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👥 Coaching

A thinking partner at your side

Photo: Nic Lehoux, Olson Kundig

My approach as a Coach

I bring a methodical approach to learning and growth where we engage in a collaborative and reflective process to generate new levels of awareness, accountability, and purpose in achieving positive outcomes with long-lasting impact.

On a whole, I ascribe to an “n of 1” philosophy when it comes to personal and professional development which is to say that I believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but that there is an approach that works for each individual. At the core of my belief system as a coach is that you already hold an internal wisdom and that coaching is a way to help you uncover your unique way of being that helps you reach higher potential in the areas of your life that matter most to you.

I am trained to deliver 1:1, group, and team coaching as a Certified Organizational Coach (COC) from the University of British Columbia and hold an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) designation with the International Coaching Federation. As of Sep 2022, I am also pursuing a MSc in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology (MSc MAPPCP).

My style is non-directive and “Socratic” in nature, an inquiry-based approach where I ask questions as a thinking partner at your side. This is different from the teaching and consulting work I do in the areas of leadership development and wellbeing, although there are times when we can engage in materials from this area of my work as well.

My practice draws on research in positive psychology, wellbeing, and behavioural change, and I bring different frameworks, resources, and tools into our work together when it fits. This approach is multi-dimensional, integrative, and holistic in nature—part of this involves looking inward to what you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing mentally and physically, and part of this also looks outward to the social dynamics taking place around you.

From beginning to end, we are working with your agenda—my role is to help you gain greater awareness and clarity, and to create the conditions that take you to insight, action, and outcomes.

Adrian Liem

Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
Certified Organziational Coach (COC)
Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
Bachelor of Education (BEd)
Bachelor of Psychology (BA)

Who I coach

I coach growth-minded people who have reached an inflection point in some aspect of their personal or professional life.

This includes leaders (established executives, new emerging leaders, and leaders in transition), high performing professionals who are seeking a pivot, be it to level up their career, or to restore greater harmony in their work-life balance, and anyone seeking ways to improve their overall wellbeing.

I view my clients as partners and everyone I partner with holds similar traits: a growth mindset, a willingness to experiment and learn, and a commitment to investing in themselves.

People I coach include:

  • Executives in not-for-profit and public sector organizations
  • Leaders and entrepreneurs in new stages of growth or transition
  • High-performing team members moving into leadership positions for the first time
  • Young professionals navigating the early stages of their career
  • Mid-career professionals re-orienting their career paths
  • Successful professionals seeking work-life balance
  • People seeking a change in their mental and physical health and wellbeing

Interested in learning more?

If you’d like to learn more about working with me as a coach, the best place to start is for us to have a 30min call to talk about what has brought you to seek a coach and how we might work together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that I’m often asked and that may be coming up for you. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at any time and we can schedule a time to chat more.

Where and how does coaching take place?

Coaching sessions are scheduled in either 30 or 60 minute time blocks, and take place over Zoom or by phone. I also do “walk and talk” sessions where we each go for a walk independently and connect by phone to do a coaching session outside — some people find this option appealing for the way it allows you to think more expansively, and it’s also a way to integrate a break of physical activity in an otherwise busy day.

What happens in a typical session?

Every session is unique, but at a broad level we will progress through a similar sequence of stages. We open with a check-in to help us both arrive with our full attention and energy. If there is anything we need to clear out of our mind, distractions from the day or anything that needs tending to, we take care of it up front. We then spend a few minutes to follow up on anything that has emerged since our previous session and then set a focus for our current session. Then we dive in. Every session will wrap with a takeaway (for example an insight or an action) and next steps.

Depending on the topic and your style of learning, I may introduce different activities or “method sheets” to support the process. These method sheets are self-directed resources I’ve developed over the years that can be especially helpful if you are a visual learner or benefit from structured ways to make abstract ideas more tangible.

How do we schedule sessions?

Once we enter into a coaching engagement, I will provide you with a booking link that will let you select from my time slots available over the coming weeks. I am available during the work day for internal UBC coaching clients, and for external clients I am available on the edge hours of the work day and on Saturday mornings. On occasion, I also schedule larger blocks of time off to be available for more external coaching sessions.

What happens in between sessions?

There will always be a takeaway, next step, or some field work for you to do in between sessions. The nature or specific details of what this will be and how much time it will take will vary. From time to time, I may also share resources, articles, or other relevant materials that may support you.

How long does a typical coaching engagement last?

Every coaching engagement is unique so I don’t prescribe a fixed period of time but I do ask for a minimum commitment of three months. On average, my coaching engagements last between six to twelve months. The frequency of sessions and length of engagement is something that we will work out together.


Every person’s situation is unique, and so too are the outcomes. Here is a sampling of what you might walk away with after our time together:

  • a shift in mindset and perspective
  • clarity of vision, purpose, and focus
  • increased levels of awareness, accountability, and commitment
  • momentum in taking action towards new goals
  • improved career satisfaction
  • healthy and sustainable work-life balance
  • new levels of peak performance
  • confidence and excitement with navigating the future
  • successfully transitioning into a new job or entirely new career path
  • new habits that sustain a practice of physical and mental wellbeing

I genuinely appreciated the opportunity to work with you, and have learned so much more about myself, my values, and how to find a career path that honours these. Thank you!!! ”

– S.G.

The last time we spoke I told you about two positions I applied for…I got an offer on the second job last night and accepted today! It’s been seriously helpful working with you… I’m seriously indebted for your help!

– A.L.

Where to begin?

People reach out to me when they have reached an inflection point in some aspect of their personal or professional life. Maybe you’ve noticed a mis-alignment or a sense that there could be “more”. Or maybe you are uncovering a gap between where you are today and where you aspire to be. Or maybe you are bracing for a trajectory into new levels of growth and performance.

Wherever you are at in your own journey, you have reached a point where you recognize there could be a different way forward and you’ve decided you’d like to take your next steps with greater clarity and confidence.

My goal is to help you find clarity, purpose, and energy, to pursue your ambitions with focus, and drive.

Our first step is to have a 30min call where I’ll ask you a few questions to get a sense of where you’re at, you can do the same of me. We’ll get a sense of what it could be like to work together and at the end we’ll know: Is it worth spending more time in a coaching engagement?

Sometimes there is a simple resource or referral I can offer, and we’ll be done. Other times, the first step in our journey together will have just begun.

If this resonates, you are ready to begin!