Areas of Expertise: Executive Coaching, Team Effectiveness, Leadership Development, Improving Relationships, Working with Conflict, Working with Transitions, Organisation Development
Clients: Woolworths Financial Services, Coronation, Cape Town Tourism, Cape Town Partnership, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Co, Transnet, University of Western Cape, Spier, GreenMatter, Medical Research Council, Clickatell, Nature Conservation Company (NCC)

Erma has an established coaching practice incorporating Ontological coaching with her background in psychology and organisational development to help her clients realise the results and quality of existence they seek in their work and life. Her clients include leaders and their teams – from business owners to executives; CEO’s and their boards.

For her work in organisations, Erma partners with key leaders to:

  • expand their influence and increase their effectiveness
  • improve the productivity, performance and competitive advantage of their business
  • build high performance teams
  • adapt, innovate and build new capabilities to meet challenges and realise opportunities
  • navigate change and make significant transitions to take their business to the next level

This learning partnership involves deep listening and providing perspectives that expand the quality of leaders’ thinking, observation and learning and as a result: the effectiveness of the actions they take – and engagements they have – with their teams, colleagues and stakeholders.

Erma’s coaching with individual clients can also be characterised as a learning partnership through powerful conversations, where Erma applies a flexible and fresh approach to guide her clients in:

  • gaining new insight through skilful observation and reflection
  • acquiring new or improved life and leadership skills and habits
  • tailor-making practices to embody and entrench the resourceful and resilient ways of being that will lead to achieving success and fulfillment in work and life.

The individual coaching could be focused on growth to meet new challenges or opportunities, or alternatively on thinking, reflecting and learning during times of decisions, transitions or complexity. All coaching is goal directed and although creative and personal – firmly grounded in the disciplines and philosophy of ontological coaching, developmental psychology and process oriented leadership.

Erma is married and the mother of two young daughters. She enjoys the challenge of balancing her love for family and friends, with all things creative and musical – and her professional life

Career and Professional Experience

Erma started her career with Accenture as a Change and Organisation Development consultant. Thereafter she held a number of Leadership Development, Talent Management and Organisational Development roles in Woolworths Pty Ltd. Her last role was as the Head of Talent Management where she was responsible for Recruitment, Assessment, Leadership Development, Coaching, Career Development, Succession Planning and Performance Management. Here she managed a team of 40 talent management specialists from these various human capital disciplines. These corporate roles gave her first-hand experience of being a leader in business and have equipped her with insight into strategy, organisational dynamics, and team leadership. It has also exposed her to the challenges and opportunities inherent in complex organisational systems.


Erma maintains her Registration as a psychologist. Her formal education includes:

  • Hons Industrial Psychology (University of Stellenbosch)
  • MA Counselling Psychology (University of Stellenbosch)
  • Graduate Diploma in Ontological Coaching (PCC accredited: Newfield Institute, Australia)

In addition, Erma’s continued Professional Development includes:

  • Enneagram: Accredited E-Scale & Integrative Enneagram user
  • Certified practitioner: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (I & II)
  • Accredited in Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment
  • Process Oriented Change Leadership: Max Schubach
  • Learning Facilitation: Transformational Consulting Services
  • Appreciative Enquiry
  • Edward de Bono’s Lateral and creative thinking in business strategy
  • Corporate Leadership Council conferences and research publications
  • Organisational Development Courses at Accenture Business School in Chicago
  • Participating in regular supervision, professional conferences, forums and other learning opportunities


“Erma is an amazing coach and confidante. She is dynamic, insightful, thoughtful and caring. Erma will challenge your thinking in an unconventional, but non-threatening way and will help you gain insight into yourself and the world we live in. I know that anyone fortunate enough to have her coach them will find the experience, interaction and the insights richly rewarding.”  Zyda Rylands, Executive Director Woolworths Pty Ltd

“The decision to work with Erma Steyn as my professional coach has been a life changing one and an investment that I believe will hold much reward, not only on a personal level, but also on a professional level for Cape Town Tourism as an organisation. Her approach to coaching is refreshing, innovative and personal, allowing for an enriching and thought provoking experience. I recommend her programme to any professional; it is an investment worth making.”

Mariette du Toit-Helmboldt, CEO Cape Town Tourism

“My time with Erma has been extremely helpful in setting myself and my team up for success. I appreciate her ability to reflect on the difficult issues in a manner that is palatable whilst never skirting what needs to be said. Thanks for being a partner in my journey.”Sabine Lehmann, CEO Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

“I strongly recommend Erma to anyone who is serious about finding out who they really are and whether they are doing the right thing in life. As a comprehensive and objective check on one’s progress, happiness and understanding of life, she is well equipped to be the sounding board that is so important in this process. Her extensive knowledge, sharp mind and experience in the field are crucial in ensuring that this very difficult and exposing exercise is handled in the best manner possible, whilst delivering maximum benefit.”  Struan Buchannon, Business Owner and Entrepreneur