January Website Update - Humans At Work

In all that we do at Hercules Coaching, we remain passionate about keeping people front and center in a world of ever increasing digital disruption and automation. Personally, I've been truly inspired by some of the people we've met along the way and the stories which they have shared about their own development journeys. Sparked by the Humans of New York and other similar series, we have developed our own series, entitled simply Humans at Work. 

We reached out to our whole team, our key clients and partners with whom we work closely and asked them if they were inspired enough to make a personal contribution to our series. As a result, we are pleased to share the first installment of inspiring experiences, further installments of which will be launched throughout the year. If you have an inspirational story you would like to share, please let us know – we’d love to hear it!



In a world where facts and especially figures are becoming more and more important, I have found that injecting a bit of a human touch into the equation goes a long way. In a one-on-one situation, I try to pick up on something that goes a little beyond the business setting to show some genuine interest in the person sitting opposite me. Conventional wisdom will tell you that such info is off limits, but the practical end is that we both leave the meeting knowing something more about each other than just job title, who we work for and business needs. Our next meeting is going to be easier, because we’ve also met on a more personal level. It opens channels of communication not necessarily available in a strict business environment. Both partners gain!



Having trained many Senior Leaders on the art of giving feedback, it’s always fantastic to hear how the learnings are applied. I remember vividly when one individual told me that they had received genuine, positive feedback from their boss for the first time in 5 years. They were so euphoric that they dropped everything, ran outside and bought a treat to mark the occasion. The treat stayed on the desk as a reminder of how good it felt and as an encouragement to create that feeling in others.



As an actor and director, I work with many people of different backgrounds and levels of experience. Producing theatre requires a high level of collaboration and exchange of ideas.  I recall working on the set of a play and through discussions with the set builder he came up with a perfect idea.  I was thrilled.  Then his idea was taken by someone else and heightened in quality.  After that working with the lighting people, that idea was quite literally highlighted.  It was the “frosting on the cake” of a truly collaborative and enjoyable developmental process.



In a highly theoretical world, it is of high value to add practical skills. Through acting, the course participants face scenarios as in real life and develop their social skills by adding practical experience.

I saw people getting nervous as it was so real, but with the encouraging feedback they get, they usually tackle the next scene very nicely and leave with a great win and experience.

It is fun for both sides – the participants of the courses and the actors.




Besonders beeindruckend und befriedigend finde ich die Momente, in denen die Mitarbeiter der Unternehmen nach den Rollenspielen ihr eigenes Verhalten reflektieren und umgehend zu neuen Erkenntnissen gelangen. Was habe ich wie getan, wie hätte ich anders machen können und wie werde ich beim nächsten Mal anders handeln und interagieren? Es ist ein Erkenntnisprozess, der an eine physisch und psychisch real erlebte Interaktion anschliesst. Ein Erkenntnisprozess, der sich in Körper und Geist abspielt. Echt, authentisch und nachhaltig. 



'Let's be smarter together' is one of Swiss Re's core values and this year I can say that I really experienced this several times. One of the examples I'd like to share with you is the great collaboration with Michelle that ended in a very successful new Recruiting training for our Line Managers. Michelle and I started on a pretty green field with only a few key inputs from the Recruiting experts. This was great as it allowed us to be creative and think out of the box. It was such a nice experience that Michelle and I built on each other's idea and that we could openly, without any bad feelings, challenge each other's ideas so in the end we co-developed a great new training that is globally very well perceived.

Thank you Michelle, for letting me experience what it means to 'be smarter together'!'



Having been given the task of selecting inspiring and motivational tracks for a conference for senior leaders, I set about trying to whittle down 1000’s of tracks to just 4.

I was thrilled to hear the feedback that the music was really well received and became the ‘anthem’ for the conference.  The image of the CEO rocking away and being inspired by my choice of music was a great feeling.






What drew me to coaching and what I find most powerful about it is that the client has all the right answers. At the end of each coaching session, I ask the client what they’re taking away. One client in particular told me how much I had helped her to see clearly where she needed to go with her business. Then I reminded her – I hadn’t told her anything; she was the one who had the wisdom to find the solution. Watching her in that moment is what our work is all about. We’re helping to build the confidence and trust from within to be the leader that you truly are.



In one of my workshops there was a young woman, trying to find work after having finished her education. She already had over twenty interviews, all without success, and the repeated rejection had made her weary. The interview simulation and the following camera feedback analysis showed that what she said was fine. But how she did it… it was too wooden, without any spark of interest or motivation, despite the fact that she really liked her work.

As this particular group consisted mainly of young people with quite a bit of playfulness in them, I decided to take them on a stroll to the world of acting exercises. I told them that yes, life sometimes can be tough, but whatever happened, we should never lose our light. And when we walk through that door to the interview, we want to light up the room. And yes, I admitted, there are those days when it’s difficult to find that light within ourselves, but luckily there are exercises that can help us with that. For me, it was beautiful to see that the exercises had succeeded in bringing back some sparkle into the eyes of these young people.

At the end I told them that there are actors who do the same show 300 times. And each and single time it must be as fresh as if it was for the first time – it was the first time, after all, for their audience. The analogy seemed to have hit home with that young woman. When she left, she held her head high and determined and said she would go in there and lit up that room and show them her enthusiasm and keep it fresh until she finally succeeded. Meanwhile, I keep all my fingers crossed for her.