Sharon Eakes, MA, BCC, ACN

“I love helping people become more of who they want to be… by shifting their hearts. “

When I became a coach in 1996, I felt I had come home. This is the work I was born to do. I enjoyed my previous jobs – but being a coach combines all the skills I received by grace and developed with effort, and uses them in the service of others. Coaching energizes me. How lucky I feel!

In 1996, I joined Hope Unlimited, LLC, a training/consulting company started by my late husband, Hal Williamson, to help people succeed by using their whole brains. Together we traveled and trained and I coached. In 2006 we wrote Liberating Greatness, The Whole Brain Guide to an Extraordinary Life, which codified his life’s work about the power of the brain. Hal died in 2012.

In 2000, I began to publish Fresh Views, a coaching mini-ezine. The same essays were published monthly as Musings, a column in the Green Tree Times. In 2015 the best of these were collected into a book, Fresh Views on Resilient Living. That same year I was honored to become a Huffington Post Blogger.

In 2007 I was introduced to the work of the Arbinger Institute. It spoke to me so loudly that I quickly took all the courses I could find, and before long trained to be co-leader with Nancy Smyth, of the acclaimed coach training master program, The Choice in Coaching. My work with Nancy led in 2015 to the formation of our own coaching and training company, Two Wise Women. In 2015 we co-authored the book, Chocolate or Lunch, How Choices Impact Relationships. Much of our work is focused on helping people improve relationships, not by changing their behavior, but by shifting their hearts.

Before becoming a coach, I worked 25 years in drug and alcohol treatment, first as a therapist and then the Clinical Director and the Vice President of Treatment Programs for a large treatment system. I loved working with addicts and felt both the pain of addiction and the amazing transformation of recovery. What an experience it was to serve on a small executive team that grew the system from one facility and mode of treatment to multiple levels of care, 10 facilities, in 6 counties. Forbes Magazine rated Gateway Rehabilitation Center one of the 10 best facilities in the country! I gained invaluable experience there not only about life, but about running and growing a company.

Here’s a list of other jobs and roles that have shaped me:

  • Dime store clerk
  • Program Director for a Family Camp in the high Sierras
  • Waitress
  • Piano teacher
  • Pre-school music teacher
  • College Teacher
  • Corporate Trainer/Facilitator
  • National conference keynote speaker/workshop presenter
  • Chair, Board of Directors of a systems thinking publishing house

Here are some random, quirky things you might enjoy knowing about me. I’m a:

  • Happy mother, step-mother, grandmother, great grandmother
  • whittler and a water color artist
  • dedicated gardener
  • very active member of the Baha’i Faith
  • person with no sense of direction, but I don’t let it stop me. I have more than one GPS and have traveled even internationally by myself.
  • systems thinker
  • devoted mother of a grumpy cat, Bonkers
  • 2nd tenor in an annual choral festival
  • serious practitioner of Wisdom Healing Qigong
  • I love walking, have a Fitbit, and walk every day. In 2014, I walked 70 miles in Ireland!
  • I love silliness, humor and playing games

If you prefer a more traditional listing of my credentials – here goes:

Sharon Eakes, MA, Board Certified Coach, Arbinger Coaching Network

1996 – present Co-owner, Hope Unlimited, LLC, training and coaching company
2008 – present Co-leader, Choice in Coaching, Master Coaching Class of Arbinger Institute
1996 – present Executive Coach, Life Coach


Formal Education

  • 2008 Arbinger Institute Facilitator Training, intensive 1 week
  • 2008 Arbinger Institute Choice in Coaching 15 week class
  • 2007 Arbinger Institute Anatomy of Peace 8 week class
  • 2007 Herrmann Brain Dominance Advanced Certification – Teams
  • 1996 – 2000 Coach University Graduate (CoachU)
  • 1999 Corporate Coach University International – The Coaching Clinic
  • 1996 Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument Certification
  • 1970 Duquesne University, M.A. Clinical Psychology, Existential Phenomenology
  • 1967 University of California, Davis, B.A. English, cum laude

Recent Presentations and Publications

  • Invited Huffington Post Blogger, 2015 – present
  • Fresh Views on Resilient Living, Incredible Messages Press, 2015
  • Chocolate or Lunch, How Choices Impact Relationships, N. Smyth & S. Eakes, 2015
  • Musings, monthly column in Green Tree Times, 2000 – present
  • Fresh Views, monthly coaching blog 2000 – present
  • Secrets for Staying Upbeat and Energized, keynote, and  workshop, The Surprising Requirements for Creating Successful Relationships, MARTI Conference, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2015
  • Ensnared Or Free, workshop, International Coaching Federation Midwest Conference, 2014
  • Arbinger’s Mastery Choice in Coaching Program, Arbinger Institute, 2008-2015
  • Weaver, Systems Thinking in Action Conference, Seattle WA   2007
  • The Moral Dilemma of Addiction, keynote, Baha’i Association for Mental Health, Michigan, 2007
  • Liberating Greatness, The Whole Brain Guide to an Incredible Life, H Williamson & S. Eakes, 2006
  • Coaching Clinic, Systems Thinking in Action Conference, Boston, MA, 2003
  • Coaching as a Core Competency, workshop, Systems Thinking in Action Conference, San Diego, 2002