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About Parthena

My life

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I was born in Greece in 1971. Shortly after my birth, my parents left their small, sleepy hometown in northern Greece and moved to Germany to give their young family what they called a "better future". As I am Greek - and for anyone who has seen "My big fat Greek wedding", this may come as no surprise - my family comes first for me.

I am grateful that I have two very energetic and healthy parents who have been retired for a long time - and a younger sibling who I am proud to call my best friend. She is the one who gave me the biggest and sweetest gift I could have wished for: I am an aunt and guardian to a wonderful and smart beyond his years nephew who has become the center of my world, my heart and my free time - and the best life coach I could have asked for myself!

What you may have already noticed about me is that I am addicted to everything to do with the sea, the ocean and water. I love to travel, who doesn't? However, if you were to bet that my Greek genes would draw me to the warmer climes of our wonderful planet, you'd lose the bet: For some mystical reason, Scotland is the most beautiful, natural, wild, untouched and pure place in the world for me. It's where I can recharge my batteries and where my soul feels at home.

As someone who is committed to lifelong learning and personal development, I am a true bookworm - to the point where I will buy a book just to have it on my shelf and read it later - which can mean months later. And because I know how privileged I am and it's close to my heart, I'm committed to charitable organizations and sustainability, as well as protecting our planet and all its inhabitants. Sometimes I wish I could do more.

My profession

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When I started my professional journey in 1997, I decided to work in Human Resources after a short stint in Computer Science. I have never done anything else and have never thought about doing anything else.

If you look at my career to date, you'll see that I've changed companies and jobs quite often. Contrary to popular belief and the statement on many online career sites that changing employers "too often" is a sign of weakness, lack of resilience and lack of commitment, I have never seen it that way. For me, change is something I welcome and even enjoy inviting into my life. Looking back, the main reason for this was that I wasn't necessarily looking for "greener" pastures, but rather more challenging, inspiring, unknown ones. It was the need to stop being stuck, to learn more, to grow. Every ending was indeed a new beginning, and the constant in the beginning was working in Human Resources.

Like all of us, I've been through some tough personal and professional times, and I'm sure I have a few more ahead of me. As an HR person, you're pretty popular when times are rough and tough, difficult news needs to be shared, drastic decisions need to be made or when people don't get along. I have never shied away from this and have always trusted that this is the added value that is important to me and that I can contribute. When terminated employees end up sending you chocolates and "thank you" hearts to show their gratitude for how you treated them during the process, that's more than I could have hoped for.

 

Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work with inspiring leaders and managers, as well as loyal and committed teams who have often become friends. My leadership motto has always been "prima inter pares". I am grateful for the trust my employers and superiors have placed in me to lead and hopefully inspire others in good times and bad.

My calling

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The reason I stand before you today as a coach is an opportunity that my manager at the time saw and gave me to dive into the depths of coaching and discover a new passion that has become a life's work.

My coaching journey began with a conflict I experienced at work during a difficult time in my life. At the time, I was questioning everything: my role and purpose at work, in life and the meaning of everything in general.

When my manager suggested I consider coaching as a coachee, I was initially skeptical and incredulous: I didn't understand why the other party to the conflict was "getting off scot-free" while I was going to be given "detention". But being who I am and seeing opportunity and an open door in everything presented to me in life, I jumped at the chance.

Coaching has changed my view of the world, life and human behavior and, more importantly, of myself. It has shown me ways to get out of the "savior" or "victim" trap, both at work and beyond. And not only that. The subsequent training to become a professional coach according to the statutes of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the certification as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) set the wheels of a meaningful journey in motion for me. With every step, there is more to discover, to learn - and to give.

With additional qualifications in "Nonviolent Communication/NVC" © according to Marshall B. Rosenberg and the application of the "Clean Space"© technique, I sincerely hope that I can pass on the gift I have been given to all those who are struggling to find their way, their identity, their purpose and the meaning of their work and not least their life - no matter what phase or crossroads they are currently at.

"You have definitely helped me to become aware of my strengths and weaknesses and to judge personal weaknesses less harshly, but to take them more lightly and work on them. Your feedback has given me more clarity about my personal situation, and you have really encouraged me in my decisions. I now feel more emotionally relieved and a little more content. Nevertheless, I still feel I'm in the middle of the journey to experiencing full satisfaction and emotional relief. You supported me very well at the beginning and I am grateful to you for that! My best friend told me at the end of July that I had changed and become more relaxed. I then told her about your support."​​

Anne F. // Zurich

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