Watch Lissi’s talk here

Lissi delivering her TEDx Talk – Photo Credit Sebastian Gabsch

What’s your current occupation?
I work as a mediator and systemic coach in organizational development. I lead change processes and develop and moderate workshops on topics concerning cultural aspects of our work. I navigate teams through conflicts that have escalated too high to unentangle them without external support.

Where are you currently living (city and country)?
I live in Berlin, Germany.

Tell us a bit about yourself?
I studied film production and worked in international cinema for almost 20 years. I worked with Academy Award Nominees and Winners and on very creative arthouse projects that were all dear to my heart. Nevertheless, the longer I worked in the industry, the more I felt the urge to change something. For a long time, I was discontent with the conditions I worked under, but I couldn’t quite grasp, what it was that bothered me. Eventually, I found out, that I needed to change my perspective on HOW we work together. I started to read every book I could get on Leadership, New Work, Agility and change processes. I really wanted to understand how we can create a healthy working culture that integrates aspects of social and ecological sustainability in our working structures and processes. 

What is the idea of your talk?
My talk encourages a more constructive and empathetic approach to conflict resolution by acknowledging and exploring conflicts. Thus, understanding and positive outcomes are fostered. (At least this is what Chat CPT claimed, when I asked this question…)

What do you connect with our theme “Bold Choices”?
We often function within our social systems, according to the expectations of others – our partners, children, friends, working context, society. We learn that “this is how things are done, this is how to behave”. When we begin to question these behavior automatisms, we often find ourselves in huge uncertainties. Embracing and accepting these uncertainties is bold. Becoming visible with our personal needs, choosing vulnerability and taking responsibility for what we feel, without being ignorant or reckless towards others, is always a bold choice.

What is the boldest choice you’ve ever made in your life?
– And why was this your boldest choice?
The decision to reject several jobs as a producer and instead leave the film industry, is a choice many people considered as bold. Others found it rather stupid. (Everything is a matter of perspective…)

I already knew that I was pregnant and – in that moment – had no idea in which direction my professional way would lead me, how I would eventually make a living. Looking back, living in this precarious uncertainty, with a little baby, was a huge challenge – for me and the people close to me. Bearing the uncertainty, eventually lead to a great clarity on having made the right choice. 

How do you choose which choice to make if you’re in doubt?
I give myself time. Time to think and feel, time to get outside perspectives from my friends and family. I try to look at myself from a bird’s perspective and figure out what the bird sees. Usually, through the course of the process, I gain clarity.

What gives you the strength to make a bold choice?
I do not define my choices as bold. However, I have a strong will to be truthful to my values. I try to listen to my thoughts and feelings and act accordingly. This strong will is only possible, thanks to the warm-hearted, colorfully different and loving circle of people that surround and support me and my choices.

Do you think people should be better at making bold choices? – If so, why?
I am deeply convinced that we all make the best choices possible under the circumstances we find ourselves in. I feel very privileged that I have the capacity to make choices consciously. Expecting others to become better at making bold choices is not an approach I choose. I prefer to look at the circumstances. How can we create a society in which we can live in mutual trust and solidarity? How can we get rid of structural injustices? What do we need to gain the strength and courage to approach our world’s challenges together?

If you had to choose someone who, in your opinion, has made the most bold choice, who would it be and why?
15 years ago, I worked in Tehran for a few weeks. Iran is suppressed by a regime, in which looking into a person’s eyes, giving a smile to a stranger or singing an uplifting song can get you thrown in prison. I feel deep solidarity with the people I met there, the women and men that fought for their freedom back then and still fight for it today, so many years later. Their choice to be visible, despite the huge risks that comes with it, is bold and leaves me humble.

What is your favorite TED talk?
Brene Brown on Vulnerability