04 Mar Examples of How I Work
Email translation and editing: While giving a training at a company or working with someone on a book or website translation, I sometime get emails from them or their colleagues asking a specific question about how to write something, or how to translate a specific word or phrase. I sometimes even get emails that are written half in English and half in Dutch. They know what they want to say but can’t write it in professional English. I translate and edit these emails quickly for them.
Email approach: Sometimes the question is related to a deeper aspect of communication, such as “Why does my boss say he doesn’t understand what I am asking him?” This was a situation where my Management Drives training came in handy, the boss and the employee had different personality types and different ways of viewing a situation. Once I explained the appropriate approach to use, the communication between the employee and boss became much better. Another example is a client who works in sales sent me an email with the question: “Can you please help me out with this email? I want to stay in control. Do you have suggestions how to do this?” I was able to answer him right away with advice that was useful and specific.
Conveying the company image: During coaching sessions with a client whose company was undergoing a rebranding, we identified the essence of the company’s vision and core values in order to represent the new company image to stakeholders at upcoming conferences. We worked on the language need to effectively communicate such as selecting your words carefully, anticipation of questions, and framing of the message, in order to sharpen the clarity surrounding the rebranding.
Personal and Professional communication coaching: Communication is the bedrock of personal and professional relationships. Communicating with colleagues, customers, as well as at home with your spouse and kids takes care and attention. Sometimes communication breaks down at home, or at work, and as a result stress builds and work or health is affected. Communication coaching focuses on reflecting on your communication style and patterns and looking at situations from the other person’s perspective. Sometimes a change in approach and/or mindset is the key to addressing issues or preventing issues from arising.
Danger of burnout: For a client that had an employee on the verge of burnout because of the amount of work he needed to contend with, we had a few coaching sessions to work concretely on reducing the amount of email traffic to lighten his workload, and looked more broadly at communication and mindset aspects that could improve the situation. This resulted in the client not going out on sick-leave due to burnout and feeling more in control and better equipped to handle his work and working environment. The employee was happy to receive this kind of support and the client was happy that their employee was less stressed and no longer on the brink of burnout (with all the potential costs involved).
Customer service: Training and coaching customer service representatives on how to express empathy, actively listen, and communicate positively to customers as well as to colleagues. This resulted in the development of skills to deliver a better customer service experience and create better cooperation within the organization. Upon reading customer replies after the coaching, it was evident that the customers felt listened to and fully satisfied with the customer service.
Knowledge sharing: By organizing departmentally mixed groups within organizations and focusing on communication, we facilitate the sharing of knowledge between departments and organizational levels.
Compliance: For quality managers, it can sometimes be difficult to ensure compliance with company guidelines and policies. I had a client recently that felt like she was seen as the “quality police” and wanted to shed that image while still achieving the goals. I worked with her as I do with other clients to help achieve an appropriate approach and the right tone. This often includes positive phrasing, inclusive language and clear but friendly directives.
Train the trainer: Trainers and coaches who need to provide their training or coaching in English regularly come to me to practice. Earlier this year I worked with a whole team of trainers to practice the main parts of the training and improve their confidence in giving a training in English. I have also worked with individual trainers to practice their training, edit (or translate) their training materials, and role-play so they can practice giving feedback and provoking deeper insights. I am well-versed in Management training, High-potential training, Change Management; Servant Leadership; Executive coaching; and Personal and Professional coaching.
Executive training & coaching: As leadership and management development holds my interest, it has become one of my areas of special concentration. In my meetings with executives, I often get the request to build their English language skills in order to present themselves at a level suited to their position in an international environment. We work on sharpening their language expertise and strengthening the scope by using management and leadership themes and include their own materials. We combine polishing skills such as vocabulary, writing, presenting and chairing meetings, while also reflecting on topics such as delegating, employee motivation and engagement, communication with stakeholders, knowledge sharing and communication processes within the organization, leadership models and trends, organizational and change management, and global and industry developments that affect their organization.
With years of experience training and coaching people who have moved here from all around the world, and being an expat myself, I combine English language training with expat coaching to help with the adjustment to life in the Netherlands and understanding the Dutch culture. The combination of English language training, coaching, and a friendly approach is appreciated by many expats coming to work and live here.
Specific job tasks: My training is very practical. I like to focus on the work and goals of my clients. Because of this, people with specific needs come to me for training. For example, an entrepreneur who had an important sales pitch coming up, came to me to edit her PowerPoint slides and rehearse her presentation. And recently, a foreign language teacher at an international school who needs to converse with students, parents and colleagues in English and write student evaluations came to me for training. Although she has taken group English lessons at a language school, she come to me for a few sessions to specifically work on the points needed to complete her job tasks. And people who have upcoming interviews at international companies and know they can expect to have part of the interview in English, come to me to rehearse. We have a few sessions to practice interviewing in English and improve their confidence presenting themselves in English.
Confidence: A lack of confidence in speaking English can be inhibiting. I coach many people who are impeded in performing their job tasks because they dare not speak English. Before the training, clients tell me: “I don’t like picking up the phone if I know I will need to speak English, so I leave that to my colleagues or I write an email, even though that takes me more time.” Or “I dare not greet clients if I know they are English speaking, even though that is part of my job.” After the training, my clients report a significant improvement in their confidence and feel at ease performing their job tasks. Personally, I find this very rewarding to help my clients in this way.