any sense of sanity enjoys conflict, but having difficult conversations is an important aspect in moving relationships towards growth, depth & meaning. Conflict can develop depth, learning and intimacy. In other words, conflict itself is not a problem. It is when conflicts are poorly dealt with that we all suffer painful problems, discord, arguments resulting in relational as well as institutional breakdowns.

Physical Health Crisis

When conflict is not handled properly the results are not only disastrous in our home & work relationships, but also on our health. Family conflicts, neighbourhood disputes, marital breakdown, negative workplace interactions, hurting friendships all have a significant impact on our emotional and physical health. The health care system is overwrought with people whose ailments are the direct result of wear and tear on the body through the impact of relational stress and strain over time. As the science of conflict tells us: if we don’t reduce conflict and the ensuing pain that escalated conflict can bring, we as a society will continue to witness increases in work absenteeism due to factual physical difficulties. Alcoholism, eating disorders, migraine headaches, digestive difficulties, cancer, and difficulties with memory and mental clarity can be a direct result.

So with all this knowledge of how conflict surfaces, escalates and damages our lives then what is stopping us from taking steps to reduce this kind of stress we all endure? Before I try to answer this question let’s look at other aspects where poorly handled conflict rears itself.

When Conflict Equals War

At a macro level conflict has been studied in order to understand politics, persuasion and ultimately to study war to learn how to negotiate differences while maintaining national interests in peaceful and productive ways. Let’s face it, conflict not handled properly has devastating physical, emotional and financial consequences. Certainly at a macro level the results are devastating to societies and populations all over the world. We know that regional conflict has been documented from the the earliest of times. We are witness to conflict at work today. All we have to do is turn on the news.

Workplace Conflict Resolution

Workplace conflicts are flooding the use of EAPs (Employment Assistance Programs) as well as group insurance providers. Some insurance companies cover psychological and psychiatric services that often take years to assist employees dealing with toxic workplace conflict. Money, time and productivity are lost when workplaces lack the skill set necessary to resolve differences that lead to disputes.

In larger institutions such as the medical profession (hospitals, clinics etc) as well the Educational sector (schools, school divisions and learning centres)  you would think that professionals in the helping professions would have a handle on how to resolve differences that lead to disputes. Actually the opposite is true. These helping professions are riddled with massive destructive & dysfunctional styles of conflict from the top down. CEOs, superintendents, managers, and the leaders in these institutions are more often than not completely unfit to deal with conflict in the workplace. As a matter of fact they are the number one cause of workplace dissension. I will write about the impact of leadership on workplace health in another blog. Suffice to say leadership is responsible for the tone, rapport, and expectations on how conflict is handled within the workplace. They must be the role model of workplace conflict resolution, but unfortunately if you show me a workplace that suffers from toxic discord you must look to the leaders as they will be found to be the culprits exhibiting the worst of human destruction within their own walls. Remember the notable reference to the ancient scribes? A city divided against itself will not stand.

But wait! How can you promote peace if you are a reasonable peace-loving person yet the people in your circle seem to thrive on keeping conflict alive? Yes, many people actually enjoy and thrive on creating and maintaining conflict. You know who they are. They just seem to speak without thinking, blurt out nasty comments while you and those you care about feel the sting. They turn tables, that is, they might say you are too sensitive or they didn’t mean it that way. Or they flat out lie, manipulate and do “end arounds” to establish workplace territory. In other words, they don’t take responsibility for their role in conflict or the tactical warfare they engage in. You know how it goes. What we at Waypoint focus on is your role in the conflict. Even if you are being targeted or bullied we can help you find your way through this quagmire. We help you look at the situation objectively while reducing the emotional distress. We help you discover and practice using your voice in ways that pull you out of the position of “nobody” and into the position of self confidence. Once you discover your inner voice, personhood, and options we walk you through a strategic process to discover all of your options while taking back your power in ways that emit the kind of respect you may have lost. Let’s be real here. Interactions with aggressive, self serving, manipulative people & systems can weaken your view of your options in stressful situations.

At Waypoint we don’t blame or shame. We walk you through a system where you keep your integrity (or maybe even find it) while maintaining your boundaries. At Waypoint the focus is on YOU where we hold space for you to ascertain what it is you need, want and support you as you execute the plan that gives you back your God given right to self respect. We support you as you learn to “unhook” from the bait of those who merely view you as the competition they want to remove. We work through the circle of respect where you live your life from a place of dignity and self respect while giving the same to others regardless of their deceitful and dysfunctional ways.

Waypoint offers coaching to support you wherever you find yourself dealing with painful and tiresome conflict. We know that conflict drains us, reduces creativity, minimizes energy and quality of life.

Please feel free to read my next blog where you will find Conflict at Work, Home & Play Part 2 in order to find out how to  eliminate the things that block us from taking steps to reduce conflict in our lives at home and work. Obstacles are not the problem, but the lack of skill in this area often is the culprit. With skills and strategies you can and will get around the obstacles to obtaining peace and success.


Weekly Word to the Wise:

You are a gift to the world. When you become entrenched in warfare with those who thrive on it you are not where you are supposed to be. You were created for more.- Lesley Corbett-

Thanks for reading.




Change Your Conflict Style Change Your Life: Conflict Series, Work, Home & Play Part 2

You do have a conflict style that is unique to you and your story. In Part 1 on conflict we talked about where we find conflict and how destructive it can be in all areas of life when not handled well. In this blog we will talk about the fact that you have your own unique conflict style and that you come by it honestly. In coaching one of the main goals is to create awareness of oneself and from there we widen the gap between automatic thinking and actions. This way our capacity to recognize our choices is broadened, options are explored, and we are more likely to make choices to become who we want to be, as well as, how we want to impact the world around us.

In order to create an oversimplification about conflict style I will divide differing styles into categories and will also note some key vocabulary.

Conflict Style: The tendency to use ways of problem solving that are within your current reach. For example, you have a suitcase and in it are the ways you have learned to solve problems that were gleaned from childhood, family of origin, friends, and eventually co-workers. Each style has a payoff (you get something from it) and a downside.

Different Conflict Styles:

1. anxious/avoidant

2. denial

3. bulldozer

4. catch and release

These styles of conflict are somewhat obvious in their title, but let’s dive in for a moment for clarification

The anxious/avoidant conflict style is where we avoid conflict at all costs because of fear, plain and simple. Conflicts can be really scary. The thinking here is that if I wade in and the other person or group doesn’t like it I will suffer. So in order to avoid any suffering I won’t say anything in order to keep the peace.

  • Payoff: I am no longer fearful and can keep things the way they are (familiar).
  • Downside: I never say what I truly want, never get what I truly want and no one really knows me or benefits from my gifts and talents. Life is experienced with a lack of true intimacy. Both personal life and work life is completely unfulfilling. Sometimes this person suddenly leaves a relationship or blows up at work seemingly out of the blue.
  • Remedy/ Face the giants: Fear of rejection, humiliation, degradation, exclusion.

Supportive solution: Waypoint coaching can help you face these giants that keep you stuck in the avoidant conflict style of relating. Remember that if a man or woman stands for nothing he/she can fall for anything. Find your inner strength and this type of working towards awareness will change your life as well as the world within your influence.

The denial/ostrich conflict style is where the avoiders deek and dodge issues the ostrich actually is much worse. The ostrich believes that there isn’t a conflict to sort out purely by the fact that they don’t look at reality. The deniers make up their own stories & interpretations as well as surround themselves with “yes” men and women to keep them happy with what they choose to see, which, is nothing related to reality at all. It might be hard for some to believe, but this is actually a predominantly favoured style of ineffective leaders, CEOs, managers and superintendents. Those who subscribe to the denial/ ostrich conflict style actually believe if they can’t see it or hear it for themselves it does not exist. The operative word in here is “can’t” see or hear . They won’t look at reality and expect those around them to keep them safe from the truth. The narcissism inherent in these roles often beg for those around them to lie to them in order to feed their sense of grandiosity. Do the deniers of global warming ring a bell? How about he deniers of Covid-19?

  • Payoff: If I don’t see it it doesn’t exist and I get to be safe and feel in control.
  • Downside: When I don’t know what is going on and only live for myself I can’t experience life as it was meant to be lived and I don’t impact people in ways where I can make a difference. My life feels shallow when I live like this.
  • Remedy: Face reality and strengthen your capacity to handle tough situations. Invite other’s point of view into the situation and you will see the world more wholly instead of through one tiny lens. Yours.

Supportive solution: Waypoint coaching can support you as a leader to help you let go of the reigns while fostering the best your staff have to offer. When we embrace collaboration, creativity and innovation inherent in those we hire our workforce becomes a force to be reckoned with. Waypoint coaching can support you to make a profound difference in your organization.

The bulldozer conflict style is just as it sounds. This thinking is from the belief set that if I want something to happen I have to force people to do what I want. This comes in many forms. Relationship and workplace “laws” are essential for the bulldozer. In a relationship the laws follow this type of pattern: Do as I tell you or I’m going to make your life miserable until I get what I want. In the workplace it sounds similar but under the guise of policies, procedures and staff evaluations slanted to produce conformity as opposed to ensuring standards that actually matter. Often failing to follow the directives will certainly result in some sort of punishment/consequence for the person in the relationship or staff member who fails to comply.

  • Payoff: If you do what I want I will feel that I am very important and in charge.
  • Downside: Get prepared to lose a spouse/significant other, and employees etc. There is certainly going to be an exodus from imposing this style of conflict. This style of conflict will certainly create a loss of intrinsic control for those at the mercy of the bulldozer. Health issues often arise with those on the receiving end of such disrespectful treatment. If you want to be alone in your life and be a lousy boss then this conflict style is for  you.
  • Remedy: Examine your need to be in control of other people. Ditch it. Learn what it means to bring out the best in the people around you and begin to see yourself as an important part of facilitating success as opposed to forcing it. Forcing success never works. You will only alienate yourself from people when you use brute force found in the bulldozer conflict style.

Supportive solution: Waypoint coaching can support you to uncover this damaging conflict style. If you find your life has a steady stream of people exiting stage left then perhaps it is time to examine and reflect upon the only person you can control, that is, YOU.

The catch & release conflict style: practices the art of re-directing conflict so that it goes to a better place, that is, towards a positive outcome. Those that are good at catch & release have developed a sense of awareness especially of their own nervous system. Let’s face it, when someone is angry at us our autonomic nervous system kicks in. Our underarms sweat, our breath becomes shallow, thoughts race and we can quickly go into flight or fight mode. With our own system activated it is difficult to think clearly. I will share more about catch & release in much more detail in part 3 of this series. Suffice to say the catch & release conflict style is where the person involved in the conflict manages their own emotions, diffuses the situation and releases a new way of thinking about a touchy issue back into the verbal transaction.

  • Payoff: If I can diffuse the situation I can better influence the outcome for the good of all involved. I am in control of me.
  • Downside: It isn’t always easy to re-direct difficult people who are headstrong with their own agenda.
  • Remedy: Becoming increasingly self aware and aware of the similar needs/wants within others you will be the leader who who looks for a win/win in every situation. You will definitely help to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. When you practice catch & release you will become a better role model for your family, work colleagues, and even your boss.

Supportive solution: Waypoint coaching can support you towards developing the kind of awareness within yourself when conflicts arise in any situation. Learning new ways of solving conflicts can and will change how you move through your life and certainly will give you the kind of peace you long for. Conflict resolution is an “inside job”. Are you ready to change your life?



Weekly word to the wise

Remember that you have a conflict style. Looking at conflict style belonging to someone else won’t change a thing. It is your conflict style that needs to grow in order to lead others into a healthier way of relating. You may exhibit some, or a combination of the above noted conflict styles. Just remember any conflict style that you have learned you can “unlearn.”

Let’s dive into moving towards the catch & release conflict style in part 3.

Thanks for reading,


Where You Learned Conflict & How To Be an Agent of Change For the Next Generation: Conflict Series, Work, Home & Play Part 3

In part 2 on conflict we examined different conflict styles and determined that whatever conflict style we have learned can be unlearned.

So where do we learn conflict styles? Essentially we all learned how to manage conflict through the modelling of those who raised us, and also through subsequent modelling of friends, and eventually workplaces and colleagues. Modelling, that is, when you watch how other people respond to difficulties & differences you pick up and internalize much of what you witness. It is much like learning to walk. Much of it is unconscious. Have you ever said to yourself “I’m sounding just like my mom” or “What I just said reminds me of my dad”. We’ve all had moments like that, but it’s hard when you find yourself sounding like the parts of your parents that you struggled with yourself. You find yourself cringing when this happens.

Depending on the quality of problem solving ability you witnessed in your family of origin to the same of those in your work and friendship circles your conflict style is more than likely a combination of conflict styles outlined in part 2.

What do you bring to the table? The first step towards changing something is to become aware of it.

Did you see any parts of yourself in part 2 on conflict styles? Did some of your perceptions and behaviours become just way to automatic in your life? Are you ready to do something different? If you answered yes to these questions then read on.

The tennis match

When it comes to conflict I would encourage you to start to see communication as a tennis match. For those of you who haven’t played a lot of tennis think of the ball going back and forth as a the transactions that take place within communication. You can apply this to any communicative transaction (boss, colleague, family member, significant other, & friends etc).

When one plays tennis the purpose it to win. The object is to win points by smashing the ball into the other person’s side of the court. The approach is to hit the ball in such a way as to keep the ball out of your opponent’s reach as much as possible all the while keeping it within the boundaries and lines of the tennis court. This strategy increases the chances of you winning and gaining control over the ball so that you don’t have to respond to the battle coming at you from the other player. The object of the game is to win and your opponent will have the same mind set.

When it comes to conflict, differences, and problem solving I am positive you have had transactions with others where their need to win becomes obvious. Perhaps you both had the need to win. Oftentimes when you encounter a person who has the need to win you may find yourself responding in kind as the tone of competition is difficult to resist. Perhaps that is how you were raised to believe personal and professional interactions were to be played out. Only somehow you find yourself feeling beat up, tired, worn down and depleted. When interactions with others are a battle rather than an exchange of ideas combined with respect it just makes everything so much more difficult. Another consequence to approaching conflict with the need to win ensures that productivity as a whole is low, nothing of any value gets accomplished and more often than not grid lock ensues. This is what keeps people like me in business. I deal with a lot of people who feel “stuck” in conflict. Oftentimes the root of their “stuck-ness” is the role they play as they unwittingly are drawn into go no where power struggles.

When I work with clients I ask the questions where they can think out loud and reflect on what role they have played in terms of the conflict.

Changing the way the game is played

Regardless of how the other person hits the ball to you it is YOU who can turn the entire game around just by changing the way you respond to the ball. Any professional tennis player will tell you that you can “place” the ball where ever you want in the other person’s court. You need strategy, timing and practice, but you need to know the object of the game.

In different scenarios the object of your interaction might be different, but for the most part if you can change the object of your interaction to a WIN/WIN scenario you have completely maneuvered the game to include not only the interest of the other, but also your own interests as well. The law of mutual respect is often touted in Education circles. Although mentioned often it is not always well understood. Mutual respect understands that you have legitimate needs, wants and desires and so does the other person.

In acknowledging that the other person’s desires in the scenario are just as important as your own will shift the way you do business, interact with others and impact the way you respond. When you implement the law of mutual respect your responses and ball placements (so to speak) will always consider the win/win scenario.

Once you make the attitudinal shift to accepting others have legitimate needs as much as you do you will be able to respond in ways that change the entire game.

Here’s how to shift yourself so you can shift the outcome towards a better scenario for all involved 

  1. Assess your own nervous system whenever you are presented with a difficult situation/scenario or have to engage in a crucial conversation
  2. Get out of fight, flight, freeze or fawn (more on fawn later). So important to get your body into a calm state (use what works for you/ prayer, mediation, exercise etc) before you engage. If you don’t have time to manage your body before- hand use visual imagery on the spot to place your body into calm. More on visual imagery in an another article.
  3. Stop and be quick to train yourself to spot the need in the other person. (The need to save face or the need to feel significant for example). Vulnerable needs are often in the driver seat when expressed in aggressive ways.
  4. Acknowledge and paraphrase what the other is requesting, demanding, is angry about etc. Remember they are in an emotional state. You don’t have to mirror their emotional stance. Allow them to be in their emotional state.
  5. Once you notice their body is beginning to calm THEN share ideas on how they can have their need met and introduce your need and how this can work for everyone’s best interest.

Essentially when you respond or approach someone in a thoughtful way (as to consider their interest as well as your own) it is though you are catching the ball and returning *releasing* it at a significantly different velocity. You are slowing the force behind the ball down. When the other person attempts to smash the ball back it begins to lose its momentum because it has nothing to rail against. Remember “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Prov. 15:1

Remember the catch & release conflict style is where the person involved in the conflict manages their own emotions, diffuses the situation and releases a new way of thinking about a touchy issue back into the verbal transaction.

Supportive solution: Waypoint coaching can support you towards developing the kind of awareness within yourself when encounter difficult conflicts in your world. It is not easy to manage ourselves during conflict, but with waypoint coaching you can learn new ways of solving conflicts and change your entire life. Experience more peace & more productivity within yourself while at the same time foster peaceful & creative problem solving solutions for others. Ditch the old conflict styles that no longer serve you. Are you ready to change your life by changing the way you view conflict?

  • Be the change you want to see in the world -Ghandi-


Weekly word to the wise

Dealing with conflict is an “inside job”- Lesley Corbett-

Thanks for reading,


Why Couples Are Turning to Coaching

Is coaching better than therapy, counseling, or even seeing a psychologist? Why would a couple choose a coach over other methods of support? These are questions that I’ve been asked a lot of late. I am going to answer that question by sharing some ideas about what coaching is and what it is NOT and why couples are opting for coaching instead of other therapies.

It seems more and more couples are contacting me for couples coaching. I’ve been receiving frantic middle of the night emails, numerous contacts from my directory service on Psychology Today Canada, and have been receiving record word of mouth referrals. It seems couples are looking for help in ways they never have before. Currently, the divorce rate according to stats Canada is assessed at 38%. Other quotes suggest the divorce rate is higher as many couples live in permanent separation without formally divorcing. Many estranged couples cannot afford to divorce and therefore live a divorced life within the same residence sharing food, lodging, and health benefits without accruing the high cost of divorce. It makes sense then that the quality of marriages are not as high as we hope for in this country.

With all of these gloom and doom stats and other acknowledgments, we can all agree that committed partnerships and marriages do face a myriad of stressors that lead to the ending of what once started with the best- intended commitments. No one wants to fall into a divorce stat or lead a life inside a failed relationship. You will never hear a young person say when I grow up I want to get into a relationship with someone I love only for it to deteriorate and die. The philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” By the time a partner/couple divorces, permanently separates, or continues to lead lives of quiet desperation there was a path they walked together that led to the de-coupling. Relationship neglect includes all aspects of disrespect such as what Gottman discovered as the predictors of divorce which he calls, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” These horsemen include criticism, contempt, defensiveness & stonewalling. Therapies, counseling, and psychology will attack the concerns in a couple’s relationship breakdown VERY differently than a professional wellness & performance coach.

What coaching will NOT do is what is attracting many couples who want to get their relationship on a better path. 

Waypoint coaching’s role is not to assign blame, pathologize (treat someone as abnormal or unhealthy). We don’t diagnose or treat a couple as though they have some defect or malignancy. We don’t choose sides and act as the judge & jury within a couple’s conflict. Instead at Waypoint, we work with clients to identify what they want to achieve as a couple. We work through a process where couples’ define the overall goals and subsequent action steps. Couples’ also institute their own accountability support systems through the process. We treat couples’ with the utmost dignity and support clients to map out a plan to achieve the elements within their relationship that enhance wellbeing, love, devotion and foster what Gottman would call the beliefs & behaviors exhibited by master couples who go the distance. We educate couples’ on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (the best predictors of divorce or breaking up) as well as the antidote to these destructive mistaken beliefs and habits within the context of organic conversations. We support the growth of “couple support” that is, we support the couple to learn how to support one another. We do not sugar coat the truth. If one partner or both partners are behaving in destructive ways we will point that out. At Waypoint we are not “yes” coaches that tell you what you want to hear. We will tell you our honest observations based on research and expertise. The success of couples’ coaching is truly because each partner has had to address their own failings & misguided understandings of what a healthy relationship looks, feels, and sounds like for both parties involved. After all, eventually working ourselves out of a job with our clients is the goal. In couples’ coaching, the goal is that the couple becomes the best support to one another. 

How often should a couple see a coach? 

It all depends on the goals that the couple sets before themselves and how many sessions they believe they will need to invest in to achieve their goals. Together we can assess what is best and take it one step at a time. 

Couples Coaching is Comprehensive at Waypoint Wellness & Performance Coaching

After you’ve reached out to inquire about couples coaching you will receive a specific couples intake form, as well as, a couples coaching agreement (which outlines ground rules for sessions, what is included for between session support, & packages and pricing) prior to the first no charge (no obligation) consult. It is during the consult that you can ask questions for clarification etc. This way essential questions/housekeeping can be achieved prior to the first coaching session. After the consult the couple will have more information and can decide privately which package suits their situation.

Waypoint offers the most comprehensive support to couples dealing all kinds of relationship stress and/or breakdown. Some issues that couples’ bring to the coaching table include; infidelity, burn out, depression, anxiety, communication break down, conflict cycles, empty nest & other transition concerns, separation & divorce, work related stressors, parenting clashes, adult child estrangement, addiction and so much more.

What makes our extremely supportive packages comprehensive is that two coaches are involved with the couple. Also note that Waypoint offers two tiers of offerings. This is exceedingly unique.

At Waypoint we offer two tiers of coaching for couples to choose from. We have found that some couples’ wanted a much more intensive offering.

Tiers in Couple’s Coaching at Waypoint

For the Tier 1 package Lesley coaches the couple together (whether over zoom or in person) and this also includes both partners receiving in between session coaching through email. Both George and Lesley coach each of the partners’ through email for the additional in between session support. Couple’s receive tailored in between session curriculum and reflections determined by the needs of the couple. We believe this tier one coaching is vital in that each partner has a safe space that remains confidential while moving the couple forward towards their joint goals.

The Tier 2 package includes Lesley coaching the couple together (over zoom or in person) both receive in between session email support as noted above, but also in this tier George is hired on to meet 1:1 with the male partner for private coaching sessions. Essentially in this package the couple receives couple’s coaching jointly, in between session coaching with George and Lesley PLUS George is working 1:1 with the male partner for their own personal coaching as well. George’s expertise in working with men is second to none and often we have found this method helps to steer the couple and essentially the entire family onto the course of deep healing and forward movement.

George and Lesley hold multiple post graduate degrees in Educational Psychology, as well as multiple varied coaching certifications, to aid in restoring unity and building unity. Some couples’ can build on their current foundation where others need an entirely new foundation in which to build their lives together.

A learner mindset is paramount in that mistakes, and past decisions are met with curiosity instead of judgment so that the couple can learn from the process in order to move forward with newfound strategies and tools.

At Waypoint, couples’ decide after the preliminary no charge consult and in private with on another  which coaching tier they believe would be most helpful for their relationship. Coaching is extremely hard work for serious couples. As a coach, I know that some couples’ are “coachable” and ready for change while others are not quite ready to embark on this journey. This is why I don’t ask clients to decide with me present. As a coach we assess if couples’ are in fact “coachable.” Coaching is a major investment and the dividends are for life, therefore, it is essential that those who commit to the process are ready to go to any length in order to get their relationship onto the desired path. In coaching the couple determines the trajectory and both must be ready to put in the work. We know that those who reach out, who are ready to commit to the process, who are willing to invest emotionally, relationally, financially and put in the hard work with commitments to time and energy are those who will see the process through towards lasting change and the best relationship possible. Waypoint is a serious coaching business and if you are serious we will take you on as a client. Just like an athlete trains for Ironman the work is done in the training. The results are when goals are achieved and the groundwork has been done.

There are different packages within these tiers that meet the financial and lifestyle needs of varied clients as well.

Just one example: Sessions for couples in serious distress (in crisis) are often immediately seen and typically in session weekly (even twice weekly) for 3 weeks after the initial emergency meeting. As the crisis begins to subside the couple often opts for a 12- week package spread out either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Further assessments and monitoring are discussed at which point the couple decides on the services they require, that is, how much more coaching they choose as well as top-ups yearly if necessary. The goal of couples’ coaching is to support these client partnerships in reaching their goals. Once reached they do not require coaching. Reaching goals is imperative in coaching. Coaching clients to be self-sustaining is paramount. Often many opt to check in about three times a year after the first year in order to ensure that the gains have been solidified. 

As an aside, we do recommend that change occurs with more targeted work for at least 8 sessions so truly the number of sessions you decide on will correlate with the goals you want to achieve. It takes some time to eliminate destructive behaviors and replace those behaviors with the antidotes to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These positive new behaviors are taught and fostered. They include Communication Start-Up (using I statements etc.), Building a Culture of Appreciation, Taking Responsibility, and Learning and Implementing Physiological Self Soothing.

Waypoint supports clients and couples who have any relational communication concerns on the continuum of wanting things to just be in a better place all the way to severe traumas such as infidelity, betrayal, & addictions. For a more exhaustive list of services in which Waypoint can support couples click on the title “Relational Coaching, Couples, Home, Workplace” on this website.

Are you ready for couples coaching? Are you willing to do whatever it takes? It will take work, dedication, accountability, sacrifice and determination. Perhaps it is time to invest in your relationship. Coaching works!

Hiring a Waypoint coach will help you and your partner learn how to walk in a manner worthy of one another’s love.

Thanks for reading,


Reach Lesley at 

How to know when to change your life

We’ve all been there. I call it the “Delirium Dreaders,” a condition we’ve all had at one point or another.

A relationship that is over, but no one wants to call it. A workplace that has more managers and CEOs than actual workers where your ONLY job is to make the “talking heads” look good. Perhaps you’re stuck with a lousy job description that requires the skill set of a “form filler outer” conveniently sucking all the creative life blood from your veins. Maybe it’s when you attended that extended family  BBQ (cookout)  filled with distant relatives who continuously asked you if you are getting married, having that baby, or bought a house yet. Worse yet, your counsellor/psychologist actually doses off when you’re pouring out your guts and still charges you a fortune for their time.

If it weren’t for the fear of being blamed, shamed or ridiculed what would you choose? This is a strategic question coaches ask, that I would encourage you to ask yourself.

  • If you weren’t afraid of being blamed how would you handle your current relationship?
  • If you weren’t afraid of being shamed by work or family what choices would you make?
  • If you weren’t afraid of making your own decisions without the approval of family or counsellors what would you do?

Would you end that painful relationship if you truly felt you gave it your all? Would you look for new work that actually gave you life and tapped into your creative self along with your uncanny problems solving capacity? Would you reframe and redirect conversations with relatives so that instead of feeling “less than” you felt more in control and proud of yourself? Would you fire your current counsellor/psychologist and find a more suitable way of rounding up support? You have more going for you than you realize.

Next time you find yourself suffering from Delirium Dreaders try asking yourself questions to expose your fears. No one has the right to blame/judge you, shame you or ridicule you. Don’t let them. You do not need the approval of others as much as you need your own self compassion and understanding.  Eventually you will realize they have zero power over you. You have choices and decisions to make. It was given to you as your God given human right.

You have a gift. Use it.

Until next time…




Welcome to Waypoint Wellness & Performance Coaching

Welcome to Waypoint Wellness & Performance Coaching. We are glad that you are here. We offer an enormous array of support to a varied yet specific clientele. For example, we work with individuals working on multiple aspects of their personal lives that range from work, family, relationships, fitness and the like. We work intensively with couples’ who maybe going through a wide range of challenges. We also work with entrepreneurs and those looking to make change within their career journey. In a nutshell we like to say we work with individuals, couples and entrepreneurs/career minded people. We have experience and expertise working with all of the above.

We believe that we all are in a process in becoming who we were meant to be

We believe we never have to change the “who we are” in our lives. We don’t have to change our core instead we need to “uncover” our core. We believe true self awareness is when we realize that it is time we finally get to “be ourselves.” Becoming ourselves is a process back to who we were created and intended to be. Just like we have biological DNA that defines many of our physical characteristics we believe we have creative, intellectual, relational, spiritual and physical DNA that defines our inner landscape, yet so much of life is not spent tending to this precious internal environment. Instead we are often persuaded to replace our own innate programming with assignments given to us from our culture or the workplace structures in which we find ourselves. The truth we miss is that we already have all the talents, gifts, ideas and creativity to move us in the direction that brings us more fulfilling and meaningful lives. This realization and understanding is what planted the seeds for the development of Waypoint wellness & performance coaching.

Waypoint believes we are all at some point on the journey and no matter where you find yourself you can pivot and move towards what truly matters most to you in any area of your life.

Pivot: according to Merriam-Webster: a shaft or pin on which something turns: A person, thing, or factor having a major or central role, function, or effect

The action of pivoting

Especially: the action in basketball of stepping with one foot while keeping the other foot at its point of contact with the floor

Waypoint coaching embraces the concept of the 2mm shift. If you make one small turn in this moment and plan to stay the course you will arrive at a completely different point to where you are right now. Waypoint coaching supports you in making conscious turns so that you can head down the path that will bring you where you want to go in order for you to have a more fulfilling life. You are the key player in your life and you can turn to go towards the goals you choose. Every decision we make brings us down a path. We get to decide. Did we say you get to decide? We can’t emphasize the power of “choice” enough. Waypoint brings you to points of awareness in order that you are empowered to make decisions that are best for you and those whom you love.

How did we lose our way?

We spend a lot of our lives conforming, or adopting values and ideas that do not belong to us. The bottom line is that so many of us have found ourselves in places that we never wanted and certainly never hoped for. Or conversely we spend a good chunk of our time forgetting our values and ideals as we succumb to the status quo, the pressures of those in “charge” in our workplaces as well as the mundaneness of the everyday, that is, living life drifting and without purpose.

Resistance to change even when change is so much better

Through our experiences teaching others (which included teaching teachers) we learned a lot about human nature and the resistance to change. Even when change means something important like “human rights”, “inclusion”, “supportiveness”, and “learning for all” people were still resistant and we wanted to know why. We kept finding ourselves working alongside people who really were quite content to stay “as is” and live the “status quo.” While we became more restless with our own status quo life we became intrigued with the concepts of change, purpose, meaning, attachment/connection and creative expression. We found ourselves thinking about what working alongside those who were ready for “change” in their own lives might be like. Instead of adding to a person’s already overloaded life we wanted to be a “game changer” for people who were ready to take hold and move towards their goals. These ideas were so intriguing to us that we set out towards our own personal quest to learn deeply about the concepts of change, motivation, and performance. We came to realize that so many people work incredibly hard and that change can be perceived as exhausting and overwhelming. We concluded that people require a sense of wellness and well-being long before they could develop further in areas of performance. At least if we want lasting change that is. At Waypoint we believe that “first you get well & then you perform.”

In our own lives here at Waypoint we continue to move forward ourselves.

Waypoint comes alongside you as you move forward

At Waypoint wellness & performance coaching you can’t stay in the one spot you find yourself today. Remember we are on your side.

“We know that you are going to have set backs, but remember life is all about the comebacks” –Lesley Corbett-

Until next time,

Take care,

George & Lesley