Gabi Dolke, Michael’s German translator, describes Michael’s strengths and her experiences with his work.
“Reading” a person’s traits and finding out about his or her strengths and liabilities is one of his easier tasks. “Reading” a group and conducting ‘Group Wizardry’ through the Art and Science of Non-verbal Communication is his daily masterpiece. His extraordinary work from teaching and observing thousands of classrooms to training and coaching large companies is the result of his incredible perception skills, his perfect timing and most of all his fine ability of “getting permission” – of forming relationships with people, young and old, poor and rich, “cats” as well as “dogs”. “Charisma” is no longer an inherited trait but an expression of our well-practiced non-verbal communication skills.
“For you can do anything and you can learn anything… as long as you can breathe…”
– Michael Grinder
Back in 1988, in the very first seminar Michael conducted in Germany, the first seminar I was allowed to attend and interpret for Michael, when I was still a student of psychology – it was one single non-verbal skill Michael whispered in my ear. This sentence, this skill, this single most important non-verbal changed my whole life: the ability to “breathe.”
Through all the years that I was privileged to work as Michael’s “German voice,” his interpreter in his brilliant seminars, Michael’s way of “leading with influence instead of power” was a great model for me. Starting at the point where you “give yourself grace” and practise “recovery (which) is better than being perfect”, Michael’s approach is fundamentally practical and experiential:
Did you know that what you do with your hands while you breathe in or out makes a huge difference in your leadership abilities?
Did you realize that leading yourself is a prerequisite to leading other people?
Michael’s professional expertise, his experience in life and applied research make him a person who has walked in many moccasins, thus discovering the “Pentimento,” the building blocks of non-verbal communication and creating learning experiences for his participants that change their behaviour yet also their beliefs about themselves and others.
By teaching and applying “Micro” Grinder skills, he helps people reach their highest level of professionalism, to unfold their potential and become “liaisons” – people who help heal teams, groups, or nations. His consistency, his reliability and yet his flexibility in leading people to their own goals, his respectful way of attending to individuals’ and groups’ needs and values, his fostering of win-win relationships, is unprecedented.
Michael always walks what he talks. You can not read about him, you have to see and experience him. His admirable fairness and his extraordinary negotiation skills are two main variables of his work in teaching and coaching individuals as well as groups.
While his range of influence reaches from socially neglected teenagers in the poorest districts to the highest political leaders and ranks of nations, he creates a microcosm that helps people change and unfold their potential, teach, coach and lead others through influence not power. Thus Michael creates a macrocosm that brings permission, positive win-win relationships, valued diversity, fairness and peace into this world.
With deepest respect and love for your work, life, and the love you give,
Michael’s German interpreter and translator