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Client Testimonials

Flawless Consulting Client Testimonials

“With regard to the Flawless Consulting workshop. “These were 2 very valuable days spent – this is not only a workshop for ‘consultants’, the tools that you learn will enable you to create adult-to-adult agreements where each person takes responsibility for their part in delivering the agreed outcome. You will learn how to create partnering in a new way. I would highly recommend that anyone in your organization could attend this workshop.”

Laura Hutchinson, Managing Director (Cape), Communicate Personnel Cape Town

“I just wanted to say how much I appreciated being part of the Symphonia Flawless Consulting Workshop - Phase 1: Contracting.  Whilst the workshop really brings home a way to establish the sound basis for any Consulting Project it goes way beyond that in that it actually gives an approach to developing any form of Social Contract between peers / partners and community members on a completely level and fair platform where those involved are treated and considered as equals. Coming from the "Hard" background of Civil Engineering Contracting I believe that the approach taken in Flawless Consulting can only lead to a much stronger cooperation and project delivery if all contracts were concluded in such an atmosphere of trust and cooperation. I also really enjoyed the mix of contributors - this is what we really need in our wonderful country - the ability to talk with and interact with people from all walks of life.”

Gordon Laing, SEE Sustainability

“I originally felt that being part of an established corporate company, that we have our contracting and alignment process in place and sufficient to ensure delivery.  I realized having gone through the course that one needs to go back to basics and remember that communication is key to ensuring understanding of the contracting phase.  It’s about following the steps and getting agreement before you move on. I also realized that work on a collaborative approach has far more benefits than merely providing instruction.  We all see things through a set of lenses, attending the 2 day workshop has helped me clear my lenses and allowed me to focus on what’s really important.”

Vikash Maharaj, Regional General Manager, Personal Financial Advice – Kwazulu Natal Region, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (SA) Limited

“Opportunities where you are fundamentally challenged on your thinking, your way of being and your way of doing is not a frequent occurrence in life, Flawless Consulting is one of those opportunities. As a programme, it challenged me on things I’ve been working with daily over the past 30 years; influencing, consulting, persuasion, communication, negotiations and discovered that there’s much more to these. It did not only provide me with a new perspective, but also with the necessary tools of entering the partnership- relationship with my clients with greater authenticity, co-creativity and humility, putting the expertise of both parties to better use. Am I a better consultant post FC? I think so. Am I a better human being?  Definitely!  The end result:  solving problems so that they remain solved. Flawless Consulting is a truly enriching experience!”

Johan Greeff, Clinical Psychologist, Treetops Consulting

“I attended the Flawless Consulting Part 1 course in order to improve my success as a senior leader in enrolling others in initiatives I sought to implement in my area of responsibility. It met that need, and more so. I found myself in a room with many fascinating people, and was able to engage in meaningful and interesting conversations that were of value beyond the mere improvement of consulting skills (which was achieved very successfully). I learnt new things that have been of great benefit, both in my work environment and personally, to the extent that I would not refer to "Flawless" as a 'course', but as an 'experience'.”

Andy Pitter, Executive General Manager, Metropolitan

“I am really privileged to have been on the two-day Flawless Consulting workshop with you. Thank you for your inspirational facilitation over the two days, your enthusiasm and seemingly unquenchable source of energy. It feels that I have made a new friend and partner.

Flawless Consulting just puts the whole notion of “consulting” in the correct perspective. Too often consulting gets a bad name because of people who do not know about, or respect the responsibility that consulting requires.  Apart from the fact that Flawless Consulting creates an easily understandable construct, the power of the workshop lies for me in the focus on creating and maintaining the relationship with your client by being authentic and compassionate. I  have  learned  that  if  you  as the  consultant  shows  the  courage  to  be vulnerable and understanding while at the same time making your specific wants very clear to your client the relationship with your client can not be anything else but open, healthy, focused and purposeful. Thank you for an excellent opportunity for learning!”

Willem van der Merwe, Director, Future Partners

“The Flawless Consulting Workshop (Contracting) which I recently attended, proved to be a revelation in the  sense that it  provided  such a clear, logical and structured  process of engagement leading up to closing a deal. Being able to actively “work” these processes by way of personal experiences during the workshop made it all the more meaningful. Without doubt one of the more valuable and practical workshops I have ever attended. I went away with a sense of having achieved genuine personal learning. I am looking forward to the next one.”

Tim Elliot, Argil

“Thanks for the great time last week it has certainly made an impact on my thinking and my approach to all my interactions.  I can already see my staff bringing better thinking to the tasks at hand and believe that the process and tools are very helpful in unlocking organisational potential, particularly if understood by senior leaders.”

Craig Coombe, Director, Imbewu Capital Partners

“Having recently been through Flawless Consulting (Part 1 – Contracting), I was struck by the incredible power and simplicity of the experience. The FC model and process operated for me at two levels... 1) a robust process for contracting effectively, and 2) the critical self- awareness and interpersonal conversations inevitably emerge from this process. The workshop, facilitated by Louise Van Rhyn, was a stimulating journey of knowledge transfer, reflection, and practice. I particularly appreciated the dynamic experiential style (rather than one-way ‘teaching). I was able to extract powerful self-insights, apply these back in my workplace immediately, and positively impact my business-critical relationships. I can’t wait to experience the next module!”

Donna Glanville, Director, WorldsView Academy

“The Flawless Consulting workshop provides a great but simple framework for any leader that must enrol people around him (above, peers and below) to achieve results. I thoroughly enjoyed the practical experiences during the workshop and these will enhance my learning long into the future.  I also enjoyed your facilitation. Great work – keep it up!”

Konrad Bartel, Argil

“Thanks for a super two days on Flawless Consulting.”As one who falls into the senior category of consultants by mere fact of my age and grey mantle (of wisdom!), prior to joining the directors of two other companies on your program, I thought I knew and had done it all. It was refreshing to find to such a powerful engagement process with lots of new.
'Aha!' moments and learning's."

Jerry Rowles, Rowles Associates

“The Argil team had an excellent learning experience – taking our consulting skills to a new level – and being able to learn from the interactive discussions amongst the other exciting attendees. The success of the program was largely due though to your excellent facilitation, which   created   the   important   conversations,   coupled   to   a   very   sound   consulting methodology which has given us a framework to work through in the future. Certainly, we can say great value for us – thank you and thanks to Peter Block”

Graham Howard, Argil

“Flawless Consulting is without a doubt the best programme I have been on in recent years. It clearly and simply explains what is required to create an authentic consulting relationship. The really practical and interactive workshop enabled all participants to share their wisdom, concerns and challenges. We all left feeling confident and energised. I have since been able to apply the techniques with a very positive effect and that is the measure of a great programme. Thanks Louise for your sharing and support”

Veronica Wantenaar, Learning Process Facilitator, Partners for Possibility

“What struck me was the simplicity, sincerity and authenticity of the content, and also the way that the training was facilitated. After attending Flawless Consulting (Part 1) I was able to immediately and effectively apply the thinking and skills. To me this means that the learning was useful and will stick. As a consultant I am always concerned about the value I bring to my client and whether the client would want what I offer… Flawless Consulting helps to build agreement on that.  Thanks for a great experience!”

Francois Venter, Senior Consultant, Mandevco Consulting

“Louise, your presentation of Flawless was so excellent! You come across as a friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable trainer. I like that you share yourself so openly during the workshop. I continue to admire the choices you have made in your life. They do benefit humanity. Keep it up. Be blessed.”

Nomathemba M Shepherd Sithole, Learning Process Facilitator, Partners for Possibility

“I recommend Flawless Consulting to external and internal consultant at all levels. The insights and tools equip consultants with the courage and confidence to conduct authentically and effectively with clients, in a way that builds a trusting and productive contracting relationship, right from the start.”

Cally Mundy, Independent Consultant

“I left the corporate environment for a career in consulting. Once I read Peter Block's book Flawless Consulting, I realised that knowledge and experience isn't enough to make you an excellent consultant. So attending the 2-day workshop had become a necessity. It turned out to be one of the best and most useful I've ever attended.”

Andries Breytenbach, External Consultant, Media 24

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learnt so much in the 2 days. I really enjoyed the diverse group and the value of their experience. I used my skills the very next day, as I came to the class with a real issue. My meeting was for Friday morning and yes, I contracted well. We have a plan of action and the problem does not seem as big as it initially looked. I am certain that my skills are going to serve me well and it was money well spent.”

Fadiah Salie, HR Consultant, Old Mutual

“Thank you for the workshop. I also enjoyed it and have a new outlook on some aspects of my job. Hope to keep in touch with you.”

Andre Steffens, Enterprise Doman Architec, Metropolitan Holdings

“Thank for you for an insightful course. The last group completed last week Friday. We intend to get together to look at what need to do going forward to make the most of what we now know. It was truly a great course and it was presented well.”

Bernard Mndala, Metropolitan Group Technology Service

“I was fortunate enough to attend the two day course in Flawless Consulting, presented by Louise van Rhyn of Symphonia, recently. This course was designed Peter Block, improved and developed over 30 years. It serves as a reminder to those who attend that there still is no substitute for authenticity on the part of the consultant, as internal or as external consultant. The course presents with a process which is both practical and could be infallible when applied correctly, and will help tremendously in building powerful professional relationships between consultant and client.”

Kok Erasmus, Consultant, Mandevco Consultants

“Thank you for your facilitation in presenting the concept of Flawless Consulting you both did an excellent job.
Flawless Consulting takes you back to basics and demonstrates the value of laying a solid foundation for any project that a person will embark on. The concept incorporates both technical and interpersonal skills and allows one to take a helicopter view and access their own areas of strength and development. This workshop is for everyone and it creates a more efficient, effective and productive workforce.”

Natasha Pillay, Head of Wellness, FirstRand

“I had yet another epiphany the Friday night….. Like I have said I normally let the information simmer before Ivtake any action or give input..

Here goes my thoughts:
Wow, what a session..I think deep, I ponder, wonder what the effects will have.. I`ve been to Flawless Consulting
The personal touch is overwhelming. Deep thoughts enter my mind - I wonder yet again…….
My resistance clearly stated, I`VE BEEN TO THIS COURSE
Right here, right now, this is where I belong. I said thank you to my wife, my kids.. I am thankful. THANK YOU Flawless Consulting for believing in me.”

Bradford Koopman, IT Consultant, Metropolitan

“Whether you’re an internal Consultant or an external consultant –it would be imperative for you to learn that one of the fundamentals of becoming a great consultant starts with your ability to contract effectively with a client. You get this wrong, and you inevitably get yourself or your consulting relationship into trouble later on. The two day Flawless Consulting 1: Contracting workshop is a great programme to remind you, step by step, of the importance of getting the contracting process done correctly. It’s facilitated in a relaxed, professional manner, and draws on the experiences of the group so effectively. Great to refresh my consulting skills again in this manner. I would highly recommend this programme to both internal and external consultants if you want to be consultants with real impact”

Derek Eaton, Managing Partner, First Facilitation

“Attending Flawless Consulting was like a complete metamorphoses – being transformed from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence and purposely through to conscious competence. This workshop empowered me to consciously delve into and to ignite the untapped potential to turn every consulting opportunity into a well-structured flawless consulting experience. All consultants and business partners should attend the Flawless Consulting workshop – it is an imperative business tool.”

Vusi Zuke, HR Manager, Apollo Tyres

“This excellent workshop provides the tools to improve relationships with clients from the outset. It teaches valuable influencing skills which one can use in the workplace as well as in your own personal space. Most importantly it guides one into realising that we are solely accountable for the way in which we allow others to treat us.”

Melanie Ackerman, Reward Consultant, Engen Oil

“I have started implementing what I have learned with my family, right after the first day, and the results are already evident. Because of the fact that the course has been presented in such a practical simplistic way, I am able to take this knowledge and use it every day at work as well as at home. This is totally different from the usual courses where you say “thank goodness it’s over” and never think of it again. I am constantly thinking how can I become a more effective and positive person who listens to others and make a difference in a positive way. Thank you Louise – you have inspired me to do great things.”

Jansie Venter, Process Lead & Stake Holder Liaison, Partners for Possibility

“Compared to other workshops I attended, this workshop was conducted in a positive manner that was very inspiring. Most workshops focus on weaknesses while this one focussed on strengths. Important life skills are taught in a way that is never patronising or makes one feel like a child.”

Astrid Basson, Learning Process Facilitator, Partners for Possibility

“I was very sceptical in the beginning because I’ve been to many courses or workshops and didn’t gain anything tangible. After the introductory workshop in February I was a bit hesitant.  I’m happy that I attended to the course, it changed my life forever. The course was just perfect for me, exceeded my expectations and gave me priceless skills. What I loved about the course is that the facilitator was very good. She knew her story. The role plays made me realise quite a lot about my behaviour and the behaviour of those around me. It gave me the consulting insight and influence skills that I needed. The group was amazing and consisted of people from all walks of life, there were challenges and also gained a lot from the group. Now I want to come back for more.

All that I want to say is Thank You!”

Tshepo Direro, Quality Analyst, Global Load Control

“I’ve agreed/contract in the past but realized it used to be too informal.  Informal agreements are handled with less Importance and easily forgotten - then potentially runs into conflict. A more formal approach will get a better considered response.  It simply is a must do for anyone who needs to work in any consulting role.” 

Louie Hanna, Business Analyst, DVT

“This has been one of the best courses I have attended.”

Ashley Thaver, Change Consultant,  JD Group

“I believe anyone in a leadership or support function would benefit greatly from this!”

Henrietta Mojapelo, Supply Chain Management, SAB

“I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I’m already implementing the stuff you taught me last week. Very pleased I learned about the value of contracting properly and being authentic. It is already paying dividends.”

Peter Pedlar, Deputy CEO: Operations & Capacity Enhancement, Human Sciences Research Council

“Flawless consulting is an essential skill which I’m glad I can work on. I’ve already seen the benefits. The workshop generates a “kindness of spirit and sharing”, a generosity we all have, but sometimes needs to be sparked/rekindled.”

Enver Hassen, Head Specialised Learner & Educator Support, Metropole Central Education District

“I found the structured approach to contracting very useful. Highlighting the need to identify and address concerns about control and vulnerability. The questionnaire was helpful in identifying my preferred consulting style. I also now know what I need to do to be more collaborative in my approach. A good opportunity to reflect on how I have been consulting in the past and how it matches the Flawless Consulting approach. It’s not often I get to go on external training so it was great to meet a really nice group of people.”

Brian Davies, Head, Group Risk, Learning and Developement, Standard Bank Group

“I thought the session was great. I believed after 26 years in the bank what could anyone teach/learn more…I was so wrong. I apply my learning’s every day in my job and also refer back to the book, guides and notes for clarity.”

Rashie Maniram, Learning & Development Manager, Nedbank

“I enjoyed everything about this workshop – how the theory was covered, the practical sessions and Lauren’s real life examples – what a brilliant facilitator!
I really wish I could have done this 8 years ago (at least) but I endeavour to put this into practice and I believe it will make a huge change to my current situation.”

Carol – Ann Milne, Training & Development Manager, Dunns Stores

“The workshop was not just about mental accent or ticking boxes but it pushed me to want to grow and become better at relating in order to consult better with my internal clients. It has impacted the way I prepare for and have conversations with my wife, children, friends and clients. I am so empowered!!! I feel that a person who has not done this workshop or does not know consult in this systematic way Is really at a disadvantage.”

Xolisa Tutu, Practitioner: Facilitator, Learning & Development Eastern Cape and Freestate, Nedbank Limited

“My discovery or realisation that I do consulting on my day to day work empowered me to be in a position to change a lot about my daily tasks and how I relate to different stakeholders, also to identify business areas where I can make a change by influencing the right people.”

Thembani Maluleke, Tester, Sanlam


Women in Leadership Breakfast Testimonials

“It was definitely a great experience and I am already looking forward to the next one! The caliber of speakers was phenomenal and it was good to be able to network with follow women in leadership. It was an excellent experience for me personally. Thanks for the opportunity!”

Chantal Arrison – Adams, Metropolitan Health Group

“I am so pleased with this event.  It truly could not have come at a better time.  It was brought across by all the speakers in such a “real” and “human” way.  Often workshops become tedious due to the “lingo and jargon” used… but this time, I was thoroughly captivated.  I am still practicing mindfulness… and it is amazing!!!! Thank you.”

Janine Hartle, BSG

“It was absolutely wonderful to experience the tips and guidelines given. Many things were conscious reminders but much needed and wonderfully refreshing!!! The realness of each speaker was wonderful; they were vulnerable enough to allow us to learn from them.”

Merle Johnson, Golden Grove Primary School

“I Loved it! It really resonates within. NO Man is an island. It was real, great humour and a positive note in each speaker’s message. It was wonderfully authentic and very inspiring!”

Edwina Siljeur, Shell SA

“I found the speakers very enlightening. They spoke from personal experiences which was very rewarding.”

Carol Pillay, Spur Group

“I have learned so much today that I cannot start to begin to say how much this has changed my life. I am really going to start taking control of my life and not just accept it”

Jody Bergstedt, Tower Group

“This was a workshop with a difference! Thank you to all speakers for inspiring us with all your authentic experiences and advice, May you be blessed”

Vanessa Thaver, Golden Grove Primary School

“Excellent! What struck me the most is the fact that these women are all ordinary people who shared their personal experiences.”

Adiska du Preez, Laerskool Stellenbosch

“This was a relevant topic for Women in Business “Living a Balanced Life” and really enjoyed the speakers speaking from the heart.”

Deborah Williams, Metropolitan Health

“This was awesome and very clear balancing with our daily lives. The speakers were very clear now I will be able to create an atmosphere that says it’s okay to make a mistake.”

Lumka Nqabeni-Boya, Marconi Beam Primary School

“Thank you so much I benefitted a lot from this and it will help me with my own vision, to pause and reflect & be mindful and really do what I love!”

Phetnile Mtimkulu, 5 Start Trading

“Each individual speaker added value to my life and lots of food for thought for reflection and growth, Thank you!”

Cicelia Levine, Meda Pharma

“Lovely food for thought-light and healthy and yet so good for the soul!”

Sonja Swart, SSCC

“There was a lesson to learn from each of them. Their thoughts, ideas, experiences and strategies they shared could be used in my personal life, my career / workplace, my home and my family! Super Empowering!!

Michelle Liedemann, WCED

“It was a wonderful honest event that inspire! Well done to all the remarkable women who impact magnificently on the world!

Joe Stead, Spur Corporation

“The speakers were out of this world. I am encouraged and inspired by all of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!”

Unathi Barizi, Old Mutual

“How inspiring! We really do forget about ourselves as women and need reminders of this kind to ground ourselves again. Thanks for the opportunity to learn! I Loved the energy. Loved the speakers who brought themselves to the discussion.”

Mishka Daries, Voice of the Cape 91.3fm

“This event was very informative, it’s encouraging to hear testimonies of others and the realness of what they face on a day-to-day basis. The personal touch of that is that us, as the attendees, can relate to “of” the instances that gets mentioned and therefore keeps us focussed.”

Alicia Africa, Maersk South Africa

“I so enjoyed your Women’s day breakfast. It was great meeting new people and to hear women share their journeys and stories and learn from each other.”

Gill Cromhout, Breaking Ground

“I was extremely happy to have been given the opportunity to experience the inspiration of this event. I have now realised that i should be more mindful even though at times this is difficult and that its ok to put myself first.”

Leigh Anne Floris, Maersk South Africa

“Empowering, uplifting and inspiring.”

Cheriè E Meyer – Williams, Cornflower Primary School

“Fantastic speakers, each one brought something wonderful and different.”

Candice Nisbet, Worldsview Academy

“The workshop was awesome and well organised. Every time I am here there are new inspiring topics.”

Mandisa Cenga, Phillipi High School

“A great time to meet like – minded women. It was wonderful to hear from one another.”

Mmabatho Nakmbule, Tshukudu, Consulting

“Interesting and different from what I expected, there were good interactions, sharing of ideas, awareness and creation. Loved it!”

Elmarie van der Westhuizen, Absa Bank

“I really enjoyed being part of the Women in Leadership Breakfast. The topics were so helpful in boosting our self-esteem in the workplace.”

Judith Motale, Bidvest Management Solutions

“Excellent speakers – real stories, real people, real experiences.”

Zamo Shongwe, Buhle Farmers Academy


Time To Think Client Testimonials

“Maryse has an engaging and infinitely empathetic style. She creates an unthreatening and open invitation to engage in her process and is skilled in reflecting the work in practice so that participants move easily from one aspect of the course to the next.

It was a truly worthwhile experience!”

Evelyn Howard, Organisational Change & Human Development

“Thanks for the opportunity to be part of such a special conversation. It has certainly made me think about how I have conversations, help me understand others better, see the assumptions that others are making and unravel any potential conflict or misunderstanding that could arise. I am actively using it in my meetings. I am suggesting that more people go on the course so that this kind of interaction spreads in our society. Maryse certainly puts you at ease and is genuinely interested in your growth and ability to sustain the use of the information in your daily practice.”

Shamala Moodley, Human Resources, FNB Commercial Banking

“I was very impressed with Maryse, her passion for and deep knowledge of the subject and her energy was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and wished it could have been 3 days instead of 1. I found the content very useful and the practical work on the day meaningful. It gave us the opportunity to use the theory on the day. I was fortunate to have attended the day with one of my team members which meant we could come back to the office and share our excitement, new knowledge and enthusiasm with the rest of our management team. We have already incorporated some of the techniques into our everyday business lives. I can highly recommend this workshop to anyone that is committed to personal and organisational growth and development.”

Dylan, ConVista Consulting

“These are simple but very effective techniques that have been immediately applicable in my business.

Thanks again for a very worthwhile day.”

Tim Holmes, Managing Director, FinSwitch

“I have the convenor/s and Maryse to thank for putting together and facilitating such a quality packed class.

“What stood out for me, besides the content and the relaxed environment, was Maryse's ability to create and manage a flow of positive energy in a class comprised of strangers with diverse skills and expertise. I also enjoyed and learnt a lot through the one on one chats.

Time to Think did it for me, am sure I speak on behalf of fellow attendees too, I can and will recommend the course to my peers and superiors, and it’s a vital tool to have.

Once again, thanks for sharing your expertise with us.  I really enjoyed the session.”

Asanda, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

 “The Time To Think workshop provided me with an opportunity to reflect on some issues that have been circling in my head and experience the Thinking Environment for real.  It is a powerful process and one that I would be interested in exploring further.  I have already had 2 Thinking Pair sessions since then with others who have completed the workshop and it has been extremely valuable.  Being able to apply something that one has learnt in a workshop immediately afterwards is rare and shows Maryse’s skill in facilitating this work.  Thank you so much.”

Riëtte, GIBS

“This workshop is very practical, insightful and empowering. Maryse is an excellent facilitator with exceptional knowledge and experience.”

Somaya De Sani, Old Mutual

“The workshop was engaging & thoroughly enjoyable from a world class facilitator. The level of expertise and experience was a highlight and I never felt bore or out of touch.”

Shelley Marsh, Mentoring 4 Success

“This workshop was very insightful and opened up possibilities.”

Lizette Cloete, Old Mutual

“It got me thinking of ways to improve and practice active thinking and understanding.”

Rosalia Thompson, Old Mutual

“Loved the workshop - I feel that I am able to take on anything.”

Wahieba Maneveld, Old Mutual

“Very good workshop, left with many skills to practice back in the workplace. Maryse was an excellent speaker; she provided real world situations that we could respond to. Everyone left feeling good about the workshop and themselves.”

Linda van der Poll, Old Mutual

“The topic was interesting; it opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and communication.”

Leanne van der Speck, Old Mutual

“Fantastic workshop, filled with useful tools that can be applied in a personal / professional context.”

Hafsa Limalia, Metropolitan Health

“Brilliant! Very practical.”

Nicolette Aanhuizen, Old Mutual

“Mind opening, exploration of new ideas!”

Vuyani Sethoa, Old Mutual

“An incredibly rich day, very practical, well-paced! Maryse was wonderful, such warmth, wisdom and energy, and what a lovely sense of humour!!"

Alison McCallum, Synergy Global

“Enjoyable, practical and useful.”

Kim Wale, University of Free State

“Great for teams that need to be creative or solution driven, It is brilliant so patient and encouraging! Loads of fun!”

Sonja Marais, Old Mutual

“Excellent tools and application for personal and work life.”

Zaibunissa Cassiem, Old Mutual


Choosing a Culture of Citizenship and Collaboration Client Testimonials

“This seminar broadened my perspectives around collaboration in creating even greater meaning in our endeavours within the context of work. Often one can become rather closed and intense in the field of healthcare and I have learned so much from the field of business. Effective conscious collaboration between just two people can have far reaching consequences beyond the two which can stretch both widely and deeply. Your presentation was just smart and so much fun. Thanks very much!”

Roshan Isaacs, Occupational therapist

“Time well spent on sharpening the saw! I found the session on the Human Synergistic model most interesting. Such a relevant and simple concept – it inspired loads of thinking on how to address Blue/Green/Red practically in the corporate world. Am keen for more…”

Kathy Branquinho, Smartsource Change Solutions

“I would definitely recommend this session to others because I felt that I came away more sensitised to how I engage with others, and have practical tools which I can use
at work.”

Susan Schnetler, Rustenburg High School for Girls


Cultural Intelligence and Diversity Client Testimonials

“Loved it! Amazing refresher on self-awareness and living / leading consciously. So natural and professional, Lovely!” 

Geraldine Ellish, Won Life ELC

“Very good, got some great practical ideas and challenged myself. Melanie was very engaging and dynamic. Excellent!!”

Francois Smuts, Mazars

“Loved the experiential way of learning, Melanie is awesome! vibrant and professional.”

Shaheema Abdurahman, Old Mutual

“It was fantastic. Wow, I learnt a lot about myself and others.”

Helanda Viljoen, Principal (WCED)

“Thought provoking, Thank you!”

Magda Pienaar, Geratec

“Insightful, excellent learning.”

Linda Weber, Alta du Toit School


Embracing Anxiety Client Testimonials

“This is a profound workshop facilitated with energy and humour by someone who has truly be there, done it and worn the t-shirt with radical courage!  An Bakkes had a way of connecting with all of us, irrespective of age or gender right from the start of the morning.  There was an immediate sense of respect that here was a woman who knew levels of fear and anxiety I imagine few of us have experienced.  

I am not sure I fully grasped the piece on seeing, in my anxiety, what it is that I am judging and would have liked more time to think about how I can better suspend this judgement.  I left knowing much would percolate over the following days and weeks.  An went on to take us through her model and while there was huge value to this and much to be taken away, I can see how the process is enriched even further in the two-day workshop.  

Anxiety is not going to go away – but it is crippling.  This workshop will give you a unique insight into how to better manage this pervading feeling, recognise it, name it, understand where it originates, become more vulnerable around it and sit with its discomfort.  Ultimately this is liberating.  Ultimately, this leads to a life of greater freedom; a life of love rather than fear.   Much recommended on the Symphonia menu!”

Wendy Ward, Meta- Morphic

“I thoroughly enjoyed this session. I realized so many things about myself dating back from my childhood and how I was raised to where I am now. I especially loved the breakdown of the areas in the body where one feels tension and how it relates to a deeper emotion/feeling. That being said it was very insightful and one is left with a sense of that it is okay as I am not the only one who freaks out!  Also that I can be my worst enemy but can also be the positive change. The saddest part was that I realized how I allow fear to cripple my confidence to take steps of faith and move in the direction I want to see myself.  After this workshop I felt liberated in a way as I now have the tools to deal with the things I hold on to that don’t even matter.

Thank you so much! An Bakkes is such an inspiration.”   

Estelle Piedt, Room Service Manager, Vineyard Hotel and Spa

“Attending Embracing Anxiety was at first something I was very apprehensive about doing. Being in a very vulnerable space at that time in my life, I felt I was going to fall to pieces and perhaps not be able to be present in every moment, and or perhaps ruin it for the other attendees. I learnt very quickly that being vulnerable is ok and showing how you feel is ok, because every single attendee was able to expose themselves and their thoughts without any judgement.  An Bakkes is an amazing facilitator and she created a safe space for us, allowing us to overcome our fears and to learn how to deal with our anxiety in ways that are better for us, this then rolling out into how we react and behave towards others. I am reminded day to day of how better I need to position myself with my current challenges, but would not have been able to view things the way I now do, without the valuable tools offered in this course. Thank you! “

Kerrie – Lee Brand, In Any Event Productions

“A very practical and easy process to follow that can have a huge positive impact on your team and business.”

Leggas, Old Mutual

“One of the things I found the most useful is her model - it has helped me to deal with and process my anxieties in a more systematic and logical, and flowing way (instead of the hamster running on a wheel approach which I used to take!!!).”

Monique Hellenberg

“I enjoyed the morning session and believe An was an inspiration with her story and the simple message that with positivity, self-belief and drive we can get over the challenges that present us in our lives.”

Chris Godenir, General Manager, The Peninsula All Suite Hotell

“Excellent facilitator! Her authenticity throughout the workshop made it easy to be yourself. Her energy keeps you alive and wanting to learn constantly.”

Nasia Nelisiwe, Professional Officer, City of Cape Town

“An, it is evident that you are an expert. Your commitment to the workshop is noticeable in how you manage time etc. Not just another workshop you had to run.”

Michelle Kleynhans, City of Cape Town

“An is an excellent facilitator. Her understanding of the subject matter as well as transparency and sharing have made this an exceptional experience.”

Soraya Bagus, Internet Solutions

“An is inspiring and empowering, what an awesome course!”

Tracey Esslemont, MMI Group

“Very well presented, opened my eyes on my fears and how I was dealing with them. I learned tools that I am so looking forward to using.”

Khumbu Moyo, Momentum (CPS)


Leadership 1-2-3 Client Testimonials

“1. It was practical, hands-on strategies. I could identify with where I was at fault and what I need to do to fix what's broken. It also gave me a better perspective of leadership and personalities/values.
2. It was the perfect workshop. Probably one of the best [if not THE best] I have ever attended in 27 years of teaching [and 17 years of leadership].
3. Melanie was ... what word/s can I use...? From another planet [in a good way] - this woman was unbelievable [not only her style of presentation but also her sense of engagement]. This is a workshop that every SA school leader needs to take. It's uncomfortable at times but I found that it was at those exact uncomfortable moments that I had my "Aha" moments and a gestalt.
4. 100 %. You must find a way of making it more affordable for schools that need this the most though. My school can well afford this - or get rich schools to sponsor poor schools.

THANKS FOR ONE OF THE BEST DAYS OF PROF DEV EVER. I am a Prof dev. critic [it better be good]. Well ... this one exceeded any expectation I had by far, I loved how Melanie asked us what we expected right at the beginning and at the end went full circle and ... voila ... EVERY expectation of every participant was met [and exceeded]."

David Millar, Norman Henshilwood High School

“I think the value for me was that it ended up making me feel competent as I think we know what good leadership actually is. Melanie’s facilitation style was inspiring and helped cement and motivate. I would certainly recommend it.”

Mercia Mcshane, Vineyard Hotel

“Good – insightful, it cane implemented in work and personal life. Pushed my personal boundaries in a good way

Schalk Hill, Spur Corporation (Ltd)

“It was a wonderful experience affirming our leadership skills – reinventing ourselves.”

Khosi Mollalose, Private

“I did not know what to expect, but came out feeling inspired and motivated.”

Karen Mehl, PDG


Resilient Leadership Client Testimonials

“This Workshop was really good and so practical.  It also allowed for a deeper sense of me of what already existed but learning new ways to sharpen what I know already. Wendy was great! She connected with the group as well as on an individual level.  She was knowledgeable and had a great way of bringing things across and keeping me engaged.”

Christelle Wentzel, Old Mutual

“This Workshop was a breath of fresh air, up lifting and there no magic pill – it takes hard work! Follow- through on end result.  I Appreciated the breathing tips., Wendy was able to “see through” our feedback in an experienced way and an easy, connecting style.”

Karen Theys, Pioneer Foods

“This Workshop was very interesting and inspiring; it provided lots of food for thought. Opened my eyes to look at myself and see how I can become my own change agent. Wendy was solid in her knowledge of the topic, entertaining and witty.  She allowed enough time and equal air time and was very respectful and appreciative of our thoughts.”

Debi Brophy, Old Mutual

“This Workshop was very, very informative and provided me with tools which I need and surely will apply.  Wendy was awesome!  Knowledgeable on content and very open to share.  She was very inspirational.  Thank you!”

Bronwynne de Wit, Spur Corporation


Snakes in Suites: How to Manager the Workplace Bully Client Testimonials

“I attended the introductory workshop to Snakes in Suits presented by Lauren Davis. Lauren is a dynamic presenter and facilitator. She is a subject matter expert and shares the information in an interesting and informative manner. The workshop sheds much light on the subject of corporate bullies and gives hints and tips as to what one can do to deal with these types of individuals as well as how to avoid bringing them into the business in the first place. Whether one has an HR background or is from the psychological profession or is a person in business or an employee, the workshop will add much value to one's understanding of corporate bullies and the impact that they have on oneself and others.”

Sandra van den Ordel, JvR Consulting


“The workshop identified and clarified destructive behaviours that are common in the workplace and assisted me in understanding why this happens and what the effect of these on-going behaviours are on colleagues and the organisation. The realisation that these behaviours stem from a clear plan to acquire more power in every way possible, and that it probably won’t change, allowed me to adapt my approach in managing situations where these destructive behaviours are prevalent.”

Andrea Fouché, Mazars


“The day was very valuable. This specific course also made a big difference in my personal life.  So many things I understand now and it gave me closure on things that happened to me in the past, helping me to move on with life on a much more positive note.”



Strategic Planning Made Simple Client Testimonials

“I found this workshop practical and structured and found the facilitator knowledgeable and entertaining at the same time.  I felt equipped to go out and facilitate a strategy session and have a model and tools to guide me.”

Merridy Edgson, ME Mentoring and Coaching

“I thought it was a fantastic workshop, it kept me engaged and was practical. Clive was fantastic!!! He kept it simple.”

Andrea Fouché, Mazars

“The workshop exceeded my expectations. Clive is a very efficient communicator, easy to relate to, very engaging. He has very good experience to share and provided practical examples.”

Jeanie Knowlden, ITL

“Found it very interesting and enlightening, great guidance to what needs to be done. Good presenter, good examples to relate with, great overall knowledge.”

Nathalie Viljoen. Two Oceans Aquarium

“The information was simplified, made easy to follow and the pace at which the facilitator was moving at was perfect. Good, actually excellent presenter.”

Dimakatso Seete, Bankseta

“Opened my mind and made strategic planning easy.”

Annerie van den Berg, Destinatus Private School

“The workshop exceeded my expectations. Clive is a very efficient communicator, easy to relate to, very engaging. He has very good experience to share and provided practical examples.”

Jeanie Knowlden, ITL

“Wonderfully informative, helpful, relevant. I’ve learnt so much skills necessary to take my school to the next level of growth and development. It was invaluable training for me!”

Denay Willie, Rainbow Academy