Expat Coaching

International assignments are more common in this globalised economy.   They are exciting for the individual, and can be hugely beneficial for the organisation. But they are risky too: according to INSEAD, the proportion of expat assignment failures can be as high as 50%.

Studies have shown that the main reasons for failures on expat assignments are:

  1. Lack of local support: The host country has a crucial role to play, and the most important individual is the host sponsor. Their role is to provide the support in helping the assignee fit in, whether on a social, professional or domestic level.
  2. Difficulty developing cultural sensitivity: The assignee will find that things that are appropriate and normal in his culture are not allowed or are frowned upon in the host country, or vice versa.
  3. Family Stress. The spouse or children are not able to adjust to the culture of the host country and are feeling disconnected from home.

Coaching Process for expats

  1. Reality check: I help the assignee evaluate his/her cultural preferences, and values.  From there we find the cultural gaps with the host country’s culture.
  2. Chose: Upon reflexion of the cultural differences, I help the assignee to determine what aspects of his/her culture he/she is willing to adapt, and which others are not negotiable. Finally, we design a communication strategy in order to create a cultural alliance with colleagues.
  3. Evaluation and re implementation. After a couple of months, we evaluate the outcome of the previous step and make changes where needed.

Expat Spouse Coaching

Most expatriate managers are challenged and excited to be in their new postings. They need to spend a lot of time at work since they are under pressure to adapt to the new culture and their overall responsibilities are often larger than they have experienced before.

As a result, the spouses of expatriates spend a lot of time by themselves and are cut-off from their own family and friends. At the same time, the spouse is usually dealing with problems for which he/she has no previous experience, and usually in a country where he/she does not speak the local language.

Coaching Process for expat spouses

  1. Reality check. We evaluate the current situation, the struggles and the biggest gaps between his/her previous vs current life.  We also analyse what the priorities are in the short and the long term.
  2. Moving forward: Based on the priorities set in the previous session, I help the spouse to analyse all the possibilities and develop a plan in the chosen direction, being this: staying at home, incorporating into the job market, starting his/her own business, or continuing education.
  3. Evaluation and adjustments. We review the progress of the plan and determine what have been the positive and the negatives of the last months and what changes need to be made to continue moving forward.

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