Conversation with  R.M., one of the participants to Solution Building (project manager – banking – 35 years old)

I met some of the participants to the Solution Surfers programmes, managers, coaches or trainers, people from whom I wanted to find out what they had gained in these programmes. What did they receive? What did they take for themselves? What are they giving forward?

 Give and receive time

We met over coffee, during our lunch break, so this was more a conversation than an interview. She told  me the reason for making time to meet during such busy days – the proposal was coming from Petra Mueller Demary.

„We are always in full speed”, was the first thing she said.

We talked about time – how little of it we have! – from her point of view, the workshop was, primarily, an occasion for her and her colleagues to take time, to get detached, to join in a different game.

At the end of our meeting, I thanked her for the time. She smiles. „I accepted the meeting because I enjoyed the workshop so much that I thought it would be nice to contribute that others enjoy it as well”.

Instruments are used consciously, attitude comes intuitively

For some years already she had felt that orienting herself more positively, looking at things differently, suits her. She could feel that there was a need for something different than the directive „speedy” style. Solution Talk has given her the instruments she needed to do things as she felt they could be done. I coordinate the team day by day, they are people of all levels of education. I try to apply active listening – I have become aware of how, being in full speed, I did not listen. Petra gave us a structure, practical instruments – it is easier to listen when one has some clear tools for it. There were things we used to do „by ear” before, this type of leading people towards a result. For now, I am doing it consciously and I would like to reach a point where it comes naturally. It is going to, if you keep a positive outlook. During the second session I was already addressing questions without using the cards. That is the purpose: to find a way in which it suits your nature. It would not work to just rigidly apply them as given.

Micro-coaching.  No need to stop and do „coaching” – ask small questions, as you go.

There were small steps, simple things that bring value. With my colleagues, the fact that we had the change to give each other appreciation has made some connections, we have all joined „the game”, because it is like a game. I do not coach people, meaning that I do not stop for half an hour „now, let me coach you”. But I do ask questions. I do coaching as we go. People who are well prepared enjoy the questions. We have worked a lot on communication. It is even different when you write an e-mail. I am teaching my team how to communicate better. Formal education did not teach us how to structure a message. We get the information, but we get no tools to communicate it – that was my focus. What has changed is not easy to describe, it is like a new stage that we are in.

What do you think your colleagues or superiors see different in you? What would they say, if they were here?

I take decisions in a more calm manner. My superior would probably say that I listen to her more, that I see her point of view. I ask her „What is your take on this? What do you want to reach?” When you want to listen, coaching questions are very useful. Listen actively, think positively, focus on solutions, learn from experience..

Instruments for a more mature professional and personal stage.

I think this is a natural stage in life but you do need the tools. I do things in honesty, I think about what I want, how I want things to be, what I believe – and then… I do them! I think about how I evolve from one year to the other and I am happy when I see people doing constructive things… they shine! You can really see them shine.