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Unlock Your Full Potential is the name of the adesso Group’s talent management programme. The aim of the programme is to help you become aware of your strengths, build on your personal brand and learn how to get the most out of both. I was one of 42 adesso employees who took part in the first round of the programme. In this blog post, I will take you on my personal journey through this programme.

How the programme is structured and run

A core element of the programme is learning with and from each other. This requires both a solid foundation of trust and a safe space to think and reflect, especially when it comes to exploring your own thoughts and actions. Why is this needed? Because if you get to know more about yourself, you will inevitably come across certain unpleasant things about your personality. That is why the following rule applies: whatever is discussed in the programme stays in the programme.

The programme consists of three in-person workshops that build on each other in terms of the content they cover:

  • 1. The foundation of who I am
  • 2. Communication with others
  • 3. How we influence others

These modules are accompanied by a Hogan assessment, including an evaluation session and three one-on-one coaching sessions to address the employee’s personal needs.


The groundwork needed to create a shared foundation based in trust and acceptance was laid at the remote kick-off, where all participants and the supervising coaches got to know each other in different settings and were able to discuss their personal backgrounds and expectations for the programme. Right from the start, those taking part had the opportunity to network and strengthen existing relationships.

Hogan assessment

The Hogan assessment is a standardised, science-backed test for recording personality traits. The test consists of three modules:

  • Strengths and potential
  • Core values and preferences at the workplace
  • Behavioural tendencies under stress and risk of derailment

The test results are analysed together with a Hogan expert with respect to the employee’s individual situation and his or her duties. I was very surprised at how accurately the test described me. Some things caught me off guard, while other times it confirmed what I considered to be some of my core personality traits. In other cases, I had to sleep on it for a night before I could admit to myself that the assessment really nailed me to a tee. The results of the evaluations from the individual Hogan modules were compiled over the course of the programme and combined at several points in the process to produce an overall picture.

Module 1: The foundation of who I am

The first face-to-face module focussed on the core aspects of your personality and the question of ‘why’, that is, what is your inner drive.

  • What events in life have shaped me?
  • Where do I see myself today in different areas of my life?
  • What motivates me and what goal drives my actions?
  • In which environment and with which tasks do I feel most comfortable?
  • How can I best utilise my talents in this context?

We worked in small groups using tried-and-tested methods such as the wheel of life and the golden circle, to name two examples. I found the exercise where we presented the results of fellow participants to each other and the open discussions about them particularly useful.

This part of the programme really pushed me to the limits of my comfort zone – and sometimes beyond. Self-reflection is an uncomfortable exercise, because it is not easy to dig down deep into your personality, accept your strengths and face unpleasant truths.

Follow-up: Inner drivers and associated qualities

We focussed on the inner impulses that drive us in an online workshop between the first two in-person sessions. These are unconscious automatisms that we have internalised since childhood. Depending on the form or shape they take, they lead to certain behaviour patterns and influence us particularly in stressful situations. An example of an inner impulse that drives our actions is ‘be perfect’. People with this core drive have high standards for the quality of their work, but tend to get lost in the details. During the workshop, we looked at the positive and negative aspects of our own personal drivers and learnt how we can take action to counter them if necessary.

Module 2: Communication with others

At the beginning of the second in-person session, we really focussed on the different ego states (parent ego, adult ego, child ego). With a little practice, each of us was able to recognise which ego state the other person is currently in based on their facial expressions, posture and language they use and to react accordingly when in conversation with them. We also learnt how our interactions are influenced by our inner mood and about the different layers of communication.

On the second day, we had the opportunity to apply what we had learnt in practice. Everyone there was able to simulate challenging conversation scenarios with the help of experienced seminar actors and thus further increase their awareness for the various factors that influence how we communicate.

The second module was my favourite one in the Unlock Your Full Potential programme. In the practical exercises with the actors, I learnt a lot about the effect I have on others and was able to take away a number of tips that can come in handy in future conversations.

Module 3: How we influence others

In the third and final session, those taking part in the programme addressed the question: how can I exert influence and market myself effectively? It built on the modules that came before.

We learnt about the subtext as the thoughts running in the background that inform what we say and how it can hamper or hinder us. We also used a number of exercises to gain an understanding of the effect of non-verbal and para-verbal communication and discussed proven communication methods for feedback, meetings to discuss expectations and how to handle objections.

Another exciting part of the final module was a panel discussion with Executive Board member Mark Lohweber. He gave us insights into his career and how he was able to unlock his potential. At this time, we were able to talk to him directly and discuss prospects within the adesso Group.

My conclusion

The adesso Group’s Unlock Your Full Potential programme was highly rewarding for me, but it was also extremely challenging. Because let us be honest: if you want to work on yourself, you have to get outside your comfort zone. One comparison that kept popping up in my mind is from the world of sports: the muscle groups that are the most difficult to train also bring the greatest rewards.

I made a number of great new contacts, was able to gain a greater awareness of who I am and got valuable new ideas for unlocking my personal potential over the course of the programme. For me, working to improve my soft skills is just as important as professional development. I would therefore encourage everyone to take part in the Unlock Your Full Potential programme. If you have any questions about my experience in the programme, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Would you like to find out more about exciting topics from the world of adesso? Then take a look at our previous blog posts.

Picture Ellen  Volkert

Author Ellen Volkert

Ellen Volkert has been a business analyst at adesso since 2019 and has over 12 years of experience in IT consulting. She specialises in requirements engineering and IT project management in both agile projects and classic approaches. In addition to her project assignments, she is actively involved in the Agile@Insurance community of practice and is a co-founder of the cross-divisional RE@adesso community.


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