15. April 2010

What exactly is coaching?

In the world of management, the term coaching is being used in such an inflationary manner that one could easily get the impression that there very rarely is a conversation between two or more people that would not be considered as a certain type of coaching. The misuse of such a specific term as coaching can unfortunately also change the general understanding of a coach's real role and abilities.

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15. Februar 2010

Perceive-Explain-Evaluate – Everyday use of an unordinary differentiation

The way we experience the world around us obviously has a strong effect on how we feel. The notorious half-full or half-empty glass is a good metaphor for this and our way of experiencing the things around us. So seeing the glass as half-full or half-empty really does have a strong impact on how things will proceed in a particular situation, interaction or relationship: An interaction partner whose behaviour I would interpret as bold and invading would be treated much differently than an interaction partner whose behaviour I would interpret as really interested and caring in my regard.

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15. März 2009

On the efficiency/effectiveness of experts

We regularly ask participants of expert seminars how they judge their own effectiveness in their organisation (real influence/theoretically possible and meaningful influence regarding the issue at hand). The replies usually fluctuate between 5 and 80 %. This relatively small portion of personal expertise flows into the company’s relevant decision-making processes. If one considers that in the age of a knowledge-based society the competitive-clinching difference, at least in the medium term, lies in the knowledge that is ‘built in’ to the business processes and products of the company, then the alarming meaning of this statement becomes apparent. A low rate of effectiveness of available knowledge represents a waste that is barely acceptable.

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15. Februar 2009

Decisions in organizations

Organisations stake their claim to existence by settling corporative and private issues and by solving problems. Since, objectively, there is a surplus of work and problems in comparison to the ways and means of coping with them, the demand is made for work to be done as effectively and efficiently as possible. One of the requirements for this is the quality of decisions and their being enforced through targeted, ‘firm’ action.

Basically, hierarchies are there to make sure decisions are made in a confusing field of possibilities, so that the flow of lines of action, that have been attuned to each other, is not interrupted and takes on form as well as direction. In so doing, decisions should be as objective as possible, consistent in themselves, targeted, related to other decisions, without contradiction and irrefutable, in short: rational.

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15. Juli 2007

The pentagon of cooperation designing

Both in our professional and our private life there is a great number of relationships, in which cooperation for every kind of question and theme is central. Lacking cooperations that work would mean that we would not only be less successful, but we just could not live in the long run. Some of our cooperations are with us for a long time, others are short, sometimes last only a few minutes. A number of our cooperation dealings are characterised by stability, trust and openness and we do not want to miss them; others appear to us to be rather fragile, changeable and unpredictable or tedious, dogged and full of conflict.

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15. Mai 2007

Knowledge and relaying knowledge

The term ‘knowledge’ seems to be obvious at first glance. All of us automatically associate certain ideas with it, which partly go back a long way and more often than not to our school days. At school the contents of knowledge are ordered in syllabuses. These syllabuses correspond to the ideas of those responsible in Ministries of Education, according to what they consider students of a certain grade and at a certain stage should learn. The individual plays no role in this. What is prescribed has to be learnt regardless of who happens to be teaching or who is sitting opposite the teacher.

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15. März 2003

Stress Cycles. The perception and resolution of problem intensifying system dynamics

Our intuitive thinking about causal connections follows a linear logic. We regard particular circumstances A1, A2, A3… as giving rise to or at least helping to give rise to facts B1, B2, B3…and these facts for their part are possibly the cause of further circumstances C1, C2, C3… The logic of our causal thinking is especially shown in conflict situations and above all, when we are the person affected in a conflict.

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15. Januar 2003

15 damn good tips on how to handle conflicts

The question should not be “whether”, but rather: “what can I contribute so that a win-win situation results?” (Of course a win-win situation will not always be reached, but if one seriously searches for it, it will not just make one’s own attitude more productive, but for the most part it will also make the attitude of the others involved clearly more productive and therefore the likelihood of a consensual solution will rise immensely.)

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15. Januar 2000

Systemic Questions

Questions are the key to the world. As the saying goes: “You ask, you lead.” Questions set the course for lines of thought and dialogue, asking questions means playing the ball, not dropping it. It means that you are already focussing on the next place of interaction. Asking questions causes movement and sets focus at the same time. More specifically, asking questions creates the necessary concentration to really focus on a particular issue, as well as the necessary movement to make progress in that very same matter.

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Das sicherste Zeichen für ein eklatantes Missverständnis bleibt immer die Gewissheit: „Klar verstehe ich.“

Dr. Stefan Hölscher - Partner, Metrion Management Consulting