Working at your Best?

Who are you when you are working at your best?

The new year and January in general is a great time to reflect on what it takes to do our best work. How do we show up and where do we need support? What does it look like?

Join Olaf Lewitz and Sylvia Taylor, as they demonstrate how master coaches help people answer that question and put action toward making it happen.

Next Tuesday, 24th of January, join us for a free virtual coaching session where we demonstrate how clean language and being present can level up your coaching mastery.

Sylvia Taylor
Sylvia Taylor

This one hour virtual session is for you if…

  • You want a kick-start into the new year.
  • You want help answering the question: Who am I when I am working at my best?
  • You want to understand what great coaching can look like.
  • You have the word ‘coach’ in your title or job description (Agile Coach comes to mind), and you want to be more effective.
  • You are curious about coaching because you’ve heard it can be an effective way to motivate yourself and/or your team.
  • You are curious about coaching because you’ve heard it can be an effective way to work through feeling stuck.
  • You have worked with a “coach” in the past, but it felt more like a lecture, and you want to see amazing coaches in action.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The one hour free coaching session will be recorded.
  • If you sign-up early and want to be a coachee, then leave a comment below.
  • We’ll start the coaching sessions a few minutes after 19:00 (7pm) Berlin time.
  • We aren’t sure how many people we can host on zoom, but will cap it at 20. Sign-in early to avoid being locked out.

A little about Olaf:

Trust Artist and Certified Enterprise Coach with the Scrum Alliance, Olaf focuses on increasing confidence and trust in individuals and organisations. Olaf is one of the founders of TrustTemenos Leadership Academy.

A little about Sylvia:

An ICF Certified (International Coaching Federation) coach, Sylvia has been coaching teams and those who lead organisations for the last 8 years. She has magical abilities in team and organisational development. Sylvia is part of the first generation of TrustTemenos Leadership Academy alumni.

Feedback – the magic ingredient for a joyful culture

We humans are social. The baby cries after being born to be recognized and be taken care of. It seeks touch, warmth and smiles. It wants to be fed. Its life depends on feedback from the first moment on. It is only the feedback of others which enables us to develop our personality, our character and our identity.

As adults we work like crazy to reach that next goal, to be recognized by our company, colleagues, friends, society and fans. The biggest risk for burnout is not too much work, but it is the imbalance of working a lot without getting recognition for it. If we feel not seen, than we lose motivation, are dissatisfied and might even get ill. Nevertheless in our day to day we are all spearing with praise. Maybe it’s because of these sayings which are especially used in the south of Germany that if nobody complains that is enough of a praise”. Whoever invented that story, it is not true!

Science has proven: It is the same brain area where we handle the addiction to drugs and recognition. Recognition is the biggest internal motivational force for our brains. If we get a smile, an eye-contact, a praise Dopamin is released which helps us to feel strong and happy. At the same time bodydrugs like opiates and Ocytocin help us to feel relaxed and full of joy. The more attention and recognition we get, the more chemicals are released in our body.  If we get love the networks of our brain are about to explode. Everything we do has the deep desire for connection to others.

We can sum up, we need feedback and we want to be seen. It starts with ourselves and our internal voices and our reactions on our own person. Do we really take care for ourselves? Do we see what we need and do we take care for it? Do we love ourselves? Are we ignoring our body’s feedback? If so, then no external feedback ever will make us happy on the long run. It is about us, to make space, make time and honour and respect our beautiful life and body we have.

Our brain does handle risks and danger quicker and more intensely than positive things. The amygdala reacts still sends information to our brain stem which tries to react with fight, fleeing or stiffness without involvement of the cerebral part. The limbic part of our brain has stored all the emotional events in our lives and is quick to react on situations which have endangered us in the past. We tend to suppress our emotions and merely function. This means we tend to react more readily in grumpy, aggressive, neutral or negative ways. We know that it is so much easier to criticize, than to find the aspects where we have made a good job. That is true for our internal communication and naturally also for the feedback to others. But there is also hope. The frontal cortex of our brain can be trained and overrule these old brain behaviours. We can learn to stay in our emotions, stay empathic and give ourselves recognition. This enables us to give also critical feedback in a good way and to receive feedback graciously with thanks and learn from it. The concept of the Trusttemenos Academy uses these findings to help leaders to become empathic, mindful and intentional and to be able to establish these new kinds of working cultures.

We can choose: If we ignore people or exclude them, this can be an existential threat for their lifes. They can lose their motivation, their happiness and they can start to be aggressive. If we want to have ease, love and happiness in our workplace,  first thing we could do is to be mindful of ourselves and second to be mindful of how we deal with people and take care of them. This might be the magic ingredient for the joyful work environment we have been yearning for so long!


Temenos Lab in Prague, July 8/9

Clarity – Reality, Intent, Choice

On July 8 and 9 – starting Friday morning and ending Saturday evening, Silvana Wasitova and Olaf Lewitz will host a Temenos Lab in Prague.

Temenos Lab

The two day Temenos lab will give you an opportunity to retrospect on your leadership and professional development

  • How did I get to where I am and
    to which extend is this where I want to be?
  • How do I show up?
    Is it getting me the results I want?
  • How and where do I distribute my time, energy and attention?
    Is this making me healthy and successful?
  • Where do I want to go next?
    Which changes do I feel called to make?

Overall goal of the two days is to increase our clarity of identity and intent –
who am I? what do I want?

Temenos Circle of Chairs
Temenos Circle

Time and Money

We will work from 9:00-17:00 each day.

Price: 300€ for private participants, 500€ for corporate participants.

To sign up, email wasitova AT gmail dot com.


Startup Trust Infusion

From Startup to ...?
From Startup to …?

Are you a founder? Leading your team into the disruptive unknown?
Do you build relationships in your team that sustain the tensions of uncertainty and growth?
Do you have a situation in your team where improving trust might help?
How to build and keep trust in your fast moving environment?
How to establish trustful and open communication which will build the innovative culture you are aiming at?

One hour.
April 12.
Starting 15:00 CET, 09:00 EDT
and: 16:00 CET, 10:00 EDT

Join us next Tuesday for an online, recorded conversation on Zoom.

You will get

  • 20 min of our full attention (so we will have time for three “cases”)
  • Consulting with compassion and advice
  • Tips for exercises you can run the next day
  • (depending on attendance) feedback and tips from other founders

Why are we doing it?

  • We want to collect examples of the challenges startups face around trust
  • We want to get recordings of how we work
  • We want to offer help with a low threshold of entry
  • We want to foster a community of creative leaders of trusting organisations

What is your investment?

  • 1hr of your time
  • Be intentional about publishing the video afterwards

Your hosts

Olaf Lewitz. Scott Downs. Christine Neidhardt.

Christine, Temenos host and company culture coach, helps leaders to create a trustful, creative working environment and to tap into the energies of conflicts.

Scott: former investment banker, coach-entrepreneur, fostering leadership for creativity, consciousness, love, abundance and sustainability.

Olaf: Trust artist and coach. Temenos host. Liberating people and companies from oppression. You deserve to love what you do.

Scott. Christine. Olaf.
Scott. Christine. Olaf.

The Story of Chris

… or

how fridges help to become leaders…

(a TrustTemenos Leadership Academy Story.)

“Aaarrh, another jar I have to throw away. Never seen this before.” I feel irritated. “Beetroot chutney – what is this for? Never seen this jar before!” A pity. I don’t like waste anyway, yet before even noticing this glass… I am not even able to manage my fridge. No wonder, that I don’t succeed in being able to manage my life. My work life as is so overloaded: why can’t my life at home be simple and easy?

My name is Chris. I’m the head of two departments in my company and have every option to get promoted by my boss. This year markets are difficult and I have all my hands full of work to keep my people going. How to organize myself is my most urgent problem. I have put up a board in my office to get an overview of all things which I have to take care of. Often I feel alone with the weight of all my responsibilites. I don’t like working long hours, but often I do. I dream of offering my teams the best surroundings they need to gain extraordinary results. I know very clearly what I want — making it a reality is where I fail.

Clarity – Reality, Intent, Choice

Sylvia, a friend has sent me an email. She is into organisational development. She attracts interesting ideas. Occasionally she sends me this stuff… A video about a fridge – what strange metaphors this Changemakers use, but interesting as I thought about it! It opens this parallel universe of the fridge and the leadership qualities. Interesting thought! If I would have noticed the beetroot chutney earlier in my life, I would have asked my wife to cook together a nice dinner with it. We would have had fun, laughter and intimacy. What a loss! This makes me sigh.

The next day Mary comes into my office. She seems apprehensive, which is not her style… “Hey. What’s up?” “Well… You know that my mum usually takes care of the twins when I’m at work, right?” “Sure. Your mum is a treasure. Everybody should have a mum like yours.” “Well, she’s off for the rest of the week. Met an interesting guy online and says she wants to take care of herself, for a while.” “Ouch! What will you do with the twins?”

Hell, yeah. What’s she going to do with the twins? She actually asked if she could bring them to work! Wow. How is that supposed to work? What if everyone… What if people stop working? What if… wait. Let’s use my new “fridge thinking”! There is a chance in this situation and I won’t stuff it away in the fridge without acting and let it pass away. This time I take action and maybe something new emerges, more fun, laughter… Let them come Mary!

I feel good. In a weird way. My wife asks over dinner why I’m smiling. I realise I am smiling, and try to stop. Can’t. Embarrassing! Then… I share my story. And wonder why smiling at home, having dinner with my wife, could ever be embarrassing. She loves it. She looks at me in this special way she has, where I feel seen in a way I don’t usually feel seen. I remember what these guys in the video said about inner qualities… Maybe, if I feel this sense of gratitude, of feeling seen, I can create that quality in my departments as well?

Later in bed, I reflect a little more. Mary looked at me in a very unusual way when I allowed her to bring in the twins. She never looked at me like that before… As if she saw me in a different way. Looking back, I notice it was quite similar to the way my wife looked at me. I didn’t pay enough attention. Wow. This feels interesting.

A week later

Who made this “fridge video”? Since I saw it, I never had another innocent look into my fridge. Nervously, I search my crowded mail box. Where have I stored it! Damn! Can’t find it. Why can’t I better manage my mail box as well? Ahh, another “fridge” problem.

Found it! Here it is. Mmh, this is what I remembered. They do an Academy in October about being the Leader I intend to be. Oh, that feels right! I have so many wishes to have more impact on my own life and the life of others and the gap feels really uncomfortable. It is not a lack of knowledge! Really, I have been on a lot of trainings. But I didn’t find enough time to make it my own, to focus and let my impact grow. There is so much resistance within me and outside of me. I don’t bring my ideas into the world with full power, because I have too many things I am acting on, feel responsible for others, try to do things others might find important. I don’t act fully on my agenda. Sometimes I even forget my own agenda and just react.

Suddenly Bronnie Ware comes into my mind and the five regrets of dying people. The top regret was  “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” That’s it. I want to get out of that and I neither want to be in category 2 “I wish I didn’t work too hard”. Yeah, but I don’t dare to work less! I thought about my fridge and having the right things at the right time in there and not obviously something that I bought without thinking about if it would be good for me or suitable for my nutrition.

Ok, wow, it is a 10- month program. I don’t know if I can fit that in. I have so many commitments and here is one more! Mmmh, but isn’t this a commitment which will help me manage all my other things? Get rid of unnecessary work and transform my way of doing things? I also like to make a real change and enjoy life more, but not work harder for that. Instead working less and more of the things I really like! Here it comes, I really like cottage cheese! Why don’t I buy one for taking into the office tomorrow? A big grin on my face, yeah, fridge thinking! There it comes!

Don’t know if I can make it for all four onsite workshops, but will definitely try to arrange it and I really look forward to these webinars. Will need some time to get a routine to save time for that, but I know, that I have to let go things and this will be a good reason for that.


Leadership Dialogue #1: New Kinds of Leaders

We’re busy preparing our leadership academy (hier auf Deutsch). The program and topics are taking shape. One of the first topics we talked about was: what kind of leaders do we want to see in this world? And what’s special about our approach, our academy?

Inner and Outer Qualities

The qualities you have and appreciate and nurture in your self, yourself as a human being, characterise the space you can create for others. Your environment will be as simple, open, inviting, welcoming as you are. The level of acceptance and forgiveness you have for yourself determines the level of acceptance and forgiveness you have for others.

275 Menschen im Temenos auf der JAX

13:20 Uhr: Ein großer Raum mit 80 Tischen, je fünf Stühle. Einige nehmen schon Platz. 20 Gastgeber sind gespannt.

80 Tische im Aufbau
80 Tische im Aufbau

13:25 Uhr: Die Gastgeber beginnen, die Menschen zu freien Tischen zu leiten. Der Raum füllt sich. Wir bitten, zu fünft Platz zu nehmen und heißen die Teilnehmer willkommen. Einige beginnen unsere Spickzettel zu lesen.

Temenos Spickzettel
Temenos Spickzettel

13:30 Uhr: Fast alle sind im Raum. Über 50 Tische sind mit je fünf Personen besetzt. Einige Menschen fanden die Fragen auf dem Spickzettel zu persönlich und haben sich entschieden nicht mitzumachen. Nur fünf von zweihundertfünfundsiebzig — wir sind erleichtert.

13:35 Uhr: Alle sitzen und sind aufmerksam. Wir starten unsere Erklärung: Temenos ist ein Raum, in dem wir nicht werten oder vergleichen. Ein Raum, in dem jeder die Wahl hat, jeder frei seine Entscheidung treffen darf.

13:50 Uhr: Konzentrierte Stille im Raum. Alle zeichnen Influence Maps, denken über Ereignisse nach, die ihr Bild vom Arbeitsleben geprägt haben, sie beeinflusst haben.

13:55 Uhr: Geschichten erzählen. Konzentration, ein Summen im Raum, die Aufmerksamkeit an den Tischen ist enorm. Wir sehen während der fast zwei Stunden fast niemanden, der auf sein Handy schaut.

13:30 Uhr: Wir leiten den Clean Slate ein, fokussiert auf unsere aktuelle Arbeitssituation: Was bringe ich nicht mit in mein Team, was bringt mein Team für mich nicht mit? Wieder wird konzentriert gezeichnet und erzählt.

13:50 Uhr: Der Blick richtet sich nach vorn: Was ist mein Ziel? Wer und wie will ich sein? Was ist mir wirklich wichtig?

13:10 Uhr: Wir bitten um Feedback, die Teilnehmer teilen Ihre Erfahrung in den Gruppen. Einige bleiben noch eine ganze Weile sitzen, nachdem die Kaffeepause begonnen hat…

Holger Koschek hat die Veranstaltung und den Tag wunderbar zusammengefasst. Vielen Dank!

Vielen Dank den vielen Helfern, vor allem von der Softwerkskammer, die sehr spontan eingesprungen sind:

  • Anna Lorenz
  • Benjamin Reitzammer
  • Christian Dähn
  • Christoph Pater
  • Grazyna Scherer
  • Gerd Aschemann
  • Holger Koschek
  • Ilja Preuss
  • Jan Hartung
  • Joachim Seibert
  • Johannes Seitz
  • Josef Scherer
  • Martin Klose
  • Maxim Ravnovesov
  • Michael Tarnowski
  • Norbert Hölsken
  • Stefan Boos
  • Sven Müller

Berichte unserer Teilnehmer

Wir freuen uns riesig, über die Blogbeiträge von Temenos Teilnehmern. Danke hier an Markus Gärtner und Nina Schmitt.

Inhouse Corporate Temenos bei it-agile – Blog von Markus Gärtner


Offener Corporate Temenos Tag bei Mayflower – Blog von Nina Schmitt

Weitere Referenzen unter ….

Softwerkskammer Rhein-Main

Vergangenen Montag hatte ich das Vergnügen, bei der Softwerkskammer Rhein-Main über Temenos zu sprechen. Fast 30 Leute waren da. Ich war initial gespannt, wie offen die Teilnehmer eines SWK-Meetups für ein so persönliches Thema sein würden.

Wir begannen mit einer Vorstellungsrunde. Ivana Gancheva schlug vor, dass jeder seine Superkraft nennen sollte, was die Gruppe gleich öffnete. Meine Nervosität war vorüber, als in den folgenden Lightning Talks über Didgeridoos, Träumen, Yoga und polyphasic sleeping gesprochen wurde…

Intensive Gespräche
Intensive Gespräche

Nach einer kurzen Einführung malten wir Influence Maps. Die Teilnehmer teilten ihre Geschichten miteinander. Ich war beeindruckt über die Intensität der Konversation!

Martin Gondermann hat über den Abend gebloggt: