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A new approach to Coaching - The Cultural Coach

Whether working across countries or bridging corporate and professional boundaries, the demands of global business require new ways of managing and motivating people.

Although the concept of culture often suggests values and behaviours of nations, the Cultural Coach (coaching across cultures) expands our worldview to consider differences of every kind including corporate cultures and professional groups - from engineers and nurses to business managers. Coaching has assumed an American worldview, a perspective that is too narrow. Culture must now become part of the coaching equation.

Coaching Across Cultures combines Executive Coaching with intercultural skills and uses a "Cultural Orientations Framework" that applies in the workplace worldwide. Executive development is thus approached from an international cross-cultural angle: dealing with time, ways of communicating, exploring identity, negotiating territory and boundaries, power differences, and organising as a group.

International Coaching

We offer specific cultural coaching services as well as more conventional approaches, depending on the clients needs. Often cultural coaching can be a follow-on or be used in combination with our assessment tool IMA. The tool is a good starting point to work from and very effectively give the coach a lot of preliminary information in order to be able to speed up progression of coaching sessions.

Coaching has become a well understood approach to enabling people to reach beyond themselves, reach their goals and fulfil their true potential, whether in life in general, or in business. It is proven that employees who have been coached are far more motivated and productive. Coaching allows one to gain invaluable insights, through the eyes of others, into what we need to do to achieve our goals and aspirations.

Coaching can offer business clients a focus on a deep understanding of good business practice and management experience. Apart from our cultural coaching approach, we also apply standard coaching techniques, such as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), to enable our clients to achieve their full potential.

Team Coaching

We also strongly emphasise team coaching. Companies are people communicating and working together towards common goals, a results-oriented community collaborating (latin cum - together), and it is often this synthesis and meeting of minds which distinguishes similar businesses from one another. Such synergy should be promoted so that the team, groups and the whole business can reach new collective heights. This can be achieved through team coaching. This may be similar to team facilitation (or team building?) in the past, but the techniques used, such as NLP, are coaching specific, so we prefer to call this team coaching - unleashing the power within the team!

Team coaching as a technique is naturally highly important when integrating businesses after a merger, acquisition or joint venture, and is also a powerful tool in turnarounds.

Team Productivity and Multicultural Innovation

As people increasingly work in multi-cultural environments, they often have to deal with colleagues with fundamentally different world views, values and beliefs. While many organisations have "diversity" programmes in place, many of these are concerned with policy and legal compliance (e.g. equal opportunity), and rarely adequately help individuals, managers or teams within the organisation actually deal with diverse values and behaviours. We show how individuals and teams can practically manage misunderstandings and stress which can emerge from diversity and work together more cohesively and productively. And where conflict does arise apply tools to resolving them.

Work today is complex, ambiguous and interdependent. Diversity can enrich understanding and problem-solving by bringing together different viewpoints, but it can also confuse, frustrate and cause people and organisations to waste time, loose money and miss opportunities. Challenges of culturally diverse teams include stress from misunderstandings, conflict & internal strife, reduced productivity, demoralised staff and wasted time. We show people how to appreciate and integrate different viewpoints, thereby better manage misunderstandings and conflict, and turn the above challenges into opportunities for innovation, by releasing the creative powers of a diverse team constructively.

Cross-cultural Communications Simulations

Cross-cultural simulations allow participants to experience the discomforts, problems & issues in intercultural encounters, meetings, negotiations, teams or management. Issues that arise from different values, beliefs, practices, behaviours and "rules of the game". The simulations allow participants to experience cultural diversity in a non-threatening environment where they can express feelings or prejudice. By experiencing different viewpoints they get an opportunity to find constructive solutions, as well as practice cultural understanding and communication. The usual stereotypes and barriers are overcome, and participants can improve their skills and strategies for making decisions and solving problems in groups with sometimes conflicting priorities.

Self Managed Training

Increasingly companies are turning to self-managed learning approaches. Where the learning matter relates to international relations and trade, we can use coaching in combination with self-managed programmes. This combines both learning objectives with overall goals, a very powerful synergy. Our culture shock counselling will also often combine elements of both.

Executive Coaching Across Cultures in a Target Language

For busy executives and managers who need to learn another language as well as take part in an executive coaching across cultures program, we now combine the elements and offer a cultural coaching approach in the target language, a slower process but killing two birds with one stone. For this to be possible, however, the executive should already command an intermediate level in the target language. The idea is to let the executive undergo a "slow" coaching programme and at the same time consolidate and practice a foreign language she/he needs to use. The coaching ensure the language content is relevant, and because of this the learner is more likely to acquire the relevant language expediently.

"If you think education is expensive try ignorance." (Derek Bok, President of Harvard University)

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Transcultural Synergy Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 870 383 4655