Time for a pit stop

A little over a year in my new job, kadertrainer and coach in our karate club, 2 MOOCs under my belt, a major family loss… In short, grow or get crushed.

I felt somewhat stretched recently. Now I understand why. Now is the time to have a look back, on my personal ambitions for this year: my new year statement.

What a great feeling it is to read this post again and realize I have made progress. I feel like dancing and shouting it to the world. There you go. The shouting out, not the dancing:

  • I have 2 great coachees who are ambitious, eager, demanding and motivated. I am thankful I get to co-facilitate their development journey. I also have countless ad-hoc coaching opportunities that enlighten my days and weeks.
  • I work in a professional environment that helps me deliver at my best and lets me push the boundaries, with the coolest colleagues. Give me more!
  • The Social leadership MOOC, my first MOOC ever. Baby steps in the big scary MOOC world. I really like the 4 week format, managed to stay engaged and finish the course. I noticed I learn better when I take intensive learning immersions of 1.5 to 2 hours at a time rather than 5-15 min flashes. I wonder why that is.
  • I took part in a cMOOC, Corporate Learning 2025, #cl2025, where I met three incredible co-learners, with whom I engaged in a Working out loud circle. Well…working out loud, John Stepper, the German #WOL movement, I will come back to that later, there is so much to say… I also got insights into the corporate learning life of 8 totally different companies, and at the same time learned about bar camps, rediscovered Twitter, struggled to stay engaged, succeeded and then lost track again.

My biggest “Aha-moment”: when I realised that the one thesis I had dismissed right from the start (we, in L&D, can drive digitalisation within our organisation) was coming back like a boomerang: we, the L&D team, were given exactly that opportunity, served on a silver tablet. So there I was scrolling through all those dedicated blog contents and video recordings that dealt with driving digitalisation. I could have engaged with all of it synchronously, exchanging, processing along the way and I didn’t. You live and you learn.

  • I co-lead for the first time a delegation of 20 karatekas and coaches to the Small States of Europe Championships in Andorra. Now that was some serious comfort zone stretching, or was it comfort zone bursting? I am still digesting the humongous amount of learning and growing that was triggered then. Mind-blowing is probably the best qualifier for how it feels right now.

So what’s next?

  • Complete the “Learning how to learn” MOOC by Barbara Oakley. I have completed 3 weeks and am working on week 4…over the course of 4 months (grinse).
  • Advertise the german-speaking course offered by Monika Schlatter “3 weeks of Twitter” to my colleagues and acquaintances.
  • Engage with the Working out loud community and find ways to get my organisation to benefit from the approach. Practice working out loud myself. Start and facilitate a WOL circle?
  • Manage and grow my network: diversity of thought and diversity of location are important in my eyes.
  • Find one or two new coachees.

What went through your mind as you read this? Did you find inspiration? Ideas? Do you have a piece of advice you’d like to share?

Don’t hesitate to use the comment sections to share your thoughts.


Courage is personal

It has been almost 5 months since I wrote a reflective piece. I did write two poems and a few more unfinished attempts. It was just enough to let the steam out. Today I am inspired to write a bit more, a bit deeper, a bit more personally. 

I want to talk about courage. About my vision und understanding of what courage means. 

Courage is facing adversity, doing things others wouldn’t dare doing, doing something you didn’t think you could do. 

Being courageous is facing your fears. Standing up when your legs are shaking. Keeping your eyes open when a blow is coming at you.

Jumping off 3 m height into the pool. For me courageous, for you not. Getting rid of the spider crawling on the bathroom floor, courageous for you, not for me. Speaking up when no one else does. Courageous for me, for you too?

Courage is looking at what you know, what you hear, what you see and acting with your conscience/gut/brain/beliefs. Pick your driving force and be courageous. Make choices when there is no win-win; and pull them through. Courage is about stopping. About starting. About keeping at it. 

Except for generally accepted heroic deeds, courage is intimely personal. 
Never let anyone tell you, you are not courageous. Because your fears are only yours. Because facing them is your own heroic deed.

Think about it for a moment: you have been courageous today, haven’t you? Give yourself a clap on the shoulder and keep going, do not give up. The world gets better one tiny courageous step at a time. 

La vague

Le sommeil se faufile et s’évade

La vie aujourd’hui a un goût fade

Je me languis, je m’ennuie,

Je me soucie, c’est fini.

La vague de béton s’abat

Sur ma poitrine en émoi.

J’étouffe, aidez-moi,

Ecoutez ce cœur qui bat.

Voile noir, pensées embrumées

Refluent, lentement poussés

Au loin par le calme retrouvé.

Au coin de quelle rue,

Au détour de quel parfum

Me surprendras-tu

De bon matin, ce soir, demain?

5. Juillet 2017

Intermezzo “life is life”

Maybe you came for MOOC udate or a fun learning fact. This week is a bit different. It is a low. So the theme will be deeper.

I lost a loved one recently.

I found my way through the very first wave of grieving. Not easy. Using my favorite methods of self-reflection and awareness:  I made it through!

Now comes the second wave. Intense. Misleading. Wave after wave of gibberish emotions. Lost in translation. I am running on 50% energy. Exhausting. 

So I set priorities day after day, one day at a time. Patience, resilience, I know it will get better: time cures everything. One step at a time. 

Yet. Darn. Mille milliards de mille sabord! “Why does it have to be so painful?”, I ask myself. No one answers. Well I didn’t really want an answer anyway.

I debatted whether I wanted to share these reflections on my blog. Maybe it shows I am weak, maybe it will upset people, maybe they will laugh at me, maybe they will stop reading and never come again. 

And yet, maybe one person will stay. One person will find something in this blog post that helps them deal with their own sorrow or stress or conundrum today. Then it is all worth it.

Because helping you helps me too.

Thanks for sharing this moment and reading thus far. Stay put… the MOOC reflections will be back soon.

My third week at #cl2025

The third week at #cl2025 started with our first session as a wol circle. Pretty cool experience.

I had put some thoughts over the week-end into the kinds of goals I could imagine pursuing. In the course of the circle discussion I realised that there was one goal that really was motivating me and at the same time was challenging enough that I needed a different approach to get it going : learning to draw…

And the “Continental” week gave me my first challenge: tagging. Harald Schirmer challenged us with elaborating on what tagging is and is not, what it should be and how to use it (www.colearn.de). I am a fan of tagging and thought I would pick up the challenge and get to the drawing board (or drawing app in this case!)

So in short, to generate tags you need a tag factory:

And to use tags you need to go and fish for them as your thinking develops and ideas unfold:

What do you think tagging can be otherwise used for? How do you use it? Do you create tags yourself?

My second week at #cl2025

Well well well… week 2 started with a high point: our first #cl2025ch learning team call. Active, intensive, good conversations around our common challenges in learning. One topic got me thinking: what makes an organisation ready to move from the traditional “calling an expert when I have a question”, to “posting a question” or looking for an answer on the company social tech plattform?

And then in the last 5 minutes of our learning team call we covered “one more thing” (raincoat…old Peugeot…smile). We decided to turn ourselves into a Working out loud circle. Just like that. I am quite stunned by the speed at which we made that decision given the fact we had connected for the first time ever merely 60 min before. And I feel comfortable with our decision. Go figure…

And that was it really. Life took over, I saw the email notifications of the Merck blog posts pile up in my mailbox and did nothing about it… until yesterday. I read it all in one go, the posts, the comments, the summary tweet page (here) . I only consumed this week. I didn’t feel engaged enough to contribute. Cannot explain why. Mental note: reflect on this in the next few weeks as I engage in the learning journeys of Continental, Viessmann and the likes. 
Today I prepared week 3.  I watched the Continental video to get in the mood. I also watched John Stepper’s TedX talk and read the introductory documents to #wol circles. 

I am ready for what’s coming in week 3. Bring it on!!