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Relationship Coaching with Leslie Karen Sann

What is your definition of a relationship coach?

A relationship coach helps you learn how to be authentic and true to yourself while participating with another in creating shared beneficial experiences. A relationship coach is someone who supports you in learning how to do this so you can find fulfillment and joy in your relationships and in your life. One of the keys to finding love in life is learning to love yourself first, so you can share your love with others. A relationship coach helps you discover ways to enrich the relationship you have with yourself while teaching you life and relationship skills so you can resolve issues, achieve goals and succeed in creating healthy, joyful relationships with others.

Why would someone hire a relationship coach?

I love when people hire me when they realize they are stuck and they want to learn tools for success so they can thrive in their relationships. Relationships are alive, growing and dynamic. Positive relationships can be nurturing, supportive and deeply fulfilling. When our relationships are troubled they become a drain and a distraction from living a life of joy and creativity. Yet creating positive relationships is not always easy as most of us are still learning how to truly love and be real.

No one teaches us how to have healthy, successful relationships. When things get hard and they can’t figure out what to do to make things better many people leave the relationship, whether it is a job, a partnership, a marriage. They give up too soon. Life is complex and continuously changing. Learning how to negotiate positive relationships that stay strong, even in the face of challenges, is part of the human maturation process. Just because a person hasn’t figured out how to do this on their own doesn’t mean they’re doomed. It may mean it is time to ask for help. It might not be the relationship that is the problem but the approach.

We can learn how to approach a relationship from the perspective of inviting and promoting powerful and positive change in you and in the other. A great way to learn is through the process of coaching. When you want one type of experience with either yourself or another, yet you keep creating something else, it is a good time to ask for help and hire a coach, someone to mentor and guide you in changing and growing in positive ways.

There are many opportunities for learning to create positive change available through coaching. Skills can be learned, such as:

  • authentic and effective positive communication
  • making powerful requests
  • negotiating clear agreements and keeping them
  • saying no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes
  • taking 100% healthy responsibility
  • setting and maintaining healthy, loving boundaries
  • learning to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually
  • telling the truth in a non-blaming, loving manner
  • resolving issues, problems or differences and finding a third right answer, a win/win solution
  • listening to connect
  • the power of forgiveness, empathy and compassion
  • . . and more

Not only do I teach these skills and more, I also coach my clients to apply these tools to make positive lasting changes.

What do you see is the gift of relationship struggles?

You are the only person you can count on spending the rest of your life with. Learning to love yourself is key to learning how to love anyone else. You can’t give or receive love if you don’t love yourself. Each relationship brings an opportunity to learn how to be a more loving, creative, authentic you. What a gift!


It’s not easy to see distress in relationship as a gift when it is occurring. Most people are understandably distracted by the discomfort of the problem, unresolved feelings, and limiting behavior patterns that have been provoked. Many imagine that if the other person would just change, the situation would resolve itself. It’s about them, not me. It sets us up to play Victim. Yet have you ever noticed that whenever you are disturbed in a relationship you are there? If you are there, you can do something. Turn the focus back to yourself and you have empowered yourself to make a difference in your life. There are so

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many choices when you turn your attention to yourself. Take new action, produce a different result, and learn from the experience. You are now Victorious.

When you see relationships from this vantage point you will discover difficulties and obstacles in life are often blessings for, in reality, we grow through adversity. This process of growth liberates energy bound in unresolved issues, energy that can now be invested in creating a life of your own design. Living by design is what living victoriously is about.

How is relationship coaching different from other types of coaching?

All coaching is about implementing change and inviting more of what we want into our lives. With relationship coaching we are working in the realm of you and another, whether it be your spouse, your business partner, your child, your employees, your boss. The focus is on nurturing connection, authenticity and honesty within ourselves and sharing authentically with others.

Why did you become a relationship coach?

Learning to live in loving relationship with myself and others has been a life long passion. I love to learn and grow. I am also inspired to share what works in service to the well being of others. Over the course of my more than 25 years in practice as a certified coach and a licensed therapist, I noticed most if not all issues my clients deal with have to do with relationship in some form. They may be looking at how they are valuing themselves, if they are going for their dreams and/or finding fulfillment. They may be ready to find an intimate other and wondering how to create a lasting loving relationship. Perhaps they are already in a partnership and either are having challenges or want to deepen in intimacy and love. Then there are relationships with children, parents, coworkers, bosses, and employees. When are we not in relationship? Even when alone, we are in relationship with our self.

If you are like most people, there is at least one relationship that is a bit irritating. As much as we want relationships to be harmonious we often meet with challenges. Relationships trigger us. This is an inevitable part of life. The question is not how to avoid relationship issues, but how to handle the challenges that arise. When issues arise our first reaction is to feel like a victim. Victims are powerless to effect change.

My clients want to move from victim to empowerment. They know that for relationships to thrive they must be nurtured and cared for. They want to learn skills and deal effectively with the challenges they are facing. They are looking for clear direction and practical guidance in navigating the mysterious and often challenging realm of relationship.

I know that circumstances can change and I love assisting my clients in doing what it takes to make a positive, loving difference in their lives. When each of us chooses to invite more love, peace and harmony into our lives, in a very real way we are making a positive difference in the world. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” To be part of the process of peace is a joy for me indeed. I became a relationship coach because it’s a way for me to serve what is most important to me: peace, goodwill, joy and love.


What is unique about your coaching practice?

I am a transformational coach. I work with change from the inside out. Love is really the guiding force in my practice. I show my clients how to listen to their heart and follow it’s guidance.

I support my clients in seeing how they are participating in the situation they want to change and in creating positive outcomes. They learn to recognize where they have influence to make a difference. I believe this is an essential understanding. Freedom is discovered when we realize it is not the other person that is the issue, but it is how we are relating to that other inside of ourselves that is the issue.

As in all my work, shifting from Victim to Victorious is key. You have the power to invest your creativity in making a difference in ways that can lead to success. I assist my clients in exploring possibilities: doing more of what works, less of what doesn’t and trying new things. Learning new behaviors and taking leveraged action is key to success in any domain of life, including relationships.

Many believe that if your partner, boss, child, doesn’t actively engage in the change process there is no hope for the relationship. Yet there is research, and I personally have witnessed, that this is not at all true. We may not have control over another, but we have influence. In my coaching practice, I have seen that when one person changes the way they engage the relationship changes. Learning how to do this skillfully and from love is the key to a joyful life, and the unique perspective motivating my coaching.


Who is your ideal client?

I am interested in working with people who are willing and ready to invest in making a positive difference in their life. My clients come to coaching ready to change and are willing to invest in doing what it takes to support what they want in happening. The choice to hire me is often motivated by the realization that they are stuck in repetitive patterns invariably creating the same miserable results. They want to learn from their mistakes and are therefore open to guidance and mentoring.

My ideal client is any person who is willing to say, “YES”, to taking responsibility for their own joy, who is willing to stop blaming life, people, jobs, bosses for the situation they are in and instead is willing to look to themselves to do something different; someone who is ready to turn Victim into Victorious.

When is it time for a person to start seeing a relationship coach?

Any time they want support to move to the next level of their relationship. That could be now! Relationship issues arise over the course of a life. We may be married to a great partner for us, yet life happens. We mature, our values change, what we want shifts, children are born, parents grow older. How do we negotiate changes as they happen in a relationship? Many people want support in navigating through tough times.

Work has its own set of relationship challenges. Coworkers come and go. Bosses change. Job responsibilities shift. The only thing constant in life is change. Yet whether the challenges are at work or at home, relationships are always in flux. Therefore, we are required to change in order to meet the challenges before us.

For example, I work with one particular couple every two weeks. They started working with me when they began to get serious, even before they were engaged. She had been married before and wanted support in creating a successful, lasting, loving marriage. They use our sessions as a time to get current with each other, learn new skills, and come to a place of deeper connection. I appreciate the clear intention this couple has, now married for two years, to do what it takes to learn to live together in love, honesty and connection.

If you are struggling, the loving and wise thing to do is to ask for help. Find a coach to assist you in learning skills so you can move forward in life. Learning and growth support health and a deeper sense of well being and fulfillment in life. Making new choices and experimenting with creative action is the key to success. If what you are doing isn’t working, try something different. Why suffer when there is ample help available for the asking?

Remember, relationships can be very powerful and can trigger deep issues, issues that seem unrelated to the circumstances. It is important to hire a competent person to be with you on your transformative journey. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of relationship coaching please call, 312-409-0686, or email, For more information about my coaching practice please visit my website:


An innovative and inspired counselor, educator and coach for more than 25 years, Leslie uses her gifts to awaken possibility, authenticity and joy. She has been helping people just like you resolve problems and achieve happiness since 1986. Board Certified Professional Counselor and Certified Coach, Leslie gently helps individuals, couples and groups resolve personal problems, manage stress and achieve happiness. She is available to meet with you either in person in her Chicago or Geneva office, or by phone or video conferencing.



I have included resources on the topics of Loving Self, Loving Others, Learning and Empowerment taken from my Living by Design Tips newsletter archives here:

Additionally, I invite you to sign up for the biweekly Living by Design Tips as a way to support your process of empowerment. Along with receiving the biweekly eZine, you will also have access to the Insider Guide to Creating the Life you Want eBook. Go to: and sign up now.

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By Corey Quinn

Entrepreneur and online marketing expert

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