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Interview

What distinguishes you as a coach?

Part of my expertise is to identify the deeper interconnections in life and to make the coachee aware of these.
To enable the coachee to identify synchronicities and dichotomies between his/her thinking, feeling and actions, his/her experiences, problems or objectives and to learn to integrate all of these aspects into the general picture of his/her personality.
Not only do I use my professional knowledge to do this but also my highly developed intuition.
Dealing with, i.e. integrating, the shadow, represents an important and indispensable step towards the holistic integration or individuation of the personality.
My coaching is systemic and holistic. I help the coachee find the answers that are right for him or her.
In doing so I guide him/her through the process with respect and empathy, though sometimes I am also provocative or have a certain target in mind. And of course we must not forget fun and humour.

How do you proceed in group coaching?

I generate a needs analysis before each seminar. Are there tensions within the team? Where are the problems? What should the seminar achieve? I seek answers to these questions in close cooperation with the client. Soft skill themes such as improving communication skills, social competence or the currently fashionable emotional intelligence have been described in the widest sense by C.G. Jung as preferred behaviours. Interestingly, it is possible to associate our behaviour with measurable typologies. To find out who belongs to which type we use supporting tools. Each participant receives his/her very own personal potential analysis. The next step depends on the seminar or the coaching content. I always focus on the practical day-to-day application. I am very keen that the results should not remain merely theoretical. Regardless of whether it is an individual coaching session or an executive seminar, the participants leave the seminar with strategies that they can apply directly in their everyday working lives. As far as the style of the seminar goes, we try to include as many topics from the real-life working situation as possible, including any existing problems and tensions. In addition, we carry out practical exercises in the form of personal introspective reflection or as part of dynamic group activities.

You also conduct a great number of management training courses. Is the demand that great?

Yes. Managers desperately need help with their soft skill potential. For it is very "lonely at the top". This means that managers rarely receive support with regard to soft skills; their needs are no longer addressed. This explains the great interest in the topic "How to manage myself and others", a course that focuses on motivation and communication skills.

What can managers do with this knowledge?

They can understand that, for instance, motivation through integration and leadership through social intelligence can both secure their position as well as increase the efficiency of the work within the team.

In your management seminars there is a lot of talk about stress and anti-stress. What exactly do you mean by this?

The high expectations in today's workplace have moved "Dealing with Stress" to the top of the agenda. Reducing stress by taking exercise or eating chocolate only addresses the symptoms, not the causes. My coaching sessions and seminars also probe into the causes in order to help people cope with the identified stress. A heavy work load alone is not a stress factor per se. A high stress level is often caused by having to interact with people who "tick" or "function" differently than we do. We find it difficult to adjust to this and this can, in some situations, lead to tension. Recognising my own type of stress symptoms helps me identify solutions and reduce my own stress level. This is exactly the process I use to structure my seminars. People also underrate communication problems in the workplace. The introverted analyser will, for example, work with a diligence that is considered excessive by his/her peers whilst an extroverted man of action quickly feels hampered by others. This often leads to stress in interpersonal situations.

How can you resolve such incompatibilities?

By accepting them. The psychoanalyst C. G. Jung proposed a typology model that classified the various different behavioural patterns. In my seminars you learn how to identify these behavioural patterns without judging them. Each type has its specific strengths and weaknesses. In other words, the old saying: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is wrong. The correct version should be: "Do unto others as they would want to have done unto themselves". I should respond to others appropriately.

When does training not work?

Many managers overestimate training and what it can achieve. You cannot fundamentally change a person. I am continually surprised to hear that there are some managers who think that an employee who is basically reserved can suddenly turn into a skilful presenter after only two days of training. Here I would always recommend deploying this person, on the basis of his/her potential, in areas that require analytical skills and are therefore more appropriate. Then this person will be successful. Training can change perception and promote tolerance. And where there is a will, you can indeed move mountains. In 2 or 3-day seminars you can achieve motivation and a change in perception; you can improve communication strategies and provide tools for the daily working routine. However, tangible supporting measures e.g. for stress situations, and, above all, radical behavioural change, can only be achieved by more intensive coaching – which some of my clients treat themselves to.

Different providers of training tools seem to use different definitions. What type do you belong to?

According to Insights, I'm a motivator - which is not hard to spot if you experience me in a seminar environment. In Myers Briggs, I am an ENTJ and in DISG I'm the "red D" type. At all events there are always numerous dynamic and motivational dimensions involved. Good feedback for me is always when the participants, all of whom are tired of training courses, tell me that they have paid close attention for eight hours without being bored for a minute. I garnish my seminars with interesting anecdotes from numerous international companies. This keeps the interest level high. The participants like the international flair; it is colourful and dynamic and stimulates intercultural thinking. An important goal for me is to get every single participant involved. Even the more introverted, analytical "spectators" can be catered for by ensuring a demanding level of specialised knowledge transfer.

Are there any functioning relationships we can learn from?

Our modern lifestyle has increasingly lost touch with nature - yet we can learn so much from her. We offer, for example, a management seminar that has been substantially enriched by studying wolf pack behaviour. The seminar draws heavily on the transfer of knowledge from relationships in the wild, particularly team leadership. You can observe many social behaviour patterns in wolves that are surprisingly similar to human behaviour. We examine this more closely together with the participants. The practical studies are carried out in Lobo Park in Andalusia. Experts, who for a long time worked as business consultants, have been working with two wolf packs for many years. This is extremely exciting and, as far as I know, a unique project. Why have wolves, for example, never become extinct although they have been hunted so mercilessly in the past? Because of their strategically perfect teamwork. The social order is absolutely clear, and everything happens for the good of the group. There are exemplary and comprehensible paths to mutual success. The alpha wolf leads the pack, often in conjunction with his partner, all beta wolves have shared goals and responsibilities in which they can demonstrate their prowess, and then there is the lowest rank omega wolf that is the target of all their frustration. From our idea of society, hardly an enviable position, but the interesting point is that the order changes based on achievement. The omega wolf can work its way up the social ladder and even the alpha wolf retains the leading position only for as long as he can fulfil it. A dramatic fall is just as possible as a meteoric rise through the ranks. Only the beta wolves live in a relatively secure social position. Interesting, isn't it?

Can you see the results? What do you notice?

The success of sales trainings can be measured directly. Clearly defined goals can be set and achieved. Success in areas that I have specifically specialised in, such as management training, is not easily quantifiable. However, what a well-coached manager can achieve in the way of additional employee motivation, management of stress situations and strategic task allocation based on employee potential is invaluable. The metric we use at best connection is exceptional customer loyalty: Once a customer, always a customer.