My name is Ludwig Hemeleers, I am 32 years old and I'm passionate about relationships, how people interact with each other and how the human mind works.
Before I became a coach, I actually studied biology at University and during those years, I kind of forgot about this interest in relationship and communication. I remember struggling to find a job when I finished University, and I did a training to work into the field of energy. During this training, there was a four day class on “Communication”, and I was not at all interested! I thought : “What will we do during four full days talking about communication??” It didn't make sense to me.
However, during those four days, I made a life-changing discovery : our personality wasn't an unchangeable thing we were born with and would die with, we had the possibility to change. That was the starting point of my own work on myself, that happened to be very difficult and transformational. I started a psycho-analysis and then tried a lot of different tools like non-violent communication, Internal Family System, brief therapy, and more recently coaching. It made me realize that my own communication, both with myself and with other people, wasn't very effective to say the least. It actually made me quit my first job because I couldn't communicate with my boss. I couldn't make sense of what was going on inside me, and thus made it impossible to communicate it with another person. But something had changed. I realized I needed more interactions with people in my job, because I liked it very much, so I worked for a short while in a travel agency. In there, I discovered the pleasure I had working with clients, listening to their needs and desire, and the needs underneath it, and try to find what suit them best! I also had a lot of different trainings in communication through this job, and I loved them!
I realized that I highly valued honesty and transparency, and the communication techniques we were taught not always honoured those values. I worked only four months for this company.
Right after this experience, I bumped into a tool called “Non-violent communication”. I read some books about it and I was completely hooked! That was exactly what I needed!
So, after the travel agency job, I became a math and science teacher in a low-income school in Brussels. I taught high-school students for two years, and was also part of a not-for-profit organization called “Teach for Belgium” that tried to reduce school inequities in Belgium. The school where I was teaching was actually a place where violence, especially verbal, but also physical, was very common and during those two years, I can't remember a single day during which I wasn't grateful for learning NVC. I used those skills almost every day so I became pretty good at it. It's thanks to this job that I came to coaching.
To be honest, though I loved the interactions with my students, listening to them and trying to figure out what they needed, those two years made me realize that I wasn't interested in teaching maths and sciences. What I was doing with NVC was much closer to what I wanted to achieve as a professional and as a human being contributing to society. So I started to feel that I wanted to help people in a different way than through the learning of sciences. I'm not saying here that learning sciences isn't important, I believe it is very important! But this was about how I as a person wanted to contribute to the well-being of others. My old interest in communication and relationships had come back, and that's the direction I wanted my professional activity to follow.
Randomly, or maybe not so much, I found out about coaching at this very moment, at the end of my second year as a teacher. In fact, I like to say that it happened the other way around : coaching actually found me.
I am now a part-time coach, and I’m also working as a social worker with teenagers who dropped out of school.
I'm a deeply convinced pacifist. I believe that learning to solve conflict in a non-violent way is one of the keys to a long-lasting peace for humankind. I also believe that it is one of the keys to relationships that serve the people in them, relationships that are free of fear and possessivity.