We kick off LearningStone's 'Interviews with L&D Leaders' series with leading industry experts with the remarkable Rene Luisman, who became trainer of the year in 2017. He has a bucketload of experience, coaches trainers at the TrainersAcademy and has decided that from now on he will focus entirely on coaching gay men.
At the tidy office, on a picturesque canal in Rijswijk, it doesn't take long for the interview to beall about ‘dedication’. That's what the 42-year-old Luisman believes in. It is that fanaticism that made him NOBTRA-trainer of the year just a few years after his entry into the training world in 2014.
Now more experienced, he has even seen the training market become somewhat saturated due to a huge growth in trainers and coaches. Especially in that crowded market, he wants to stand out and follow his heart, with all the dedication he has. So he recently decided to turn his business around.
"I believe in complete dedication"
His heart lies in coaching and supporting gay men and he want to focus on helping men who are struggling with their identity to stay as close to their authentic selves as possible.
'The desire to do go in this direction was a longstanding wish. I started mentoring gay men about three years ago, and that's where I can make the most impact,' Luisman says. 'I find it a huge challenge to do this, but this is the path I want to take. I asked myself if I would have the guts for it. Whether I would have enough self-confidence. But I believe in complete dedication. So here we are.’
That complete dedication is also evident in the radical choice he has made to focus exclusively on coaching gay men. Because that's where he sees he has the most impact, as a person and as a trainer.
To illustrate this, Luisman recounted one of his best days as a trainer. 'One time I coached a man, he was at least in his forties, but he was super insecure about himself. He had never learned to love himself. Always preoccupied with others. I went to coach him and I gave him the assignment to ask three people around him what they valued in him. That man came back the next training, beaming. He liked what he heard so much that he ended up asking twenty people for input. That was such a boost to his self-confidence. Such an exercise then has a huge impact on his growth process as a human being.