Her Coaching: Ideally Suited for International Corporate Clients
Why do you coach?
My biggest joy and honor is to see people that I’ve worked with grow and live to their full potential. I think it’s really sad that a lot of people have a lack of self-confidence and don’t realize their potential. If they’re lucky, they at least know something is missing, and there’s a chance they’ll try to find out what it is. Sadly, most are so busy in the rat race that they don’t listen to the voice of their soul, their subconscious. When I meet people, I can often tell whether or not they are living their life’s purpose. I can see it in their eyes. Those who are moving towards their potential are more vibrant and energetic. There’s a sparkle in their eyes. The others seem dead inside. So many people are distanced from their potential, or aren’t even aware of it, that it seems as if we are living in a world of zombies. One of my main goals is to help people discover and develop their potential.
What is your personal story? How did you get started as a coach?
Long ago a friend said to me, “Wherever you are, you help people grow.” I think that sums it all up. I am always encouraging people. I’m also curious and like to ask questions that most people don’t even ask themselves. Even before obtaining formal education, training and certification to become a professional coach, I was a coach at heart. I am a coach. There’s more to it than that though. I promised myself early on to find a profession where I felt fulfilled. When I was young, I saw so many people who worked for money or job security but not for happiness. I started out as a public servant, and by age 22 I had advanced to a high-level position in the government telecommunications company. By German standards, this type of secure position was a dream job that millions of young people would have envied, but I hated it. At 6 a.m. when I was getting ready for work one day, I looked in the mirror and had a sudden vision of myself in my 50s still working as a public servant. I saw where my work was taking me and what it would do to me, and it brought tears to my eyes. At that moment I promised myself I wouldn’t turn into that person. I realized I wanted to make money being who I am. I quit my job that day. People thought I had lost my mind, but it was one of the best decisions of my life. I never regretted it. I began my studies in philosophy just a few weeks later, and the rest, as they say, is history. When I wake up now and think about my job, I’m always happy, fulfilled and proud of my profession. I sympathize with people who work in jobs that they find unfulfilling. I remember how much I dreaded going to work. How can you love your life if you wake up every morning with such resistance?
What makes you uniquely qualified to help corporate clients?
Several things set me apart, including my understanding of emotional intelligence, my work with international clients, my appreciation for differences and my personal experience in the corporate world. When it comes to emotional intelligence, a lot people believe that in order to function in the corporate world, they need to shut off their emotions, but that is wrong. We are humans, and we can’t function without emotions. It’s an illusion to think otherwise. We need to raise emotional awareness, becoming aware of our emotions and working with them. Rather than eliminating emotions in the workplace, people should learn how to use them in a productive way. Those who don’t often end up with all sorts of stress-related health problems because of suppressed emotions. As a leader you are a role model for others. It’s part of your job to empower your employees and guide them through difficult and sometimes painful changes. You can do all of this so much better if you understand your emotions and use them well. You will be even more successful if you understand how to read, address and change other people’s emotions! Early on I accepted the unstoppable process of globalization and the concept of embracing cultural and geographical differences. I’m thrilled to work with clients who have an international perspective. I have always been passionate about differences, and I’ve always been able to appreciate differences without judging them. I’ve worked with teams in which people seemed to automatically put one person above another, whether because of racism, ageism, sexism or something else entirely. I am able to work with people from amazingly different backgrounds and help them overcome such barriers. I fully believe that we can bridge differences while honoring them, not equalizing them. I have also dealt with several intercultural teams. When I worked in Europe there were sometimes four or five countries represented on one team. We would work in English even though that wasn’t anyone’s native language. When we met, my husband who is from New Zealand only spoke English, and my English was weak, at best. Since then, we’ve both left our homelands, ultimately landing in the U.S., so I know what it means to overcome language and cultural differences. As a corporate coach, I’m uniquely qualified because I combine academic research, praxis with clients and personal experience in key areas around leadership and change management.