I have been a coaching client of Erna’s for many years and have watched her build an award winning coaching culture. For this testimonial, I will focus on my personal coaching relationship with Erna. Through the years, I have actively pursued growth and development in the area of leadership. My coaching journey led me to become a coach myself and the knowledge I gained through my training has been immeasurably beneficial in my work and my volunteer activities.

As my coach, Erna  holds me accountable for the goals and deliverables I set for myself;  however, what I value most is that  she  pushes me outside of my comfort zone. It is through coaching that Erna helps me deconstruct the boundaries that may hold me back from reaching my full potential as a leader.

Erna’s encouragement to focus on the core principles of vision, mission, purpose and values keeps her clients on track with achieving and surpassing their goals and objectives. I highly recommend Erna to any person or organization. Whether you need one-on-one coaching or you are setting the vision for your organization or your needs are somewhere in between, Erna is gifted and has the knowledge and competencies of a master in her field, helping you, your team or organization engage and achieve.

Lindi Frost, Associate Director Employee Relations UBC

As a Nurse Supervisor in a hospital where general staff morale was at its lowest ebb and conspiracy theories were abounding with every directive that was given, I was increasingly finding it difficult to get even the simplest of initiatives done without a major fight. Some of my colleagues were fast seeing me as an extension of the “bad” management they accused of not caring about staff safety. The environment was acutely toxic. I have always considered myself an accomplished reflective practitioner but even that skill was falling short of helping me come up with a more effective approach to dealing with the staff in my unit. We work in a very dangerous environment where safety is of paramount importance and we cannot afford to differ on how best to keep the work environment safe.

So meeting Erna at a time like this was God-sent. I had no idea what all the hype about coaching and a coach-like approach was all about. Of course, I had been on a course earlier learning to peer coach where basic coaching was introduced but, to me, it didn’t sound like anything more than all the other fancy theories that “never get us anywhere”. I WAS WRONG. After meeting with Erna and explaining to her what my challenges were, I thought she was going to give me a prescription of solutions. I must admit I was annoyed when, instead, Erna asked question after question. Therein (in those questions), I discovered the depth of my resourcefulness, the solutions to the challenges I was facing trying to work with some of my colleagues. As the depth of questions increased, so did my resourcefulness. I was left with an intrinsic satisfaction and motivation.

It was refreshing to learn that the solution to these challenges had to be solicited from my colleagues. Realizing it was not for me to come up with the solutions was a painful experience and yet the biggest “AHA” moment of my time as Nurse Supervisor. Asking the right questions and allowing my staff to come up with solutions themselves has earned me incredible respect. Every single member of staff in my unit knows they are important and capable of coming up with solutions to all our challenges. This has helped all of us become more productive. Erna supported me all the way; long after our coaching sessions, she remained interested in how I was progressing. She is the best at what she does.

Lawrence Chibangu RPN, BN(MH), BA(ECS). Nursing Supervisor, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital

As a senior administrator with responsibility for the stewardship, use, design and development of the learning facilities at one of Canada’s largest universities, at one point I became overwhelmed when, amidst ever-increasing demands, I was suddenly faced with a dramatic decrease in resources. In desperation, I turned to Erna as my coach and confidant. Through her insight and perspicacity, my focus gradually shifted from a disgruntled “have-not” to a confident “can do!” Over about a year’s time, a dramatic transformation took place in me, my efforts and my achievements.  I garnered clearer understandings and acceptance of my current reality, established principles and a process for quickly distinguishing between essential and non-essential tasks, clarified the capabilities and limitations of my resources and entrenched strategies for their effective and efficient utilization. As a result, I not only met but exceeded my productivity targets. Wow! And how did this happen? 

Simply stated, through Erna’s consistent and persistent coaching support, I learned to work smarter. I highly recommend Erna to anyone ready to discover not only new pathways to higher performance, but the peace of mind that Erna’s coaching can add to them.

Justin Marples, Director, Instructional Facilities Management UBC

There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be in the place of personal peace, happiness, and career fulfillment that I am in today had it not been for the gift of Erna’s coaching. Being coached by Erna has been one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Our work together has ranged from a lengthy redesign of a leadership team in a large healthcare program and helping me survive within and transition out of a toxic workplace to the creation, design, and successful launch of my own business!

During our work together Erna always honored me as a person. She respected my values and beliefs, supported me in living them in all aspects of my life, and helped me rediscover and become my authentic self. Her quiet, thoughtful approach motivated and inspired me to take risks while providing me with the safety net of support that I needed in order to do so. Working with Erna has enriched my both my professional and personal life; her skills and depth of knowledge are incredible and I would highly recommend her services as an Executive Coach!

Marilynn Kendall, BScN, MA LT, CEC-ACC, CEO, Endless Possibilities Executive Coaching & Consulting

Erna has been instrumental to me in my human resources career development and personal growth.  I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to continue my career in UBC Human Resources working alongside Erna for several years.  This partnership early in my career provided me with the mentorship that I so needed to provide effective, creative and exploratory human resource change initiatives in my current role within such a large organization.

Erna has the profound ability to fully understand clients’ needs by ‘tapping’ into the core issues and masterfully providing guidance and expert advice through a coach approach which enables them to prompt their own plan for solutions in addressing complex human resource challenges.  I had the privilege of observing Erna’s natural gift in coaching faculty and staff through many real and perceived barriers within the University’s unionized environment and, as a result, was able to realize my own skills and abilities due to Erna’s support in developing my professional goals.

To have the opportunity to interact with Erna through HGI, or through her leadership books and programs, will provide you with a whole new perspective which opens your mind to the many possibilities that lie within.  This is because she is able to help you by intuitively asking questions that prompt new ideas with a focus on you values and which guide you to a clearer vision of our professional and personal goals.  She is able to build on your strengths and support you in creating your ideal work environment, while at the same time supporting you in being the best you can be by being “fully engaged in our workplace and in our lives”!

Linda Fischer, Senior Human Resources Manager, Department of Human Resources, UBC

As the lead of a leadership program within a large healthcare authority and now a coach and leadership consultant, working with Erna Hagge over the last 5 years has been instrumental in helping me define the next steps in my professional journey. Erna is the "coach's coach". It takes someone with advanced knowledge and experience to guide new and established coaches in their own practices. Erna does this skillfully and intuitively. In our coaching sessions, Erna creates a safe space that allows me to look at my thinking and beliefs in ways that honour me and open me up to taking risks that support my own learning and growth. She is a talented mentor and I am very grateful for how she has helped me tap into and develop my own personal profile.

Teresa Belluz, RPN, MA, CEC Teresa Belluz Coaching and Leadership Consulting

Many people may say, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. However, after being introduced to the Tri-namics™ process, I have firmly come to the conclusion that “Dialogue is mightier than the pen or sword.” 

Tri-namics™ is a process, or a way of thinking, to establish higher working relationships using words and questions to move forward in teams, committees and your personal life.  I was introduced to Tri-namics™ eighteen months ago whereby the UBC Midwifery Department team developed vision and mission statements and strategic plans to support them. During that time, with a creative and inclusionary process, Erna Hagge encouraged us to formulate many big picture thinking ideas and progressive thoughts.  My team of three chose the task of condensing the ideas and making succinct statements that would fit our collective vision and mission statements.

During our Coaching Triangle team meetings, we had a coach (Teresa Belluz) who helped us move along to produce the documents. Throughout our time together, there was opportunity to problem solve other issues that arose in a productive, constructive, respectful manner. I looked forward to our meetings and thoroughly enjoyed them as they indeed proved that “Dialogue is mightier than the pen or sword.”

Angela Spencer RM, Clinical Education Coordinator, Division of Midwifery, UBC

I went into the 3 day Excelerator Coaching course, taught by Erna, feeling interested but somewhat reticent and unsure of myself.  After the first day, however, I was surprised to find that I felt fully engaged, comfortable and willing to practise new things. This is entirely thanks to Erna’s ability to build trust and to communicate clearly, not to mention her vast knowledge in so many areas.  The material was excellent and Erna created a safe, encouraging environment –the type most conducive to learning. 

I left feeling excited, more confident and eager to use my new skills in my workplace and personal life. While doing the course, I had the opportunity to witness not only Erna’s clear and inclusive teaching style but also to see her coach.  I was in awe of her ability to ask such thoughtful questions, to listen in a caring and supportive manner and to be fully present with her client in such a non-threatening and valuable way as to allow her client to have very meaningful results.  I can honestly say that Erna is a gifted coach and facilitator.

Shannon Watson, Awards Analyst UBC