(Executive) Coaching & Mentoring 

Coaching accelerates your growth. Mentoring allows you to learn from my experience. Working together in a trustful partnership, using a thought-provoking and creative process, results in inspiration for new ways, even new being sometimes. The aim and result is always personal and professional growth. Hard results are never the target, however always an outcome. 

We design an alliance to work together successfully. Through a dedicated coaching app on any platform, you will be offered extra exercises and articles for deeper and more extended development. Our face-to-face sessions will also be enriched through exercise outcomes. When possible, I prefer to coach outside through taking a walk together, or be at an inspiring place.

Organizational Learning

Learning has become the heart of everything I do. Being educated as a technical teacher (electro engineering and computer science), I have been a trainer, training developer, training manager and global learning & development director (TNT). Examples of challenges, I am happy to take on, include positioning of the L&D department, learning strategy of an organization, operational learning and keeping the business running, train the trainer, etc. Other experiences include the set-up of a corporate academy, developing and implementing an operations supervisor training program, implemented in >25 countries, as well as a blended approach for making pick-up & delivery drivers the ambassadors of the company in more than 30 countries on 5 continents. They also became great sales lead generators. One of the key drivers of operational learning is the design of feedback processes in the day to day setting, as this facilitates continuous learning and improvement without direct involvement of any learning department or other resources.

Change Design & Execution

Change and transformation are usually complex, create volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity. The change approach taken therefore needs to be adjusted regularly, as unexpected responses and situations will come up, it;’s unavoidable. Besides a rich change management toolbox to manage this, the extensive and deep experience of many small and (XL) large projects and change programs, will help you and your organization to develop a solid change architecture, plan and execution for large system implementations, organizational changes, post-merger & acquisition programs and many more. Projects will always include the guidance and coaching of your local talents, ensuring they become independent of these services sooner than later. Obviously training, coaching, mentoring and other services can be combined whenever needed and relevant.

Leadership Development

Are leaders born or developed? Does it matter? Learning and improving is always possible and effective leadership starts with knowing yourself. Having navigated a few perfect storms myself as a manager and executive, and being a senior leadership developer and facilitator, I am able to combine theory and practice when it comes to developing leadership. I have designed and implemented various leadership programs in larger international companies. I bring experience and knowledge that accelerates leadership development in your organization. Building leadership development journeys, applying blended learning to the max, and also keeping both content and learning approaches as practical as possible, has proven effective and successful. Ask me about some of the journeys I designed before and how this experience can help your organisation to growth leadership capabilities, enabling retaining critical staff and obtaining performance results fast, just because leadership growth is in place, whilst alignment, critical for accelerating results, has been accomplished.

Team Building & Growth

Building and growing teams takes time and effort, and especially “team intelligence”. It sometimes takes an external person to ensure all team members are willing to help build a top performing team. It requires an effective process, personal reflections, individual guidance and feedback, building trust and some good and constructive conflicts. I have been a team manager myself for the last 30 years and a team facilitator/coach for the last 20 years. I bring together my abilities and experiences to help teams grow, help team members develop and to ensure team performance exceeds expectations. Next to the toolboxes I have gathered for training, coaching, leadership development and managing, I also have developed a dedicated toolbox to facilitate the growth of teams. 


The Feedback Fallacy

OMG, I just had a mental melt-down. Feedback doesn’t work as we thought for the last 100 years. Markus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall rock the boat.

I was reading the HBR (april 2019) and had to read this article 3 times, some parts even more. The claim: Feedback does not realise performance nor learning! “Telling people what we think of their performance doesn’t help them thrive and excel, and telling people how we think they should improve actually hinders learning.”

Isn’t feedback always useful? Don’t we want to help people to thrive and excel?  Yes we do, and it turns out that telling people what we think of their performance and how they should do it better – feedback – doesn’t work as think it does.

Our assumptions:

1. Others are more aware of our weaknesses, feedback helps clarifying this.
2. Learning allows us to acquire competencies through others teaching us.
3. Great performance can be analysed and transferred to us.

The HBR findings:

1. Humans cannot rate other humans, because they always base it on their understanding, never on our understanding. The “idiosyncratic rater effect”, more than 50% of their rating reflects only their own characteristics. Feedback is more distortion than truth.

2. Learning takes mostly place in areas of greater ability (our strengths), and getting attention to our strengths from others catalyzes learning.

3. Excellence is idiosyncratic. It is not the opposite of failure! In fact, excellence and failure have a lot in common (here really starts my mental melt-down). 

The point here is:
Since excellence is idiosyncratic and cannot be learned by studying failure, we can never help another person succeed by holding her performance up against a prefabricated model of excellence, giving her feedback on where she misses the model, and telling her to pug the gaps.

How to help people excel

  1. Look for outcomes. Excellence is an outcome, so take note of when a prospect leans into a sales pitch, a project runs smoothly, or an angry customer suddenly calms down. Stop the flow of work for a moment and pull your colleague’s attention back toward something he just did that really worked. “YES, That!”
  2. Replay your instinctive reactions. Describe what you experienced when his moment of excellence caught your attention. There is nothing more believable and more authoritative than sharing what you saw from him and how it made you feel.
  3. Never lose sight of your highest-priority interrupt. If someone screws up something, deal with it! But remember, this is merely remediating, it inhibits learning and does not get you closer to excellence. Just make it a personal learning experience. However, if you see someone doing something that really works, make that your high-priority interrupt. Stop him/her and the rest of the team and dissect the success. Not only he/she will grow and learn, everybody will.
  4. Explore present, past and future. When someone asks for a solution for a problem, start with the now. What is working for you right now? Relate this to asking to create new solutions. Then relate it to the past, when you had a similar problem before, what did you do (what worked)? Finally, ask for the future. What you already know you need to do? Maybe share one or two of your own experiences. Assume the person already knows the answers, help recognizing to.
  5. Focus on “WHAT”. Don’t focus too much on the why. Why didn’t that work or why do you think you should do that? Instead, focus on the whats – What do you actually want to happen? What are a couple of actions you could take right now? These questions create concrete answers.

What to do?

The right way to help colleagues excel – try some of this language in stead.

HBR conclusion:

“We humans do not do well when someone whose intentions are unclear tells us where we stand, how good we “really” are, and what we must do to fix ourselves. We excel only when people who know us and care about us tell us what they experience and what they feel, and in particular when they see something within us that really works.

Not mine, this is from the HBR magazine.

I think I need a meltdown first to rebuild my believe system with regards to the role of feedback in growth and the ability we humans have to project our thinking on others…

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