Polish your gold, don’t clean your copper! Every person has positive qualities – they’re just not always visible or deployed. That is what often causes things to get stuck. Everybody can make a difference in their own way. I like to help individuals, teams and organizations find out who can make a difference somewhere and to (learn to) appreciate each other’s qualities and use them where possible. This creates new opportunities that lead to guaranteed success.

The way I see organizations

Organizations are always established for a particular purpose. That purpose should be clear to anyone who deals with that organization: the owner(s), employees, suppliers, customers. Of course, in the course of time the purpose may be adjusted. Then, too, every party concerned needs to be informed properly so that everyone feels involved and gets an opportunity to assist in thinking about and working on the realization of the purpose.

In an ideal situation, therefore, all involved know the purpose, support it, and are focused on being a part of its achievement and work together perfectly. Moreover, in the process everybody is deployed in a way that they can truly be themselves. Unfortunately, ideal situations are rare…

In professional organizations, the majority of staff are highly trained and work with a large degree of autonomy. Yet this autonomy cannot be unlimited. The employer, after all, has needs and expectations regarding the results of the work and the way the work is performed.

The way I see the relationship between employer and employee

Almost all successful people work together with others. Generally the employer and colleagues belong to any person’s most important partners. This certainly applies to professional organizations; these are largely dependent on the competencies (knowledge, skills and behaviour) of their employees. Professionals thrive when they can use their qualities and when no exaggerated attention is paid to their ‘weaknesses.’ It is almost always possible to consult with stakeholders and to distribute the work to be performed within the organization over the professionals in such a way that everyone’s skills are utilized and all the desired results are achieved. This leads to more enthusiasm (again) and to increased employee satisfaction.

The cooperating partners must be seen as equals (with respect for each person’s function in the organization) and they need to aim for a win-win relationship. Generally, for professionals this means ‘autonomy and development opportunities – the more, the better!’ For management, it means that the company’s goals and desired results are achieved. Therefore it is necessary to set the framework and to explain and record the mutual expectations. However, management have the last say – they, after all, have the final responsibility.

I believe in the freedom within clear boundaries that is created in this way. Within that framework management and staff, but also all co-workers, will be able to hold each other accountable for the behaviour that is necessary to fulfil the agreements made. However, I have noticed that they often need help in gaining an understanding of each other’s expectations, discussing them together and making agreements that are doable for everybody. I can provide that help, in a way that is perceived as positive, development-oriented and enjoyable.

The way I see my relationship with my client

If I’m anything, I am independent! I think along with my clients and support them in their business. I’m focused on quality and good solutions for my clients. I want to add value and would rather pull out than string a client along. I operate independent of suppliers of for example software, banking or insurance products. If I recommend a product, the customer may assume that I am really enthusiastic about that product and that I find it the best solution for that client at that time. Naturally, this also applies to when I refer to other specialists.

In all my activities I strive to align the employees’ deployment and development with the client’s strategy and objectives. At the same time my attitude towards people is focused on ‘whatever they have in them should be able to get out.’ I think that – wherever possible – people should get the opportunity to develop all their talents. In my way of working, therefore, I pay close attention to the development of people and how they can use their talents or competencies for the client organization. And if that is not (or no longer) possible, I think that an open dialogue with the employee is in order to seek a mutually satisfactory solution or method.