As a leadership trainer for young professionals, I often imagined thought balloons above trainees’ heads: “Why would she be telling us how the world works, what does she know?” Or: “If this training isn’t 100% perfect, this day is going to be a real waste of time.” Critical questions made me jump. To me, they were a confirmation that I wasn’t good enough as a trainer. Dissatisfied participants were my worst nightmare.
There would always be that one participant who scored me an 8 on the evaluation form, instead of a 10. That’s not what I’d settle for. I was continuously dissatisfied. On my train commute home, I was often angry with myself for not doing better. Anything that didn’t go smoothly, had to be improved at all costs. After my workdays, I often felt tired and stressed out.
My solution was working even harder. Endlessly polishing up my programme. Read even more books. Often at nights, because I was too busy during the day. Of course, I got better feedback from my participants. And colleagues complimented me on making my programmes speak to the intended audience. But that never really landed. I was continuously looking for improvements. Never done, me. And it cost me massive loads of energy. I had had enough of the stress it gave me. I really loved my job, so I did want to keep it. But I didn’t know how to change. So, I took it to a coach.
Now, my list with moments of success is longer than my dissatisfied thoughts. I no longer link critical questions to my feeling of self-worth. I highly enjoy well-run training days. I no longer work nights to perfect my programme to a T. That critical voice in the back of my head and my big standards aren’t gone. That would be impossible, because those are a part of me. There is still enough daily material to work with. I just dare to do things differently now. I have alternatives to working harder. And the funny thing is: trainees don’t think I’m a worse trainer for it. My boyfriend is still with me, my friends still think I’m a lovely person. It’s a lot more relaxed for me now. The fear that others will reject me for not being good enough, is irrational. This realisation has saved me a ton of energy and makes me happier!
How I work
My style of communication is very accessible and involved. This will help you open up and feel safer to show more of yourself. In return, I will give you my sharp observations, which help you see things about yourself you hadn’t noticed before. It will help you forward.
My idea is that I don’t have to fix you. You’re quite capable of that yourself, as a smart and independent young professional. You just need to be guided around the things that you keep running into. Let me be your guide. I stand shoulder to shoulder with you and will help you forward.
My own experiences are a source of inspiration, but you won’t hear me say “Oh, but I have the exact same thing,” followed by a long story about me. I know the themes well. I will help you navigate them, with my training and coaching techniques as a compass.
Since you will be sharing personal bits of yourself during our five-term coaching programme, it isn’t more than fair that I do the same. So, here are a few facts about me.
I was born in a rural part of the Netherlands, switched to life in a bigger city and traded the Netherlands for London in 2020 with my partner Roel.
Rowing is my game. Gliding across the smooth water on a Saturday morning is a wonderful feeling. I love sporting outdoors, and put in the metres with my team.
I read cook books in bed. It’s just lovely to read the most delicious recipes, and think about when I’ll make them. Only problem is, I go to sleep with a massive appetite.
Speaking of: crisps are my guilty pleasure. Roel once gave me 52 bags for Christmas for that reason, one for every week of the year. Now, how many weeks do you think they lasted?
I’m a sucker for soul, funk, blues and jazz. A night of dancing in a brown pub with a live band is really my idea of an ideal Saturday night.