leadership & executive coaching
The Power of Human Connection: Fostering Thriving Organization 150 150 dare2admin

The Power of Human Connection: Fostering Thriving Organization

In the fast-paced and ever-changing landscape of modern businesses, the success of any organization ultimately hinges on its most valuable asset—its people. It’s no secret that happy and engaged employees lead to better productivity, creativity, and overall success. But what exactly makes employees feel connected, engaged, and motivated to thrive within their organization? The answer lies in the concept of ‘Human Connection

What is Human Connection?

Human Connection refers to the way people interact with each other within an organization. It encompasses all types of human interactions, be it one-on-one, within teams, across departments, or throughout the entire organization. This powerful element of organizational culture is applicable to both large and small organizations, profit-driven and non-profit alike.

In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of Human Connection in fostering a thriving organizational culture. We’ll explore the key roles and responsibilities related to establishing, preserving, and nurturing this vital connection throughout the organizational hierarchy.

The Impact of Human Connection

The core principle guiding the importance of Human Connection in organizations is simple: when people thrive, organizations thrive. To achieve this, individuals need to have a clear sense of belonging. Here’s what it takes to foster that sense of belonging:

  1. A Safe Environment: Employees must feel safe to be themselves and be able to freely express their opinions without fear of judgment or reprisal.
  2. Seen, Heard, and Accepted: Acknowledgment and acceptance are essential for employees to feel valued and engaged.
  3. Healthy Self-esteem: Building a good level of self-esteem is vital for individuals to flourish in their roles.
  4. Clarity of Purpose and Strategy: Understanding the organization’s purpose, mission, vision, and strategy creates a sense of direction and meaning for employees.
  5. Freedom to Innovate: Employees need autonomy within the framework of regulations and laws, enabling them to contribute their unique perspectives and ideas.

These elements apply to every individual in the organization, including those at the highest echelons, such as the C-suite. The foundation for fulfilling these needs and fostering a clear sense of belonging is a strong and positive Human Connection.

Cultivating Human Connection

Creating a powerful Human Connection requires effort and commitment from all members of the organization. In particular, two distinct groups play pivotal roles in shaping this connection:

  1. Formal and Informal Leaders: Formal leaders hold official positions of authority, while informal leaders are recognized as leading forces by their peers. Both have a crucial role in establishing, preserving, and growing Human Connection.
  2. Employees, Teams, and Departments: Every individual, team, and department within the organization contributes to the success of Human Connection. Their courage, trust, and willingness to be vulnerable are instrumental in creating a supportive environment.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Leaders

Formal and informal leaders are instrumental in fostering Human Connection. Their key responsibilities include:

  • Promoting Psychological Safety: Leaders must foster a workplace environment that encourages care, sharing, and daring, which in turn creates psychological safety. A space where they can freely express their emotions at work in a safe and appropriate manner. These emotions include feelings of joy, frustration, grief, excitement, anxiety, fulfillment, resentment, and any other emotions people may have.
  • Listening and Appreciating: Actively listening to employees, acknowledging their contributions, and expressing genuine appreciation for their efforts are crucial for building trust and connection.
  • Clear Communication of Purpose and Strategy: Leaders must repeatedly communicate the organization’s purpose and strategy, reinforcing the “why” and “what.”
  • Empowering and Trusting the Team: Leaders should hold space for creativity, invite diverse voices, and trust the team with the “how.”
  • Balancing Masculine and Feminine Energies: Leaders must find an equilibrium between traditionally masculine traits like assertiveness and feminine traits like empathy, creating a balanced organizational energy.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Employees, Teams, and Departments

Creating a thriving Human Connection is not solely the responsibility of leaders; everyone within the organization contributes. Employees, teams, and departments play a vital role by:

  • Showing Vulnerability and Courage: Being open about vulnerabilities encourages others to do the same, fostering an environment of authenticity and trust.
  • Embracing Failure and Growth: A willingness to take risks and learn from mistakes is essential for personal and organizational growth. A growth mindset and a genuine desire to improve as individuals and as an organization contribute to ongoing development.
  • Practicing Radical Candor: Engaging in open conversations and asking questions to gain clarity and unearth tensions leads to better teamwork and alignment.
  • Focus on Common Goals: Teams and departments must work towards shared objectives to strengthen unity and connection.
  • Regularly Checking-In: Regular communication and feedback within and between teams help maintain strong relationships.

Time, Energy, and Courage: key ingredients to establish Human Connection

Building Human Connection requires dedicated time, energy, and courage. It’s a transformative process that demands individuals to embrace change and cross sometime tough edges. Leaders must lead by example, showing courage and vulnerability, inspiring others to do the same.

Moreover, Human Connection must be woven into the fabric of the organization, aligning with its purpose, strategy, organizational structure, compensation schemes, and diversity and inclusion policies.

When all these elements come together, a profound sense of belonging emerges. Thriving employees create thriving organizations, and exceptional performance becomes an achievable reality. So, let’s recognize the power of Human Connection and unlock the full potential of our organizations. Together, we can foster a culture where people truly thrive.



Daniel Coyle – The Culture Code

Dr. Amy Edmonson – The Fearless Organization

Dr. Carol Dweck – Mindset

Brené Brown – The power of vulnerability | Brené Brown | TEDxHouston


Global Warriors – The trouble with joy at work


Indeed – Formal vs. Informal Leadership: Definitions and Differences


Tapping into the wisdom of the team, for better solutions and healthier interactions 150 150 dare2admin

Tapping into the wisdom of the team, for better solutions and healthier interactions

A group of people will often come up with surprisingly effective solutions to complex challenges, solutions that are better and more widely supported than what any individual could come up with. In this blog post we’ll explore this idea of ‘Collective Intelligence’. We’ll touch upon its principles and benefits and show how organizations and teams – your teams – may benefit from the power of collective intelligence, even in ways that improve the health and wellbeing of team members.

The Foundations of Collective Intelligence

Collective intelligence is rooted in a remarkable observation: groups of people may weave the complementary strengths of individuals into a web of knowledge and know-how. That web may overcome challenges that would be too complex or multifaceted for a single person to handle. The use of collective intelligence is gaining traction across various domains. It is now used in business and technology and also to untangle wider social or political problems.

What if you could use it in your organization and teams? Which problems would you entrust to the collective intelligence of your people?

More Diversity, More Intelligence

Consider a scenario where a team is asked to come up with a solution for a complex problem. Each team member brings a unique skill set and unique viewpoints to the table, viewpoints and aspects that the others might not have thought of. This diversity allows the team to consider and analyze the problem from multiple angles, identify potential pitfalls, and come up with innovative approaches.

But here is the crux: to get more diverse ideas and to make the web of knowledge larger, you need a diverse team. When a group includes individuals with widely varying backgrounds, experiences, and expertise, it can approach problems from more and different angles, generating a wider range of ideas and solutions. So, more diversity of perspectives leads to more robust decision-making and creative problem-solving.

Optimal Group Size

More diverse is better. But the size of a group can significantly influence its effectiveness as wewll. Finding the right balance between size and diversity is essential. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • If the problem requires a wide range of perspectives, a larger group may be more effective.
  • Complex problems often benefit from larger groups, while simpler tasks may require smaller teams.
  • Smaller groups can make quicker decisions and have more focused discussions.
  • Well-facilitated small groups may outperform large, poorly coordinated groups.

In practice, smaller, well-facilitated core teams may work on specific aspects of a problem, while larger networks or communities may be used as source for input, feedback, or specialized expertise.

Facilitation and Technology

You can’t bring together a group in a room and hope the collective intelligence will start to flow from the get-go. It requires open communication, active listening, structured brainstorming, feedback mechanisms, and collaborative decision-making, which may not come spontaneously and may need learning, experimentation, and facilitation.

Technology may play a significant role in enabling collective intelligence. Online collaboration tools, project management software, and social networks facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge among geographically dispersed teams. With the right digital infrastructure, individuals from different parts of the world can come together to contribute to a shared cause.

Better collaboration, better well-being

Once the collective intelligence starts flowing and the result start to come in, a positive feedback loop is created. A culture of creating collective intelligence makes team members feel empowered, valued, and motivated to contribute their insights.

Using collective intelligence can also promote the well-being of team members in surprising ways. Just some of these are:

  • Knowing that others are there to help and contribute to problem-solving can alleviate the pressure on any single team member.
  • Collective intelligence values the input and ideas of every team member, making people feel valued and important for the team’s success.
  • Collective intelligence creates a supportive environment where team members can seek help, share concerns, and offer support to one another.
  • Collaboration and the pooling of resources and expertise can reduce the risk of individual burnout, as team members share the responsibilities and challenges.

The Road Ahead

If you’d consider using the collective intelligence in your organization, think of it as a journey, a journey marked by ongoing experimentation, learning, and adaptation. Maybe you want to start with reading and seeking coaching, or learn through a first, small project. Or maybe you want to kickstart the process in a grand way and hire an external facilitator.

Unleashing the collective intelligence in your organization has the potential to result in better-informed solution, more widely supported decisions, and innovative solutions. It also can improve the wellbeing and health of both your organization and its people. Too good to be true? We challenge you to start on the journey and see what happens!

                            Special thanks to Jan Provoost (https://janprovoost.be/) for thinking along and making sense out of my thoughts!

“Grateful” 943 706 dare2admin


Today while doing my morning run through the beautiful dunes near Haarlem I was thinking about the topic for my new blog. The one that popped up immediately and stayed with me for the whole time was my sense of Grateful.

Therefore, I am

Grateful that I was still allowed to run outside in my favorite ‘back garden’

Grateful for the silence that allowed me to hear the music of the birds much better than before

Grateful for the blue sky and sun that shone through the trees

Grateful for the occasional walker, runner, cyclist who stayed at a decent distance while passing each other and without any exception greeted me

Grateful for all those fellow coaches and colleagues who offer their help and also dare to ask for help

Grateful for all the creativity I see around me

Grateful for discovering new qualities, capabilities and new topics to work

Grateful for strengthening existing and recover ‘lost’ friendships

Grateful for new virtual relationships and friendships

Grateful for my sister who had her last radiotherapy session and proud about the way she dealt with this heavy journey

Grateful for my first facetime moment with my wise and courageous mother, who noticed that she our conversation was slower than on the telephone and she liked it. Thanks for this nice mirroring!

Grateful for my kids who reorganized their own lives and continue to study, grow and enjoy whatever they still can

Grateful for the fact that my wife is able to cope with me around the house all day with my mood change.

And, especially, Grateful for all those people who keep society on its feet while often putting themselves at risk to help others

Overall, Grateful for all those smaller and bigger things.

At the same time, I realize that I’m blessed. I realize that people

worry about their health or the health of their loved ones,

are afraid of losing their jobs and savings for their pension,

struggle with their roles as virtual employees, teachers for their kids, household manager and partner,

‘disappear’ in loneliness in their own room as they are not allowed to receive visitors (not even family)

face many more things that scare them, unsettle them, make them wonder what’s next etc.

Therefore, I try to cherish every little moment I can and wish for everybody that we together will be able to contain this COVID-19 soonest and that everybody wherever can enjoy life again as it is meant to be.

Stay safe and sane!


“Myths about Change” 382 225 dare2admin

“Myths about Change”

It has been 1 year since I said farewell to my old, corporate life. A life that I have lived in various companies, positions and locations for over 25 years. A life full of positive and less positive experiences and with a wide variety of change. A life that had equipped me well to handle any new challenge, I thought. On the contrary, I discovered while setting up my own independent coaching practice.

With the start of a new year and new decennium, I believe that this is a good moment to share what I learned about change and the key myths around it in a year that was for me full of change.    

I Change is always good

In general, I tend to agree. Change is good. Staying too long in your comfort zone limits your personal growth. Over time this may end in stagnation. However, last year I experienced that change is also scary as hell, frustrating, confrontational and definitely not always fun nor good. After a first month of excitement about my self-gained freedom and flexibility, trying new things and meeting a wide variety of new people, whom I would never het met otherwise, serious self-doubt entered the stage. Am I doing the right things, is there anyone out there waiting for yet another coach, do I charge enough, will I earn enough, ….?

This self-doubt got so strong that one moment I even considered to go back to a regular job in the corporate world. Luckily, I got a very simple but important piece of advice in that period:

“As long as you stand-up one more time than you fall, you’ll always survive.”

II Change is a constant

Like “Change is the new normal”, the above statement is widely advocated in the organizational context. However, history and past experience also tell you a lot. It is, in my view, important to stand still and reflect regularly on what went/worked well. Things that you may want to keep and cherish going forward.

On the other hand, if you want to change, it is important to know why you want to change and  what you really want or need to change. I realize that radical change is sometimes required, but more often small steps building upon a good foundation from the past is already enough to start the change you want. Using small steps helps you to reduce one of the key elements of resistance to change:

“The fear of letting go of what you have/know.”

III Change outcome is predictable

Nowadays, a lot of consultants and coaches suggest that change follows a linear path or can be achieved by following a predictable structure. Therefore, they can offer rather standard formats for change. Googling the words ‘method of change’, for instance, results in about 700 million (!) hits. A good example of such a format is the way organizations are advised to adopt Agile in a standardized, almost one-size-fits-all way, losing a lot of implied and often highly needed flexibility.

Having a framework to work on change is important. Staying flexible and alert on the signals that pop up are as important or maybe even more so. Every change journey follows its own, often unpredictable path.

“Curiosity is an essential element for change”

IV Change is immediately visible

When you go through change it is like the first year raising your child. As you are in the center of the change you don’t always see the progress that you have made. As with the baby, you need others to tell you how much you have grown already. This helps you to continue, especially when you “fall and lay flat on your face” not knowing how to “get up”. It is therefore important to regularly ask for feedback from people you value. Listening to their inputs will help you endure the tough elements of change, but also to shape change in the way that is most helpful to you.    

“What may look like baby steps to you are often seen as real changes by others”

V  Change you do on your own

Often people want to change something but do not know how or when. They use specific moments, like new year resolutions or a holiday break, to stop doing things or to start new things. They may not even tell others to avoid shame if they don’t succeed.

As change doesn’t come easy it is highly important to create your own support system before you start your journey. Such a system can consist of friends, family members, colleagues, professional trainers, coaches or even therapists. Although you are at the end responsible for your own change, a good support system helps you to get up when you fell, helps you to find direction when you’re lost, laughs with you when you “fail” and celebrates with you when you make a daring step. Therefore,

“Arrange a strong and divers support system, around you.”


As mentioned in the intro, last year change didn’t come easy to me and it required a lot of hard work (see picture). Although I have made some substantial steps, I realize that I haven’t reached my goal by far yet (will I ever?). This year again, I will face new challenges, have to overcome new and existing fears, feel shame when failing my own and others’ expectations, have my moments of loneliness and be insecure. However, from experience I know that these feelings will never outweigh the value of those beautiful and powerful gifts that also come with change, including:

  • new insights in yourself and others;
  • getting to know new and special people;
  • exciting discoveries;
  • experiencing the value of giving;
  • witnessing the change in others;
  • overcoming obstacles, including your own shortcomings, fears etc.;
  • the value of growing.

This year, I’m very much looking forward to the road ahead that I will travel together with all the precious people who make up my support system. I can lean on them and trust that I will always stand up one more time than I will fall.

Do you feel that you want to change but need some support to figure out how or when? Just contact me for a ‘curiosity’ call (see here for details). Maybe I will become part of your support system.

“How Agile can also help to reduce flexibility: a life case” 327 489 dare2admin

“How Agile can also help to reduce flexibility: a life case”

Agile, as the word itself already implies, is all about creating flexibility to weather the ever faster changing inner and outer world of a team, a department or an organization. However, I recently saw in practice how a team and especially their individual members can become stuck in their growth because they are too flexible. In this blog I try to describe how the introduction of Agile rituals and artifacts helped to create structure and stability in a start-up team.

Recently I talked to a good friend who had just started in a very dynamic and international start-up. Within days she noticed that there was actually no real structure in their daily activities as everybody had their own ideas about what had to be done and as a result nothing got finished. Listening to her story I recommended to introduce agile. After a presentation to the team I got hired.

The first days I tried to listen as much as possible to the voices of the system. Soon I recognized the observations that my friend had shared. As an example, I heard the key topic being discussed 3 times and it turned out that this had bene the case for over 6 months. So far, no conclusion was drawn, and no decision taken, while this was a crucial topic for the team’s direction. The good news was that the team was well diverse, had a really clear and commonly shared purpose and target end state and was quite well aware about their stakeholder universe.

By introducing Agile rituals, including stand-ups and planning, review and retro sessions and artifacts, like a backlog and a board, the team was ‘forced’ to decide on the core activities required to get to their common goal and to prioritize them. This revealed some difference of opinion on the end state, which had to be solved first. By checking at every event whether the priorities were still right and whether the backlog contained the most important tasks the team was able to create clarity and alignment. People started to speak up in cases that seniors tried to intervene in the team planning (so called ‘side-steering’) and acknowledged when impediments arose. It also gave space to the people to take ownership. As an example, three team members decided to write a proposal on how to solve the discussion on a topic that had been lingered on for more than 6 months (see above). In 3 days, they wrote a short proposal (MVP), held a demo to the rest of the team, addressed the topics that came out of the demo and got it signed off by all involved.

The beautiful thing in this process is that the people experienced the changes that Agile brought them as very positive. This helped to introduce more disciplined and brought them structure. Currently, the team is in the transition from Doing Agile towards Being Agile and we have agreed that I will helped them to get there themselves as soon as feasible.

Where normally Agile is introduced to amongst others create more flexibility in a team, this time it helped to reduce the (non-focused) flexibility and bring structure and stability. This serves as a basis to become Agile going forward.

If you are interested in introducing Agile in your team, department or organization or are facing an important issue to improve the performance and well-being of your unit please contact me at info@dare2change.eu to arrange a free-of-charge clarity call.

Dare2Change: leadership & executive coaching
“Agile transformations: be aware of the human needs!” 550 365 dare2admin

“Agile transformations: be aware of the human needs!”

Since the creation of the Manifesto in 2001, Agile has expended from hardcore software (dev/ops) into a lot of other functions, including marketing, human resources and even risk. This is, amongst others, driven by need for flexibility and the wish to empower the people on the work floor. This brings better performance and happier employees. Moreover, Agile increases the transparency and prioritization.

Over the years that I helped teams with their Agile transformation, I frequently coached people, who regardless of their age, position or background, struggled with this transformation, especially the self-organization part. This raises the question whether Agile is really beneficial for the people?

The human needs defined
To answer this question, I looked at two models describing the generic human needs. The first one is the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ from Abraham Maslow (1943)[1]. The second is the ‘SCARF’ model developed by dr. David Rock (2008)[2].

Maslow described the various levels of needs that have to be fulfilled in more or less consequential order. He starts at the bottom of the pyramid with the basic Physiological needs (food, sleep, shelter, …). Via Safety (security, order, freedom of fear, …), Love & Belonging (friendship, trust, affiliation, …) and Esteem & Accomplishment (dignity, mastery, autonomy, but also status and prestige) the ultimate goal is reach Self-actualization or personal growth.

The SCARF model (see above) uses different words, but there are quite some similarities with Maslow. Both models include the need for autonomy. Where SCARF uses certainty and relatedness Maslow calls them safety and belonging.

The difference in approach is that Maslow talks about moving from the bottom to the top of the pyramid, while David Rock looks at the impact of the way the human needs are fulfilled. If these needs are addressed in the right way people will respond positively and see it as a reward. However, when these needs are not or addressed in the wrong way (f.i. micromanagement conflicting with the need for autonomy), people will perceive this as a threat and bail out.

Pre-requisites for a true acceptance of Agile
In an Agile transformation it is important that leaders are aware of these needs and able to assess and manage the impact of the transformation to all of these needs in the right way. When implemented properly, Agile

– provides more autonomy to teams and individuals;
– creates a good sense of belonging or relatedness as part of a specific team;
– looks after the need for mastery and;
– increases fairness, when rewards are set more at team than individual level.

If not managed well though, an Agile transformation can negatively impact two of the identified basic human needs: Safety/Certainty and Esteem/Status.

Impact on Safety/Certainty
We live and work in a changing and uncertain world. This requires flexibility from organizations, teams and individuals. Hence the call for Agile. This new way of working does, however, also creates uncertainty, at least in the first months. Not only do people need to learn new routines, rituals and artifacts, they also work in a different way (short, iterative planning cycles). They are part of smaller, cross-functionals teams working with people they may not have known before. All these changes create uncertainty and reduce the feeling of the safety and certainty at individual employee level.

When implementing Agile it is important to explain these changes and address any feeling of unsafety/uncertainty. Leaders should provide guidance and set clear boundaries within which the teams can operate. Sometimes it may help to use old-school ‘project’ tools to help a team to feel in control.

Sometimes an Agile transformation is part of a broader reorganization. This creates a risk that this transformation is seen as a serious threat to the need for safety and certainty. As per the SCARF model, people will move away from or even against the Agile transformation. At best people may do Agile but will they will never really adopt an Agile mindset.

Impact on Esteem/Status
This element is a bit more complex in my view. Agile focusses more on teams and their performance than on individuals. It is also more about roles then official functions, formal hierarchy or individual status. Depending on the type of company (start-ups will be impacted less than a large organization) it is important that an Agile transformation is combined with less hierarchy and less formalities. The senior leaders play herein an important supporting the value of the teams and letting go of their own formal status.

When Agile is implemented in stages old hierarchical structures often remain in place. As a consequence, communication may continue along these old structures stimulating people to hold on to their old functions and titles. As per the SCARF model this can then cause a threat to the human need for Autonomy.

Agile transformations do cater for quite a number of basic human needs, including autonomy, belonging/relatedness and self-actualization. However, if not managed well this transformation may become a threat to some of the other, evenly important human needs, like safety/certainty and esteem/status. To make Agile transformations a success, leaders have to be well aware of the human needs and manage the potential impact carefully.

[1] McLeod, S. A.: “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”, updated 2018
[2] Rock, David dr.: “SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating and influencing others”, NeuroLeadershipJournal, Issue One, 2008.

Dare2Change: leadership & executive coaching
“The value of being different” 640 425 dare2admin

“The value of being different”

Travel guides always highlight the special character of the place and the way that is different from other places. This is often the reason why tourists are visiting these places. This is the same for me. When spending our holidays in Argentine we also went to Purmamarca de Jujuy in the northwestern part. It’s only a little with not a lot to do except to see the multicolored rock formations, that have been created millions of years ago. So here diversity and being different is a crucial value. So why is this not the case if we talk about humans. Being different as a human is not always seen as a value, but more than often as a burden or even a threat.

This question has triggered me for some time now. So last weeks while working on the practical set-up of my company, I also met a lot of people to talk about the value of diversity and inclusion. Having read various research articles and having talked with various knowledgeable people in this area I now have distilled some common denominators around this topic:

  • Nobody disagrees about the value of diversity and inclusion for organizations. They clearly benefit and show higher, sustainable performance including the bottom line;
  • Diversity and inclusion should look at the value of the differences amongst people and not strive for equality of all;
  • Introducing diversity does not start with bringing one woman or one person from another culture in the team. You have to start with at least 2 or 3 so they can support each other and not feel lost;
  • The importance of diversity and inclusion has to be understood, supported and voiced at the top;
  • At the same time statistics show that the practical adaptation of diversity in organizations around the globe is slow. With the exception of certain (large) corporations and organizations diversity is still struggling to make itself known on the work floor.

This raises for me the question “What makes it so difficult to create more diversity in organizations. Is it the unconscious bias of men (including myself) or could there be also some ‘resistant’ from the target group to take the risk and dare to jump?”

In all honest I don’t know yet (please react if you think you have the explanation). However, from my own experience working with highly diversified (in age, origine, gender, education and more) Agile teams, I have experienced the full value. In these self-organized teams trust, mutual understanding, acceptance and transparency are the key elements for success. In highly diverse teams each member is valued for his/her specific contributions and no part of the group can or wants to become dominant and set the rules of the game. Leading such teams require other leadership skills then before, including the capacity to empower others, to show vulnerability and to acknowledge that others know more on certain topics than you. One often (not always!) find these qualities more present in female leaders.

This is why I have decided to try to make a little wave in the ocean by helping talented women and other underrepresented groups to take the next daring steps in their profession or even personal life and go for leadership positions. I am convinced that by increasing the diversity in an organization by even small a numbers organizations will become a lovelier place to work and to attract the right talent. If you are interested in how I can help you in your next step please send me a pm.

Dare2Change: leadership & executive coaching
“Perception is not always reality” 678 449 dare2admin

“Perception is not always reality”

In my previous post I wrote about my transformational experiences during my recent travel to Chili and Argentina. During this trip I got ‘confronted’ with another experience. I learned how expectations can impact our views, ideas and perceptions. And how this impacts your experience.

Next to seeing our daughter again, the core of this trip was to finally experience the beauty of the glaciers in Patagonia. For years I have longed to see these magnificent ice fields. I imagined their vastness, their transparent colours and creaking sound every time I saw their pictures. So my expectation and excitement level were really high when we stepped in the van to go from El Calafate to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (world’s 4th largest ice field).

However, as you by now may have figured out, my first encounter with the ice was disappointing. “This is by far not what I had seen on television and in pictures …”  I thought when I saw the first icebergs and what appeared to me to be just a greyish glacier. I was so disappointed that my perception turned out not to be the reality that I stopped looking with genuine interested. And as a consequence I missed the specific beauty that was there, as my kids expressed to me afterwards.

The next day we were scheduled to visit the Perito Moreno glacier. Having learned from the first day I seriously scaled back my expectation, but not my hope J.  And see what happened: the sheer size of this magnificent glacier, with its violet colours, its cracking sounds, but above all it’s amazing beauty made me silent and emotional. I wanted to stay there for hours, just to watch and feel the immenseness. It did remind me about the days I climbed in the Swiss Alps and walked through untouched snow for hours. It also made me realize how important the preservation of our planet is and how little time there is left.

The above experience learned me that sometimes your perceptions and expectations can block your view, thoughts or feelings to such an extent that this can even block your growth. By letting go of your expectations, by being in the moment and by looking at yourself and your environment without any judgement you can create an experience that is stronger, deeper and more rewarding and that ultimately reveals its own beauty. As a personal coach this is a recurring and important theme of my coachees. And helping them to overcome this perception and expectation bias is one of the things that I love in my work.

Dare2Change: leadership & executive coaching
“From journey to journey. A true transformation process” 639 425 dare2admin

“From journey to journey. A true transformation process”

Last month, after more than 25 years, I left the corporate world to immediately jumped on an airplane to Chili and Argentina. What I hadn’t realised is that this trip would become a transformation process in itself.

Seeing my 17-year-old daughter, after 3 months working as a volunteer, as a guide in Buenos Aires asked a different attitude towards her. It was beautiful to see how confident and proud she was showing her experience and independence.

Moreover, and to my surprise the occasional time when my wife and I were arguing about little things my daughter would jump in to tell me to behave differently. The first time this happened I fully disagreed with her (of course) and even felt offended. Later I had to admit that she was right and that I should have reacted differently.

And then comes the inevitable end of the trip. Saying farewell to our daughter, who continued her trip (the ultimate letting go experience for parents) and starting my new journey: my own personal coaching practice.

Less than 4 weeks ago I said goodbye to my corporate life and since then I experienced valuable, transformational moments with many more to come. I hope you will be able to experience these little changes that help you to grow.

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