Who is Ralph Miarka?

The next person in my series of Who is, is Ralph Miarka. Last year I worked with Ralph for an international contract.
In contrast with my other coaches collegues, I  never met Ralph before we worked together. That was kind of scary. Will it work? Will I like him? Will he like me? Will our styles match ? Will our styles be different enough?
After the bumpy ride this (every?) coaching assignment was, I can clearly say yes to all of these.(Ok the wil he like me, I’m doing a calculated guess.)

What is something people usually don’t know about you but has influenced you in who you are?

My dad, certainly, has influenced my in who I am with two things he kept saying and asking:
  • Write it down to be clear what you want
  • How do you know this is the right solution?

On the one hand I did a PhD in formal specification based on that and on the other hand, I kept asking the second question also to all my students and I keep asking it today as a coach.

If you would not have been in IT, what would have become of you?
Difficult – I wanted to be in IT since I was twelve, when I joined the local computer club. Thinking about it, I did consider becoming a lawyer or a teacher, too 🙂

What is your biggest challenge and why is it a good thing for you?

There are many big challenges in my life. One is, for example, to unlearn so many things that served me well before. For example, at school I was rewarded for giving very quickly the correct answer. Now I want to listen to people and support them in finding their most suitable approach towards a solution. I learn to be more patient and also to reflect on my own behavior more often.

What drives you ?

I’m passionate about development. That’s personal development as well as development in IT. I like to develop and I like to support others to develop. I thought I’m a teacher but then I realized that I’m an enabler for learners. And I like to see results. Finally, I’m happy when I hear appreciation for what I did. Because I like that I try to incorporate giving as much appreciation as possible in my life, too.

What is your biggest achievement?
Gosh – this question is too big for me. I achieved so much and I still want to do so much…
Getting the PhD was great though having a student coming up to me on his graduation, telling me that my seminars in the first year course defined how he continued to study was even more valuable and emotional. Taking over a project as project manager (not feeling prepared for it) and then being part of a team that excels and contributing to it, that was also great. Most of those team members are still good colleagues and friends.

What is the last book you have read?
“Kostenfaktor Angst” (“Cost factor Fear”) by Winfried Panse and Wolfgang Stegmann – about the costs (and benefits) of fear in the workplace

What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?

Why do you find it difficult to answer the question: “What question do you think I should also ask and what is the answer?”

Good question. There is something about the meta-question… and now I realized what it is. It’s the word “Should”. I don’t think you “should” ask me anything.

You “could” ask me a myriad of things though.

  • Starting from “What’s the current weather in Vienna?” to which I’d say “Sunny”
  • or you “could” ask me “Why do you find it valuable to do a Master’s degree in Systemic Coaching?” to which I could answer: “To answer this in depth would require a bit of time. I developed an interest in this topicwhen I was at University where I took a minor in Psychology. I’m curious about learning why we humans behave and interact as we do. I’m interested supporting people to uncover their own potential. This education also helps me to unlock more of my own potential. I find this program to be fun and very engaging too. Sure, I also hope to increase my market value through an increased set of skills.”
  • or “I heard you broke your rip recently. How did you do that?” and I’d answer with a big smile: “I tried to learn to fly and I didn’t succeed.”, hoping that would leave you puzzled for a moment 🙂

So, as I said, I “could” think of many questions you “could” ask me but I don’t think you “should” ask me anything 🙂

Who do you think I should ask next?

David Harvey and Joseph Pelrine – both acted and act as great mentors for me