Is this you?
Who are the people I work with?
I mainly work with people who hold senior positions, either in a management or advisory role. Many of my clients are expats, either working in Brussels, or elsewhere around the world. People who work in international institutions or organisations, in an international company, law firm or consultancy firm, or who have built their own business.
What my clients have in common is a high sense of responsibility. They hold themselves to high professional standards, take pride in providing for their family and invest in their relationships.
They are hard-working, ambitious people, and at the same time like to have fun.
Once they see clearly what needs to be done, they are decisive and committed to put in the necessary effort.
What are their questions?
- “I’m under a lot of pressure and the stress has generalised to my whole life. How can I manage this situation?”
- “I don’t have fun anymore in my work, how can I find back my motivation?”
- “I’m at a crossroads in my relationship and not sure how to go on, or if I even want to go on.”
- “I want my balance back and sleep again.”
- “I want to be happier, more peaceful, spend more time with my family and friends.”
- “I want to keep growing as a person, both professionally and personally.”
- “Do other people have the same problems, or am I being too negative?”
- “My wife told me to see someone, and maybe she is right but I’m having doubts if this can really help me.”
- “I need a ‘mirror’, a sparring partner who can reflect things back to me.”
- “I don’t want to spend hours just talking about anything and everything, I want concrete advice and results.”
What clients say
When I approached Steve, I was facing several key decisions in my life. Having dedicated myself fully to a professional career, which I now found to be stagnating – mixed with a dose of mid-life thoughts and doubts; I needed a change. I felt stuck, had regrets and felt betrayed by my employer – for unfulfilled promises and career prospects.
I knew that either I had to move on to a new organization, behave differently in my current one or change my mindset entirely, because I was losing my motivation and sense of direction.
I had some concrete goals when I started working with Steve: I wanted to be healthier, I wanted to improve the relationship with my family, which I had been neglecting too much, and above all, I wanted to be happy again professionally.
What turned things around is the insight that I had been holding on to the idea that I had to be perfect to earn the “big promotion”. This put a great deal of pressure on me, that resulted in various unhelpful behaviours.
I have now defined clearly what I am good at, what I actually want to do and have decided to play to my own strengths for the remainder of my career. I have learned to let go more. I don’t have to be perfect all the time anymore; I appreciate things more.
It’s still a work in progress but things are “cooking” and I certainly see (and take) more opportunities.
I appreciated the light but effective touch of Steve’s approach. He gives you a lot of stuff to think about and work on. Its practical and it all happens in a positive and forward-looking climate with a good balance between challenging and supporting. Going through this process has made a real difference for me.
H., Business Executive, Industrial Sector
“For many years, I had felt caught in a marriage that no longer worked for me. I found it extremely difficult to end my relationship, because on the surface everything seemed fine; people were seeing us as the perfect couple. So I escaped into a fantasy world in my mind. It felt like I was living in a haze; I was feeling very disconnected and restless.
I contacted Steve at the point when I already had taken the decision to separate, although I was still feeling very insecure about it. The programme with Steve has helped me to realise it was the right decision for me. And more importantly, to actually go through with it and convert the decision into concrete actions.
The crucial insight for me was that I was postponing my life – and I really wanted to live my life fully again.
Now, the haze has disappeared, my mind is a lot clearer and more focused, and I also feel much more connected to my friends and family. My ex-wife and me are still on good terms and we are working out the best solution for both of us.”
E. – Diplomat
“I had the feeling of “being lived” rather than really living. A reorganisation at work had made my position very uncertain, while I had been very loyal to my organisation for more than 20 years. Combined with the financial problems of my spouse, that also impacted me personally, it felt like I was pushed in “survival mode”.
The coaching programme was very illuminating for me. It made me more conscious of what I needed and wanted to do about this whole situation. It was not always possible for me to see clearly what to do, but Steve supported me in taking charge and defining concrete actions.
Instead of always doing things for everyone else and forgetting myself, I have now taken the decision to combine working at the service of others with developing myself and setting clear boundaries. This has made me feel a lot calmer.”
M. – Business Development Manager
“Due to a recent international move, I found myself ‘in between jobs’. My career had been very successful up to that point, but suddenly it had come to a halt. I had the feeling that I still had so much to give, that I was at the peak of my abilities. It made me very insecure and even desperate to have no immediate career prospects. At the same time, it felt like an opportunity to take a step back and find a more stable situation.
Instead of going for a quick fix, Steve really made me see the ‘bigger picture’: where am I, where do I want to go, and how important are these things really? It is even more obvious to me now that the main domains in my life, family and work, are interconnected and that I want to succeed in both of them.
I have learnt to deal with the things that stood in the way for my personal and professional evolution. I now am much more confident and positive about where I want to go.”
P. – International Lawyer and Law Professor
“At the time I started working with Steve, I experienced a deep and constant nervousness. I wanted to find inner peace and wanted to feel “complete”. But it felt like I was running along a wall and couldn’t find the entrance. I wasn’t very happy in my professional life and my relationship was suffering from this constant stress as well.
The 6 months of the programme were a perfect timeframe for me to get some fundamental insights and transform them into concrete actions. What has changed is that I’m not obsessed anymore with feeling “complete” and striving to be a better version of myself. I now know how to find peace in the present moment. Which helps me to feel much more at ease in my (new) job and my relationship, and actually do the things that I had been working towards for a long time.
Throughout the programme, I appreciated the balance between the structured approach and the fact that there was enough space to discover myself. We took it step by step. I am capable now of noticing my own “alarm bells” and respond adequately to them, which takes away the negative emotional charge and gives a lot more peace.”
E. – Architect
“I was living in a cramp. It was like there was an algorithm in my mind that was scanning 24/7 what others were thinking of me. In every situation, whether I was in a meeting, at the dinner table with my family or even jogging in the park.
I had very rigorous ideas about who I thought I needed to be, as a manager, as a partner, as a father. I used constant talking and convincing others as a sort of defence strategy. Until I had no more mental space at all, it was exhausting. And I felt I was failing in almost all of the roles I played.
Now I have learned to recognise my unhelpful thinking patterns and let go of them much more quickly. I have found more inner space and peace, which makes me much more convincing in my work. People relate much more easily with me. I haven’t had an argument with my wife in months. The relationship with my children has improved as well. And my family vacations are real holidays, not a pure need for survival.”
J. – Senior Executive – European Association
“The expectations at work are very high right now, as I’m in the process of becoming a partner in the firm I work for. I was constantly feeling very nervous and agitated, which affected the relationships with my colleagues and also with my wife.
After taking the mindfulness course and the coaching programme with Steve, I have developed more self awareness. I now notice much quicker when I get stressed, and I know better how to respond to it.
The feedback I get at work is that people see a big difference: I am much calmer, much more at ease. It’s difficult to name exactly what I have learned, but it feels like I have become more mature.
My work-life balance has improved greatly and the conflicts with my spouse have been solved.”
P. – Director – Consulting Firm
“When I first started working with Steve, I was completely exhausted. I had been very successful business-wise, but still it felt like life was extremely tough. I hadn’t felt welcome at home for a long time and the constant pressure at work had made me become short-tempered and aggressive.
The sessions with Steve have been very useful for me because they challenged me to think about things that are uncomfortable. A lot of what happened was unconscious, but the coaching has helped me to take some important decisions about my work and this has had a very positive impact on my work-life balance.
The group format worked well for me, I found it very helpful to share insights and get feedback from others. I have been able to regain some of the values I had lost along the way. I must say I never thought it would have been so useful.”
O. – Lawyer & Managing Partner of an international law firm
“The main problem I was struggling with, was the amount of work I was constantly facing. Although I am quite an organised person, I still got the feeling that I never got everything done. I had already suffered from a burn-out and I was worrying whether I was developing one again. I felt the stress building up during the week, couldn’t sleep well and by the end of the week I was always exhausted.
After the individual coaching programme with Steve, I have realised that I was doing too many things myself rather than managing or delegating them. I now see more clearly what I need to do at work and what I don’t need to do. The ideas Steve brought up have been very helpful for me. It’s now clearer for me what I actually like doing and I have taken actions to do more of that.
I now have much less stress and I am now able to enjoy my free time alone and with my partner much more.”
J., Deputy Head of Unit - European Commission
“When I started the programme with Steve, I was in the middle of an important conflict at work, which was undermining my self-confidence and making me very anxious and stressed. I was doubting whether to start looking for another job and I reflected my stress on my team.
With Steve’s support, I have been able to work through some of my blind spots that were keeping me stuck. I now feel much more comfortable in my job – and in my life in general. I am confidently working on resolving the conflict at work and have found the mental energy to be creative again in my personal life.
What has really helped me is the fact that I have started practicing mindfulness actively. It helps me daily to recenter myself, to find some tranquility and to think more clearly. I very much appreciated Steve’s listening skills, the kind and consistent way he helped me get insight in the situation that was troubling me.”
A. – Secretary-General of a global industry association
“Getting in touch with Steve was not an easy decision for me. I was wondering, do I really need to see a psychologist, am I crazy? But I knew deep down that I had lost myself. I had put away my morals for the sake of having a well-paid and steady job. It had led me into a serious burn-out, being on sick leave for months.
I knew I couldn’t just keep skidding from one job to the next – and that I needed help to get back to who I really was.
In the beginning of the programme I was scared… But I have overcome that fear and I have learnt to listen to what I really wanted: to fully concentrate on my art work. Deep inside me I knew it already for quite some time but I didn’t trust myself enough to take the leap.
Now I have a clear vision of what I want to do. More than that: I have actually started doing it, and my first exhibitions have been a success. I also have found the power to refuse to do things that distract me from my vision.
My friends tell me that my self-confidence has grown. And I’m also able to laugh sincerely again, which is really great.
What has most helped me is the fact that the programme is really structured. Steve stimulated me to write things down, and to really practice with the exercises, such as the mindfulness exercises, in the programme and that has really made a difference.”