Archive for December, 2017

New Years Wishes for You!

December 31st, 2017

I wish you More of what counts for 2018!

More love in your important relationships

Happy 2018!

How we spend our time shows what’s important to us- what is your balance between work, family, friends and self? Who do you want to invest more time in this year?

More joy in your life, in what you do and with whom you celebrate

There is a time to celebrate, celebrate life and anything else. We have a BIG birthday this month and it is with joy that we celebrate it. I can hardly wait to have that time together as a family. What do you celebrate and with whom?

and Especially More peace and contentment

The New Year is upon us full swing and one neighbor told me yesterday that it hardly feels like we had a break, which we (well most of us) did. We get over busy very fast.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and I was struck with the commentator’s note on being able to be interrupted and the value in this, as that is often where life happens. If we go more slowly, we can be more easily interrupted without fluster- and notice what is happening around us.   When we are in a slower mode, we are more likely to be at peace, too. How can you set up your day so you are flexible for interruptions?

Also, I wish you More fun

And laughter and charming stories. I love Star Wars, and am still basking in the glow of the newest episode. What is fun for you?

And More song

There is so much around us and all we have to do is tune in. What kind of music do you like to listen to?

On top of that, I wish you More art

We have a couple of friends who are artists, and another friend whose husband is one. Her house has almost every square inch of wall-space used for art, her husbands and that which the couple has collected together. My husband and I visited her apartment in Paris last October and I went home inspired. I DO have more room for more art on my walls! I even received some more art from friends for Christmas and most everything is up – just have a few more frames to buy and then I get to enjoy those special pieces. What do you do to surround yourself with beauty? There are many ways, with art at home, going to museums, or taking walks in nature. What would you like to do more of?

And Most of all, I wish you More wonderful conversations

We are social beings, and even we introverts need good conversations. Who do you like to converse with and why? Who would you like to spend more time talking with? What kinds of conversations would you like to talk about?

May you have more of what counts and less clutter- both in things and in your calendar, and more of what counts in 2018.

Patricia Jehle

Icelandic Tradition: BOOKS!

December 26th, 2017

It’s holiday time! What are you reading? What are you learning?

In Iceland everyone gives (and receives) books for Christmas. I have to admit I am quite jealous of this tradition. So, I took matters in hand and (mostly) gave books this year. Most people who know me at all know I love books and I love to read. Do you like reading?

Some books I am reading at the moment

I have a friend who regularly greets her friends with the question, “What are you reading?” This is one of my favorite questions because it assumes that the person is a learner and a reader. I think we should be both. So the second question that goes with the first is “What are you learning?”

That really leads to pre-questions: Why are you reading these books? What are your goals? What books and articles are you reading that lead you to your goals? Also, what courses, lectures, YouTube videos, webinars might you be “attending” to reach your goals?

My reading and goals

One of my biggest goals is always to work on being a better coach and consultant for my clients, so I am reading coaching and supervision books and am in the middle of a finishing a CAS (certificate of advanced studies in coaching). I am also reading “fun books” – a photo will be attached.

What I feel is key for me and my life/work:

It’s all about people and relationship, and of course that is my mantra, anyway. But I love it. We are all trying our best with “what we have”. Emotions are neutral and only show where the individual is “at” at the present moment. Thus anger and sadness are not “bad” per se, but just signs of what is going on inside of you and me- only our reactions to the environment.

The person (my client, or my student) is a whole being: mind, body, conscious and subconscious. I do not have any effect on one part without affecting another. A person is a “system” and all the rules for systems apply.

We are all constantly learning and changing and change is possible for everyone. We learn via modeling: watching and mimicking others to learn new ways of doing things and responding to our circumstances. Thus, we (I) should make sure I am being a positive model for others, my family and friends, my clients, my students…

And smiling (just like reading) is good for the soul: that is also something I remembered this past weekend.

So, what are your goals? What are doing to reach those goals? What are you reading and what are you learning?

Keep on smiling — and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:

Have a great holiday season!

Patricia Jehle  

Reading is a joy for me.

A Christmas Greeting from Jehle Coaching, Swiss Expat work and Life

December 23rd, 2017

The time of annual Christmas letters and cards is upon us. This year has been full, although not always of happy and good things, it has been a profitable year, work-wise for Jehle Coaching. I hope your year has also been profitable. In most ways, I am still on “the same path”.

Merry Christmas!

Jehle Coaching

2017 has been a productive year with my coaching business really getting busy! Much has been tried, refined and there is growth. The plans for 2018 are also shaping up, and the networking continues, as well. I had a great year and went to some training, such as Organic Quality Management and a CAS in Coaching from the FHNW-PH. Here is what I have been doing:

  • General business coaching
  • Executive and management coaching
  • Career and job transition coaching (both at beginning and middle management levels)
  • Life and career choices coaching (for young people, but also for those who are making decisions after about 10-15 years of work)
  • Moving into management coaching
  • Expat coaching (intercultural transition and adjustments)
  • Time management coaching
  • Decision-making coaching
  • Conflicts at work coaching
  • Burnout coaching
  • Coaching people with slash careers
  • Start-up business coaching (both regular and for creative businesses)
  • Starting a coaching business coaching and mentoring
  • Assisting friends who are artists and creative (this has been a pro-bono passion of mine)
  • Masterminds (a kind of (small) group coaching)
  • Life Coaching

I still love teaching business communications at the FHNW

It’s amazing that I have stayed with one job so long and that means something: I love it! This year has been no different and I look forward to next semester, and the following school year with great anticipation.

Enjoy the holidays!

Still writing after all these years!

I haven’t stopped and, have two on-going projects (both books in rough draft form, now)– and I do like writing these blogs, too! I expect to be at the next (2018) Geneva Writers’ Conference for some input and motivation.

Still revving up my training and qualification, too! (more a bout that next year)


Finally, I look forward to this holiday season, where I can step back, take a breath, reflect on the good and the hard, and anticipate a great 2018 to come! I hope you are doing the same. What has 2017 been like for you?

Training is a key to success

May you and yours be blessed this season and throughout 2018!

Patricia Jehle


Team Mentoring next year? Try these tips:

December 19th, 2017

Mentoring new team members is a challenge but also can be a great joy.

Mentoring a new team can be a joy, if you follow these tips

So, you have a new team starting in 2018, or at lest a few new team members and they need to get up to speed? Try mentoring!

Here are some benefits to mentoring:

  • The team members get new training in skills and learn the ropes
  • There is someone to ask for help and to be accountable to
  • The gain new insights and are allowed to try out new ways of doing things
  • If more than one person is doing this, the group can learn not only from their own, but from each others’ mistakes, and each others’ learning points

Mentors do these things:

  • Initiate and develop the relationship(s)
  • Guide, counsel and develop the mentee(s)
  • Model good business acumen, emotional intelligence, executive presence and so on
  • Motivate, inspire and teach

How does team mentoring work? Well, it takes time, planning and emotional energy:

Be ready

You need to plan ahead and know what the year (or even two) is going to generally look like regarding the mentoring process.

Communication, especially vision, goals and strategies

Make sure you know the vision and strategy for your organization and team so you can clearly communicate it to your mentees. You need to communicate this often, as it should become second nature to your people.

Provide training for the individuals and the team

Of course you need to provide training to develop the skills your team members need. You can do this in a variety of ways: at weekly meetings, in one-to-one meetings, via training days, or even on retreats. It is up to you to develop the program, unless you want to outsource that, or part of it, to someone else. This may be good for you to do, as you are not usually good at everything. I suggest you make at least a six-month plan of where you want to be in six months and how you plan to get there. It would be a little like a teaching plan.

Make them accountable to you in a clear way

Each individual needs to make a kind of learning contract with you of what they and you think they need to be successful in their position and as part of the team. This, of course needs to be individually negotiated with every mentee. With that you can create milestones together and help them so they can find the learning and training they need. You do not need to be the only person training them; the team can help each other, and if there are others around, they can also help. Of course with on-line training opportunities, this is also a way of learning and honing on skills. Of course, the learning goals should be as SMART as possible.

People are the most important asset – in your team and company

Feedback is key

Allow for times of feedback. Make it as positive as you can and make it as reciprocal as possible.

  • Praise in public – people need praise more than anything and when it’s in front of others it’s doubly worthwhile to the recipient
  • Make it timely (if you see it happening, say something about it)
  • Be specific (so the person knows what to – or not to – repeat)
  • If at all possible keep the feedback positive (not sandwiching the bad in the middle of the good)
  • Give the big picture, so they know how the action affects “the whole”

Team building is key

Then you need to focus on the development of the team as a unit, so you will need different kinds of activities to bring them together and start them on their way. These kinds of activities help to get through the Tuckman phases of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Working. This I will address in a moment, and I also want to talk about about team roles and how you need to make sure the ones you feel are important are covered by your team.

Be a good listener

Patience and understanding are key. Please try to put yourself in the mentee’s shoes as much as you can and avoid being judgmental.

Be a good story teller

Besides listening, be a storyteller who uses the stories as learning points, as parables of sorts. People remember and learn from stories.

Like Coaching, the Relationship is KEY

When all else fails, try and keep the relationship. You won’t regret it! You can always go back and change strategies, but changing team members is usually not a good idea, so keep the relationship and when needed, readjust and change the way you mentor.

You will do well when you take not of these tips and I am looking forward to how it goes with you- keep in touch!

Patricia Jehle





December 12th, 2017

BURNOUT, it is not all the employee’s fault!


Too much stress can lead to burnout

A few Fridays ago I sat with someone and we talked through some of the stress she is facing at work. It’s a lot of stress, and I cannot imagine how that company system is going to continue. The level of expectation on employees and the speed of change is no sustainable.


You see, the company has decided to take the term “Agile” and apply it to everyone and everything in the whole company: work faster, smarter, more flexible, ever more responsibility.

Agile can be difficult when applied to a whole company

Except there is a big problem: people are human and there is a limit to the speed and efficiency they can reach and work at in a sustainable manner. At my friend’s work place burnout is common and heart attacks and strokes happen, and not just to “fat old men”.


This expectancy of ever more perfect employees is a worrisome pattern in many of today’s leading companies. Agile is not just for R&D/Tech., it’s an excuse for companies to use and abuse their employees. Yet their employees are the company’s most valuable asset, and many of them are now sick with burnout and other stress-related illnesses.


Here is what the World Health Organization says about burnout:

“Over the past 20 years one of the most significant changes to workplaces in industrialized countries has been the relative decline in permanent full-time employment and a corresponding growth of what has been termed precarious employment or contingent work arrangements… Widespread and often repeated restructuring/downsizing and outsourcing by large private and public employers has increased insecurity amongst workers previously presumed to have secure jobs.” All this causes burnout. “And burnout syndrome includes the following three dimensions:

emotional exhaustion;
depersonalization; and
reduced personal accomplishment

Locally speaking, according to KMU Magazin, (nr. 2, 2009), Switzerland has a burnout bill of over 18 billion francs! That is an amazingly high number! Companies need to realize that this phenomenon is not about the individual employee, but about the company culture, the company system and when there is a seriously high level of long-term, stress-related illness and burnout, the company needs to look at itself and ask some questions about how they “do business”!

So, what can be done about this problem:

  • First, have healthy expectations of yourself, your co-workers and your employees.
  • Second, allow a culture of failure and learning become the norm. Let yourself – and your team – grow from mistakes instead of trying to be like robots.
  • Third, when people start to experience burnout, do not shame them, but instead, help them to get the care they need as soon as possible.
  • Finally, create healthy work expectations and systems. Remember that you and your employees are humans, not machines.

This is just a beginning, but a necessary one to starting off towards sustainable growth and development, instead of using and abusing employees until they are not of any use to anyone anymore.

Here are some (non-exhaustive) signs of burnout:

  • You hate Sunday night because you have to go to work in the morning
  • Tiredness (often with insomnia), stress-related health problems, difficulty concentrating
  • Emotional problems like irritability, resentment, apathy, boredom
  • Making more mistakes than you usually do, uncommon procrastination
  • Conflicts are increasing, needing to prove or defend yourself in an unhealthy manner
  • Use of unhealthy coping mechanisms (drugs/alcohol, food, shopping)
  • Withdrawal, inner emptiness, depression

Even though it is not just the responsibility of the employee, if you are starting to experience burnout, here are some things you can do:

  • Focus on your (home, not work) relationships– talk about your feelings and frustrations with trusted friends and family.
  • Do things that you can change, be in control of (google Coveys’ list of things you can change).
  • Choose to believe that your (good) actions will lead to (good) feelings—in other words, fight against negativity with positive actions, not just words.
  • Accept yourself as good enough and be realistic about your goals and expectations
  • Pay attention to your emotional and physical needs. Listen to your body and give it some good care.
  • Maybe you need to do some soul searching about what (and how) you are doing for work. Maybe you need to change some things. Take time to reflect on this.

I wish you a very healthy – and – sustainable month and 2018!

Patricia Jehle        




December Job Search

December 7th, 2017

Job Search in December? Don’t give up! Keep on going!

Keep up the job search

Finding a new job at the end of the year can be daunting, but it can be done.

Keep Looking!

Just because some companies slow down at this time of year, don’t give up your search. Keep on, and you might even get an interview in the next two weeks before the holidays. In Switzerland I have seen a number of new postings recently, so be on the alert, as the first ones who apply often receive more attention than those in the “middle flood”.

When you do get that interview, what can you do to stand out in a positive way?

  • Do your research, about the company of course, but if you know who will be interviewing you, also research that person, or those people. Read and refer to their blog, if they have one.
  • Be concrete in your examples, either in the past (stories are really good when you can link previous success to the company’s future success if they hire you) – but also for the future. Imagine how you can help with the company’s strategy (it should be in their annual report), for example. Find a problem you imagine the business faces and solve it (with your help, of course).
  • Be prepared for the long process of interviewing, These days, it could take a while, unless you are an insider. Show your confidence and warm personality, your manners, humbleness and EQ. Make sure you are talking in what I call verbal paragraphing. Chunk your sentences together and make yourself sound eloquent.
  • Posture is key: smile, shoulders back, well-groomed people get the job. Period.

keep looking for an opportunity

Of course there are books that have been written about all the steps in the job search from CVs to follow-up emails, so I don’t have to say more at the moment. Mostly, remember to do your best and do not give up. Keep going until the 22nd of December and start again on the 8th of January at the very latest (and that’s for Switzerland, the break is much shorter in the US and other places).

I wish you all the best for this month, and for the holidays.

Patricia Jehle

Happy Samichlaus Day!

December 6th, 2017

Today is the Feast of St. Nikolas

Samichlaus visits children with a donkey and his companion, the Schmützli

On December 6th in Switzerland, Samichlaus (the Swiss German St. Nick) visits children’s homes and brings bags filled with peanuts, chocolates, gingerbread, clementines, and other delights. Sometimes he and his helpers, the Schmützlis, come and secretly drop off the goodies. Sometimes whole (and in our village’s case, schools) classes of children head to the forest to meet Samichlaus and his Schmützlis. Sometimes he visits the house, comes in and reads from his book about being naughty and nice. Often he comes with a donkey, too, to carry his bags of goodies.

I like the Sixth of December for many reasons: first and foremost, there is no Santa at Christmas bringing gifts; but also, I prefer this Samichlaus and have had very positive experiences with our local ones who have visited our family over the years as our children grew up. Our children had very congenial ones who asked for (musical) concerts and read from their books in a compassionate manner. It was hard to be afraid of these handsomely dressed bishops with their amazing costumes.

Samichlaus is almost the antithesis of commercialism. He shows up only with a bag of treats and talks about how the children have done the past year, not about what i-thing they want from him for Christmas. It is a great relief for me as a parent and a better focus on the Reason for the Season, in my point of view.

But my adult children do not ask for visits from Samichlaus anymore and we do not (yet) have any other children about who may. So the a this year we will celebrate on our own, with the chocolate, peanuts and mandarins in a bowl and have a “light” Swiss supper of homemade vegetable soup, Swiss nüssli (lambsears) salad, sliced meat and cheese—and Griitibänz with Swiss Aargau Gingerbread for dessert, to be eaten with the bowl of goodies. And, in our family we drink hot chocolate with all of this. The recipes I use for the Griitibänz and Gingerbread are at the bottom of the blog today, but first let me explain the Griitibäanz. These are men mad of (sweet, white) bread dough that you can buy specifically on the 6th of December here in Switzerland. As far as I can tell, he represents Samichlaus. We dunk the pieces of bread in the hot chocolate and it’s delicious!

Here are the recipes, the first from “Swiss Milk” and the second from the Aargauer Landfrauen:


  • 500 g flour here you can use “Zopfmehl”
  • ½ TB salt
  • 1-2 TB sugar
  • 75 g softened butter
  • ½ block of fresh yeast (21 g), crumbled
  • 2,75 dl milk,lukewarm

Mix all ingredients together, preferably with your hands and then knead about 10 minutes. Let it rise until it is doubled in size in a warm, draft-free place. If your kitchen is cool, warm the oven a little and put it in there. I make four-five men from this amount of dough. Shape the dough into a log of about 10 cm and cut the bottom for legs, the arms are also cut (be careful not to cut through the log) and then tiny cuts are made for the neck. Experiment and have fun. Some make female ones, others add stocking caps, etc. Use raisins to decorate, but cut holes for them, or they will just burn during baking. Paint them with a beaten egg and bake in a 200°C oven for 20-30 minutes until done (the bottom should sound hollow when done).

Enjoy a Swiss bread-man!

Aargauer Gingerbread:

  1. flour – 500g (I use half-white and the other half spelt (Dinkel)
  2. sugar – 500g
  3. cocoa powder – 3TB
  4. Lebkuchengewürz – 1 packet (from the Swiss store)– or a mix of 1.5-2t cinnamon, 0.5t clove, 0.5t nutmeg and a dash of cardamom
  5. baking powder – 1TB
  6. milk – 5dl (a half a litre)
  7. canola (Raps) oil – 4TB

Sift dry ingredients together and then mix everything together in a bowl. I put the dough on a cookie sheet that has baking parchment on it. Bake in an unheated oven at 180°C for 30-40 minutes. As it cools you can butter it, or after it cools you can decorate it as you wish. We eat it plain, often with tea.

A favorite snack in Advent in my canton

Happy St. Nick’s, Swiss-style!

Patricia Jehle