Andreas Dilschneider

»Up top only looks easy from down below!«

In front of us the wall. It runs 210 meters vertically upwards. I’m nervous! Is my fitness level enough for seven rope lengths? We take one last drink, expecting three hours until we reach the summit. We climb in two rope teams. I am in the lead. At the beginning everything goes well, we make good progress. But after three rope lengths, we reach a critical point. Rain sets in, the degree of difficulty changes abruptly, our mountain guide starts putting pressure on us. It sets in again, that uneasy feeling.

I am a trainer and a coach. And I have gotten around a lot. But as a climber on this rain-soaked wall, I’m afraid of losing a lot more than I’d like to.
Oftentimes I tell my participants that they need to find out why they are up there on stage. Where does that journey lead to? And now I am hanging in there – in that wall – on my journey. The wall is silent. It is waiting for me to act. I want to push my own limits, go to a place that is difficult for me. Now I am in the middle of it and I have no solution. In the midst of my acting studies, I start working as a lecturer. This direct, undisguised work with people, it just won’t let me go. To learn more, I go to New York Columbia State University in the US, as a guest lecturer for body movement and improvisation.

Rain pours over the rock. Each step is like soap. My heart is thumping. The chalk is glued to my hands. If I fall now, I’ll fly 15 meters across the wall. I am afraid to get hurt, there are too many protrusions in the rock. Breathe calmly, focus.

Back in Germany. I am working as an actor and director. I win prizes. I want to do something new. I become one of the first seminar actors in Germany, I grow more and more into it. I become a trainer, coach TED-Talks, give seminars and learn more with each seminar. Always new people, each of them with their own challenges. Many encounters stick with me. I admire the courage that participants have to make changes. I realize how difficult it is to let go of the old and enter new territory. But whenever my participants dare to go where it becomes uncomfortable for them, their learning success is at its greatest.

Only a few more meters to the summit. It will be dark soon. Time is running out. I force myself to concentrate: »What was it like again in training?« A slight body turn, a change of perspective. Suddenly I see it, the only possible step. At an altitude of 180 meters, even tiny movements can change everything. Knowledge is important to be able to start climbing. It takes intuition and experience to reach the top. I reach the exit. We are on the very top. We embrace each other. My mountain guide says: »The wall is your friend. You cannot conquer it, but you can grow through it!« Successful relationships are places of growth for me. Whether with seminar participants or in a rope team. Having courage may not be easy. But up top only looks easy from down below. 

My Focus

Presentation Skills

Keynote and Pitch Preparations

Storytelling

Tough Conversations