“Remember then: there is only one time that is important– Now!”

Leo N. Tolstoy

Coaching

A time-based partnership

What is coaching?

Each person and each structural unit with its social protagonists has its own set of potentials and constraints. Often, it is not possible to use these factors in a flexible manner in accordance with the situation at hand, or the factors cannot be recognized in time. Recognizing our own “profile” as the set of potentials, possibilities and limitations that makes up who we are – and which then manifests itself in our role as an employee, manager or entrepreneur – is essential for our personal success and satisfaction. Coaching is consulting-based partnership-oriented support for individuals, teams and organizations. It helps you to see yourself “from the OUTSIDE” and sometimes even to rediscover yourself “from the INSIDE”. As part of a trusting, safe relationship, potential opportunities are identified and developed, limitations and blockages are resolved, and new perspectives are sometimes discovered. The motivation for coaching can be a specific problem, an apparently insurmountable challenge, or a latent or foggy feeling of discontent in the context of a personal role. Or it could be a desire for further development, a wish to enhance one’s personal potential.

Who am I and what should I be or what do I want to be? – the personal and professional context

All managers are faced with diverse challenges on a daily basis – analyzing situations, weighing up decisions and taking risks. In addition to the potential of employees, one’s own capabilities must also be appropriately managed. Ambient conditions are not static; they are constantly in a state of dynamic – and sometimes erratic – change. With our personal set of skills, we must deal with this and somehow keep pace. The aim of coaching is to help individuals to consider their own person and reflect upon it in the context of defined or general life and work circumstances. It creates space for the coachee to appreciate and understand what has – or has not – occurred. The psychodynamic approach also includes understanding and making use of subconscious processes. As a result, the origin and formation conditions for specific situations and behavior in everyday working life can be better understood. Action-inducing insights that allow blockages to be overcome can be formulated.

In psychodynamic understanding, the personality of the client and the client’s organizational environment are seen as a dynamic developmental framework. Coaching then both acts as advice for the individual and as an indirect influence on the company in question. As well as needing an essential methodological understanding of psychodynamic organizational consulting, an approach of this kind requires a deep empirical background in executive management.

Our fields of work

  • Executive coaching
  • Individual coaching
  • Team coaching
Executive coaching

Meeting your alter ego

In their company environment, managers have practically no “safe spaces” where they can talk about their personal views, doubts or perceived problems. Even for the most team-oriented managers, a certain sense of loneliness is “normal”. In the corporate context, an extremely one-sided expectation is sometimes projected onto the “boss” by employees. Insecurities, self-doubt, honest confessions of not really being sure at the moment, blocks in innovation and lacks of inspiration or even simple exhaustion: The knee-jerk reaction is to see such phenomena as signs of personal weakness. “Only heroes are successful!” The same logic leads to the rash vilification of individuals when it comes to attributing blame in cases of failure. So what’s to be done with these internal tensions? How should we deal with the need for honest exchange on an equal footing and critical reflection upon one’s own actions?

In addition, certain management decisions can be unpleasant and hard to accept in the social context. While the demand for toughness on the job might well be recognized as an implicit necessity from a fact-based perspective, internal psychological coping mechanisms might say differently.

Managers need space to think, reflect, process matters and rework issues in order to better reflect upon their own role and the dynamics at play in their team or at their company. This also plays an important part in one’s own psychosocial “hygiene”.

As an advisor, a coach can take on the role of a sounding board for their clients. Their methodological skills and entrepreneurial/management experiences allow them to act as an echo chamber that also offers solutions. Coaching supports a process that Gordon Lawrence appropriately described as “thinking as becoming”.

A creative partnership arises between the two protagonists. The client is helped to assert themself in their role and company environment with authority, credibility and capability. Seen in this light, coaching today is an aspect of modern management concepts, which – regardless of the balance between the role of the team and the role of the individual – do not attempt to conceal the importance of the clear assumption and execution of responsibility. This is even more true in the context of the increasingly dynamic corporate world and its growing demands upon agility, a willingness to accept disruption and innovative ability.

Value coaching

The combination of consulting and coaching is a modern form of consultive support for managers and teams.  The imparting of analytical knowledge is enhanced with the development of application know-how. This is required if two challenges arise simultaneously: Managers lack methodological material as well as the time and/or personal ability for context-based detailed adaptation and implementation. That’s when we step in. We offer support in the truest sense of the word – as a time-based partner who helps decision-makers and acts as a sparring partner to enable sufficient use of personal capabilities for thought and action. In this way, we bring together the strengths of both approaches in a timely and effective manner: Coaches have broad knowledge about habitual, social and cognitive levels of change and motivators; business consultants are corporate-minded and focus on the optimization of figures.

We call this concept value coaching.

The concept can be applied in various current situations. It’s either a case of conceiving things anew, developing solutions and implementing them in a way that suits the situation. Or we are asked simply to support the customer in the implementation of a predefined target approach.

1. The objective

To support managers in change or complex transformation processes in order to establish or enhance their ability to act in the relevant factual and personal context as well as in accordance with their own current resources and competencies or resources and competencies that could be developed. This takes place on the following levels:

  • Methodological (tools, diagnostics, method concepts)
  • Habitual (personality, conduct)
  • Cognitive (thinking capacity, thought structures)

2. Value coaching – modular fields of work

The range of services encompasses three areas:

  • Consulting
  • Coaching
  • Know-how transfer/training

Consulting

  • The method-based imparting of knowledge – so a hard focus on the implementation phase/conversion and on sustainability management
  • Tools for analysis, synthesis, implementation and benchmarking on the normative, operational and strategic levels of influence
  • The development of client-specific implementation programs in the form of training courses, further education and seminars etc. with the help of selected business schools

Coaching

  • Optimizing self-reflection and self-regulation as personal skills
  • The emotion-controlling expansion of reaction patterns
  • Breaking up dysfunctional relationship and communication patterns
  • Identifying pathogenic structures and behaviors – “Get healthier mentally and physically!”
  • Personal value system –self-congruent goal orientation. Who am I, and why?
  • Increase in ability to tolerate frustration and ambiguity
  • From narcissistic grandiosity to one’s real self

Know-how transfer/training

  • Provision of thinking capacity on the basis of cognitive logic, systemic and psychodynamic shaping and biographical life experience
  • Alter ego approach. Sounding board approach
  • Avoidance of locked-in syndrome. Breakdown of cognitive constraints
  • Avoidance of cognitive biases when preparing for and making decisions (such as confirmation bias, anchoring bias, illusion of control, correspondence bias, belief bias etc.)
  • Avoidance of knee-jerk classification of unorthodox ways of thinking, different behavior and the expressing of feelings and emotions as “abnormal”
  • Recognizing and shaping stress tolerances between a “break the glass” approach and a focus on stability
  • Ongoing technical/methodological updates in cooperation with think tanks

3. Implementation and team

  • THOR and our affiliated specialists and cooperation partners are able to offer the services of the following professionals, coordinated by a council of consultants in the associated project:
  • Business consultants, including consultants with many years of operational top executive experience
  • Certified coaches (systemic and psychodynamic)
  • Psychologists
  • Specialists in organizational consulting/psychodynamic organizational consulting
  • Executive trainers in the field of change management, work/life balance, motivation and leadership