• Highheels

    ‘I messed up’ – how you turn your messy leadership moments in fruitful team culture

    A few weeks ago, I messed up in a team meeting on a Friday afternoon. I was tired of the week. I was at my worst. I was unfair to my own team. When I took some time on Saturday to reflect on the week, I realized what had happened. During my tiredness, the worst side of my ego took over and I let my own team feel as loosers. When I saw what I had done, I was angry at myself, unhappy and shocked. Instead of building a cool cuture where everyone thrives, one selfish comment attacked so much trust and teamspirit. As I could not call my team…

  • Highheels

    When silence kills your team spirit

    I remember a team call that went horrible bad. For some reason the atmosphere already alternated from ignorance to arrogance of the participants and not one idea made it through the devastating critics of the outnumbered naysayers. As a result noone wanted to share any idea, thought or update. It hit climax when the boss asked an important question and noone of the management people in the call wanted to answer. The silence weighted heavier than any argument could have. I was reminded of this call when I recently went into another team call in which one team member ignored the question of the moderator. Even after offering three time…

  • Highheels

    Who is your minister of honor?

    For a few weeks now, there is the role of ‘minister of honor’ in my team. Whoever holds this role is responsible to encourage all team members. And although this sounds somewhat silly or easy-to-do at first sight, it it neither nor. People who have been in this role mentioned that it isn’t easy to find the right words for a chat message to encourage someone. They said that they were wondering how to live this role in a creative way. Actually, these are reflection moments that I cherish. If you hand out responsiblity in your team, you give a person the chance to grow. In this case, the minister…

  • Highheels

    How weakness could be our strongest teambuilding (Part 2)

    So, now that you want to change (see Part 1 of this article), let’s examine in Part 2, how can you change your company culture. Culture is naturally created from the top. That means, whereever you are the ‘top’, you can shape culture. If you ‘only’ have an intern you can lead, than this is your playfield. Actually, it is the best playfield you can get as you can try and learn without hurting too many people. Culture shaping always starts with shaping yourself. If back biting and proclaiming colleagues a ‘lame duck’ is normal behaviour for you, you won’t find anyone who trusts you. You might feel superior –…

  • Highheels

    How weakness could be our strongest teambuilding (Part 1)

    “I would never go back to that company”, a friend tells me. “There is a culture where you cannot share your real emotions. You are forced to play cool at all times. This is toxic.” I nod silently. Although the professional business environment certainly encourages less emotions than other work places, there is a tendency in some company cultures to extinct emotional up and downs in order to not seem ‘weak’. To be precise: not ‘weak’ towards clients or competitors, but even within the same team the competiveness can be so challenging that grief, sleepless nights and illnesses are hidden. In consequence, colleagues who hit bad luck in life are…

  • Boots,  Highheels

    The best is yet to come

    What sounds like a phrase of a fortune cookie, could actually have more impact in your life than you’d think. The headline displays a certain belief towards life which is rooted in an underlying narrative that everyone defines for him/herself. Have you ever heard sentences like “If I just had xy, then I could do/buy/move …”, “I cannot do x because …” or “If my boss/team/client wasn’t that way, then …”. Those narratives attribute responsibility away from the speaker towards other people or circumstances. In short: “If you cannot swim, it’s due to the lousy swimwear.” And although there might be tough life circumstances, attributing all your ‘why nots’ to…

  • Boots,  Highheels,  Sneakers

    This crisis kills my empathy

    Working in virtual teams has been around for years in project management and consulting. But the extend in which we now work remotely is new. And this is why project leads and management members in consulting need to adapt their leadership style accordingly. Before the pandemic, a good portion of the day was already spent at the laptop and in calls. But there were breaks to chat with colleagues over a cup of coffee. Often these talks were work-unrelated and even with people who weren’t on the same project. We just bumped into them by accident when leaving our desk. But in home office or people-reduced corporate offices, we don’t…

  • Highheels

    How to find a good coach

    Coaching supports change. You might want to bring your career to the next level or you are in need of a decision. Whenever you aspire change, coaching is a helpful tool to support you in the journey. The techniques used will always bring in different perspectives while you keep your freedom of choice without feeling judged. You can think of a coaching session as a think tank where you can throw your ideas on a white canvas and by looking at it from all angles, get new insight and inspiration. The role of the coach is to adjust the light, turn the picture and move your head around by asking thought-provoking questions. Once you have…

  • Boots,  Highheels

    What social work on sunday morning at 6am taught me

    It is early sunday morning. Cold. Dark. Rainy. The group of people meets to work together for a few hours for a social cause. ‘How is the energy level’, the leader of the group asks and smiles into the tired faces. You can call a 5 on a 10 scale a good average. One person puts it quite nicely: “Now I am a 5, put I am here because I know that at the end of our session, I will be a 10.” Four hours and a lot of work later, the group gathers for the wrap up. Everyone smiles and is happy. The work ran smoothly, there was time…

  • Highheels

    Why being ‘predictable’ will make you a great leader

    When you watch a magician or a comedian and the punchline is too obvious, it gets boring. In these situations, you want to be surprised, amazed and fascinated. The next step on stage shouldn’t be predictable. This is what brings in an element of excitement and gives you a good night of entertainment. As predictability is often associated with boredom, some people hesitate on how to act once they are in their first management position. As they don’t want to become a lame duck in leadership, they might try to react differently to similar requests or at least keep their potential reaction a secret. Unfortunately, this will lead to insecurity…