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. 

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.

A new chapter has begun

New phase, new life, new me. Transformation, maturation, coming of age. 

I can fly. As high as I want. No boundaries. I am my own master. 

I can fall. Hard. No safety net. No shoulder to cry on. No more unconditional love.

I am the elder now. Chapter closed. 

Wait! What is this? A back door? An illusion? The chapter is not closed, it is merely beginning to unfold.

So what is the big deal about being “parentless”, fatherless and motherless. Big blank. Scary for some, secret for others. Taboo for most.

For me it means feeling empty and exhilarated at the same time. I feel small and big. I feel lost and in charge. 

The strength comes from within, like a fire, strong hot coals glimmering deep inside, fueling a fierce drive to keep moving, growing, leading. 

Has anyone felt this before? How did you deal with it?

Like a boat in the storm

I find myself in an emotionally challenging situation these days. Something tells me I am not the only one.
In an attempt to make sense of the many contradictory emotions passing through me recently I have written a short metaphoric text. It helped me. I hope it helps you too. In any situation.

*Original version in French below

“Everyone reacts to the current situation in their own way and with their own filters. We are all on a boat, in a storm. On the same boat. In the same storm. Yet at the same time each of us is all alone on their boat, alone with their fears, their anger, their pain, each of us in their own way.  

Everyone is trying to protect themselves, and by doing so is hurting the people around them. Without wanting it, without seeing it. 

I am afraid we are going to hurt each other a lot, without wanting or seeing it, in the next days and weeks. Nerves are raw and tolerance is low. What can I do?”

After writing this, I came upon a post about how kindness can help unlock disagreements or simply make someone’s day better. It reminded me that being kind makes my day better too. It reminded me that I need to look outside of my stormy boat and check on other little boats. See how they’re doing, give them kind words or a kind smile. It doesn’t solve my problems or reduce my pain.

But it feels good, every time. Again and again.

Original version:

Chacun réagit à la situation actuelle à sa façon et avec ses filtres. 

Nous sommes tous sur un bateau dans la tempête. Dans le même bateau. La même tempête. Mais en même temps chacun d’entre nous est tout seul sur son bateau, tout seul avec sa peur, sa colère et sa douleur, chacun à sa façon. 

Chacun cherche à se protéger et au passage fait du mal aux autres. Sans le vouloir, sans le voir. 

J’ai bien peur que l’on se fasse tous du mal sans le vouloir sans le voir dans les prochains jours, les prochaines semaines. Les nerfs sont à fleur de peau et la tolérance au minimum.

Que faire?

Get started even though you might fail

Since I started in my new job 4 months ago I have initiated a number of new projects and ideas. While I have succeeded in many I have also failed at more than one.

That is why this recommendation from Dr.Travis Bradberry, “Get started even though you might fail” resonated with me.

As I am learning to understand the new environment I am working in, I have been testing what works and what doesn’t. I have hit a few doors and one or too muddy stretches. Each time I reminded myself that it was OK to slow down or change direction, as long as the overall goal was still in sight. That is the “step by step” application of what Dr. Bradberry recommends. The low-risk version one might say. 

What about the high risk? Changing job, employer and industry does qualify as the high risk version. I might fail. Fail at what? Adapting to the new culture, understanding the new business I am in, leveraging my competences to get the job done, effectively influencing the business for a better outcome. These are just a few of the dimensions I could fail upon… and it would take a lot of failures to fail altogether!

That is why I got started in the first place. How I did it? I sliced the beast. Or the elephant as project managers say. I defined the steps that lead to my goal. I cut it in digestible chunks. For me. And I started each small step, knowing I could fail, doing everything so I would succeed.

How do you get started on big goals? How do you get started over and over again on the small things of life?

Inspired by following article from Dr. Travis Bradberry

Getting unstuck

Once in a while I get stuck. In negative thoughts, in crazy “what-ifs”, in “it is not that bad anyway”.

By now I recognize the signals: I become irritable, impatient, dissatisfied or even just drained. When I consciously start recognizing these signals I must stop. Literally. I need to sit down and ask myself “What is bothering you? What is triggering this reaction in you?”.

And my first reaction is to think it is not that bad (!). But I know better. I insist and  force myself to stop and look in the mirror. I have done this many times, sometimes early, sometimes very late, and I have learned that a lot of positive momentum comes out of it. So I make myself look forward to the expected reward. And it usually comes along. 

How does it work? What is the secret to answering the “what is bothering you question?”

I learned to be honest with myself. And the most important word is not honest but myself. My real self. The one with weaknesses, fears, hopes and aspirations. The one who doesn’t want to get hurt and the one who wants to make a better world. I am compassionate and understanding with my own self. But also challenging and pushy. 

In doing so I actively listen to my real self, mitigate my fears and fuel my higher aspirations. 

And I get unstuck. I am amazed everytime it happens. It is like magic. It unleashes so much energy. I feel I could change the world.

How do you get unstuck? What is your secret recipe?