About Darlene

Darlene Chrissley, BA, MLS

A pioneer in the coaching profession, Darlene trained with The Coaches Training Institute and then brought them north to produce the first professional coach training in Canada. She was a founding member of the International Coach Federation (Toronto Chapter) and co-developed the certificate program in professional coaching for Adler International Learning, where for over a decade she trained coaches and corporate leaders in North America and Europe.

She has been certified by the International Coach Federation as a Master Certified Coach. She also has a background in organizational development with expertise in leadership, learning and change. And earned a certificate in alternate dispute resolution from the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Ontario.

Since founding Lifescapers in 1996 Darlene has worked with hundreds of individuals from all walks of life, in Canada and around the world. Her corporate clients come from health care, government, banking, media, IT and manufacturing. Private clients include entrepreneurs, artists and individuals committed to developing their potential and realizing their dreams.

The more Darlene coaches others, the more she is challenged to live out her own dreams. She has a passion for music, poetry, storytelling, and drama and believes in the power of the arts to help people see themselves and the world in new ways.

She brings creativity and imagination to learning design, with a focus on creating experiences that shift people’s perceptions and behaviour. She’s been a corporate actor and facilitator, bringing learning to life through business simulations. And has staged several performances of her original work. Her one person show called In Chaos I Trust was featured at the 2016 Soulo Theatre Festival in Toronto, Canada.

In 2008 when the economic crisis was rocking the world, Darlene asked “What’s my creative response?” Her answer was to bring together dozens of coaches from across the Greater Toronto area to offer Conversations for Power and Possibility in Starbucks stores in the downtown area. The tools created for that program form the basis of her 2012 book.

In the past Darlene has made her living as a librarian, college instructor, freelance writer, university registrar, and organizational development specialist focused on the intersection of leadership, culture and change.

She lives in Canada in the beautiful Dundas Valley. Recently her grown children have left the nest and she is still getting used to all the space.


The Nicest Things My Clients Ever Said About Me

I find you refreshingly insightful, articulate, funny and wise….and lacking in woo woo.

You’re like a walking encyclopedia of useful knowledge, I just ask the question and you spit out the reference.

Coaching with you has been more useful than all the leadership development programs I’ve done put together.

You always find just the right words to describe what I’m feeling.

I just want to fold you up like a piece of paper and stick you in my pocket.

I feel God’s delight in me, when I’m with you.

You speak like a real person. And you never make it seem like you’re smarter than me.

When I know I’m coming to see you it’s like I’m playing hide and seek and it’s time to run home.

About (The Poem)

I’m a woman of a certain age,
mid-century modern,
born after the war
and before the invasion,
I saw the Beatles come to town.
John said they were more popular than Jesus,
My dad said he might be the anti-Christ,
my dad was always saying things like that.

I grew up in a small house
with a linoleum floor
that sloped toward a grate
in the centre of the living room.
We covered the windows with cling wrap.
I loved poking holes
to see how far it would stretch
before it popped.

Our home saw a steady procession
of vagrants, missionaries and
fat American gospel singers
in enormous tour buses.
I used to dream
they’d discover me
and pack me off with them one day.

My dad kept a statue of Colonel Sanders,
fed it with gratuities he earned
performing weddings and funerals.
When it was full, he’d cram
my mother, my brothers,
my grandparents and me
into the big green Chevy
and we’d camp across the continent
with all our stuff on the roof.

I was married for twenty years,
lived single for nearly twenty after that,
took a lover here and there,
kept one for a decade before I let him go.
When God said change your name
and move to another country
I chose a small village in France
where I didn’t speak the language.

I am large,
size twelve, double d
like Whitman I contain multitudes.
It’s all I can do
to stuff myself
into the lines of this poem,
let alone the About page
on this website.

For a list of achievements,
awards, accolades
please click the link below.