Overcoming the porcupine dilemma: Dare to get close, get warm, support each other.

Andrea Schüller on May 9, 2016

So here I am, thinking about what Arthur Schopenhauer’s porcupine dilemma has to do with creating environments where colleagues trust and respect one another enough to become effective peer coaches … after all, this is what I’m doing a lot of in my professional life. Before you get too impressed with how well read I’m …

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What kind of a leader do you plan to become?

Andrea Schüller on October 12, 2015

Dwell on the word ‘plan’ with me for a second if you will. What if I had asked you: what kind of a leader do you want to become? Answers to this question are often predictable. “Inspirational”. Yes. Great. Don’t we all. “Impactful”. Er. Yes. Always useful. “Fair”. Yup. “A role model”. Nice one. Tick. …

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How to set better goals

Charles Kingsmill on July 13, 2015

In a previous post, I listed four reasons why SMART goals don’t work. Here’s my list of four ways to make sure that you do achieve your goals. Feel free to add to them or argue abut them. 1. Why not make your goals INSPIRING? SMART goals are emotion-free. But we are emotional creatures. Sales …

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What’s so smart about SMART goals?

Charles Kingsmill on July 9, 2015

Every year the performance appraisal comes round and thoughts turn to the year ahead. “You should agree 3-5 goals for the year ahead, and they should be SMART” say the guidelines. Everyone knows what SMART stands for, right? “Yes, it’s Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound…” “No, that’s wrong, it’s Stretching, Measurable, Aligned, Realistic, Tangible…” “I …

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Who’s in charge? How to manage your emotions

Andrea Schüller on June 2, 2015

Isn’t it amazing how little things can make or break our day? Monday morning an email made its way into my inbox where the subject heading alone made me cringe. It promised a few unhappy hours ploughing through complex matters without deriving any benefit from it, only to be rewarded by a lose-lose conversation with …

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The impact of (the right) questions

Andrea Schüller on April 12, 2015

“I can always tell how experienced and insightful a prospective consultant, banker, or lawyer is by the quality of their questions and how intently they listen.” This is a quote from a CEO, which Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas use to pitch an entire book focused on ‘Power Questions’ (2012, John Wiley & Sons). Those …

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The art of praise

Andrea Schüller on April 1, 2015

If somebody gives you feedback, what do you remember? The five compliments or the one ‘little’ thing that was meant to be a tip for improvement? You can still recite the latter word by word, but the compliments drifted into oblivion, mentally filed under ‘I sort of knew that about me’? My point, entirely. Ambitious, …

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Let’s stop being dopamine junkies

Andrea Schüller on January 28, 2015

We knew it all along. Daniel Levitin, a professor at McGill University in Montreal and author of ‚the organized mind – thinking straight in the age of information overload‘(2014) did away with the myth of multi-tasking as he appeared as a guest on a radio show on 26th January.(https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0505zw1). According to Levitin, “attention is a …

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New Year’s resolution: creating the conditions for success

Andrea Schüller on January 5, 2015

The day before yesterday I needed a very specific service at the local branch of my bank. This task typically takes an experienced German banker with a good working knowledge of English 5 minutes, but with it being December 30th, few employees were in and they sent me a young trainee. After she made two …

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How to be more confident in challenging situations

Andrea Schüller on November 4, 2014

The treacherous transience of confidence Easily one of the top five issues people ask me to coach them on is how to appear more confident in challenging situations. This could be in the context of an especially tricky meeting, a phone conference with lots of important stakeholders, a presentation that they feel could either make …

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