And why coaching is becoming increasingly important.
After more than 25 years, Kirsten Kuhnert gives up her commitment to the aid organization “Dolphin Aid”, which she founded, and begins a new phase of her life in Germany, both professionally and privately. She has long been at home at Satellite Office as a brand ambassador and appreciates the benefits.
Now she finds the perfect home port for her new start at the best address. After all, an office and a business address are definitive factors in this move. Satellite Office’s flexibility, coupled with the knowledge that they don’t have to sign long-term contracts for rent, telephony or IT, fits their living situation perfectly. For although she has been working very successfully as a coach for many years, the center of her life in Germany has to be reorganized after decades in the USA. And in the middle of the pandemic!
How difficult is the re-start in the middle of Corona time, dear Kirsten Kuhnert?
Kirsten Kuhnert: “I don’t feel the burden of the pandemic to be particularly heavy, I mainly see the positive sides! However, people feel very different stress limits, which is similar to the individual pain threshold. However, I believe that the enormous additional burden that people are feeling at the moment is created from the outside. We are heading toward a negative culture. No one says anymore, “How nice, I can enjoy my children, or, how nice, we participate in each other’s lives more intensively.” Many people have forgotten how to think positively, adapt to situations and approach them with motivation. Privately, I’ve been through it all before. I’ve had existential angst, I’ve had sleepless nights, I’ve had to navigate the cliffs of being a single parent and working with increased difficulty. Therefore, a re-start during Corona is not a particular challenge for me, but a pleasure.”
What does the pandemic change for you personally?
Kirsten Kuhnert: “Actually, not much has changed for me personally. I’ve always done a lot of home office work as a working, single mom. I had to learn to work with the telephone receiver to my ear, bobbing the child and peeling potatoes. My son was always home schooling in the US. I’m very happy with my current hybrid work model: some days in the home office, some days in the satellite office, that’s perfect.
And what do you see changing for our society?
Kirsten Kuhnert: “In our society, the lack of social contacts fuels fears and casts an unflattering focus on ourselves. This is exhausting for many. People have often said that this or that problem is due to the atmosphere in the office, for example. But now we have no excuse. We have to hold up the mirror to ourselves. This also includes allowing or striving for change under certain circumstances. This can only be done with humor. At best. But you can also get sick of it.”
What exactly do you mean that we can get sick from the lack of social contact?
Kirsten Kuhnert: “We will develop new syndrome diseases. For example, I expect “Human Touch Deficit Disorder”. We will only be able to talk in detail about economic problems when we find each other again and are mentally healthy. You can get out of tight economic situations. The greater challenge for our society is to deal directly with each other again, face-to-face. We need to get back to normal togetherness. After all, we are tactile, group-afine people. At the moment we don’t touch each other anymore, it’s hard. Especially for people who live without a partner. I feel most sorry for our children and young people. They were already on social media a lot before, and now they’re coming into a culture where the rest of it, normal face-to-face interaction, is being taken away from them as well. This does something to the young people. Mental health is becoming a buzzword.”
How do you deal with it yourself?
Kirsten Kuhnert: “Through Corona, a gratitude came over me – also for the time I am allowed to have in peace. For the time of reflection when I don’t have to travel and also for the time I have when I am allowed to deal with challenges. I also feel a gratitude for the place where we live, where there is social security, a mature health care system. That looks very different in other parts of the world. I get up every morning thinking that it will be the most beautiful day of my life again. I know from experience that happiness is not something that happens to you. Happiness is an attitude.” This is also one of the central components in my coaching sessions.
What advice can you give to other business people?
Kirsten Kuhnert: “Despite all the economic challenges, which in my opinion will not end with vaccination, our focus should be more on mental health. I advise entrepreneurs: Do something with your people! And if you send a poem every morning or offer individual coaching for short-term intervention. Give your people, your employees the feeling “we are with you, we see your problems”. Showing employees a perspective and offering them to participate in their happiness will also have an impact on the working atmosphere and ultimately on the necessary productivity.
What does that look like in practice?
Kirsten Kuhnert: “This is exactly the time when coaches are needed – if not now, when? I would look for a good, external coach who is practical. A good coach does not need years to placard approaches, he listens and works towards concrete solutions. There are only individual ways in coaching and also in accompanying, there are – from my point of view – no patents suitable for the masses. In the end, everyone has to solve it for themselves; as coaches, we can only work out the strengths of each individual together with them. I can’t say “they have to go jogging tomorrow” if they don’t like it. Therefore, there are only individual tips to climb the mountains that open up in front of everyone.