Leaders and leadership coaches understand that silence is more productive than thinking.

To get to wisdom and clarity  SILENCE is more productive than thinking.

Get to silence first before you think.

When the mind is confronted, it reacts.

When we are conscious of this inner reaction, we can control our minds and we can stop the outer reaction.

Always start from inner clarity.

You get to clarity through silence.

From silence you can control your mind and recognise what ‘is’, what are your thoughts, what are your feelings and what are your emotions. 

Understand that they are different realities to your mind.

Outside your mind, there is only what ‘is’.

That is clarity.

From this awareness you can decide to control your thoughts, to control your words or outer silence, to control what you do or don’t do.

Notice that almost everything what happens in a society almost always stems from reaction. 

This takes positive energy and creates more negative energy.

That humans mostly are in a reaction mode is the cause of a complicated and negative society. 

As a lawyer I saw that most laws are unneccesary and a reaction to what is already past.

The same with court cases. The reason why I became a mediator.

You don’t solve problems with rules, you don’t change behaviour of people by rules. Rules don’t solve nothing and are themselves source of confusion.

The way to go is to work on the consciousness of people, on their mindset.

Coach people to be who they are meant to be. Don’t tell people to be who they are not. We are all part of the universal harmony.

But therefore you also need conscious and compassionate leaders.

Coaching versus instructive ways of learning. Mentoring, consultancy, teaching.

It is important to understand coaching versus other instructive ways of learning.

Mindful coaches start from what is.
They coach the person to become the best version of him or herself.

Not to become what others tell them to be.

That’s the difference with artificial and instructed intelligence.

Without that understanding nothing is sustainable.

Mentors exchange their experience and share the path they walked before. They will say what worked for them. But will it work for you?

Teachers transfer knowledge. Students learn what is already known. What about the unknown? What about the constant change in Life?

Consultants are specialists in a certain field. What about all the other factors in play? Each consultant has a personal, hopefully professional, opinion. Who to believe?

Mindful coaching is about empowering the consciousness of ‘being’ and opening up the mind of the coachee.

To understand who you are is always the first step.


Effective coaching is only possible if…

4 component parts of the mindset of the coachee that have to be present for COACHING to be effective:
.An awareness that something has to or can change, (if not, work on consciousness),
.A willingness to make the change, (if not, work on motivation),
.The skills and ability to make the change, (if not, work on competences)
.The understanding that change takes time and can show up later or in other ways than those originally expected or anticipated. (If not, work on the mindset)

1. Does the coachee have the capacity to understand what the situation is and what to do at this moment?
2. Is the coachee aware of this understanding?
3. Will the coachee take responsibility to change?
4. After the coaching process, is the change part of the mindset of the coachee?

#coaching, #mindset

In Life you learn by experience.

It is good to listen when others talk but you learn more when you walk.

In Life you learn from living the experience.

What you think is only in your mind.

This is the difference between thinking and being.

In Life you need both: intelligence and consciousness.

Progress is about the transformation of mindsets.

A great interview by the country manager of the Worldbank in Burundi, Veronique Kabongo and Chief economist, Albert G. Zeufack.

Yes there is a window for possible change in Burundi and I am personally happy with it, as a coach of the youth, entrepreneurs in Burundi and as a business lawyer for investors.
Myself I live in the hills of Bujumbura with the local people. So I am connected with them and know their mindset.
Progress is all about changing mindsets.
If there is not the proper mindset at the start you can not progress in a sustainable way.
Leaders should understand that you don’t solve poverty by giving incompetent people a job they can not handle. The concern is good but this kind of action is catastrophic and not sustainable.
People will get frustrated or won’t care about their performance as long they get paid.
They will see it as a compensation for their poverty,
they won’t understand:
.the value of being competent,
.or that they are rewarded for the effort they do,
.or rewarded for the result of their effort.
You solve poverty by educating people and by opening their mindset first.
Not by fighting poverty. Fighting poverty is the same mindset that is part of the cause of the problem. One of the many reasons why the development sector is struggling.
#LightAward2019 E
All the rest is a evident.
.Private sector creates real creative and sustainable jobs, not governments.
.Governments can block or facilitate market economy.
.Private sector can only thrive when there is the capacity to add value. So you need to understand the concept of adding value first.
.Digitalisation is key but all focus is on agriculture and this is what you get, an agriculture mindset. Which is not wrong but it is not ok when all focus go to poverty and agriculture.
FOCUS should be on richness not on POVERTY. Another challenge is that internet connection in Burundi went backwards the last year.
.People have to recognize problems and not be in denial! Only through clarity you can come to solutions.
An open conscious mind and an open heart is the only key to progress!
By Stephan Doukhopelnikoff
Coach, mediator and business lawyer
#leadershipcoaching #businesscoaching #burundi #coaching

Life is about what you do with what you are already created with.

It is not about 

.how much money you have,
.how much talents you have,
.how intelligent you are,
.how much time you have,
.how many people you know,
.what position you have,
.how healthy you are,

It is all about what you do with what you are already created with.


You are never to young to start an empire, you are never to old to start a new dream.

The 10 Leadership Skills

based on article by Sunnie Giles, full article in Harvard Business Review, see link below

  1. has high ethical and moral standards
  2. provides goals and objectives with loose guidelines
  3. clearly communicates expectations
  4. has the flexibility to change opinions
  5. is committed to ongoing training
  6. communicates often and openly
  7. is open to new ideas and approaches
  8. creates a feeling of succeeding and failing together
  9. helps me grow into a next generation leader
  10. provides safety for trial and error

What makes an effective leader?

Demonstrates strong ethics and provides a sense of safety.
This theme combines two of the three most highly rated attributes: “high ethical and moral standards” (67% selected it as one of the most important) and “communicating clear expectations” (56%).
Taken together, these attributes are all about creating a safe and trusting environment. A leader with high ethical standards conveys a commitment to fairness, instilling confidence that both they and their employees will honor the rules of the game. 

Clearly communicates expectations.
Similarly, when leaders clearly communicate their expectations, they avoid blindsiding people and ensure that everyone is on the same page. In a safe environment employees can relax, invoking the brain’s higher capacity for social engagement, innovation, creativity, and ambition.
Neuroscience corroborates this point. When the amygdala registers a threat to our safety, arteries harden and thicken to handle an increased blood flow to our limbs in preparation for a fight-or-flight response. In this state, we lose access to the social engagement system of the limbic brain and the executive function of the prefrontal cortex, inhibiting creativity and the drive for excellence. From a neuroscience perspective, making sure that people feel safe on a deep level should be job #1 for leaders.
But how? This competency is all about behaving in a way that is consistent with your values. If you find yourself making decisions that feel at odds with your principles or justifying actions in spite of a nagging sense of discomfort, you probably need to reconnect with your core values. I facilitate a simple exercise with my clients called “Deep Fast Forwarding” to help with this. Envision your funeral and what people say about you in a eulogy. Is it what you want to hear? This exercise will give you a clearer sense of what’s important to you, which will then help guide daily decision making.
To increase feelings of safety, work on communicating with the specific intent of making people feel safe. One way to accomplish this is to acknowledge and neutralize feared results or consequences from the outset. I call this “clearing the air.” For example, you might approach a conversation about a project gone wrong by saying, “I’m not trying to blame you. I just want to understand what happened.”

Empowers others to self-organize.
Providing clear direction while allowing employees to organize their own time and work was identified as the next most important leadership competency.
No leader can do everything themselves. Therefore, it’s critical to distribute power throughout the organization and to rely on decision making from those who are closest to the action.
Research has repeatedly shown that empowered teams are more productive and proactive, provide better customer service, and show higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to their team and organization. And yet many leaders struggle to let people self-organize. They resist because they believe that power is a zero-sum game, they are reluctant to allow others to make mistakes, and they fear facing negative consequences from subordinates’ decisions.
To overcome the fear of relinquishing power, start by increasing awareness of physical tension that arises when you feel your position is being challenged. As discussed above, perceived threats activate a fight, flight, or freeze response in the amygdala. The good news is that we can train our bodies to experience relaxation instead of defensiveness when stress runs high. Try to separate the current situation from the past, share the outcome you fear most with others instead of trying to hold on to control, and remember that giving power up is a great way to increase influence — which builds power over time.

Fosters a sense of connection and belonging.
Leaders who “communicate often and openly” (competency #6) and “create a feeling of succeeding and failing together as a pack” (#8) build a strong foundation for connection.
We are a social species — we want to connect and feel a sense of belonging. From an evolutionary perspective, attachment is important because it improves our chances of survival in a world full of predators. Research suggests that a sense of connection could also impact productivity and emotional well-being. For example, scientists have found that emotions are contagious in the workplace: Employees feel emotionally depleted just by watching unpleasant interactions between coworkers.
From a neuroscience perspective, creating connection is a leader’s second most important job. Once we feel safe (a sensation that is registered in the reptilian brain), we also have to feel cared for (which activates the limbic brain) in order to unleash the full potential of our higher functioning prefrontal cortex.
There are some simple ways to promote belonging among employees: Smile at people, call them by name, and remember their interests and family members’ names. Pay focused attention when speaking to them, and clearly set the tone of the members of your team having each other’s backs. Using a song, motto, symbol, chant, or ritual that uniquely identifies your team can also strengthen this sense of connection.

Shows openness to new ideas and fosters organizational learning.
What do “flexibility to change opinions” (competency #4), “being open to new ideas and approaches” (#7), and “provides safety for trial and error” (#10) have in common? If a leader has these strengths, they encourage learning; if they don’t, they risk stifling it.
Admitting we’re wrong isn’t easy. Once again, the negative effects of stress on brain function are partly to blame — in this case they impede learning. Researchers have found that reduced blood flow to our brains under threat reduces peripheral vision, ostensibly so we can deal with the immediate danger. For instance, they have observed a significant reduction in athletes’ peripheral vision before competition. While tunnel vision helps athletes focus, it closes the rest of us off to new ideas and approaches. Our opinions are more inflexible even when we’re presented with contradicting evidence, which makes learning almost impossible.

To encourage learning among employees, leaders must first ensure that they are open to learning (and changing course) themselves. Try to approach problem-solving discussions without a specific agenda or outcome. Withhold judgment until everyone has spoken, and let people know that all ideas will be considered. A greater diversity of ideas will emerge.
Failure is required for learning, but our relentless pursuit of results can also discourage employees from taking chances. To resolve this conflict, leaders must create a culture that supports risk-taking. One way of doing this is to use controlled experiments — think A/B testing — that allow for small failures and require rapid feedback and correction. This provides a platform for building collective intelligence so that employees learn from each other’s mistakes, too.

Nurtures growth.
“Being committed to my ongoing training” (competency #5) and “helping me grow into a next-generation leader” (#9) make up the final category.

All living organisms have an innate need to leave copies of their genes. They maximize their offspring’s chances of success by nurturing and teaching them. In turn, those on the receiving end feel a sense of gratitude and loyalty. Think of the people to whom you’re most grateful — parents, teachers, friends, mentors. Chances are, they’ve cared for you or taught you something important.
When leaders show a commitment to our growth, the same primal emotions are tapped. Employees are motivated to reciprocate, expressing their gratitude or loyalty by going the extra mile. While managing through fear generates stress, which impairs higher brain function, the quality of work is vastly different when we are compelled by appreciation. If you want to inspire the best from your team, advocate for them, support their training and promotion, and go to bat to sponsor their important projects.
These five areas present significant challenges to leaders due to the natural responses that are hardwired into us. But with deep self-reflection and a shift in perspective (perhaps aided by a coach), there are also enormous opportunities for improving everyone’s performance by focusing on our own.

Dr. Sunnie Giles is a professionally certified executive coach, leadership development consultant and organizational scientist. She is President of Quantum Leadership Group. She has an MBA from the University of Chicago and PhD from Brigham Young University.


The advantages of coaching for young people

It is more powerful and enriching to listen to people than to tell them what to do!

Stephan Doukhopelnikoff Coach

The power of stillness to come to yourself…