Focus on your connection – to achieve impact
Connection and impact. While my coaching work is always focused on you as my client, your objectives, and your agenda, it is grounded on two ideas, that lie at the core of my approach: connection and impact. Across my experience as a corporate employee, as an artist, as coach, and most importantly, as a human being, I have found that there is nothing more important than being connected: connected to yourself, to your purpose, to others, and the world around you. Using your whole self – heart and mind. From this connection, you draw energy, clarity, and power to create impact.
Self or Inner Connect
Just like we can’t build a beautiful monument without a strong foundation or write an exciting novel without first knowing how to spell, to become more effective we must start at the foundation of it all – which is ourselves. This is therefore exactly where I would begin my work you – by helping you connect better with yourself. Our cultural contexts, busy lives, upbringing, professional pressures and many other things make it harder and harder for us to look within. So often we spend our lives walking around in a sort of daze, not being truly in touch with our bodies or minds, not realizing how we really think or feel and not really appreciating the pressures, hopes or fears that exist within us. This disconnect and lack of self-awareness is often our greatest barrier to being more effective leaders and professionals. When I work with you as an individual or in a team, I will help you make these connections again – in simple and practical ways. I will guide you to gently step over your inner hurdles, attain a new kind of inner balance and access the great strength you have within. Only through this process can we take the first step towards truly shining, inspiring confidence and being more effective leaders.
Like Abraham Maslow said, “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.”
As Peter Senge, father of systems thinking said: “Business and human endeavours are systems…we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.”
The next dimension of connection is therefore connection to the different contexts and environments we interface with every day – looking beyond the particles to the whole, the systems. Whether just within our organizations, industry, the market or the larger framework we all operate in, being effective requires us to be better connected and more aware of what is happening around us. In this domain of connectedness, I help you strengthen your ability to connect and discern outwards, to better “read” the system you are navigating, across various dimensions of your personal and professional life. You will learn to see the various aspects of a situation more clearly, to be more tuned in to not just yourself but your immediate environment and to decode the ‘undercurrents’ that are ever-present in these contexts. This understanding will help you to be more clear, agile and impactful in your relationships with others, and ultimately to become a more effective leader.
Ernest Hemingway said, “When people talk, listen completely.”
To listen completely, we have to be completely present and connected – with ourselves and the person in front of us. True connectedness not only requires us to be fully ‘present’ to enable the connection, but also needs us to allow an open, honest, lively and gentle flow of ideas. The third dimension of connectedness focuses on this crucial one-on-one link we form with others as we work through situations. This bond is necessary not only to be a better leader but to be more impactful in whatever we do. Effective communication in turn not only requires practicing the art of ‘open and active listening’ but also learning to come from a place of quiet confidence when communicating with others. My approach involves working with you to help you develop the ability to naturally connect with others in an effective, gratifying and accommodating manner, without which you cannot hope to communicate effectively. I will help teach you how to avoid the obstacles to effective one-on-one communication, like withdrawing, stonewalling, or being pushy / aggressive while communicating with those around you. More effectively connecting with others is what will ultimately help you establish trust in your working relationships and gives you the power to influence and co-create with others.
Connecting to Purpose
The fourth dimension of reaching better connectedness for impact is about deepening your understanding of your purpose. As Mark Twain put it, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why” . Our “Why”, our purpose is an essential source of energy and enabler for success.
Connecting to your Why and your purpose is both about the BIG purpose of what makes your life unique and meaningful, and the small purposes of different situations – the BIG and the small “why am I here”. In my own experience of life, I have seen that being clear about my purpose – both the big one and the many small ones, has been what was most important to helping me grow, be successful, and fulfilled. And as the renowned psychotherapist and founder of Logotherapy, Viktor Frankl, showed in his work, being aware and attentive to purpose in our lives is essential for our very survival, for our effectiveness and our success. The corporate world is no different and the most powerful reason for teams and individuals to come together is a common purpose. Individuals at all levels in an organization have an intense need to better understand how they contribute to common goals. To be an effective and powerful leader therefore, you need to give clarity of purpose. Being rooted and authentic in your own purpose, and alert to understanding the purpose and motivations of different individuals and teams you work with, you become better positioned to inspire following among them and be more effective and impactful.
These four dimensions of connectedness are the foundation of my coaching work – the base that nourishes the different facets and angles we will be working with. Beyond this foundation, you as my client drive the agenda: you set the goals and our purpose together, you bring the issues to the table for us to work on – your issues, your agenda, and your goals. My role is to serve you powerfully: by providing you a safe place for deep thought and reflection, and by challenging you to go beyond your current thought patterns and to go deeper in each dimension of connectedness.
Coaching with me involves serious work – it is about your life and your success as person and leader. At the same time, it will also encourage you to smile and find that lighter, happier space within, and to feel more alive and connected to what matters.
One of my clients, a talented young singer I coached during a summer school, said to me at the end of our session, “thank you, I have learned so much about myself, almost like going to a shrink. But it was different, faster – and we had fun!”. A young executive who came to me feeling overwhelmed facing a whole army of problems – lack of role clarity at work, conflict with his manager, a long -distance relationship and living through winter with broken heating (and no time to get it fixed) – left feeling solid – with clarity on priorities, a clear action plan… and a big smile! Another client, a senior executive in the financial sector, told me half way through the coaching programme, “this really works for me… I had imagined that coaching to be something tedious, and I doubted that it would be of much use. But I see that I am learning so much (which she was!), but it just happens as we go.”
To help you achieve your goals my techniques combine sound logical analysis with deep emotional and personal work, and help left brain and right brain see and feel together. Responding to your needs, I use a combination of coaching methods, including systemic, solution focused and co-active methods, mindfulness, and artistic techniques involving voice, breath and body work.
My aim is to help you to thrive and give you the power to reach your goals.