The latest from Masha:



Who ever said questions were taboo?

Romeo and Juliet are lying on the floor, dead. There is a puddle of water and some broken glass. What happened? I use this little riddle in my seminars, encouraging participants to ask open questions to find the solution. Those who don't know it usually offer the wildest theories, but hardly anyone ever asks the most important question: Who are...

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Scaling questions: a simple tool, guaranteed to work

On a scale from one to ten, how important is family to you? How important is it to have a partner with a good sense of humor? These are questions you typically find on dating platforms. They are designed to find out what makes you tick and what you want from a future partner. All you have to do is give a rating. A very simple methodology that can...

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Shut up and listen

I bet you didn’t know that coaching is like painting.

Painting? Yes: as in painting walls.

Let’s assume you want to paint your living room walls. The first thing you’re going to do is drive to the DIY store to get the necessary equipment. You want a perfect result, so you buy top quality: a premium brush with extra-fine bristles, rollers with...

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Why you shouldn't let your unfiltered emotions take over

Phew! What an exhausting meeting. Leaving the room, John feels dead-beat. The introduction of the new HR software seems to be going nowhere and he feels deeply frustrated. But there’s no time for emotions. Dozens of e-mails are waiting, plus he’s only got half an hour left before his next team meeting starts. So, all he can do is swallow down his...

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On complexity and other opportunities

9:30 p.m. in Shanghai. Seated around the conference table are managers of a multinational IT company, looking at me and each other with big eyes. "Oh, I know about VUCA challenges, alright," James is saying, “in sales, we struggle with them every day." "Oh, come on,” Sylvia butts in, “VUCA, VUCA, VUCA. Complexity and VUCA. That's all I ever hear...

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Leaving an established player to join a start-up: A rocky change

Will I fit in? What do superiors and colleagues think of me? How can I make a difference? Changing jobs is always a venture into the unknown. More likely than not, you (or your staff) will wonder whether you fit in. The situation gets particularly difficult when you leave an established company to join a start-up, or vice versa. So, be prepared to...

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How to provide ad-hoc support through coaching

"There’s this person on my team and I just don't know how to handle her. Can you help?" a supervisor asks her division manager. Now imagine that division manager were you: What would you tell her? This may not sound like a typical coaching-tools situation at first; its label doesn’t say "long-term people development." Well, it doesn't have to.

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When day-to-day business eats up strategy

“With top managers and strategy, it’s often like with young teenagers and sex," a senior manager once told me, "they talk about it all the time but rarely ever get down to business." Well, while this may be painful for the teenagers at worst (*if* the observation holds true), for the managers it can have dramatic consequences. Swamped in...

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