When the client is ready, the coach appears.


Natalie Ruskin

An Interview with Natalie

Who are you + what do you do?

I am a mom to a toddler + JK-er, a connector, motivator and innovator, and champion of my husband. The order of those roles changes depending on the day and the moment.

I am a certified Professional Coach through CTI (which means that I bring a high level of rigour to this work and with my clients), a trained Mindfulness Instructor through the University of Toronto’s Applied Mindfulness Meditation program and a certified Yoga Instructor through Octopus Garden’s Registered Yoga Alliance Certification program.

Who do you work with?

TEAMS I help create mindful and thriving workplaces as a consultant, instructor and coach. I’ve been awarded for spearheading culture change at my former workplace, CBC, where I spent 10+ years in Current Affairs as a producer, programmer and innovator. I’m currently a CBC Parents Contributor where I share personal stories and tips on how to navigate parenthood mindfully.

CHANGEMAKERS Through mindful coaching, I guide leaders and influencers to step into a fuller expression of who they are - in their career, home and world. I help clients get clear about what it is they truly want and I support them and keep them accountable with evidence-based tools to achieve the results they set out for themselves. My best results are with clients who are eager to step up to the coaching relationship and eager to see results. I coach executives, business owners, corporates and innovators.

WORKING MOMS I lead The MoMentum online group coaching program for changemakers (who happen to be moms) looking to step into a fuller expression of who they long to be: in work, relationship and life. This is a transformative coaching experience and inspiring community for working mothers who are hungry to move beyond their status quo.

Should I work with a coach or a therapist?

This is a question I grappled with for many years both as client/patient and as coach. I have worked with both coaches and therapists and I find both to be incredibly helpful, depending on what I need most at the time. I come from a family of mental health practitioners (my father is a psychiatrist, my mother is a therapist and my sister is a psychologist) which has given me an education about therapy. My objective with clients is to guide them to gain better insight and awareness into their thoughts and behaviour, to help them get clear, calm and confident about what they long to achieve on a deep level, and to keep them accountable (and inspired!) with the results they want to create. I’ve experienced a lot of transformation in my own life in ways I never imagined possible and my gift is to empower my clients to believe and create transformation for themselves. I refer my clients to other mental health practitioners when appropriate and I work in a complimentary role when it comes to mental illness challenges.

What should I consider when looking to work with a coach?

  1. Is your coach walking the talk? To what degree does your coach practice what they are sharing with you as strategies? For me, as a client, I’m not willing to stretch beyond my comfort zone unless there’s a compelling sense that I will experience more fulfillment if I take the actions I’m being asked to take. If my coach has done this work themselves in their life and experienced positive results, I am so attracted to have what they have that I can’t help but do what they tell me to do, within reason!

  2. Does it feel like a good fit? Most coaches offer a complimentary consult which is the time when you need to really ask yourself: do I trust that this person can help me get to where I want to go? If you don’t feel confident that they can, then you are going to waste your money. Important to note: you don’t need to “like” your coach but you need to feel like they will get you beyond your set-point.

  3. Will this coach call me out on my BS? I am an authentic and transparent coach and, when appropriate, I will compassionately call BS on my clients when I notice unproductive patterns repeating themselves. Again, your coach is not your friend and you are not paying them to enable your unhelpful blind spots. A good coach will get you uncomfortable and have you notice and act on areas of your life where you know you need to change and grow beyond.

I feel like I have zero time - will a coach add more to my already overloaded plate?

A great coach will lead you to approach your challenges and desires in a way that feels inspiring and, ultimately, allows you to become more discerning and selective about how you spend your time and energy. Most of us waste a lot of time in the day on distractions like social media, endless email replies, draining relationships. As we gain awareness into those unproductive behaviours and into what we truly want to create, we become more focused, energetic and efficient with our time because we want to spend that time on what we’ve uncovered as our true priorities.

What sets you apart from others as a coach?

I define myself as a changemaker, motivator and powerful listener and this is what moves me beyond the certified title of “coach”. Before I was a formal coach, I was launching new initiatives in a competitive workplace as an Intrapreneur, I was bravely tackling major personal health challenges to greatly improve the quality of my life, and I was mentoring colleagues to step into more of their full potential. Today, as a coach and consultant, I believe in my clients’ capacity for transformation because I’ve experienced it firsthand in my own life in ways which still baffle me. Also, I have a gift for hearing and seeing what my clients don’t see themselves and I call them on it in a way which allows them to own it and change it for themselves. Finally, I’m not afraid to push back and motivate my clients because I know what it takes and I know that they can handle it!

What inspires you?

Being out in nature, slowing down to observe the magic of my two children, cooking with and enjoying fresh and local ingredients, brainstorming, summer evening scotch with my husband on the front porch, diversity and exploring how it shows up through art, travel and spontaneous conversation, Frida Kahlo, Oprah and my dad.