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University of Amsterdam



Sometimes the impetus is an assessment, sometimes a performance review conversation, and sometimes it is the advice of an ex-participant.

Professional or manager, working in a listed company or with an organisation for volunteers, in the beginning or indeed the final phase of the career path, we all are familiar with situations, power configurations or work relations in which we are not performing, or circumstances in which we feel we are not coming to full fruition.

A few examples of requests;

  •  A financial manager of a hospital is not sufficiently visible as conversational partner to the managing director;
  • A human resource consultant reacts defensively, is easily caught off guard and tends to ‘overbuild’ himself;
  • A manager assumes insufficient responsibility, chooses the ‘path of least resistance’ and is insufficiently connecting;
  • A talent within the organisation does not know what the next career step should be, and is caught between content and managing.

In short, the Carrousel is an outstanding investment, if you want to increase the following competences: personal autonomy, flexibility, sensitivity, leadership, influencing ability and capacity for change.


  • Through group feedback, the financial manager is made aware of his keeping out of the line of fire, in particular in the case of authority, to prevent possible rejection. A three-way conversation with the managing director, during the evaluation session after the fourth meeting, offers the opportunity to bring this insight into the conversation and to experiment with new behaviour.
  • The HR consultant comes to the insight that she is drowning her own insecurity in words and that, as a consequence, others do not have the courage to dispute what she says. The effect is, that she runs the risk of ending up in the organisation’s periphery since she is so easily put off-balance. It also becomes clear why she is so sensitive to personal rejection. By bringing this into an open discussion, distinguishing ‘then’ from ‘now’, the first step is taken in having the courage to choose a more vulnerable position within the group and in putting more trust in others.
  • The dynamic between the manager and his lead, seems to be that the latter is challenging and pushing, and the former, as a consequence ‘retracts and gives up’. The non-committal attitude causes the lead to push even more. The manager’s learning objective becomes clearer; he does not truly sense what the other does, and what the effect of this is on him. Increasing reflection and sensitivity to himself will support him in devising an alternative route of communication with the lead.
  • The talent puts herself between a rock and a hard place on account of having to make ‘the right choice’. Perfectionism has brought her a lot, but dichotomous thinking in failure or success was of hindrance to her ability of making decisions. She will do apprenticeships in several different roles in the organisation.
  • The examples show a number of different work methods, such as:
  • The training is focused on the individual development, but takes place in a group setting;
  • The development unfolds through obtaining more precise insight into the personal learning objectives; The powerful feedback, which is amplified by the fact that group members have no other interest that solely mirroring the other (in exchange for feedback on their own performance);
  • The context of the work-setting and the relation with the manager are included in the participant’s development;
  • The responsibility for the change lies with the participant (indeed, people do want to develop, but do not want to be developed);
  • Increasing insight into the old ‘then’ (old patterns of upbringing) in order to grasp the personal theme of learning. This understanding gives both an impulse and direction to the development, as does it promote geniality.


In the 20 odd years that the Carrousel has been ‘turning’, we have been of service to 600 participants. Different organisations, such as a university, credit-card company and an educational institute are regular clients of this training. The effect, ex-participants tell us, remains, but we also see this indicated in the fact that old-participants regularly give others the advice to participate as well.
The structure of the training, with a bi-weekly meeting, bolsters the effect, much more than working in a so-called pressure-cooker fashion.

Ettie Jaspers-Hopma

Head HR Consultancy Amsterdam University and Amsterdam College

“The Carrousel is a training in personal effectiveness, which has been offered to individual University and College professionals and managers for a number of years. One would indeed grant such a personal investment to all employees, since it is all about the essence, the staying power of the effects and the benefits for the organisation.”

Do you have any questions?

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