Asking for help can be hard — for many reasons. Perhaps it's because we feel it shows weakness, or we're afraid of imposing on someone, or we're just stubborn and want to figure things out on our own. Yet, asking for help, in big ways and small, is something we all have to do from time to time. As children we learn to ask for help at a very early age, be it a skinned knee or a challenging homework assignment. In our adult age, we sometimes forget how important this skill can be.
Getting the right help to make the most of an assignment abroad is crucial. The stakes are simply too high to forgo that kind of support — everything from a botched presentation to dysfunctional workgroups to lost business deals, are possible consequences of cultural missteps in a global business world. That's why it's important to make sure the global talent you have hired has the right tools to navigate work and life in a different culture.
Coaching is a proven technique for supporting global talent, yet some wonder about the role of expat coaching in the future. We're looking into the topic a little deeper this month with our featured Knowledge Center article — hope you enjoy!
CEO/Founder, Globiana Inc.
Globiana Knowledge Center
The Role of Expat Coaching in the Future
In an increasingly global world, where people travel and move around the planet to an ever greater extent, and where engaging with people from different cultural backgrounds is commonplace, some wonder about the role of expat coaching in the future. If you add to the picture the ease with which we can gather information on the internet, it’s no surprise some think there is no need for employer-initiated, structured support in the shape of coaching and training — I mean, why bother when all the information you need is right there, a few keystrokes away?
Individuals may be travel-savvy and interculturally knowledgeable these days. However, when looking at the bigger picture of moving and working abroad, that isn’t enough. An international assignment carries with it inherent challenges such as culture shock and language barriers, for example. In addition, every assignee comes with their own set of challenges, be it the family settling well, a partner wanting to work, or elderly parents left at home. In order to have a successful international posting, assignees (and their families) need to learn not just how to perform their work in a new environment — they need to learn how to live life in their new environment.
Overcoming the Back-to-Reality-Blues
I often return from summer vacation back home feeling a bit blue and unsettled. I find that these feelings hit me the hardest just as we are settling into a routine, preparing to return to school and work. Maybe the blues are really more of a bittersweetness — yes, there is a sadness there, but there is also a sense of relief at being back in our own environment.
I’m sad because summer went by far too quickly and I know I'll miss my home country. There is sadness because I feel like I should have accomplished more — I should have spent more time with family, shown my kids more of the country, gone to the beach more. At the same time, I know we squeezed out all we could from the time we had, we saw people and places, we managed the chaos, and we had fun. So why the blues?