Since 2005, we’ve worked alongside enterprise, SME and non-profit organisations across a wide range of industries.

What We Do


We believe in empowering people to choose where they want to be in their lives, and our solution-focused coaching and mentoring processes provide a supportive framework that empowers you to rise to new challenges or embark on a new path with confidence. Our areas of specialisation include:

  • Coaching individuals to lead themselves, their teams and their organisations
  • Mentoring coaches, who are moving into the corporate space
  • Mentoring facilitators who are interested in moving from a training to a true learning model.

Our coaching is offered online through contracts that are flexible and tailored to your specific needs. If you’d like to see what some of our clients have to say about their experience with Coaching Café®, click here. To contact us click here.

Self-Coaching Guides

There are certainly many benefits that come with being coached by a professional business or life coach, but self-development is an equally important part of the true learning process. By applying the skills and techniques used in coaching to your personal or professional life, it’s possible to achieve many of the benefits that come with one-on-one coaching. Our self-coaching guides are designed to lead you through a process of self-discovery and self-development that helps you set goals and work towards the future that you want to achieve. Our Self Coaching Guides are being developed.  If you would like us to keep you updated on progress, please contact us here.

Learning Process Design

We’re used to thinking about learning in terms of training or educating, but most of us don’t give too much thought to how learning actually happens. Learning is a skill, and like any skill it improves with practice. True learning is social, interactive, and enables the transfer of concepts to different situations. Our learning material is designed in a way that incorporates ‘learning how to learn’ with the required material. Our design team creates customised, interactive processes that focus on understanding rather than rote learning. To find out more about our Learning Process Design services, contact us here.

True Leadership®

We believe that everyone has the potential to be a leader – firstly of themselves and their lives, and that they build on these foundations to lead their families, teams, communities and organisations. The True Leadership® programme is based on authentic leadership principles, and brings together everything we believe is essential for personal and professional success.

True Leadership® is a modular programme that facilitates growth-driven individual, team and collective learning, and can be customised according to your needs. The structure of the programme ensures that individuals and teams learn through situations and conditions applicable to their needs, which means insights are relevant, and learning occurs in real time and can be implemented immediately.

To find out more about our True Leadership® programme, contact us here.

How We Do It

Solution Focus

For anyone who solves technical problems, understanding the cause is an important part of solving it, but when it comes to people, spending too much time focusing on causes makes us experts on the problem – and no closer to finding a solution. The Coaching Café advocates Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg’s Solution Focused approach which operates on these three principles:

  • If it works, do more of it
  • If it doesn’t work, try something different
  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Authentic Leadership

Authenticity is all about understanding your strengths, values and goals, and developing the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) necessary to manage your life and relationships in line with them. The concept of Authentic Leadership was pioneered by Bill George, and encourages leaders to develop their authenticity to help them connect and align better with those they lead. The True Leadership® programme is based on authentic leadership concepts and cutting edge thinking. Combined with the application of strengths, it enables leaders to discover and apply their unique potential and the unique potential of those they lead.

Strengths Based Approach

Knowing your strengths and being able to use them to their full potential creates confidence and engagement. By highlighting peoples’ strengths, we encourage them to acknowledge and develop what they do well, rather than focusing on what they need to improve. We recommend the Gallup Organisation’s CLIFTON STRENGTHFINDER® assessment which is based on over 40 years of ongoing research, and identifies talent themes that have or can be developed into strengths.

Skilled Learning

Developed by Professor Sylvia Downs and her team at the University of Cambridge, Skilled Learning is the product of years of research into how learning happens. Skilled Learning is the art of ‘learning how to learn’, and helps you to take the most appropriate approach to whatever needs to be learned. True learning is social and interactive, and results in skills that are transferrable to any number of different situations. Our Skilled Learning programmes support this through debates, quiz sessions, research projects and more.

About Us

Lynne Melis

Mary Gardner

Lynne Melis

Lynne Melis is the Director of the Coaching Café® responsible for the integrity of the learning material design and process and an expert in designing and facilitating programmes for individuals and teams at all levels. Lynne’s understanding of how true learning happens is complemented by her BA(Psych), MBA and a Secondary Teacher’s Diploma. She also has a Certificate in Coaching Skills from the Coaching Centre (2007) and has completed the PURE Brief Solution Focus Coaching qualification. Lynne has extensive local and international experience in making learning material more accessible and inspiring others to design and facilitate in this way.

Mary Gardner

Mary Gardner is the founder and Director of the Coaching Café® responsible for the integrity of the coaching process. She has extensive experience facilitating the strengthening of leaders and their teams with True Leadership® and Solution Focus coaching. Mary has completed the PRO qualification- ACTP (an ICF accredited programme) presented by Solution Surfers, a Swiss-based company. She qualified with a Diploma in Business and Life Coaching from the Coaching Centre in 2005. She has an Honours degree in mathematics,  and has in-depth local and international consulting experience in both IT and Strategic Facilitation.

  • “Mary and her partner Lynne were amazing. The patience shown at the start, the firm guidance when required, probing and really getting to understand the nuances within the organisation – truly playing a partnering role.”

    – Doug Walker, former CEO, Woolworths Financial Services

  • “Not only have I come to understand more about who I am through coaching but also how to use my strengths to motivate and influence my management team in a positive way.”

    – Louis Barnard, Operations Executive, KWV South Africa

  • “We ran a highly successful and engaging Enneagram session with Mary and Lynne as co-facilitators. All these True Leadership® team sessions were engaging, topical, relevant, well-structured, and combined high-quality content with excellent facilitation.”

    – Jeanne Cerff, General Manager – Food, MARS Foods

  • “Lynne and Mary are strong thinkers who can innovate at the drop of a hat, are focused on the best solutions for whoever they are working with, and are flexible enough to ensure value for all those involved.”

    – Nikki Munro, Programme Director, PYDA

  • “We have experienced a complete change in culture in our business, where we thrive in an environment of shared focus, open conversation and deep personal trust. We have a much more results orientated mind-set throughout all levels of our business.”

    – Christelle Fourie, CEO, MUA Insurance Acceptances

  • “With results like these, PPI is looking forward to a continued and fruitful relationship with the Coaching Café in keeping our training programmes at the leading edge.”

    – Alwyn Smit, Principal Consultant & Course Presenter

Contact Us

If you’d like to get in touch with the Coaching Cafe, send us a message with your contact information through the button below and we will contact you shortly.

You can also contact us via our company LinkedIn:

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