Eduardo is a Brazilian coach, facilitator and public speaker. Last June, after 11 years in Europe, he returned to Brazil with a youth leadership program that has been a great success in some of the most renowned universities in the world.
He joined us in Rio de Janeiro, during our first Edu on Tour gathering in Affero Lab. He also invited us to Toastmaster's meeting and we've met again in Reboot, a sharing economy festival in Urca, close to Sugar Loaf.Finally, he participated in our round table at our last event in São Paulo and connected to Felipe from BRASPA and others from our network.
Connect to Eduardo via Facebook or Linkedin.
1) How have you became interested in coaching?
As an engineer, I’ve always been interested in systems and understanding how things work. When I started working as a change manager in big corporations, it didn’t take many projects before I realized that understanding how things work was a much smaller challenge than understanding people. I realized that the quality of the implementation of any project depended above all on how well you supported people through change. And supporting people through change is what coaching is all about!
Only when I was coachee myself that I realized this is what I wanted to do.
2) What life experience do you value most? What helped you to grow as a person?
Travelling and living abroad! Having had the opportunity to live immersed in another culture since a young age (I was 16 when I spent my first year abroad) changed entirely my perspective on life.
There are so many paradoxes that you are forced to face when you are abroad. The human challenges are so similar and yet there’s so much diversity in the way we approach them. All of this made me less sure of myself, less stuck on my points of views, more aware of my bias and identity, and more interested in discovering how the other sees, feels and experiences life.
It’s a humbling experience!
3) Which coaching experience you are most proud of?
I love those moments of the coaching process when I just completely let go of results and hold the space for my client. The world around us disappears and there are just the two of us in a bubble, resonating as one in creative flow. It’s really difficult to describe and great to experience! It doesn’t happen every single time, but fortunately it does quite often!
I remember a single mom in her late 30's that was heading to her second burnout. We had a particularly intense session, when what I just described happened in a very strong manner. Two weeks later, she called me to tell me she had just met someone and found a new job, in a different industry. In just a few months they were moving in together to another country and she had changed so much! There was air again in her life!
Now, pride is a dangerous feeling when you are a coach. The minute you start thinking that you’re the one doing the work, there’s no more bubble. All you can do is to help people look at their backpack and verify if they need to keep carrying all that weight.
4) You've started working with LeadNow, leadership program for students. What leadership skills should be by your opinion brought to schools?
I think the main issue with the world today is that we’re disconnected from ourselves, from others and from nature. There’s too much inertia and apathy. We need new ways of thinking to innovate and lift ourselves together out of the many crisis we’re facing.
In order to do so, we’ll need a critical mass of leaders who embody 3 leadership skills:
Some schools are already doing it, but the vast majority isn't. Because the problem is urgent and we can’t wait for the whole system to be reformed, LeadNow aims to fill the gap by plugging into the current system. The goal is to touch the hearts and minds of as many students as possible, as soon as possible, so that, in the very near future, in the sectors they'll work, they make better choices than previous leaders.
5) Has Edu on Tour changed your perspectives on education and people who are actively changing it?
Definitely! Before Edu on Tour, I thought there was so little going on, so few people really interested in making a difference through education. We hear a lot of people TALKING about education, but Edu on Tour opened me up to a whole network of people who DO something to change education, to provide students with new experiences.
It also made me realize that we need more initiatives that bring these people together, that create synergies so we’re not all doing our stuff in our little corner.
6) How do you perceive difference between education and learning?
I see education as the process of raising happy, functional, critical citizens that are free, ethical and empowered to create a positive impact in society. In that sense, education can and should happen throughout life, but it’s clear there’s a sweet spot in childhood and adolescence, when it must happen.
Learning is a broader term for me. We learn every single day, even when we’re not aware of it. Each feedback loop embedded in our world allows for learning. One of the roles of education is to make us more aware and intentional in our learning.
7) How could education look like in 20 years?
I do not have the faintest clue! I think the moment of disruption we’re living in will reach its climax in the next 10, 15 years. For better or for worse, the world that will come out of it will be completely different than the world live in today. The challenges will not be the same and the education should follow these new challenges.
If by then every student from age 4 or 5 learns to be confident in who they are, to be aware of themselves and their place in the universe, to communicate from a place of empathy and vulnerability, to welcome diversity, to learn how to develop themselves based on their interests and talents, and to become an adult that preserves a childlike curiosity and sense of wonder, the world will be a great place to live in.
8) You are also member of Toastmaster's club, which is focused on public speaking - when and why have you decided to join them?
I first heard about Toastmasters over 2 years ago, when reading Susan Cain’s book “Quiet”, about the power of introverts. In the book, she described how supportive the TM environment was to newcomers and shy people. She also told incredible stories about introverts who went in front of full auditoriums and shared their passions, despite their soft-spoken nature.
I could identify with that! Back then, I had just finished organizing a TEDx event for 200 people and spoke at another TEDx event in front of 500 people. This was an exhilarating experience! So much so that the next day I woke up and said to myself “One of my dreams has just come true. Now what?”
The answer came in the decision to get some professional skills in Public Speaking, both for myself and for future coaching clients. I bought several books about it, subscribed to Professional Speaking tips newsletters, offered to coach speakers for several TEDx events in Belgium and joined Toastmaster! Now I’m one of Toastmasters’ biggest fans! I love their method and have been a member of 3 clubs.
9) What are your plans for 2015?
2015 will be the year of prototyping in Brazil and raising awareness about the work I do both at LeadNow and genYus @work (umbrella company that works with coaching, intercultural and intergenerational collaboration and public speaking). Also, I want to form a core team with committed individuals who share my passion for education and can bring different know-hows to the table.
In May, I’ll be also giving a course on Inter-generational Collaboration at PUC Rio and in October on Intercultural Relations at ICP Paris (catholic universities).
I’m planning on working a lot between Rio and São Paulo and have already found some interesting synergies with other projects in both capitals. The goal for LeadNow is to achieve breadth by the end of 2015, connecting with young people in high-schools, universities, student organizations, NGOs and trainee programs.
On top of that, I’d like to mentor a team of committed TEDx organizers, for an event about education in São Paulo. I’ve learned so much from the TEDx experience that it would be a waste not to share it with others.
10) Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you Veronika and Edu On Tour for putting me up in contact with so many people deeply engaged in education. You've already made a big difference in my life.
Keep in touch and stay tuned to my next adventures at genYus @work or LeadNow.