in medias res
or in a nutshell

I reflect, therefore I am!

We often hear that at the end of an important phase, someone reviews their life. But why only at the end?

I love self-reflection! Do you? Reflection means mirroring, pondering, remembering. To reflect on yourself means in somewhat clinical terms to analyze and question your own thinking, feeling and behavior with the aim of finding out more about yourself and what you could do differently (“better?”). In doing so, we can question ourselves not only as individuals, but also as parts of a system, for example our family or team and look at our own behavior from a distance.

It is easier to reflect on oneself as part of a network of relationships (system), than in a detached and abstract way: What was the situation? Who was involved? How did they behave? How did I behave? Did my behavior lead to a productive outcome for myself and others or not? What could I have done differently and how would my behavior have affected the situation? etc. Self-reflection is particularly helpful when there is tension or when we have a competitive environment because both will occur again and again.

Self-reflection demands of me complete honesty and openness to alternative options. I do not ask what I expect from others, but what I expect from myself. I know that I cannot change others, so I am ready to change my own behavior.

Self-reflection is the beginning of a journey of discovery inside of me with unforeseen dimensions and full of surprises.

We like to convince ourselves that we are doing everything right and with the best of intentions. After all, nobody likes self-criticism! But what exactly does “right” mean? Right for whom? And it is well known that “best intentions” are no guarantee for happiness and success. That’s why self-reflection needs getting used to and regular training. That’s why it only works if we truly want to change something about ourselves. Self-reflection is the beginning of every change process!

To get the support of someone who creates momentum for you is not only advisable, but also enriching. Perhaps you prefer the high-energy motivational speaker who can inspire a hall full of followers. Perhaps you rather appreciate the soft-spoken meditation trainer who invites you to take a seat on your mat and listen to the sound of silence. Or you can engage in a profound and solution-oriented conversation with a coach like me in your preferred environment and find out how you can reach the next stage of your personal goal and improve your life. I already look forward to your story!

With appreciative thoughts and warm Easter greetings,
Tatjana Gaspar

Dealing with conflicts in a constructive way is of systemic relevance

Most people don’t like conflicts. It is not in human nature to be conflict loving. Even so, sometimes we cannot avoid it. A conflict arises when we try to go against someone whose behavior in a particular situation seems to be incompatible with our expectations. We then consciously blame the other side, since we consider our expectations to be justified.

The word «conflict» from the Latin «confligere» means to fight against each other. The conflict can be experienced as such by one or both sides, sometimes even capture a whole group. It always takes place on the emotional level and seldom has anything to do with the matter at hand. In other words: the matter has no clue there even is a conflict and it doesn’t care!

Have you ever analyzed in your environment why and how conflicts arise? How are they carried out? What pattern of behavior did you observe? How did the conflicting parties communicate with each other? You may have found that prejudice, intolerance or ignorance played a role, that the conflict was based on self-interest and power games, that there was a lack of empathy and willingness to compromise, or that the communication was inadequate and the person in the focus was overwhelmed.

While differences of opinion or disputes in everyday life can have a clearing and healing impact on a relationship, real conflicts with hardened opinions are much more profound and disturbing.

Unresolved conflicts take up time and energy and are about as counterproductive as trying to hit the accelerator and the handbrake at the same time. Not only those directly involved and the matter at hand suffer from it, but also your entire system.

Whatever you find disturbing in your workplace or family, express your concern before a conflict arises. This shows that you have courage and self-confidence and will earn you respect. You may even consider from the beginning to bring in a neutral (non-emotional) third party for mediation, someone who has the necessary distance and can de-escalate the communication. I am happy to offer my experience and support before a conflict causes greater distress for you.

Until then, may your days be conflict-free and productive.

Best wishes, Tatjana Gaspar

If it were not for this inner blockage…

Have you ever witnessed someone else accomplish something and have said to yourself: «I would have loved to accomplish that, but I couldn’t do it because something was holding me back.»? Every now and then, each of us experiences situations, in which we secretly regret not having tried. Do you feel that these situations are very different from one another or rather similar? The more often similar situations are repeating themselves and you then regretfully say «I couldn’t do it because something was holding me back», the more likely there is some kind of mental blockage. But you are by no means responsible for it!

Such inner obstacles usually have a specific cause. We sometimes know the cause and sometimes not. It may have its origin in experiences from our childhood, adolescence or perhaps from a later trauma. The examples are endless: Suddenly, we are overwhelmed by this anxiety ahead of an exam that makes us forget the material we have learned. The thought of our appearance before an audience leads us to the edge of impotence. At the crucial moment, the carefully prepared job interview sinks into a blackout. Or we don’t dare to enter into a pool of water, even when it is shallow. Maybe we are paralized by the thought of flying in an airplaine. A feeling of panic and loss of control spreads inside us and turns off any self-confidence. We are no longer receptive to external influences. Anyone who has ever experienced this knows how frightening and deeply stressful it can feel to be blocked.

Why would any human being want to go through life with such a burden instead of trying everything to get it out of the way? Why would someone prefer not to breathe more freely and not to build up his or her (self-)confidence?

There is no easy answer to this. Nevertheless, countless people continue to live and suffer with their mental blockage day by day, feel ashamed because of it, try to hide and suppress it – without success. The longer we wait to tackle the problem, the heavier the burden will weigh on us and pull us down.

But it doesn’t have to come to that: with courage, perseverance and method, we can do something about it and also encourage others to take this step. It is never too late for it.

With very best wishes,
Tatjana Gaspar

Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability!

Have you ever wondered how many times in a day you are confronted with your own vulnerability? How do you react when suddenly nothing is as it was before, when certain situations or people push you to your limits? What do you do when your careful plan doesn’t work, when your perfect dream just bursts?

For many of us it’s hard then to face our emotions and admit them openly. Our fear of losing face and the respect of others ist too great. However, it turns out again and again that the others are not the problem at all, but rather the inner barrier that we then build up. Behind it, we suppress our feelings and our real self, sometimes for a very long time. We convince ourselves that the pressure to succeed and perform in life does not allow showing any weakness.

But in this century and in our modern society, vulnerability is less and less considered a weakness anymore. Vulnerability is what makes us human, what connects us. It does not destroy the respect of our fellow human beings, it creates it. Suppression, on the other hand, is a free ticket to long-term suffering and loneliness.

Those who are not afraid to show their vulnerability, to confide in others, demostrate authenticity and self-confidence – two important components of any lasting relationship, but also of credible leadership. This is true in your own family as well as in your professional life.

Find someone who makes you feel good about yourself and confide in them. There is a good chance that you will receive valuable advice and encouragement. Otherwise, just give me a call.

May the moment be right to affirm and celebrate your vulnerability!

With best wishes for the New Year,
Tatjana Gaspar

The need to let go … and start fresh

It is the year in which everyone is affected by the burden of letting go. We have had to let go of habits, beliefs, plans for the future and our supposed safety. To many of us it seems like a nightmare that we just want to wake up from. But it’s not a nightmare, it’s reality. The difference between nightmare and reality is that we can influence reality. For sure! And we are wide awake!

Why do we shy away from letting go? Maybe we feel pain in the face of separation. Or we fear that we are betraying everything that was important to us up to now. Maybe we feel powerless and paralyzed before the unknown. We rarely manage to see in the act of letting go a beneficial component, namely a chance. This chance is a creative process in which we are active and focussed participants and shapers. Our behavior as a whole is challenged and put to the test.

While we are letting go of something, we are already letting in something else.

We may start something new while the old continues to exist as an experience, a memory or a best practice. No separation. No betrayal. But instead, openness to new approaches and possibilities. Letting go is not the end, it is a beginning.

I am available to support you if you should lose courage in the meantime or if you want to gain the necessary distance when weighing your options. There is no reason to deny yourself a constructive, appreciative coaching session. But you can also give it away as a Christmas gift. I would be happy to send you a voucher.

I wish you a blessend and hopeful festive season and a powerful start into the New Year.

Yours, Tatjana Gaspar

In times of stress, those who know and appreciate their own value have a better starting position

Who am I? (Not “what”, but “who”!)

When did you last ask yourself that question? How do you see yourself and how do others see you? Take five minutes now to write down everything you are proud of, what you do well, and what others like about you.

This year has clearly shown us that certain functional labels are perhaps no longer part of our identity at a time when words such as “profession” or “workplace” are suddenly subject to change. Perhaps your world seems upside down, the existential pressure is increasing and you feel the heavy burden of responsibility.

High time to pause, listen deep inside yourself and ask the question: Who am I really? What are my facets? What drives me? What gives me my energy?

The answer to that will help you visualize your strengths and competencies. You must focus on them to counter stress and uncertainty.

This takes courage, patience and a clear, structured approach. What you wrote down in five minutes is a start. I would now like to help you step by step get to the point where you can look to the future with more self-esteem and make a plan.

If you lack forces or do not dare to jump over the gap, why not build a bridge with my help! You can do it! We can do it together!

Meanwhile, be appreciative and benevolent to yourself.

Best wishes, Tatjana Gaspar

Leadership and role models

Do you have a leadership role model? Who is your undisputable nr.1? Is it someone from politics, economy, the spiritual world or a fictional character? And why? Try to summarize in one sentence what exactly you find desirable in his or her leadership style. Not easy at all, is it?

There has never been so much theoretical debate, lecturing and leadership training as nowadays. In practice, however, it is still often forgotten that leadership is not limited to enforcing commands from above. Neither narcissism, nor dictatorship, nor manipulation are suitable to change things positively, but flexibility, sure instinct, motivational skills and attentive listening.

Your first moment in a new leadership role will be groundbreaking for everything that comes afterwards. That is why a careful preparation and knowledge of the numerous pitfalls are of vital importance. Successful leaders have charisma and know how to attract and assemble people.

Two aspects are crucial: a) Your leadership style is defined through the interaction with the other person or a certain group. b) You can only lead effectively and consistently if you come across as coherent and credible.

Regardless of your previous experience, you can train and improve these skills. And you will notice the additional challenges that arise for you when your employees work from home.

I look forward to working with you on your individual leadership goals to make sure you are successful in your leadership role.

Meanwhile, may you find inspiration and pass it on with enthusiasm.

Best wishes,

Tatjana Gaspar
(September 2020)

Intersection or turning point – where do you stand right now and what comes next?

When an important decision has to be made, we human beings normally listen to our head, our heart or our gut. Usually one of these three voices is the dominant one and moves us in a certain direction. We rarely take the time to weigh one against the other including all the possible effects. It happens again and again that we question our decisions afterwards. But since it is human nature to not want to openly admit such doubts, we try to justify our decisions and reluctantly accept criticism.

Which inner sign are you most likely to be guided by at the crossroads of life? Do you proceed rationally and logically, do you let emotions take precedence or do you listen to what your intuition whispers to you?

Often we are not really aware of our approach, but rather base ourselves on habit and routine. Perhaps it is in your nature to use free radicals such as constellations or numerals to help you take a decision. In retrospect, you simply feel the degree of satisfaction with your own decision and the hope that everything will turn out fine in the end.

But with corona, we are experiencing a previously unknown dimension. Most of us are at a turning point, some may feel at a dead end. It is possible that your routine is no longer helpful. New events and the uncertainty about future prospects require a willingness to reshape our thinking and approach so that real opportunities can unfold again.

Systemic coaching focuses on ways to think in terms of consequences in order to achieve consistency. Throughout this process, I guide and accompany you with appreciation and motivation. You are then able to take the next step fully convinced and with a new understanding of yourself and your environment.

In the meantime, may your head, your heart and you gut be in harmony and may your decisions always be spot on.

Best wishes,

Tatjana Gaspar
(August 2020)

The new normal: do you trust safety belts or parachutes?

So far, you might have been secretly thinking that if you were hardworking, caring and law-abiding, nothing could affect your lifestyle. Corona has taught us all better. Neither industriousness, nor loyalty nor honesty are safety belts that are of great use to us in times of a pandemic.

Corona is a cyclone sweeping over us. Although the buildings around us are still standing, the destruction of our confidence and of our worldwide economic structure is substantial. We must counter the uncertainty we are now facing with creative parachutes. It is no longer enough if everyone thinks that their common sense is sound and that their attitude is reasonable.

Each one of our decisions can have serious consequences for our immediate environment. If we are aware of this, the responsibility can be frightening.

How do you deal with the uncertainty? Do you fear more about your health, your social structure or your economic future? Is your glass still half full or almost empty? Would you rather stick your head in the sand or open your parachute now?

Cyclones pass and something new can emerge from the chaos they leave behind. You already carry the parachute within you, allowing you to land safely in the midst of the rubble. Systemic coaching helps you realize that.

Maybe you are convinced you can do it alone and with conventional means. No problem! But if not, I am here for you including online.

In the meantime, may you overcome the corona times with elemental trust and in good health.

Best wishes,
Tatjana Gaspar
(July 2020)

Multitasking – Set your boundaries and build your bridges!

Someone recently asked me what special observations I made during the corona lockdown about how people dealt with the unusual, often stressful conditions. One of my many positive observations was that people have outgrown themselves and become jugglers and acrobats.

Keeping many balls in the air over a longer period of time and stretching one’s own imagination like a muscle in all directions to master the next challenge, while creating a new life structure for one’s family or business – that is true multitasking art, which deserves a lot more than a round of applause from the balcony. Multitasking is a super talent that one can be proud of, but there is a danger to body and soul if it is exercised with a high level of stress over a long period of time.

Setting a boundary means protecting your own system from collapse. Building a bridge equals welcoming social interaction and offering mutual support. Boundaries and bridges are important life savers.

What was your experience in this crisis? Were you able to build and consolidate bridges? Have you been noticed and appreciated? What support did you get from your environment? How did you deal with the fear that it might not end well despite all multitasking? Which diversions have worked and which strategies have been successful? How have your personal boundaries shifted during this time?

If you do not like the answers to these questions, a change of perspective could bring more clarity and positive experiences. Let me know if I may help you with this.

Meanwhile, may your life be filled with pride about how you overcame the crisis.

Best wishes, Tatjana Gaspar
(June 2020)