I have found David to be a remarkably insightful individual, practicing the skills of careful use of language and intent listening, that give a unique perspective to our interactions with others. The feedback on all the training and workshops he provided has been consistently high, with individuals finding David’s advice particularly valuable to them in the way the go about their work.

David is also an astute observer of corporate culture, and is not afraid to, respectfully, challenge the adverse behaviours, incl. the lack of thinking and fear of challenging of the status quo, that this can produce.

I have found David to behave with the utmost integrity and constant concern for others. I have many times been humbled by the perspectives David gains from our joint meetings with others. I heard the words, and David saw the body language, tone and mental state of those we met with.

I have no hesitation in recommending David to any organization that understands that all work is done though people and their interactions with each other. The effectiveness of these relationships impacts the outcomes actually achieved. David safely introduces thought, discussion & advice on topics that are often undiscussable and/or deeply under-valued in many workplaces.Tony – Senior Change Lead

Dave created an environment of trust and no judgement which was key for me to be able to break down my own internal barriers and look at things as they truly are.

He asked powerful questions that I would often reflect on during the week and could not let go off until I had an “a-ha” moment. Dave’s way of asking questions enabled me to find my own solutions. Thinking about why I feel a certain way or even think a certain way. During our sessions he also did give me suggestions – but that was incredibly helpful to get me to think about things in a different way when I was stuck.

I found Dave to be extremely attentive and a great listener which meant he would be able to remind me of things as I progressed and helped me value where I had come from and where I was going and how to connect the dots.

In our sessions Dave used both coaching and mentoring when needed – he always asked if he could offer me a suggestion prior to doing so which made me then differentiate the coaching and the mentoring aspects of our conversations. So that I could take in the suggestions and evaluate on how that fit into my beliefs/values and where I was at.

As a result of this coaching I have.

  • Gained a level of confidence that I am still extremely surprised about.
  • A better level of clarity, ability to ask myself better questions to able to make better decisions – rather than feeling stuck, obligated or out of confusion
  • Learned to stand up for myself without feeling extremely anxious
  • Taken on a new role that is something I would have shyed away from previously
  • Gone from someone who was so uncertain as to where I fit in to knowing what I want, what is important to me and what is ok for me to accept and what is not
  • Learned to nowfeel equal to others – please note, this is a significant milestone for me – having gone through some heavy duty racism growing up really affected me and how I saw myself, breaking this assessment I had about myself has enabled me to see a world of endless possibilities and feel like a brand new person

I could not have asked for a better person and will forever be grateful for the impact Dave has had on my life.

Anyone who gets the opportunity to be coached by Dave should consider it a massive privilege. He is incredibly caring, a great listener and someone who I would turn to for anything

Cynthia – Change and Communication Consultant

This was my first coaching session with David. There was a lot of exploratory questions on my past “history” from a personal and professional perspective. We also covered where I was now in terms of what I thought was working and what could be improved (my terminology, not David’s), and where I wanted to be.

The informal nature of the conversation put me at ease so that I was able to have an open and honest dialogue. There was no judgment. David sought clarification at times, his paraphrasing accurately interpreted what I was conveying. David explained concepts/suggestions clearly, he made suggestions which I fully understood and, more to the point, were very relevant to me. David closed the session well leaving no unanswered questions and identifying next steps.

He actively listened throughout, (and I can talk), showing interest which I believe was sincere. When asking sensitive questions, David did ask permission prior, and let me know that I didn’t have to answer if I felt uncomfortable. We covered some very sensitive emotional areas, in which I felt safe sharing them with David. I fully trusted David with the information I was divulging. At no time did I feel concern or anxiety.

As a first session, and the first time I’ve availed myself of a coach in a professional perspective, I was uncertain what to expect. David was excellent in explaining the approach and gently guiding me through the avenues of conversationSven – Senior Operations Specialist

The coaching conversations I have had recently with David included:

  • Leadership coaching in a group setting focused on Language and Emotions – a focus on becoming better leaders through a greater awareness of me, better listening, more effective conversations or even identifying the need to have a conversation, the impact of moods and emotions when interacting with others.
  • One on One conversations regarding some challenges I was experiencing at work and outside work and the impact this was having on me (anxiety) and therefore impacting those I interact with. I was definitely far from being the best leader I could be.
  • A session with my team on conversations to obtain better outcomes with other teams we need to work with to delivery outcomes for our stakeholders

I like that David listens and allows me to vent a bit without judging. He then helped me to look at things differently, to ask questions I wouldn’t normally consider. In asking those questions it helped to see things from another perspective or realise that I have made assessments that would be best to be validated through a conversation with others – after which things were usually not as bad as I thought.

He helped me to see that it is ok not to solve the problems of others, that having the right conversation will help individuals to understand a situation and then take action themselves to resolve, I don’t need to and often can’t solve things for them – e.g. removing barriers is what I can help with, addressing their own performance is for them to do as long as there has been an appropriate conversation so that they understand there is something they need to address.

David provided some practical tools to help me clarify my priorities and determine where to focus my energy, it also helped to me to understand that some areas/items were in a better state than what was racing around my head.

I have found these coaching conversations have been very useful. I feel that I have been able to make some important changes in the way I interact with a number of people and I while there is still room for improvement I am far more aware of what is going on for me and how this is likely to impact on others through conversations.

The tools and references that I now have are useful. I use these in various situations:

  • Sometimes it’s as simple as asking “How am I showing up? What’s going on for me?”
  • Building in reflection time has been important for me and helps maintain awareness so I can focus on continuing to have better conversations.
  • Sometimes it is preparing for an important conversation and going over some of the questions I might ask during the conversation or the language I might try to use.
  • Working through what really matters to me - whether these things are being taken care of now or not and if not if there is anything I can do that will help take care of what matters – has served me well at work and at home.

The session with my team was very useful and my team members have mentioned a number of times that they have used the tips to make better requests of others, or had conversations where they have sought to understand the other person better in an effort to have a more satisfying conversation and get a better outcome – which might just be that the conversation was from a positive position of understanding that makes the next conversation a bit easier.

David took great care of me during our conversations, and would often confirm his understanding of what I said. He was sensitive of emotions that would come out and always made me feel that it was ok to feel any way. He was effective at getting me to ask whether some of those emotions were working for me, i.e. at what point are they not useful and become an inhibitor to my leadership, performance or relationships.

Throughout my coaching I felt like David was helping me to find my own ways of dealing with things by giving me tools to help find clarity, or asking me questions that helped me to frame things differently or see things from a different angle.

I wouldn’t hesitate to work with David again. I have mentioned to others, including my team that we are lucky to have someone like David that we can reach out to for objective input or an alternate way to approach a situation or problem.Catherine – Senior Delivery Manager

Just thought you should know that David did a fantastic job over the last two days facilitating a workshop for my team. It was great the way David was able to gently guide us through a long list of issues that we had and ultimately get to the root of our problems. The approach of allowing each member to vent and then reflect and then seeing lightbulbs going off was great.Team Effectiveness facilitation – Tony, General Manager

David, your patience, clarity in what you say and exceptional listening skills provide a safe place to express, and grow as a leader. Your ethics and good nature are so rare and I highly value your support. It definitely helps to break down ‘fear’ and ‘tension’ for me among peers so that I can then be a better coach or facilitator.Anonymous – General Manager

I just wanted to share my appreciation for David Smith, Empowering Teams Coach.

David was able to develop and leverage a rapport with my team, drawing on both his coaching skills and his IT background, building positive outcomes as we progressed through disbandment.

On a personal note; While my team looked to me for strength, David was the one person I could turn to for support, assisting my journey and my ability to help my team through change.Brendan – Senior Solution Delivery Manager

I believe the workshop was fantastic and whilst I feel that most of the things discussed were "common sense", it wasn't until I started to really think about them that I had my "ah ha" moments and actually take away value from something that was always a passive consideration.

The biggest thing this program has taught me to do is to slow down in life as I am spending more time listening and trying to understand other people. Slowing down has massively improved the quality of conversations that I have both at work and in my personal life.Anonymous Survey Feedback – Trust Program

Listening to myself better and giving my staff a better chance to speak and taking time to listenAnonymous Survey Feedback – Leadership Development Program

I am looking at things differently and understanding why I react the way I do and how I can manage that for a better outcome for me and everyone concerned.Anonymous Survey Feedback – Leadership Development Program

This type of course is a must for new mamagers and managers that need a refresh. Many managers are not leaders and need to know the differenceAnonymous Survey Feedback – Leadership Development Program

This is a fantastic program that facilitates improvements in communication at all levels. The main 'take-away' for me is that everyone's 'truth' is different based on their background, experience and interpretation of the situation and it is very helpful to be able to acknowledge that there are multiple 'truths'.Anonymous Survey Feedback – Leadership Development Program]

Great coach, great course, thanksAnonymous Survey Feedback – Trust Program

Great session led very professionally and positively. Great example of how I can lead in the future.Anonymous Survey Feedback – Leadership Development Program

Great course - very engaging and hands on with the theory very relatable and applicable. I would certainly recommend this course to others.Anonymous Survey Feedback – Leadership Development Program

I'd like to put some of my more senior staff on this course as they do a lot of interacting with my business stakeholders and they would benefit from some/all of the techniques learnedAnonymous Survey Feedback – Trust Program

The biggest thing this program has taught me to do is to slow down in life as I am spending more time listening and trying to understand other people. Slowing down has massively improved the quality of conversations that I have both at work and in my personal life.Anonymous Survey Feedback – Leadership Development Program