Stage 2 – The Power Of The Pause

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How Often Do You Listen To Your Clients?

Last week, I had an increadible experience at a client: the client is preparing to implement SAP S/4HANA and has numerouse projects in parallel. New projects are launched. There is change everywhere and it is not clear yet, when this SAP transformation will be kicked-off (where I am the designated project manager).

For the preparation of this day, we had several calls with changing priorities every time. So I had not prepared an agenda or a powerpoint (a very typical management consulting approach). My perception was “I am unprepared”. My mindset was “let’s see”.

Asking Why – 7 Times

My client, the CIO, started to explain the situation. I listend and asked a view questions “why?”, “why not?”, “I don’t understand”, “couldn’t we do xyz?”. But predominantly the CIO did the talking and the whiteboard writing.

After one hour we had a solution to an problem he was worring about for almost 2 months. The compliment I received was the most amazing one in my whole career.

What were the key success factors?

I think, it was the listening, saying nothing and allowing space to create (to think) – as well as asking “why”. Asking “why 7 times” will get you to the truth (watch this video: Ask why 7 times and then you will know the truth. With John Kuypers) .

My personal “aha” moment was at the call with my husband: I had to tell him about the compliment – even though I was not prepared. He answered: “This is not true. The last 20 years prepared you for this moment.” Well, I love the growth and development opportunities I have ahead of me.Created with

Stage 4 – Inspiration Books

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Books with impact

Vacations are around the corner and you may have the inspiration to read a book or two on self-development.

I have picked the book that made the biggest impression on me in the last years and really initiated me changing my behaviour.

As YouTube is a golden source of information, I found references for each book you can take a look at.

“Nice girls don’t get the corner office” by Louise P. Frankel

An assessment on how women behave in the workplace and how it is perceived. This is a workbook with very practical tips and aha’s.

Lois P. Frankel, author of “Nice girls don’t get the corner office”, on how to get your dream job

“You, inc” by Harry Beckwith & Christine Clifford Beckwith – the art of selling yourself;

also a eye opening practical book on demystifying sales.

You, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself | Christine Clifford

The Wealth Chef” by Ann Wilson – great guide to get knowledgeable about managing money.

Welcome To The ‘Wealth Chef’ YouTube Channel

“The Five dysfunctions of a team” by Patrick M. Lencioni – amazing analysis of team dynamics

THE 5 DYSFUNCTIONS OF A TEAM by Patrick Lencioni | Core Message

“Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan & Al Switzler

CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS by K. Patterson, J. Grenny, R. Mcmillan, and A. Switzler | Core Message

“Double you business” by Cassie Parks

Episode 082: Doubling Your Business with Cassie Parks

And for diving into other worlds …. Anything Robert Ludlum or the Medici. And once I start diving, it’s hard to get me back to the surface.

Stage 3 – Vacation and Work

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Sunshine, summer, free time…. how-do you honour you

… summer vacations, at least in the northern hemisphere, are around the corner. Maybe you are travelling somewhere or have plans for some special activities in your hometown.

Maybe you recognise the situation: your clients are working on an important project and no matter how well you planned out your vacation, just in the middle of your vacation, an important milestone is happening – because of a delay in the project. Or a super important proposal just came in a day before your vacation and you must work on this pitch. There is always something very important at work – during the vacations.

I think I have worked in more than 80% of my vacations and I would not see myself as a role model in this topic. However, I think I managed to develop a very satisfying balance between vacation and recharging and focussed working segments.

It took years for me to realise, that

  1. The sun rises every morning, regardless of me I working or not
  2. Clients survive without me
  3. No-one really thanks me in the long run, if I skip recharging
  4. I have one health
  5. I have one family

For me, there a 2 corner stones:

Expectations / clear communication:

If I tell my clients and colleagues, that I will be available during my vacations, they will expect it. And if I tell my clients and colleagues, that I will be available on 1 day during my vacation, they will able to work with it too.

If you tell your family and your partner that you need to read emails and work throughout your vacation, they might be disappointed – as they planned to spend time with you and planned to spend extra money on this vacation. And you can negotiate one day – if you really want to work – or if you think you need to work.


I communicate in my out-of-office message, the date when I will check my emails and when I will be available. And I de-activate my notifications on my phone. I realised, that I tend to check my emails on my phone, if I see the number of new messages. If I de-activate them, I am more disciplined to check them at the agreed times.

These two elements are a way for me to secure my space to recharge and enjoy time with my loved ones AND I am relaxed if I also have a dedicated but small amount of time to care about my clients.

This balance works for me. I also had a time, where I was working very close with 2 colleagues on different projects. Here we were able to fully hand-over task and help each other out. This situation is in my option by far the best, because you can leave work completely.


How-To Create & Boost Your Career and Dreams With Powerful Vision-Boards

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I love vision boards and I have been creating vision boards for 12 years. The first one was when I finished my NLP practitioner course. We had a huge variety of newspapers and magazines and just started creating. I then put it on the back side of the door of my office. As the door was always open, I didn’t see it often.

About 2 years later I was standing in front of this board and realised, that everything I had put on it, became real. This moment was magical.

Since then I create vision boards every one or 2 years or at significant milestones in my life.

Last weekend I created a new one, because “womenloveconsulting” is very important to me and I have the feeling and the dream, that it will change my life.

My intention was:

how do i want my life to look like? How do i want to feel? What are affirmations that will support me?

How did I go about it?

  1. I bought about 10 different magazines: basically every magazine that inspired me; that was close to my interests or sparked something in my. So I had a Flow Magazine, Elle, Cooking, Yoga, Women in Business, Law, Sport, Decoration,….
  2. Then I had a very long afternoon/evening to myself to indulge in these magazines. Read or brows through and cut out every picture or sentence that spoke to me.
  3. The next day I layed out a Din A0 paper and wrote all affirmations onto this paper.
  4. Then I glued the pictures that still inspired me onto this board.
  5. Finally I put post-its to 3 pictures and wrote down, how I will feel. Example: one pictures was about 3 exercises: I feel strong, confident, hot, content, happy, relieved

This vision board is now in front of my desk and I see it every day. Putting the feelings onto it made it more powerful and intimate than any other board before. Therefore the vision board you see is the one I created 2019.

If you are up for a guided vision boarding session (e.g.: via zoom), just let me know.

How-To Develop A Negotiation-Loving Mindset

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Dentist or Negotiation? What do you prefer? Here are some tipps to enjoy your next negotiation.

How often have you negotiated for yourself in your career? How often have you asked for a salary increase, time, trainings,…. anything. And how often have you accepted an offer without asking for more?

Would you rather negotiate for a salary increase or visit your dentist? If you prefer your dentist, then we need to talk.

You have probably heard of studies that calculate the amount of money women leave on the table, if they don’t negotiate from their first job on – and what that means for their pension. (Take a look here:

The article states, that if a women graduate starts with 100k per year and her male collegue with 107k per year (due to his negotiation skills), everything else being equal, the women would need to work 8 years more, than the man.

So, how can we make our negotiation experience more joyful (than a visit to the dentist – just joking)?

There are 3 key elements to joyful negotiations:

  1. Mindset
  2. Skills
  3. Your BANTA (Best Alternative to you Negotiation Offer)

Let’s start today with mindset. The other 2 elements will be covered in blogs to come.

  • A few weeks ago, we have already talked about “appreciation” and what you appreciate about yourself. This is one daily activity you could do to build your confidence muscle.
  • Visualising or daydreaming about how you would like your negotiation conversation should look like and how you want to feel is a second element that builds your mindset.
  • Consciously putting yourself in a positive mindset, will help you to be more creative, relaxed and confident to achieve an outcome that is valuable for both yourself and your company.

The things I like to do are:

  • Putting on my favourite perfume (I have a special one for special occasions)
  • Putting on a red lipstick (for me, it’s the act of putting on the lipstick, that boosts my mood)
  • Listening to great music (e.g.: Robby Williams “I love my life”; Queen “Breakthrough”)
  • Doing a power pose for 2 minutes (e.g.: in the toilet right bevor the meeting) – just watch this great video:

“Everything is negotiable”

I had an amazing negotiation trainer, Wies Bratby ( : she said “it’s 80% mindset and 20% skills”. And another key phrase of hers “everything is negotiable”.

If this is the only thing, you will remember from this blog “everything is negotiable”. Everything.

How-to Build A Strong Network

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Your Network Is Your Key Asset

How would you value your network? Are you proud of it? Are you nurturing it? Are you receiving value from your network?

What I hear often from women is “oh, I am not good at networking”, “I don’t have time for networking”, “I am not good at this social networking stuff”,….

Is this you?

I hear you – I had the exact same perception of my networking skills. This perception and the lack of courage to reach out to my network for help, lead to a very critical financial situation.

A couple of years ago, I was running my own company with one major client in Denmark. When this project came to an end, I was searching for a project in Switzerland, where I was living at that time. But no one knew me there. It took me a year of cold calls, networking events, applications, job applications,… to finally have an income again. At that point, I had suddenly 3 offers at the table, where I didn’t know which one to choose. It was a fixed job where I closed down my company in the end.

I finally had the courage to reach out to 2 C-Level people to ask for their advice. Both of them where up for a conversation within less than 24hrs! I was blown away. Me asking for advice and my network responding with pleasure within no time.

Sometimes, I still wonder, what would have been possible, if I had asked for a project or job opportunity during this year within my network. I love helping, I love connecting and when someone reaches out to me, I immediately think of to whom I could connect this person. And I find it hard to ask for support for my ideas and dreams. But when I find the courage, then I am blown away by the positive and encouraging feedback.

  • YOU reading this post and maybe forwarding it to someone else, makes me feel so jubilant and hopeful I can hardly describe.

So how can you build your network?

My boss at KPMG, Thomas, gave me challenging target for my probation period: connecting to (meeting with) 20 senior people within 3 months. And he also gave me a list of recommendations, which was helpful. The core point of this exercise was: “you need to build a network within the firm fast” – “go out and do it”.

This was the first time, I had created a network with intention and within a time frame – and ever since then, this is one of my advantages.

There are 3 things, you can consider:

  1. Reason: Why do you want to build this network – and why do you want to meet this person?
    There does not need to be a mutual interest, but you need to be confident in explaining, why you want to meet this person.
  2. Research: Do a little bit of research on LinkedIn, within your corporate intranet,… to get to know the person and the interests. This helps you to have a couple of topics you can talk about.
  3. Restaurant: Thomas suggested to have business lunch with some of the partners. This didn’t work out for me. Why should a partner spend 1hrs talking to a senior manager he had not heard of before? BUT, when I invited them for a coffee – the response was very different – and very positive. A coffee can be between 15 and 30 minutes. It is less formal and everyone is up for a coffee.
    Now during covid and home office, people are even more delighted to have a virtual coffee! It is an energising, stress free conversation where people can relax and breath.

Try it out! 30 minutes for a coffee or virtual coffee is risk free. People like to share their stories and the most successful people are always looking for connecting with interesting people.

How can you maintain your network and build relationships?

  1. By showing interest in what the person is doing (it can be a simple like or even better a short comment on social media)
  2. By sending positive messages as simple as “I just read this article of your company,… I am really impressed and I just wanted to wish you a great day and a wonderful week. If you are up for a virtual coffee, just drop me a line”.
    I sent a short compliment to a client the other day, because she looked stunning on a video call. “NN what I forgot to tell you the other day, you looked stunning. Have a great weekend”.

Sending compliments, positive energy or just a simple nice message can make someone’s day. This is very little effort with huge results. The only thing you need to do: Schedule 15 minutes per week for 1 or 2 messages.

  1. Serve your network before you ask. This is building trust and building a relationship AND ask, if you need something. The worst thing, that can happen is a “No”.

If you don’t ask, you never give your network the opportunity to say YES.

Interview with Tulia Lopez

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This is an interview with Tulia Lopez on the importance of communication and why I have created womenloveconsulting.

This Interview can be found on LinkedIn.

Finding your expertise – 5 questions to ask


How do you narrow down your interests?

I had a conversation with a senior consultant from a big 4 company, who now needs to pick her field of expertise in order to move ahead in her career. She is interested in a lot of topics and finds it hard to pick one.

Here are 5 questions, you might consider, when narrowing down your expertise.

  1. Where is your passion?
    When choosing your field of expertise, in order to become a “Subject Matter Expert” it is beneficial, if you enjoy the topic. I have switched my field of expertise in the last 20 years twice – from integrated financial planning to information management. Remember, this is not a choice for the rest of your life – but probably for the next 3-5 years.
  2. What do your most favourite customers struggle with (now and in the next few years)?
    If you have customers you love working with, you might find topics that are very relevant and important to them. Becoming their “go-to-expert” will allow you to work with these customers even more – making more projects (billable hours).
  3. What is your boss working on (the partner you are reporting into) ?
    Partners usually know the industry trends and have picked topics, where they see the best business potential. Picking a topic that is relevant to the partner, will also put you in a very good position for a career move. Helping the partner you are reporting into achieving their business goals, helps you building your case for promotion as well.
  4. What is the business strategy of your company?
    Identifying a topic that is very relevant to help your company to implement its business strategy can not only open up your promotion within your current team but more likely also across teams or business units.
  5. What is the business strategy of your dream company or favourite partner, you would like to work for?
    This is a tricky one. If you plan or wish to change firms or sometimes even teams, you could pick a topic that is relevant to them. However, you will probably also need to find a twist to make it attractive to you current employer. And to be fair, management consulting companies address the issues of their clients. So there might not be a massive difference, unless these companies focus on different industries or niches.
    So, ideally you will find a topic that reflect to your strengths and talents. Diving into a completely new topic may also create this new passion and interest for you. In the end, the topic should make you and your team chargeable. That’s what it comes down to.

18 years and I still love consulting

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What is consulting? What do you do? Can I start in consulting in the middle of my career?

Recently I got asked a lot of questions regarding my career, what I do and how I do it. So finally, I have the guts to share my personal story.

I started in consulting by accident – in a small software company – not convinced that this was the right path with my business background. This sweet spot between business and IT became my playground:

  • Changing technologies – the common denominator: time for testing during the roll-out is a scare resource.
  • Different departments, like marketing, IT, production, after-sales, engineering – you are working for one company, but these departments sometimes have different cultures / languages, as if they were different companies.
  • Different Industries – when you understand the specific vocabulary, you will find a lot of similarities.
  • Different counties – lunch time between 20 minutes and 2hrs. Remember, when you are at an airport and you know the shortest way to the washrooms from any corner of this airport – you have been there too often. Ask me regarding Hamburg, Copenhagen, Munich or Zurich.
  • My clients – I have met so many amazing people and fascinating companies. Do I get along with everyone? For sure not. And we do agree to disagree from time to time.

And I love meeting new people and serving them to thrive in their business.

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So, what is the added value of this blog?

I would like to start a conversation. What questions do you have? Are there any blogs, videos I can prepare for you?