How to make a difference in a highly competitive world? Customers are well-informed, self-conscious and sceptical. As such they are respectful partners. How to make people decide to go for your products and services.


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • use a unique sales model that is based on 'respect for' and 'autonomy of' your customers.
    • make a connection with your customers based on trust and credibility.
    • speak in captivating benefits instead of boring characteristics.
    • deal self-confidently with resistance.
    • show empathy and listen authentically to your customers.
    • sense your customers' emotions and needs... and interact appropriately.
    • close your deal.
    • follow up on your customers professionaly.
    • create loyal customers.
    • become more agile: responding authentically and approriately to what your customers communicate to you.
    • translate complex matters into understandable language.





    The phone is a cost-effective way to make a first contact with potential customers.

    In the 'always online' reality people can become over-connected. They will pick up the phone and then disconnect soon after because they...


    • are not in the mood.
    • are not interested in your message.
    • didn't expect THIS.
    • were expecting something ELSE.
    • have previous bad experiences.
    • were busy doing something else that is higher on their priority list.

    So, what can you do to shift their attention and to be granted a real appointment?


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • have a positive attitude on the phone.
    • grab the attention of a pre-occupied prospect.
    • use a powerful script that makes your message more appealing.
    • deal with resistance and rejection.
    • keep your emotions better under control.
    • find the courage to make the next call and then have fun doing it.



    Why do we find it easy to do business with some people and more difficult, or even annoying with others?

    Wouldn't it be great to get along with the vast majority of people and expand our business as a consequence?


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • understand the 4 DISC styles.

    • have better insight in your own personal style: strengths and pitfalls.

    • recognise the different styles.

    • connect with all the styles.

    • create trust and credibility with the D-, I-, S- and C-style.

    • have productive and pleasant dialogues with the styles other than your own.

    • have less conflicts.

    • enjoy more your private and professional relations.



    Honestly... how many of the presentations that you have attended so far do you still remember?

    Perhaps your evolved role description suddenly requires that you give presentations... something that you have always resented...

    Do they exist, born presenters?
    Yes, I know a few.
    Can presenting be learned?


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • feel comfortable in front of an audience.
    • enjoy contact with your audience.
    • get attention and raise interest.
    • maintain interest during the whole course of your presentation.
    • deal with resistance and (difficult) questions.
    • use storytelling as a powerful tool to transform your audience.
    • use PowerPoint as a helping tool, instead of a technical burden.
    • have engagement during your presentation and obtain commitment at the end.
    • manage your stress.
    • see yourself in action and learn on the fast lane.
    • improve your personal exposure and give a boost to your career.
    • learn from others in a safe environment and witness dramatic changes in others and yourself.




    In transformational communication (sales, marketing, training, coaching, presenting) I like to call stories imagination capturing examples that people can relate to.

    Building your audience's story forces you to empathize with their situation, concerns and needs.

    In fact, the power of a story is that you aren't just telling something to somebody, you are conveying an entire experience so that all senses of your audience become engaged: seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing... smelling.

    An effective storyteller is more of a facilitator: by painting the picture he invites others to use their own imagination and create their very own insights.


    (More in MY BLOG - Once upon a time)


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • understand the transforming power of stories
    • understand how storytelling creates trust and openness
    • understand the neuroscience behind storytelling
    • use an effective storytelling technique
    • practice your storytelling skills and become a more effective storyteller
    • understand how storytelling can turn you into a more effective salesperson, marketeer, coach, trainer...



    "Don't let schooling interfere with your education!"

    A quote that is attributed to Mark Twain.

    When I think of schooling it reminds me of wooden benches and the smell of 20 wet coats and sweaty gym shoes in long corridors. Pupils are neatly lined up and absorb what is being recited by the master...

    New insights in neuroscience have given us a better understanding of what makes teaching effective.

    One golden rule always emerges in studies:

    "More of them and less of you!"


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • feel comfortable in front of an audience.
    • prepare effectively.
    • formulate appealing and pedagogical objectives.
    • get attention and raise interest.
    • boost concentration and enthusiasm in your students.
    • stimulate memorisation and recall in your students.
    • use different didactical formats making your training much more interesting.
    • understand about different learning styles and how to address them.




    It can be frustrating when people don't do what they are expected to do - or even worse - promised to do.

    When faced with non-accountability the following reactions might be triggered:

    • They are just not up to it!

    • I guess they just don't want to do it!

    When colleagues, direct reports, suppliers or even your kids don't show accountability, they are most of the time following a logic that is not yours.

    Quite often their non-productive and unwanted behaviour is not caused by unwillingness or incompetence but by a well hidden reason.

    So, what does it take to make people more accountable?


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • have a better understanding of why people fail to be accountable.
    • use the unique and effective R4 model that will create lasting accountability.
    • know how you can find out why people are not doing what they are supposed to do, while maintaining mutual respect.
    • make people more open to your potentially sensitive feedback.
    • use the power of corrective and positive feedback.
    • have safe and productive 121's when things are not working out the way you want to.



    Assertiveness means the ability to say what you think, feel and need while respecting the other.

    Too little assertiveness leads to sub-assertiveness, in which case people tend to be submissive, accommodating, silent, in the background, unsure...

    Too much leads to aggressive communication, in which case people tend do be imposing, egocentric, bold...

    Assertiveness is a thin line.
    Learning to become more assertive goes stepwise while exploring the reasons for non-assertive behaviour.
    Just teaching some techniques can turn a nice person into an ugly creature.

    If you find yourself saying YES while thinking NO on regular occasions it may be time for an assertiveness training.


    (More in MY BLOG - You can't make people assertive by just training them some techniques)


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • feel more respected.
    • feel happy and relieved because you are able to express your thoughts, feelings and desires without feeling guilty.
    • make contact more easily and get along with other people.
    • speak up during meetings and express your opinion without feeling suffocated.
    • find the courage to defend yourself respectfully against that offensive colleague.
    • tackle that hot and sensitive topic that has been on your mind for ages.
    • make your point without feeling silly or stupid.
    • radiate self-confidence in verbal-, voice and body language.
    • dare to refuse when your customer is asking for too much.



    I have attended far too many meetings in my life that weren't very productive: members weren't engaged and left without commitment.

    By now I understand I am not the only one...

    People complain to me about useless, boring and lengthy meetings all the time.

    And yet it is absolutely crucial that we come together regularly to share and explore ideas, in order to align and reach common goals. Lack of communication may lead to misunderstandings and will eventually result in non-productivity.

    So what we does it take to have a productive meeting that all members consider as time well spent?


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • go for a meeting only when it's the most suitable communication format
    • pick at all times the right type of meeting to reach your goal
    • prepare effectively for an upcoming meeting
    • adapt your approach as a chairman depending on the type of meeting
    • take appropriate actions as a chairman or member before, during and after your meeting
    • deal with different meeting characters as a chairman so that everyone contributes as much as possible 



    "Less with More."



    "Deliver or die."

    "Don't bring me excuses, bring me solutions."

    "I need it by yesterday."

    "Failure is not an option."

    Sounds familiar?

    Have you got the feeling that it is all a bit too much sometimes, that you are losing control over your work and that you can't recall what you actually did at the end of a working day? 


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • regain control over your tasks.
    • get more insight in the pitfalls of your time profile and understand the remedies.
    • prioritise more efficiently the incessant stream of tasks.
    • Find more peace of mind.
    • stop looking for lost stuff.
    • make sure that others deliver on time, thus respecting your schedule.
    • produce a solid planning when being in high demand.
    • gain time by working more efficiently.



    I sent my first e-mail in the early nineties.

    I guess many people of my generation came into contact with e-mail around that period.

    All of the sudden everyone started sending electronic letters at the speed of light, soon leading to congested inboxes...

    At that time no one was ever trained to use e-mail in an effective way.
    We just started typing away!

    In business environments e-mail has become the main communication channel with all its benefits and drawbacks.

    Therefore it's probably a good idea to reflect on effective


    PARTICIPATE if you want to...

    • get the true meaning of your message across.
    • send e-mails effectively while maintaining healthy relations.
    • write appealing e-mails that are actually read.
    • have a better understanding of your personal communication style.
    • have a better understanding of dos & don'ts when e-mailing.
    This interactive training is a mix of theory and workshops. You are invited to analyse and improve examples of less effective e-mails.


    ...that defines a specific need and is linked somehow to influential communication.

    Let's find out how some of the models that I have studied can be blended into a unique program, tailor-made to your requirements.


    I shall be honest: I shall tell you whether I can or can't!

    Effective E-mail communication

  • Argus says...

    Welcome to the blog! You can see my blog posts below.

    More Posts
  • POP-UP's

    Insights or ideas that pop-up and that I like to share with you...



    Are you aware of your real talents?

    Make sure to expose them to the world, and welfare will come to you.

    What can YOU do more to expose your talents?

    • Speak up more?
    • Give your opinion anyway, even though you might be afraid of making a fool of yourself?
    • Signing up for that challenging project?
    • Asking for a slot to present that idea of yours?
    • Planning that 121 to discuss your lack of a challenge?
    • ...

    Show yourself, or nothing will happen.

    Changing job?

    Make sure that you are not just running away from something, but that you are embracing something new.

    Misfortune cookies

    During a conflict refrain from reacting immediately to accusations or harsh criticism.

    Take in the message, and think it over.

    If not, you will probably react emotionally, and such a reaction is likely to be an unguided missile or, as I like to call it: a misfortune cookie!


    You only become aware of its real content and effect once it has been opened...

    Middle lane

    Quite some people take the middle lane.


    Perhaps they can't make up their minds whether they want to speed up or slow down.


    There is no good or bad.


    Taking the middle lane is contemplating: a necessity that perhaps we should grant ourselves more.

    What's on your mind?

    Your calculated guess or intuitive hunch feeling can give you some idea about the other.


    But more important than your guess or hunch feeling is the way the other reacts to them.


    Make sure to notice it.

    Shirley Horn

    ... is one of my favourite female jazz singers.


    Especially her song Here's to Life on her album of the same name will always strike a chord. It is a moving tribute to life with its ups and downs.

    In her song I like one phrase in particular:


    "What you give is what you get, so give it all you got."


    So very true if you think about it. We may underestimate the impact of our communications on others. We can really set the tone and make a difference whether it is during a presentation, a training or a sales talk.


    Decide what you really want and...

    Give it all you got!

    What do You mean?

    When people are asking this, their real question could well be:


    "Give me an example that I can relate to."


    Speaking in relevant examples forces us to explore the other by showing authentic interest.


    When we can't find any examples it might tell us that we don't really understand the other.


    Or we might be barking at the wrong tree...

    Your motivational


    Are you inclined to think the worst when facing a challenge?
    Lacking self-confidence or sheer fear of failure?

    Perhaps you need some motivational back-up software?

    Whenever successful write down what you did and how it felt?
    Store every mail containing positive feedback about something you did.
    Keep all these files in your PSF:
    Personal Success Folder!
    When negative thoughts start taking over, open your PSF and read until positive thinking has been restored.

    Outstanding debts

    I am not referring to money, but unfulfilled expectations.


    They may leave scars of disappointment.


    Beware not to charge the wrong people who were never in the picture when the debts were created.


    Book them as a loss or address the real debtor.


    A highly intelligent reaction to a very unhealthy environment.

    If taken seriously in time it can lead to a higher level of consciousness and happiness.


    ... gets you were you want to be effortlessly, while unseen options in the surrounding landscape are revealed.


    1. Stop your routine.
    2. Look up the quiet and purity of nature.
    3. Accept loneliness and confrontation with yourself. Accept unexpected emotions. Give them space.
    4. Open your senses and name aloud the beauties that are surrounding you.
    5. Take deep breaths and say thanks for every positive feeling that enters your soul.
    6. Now remember all the good in your life and say thanks again.
    7. Be aware of negative thoughts and say aloud 'I have a choice!'


    In order to be happy knowing what you don't want is more important than knowing what you want.

    Guilt & Regret

    Avoid people that are making you feel guilty.

    They are manipulating you.


    Accept people who make you feel sorry now and then.

    They inspire you to improve yourself.


    Talk WITH people instead of TO them.

    You might learn something new.


    Real trust means seeing beyond.

    Whatever your senses are picking up, you can always feel the other.


    I really don't know whether I can do this.


    And therefore... I will just do it!


    When I don't know anymore what to think about a certain situation , I listen to my feelings.
    When I feel overwhelmed by emotions, I try to rationalise. We are all equipped by a perfect balancing system to keep us on track.
    The magic is in finding the optimal tilting point.


    We are hardwired for happiness.

    Negative things we share become less negative (fear, worries..)
    Positive things we share grow inside us (happy feelings, nice experiences)

    By all means, SHARE!


    Feedback is breakfast for champions (K. Blanchard)
    Constructive feedback makes me smarter!

    Positive feedback makes me happy and strong!

    Kenneth Tallir

    (Head of Business Development / Partner Manager at Wijs)

    “Stephan is very sharp in observing and able to express complex cases in plain words with a great sense of humor. He coaches on his own personal but extremely professional way. It's always a pleasure to do business with him. Highly recommended!

    Ronald De Wilde

    (Marketing, PR & Product Manager Pioneer Benelux - Available for a challenge or opportunity)

    Stephan is a creative & a strong communicator.
    His basic eduction, together with his wide professional experience in several domains of the economic scene give him a vast advantage.
    Training people and people management are on the top of a long list of personal skills.

    To Baaten

    (Owner PassePartout Inlijstingen & Restauraties,
    Founder of Shoot And Hang)

    Stephan is not only a great coach and trainer, he's a great person!
    I got to know Stephan as a customer in my company and I was eager to get to know him better: his manners, wits and intelligence can't be hidden.

    He's a well read man in his field, a speaker who can really captivate an audience and a coach that makes a difference.
    Above all, Stehpan has a great sense of humour.

    Shortly after we became better aquainted, I got to know him in a situation where he put on his coach-cap for me.

    His empathic insight opened my eyes for situations I had become involved in.
    Thanks to his professional evalutions, advice and sharing of his knowledge, his coaching me was a gamechanger and I feel I have taken off in the right direction on an important crossroads in my life and professional career.

    But, fear not, above all is working with Stephan just Great Fun!

    Gabriela Buckova

    (Invoicing Team Lead, Anheuser-Busch InBev)

    (About Story-Telling & Presenting)


    HI Stephan,


    thank you for the video and the feedback.


    It was very good training, all the tips and tricks learnt are really helpful and on top of that, I really enjoyed the 2 days. So thanks a lot for your time and sharing the knowledge.





    Florence Van Loon

    (Psychologist - Psychotherapist, specialised in concerns related to Expatriation)

    Stephan is a great trainer and coach, but above all I do appreciate him as a person. I am always impressed by his abilities of explaining complex human situations in a simple way, using a lot of humor. Stephan does have the capacity of using different theories, finding bridges between them and translating this into a powerful tool. He’s a very creative and powerful trainer.

    Laszlo Szalma-Baksi

    (Anheuser-Busch InBev)

    (About Story-Telling & Presenting)


    P.S: I work on the same department with ABI University Team and I was asked about your training and my feedback as well. I described you as a highly committed and passionate person who I absolutely suggest for possible future cooperation with our company.

    Jean-Noël Leichtnam

    (AGC Glass Europe)

    Bonjour Stephan,


    Je te remercie pour l'aide que tu nous as apporté durant cette formation.

    A présent, lorsque je prépare des formations je tente d'utiliser les "outils", la manière de faire que tu nous as proposés! 

    Au plaisir de te voir pour une autre formation!!


    Bon WE

    Frank De Munter

    (Professional Training & Coaching Consultant and Contractor)

    Hi Stephan,
    I wrote this recommendation of your work that you can include on your profile.

    "WYSIWYG - the number 1 quality of a great trainer."


    ... is to facilitate change in people with regard to all fields that concern communication and Influence.
    By influence I mean the ability to create long-lasting change regarding our own or others' behaviour.
    'Influence' doesn't equal 'persuasion' which has a more imposing connotation and is more after a quick gain.

    The starting point of influence is respect for the autonomy of others.


    Training and coaching are my passion.

    My ambition is not to become the largest but the best.


    I love to work tailor-made and look with my customers for the most effective solutions by exploring with an open mind their vision, mission, culture, values and needs.


    I believe in lifelong learning through reading, discussions and investing in my own training.

    I don't believe in one holy model but in continuously growing insights through personal development and curiosity.

    The best of different worlds adapted to the customer's needs.


    By the way, should you wonder, my company is named after my Norwegian Forest Cat: a cat race that holds all the characteristics that I aspire in my professional activities: curious, diligent, exploring, patient, focussed, observing, kind, playful...



    May you find the strength to let your true passion guide your professional actions and choices.

    Argus - Training & Consulting

    Independent Trainer & Coach

    2004 - Present

    • I am a certified 'DISC' trainer and coach. 'DISC' is a pragmatic model that defines behavioural styles. More insight in these styles can help people improve in both their professional and private relations.
    • From September 2009 till June 2011 I have attended a 3-year-training course in 'Transactional Analysis'. Whereas 'DISC' studies and describes the HOW (behaviour) of people. 'Transactional Analysis' (or TA for short) also helps to explain the WHY of our behaviour.

      The combination of 'DISC' and 'TA' offers a powerful tool for assisting people and organisations in their personal and professional development.
    • In 2011 I have been certified for 'Crucial Conversations'. This unique and pragmatic model helps people in making difficult conversations where emotions run high and a lot is at stake. The makers of 'Crucial Conversations' have established through long-term studies that lack of productivity is in many cases due to conversations that are NOT held or BADLY held.
    • I am a strong believer of 'Brain-Based Learning and Teaching'. To that regard I attended a 6-day-training course in Atlanta (US). New and continuously emerging insights in how the brain processes and stores information has a dramatic impact on selling, teaching, presenting, negotiating and all other disciplines that involve human interaction and influence.

    As a passionate trainer and coach I continue to invest in my own development.


    Head of Generic Training 

    2001 – 2004


    I shall always be grateful to this excellent company. They offered me the opportunity to build an extensive professional network within the field of training and coaching.

    in fact, I was paid to develop myself.

    Mobistar supported and motivated me to pave the way to my career as an independent entrepreneur.


    At Mobistar initially my role was Sales Trainer.


    Later I became responsible for the development and maintenance of new soft skills training programs in close collaboration with external partners.

    Pioneer Benelux B.V.

    Press Relation & New Technology Manager 

    Jan 1996 – Dec 2001


    I shall always stay a Pioneer.

    This Japanese company offered me lots of autonomy.

    During this period I was able to develop and give presentations and product trainings to sales forces, dealers and end-users.

    It is here that I learned to speak in benefits and translate complex matters into understandable language.


    • Product management for the Home Electronics division and the Business Systems division in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (A/V, DVD, plasma, DVD-R(W). 
    • Internal and external product training. 
    • Content development for these training programs. 
    • GfK, market analysis, competition comparison. 
    • Product planning meetings in Japan and Eurpope. 
    • Communication with media (new papers, trade magazines, TV, radio, trade shows). 
    • Press conferences. 
    • Development of press communiqués.

    Pioneer Belgium

    Business Manager Entertainment Systems 

    Jan 1991 – Dec 1996


    Developing a new business line is quite a challenge.

    Creating awareness about a new concept and its related products is one thing, but persuading dealers and end-users to join a new adventure is something else.

    Pioneer allowed me to develop my negotiation and coaching skills.

    During this period I learned the ins and outs of marketing, but furthermore I came into contact with different cultures and their distinct business approaches.


    • Launch of karaoke concept on the Belgian market.
    • Creating awaraness about the new karaoke concept.
    • Development and management of Belgian dealer network.
    • Product training to dealers.
    • International product planning meetings.
    • Budget and seihan (Japanese monthly forecast system)
    • Communication with the media (newspapers, trade magazines, TV and radio)
    • Development of commercial promotions and marketing activities.
    • Development of trade shows.
    • Launch on the Belgium market of professional audio products.

    Bulo Kantoormeubelen

    Account Manager 

    Jan 1989 – Dec 1991


    In this unique and quality-oriented company I initially received a 6-months training just like every other starter.

    The owner was a visionary person who strongly believed that an Account Manager should understand every department of the company: production, supply chain, marketing, procurement, finance, R&D, Logistics... I actually spent some time in all these departments.

    In this period I learned the importance of solution selling and acquired account management skills.


    • Office furniture. 
    • Prospecting new accounts and managing existing accounts in the Brussels region.

    Zeelandia N.V.

    Sales Representative 

    Jan 1986 – Dec 1989


    When I said goodbye to the Belgian educational system I decided to devote myself to sales.

    At Zeelandia I was allocated only prospects: a hard but very instructive school! In an era without gps or smartphone I learned on the fast lane about territory management, time management and basic selling skills. 

    In retrospect this experience probably contributed most to my later career, as my demanding job required traits such as courage, discipline, empathy, planning, strategic thinking, patience and lots of persuasive power.


    • Prospecting and selling.
    • Raw materials for bakeries.
    • Flanders and Brussels area.

    3 different high schools


    Jan 1981 – Dec 1986


    As a passionate teacher I have taught Dutch, English, German and French in different high schools. 


    Here I have developed my language, didactical and pedagogical skills that have later proven to be great assets.


    My passion for languages allows me to work internationally.


    These are competencies (skills, knowledge, attitudes) that have been ascribed to me by people in my Linkedin network.
    But... what's in a name?
    I have taken the liberty to define things as I understand them.


    The ability to think out of the box, or even in another box.

    Solution-orientedness under stress.

    Developing new systems and processes.

    To step out of the treadmill...

    Persuasive Communication

    I would rather call it Transformational Power based on authentic Sharing and Exploring. 


    What you love, you do well. Facilitating learning has always been my passion.


    The ability to inspire, and release potential in others. The ability to make others more autonomous.

    How to facilitate change in others?

    Conflict Management

    Conflicts are opportunities! Peacekeepers are too often problem hiders.

    How to hold constructive dialogues in a safe and trusting atmosphere?


    How to get what you want while maintaining healthy relations with your partners?

    Of course you could be tempted to go for a hit & run, but you would be surprised in which circumstances you can meet your losers at a later stage in life...

    At the same time, be prepared for foul play...

    Public Relations

    In my career PR has rather meant Press Relations. 

    Press is no such thing has free publicity.

    PR should be a respectful partnership. The guiding principle of press is objectivity. It doesn't accept manipulation or anything else that comes close...


    I'd rather call it Facilitating Learning.

    The Law of Consistency states that people will rather do what they have discovered themselves than what they are told.

    Humans are autonomous creatures with the fabulous ability to think and make their own choices.

    Let's use their brains. 


    Sales does not make up the entire company, but each department should think like a sales department...

    I believe sales is an underestimated science that involves psychology, antropolgy, sociology, communication...

    Sales is doing something with what you get, and not just getting it done.

    Product Management

    The full lifecycle of a product from planning to production.

    On several occasions I have had the opportunity and the challenge to influence this lifecycle process. It involves quite some market knowledge and human interaction skills.

    How to align a passionate marketing manager with a pragmatic engineer..?


    I have once marketed a complex and exotic concept that was initially received with lots of scepticism.

    However, from the start I was very enthusiastic about it, and was able to convey that feeling to others.

    Influence via enthusiasm for me is a great part of successful marketing. But I am also a strong believer of a solid plan to make things happen.


    The productive equilibrium between People, Process and Practice.

    But in the end people will have to make it work...

    Change Management

    Most people are willing to change, but don't want to be changed all the time.

    Based on my belief in the autonomy of people I believe in open communication:

    Where do we want to go? Why? What will be the impact of change on you? Where there is trust, there is willingness to follow.

    Management Consulting

    I love to solve a problem that involves sputtering human interactions and systems.


    I am a great fan of Claude Steiner. He states that sympathy resides in our ratio and empathy resides in our emotions and our heart.

    Empathy is the awareness of other people's emotions.

    But there is a higher level that is required for a professional trainer: interactivity or the ability to feel how to act appropriately with the awareness of other people's emotions. 

    I will continue to strive for the highest level.


    High-school teacher Dutch-English-German

    Regent Languages 1983 - 1985


    Dutch, English, German 

    I am fluent in French.


    When I was 12 I clearly remember staying in the classroom secretely during playtime and taking place behind my teacher's desk.

    It not only felt good, it also felt right.


    One face to face tells more than a thousand web pages...


    Here are some ways to contact me...

    00-32-495-55 14 69


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