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Who am I?

I am Maddy, over 50 and young at heart. An enthusiastic, warm person who loves to connect with people. I have worked for over 25 years in a complex, changing world where leaders are trying to find their path. Helping people to develop is at the heart of my life. My own development as a person and as a leader is always integrated into my work. I have a Masters in Work and Organisational Psychology and a Masters in Business Administration which, together with my experience, help me to choose appropriate methods in my work.

I have also attended several coaching courses at home and abroad and am a certified core talent analyst with Coretalents.

I love singing, theatre and dance performances, travelling, going out with my daughter, fine dining with like-minded people and conversations about the meaning of life.

“Leaders come to me not just for what I can do, but for who I am

– Maddy

My story

On 25 August 1970 I let out my first cry. I grew up in a village in Flemish Brabant in Belgium and developed early on, for example learning French before I had to learn it at school. I am hardworking and on the ball (according to my parents). A visit to the city is a voyage of discovery for me. I go my own way (already then), which is why my parents lost me on a regular basis.

In my teens, I can satisfy my intellectual hunger with Latin and mathematics, but soon I am more concerned with leadership and giving direction. I am president of the student council, editor of the school newspaper and keep the administration shop open during breaks. I like progress and results (already then).

When it comes to choosing the field of further education, I don’t really know what to do: I was always told “there are many options”, “you can do what you want because you have many talents”, “maybe you should become an engineer because you are good at maths”…

After a lot of thought, I decided to change course and choose for Master in Work and Organisational Psychology at KU Leuven, because I want to do something “with and for people”. I am fascinated by the human brain and behaviour. Why do people do what they do? I still find this a fascinating question.

In the following years, I worked at the University of Leuven in the Department of Work and Organisational Psychology. As a project leader, I had the opportunity to get to know many different organisations through practical research on organisational culture. I find this variety and diversity inspiring. I then found my way into the business world at Xeikon, a developer and manufacturer of digital printing presses. I am passionate about developing people and teams. I also find it fascinating to contribute to the development of an entire company. I feel like a born leader.

At 30, it is time to broaden my horizons. I moved to the United States, to Florida to do an MBA (Master in Business Administration). This broadened my view of organisations and complemented my psychology studies well. In my spare time, there are the football games of the Florida Gators, then in their heyday. Rarely have I felt such a strong connection between people. The many nature parks also make connection with nature an important theme in my life.

In Florida, I get in touch with the world of coaching through the Positive Psychology course at Harvard University. It’s an aha experience: “This is what I want to do. This is who I am!” I follow a coaching course with MentorCoach and set up my coaching practice. In no time, I have a full agenda of leaders finding their way, often business leaders.

A decade later I return to Belgium. It is obvious that I will continue my life as an entrepreneur in Europe. Impact Coaching is held above the baptismal font.

I love learning, taking on challenging projects, finding my way in the business world. The common thread is change and development: of people, teams and organisations. Leadership is an important issue in change processes. I delve into it and it becomes my speciality. Based on science and my experience, I develop my own tools for my coaching work: a perfectionism profile, a list of behaviours that build or hinder trust, a personal values exercise, a values exercise to work on the culture of a group, methods for team development, exercises to help people deal with the emotions associated with change, a leadership profile tailored to an organisation…

I like to set goals. One of these goals is a building in the countryside where I can relax. In 2018, “Greenyflow” will open: a beautiful, spacious place in the green, the Groot Park in Bierbeek. Both I and my clients find it easy to get into flow there. It is a safe cocoon even in the moments when we step out of our comfort zone.

I also attend various coaching courses in Belgium. New insights provide growth and inspiration. The Coretalents training gives a new impulse: What really energises you? What do you want to contribute to the world? My own Core Talents Analysis shows me that I am on the right track as a coach. It gives me the opportunity to use many of my talents to help people and teams develop. My state of being is becoming more important. I discover that people come to me not only for what I can do (knowledge and skills), but for who I am as a person (my talents and energy levels). I pay more attention to connecting with myself and find that this helps my clients to connect better with themselves too. Only then is true connection with others possible. Only then can we feel good about ourselves. Only then can we evolve in this changing world.