Expert in new beginnings, solution-focused coach, Strong intercultural and international interests
The challenge of new beginnings
I have had many fresh starts, when life didn’t follow the course I expected. I’m an expert!
From teacher to HR developer
When there were no teaching jobs in my area of German and History studies, it gave me my big chance. I found work in an area I was unfamiliar with: in the personnel development of an insurance company in Düsseldorf. Later I was promoted to Head of Quality Management.
Achieving success in a company
I started this job rather naively, unaware of all the relationship networks and imponderables of company dynamics. I was full of drive and curiosity, but was not getting anywhere. Soon I learned to focus on what worked and where I had allies rather than getting upset about what wasn't working or that nobody cared.
"Soon I learned to focus on what worked."
The value of a coach
Now I began to work with a coach and organizational consultant in addition to my advanced training as group dynamics trainer. I understood the forces that can drive a team and companies in general, and discovered how to influence them.
Leadership without support - is that possible?
Managing the seminar department in a software company in Berlin thrust me into a new role as a manager and a completely different corporate culture. Oh, how idealistic I was at the start of my new leadership role! I wanted to work in partnership with my employees.
"I wanted to work in partnership with my employees.”
At least one of my employees was not interested.
He had also applied for the position I now held and would not cooperate with me. When it came to choosing between him and me, I thought they should back me as the manager, but management decided differently and let me go. I was suddenly unemployed! A tough test! Back to rebuilding my confidence, working out what I was good at and then going forward.
My life´s mission: Supporting Strengths
After seven years as an employee, I became self-employed as an organizational consultant, trainer and coach, working in various networks. My clients were in a wide range of industries: automotive, telecommunications, rail and print. My focus was leadership training and team development.
From leadership training to my calling
I found particular satisfaction working with colleagues on large projects, especially delivering training to support managers who were having to lay off employees after decades of service. This is where I discovered my life's purpose: helping people to build on their strengths and shape their lives with confidence.
” I realised that my life's purpose was to support people build on their strengths and shape their lives with confidence.
Going international - China, here I come
I love travelling and have always wanted to work internationally. In 2005 I went to Renmin University in Beijing, China for six months as a lecturer. It was quite a shock at the start and I began to question my own assumptions.
It started with my Chinese boss not wanting to give me a contract, but simply saying that I should come out to Beijing and we could sort out the details then. It was clear that if I insisted on an employment contract it wouldn't work and I would have damaged our relationship.
„If I had insisted on an employment contract, it would have damaged our relationship.“
How can you start a new job without a contract of employment?
I summed up our phone call in an e-mail and asked her if I had understood everything correctly and, if so, would she sign it? She did. When I was in China, I did not get my salary at the end of the month, as agreed. I decided I would stop working if I did not get paid.
My clarity and my strong negotiating position meant that, unlike others, I got my money. I had not only asserted myself but earned the respect of my boss and my colleagues.
“I asserted my interests clearly and earned the respect of my boss and my colleagues."
New ways of thinking
My time in China gave me new ways of thinking; a new openness and sense of curiosity. Chinese students tended to learn by memorizing rather than through discussion and forming their own arguments. That was new to me. My normal approach of asking questions made them suspect I had no idea! But both they and I learned quickly. By the time I left, some students were able to facilitate their own lessons and discussions.
More joy and energy with a resource-focused view
Another important step was the move with my husband to Switzerland in 2008, when I started my career again – and created another big change in my life. Through my search for international coaching training, I got to know Peter Szabo and, through him, the solution-focused approach developed by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg.
” "Talking about problems creates problems. Talking about solutions creates solutions."
Steve de Shazer
"Talking about problems creates problems. Talking about solutions creates solutions."
This quote from Steve de Shazer totally changed my previous assumption that you have to talk about problems before you can solve them. It also completely changed my life, both professionally and privately. By moving from teacher to organizational consultant to solution-focused coach, I became a partner for my clients. Among my client list is Novartis, Roche, Syngenta, Merck, Ford, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, Unilever, FHNW University of Applied Science and Arts Northwestern Switzerland Basel, University Hospital Basel.
The solution-focused approach to changing perspectives
An exercise during the coaching training was an absolute a-ha moment for me. We had to watch a coaching session and then give only positive feedback to the coach. Even though the coachee was very happy with the coaching, I could only think of the things I would do differently - the things I didn't like.
It was a coaching colleague who helped me. She immediately listed all the positives she had observed during the session. Suddenly I saw things differently! And it certainly helped the coach to grow and understand what worked. The solution-focused coaching approach saves time and gets better results. Personally, this new way of looking at my surroundings gave me more energy, confidence and joy, which I would now like to share with you.
"I saw not to look at the deficits, but to build on what works."
” Another a-ha experience: using the space in the room to get new perspectives and to pay attention to your own body signals.
Using space to get new perspectives
I always like to learn and try something new. In recent years I have introduced working with space into my coaching, which my clients have found even more useful.
Finding a solution through body signals
When I first experienced working with the space in a room - as a participant - it was a revelation. Take decision making as an example: by placing myself in different parts of the room, which represented the different decision options, I was able to find a solution not only mentally, but also through recognising how my body signals changed in different parts of the room. I offer clients this approach as an additional coaching option.
My Communities - the ICF and SFIO
Since 2011 I have been a member of the ICF and a credentialed coach – PCC. As former ICF Switzerland Chapter Leader Basel and now as active member, I support the high standards of coaching. I am on the cutting edge with the very latest topics and trends in coaching and am also integrated into a lively international coaching community.
My greatest support and joy is my solution-focused coaching and training community all over the world. A forum for experiments, unrestricted support, mutual curiosity and appreciation.
30 years of experience and advanced training
- Solution-focused coach (SolutionSurfers International, Basel)
- Group dynamics trainer (DGGO, www.dggo.de)
- EFQM Assessor (European Foundation of Quality Management)
- PCC (Professional Certified Coach) according to the ICF
- Certified SolutionsAcademy Mentor Coach
This is how I refuel
One of my passions is hiking, preferably with a view above 4000m! So it is fitting that I live in Switzerland. And I love journeys of discovery all over the world.
"Meeting clients with respect and with confidence in their strengths and working together is the most important thing for me in coaching."
” “Life is about navigating the ocean of possibilities.”
One click and we find out, what will take you further now. Free of charge. It´s worth a try. I look forward to meet you.