"If there was only one thing I could change within myself: which one would have the greatest positive effect on me and my life?" With this question, the learning program Change Pod began. Thanks to the commitment of two alumni, the Alumni-Team and 12 other fellows were able to participate over a period of six months in the coaching. In addition to donations, talks, mentoring and organizational talent, alumni also repeatedly support the development of alumni work and their alma mater weighing in their know-how.

The coaching was led by Sara and Johannes Willms, both alumni of the University who run their own coaching company willms.coaching in Göttingen. Under the motto “Realizing Potential”, they advise companies, teams and also individuals and support them in their private and professional development.

The Immunity-to-Change approach on which the Change Pod is based was developed in over 30 years of research by Harvard psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow-Lahey. Johannes and Sara offer with this approach a coaching process that allows you to recognize hidden behavior patterns that keep you from making the really important changes. "With some learning topics it is as if one foot is on the gas – we want to change – but the other foot is on the brake," says Sara Willms on the problem of change processes. "It's not because of a lack of will, we've tried a lot, but the change won't succeed."

Development is a team sport.

The exchange with the other participants is central to the program. Participants work on their individual goals in discussions with their buddy, in day-to-day workshops and in regular webinars. It is an exciting journey that we as Alumni-Team were able to embark on together with a diverse group of people coming from various areas and locations. We learned and discovered a lot about ourselves. Sara and Johannes create a benevolent atmosphere in which it is easy to open up. The University's personnel development department, who was represented by two employees in the program, was also interested in the format: “Anyone who is seriously interested in personal development and has had a goal in mind for a long time and has not achieved it despite all efforts is very well advised to take part in the Change Pod. I took part in it myself and, as a personnel developer, I am impressed by the impact and format of the Change Pod”, says colleague Nina Kuznik.

We are very grateful for the commitment of our alumni! We asked Sara and Johannes what motivated them to give us this great opportunity: “We have been running the Change Pod for several years in leadership development within companies. We wanted to place this type of coaching as an open offer so that more people have the opportunity to use these learning techniques for personal development. The other reason is that, from our point of view, the term education in schools and universities today is too much oriented towards the subject. Originally, this term refers to the education of the whole person. So we were happy to host the Change Pod at our alma mater. We would very much like to expand that."


If you are also interested in the Change Pod, take part in the information webinars and register. For all alumni of the University of Göttingen there is a 10% discount on the participation price, all information and registration can be found on the website www.willmscoaching.de/coaching/change-pod/. The next entry opportunities are in December 2020 and January 2021.

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