"If I'd gone through with this, I wouldn't have gotten old."


Jeffrey Oldengarm, 48 years old


Was director/owner trading and transport company with 60 employees. Now does where his heart lies.

Coaching question

"How is it possible that as a business owner I have constant friction with my partner and employees? I don't think it's up to me, but is that right?"

The reason: Resentment, venom and chopping in the sand

"It was 2009. I became co-owner and director of the transport company where I had started in 2003 as a "man of everything". We were in the middle of an economic crisis, so I worked 7 days a week. The guys felt like I was fighting for the tent, but there was constant friction on the shop floor and it got more and more annoying.

At the same time, there was resentment with my partner and co-owner. Until my arrival he ran the toko on his own, with his father as advisor in the background. My partner and I had problems which became more and more venomous. "Lack of communication on my part", was his opinion. I could not agree with that. But in order to get out of the stalemate, I was willing to investigate: what's in it then?

The intake: “Do we have to, all that talking?”

"I always thought shrinks were a bit of nonsense. Is that what it's supposed to be, that talk? But I called Marco on the advice of a colleague, even though he's in Rotterdam and I'm in the Kop van Noord-Holland.

The first meeting with Marco clicked so much that I thought: I want to get on with it. During the intake he very quickly explained why I was acting the way I was acting. I wasn't so aware that your behavior doesn't only come from your genes, but also from how you grow up. That gave me a lot of insight, and I didn't have that insight yet.

Marco about the intake: pricking and sarring, but also tears

"Jeffrey can come across as a bit of a jittery West Frisian. I can imagine that people sometimes have trouble with that. At the beginning of the intake, he had his heels in the sand. He started with: "From my partner I have to deal better with people. But that's just not in me, I can't do it". I thought: "Above all, the question is: Will he do it? I noticed that he didn't want that. Because he didn't see the benefit of it yet.

So I asked him: what is it like to acknowledge that this is something you're not good at? That gave me an opening to look at the role of another partner who is better with people. That's when Jeffrey saw the point: If he does the human piece, then it's going to work. That's how he started to see that the human piece is really important, and he came into the cooperative position.

With Jeffrey I pricked and tried to get him to move, but sometimes I also had tears in my eyes. I sympathized with the fact that he worked his ass off, without it leading to what he wanted at work and in private. He really got the hang of it".

The coaching process: Insight into shortcomings and grow to unconscious competent

"Before the journey with Marco, I found everything my partner said nagging and whining. Marco allowed me to see the situation from my partner's perspective for the first time. He had already transferred an entire part of the company to me, and then I didn't take him anywhere. Now I understand how difficult that must have been for him.

Marco also gave me an insight into my personality. A personality test that I took afterwards showed that I was very red in everything. Dominant and headstrong. Only when you see and acknowledge your shortcomings can you do something with them. That's what I started to do afterwards.

I learned to confront people less and to take them with me. I talk much more from within myself: "I see..." and "I feel...". That's why people are open to communicate with me. I now also know that I walked in front of the music, and did not take people with me in my train of thought. I subdued their ideas. That's why I share my plans at an early stage and even actively ask: "Think along, give your opinion".

Because of all this I experience much more goodwill from my colleagues, which made the work easier for everyone. Partly I am now 'unconsciously competent' as it is called, but it still requires practice".

Marco about his approach: Understanding character, and living from the heart
Character structures

"I listened to Jeffrey and recognized the elevated character structure of Wilhelm Reich in it. That character structure symbolizes 'breast forward, I'm going to make it'. And that includes one stimulating sentence which can open a conversation: "How lonely do you feel then? That was an upcoming question. Because he felt - on the basis of his good intentions - extremely lonely. And he was tired.

From the character structures I can help coachees to understand themselves better. If I recognize a certain structure I can name the character elements from that structure which they themselves did not yet know and which suddenly become visible as a result. That gives insight into and acceptance of one's own 'experienced deficits' and is already a big step towards wholeness".

Systemic work

"When Jeffrey became co-owner, he stepped into a family business with complex structures. He was struggling against this on his own: always running in front of the troops, not communicating and working harder and harder to achieve his goals. While he was in a system that was bigger than he was. By showing that to him, he could see that this was fighting against the beer quay for him".


"To help the team with the communication, I sat together with the entire management team as a kind of mediator. There was a sincere need to understand each other. It all starts with listening. They found it difficult to put into words what they wanted, but I was able to subtitle everyone's message. There was emotion and unspoken expectations. I made those expectations explicit, which enabled the other person to react to them. Then a conversation arises about what it is really about".


"Jeffrey works hard and purposefully. He worked with his head (creative, setting goals) and with his belly (actually achieving the goals). Working and living from his heart (feeling and doing something with that feeling) was hard for him. That is why bodywork was important to him. Together we pondered questions like: "What happens in your body when you feel anger. What happens when you breathe now? What does that feeling mean to you? And can you do something with that?"

The results: From 'everything for my company' to 'intensely enjoying my family'.

"I was really on a collision course: Anything for my business. If I had gone through with it, I wouldn't have gotten old. While my loved ones are the most important and precious thing I have.

Because of the route with Marco, I was able to make the decision in 2019 to quit as director-owner. Now I'm still hired as a consultant for 30 hours a week.

By quitting as an owner, I have been able to open up much more to my wife and children. I have an office at home where the door was always open, but no one ever came in. In hindsight, I can say that I radiated that no one should come near me.

Now that is totally different and my daughter just sits on my lap. I have 4 children in the age of 7 to 15 years old. They now feel that I am approachable, that I am listening and that I am there. In their childhood I could not be there for them. Fortunately, in their teens I can now be a real father.

The fact that I am there for my family again in these important years and that I enjoy that intensely, is the biggest gain of the project with Marco. Invaluable. This still gives me goose bumps".

Marco about the result: "He surprised me"

"Jeffrey surprised me by his shift in values: His willingness to listen more to what his body has to tell him. I see that he lives more from his heart. Leading with people was not his desire. He longed to do nice work, to be busy with the content, to do cool things in the market. Fantastic that he took that step as well! I dare say that people around him see that he has grown. That there is a nicer man standing there."

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