Particle accelerator or full braking – Corona in the coaching industry

20. July 2022

The professional field of “coach” in Germany is diverse. From leadership trainings to sales trainings, from personality development to trainings on behavioral changes or team mergers. A coach is someone “who uses scientifically based methods to advise and mentor a client in order to enhance and develop the client’s professional potential.” This is how the Duden puts it. Satellite Office Workspaces are where many coaches find a home, a place to conduct their coaching sessions, prepare their appointments and receive their often very high profile clientele. Today we talk to Christiane Barho, her home base for meetings and coaching is the Satellite Office in Frankfurt.

A conversation about the opportunities and challenges of the crisis with Christiane Barho, specialist in meaningful dialogues.

Satellite Office: What does the Corona period mean to you, opportunity or disaster?

Christiane Barho: “Both, actually. For one thing, Corona caught me earlier than most others in Germany, because I’ve been working a lot in China for five years. That has already hit me hard. The events in Germany then came with some delay. I was moderating events on the ground in Germany until the second week of March. After mid-March everything was cancelled. In the first few days, I was strongly reminded of the financial crisis – from one day to the next. I then continued doing what I had already started, working on my new website, making investments in digital, all of which I had previously set in motion and now continue to develop intensively. My assessment of whether it is an opportunity or a catastrophe is therefore twofold: On the one hand, I have the impression that a huge dynamic has occurred due to the Corona period and some move hyperactively to accomplish a thousand things at once, to let off steam in a wide variety of technical tools. I see a lot of blind actionism. Others find it pleasant not to be always “on the road”, for example from Hamburg to Nuremberg and back for just one day. There is a rethinking process taking place right now, which I personally already wrote on the flag last year. Travel times are life times and I was no longer willing to spend so many hours in airplanes and other means of transport last year. I think Corona will have a great effect on the aftermath. And this is the chance!

Satellite Office: What is changing in your professional field as a result of Corona?

Christiane Barho: “I mainly work in 1:1 coaching, both with executives who have been in a leadership role for a long time, but also super like to work with those who are very fresh in such a role. Happy to prepare for a leadership role. Leadership programs, running different modules, developing high potentials – that’s where my heart lies. Last year I digitized a lot because I didn’t want to live out of a suitcase anymore. Of course, this is strongly reinforced by Corona. But I have already been able to gain very good preliminary experience with digitalization in coaching over the past year. It’s a presupposition that you have to see yourself in coaching. I reflected a lot last year on what’s good and what’s bad, and kept thinking about the issue online, precisely from the perspective of face-to-face contact. I also knew some coaches who worked virtually, but always thought it was not for me. Then last year I made the decision to digitize more. Now I’ve had good experience with it, I’m benefiting from it now. Especially in 1:1 coaching it works digitally very well! However, I don’t do digital webinars with large groups and never more than 3-4 hours at a time. I like to call my small modules for up to 6 people “Gold Nuggets” because they are so valuable to all parties. Basically, though, with all formats, I have a kick-off meeting, a face-to-face coaching session. Of course, that’s not possible at the moment. But I’m already looking forward to the coaching sessions in Frankfurt, in the beautiful office with the expansive view.”

Satellite Office: What do you miss most about the Corona era?

Christiane Barho: What I miss are my personal contacts, especially with the customers I have been working with for over 10 years. “However, that’s secondary to me, considering that we may just be driving our country completely to the wall economically here. I get the impression that this hasn’t really sunk in with everyone yet. This crisis is not comparable to the financial crisis, which of course also affected me at the time. Otherwise, I can definitely see some positive aspects in the current phase. Many use them to be creative. The topic of home office is becoming more self-evident, the importance of digitalization and more.

About Christiane Barho:

17 years ago, Christiane Barho decided to go into business for herself. With all the ups and downs. Both from a “away from-motivation”, but much more strongly with a “towards-motivation”. Originally starting her career as a journalist, she came to the financial industry like a mother to a child, then became a managing director in a management consultancy until she set up her own business as a coach 17 years ago. In her coaching sessions she follows the “facilitator approach”, takes her clients on an accelerated journey through time, is something like a gentle tour guide. It sets the direction, the path. The rest is worked out by the clients themselves. No wonder it has customers in the hotel, tourism, and aerospace industries, in addition to the automotive and financial industries. Today, it already works with 70 percent digital and 30 percent analog. Although she has worked mainly in a corporate context to date, she is increasingly being sought out by private individuals who need a professional location analysis for themselves – regardless of their employer. The “Retreat for Women in Business” is her newest program. In three days and very small groups, everything revolves around the question “What do I want” during this little time-out. It’s a matter of adjusting the small screws, the professional role or oneself. Stop and listen to yourself to see if you are still in a good place where you are professionally. The whole thing takes place offline, of course. In the meantime, Christiane Barho found her love for writing again due to all the time she spent at home and rewrote and redesigned her entire homepage: