Leadership Interview: Hans Augusteijn ‘My Continuing Coaching Journey’

We continue to follow the fortunes of a senior leader in Northern Europe over a six year period as he applies his coaching skills in new and more challenging roles.

We last checked in with Hans Augusteijn on the progress of his personal coaching journey back in 2016. A lot has happened with him since then in terms of career progression and taking on bigger and more global leadership challenges. In 2017 Hans was promoted to Global Head of Intermodal Transport for Maersk Transport and Logistics Division. And recently this year he became Global Head of Delivery.

I went back to three key questions I asked Hans in my 2016 interview to find out where he is now on his continuing coaching journey.

Trevor: “Back in 2016 I asked you how you used the GROW model as a template when you started out coaching. You said at the time you used it very rigorously, but this made it feel it a bit ‘mechanical’ to you. This sounds like you were moving from conscious competence to subconscious competence in the use of GROW. What has changed? Where are you now?”

Hans: “I have this habit of answering the questions and really need to make sure I hold back and let the others talk. It’s not easy but I am getting better and less likely to give a direct answer myself. I think key learning that this is not just a tool towards direct reports but basically for any business conversation I have nowadays”.

Trevor: Back in 2016 I asked how you used the core tools (purposeful questions, active listening, challenging perceptions & feedback) when you started out coaching. You passed on this ‘tough question’ at the time. What has changed? Where are you now?”

Hans:I think the questioning and active listening is getting better. Also on that, I know I need to stay focused, recap and not drift too early to what I think the person in front of me is telling me. Feedback is not easy. I am quite good I think at getting to a recap on what is good and what we need to do better. Having people appreciate and take ownership is the tough one. You need a positive and energised environment where people love the feedback and thrive by it. That’s sometimes tough to create when the team is in a hurry to deliver results. When we are in a hurry to deal with something I will adopt Laser Coaching techniques. This help me ask great questions like ‘If you had a magic wand what would be your ideal outcome?’”.

Trevor:Back in 2016 I asked what you were aiming for in terms of future personal development as a leadership coach. You said you would love to see your direct reports become great coaches. You wanted to work more explicitly on this so we spread the gospel. And that 2016 would be the year where you didn’t give any answers in the 1:1’s. The future is here now, so how did your preaching and spreading of the coaching gospel work out? To what extent did you achieve the ‘don’t give any answers’ goal? What else did you achieve as a leadership coach since then? What have you been working on as a leadership coach in 2018?”

Hans: “I have meantime changed roles twice and I’m now in a global role where I work across teams and functions. My challenge now is how I work across geographies, organisations and cultures, not be the telling one yet still be able to have impact without always having direct authority. I still believe that a good leader works with the local teams and supports them, rather than to work top down. But not each part of the business is used to that approach. That’s what I am working on now: ask vs tell in a globalised and complex company”.

Further reading. Go to the Coaches Toolkit (subscribers only) for information about GROW, the core coaching tools and laser coaching.

The original July 2016 article: Leadership Interview: Hans Augusteijn ‘My Coaching Journey’

Hans Augusteijn LinkedIn Profile

Author: Trevor Sherman

Trevor Sherman: Author, Blogger and Coach. What do I do? I develop leadership training material and personal learning modules. I am the owner and operator of this Blog. I coach senior executives for their development and role transition. I am based in Northamptonshire UK and operate globally - in person and through technology.

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