How did you get to be where you are today?
I have always been interested in leaders and people in general. How they do what they do, noticing what they do well, naturally, and what distinguishes them from others. I intuitively became an academic educator yet, it was not the theory that inspired me, but its application in real life situations.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I am supporting an initiative by the ICF Foundation called Ignite, engaging humanity through education and coaching. This initiative is so dear to my heart because I believe that the impact of coaching can be much greater, socially. It is the mind-set of lifelong learning, the power of inquiry, partnerships and contribution. Therefore, it has a potential to transform not only the client’s life but also our society – the world we create for the future generations.
What is your typical working day like?
I like to have an active day which includes my daily breathing practice, eating healthy meals, a bit of time to reflect or read and mostly working with clients or teams.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?
When something sparks my interest it is easy for me to get absorbed for hours. Since most of my time is planned, I leave deeper explorations for my weekends.
What do you do when you are not working?
It is very important for me to spend time with my family and close friends. I try to do that as much as possible, that often involves travelling since our family is not in Dubai. Travelling, exploration, and going to places help me to put things into perspective and see the bigger picture. I love hiking and scenic views; there are lots of beautiful places to explore in the UAE and the region especially in the winter months.
What are you most passionate about?
The teams and group dynamics are something that completely fascinate me and immediately catch my attention, no matter where I am or what I am doing. I have had an opportunity to work with more than 700 teams, sometimes in restricted environments. I have had some amazing learnings and I am very grateful for that.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I feel blessed receiving a lot of great pieces of advice from my teachers and mentors yet it was my mother who shared advice that will always stay with me. I was very excited to go to school on the first day. I prepared everything one month in advance and the evening before the D day I could not fall asleep with excitement. Funnily enough, I can’t remember much from that day, apart from coming home with a huge overwhelm of how much I am expected to learn. Then, my mum told me, ‘Do not worry, even Prague (the beautiful capital city of Czech Republic, where I come from) was not built in one day. Take it one stone at a time.’
Who would you love to invite over for dinner (famous or otherwise)?
It would be wonderful to invite five generations of strong women in our family, starting from my mother, her mother and so on. I would love to hear their experiences and find out their source of strength, to be able to lean on it and pass it on to the future generations. Especially since everything changes so fast now, it is important to understand our inner resources and values, and the downside of our overcommitment or undercommitment to them, and the strengths that may emerge in connection to those values. All these are patterns and may have been experienced by someone close to us so we can learn from their experiences and change the pattern.
What is on your bookshelf?
Apart from teams, coaching and leadership books, I love historical novels and biographies. These are always a great source of learning, reflection and understanding of inner resources.
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