Karolien Dekoster

Karolien Dekoster With degrees in philosophy, international relations, business management, and history, and certified as a mediator, it's safe to say that lifelong learning is at the core of my being. My ardent curiosity has led me to explore both the conceptual realm and more practice-based domains alike, as such bringing the theoretical to life. I started my career in a management and research function at a business school, specialising in negotiation and conflict management. Here, my interest in executive coaching, teaching and group facilitation was sparked. After gaining several years of experience in this corporate learning environment, in 2018 I felt it was time to seek new horizons by joining The Happiness Factory, becoming an independent lecturer, and pursuing my PhD at University of London.
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As a lecturer or in short-term coaching, you can kindle new insights and inspire people. But what frustrates me in such an approach, is the lack of true impact. Inspiration or the inception of a few mindset shifting ideas is the highest achievable, but no real change can be attained in the long run.
The company mantra of The Happiness Factory, helping ambitious leaders and their teams reach more in an easier way, and our long term orientation -based on deep collaboration and partnerships-, makes things completely different.
What ultimately drives me in this way of working, is to contribute to a better, more aligned, more creative and more innovative world, today and for tomorrow. And how better do this, than by supporting others to create this new world together with me?

Through my work and experience in different industries -finance, public private partnerships (PPP's), medical, academic, logistics-, I feel I can guide and empower others to be the change we both want to see in the world, in their company, in their team and in themselves.

For me that change means:
  • Unbridled interest in people and what drives them: explore your dreams, hopes, fears and emotions to find out what it is you really want and why; discover novel things and unfamiliar places to bring all these together and create new things, new ways and new partnerships.
  • Being creative, from drawing, painting and sculpting, over gourmet cooking, to dancing.
  • Unfaltering belief in the inherent good nature of humanity.
  • Seeing the beauty in all things: the reflection of the sunset in the raindrops on the porch; the warm, surprised smile of the old man crossing the street after the young woman has halted to let him pass; the twinkle in the eyes of the girl talking about how her beloved greatuncle has taught her to be true and kind to herself; the 1001 overwhelming colours a voyage through the rainforest brings; the comforting purr of the cat upon one's return home, greeting one as if one has never left;...
  • Lifelong learning. Finding your inner voice. Never a dull conversation. Deep connections.
How I can support you in this
  • I'm initially educated as a philosopher, and like to gain a profound, analytical understanding of your situation.
    Every conversation will challenge you and leave you with tantalising questions to ponder, but at the same time will have a fun and wholehearted approach, in which we both gain insights.
    I'll help you find your inner voice and stand your ground in a genuine and respectful way, resulting in more clarity and less conflict. Leading you to reach more in a more creative and innovative way.
  • I combine thought experiments and the realm of the theoretical as a philosopher, practical experience as a manager -knowing how to concretise to come to well-defined actions-, insights gained from my PhD research -on minority inclusion and empowerment of female refugees through trauma coping and narrative identity building- to help you grow during our conversations and trainings.
  • I can bolster you with my expertise in negotiations, conflict management, leadership and stakeholder management.
  • I will show you kindness and empathy, which are also my biggest pitfalls as a coach sometimes needs to be firm as well.
    And I'm a bit of an optimist and can become very enthusiastic about the things I believe in.

  • My favourite programmes are the 'Ambitious Team Programme' and the 'Intensive Coaching Days', where next to the very personal one-on-one coaching, I get to facilitate and play with small groups and their knowledge.
    Here, I can also bring in my experience as a lecturer.

What's your dream for tomorrow? And what's holding you back to step into it and get engaged?

Let's discover this together and let me accompany you on your path!

Some companies that have already benefited from working with me

Kuehne+Nagel ING Rabobank Hager
Vlerick Tenneco iChoosr VRT
Fluvius AZ Alma

T: +32 475 90 31 43
T: +44 7342 17 80 93