My name is Mike.
I’m a specialist for business communication in English.
I help German business leaders perform better when using English at work: when giving presentations, when taking part in meetings, when making small talk and socialising.
My clients see their ability in English like a shirt full of wrinkles. They feel uncomfortable in this shirt, self-conscious, maybe even ashamed. Together, we iron out those wrinkles, making them proud to wear that shirt, knowing that they now look better and feel more confident.
I know what my clients are feeling because I’ve been there myself. For over 30 years I worked in the international transportation sector, spending most of that time as an English guy in Germany. I’ve had many roles, working my way up from customer care and sales right through to a CEO position. I know what it’s like to have pressure to perform in a foreign language (in my case, German): selling, purchasing, negotiating, speaking at conferences, motivating staff, dealing with a board and different stakeholders, hiring, firing, getting fired myself.
After travelling extensively on business around the world, I’ve also seen how I need to adapt my English to the language level of my communication partners. Now I am in a unique position to combine my experience of working in German with the requirements for successful communication in international English.
Seeking a new challenge and purpose for my working life, I switched from a successful sales director role to the uncertain future of freelancing . After getting a qualification, I spent four years gathering experience, working with over 230 people from over 30 different companies. This has given me insights into the type of person who gets the most benefit of working with me (read about some examples here) and the approaches that work best.
I take a coaching approach to improving your communication skills in English. In a sense, I’m the guide. You have to do the walking, but I use my experience to show you different possible paths, shortcuts and bridges. Some parts will be hard, but it will be worth it in the end, when we get to where you want to go. And we’ll enjoy the scenery on the way.
I’m good at growing your comfort zone in English, reducing the gap between how you perform in German and how you perform in English.
I don’t have all the answers, and I’m adapting my methodology all the time. I stay focused on you, the client: your needs, your wishes. We’ll look at your self-image and beliefs about performing in English. I’ll challenge you. I’ll ask difficult questions. I’ll give you honest feedback. And we’ll have fun working hard together to get you where you want to be.
I get a kick out of helping people to reach their potential.
I tend to side with the underdog. There’s still a lot of imbalance in the workplace, and I encourage people at the weaker end of the power dynamic to speak up, defend their position and say no if necessary.
I love working with people who inspire and energise me.
Five minutes before the session, I want to feel excited, maybe nervous, full of anticipation that something valuable is about to happen.
Husband, grandfather, home-lover, reluctant gardener, cat-friend,
wine explorer, sports enthusiast (keen golfer, Tottenham supporter), optimist, life-long learner.
I'm not a "quotation person", but this one inspires me:
“Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year
probably isn't learning enough.”
Alain de Botton