Volker’s blog

Welcome to my personal blog. I have been writing this blog for over 15 years, and love sharing my views of the world. I work as sales and strategy consultant, career and leadership coach, and offer mindfulness trainings. I also host a podcast on success, wrote a bestselling book and published an online coaching course on how to #BeBetter. Feel free to follow the links on the left-hand side, or reach out to me directly! This is my personal ‘blurb’ which at times is a rant, other times just a philosophical point of view. Please let me know if you enjoy reading it.

Sunday Thoughts

I am still not sure, and my fiancée asked me that last night, how many people actually read this blog or are interested in it. Purpose – purpose of this blog is not necessarily to create a new dictionary of thoughts but more of a collection, a diary if you like, of what I read, process and think about. To give an insight into the availability of literature, theories and how to use them to increase personal and corporate performance. That is in a nutshell.

Hellinger – I thought a lot about his theories last night whilst having a BBQ. There is a site called www.hellinger.co.uk which shows practitioners and a definition online for the UK. I went to my shelf and got a book from Angelika Glöckner “Lieber Vater, liebe Mutter” and Gunthard Weber “Zweierlei Glück” and James Hillman “Charakter und Selbstbestimmung“.

All those books will be, alongside an essay I wrote on Hellinger, be revisited shortly. At the moment I struggle to find enough time next to my day job to revisit too many theories. As I said to a friend the other day, if I won the lottery I would spend half of my money on books at Amazon and the other half on a good life at the end of the world where I read and study until the end of my days….Have a great Sunday!


On Lesley’s blog I found this visual DNA. I added it to the bottom of this entry. Although not directly related to the work of CB Consulting it shows associations in visual forms. Another thing used in NLP – pictures; re-framing.

One distinguishes between analog and digital for the 5 senses: to see, to hear, to touch, to smell and to taste! Surely we come back to that. But getting a DNA of your visualization is something new. Like it!

Coaching (1)

“A successful coaching engagement will have a cascading effect, crating positive change beyond the person receiving the coaching.” – Diana and Merril Anderson, from J. Whitmore, Coaching for Performance.

I have not read Whitmore’s book but came across this quote in Clutterbuck’s Coaching the team at work. Most of you reading about coaching must have come along Clutterbuck. I was overly interested in his book about team coaching to see how one can improve team performance without being a team-leader.

In his book he suggests to look up www.coachinginsider.com where one finds loads of definitions of coaching – all I found was loads of links to different coaching offers, one linking back to the UK, The Coaching Academy, where I have done a course in the past. And, they just send me more information through the door about running workshops – you cannot avoid their promotional offers and marketing.

However, Clutterbuck summarizes nicely that the most common threads for coaching are:

  • developing personal or group insight
  • performance against specific goals
  • support and encouragement
  • experimentation
  • the effective use of questioning skills

Also, a coach can be seen as a vehicle for taking the individual in the direction they want to travel. That reminds me of an old “joke” about NLP. If someone ask for example a police officer where the station is, the police officer might say “left, 2nd right, on your left hand side”. An NLP person would say “imagine you are already there, how did you manage to get to the station?”. Back to perception and your map of the world. Seriously, is coaching nothing else than the use of NLP, similar of DBM offering techniques for NLP tools so does coaching? Would be interesting to discuss!

I don’t want to stir anything up or devalue coaching at all – what I like to point out is that coaching, DBM or other techniques, e.g. motivation techniques used by so many gurus, are often based on NLP. And what is NLP? Is NLP not common sense? Common sense of life experience modeled so you can use those experience in other life situations? NLP as a basis for development – or is that too generalized?

Now I drift a little away from coaching. But I met people who were obsessed by NLP. It can get me where I want. It is the ultimate thing to know and you are happy and invincible. If I do my Master Practitioner I can teach people the world. Come back to reality! There is no doubt that NLP offers you great tools, as written in NLP revisited. However, it is not an ultimate tool and it depends WHO uses it in WHICH WAY! NLP is not the remedy for everything.

Coming back to coaching. Clutterbuck publishes a great model in his book explaining differences of coaching, mentoring etc. I asked for permission to publish it so hopefully you will see it here soon.

NLP revisited (2)

NLP and DBM are closely connected. NLP is like the tool, e.g. a hammer. With a hammer you can smash glass or a brick. But if you like to master the hammer in order to use it in a useful manner, one needs the technique, goal and direction to put a nail in the wall. DBM goes beyond the tool and provides you with the techniques on how to use it.

Applications of NLP/DBM are universal. In coaching, careers advice, personal development, change management, motivation, sustainable change. Some services of CB Consulting are based on those techniques and tools to achieve sustainable change.

O’Connor and Seymour in their book “Introducing NLP” nicely describe “the map is not the territory”.
An artist, a lumberjack and a botanist taking a stroll through a wood will have a very different experiences and notice very different things. If you go through the world looking for excellence, you will find excellence. If you go through the world looking for problems, you will find problems.

Perception and beliefs are basic understandings of how we see the world.

I just finished reading a book called “Die vergessene Generation (the forgotten generation)” by Sabine Bode – it gives an insight about people who were born during WW2, e.g. their traumas and experience and how those influenced their lifes. Not many people paid attention to this generation that was born during bomb attacks. This generation suffered but tried to ignore their traumas to “move on” and “make things happen”. “Others were worth off” and “you do not speak or talk about your problems, you just get on with it”. This behaviour was passed on to their children and children’s children generation. The attitude of Germans working hard surely might come from that generation which after the war build up a destroyed country. A friend just mentioned recently that women in Berlin (Trümmerfrauen) over-achieved their target per day of cleaning bricks on a regular base. Because their motivation was so high. Maybe their fear of the war coming back was so high? Whatever the motivation was it made them highly successful.

Can our generation, lucky as we do not have any wars in our own countries, learn from their experience on how to motivate ourselves? I believe we can.

The Prince and the Magician

A story related to NLP – I recommend everyone to read the book by John Fowles, the Magus. Amazing!

Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, and he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father’s domains, and no sign of God, the prince believed his father.

But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace and came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.

“Are those real islands?” asked the young prince.
“Of course they are real islands,” said the man in evening dress.
“And those strange and troubling creatures?”
“They are all genuine and authentic princesses.”
“Then God must also exist!” cried the young prince.
“I am God,” replied the man in evening dress, with a bow.

The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.

“So, you are back,” said his father, the king.
“I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,” said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved.
“Neither real islands, real princesses nor a real God exist.”
“I saw them!”
“Tell me how God was dressed.”
“God was in full evening dress.”
“Were the sleves of his coat rolled back?”
The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.
“That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.”

At this, the prince returned to the next land and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.

“My father, the king, has told me who you are,” said the prince indignantly. “You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.”
The man on the shore smiled.
“It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father’s kingdom, there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father’s spell, so you cannot see them.”

The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eye.
“Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?”
The king smiled and rolled back his sleeves.
“Yes, my son, I’m only a magician.”
“Then the man on the other shore was God.”
“The man on the other shore was another magician.”
“I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic.”
“There is no truth beyond magic,” said the king.
The prince was full of sadness. He said “I will kill myself.”
The king by magic caused Death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.
“Very well,” he said, “I can bear it”.
“You see, my son,” said the king, “you, too, now begin to be a magician.”

From “The Magus” by John Fowles

NLP revisited (1)

What happened in the last week? Business and more business – I had interesting chats, met people and ideas. There are so many of you out there that are interested in people, motivation, coaching and sustainable business. And often someone gets curious and asks “what is NLP” and “I am afraid of NLP”. That happened to me last week too when someone approached me and came up with one of the oldes prejudice I came across in NLP. If someone is looking to the left or right it means something specific…..yes I said, it can be. But it does not have to be – the biggest mistake most people do is to generalize, to assume that if you do A then B must be true. Whilst that, in some cases, can be 99% right, for many other cases it could be 99% wrong. So never assume without knowing the territory ,-)

So let me summarize what I think of NLP. What is DBM and where is the difference.

NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming, was developed in the 70-ties. Names associated to this are John Grinder and Richard Bandler (I will not go into much detail as you can read about most of it on various websites, e.g. on Wikipedia).

They discovered patterns of behaviour in people they tried to model based on Neurology/5 senses, Linguistic/Language and programming/structuring. Bandler described NLP as an “attitude and methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques”.

DBM, Developmental Behavioural Modelling goes beyond NLP. It does not have the ready-made answers or pre-packed solutions. Information in detail can be obtained through the website of Sensory Systems where my thanks and appreciation goes to John McWhirter. His aim is to provide “Empowerment through experiential learning”! Although it has been a few years since I worked with John (or he worked with me), his approach to NLP, his DBM is what makes me “tick”. Thank you John!

Website live

Hello Readers,

Now my homepage www.cb-consulting.co.uk is finished. Hurray! Congratulations ,-)

What are the next steps? Due to my main job constraints I did not progress with my blog as quickly as I would have liked to but surely I catch up over the next week. So let me know what you think about my website and my services. Any suggestions? Any queries?

Have a good weekend,

First Note

Dear Reader,

Today is the 5th of May 2007. I just started setting up my own company called CB Consulting. The papers are ready, the website registered, the aim and purpose is clear and now I created a blog.

This blog will be hidden until I started putting the first topics down. Those will be about NLP, DBM, Buddhism, Spirituality, Business, Management, Careers….. – anything that relates to the service of CB Consulting.

To find out more about me please visit www.cb-consulting.co.uk or click on the link to the site.
Many thanks for your interest.