I chose to study social education because it looks at the human condition through more than one academic lens. It combines pedagogy, psychology, sociology, philosophy and social medicine, which enables a comprehensive view of humanity.
While completing my first one-year internship, I learned the hard way that putting theory into practice can be an arduous exercise.
I stayed in California, USA for almost two years. During my first year, I was a Fulbright scholar and studied Management Theory, Business Communication and Industrial/Organizational Psychology. My time there helped me to improve my intercultural skills in San Francisco’s international environment. I experienced many challenges which contributed greatly to my personal development. In my second year in California, I worked on some major projects in a human resources department, including a training needs analysis for several thousand employees. The project taught me that many “textbook” HR tools cannot always be implemented as-is. It became clear to me that generating employees’ (and their superiors’) interest and enthusiasm for something new requires an enormous amount of time and effort. And this interest and enthusiasm is indispensable to get them to actively join new initiatives.
How I understand my role as a consultant and trainer
I have been working full-time as a professional consultant and trainer since 1988. My most successful work has involved coaching and advising individuals or groups, particularly “family groups” consisting of managers and their direct reports.
In most of my assignments my clients and I address their real life situation and the challenges involved rather than hypothetical situations. I find this type of work most satisfying, as the results and successes of our joint efforts become evident quickly.
In retrospect, when I first started out I rather naively expected my work to change people. I have since realized that my role is to hold up the mirror and make sure people observe themselves. If people want to change what they see in that mirror, they must take the initiative themselves; all I can do is offer support and encouragement.