Who I am and
where I come from
“I believe in the power of language.”
| Mechthild Bülow |
I completed my studies in philology and international relations at the University of Cologne, the University of Florence and Boston University. Early in my professional career at the US Embassy in Bonn, I had the opportunity of learning how to handle diversity in a social, political and economic context. Putting this into practice captured my interest from the very beginning. It also refined my instincts for effective – and occasionally less effective – approaches to communication and negotiation.
A key realisation at the time was to understand that people see the world in their own image.
Some of the questions I have asked myself: How does a person’s language affect others? What are the ‘magic words’ in communication and what are the ‘killer phrases’? How can language be used to influence people and defuse conflict in situations where solutions and compromises seem almost impossible?
In the course of my professional career I have worked as a spokeswoman in the political arena and as a manager in the international consumer goods industry.
In 2002, I set up my own consulting firm: MECHTHILD BÜLOW PUBLIC AFFAIRS in Berlin | Political strategy consulting for international companies and organisations.
Since then I have continued to deepen my knowledge on the significance of language and the power of communication for successful problem solving by completing professional training programmes on international negotiations and coaching.
My credo: I am convinced that every person and every organisation has a valuable message for the world, which can be summarised in one sentence!
Admittedly, the barrage of life and work commitments often means we see only pieces of the puzzle but not the bigger picture of our actions and their impact. As a result, naming the exact question to which we as a person or organisation want to be the answer is not an easy task.
But the more precisely the question is answered, the easier further communication will be. Knowing what you stand for as a person or organisation and being aware of what you can contribute makes it easier to differentiate, on the one hand, and to focus, on the other.
What I do and
where I want to go
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
| Maya Angelou |
What has mostly taken me forward is my interest in people, in cultures and in the many ways of living and working. My years of professional experience in politics and in business have shown me that these two worlds are like two different planets, each with their own orbit, languages and customs.
Building bridges between the two calls for sensitive, foresighted techniques.
My clients benefit from my knowledge of both planets. I enable them to use proven communication tools to talk without barriers to anyone – no matter which galaxy they come from, whether friend, foe, competitor or partner – and to conduct result-driven negotiations.
Instead of bombarding the other person with information, the idea is to develop a sense of what the other person’s actions are about and at the same time to create an understanding for your own actions.
Dealing effectively with emotions is usually the key to clear communication
Regardless of a person’s work environment or socio-cultural background, everyone knows how love, joy, grief or anger feels and how they imagine good relationships to be. In the context of successful communication, this means that content can only be conveyed if it resonates with people.
In my experience, words and communication techniques help to bring direct opposites together in order to reach a solution – or at least keep them from standing in each other’s way.
My goal is to give people and organisations language and communication tools that will be truly heard and understood – and are therefore convincing!
I share my knowledge through teaching. My main focus is on a repertoire of high-quality, successful communication in a national and international political context. I believe in the adage: less is more. This includes knowing how to focus on the essential and to phrase the content precisely for external use.
I conduct the following seminars in cooperation with the Quadriga University in Berlin: