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Better Leadership

(B)uilding More Humane Organizations With Germany’s Newest B Corp: Leadership Choices

Nestled away in Wiesbaden, Germany, a city known for its famous mineral springs and for being the state capital of Hessia, is a professional services company with a global reach. With 150 coaches based in 27 countries (and fluent in 15 languages), Leadership Choices works with organizations around the world, coaching their leaders to be more resilient, supporting their teams to develop more psychological safety, and helping their people to build more humane company cultures.

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Get rid of the Mayonnaise!

We need to talk. These words often trigger anxiety, whether at home or at work. In fact, for many, announcing feedback is right behind the dentist and tax return in terms of popularity. As coaches, we know good ways to counter this discomfort: Using the classic sandwich approach or the burger-method, where feedback is constructively wrapped between two or more layers of praise, recognition and mayonnaise. These methods are particularly effective when it comes to correcting errors on a factual level. However, if the focus of the feedback is on emotions or a sustainable change in behaviour, traditional feedback does not seem to be sufficient. If real change, if more creativity and personal responsibility are to be encouraged, feedback should not be improved, but be based on completely different basic assumptions. The first basic assumption that needs to be reconsidered is that the person giving feedback knows better what should have been done or said.

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Managers and Their Dysfunctional Beliefs

Since the 1950s, McKinsey [&] Company, one of the world’s leading strategy consulting companies, has been known to employ the best graduates from the best universities, and to use performance incentives and a very formative high performance culture to shape these young, hungry ‘high potentials’ according to their requirements. After these young consultants were pushed to the maximum by their international projects, most of them voluntarily leave the company on good terms after three years at the latest in order to take up leading positions in the industry and then to become potential customers of their former employer. Over the past few decades, this HR strategy and its accompanying high performance culture was adopted in the field of professional services by the majority of international companies and is now also entering many more traditional industrial and service-based companies.

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Management Offsites – We have Tried it All!

“We have tried it all” said the Head of Personnel and Communication when I asked her for the different formats of the yearly top management meeting in December. Impressive budgets, celebrity speakers, exotic locations, risky body work – the span ranges from a top athlete, who explains „how he made it to the top“ to highly emotional motivational speakers bouncing on stage in front of surprised managers, to a breakneck climbing trip or the breakout from a so-called Panic Room.

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