Ton Klein

Oberon Education Strategy and Consultancy

We at Oberon have been collaborating with Huib since 2006, developing various training programmes together in the field of local education policy.

Huib has also delivered these training programmes over the course of a number of years. Where Huib really excels is in his capacity to motivate people with conflicting interests to work together towards an overarching shared goal and the common good. However different participants' worldview and stake might be, they always go home in a spirit of collaboration - inspired by what connects them. Huib creates a safe environment where people are not afraid to show vulnerability. What I also like about Huib is that there is space to challenge; he can handle resistance well.

On one occasion, we had a group of civil servants from various local authority departments who, as part of a restructuring, had to make the switch from specialist to education generalist and become the municipality's education contact person. They clearly had a lot of doubts about this reshuffle. 'But I have no idea about school transport or compulsory school attendance. I need training!' said one housing department official. Huib turned the situation around, asking this civil servant how he'd feel if his contact person didn't know everything, but was willing to look into it and get back to him. 'I'd be fine with that,' he said. Within half an hour, Huib was able to break down the walls of resistance erected by the group - simply by asking the right questions.

I have a management role myself since the end of 2012, and Huib has been my personal coach. Perhaps a little strange, as we also have a professional client-supplier relationship, but Huib has no trouble separating the two roles. Having previously worked together, he already knew my strengths and weaknesses - a real added benefit. Recently, a colleague asked me if I'd attended some course, as she noticed that I was dealing with feedback differently during a meeting - a direct and concrete result of Huib's coaching. I can attest to that.