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Ellen Melis

Ellen Melis

Ellen Melis is a Certified Executive Coach and Facilitator who delivers her services in English and French. She brings her energy and enthusiasm to her coaching and facilitation. Results-driven, she will ask her clients to step out of their comfort zone to get to where they want to be. She will be a trusted partner along the way, holding clients accountable to their own action planning and growth. Health and Leadership are life-long passions and her personal mission is to empower others to live the life they want to their optimal potential.

Mylène Paquette does not think she is special – yet she is the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic taking the North Route. It took her 129 days to cover the 5,000 km (or 2,700 nautical miles). The spark for her incredible journey was an 11-year old girl undergoing chemotherapy St. Justine hospital in Montreal who told her she didn’t have a clue what courage was… Mylène taught me 6 lessons on dreaming big.

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Identify your dream, dedicate your efforts toward that dream, assemble a team of people who can help you get there, believe in yourself, and learn from and enjoy the journey while getting to where you want to be.  This is some of what I learned from the two autobiographies I read over the past month: Silken Laumann’s Unsinkable: My untold Story and Chris Hadfield’s  An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. Both authors are remarkable individuals and both have accomplished incredible feats.  

Chris Hadfield’s career as an astronaut who has been in space three times is awe-inspiring as he describes a life of dedication to his dream. Silken Laumann’s single-minded recovery from a horrific leg injury only 10 weeks before the Olympics to win Bronze in the single sculls event in Barcelona (1992) is inspiring. Yet their autobiographies couldn’t be more different.

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For two weeks I have been working on mastering the intro to “Bridge over Troubled Water” on the piano. I am not a great piano player, but I enjoy the learning process. You know, the process that takes you from nobody recognizing what you are playing, to “Oh, you are playing that Simon and Garfunkel Song!” More importantly, it’s the feeling when something changes inside me. I get the flow of the song, see what it can do, and smile while playing.

It’s a lot like learning new leadership and coaching skills. When you first change your approach and start asking your team problem-solving questions instead of what to do, it will sound awkward and nothing like the smooth interchange you had in mind. You feel strange, the person in front of you feels strange, and you feel insecure. A nagging voice in your head questions you: “I hope I can ask the ‘right’ question,” or, “I wonder if they will get to the ‘right’ answer.” Once you let go of those thoughts, things will start clicking into place.

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“What is perfect about this?”

When I ask this question in my coaching, often I get a blank or annoyed look. “Nothing. There is nothing perfect about this,” is the typical reply and the frustration is palpable. Letting silence work its magic, something inevitably opens up. “Well, maybe this is the opportunity to think differently about how I approach this,” or, “What I used to do is no longer working. I should delegate and this might be the opportunity for Jeff to take on more responsibilities.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Brenda
    Brenda says #
    This is a truly wonderful example of what is perfect about this. Ellen , thanks so much.
  • Francoise
    Francoise says #
    This is a great question. It allows people to focus on the positive aspects of a situation, thereby jump-starting their creativity

I came across these 12 gifts (author unknown) and thought it would be perfect to share with you.  My wish is for each of you to discover and share these gifts in the coming year. 

Best wishes for 2012!


Once upon a time, a long time ago, when princes and princesses lived in faraway kingdoms, royal children were given twelve special gifts when they were born. As time went on, people came to understand that the twelve royal gifts of birth belong to every child, born anywhere at any time.

The first gift is strength.
May you remember to call upon it whenever you need it.

The second gift is beauty.
If you look for it, it will always be there.

The third gift is courage.
May you speak and act with confidence and use courage to follow your own path.

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P:  613-739-5975