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Leading yourself through unsettling times

Leading yourself through unsettling times

On Wednesday morning 15 June 2022, an interactive event known as “Deep Democracy” took place at the Breakk, the new premises of KAEMPFF-KOHLER, Kirchberg.
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This event was initiated by the People and Leadership Group of the British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg (“BCC”) and covered the following topic: “How do you show self-leadership in disruptive times? How do you lead yourself through the stresses and strains of the current world situation?

The purpose of this interactive event was to encourage the BCC members to guide themselves towards desired goals despite uncertainty. Disclosing your thoughts, in an informal environment, amongst a circle of acquaintances helped the participants to regain confidence and to adopt the right mindset: Rising through these challenging times whilst never underestimating energetic group dynamics!

How exactly does the “Deep Democracy” method work? It has been defined by independent coaches as “a facilitation method for everybody who works with groups or individuals and aims for a greater group dynamic while allowing the participants to intervene actively”.

The concept is the following: At the outset, one participant makes a statement, mostly related to an idea or a thought on a fixed topic. Following that statement, the other participants reflect on it and rather than answering directly, they step towards that person whenever they share the same viewpoint, whereas they take a step back if they do not agree with the declared statement.

Using such method for a breakfast event could sound unusual, but it led to powerful and honest statements, followed by an interactive and positive summary.

The event itself, which included BCC members from different backgrounds, such as real estate developers, lawyers, or HR recruiters, was a success and a first to many participants as to take part in a deep democracy event.

After a brief welcoming statement made by Andrew Notter, Vice Chair of the BCC, Virginia Anderson of Matrix Consulting walked the participants through the event due to her  career as a Business/Team Sports Integration Coach and Performance and Development Consultant., subsequently to her career in the financial sector for over 15 years.

Powerful words and catchphrases were pronounced: opportunityresiliencehappiness ; and meaningful topics were discussed.

For instance, one participant mentioned that self-improvement and continuous learning are decisive during a career transition, even if the recruiters tend to be less recipient on your application. The work always starts within yourself and a great amount of the participants present agreed on that point of view. But here is an interesting solution that one of the participants came up with: “While recruiters are not always responsive towards applications, or simply reject them without further comments, we should maybe empower our circle of friends by building our own company and hiring more people we know!”

Another interesting topic was the courage to take risks, start a new business and become your own boss. Participants tended to be more hesitant towards this statement, as the risk seems tremendous, thus involving mixed feelings.

Plus, one of the participants raised the following question: “should every employee in the company share the same values or is diversity the key to success?” One aspect that all participants agreed on while moving closer in the circle was that if a company advertises shared values, it should legitimately implement them in practice and not only on paper. The power of emotions was strongly present on some occasions, which filled the room with interesting perspectives and insights.          

The event ended with greetings from the People and Leadership Group chaired by Lene Pedersen, assisted by, in no specific order, Claudia Neumeister, Keith Amoss, Andrew Notter, Grace Skinkis and Donald Venkatapen. The result was positive as the one thing everyone agreed on was: Feeling empowered and less reluctant to listen to others to simplify the adaptation process during these challenging times. One should always move towards opportunities and far away from fear.