Leadership in transition

Our most soulful times are when we are out of balance rather than when we are in balance
Thomas Moore, author Care of the Soul

On August 22nd 2016 I was driving to work during rush hour on the Eindhoven ring. The weather had been hot and dry the whole week but that morning it was pouring. When taking the last curve on the A2 my car started drifting, I hit the guardrail with 100 kilometers an hour and came to a halt. The car was total-loss and I could go home to recover. I was made to stop, both literally and figuratively speaking, to think about where I was at, where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to live for. This was one of my most impactful life-events. This and other life experiences have taken me on a road to search for the impact of life experiences on our thinking and behavior. On how we lead ourselves.

Whether it’s a car accident, an absent or sub-optimally functioning parent, illness, bullying, divorce, bereavement, reorganization, stress, poverty, isolation, social unrest, discrimination, war or another loss experience; Every one of us is dealing with them. The questions are: how many of them, which types, and what impact they have. They can raise questions like ‘am I not loved?’, ‘do I not belong?’ or ‘am I not safe or in control?’ If these events are more impactfull, then these questions can turn into convictions which unconsciously influence us. Loss experiences have a tremendous potential to negatively influence how we look at ourselves. And how we think about ourselves, influences how we feel, act, and communicate. Individual growth, team- and organizational success are being influenced by it.

Illness at work is at a rise. It costs nations billions. Also, we see more media sounding the alarm about the increasing number of people with psychological issues. Whether work or non-work related, psychosocial reasons are (one of) the biggest cause(s).

In developing individuals and teams, insight in life experiences and how they influence us are often not discussed. Giving it the attention it deserves and providing insight, create psychological safety and trust in teams through which courage and energy arise to get things done as a team. I apply coaching and training to achieve these things. Even though most don’t initually ask me to coach them because of life events, often the coach question is related to personal leadership and during the trajectory it turns out that leadership development is hindered because these foundational things have never been addressed.

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Jeroen Timmermans pasfoto
Jeroen Timmermans

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