COACHING: ARE YOU STILL PUSHING OR ALREADY PULLING?

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2019

High noon, at the senior management conference of a large chemical company. Tom Mayer, old war horse and enigmatic leader, clears his throat. "Ladies and Gentlemen: The digital revolution has finally arrived here,” he starts. “I will personally see to it that one by one, all our departments are brought up to digital speed, ..." An uneasy murmur rises. "But … but Tom knows zilch about digital processes,” Arthur Smith, Head of Manufacturing, whispers audibly, “plus he is facing retirement!" "... assisted by Daniel Moos, a young IT expert we’ve recently hired. He's a genius in his field, I might add," Mayer continues. There’s some polite applause. Smith’s voice, once again: "A guy from outside, unfamiliar with the company and its needs? You can't just hire some greenhorn and get him fit for a big change like that, at least not fast enough." Oh yes, you can. And Tom Mayer knows. 

The key is to help people help themselves

Mayer has...

Continue Reading...

WHO EVER SAID QUESTIONS WERE TABOO?

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2019

Romeo and Juliet are lying on the floor, dead. There is a puddle of water and some broken glass. What happened? I use this little riddle in my seminars, encouraging participants to ask open questions to find the solution. Those who don't know it usually offer the wildest theories, but hardly anyone ever asks the most important question: Who are Rome and Juliet?

Better not ask too much ...

It’s quite simple, actually: Romeo and Juliet are goldfish and their bowl has fallen to the ground. But the two names are so inextricably linked to Shakespeare's drama that no one ever figures it out. Would you? And even if the idea did cross someone’s mind, they probably wouldn’t dare to ask. They’d be afraid people might think they were illiterate and didn’t know Shakespeare. So they'd rather not ask and, instead, try to connect the dots on their own. Well, in coaching it doesn’t work like that.

“It’s actually very simple”

Asking questions...

Continue Reading...

ACCOMPANIMENT FROM A DISTANCE

Uncategorized May 05, 2019

Last week @Die Presse asked me and other coaches about our experiences with online and face-to-face coaching. You can read the whole article here.

Continue Reading...

HIGH TIME TO ROUND OFF YOUR LEARNING

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2019

When the railway was first invented over 200 years ago, doctors believed that its speed – less than 20 miles per hour – was a life hazard. By comparison, the current digital transformation feels like a real race. And yet: before long we will realize it’s been a leisurely ride so far, compared to what lies ahead. In other words, change won't slow down. It will continue to pick up speed – and it's high time we get ready. So what’s the best way to prepare for rapid change? My answer is: through learning.

Much more than acquiring knowledge

When I speak of learning I don’t mean the acquisition of theoretical knowledge or academic titles. Both are purely intellect-focused, whereas the kind of learning I’m talking about involves much more: It is the experience-based acquisition of skills in three areas: head, heart and hand. The more aware we are of these three kinds of skills, the better will our decision-making become – because...

Continue Reading...

WHO EVER SAID QUESTIONS WERE TABOO?

Uncategorized Mar 03, 2019

Romeo and Juliet are lying on the floor, dead. There is a puddle of water and some broken glass. What happened? I use this little riddle in my seminars, encouraging participants to ask open questions to find the solution. Those who don't know it usually offer the wildest theories, but hardly anyone ever asks the most important question: Who are Rome and Juliet?

Better not ask too much ...

It’s quite simple, actually: Romeo and Juliet are goldfish and their bowl has fallen to the ground. But the two names are so inextricably linked to Shakespeare's drama that no one ever figures it out. Would you? And even if the idea did cross someone’s mind, they probably wouldn’t dare to ask. They’d be afraid people might think they were illiterate and didn’t know Shakespeare. So they'd rather not ask and, instead, try to connect the dots on their own. Well, in coaching it doesn’t work like that.

“It’s actually very simple”

Asking questions...

Continue Reading...

SHUT UP AND LISTEN

Uncategorized Jan 06, 2019

I bet you didn’t know that coaching is like painting.

Painting? Yes: as in painting walls.

Let’s assume you want to paint your living room walls. The first thing you’re going to do is drive to the DIY store to get the necessary equipment. You want a perfect result, so you buy top quality: a premium brush with extra-fine bristles, rollers with multi-adjustable telescopic rods, the type of paint container professionals use. Back at home, you roll up your sleeves: ready to go!

But wait a second. Have you dusted the walls? Lined the floors, taped the edges, covered your furniture? And: are your lights bright enough? That’s another essential factor, if you want everything to turn out nicely.

Tools alone don't do the trick. That is true for painting, and it is true for coaching.

Listening can be hard work

Or let me put this differently: The world's best coaching tools are of little use, if you’re not sure how to apply them correctly. You also need the right...

Continue Reading...

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T LET YOUR UNFILTERED EMOTIONS TAKE OVER

Uncategorized Dec 02, 2018

Phew! What an exhausting meeting. Leaving the room, John feels dead-beat. The introduction of the new HR software seems to be going nowhere and he feels deeply frustrated. But there’s no time for emotions. Dozens of e-mails are waiting, plus he’s only got half an hour left before his next team meeting starts. So, all he can do is swallow down his frustration and keep going …. right? Or is there another option for John – what do you think?

"Lift others up"?

Just the other day I read this intriguing blog post. The author is a senior manager, I know her from a workshop. In this article, she tells leaders not to bring negative emotions into their teams but, instead, "start lifting others up." Well, I can definitely relate. Leaders do have a strong influence on the team atmosphere. Perhaps you've experienced this yourself: how your emotions – both positive and negative – can infect the whole team. On the other hand, as I was reading that...

Continue Reading...

HOW READY ARE YOU FOR VUCA?

Uncategorized Nov 04, 2018

Everything going on around us is becoming increasingly difficult to predict these days. Share prices, for example, can seesaw dramatically within a very short space of time – and have indeed lacked stability for some years now. The surprise element truly seems to have become almost a regular feature of daily life.

At the same time, products and services are experiencing ever-growing complexity: Information and situations can now be interpreted in so many different ways that communication is often complicated rather than simplified. For one thing, this proves all too clearly that the challenges imposed by today’s VUCA at top management level are bigger than ever. So, are you ready for that?

Tough just got tougher
Demands placed on people in managerial positions have reached an entirely new dimension. It is becoming increasingly difficult to measure everything and prepare professionally for future decisions. VUCA is a term that nobody can afford to ignore anymore. But what...

Continue Reading...

ON COMPLEXITY AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

Uncategorized Nov 04, 2018

9:30 p.m. in Shanghai. Seated around the conference table are managers of a multinational IT company, looking at me and each other with big eyes. "Oh, I know about VUCA challenges, alright," James is saying, “in sales, we struggle with them every day." "Oh, come on,” Sylvia butts in, “VUCA, VUCA, VUCA. Complexity and VUCA. That's all I ever hear these days. I'm just about tired of it."

And she's right, the subject has become shopworn in some circles. So why are we still discussing it? After all, VUCA is the normal state of things these days – everything is getting increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous. Nothing worth mentioning.

 

Tough choices

The good news is: It's up to you how you want to deal with the VUCA environment. If you decide to accept and acknowledge that the VUCA world isn't some abstract dystopia that may or may not creep into your business at some point in the distant future but in fact a reality, you've made a big step...

Continue Reading...

LEAVING AN ESTABLISHED PLAYER TO JOIN A START-UP: A ROCKY CHANGE

Uncategorized Sep 30, 2018

Will I fit in? What do superiors and colleagues think of me? How can I make a difference? Changing jobs is always a venture into the unknown. More likely than not, you (or your staff) will wonder whether you fit in. The situation gets particularly difficult when you leave an established company to join a start-up, or vice versa. So, be prepared to encounter a few obstacles – but don’t worry.

Turning things inside out

When you leave a corporation to join a start-up, chances are you'll experience some of the things my friend Jonas went through: He found his new colleagues to be pompous, ignorant, and in general somewhat weird. Well, the latter feeling was mutual – at least that's what he heard through the grapevine. They thought him old-fashioned, backward, and somewhat slow. Everyone concerned knew right away: Jonas just didn't fit into that start-up’s culture. If it hadn't been for his ambitions, Jonas would have thrown the towel and resigned. But he had big...

Continue Reading...
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.