• 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

    Resilience through thankfulness

    In 10 years from now – what will your story be about 2020? For sure, it was a special year for everybody. Worldwide. And as reflection of a past year always is a good habit, it seems to be even more important at the end of 2020. Why so? As 2020 contained so much uncertainty, loss and failure, the reflection of this year has the potential to raise your level of resilience. With more resilience in your mental pocket, you can face upcoming challenges with a new inner strength. And this is when you can leave 2020 with a smile. For a start, the human brain loves to store moments…

  • 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

    Why I don’t want your advice

    “Forget all I have advised you in the past years“, my boss says in our last meeting on my last day of work “and just continue doing what you think is right. You will need it where you are going.” I am smiling. He is smiling. The past years, I have been some sort of a troublemaker in his department – in the best sense of the word. I brought in new ideas, conducted trainings in project management for the colleagues, started cooperations with HR and delivered some projects despite adversity. But I didn’t blend in with the colleagues who just wanted to do their job. He advised me from…

  • Highheels

    What I would tell my younger self

    When I listen to people who have done a successful career, it all sounds like a pathway of pre-aligned steps. Even the hard moments contribute to the bigger picture in the retrospective. It feels so natural that all decisions, ups, downs and detours lead to a well assembled storylining. It is hard to believe that the future of these people actually was a blank page waiting for them to write their first paragraph. Recently, I was writing down my own CV with all the projects that I delivered and all the different topics I pursued. While I was writing, I could actually see the same red line in the past…

  • Highheels

    The lies you believe

    “The grass is greener on the other side” expresses what we often believe – that someone else has a better share in life than we got. When I just recall the talks I had the past weeks…. the university in that other city which managed pandemic-restrictions and classroom-trainings better … that other company that made more deals in these times … that friend who gets better support from the family in caring for the children. We all have the tendencies to compare – and somehow we manage to always loose within the comparison. We actually find reasons and angles in which the grass on the other side really seems to…

  • 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…