Management book / Leadership / Psychology
Date Published: May 10, 2022
Publisher: Serapis Bey Publishing
Drs Lies Wouters, international organizational psychologist, advisor, trainer and team coach, based in the Netherlands, introduces her unique Metaphor Map and Metaphor Model of Psychological Safety in this, her first book published in English. She shines a new light on how all leaders across the world can use specific learnt skills to create teams where people thrive, when they understand that it is up to them to create the circumstances where people feel motivated, have fun and grow. She explains the neurobiology of our behaviour and its impact on performance, collaboration, creativity, happiness, productivity and so much more. Backed by relevant science, comprehensive research, real life examples and practical exercises this book takes you step by step through the underlying processes in your brain and body to develop the skills that ensure high performance. She reveals the significance of applying these skills in the world and how we can all play an important role in making this world better, where not only teams, but everyone can thrive.
Can you tell us a little about the process of getting this book published? How did you come up with the idea and how did you start?
I have been doing research on the topic of my book for 4 years now, and I have trained many leaders and teams on the topic. When I saw how big the impact was when people learned these skills, it made me realize that I wanted to help many more leaders and teams. I realized that by writing a book about this, I could reach many more people that could be helped, and also many people who could use this content to help others. I truly believe that these are the skills we need to take better care of ourselves, of the people around us and of our planet.
What surprised you most about getting your book published?
The first response of people when they heard about my book. Many people immediately said that the timing of the book is perfect because it is exactly what we, human beings, need right now. And not just human beings, but our entire planet.
Tell us a little about what you do when you aren’t writing
I am a trainer and coach and I am doing scientific research. That means I am working a lot with people from all around the world to help them develop the skills to collaborate, communicate, and lead both themselves and others. I particularly love the moment where people get an insight in their own pattern, or in the pattern of the people around them and this insight changes the whole game. For example, a leader recently came to me and asked me to help him get through to others. During our coaching he realized that he often felt overwhelmed (without realizing it) and this worked as a barrier in his communication. After realizing this, he learned how to take care of himself in these moments and suddenly it was much easier for him to connect to the people he was working with. It is the small steps, and actually taking them, that makes all the difference.
As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?
That was the very first moment I was asked to write a book. I had never considered writing one until someone approached me to write a book together. That became my first book, which was in Dutch, and it opened the door for me to the possibility to write more.
Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?
I get my best ideas in nature. Whether it is outside on my bike (I live in the Netherlands after all), or in my garden, or on the beach. It is in times when I feel connected to both myself and to the world around me. Why I get my best ideas there? That goes back to the theory in my book. When I feel individually safe, my brain opens up and my creativity and innovative thinking are ‘switched on’.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Honestly, I haven’t received and tough criticism. In case of my first book, some people said that it wasn’t really written for them and I believe that. You are either open to something at that point or you are not. Depending on where you are in your life and what you need, the book will speak to you or it will not. As for my second book there have been reviewers who said one of the chapters was too theoretical, while others said they loved that chapter the most. In general the reviews have been amazing and I am very grateful that readers always seem to find parts of the book that really speak to them.
What has been your best accomplishment as a writer?
I could say the fact that my book was nr 1 on the bestseller list on Amazon. However, there was a moment where I received a message from one of the readers of the book that topped that moment for me. This reader shared that after just one chapter he suddenly understood what was going wrong in his own work environment. It completely changed his approach and he was able to turn a bad situation into a situation where they grew closer together. That is for me the most beautiful gift and my best accomplishment.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
At the moment, none. I am sure there are still many more books in me, but at the moment I have my focus on my research and my work as executive coach and trainer. I train teams and leaders in international organizations, both online and offline on the skills that are mentioned in my book and participants receive a copy of the book at the end of the training to support them in further developing those skills. I look forward to supporting many more organizations in this way in the future.
About the Author
Drs. Lies Wouters is an international positive psychology expert, work and organizational psychologist, advisor, trainer and team coach, based in the Netherlands. In addition to the comprehensive research, she has conducted about happiness and resilience, she assists organizations in the areas of: mental health; optimal functioning; motivation; and positive communication. Her mission is to contribute to reducing the number of burnouts in the Netherlands by helping to make people within organizations healthier and happier; and ensuring that they thrive in psychologically safe team environments. In 2018, she published her first book in Dutch, Hoe Dan (So Then How) together with a businesswoman who wrote about how she overcame life’s struggles. In their book, Lies responds to her explaining the psychological theories of what helped and why.
Lies is the founder of her own international business, OMG! which stands for tailor-made leadership and specializes in providing leadership training and coaching. For more than ten years, Lies and her team of fellow experts have been facilitating online and onsite leaders and professionals with business related workshops. Their work is underpinned by their professional knowledge that each individual is unique and each organization is unique. Thus, they only deliver custom work.
Lies is PhD student at the Open University in the Netherlands where she is researching the topic of psychological safety. The title “Drs” stands for doctorandus which is Latin for he/she/they who should become a doctor. Her first article about psychological safety will be published in the spring of 2022. When Lies is not pursuing her professional career and helping other people to thrive at work, she loves to spend time with her husband and two children. She enjoys being outside in nature at all times of the year. She also loves dancing and enjoying good, healthy food with family and friends.
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