Intercultural coaching is intended for problems or for projects impacted by the difference of culture or value system.
Culture is considered in the broad sense in terms of nationality, sector, occupation, organisation, generation, lifestyle…
Intercultural situations include :
- interaction between colleagues or business associates of different cultures,
- events inherent to the company or the family,
- changes in environment : geographical, professional, social,
- freelancing, employability, salaried staff/entrepreneur,
- intercultural posts : working in a network, contact with local expatriates, international relations, visiting distant counterparts, mobility, expatriation, a transfer, the mission,
- the individual paths : the accompanying spouse, multicultural family, dual nationality, overseas studies and experiences, return to the country of origin…
Due to its multidimensional aspect, an intercultural situation requires particular attention to specific needs such as understanding cultural codes, the perception of sense, the overcoming of the language barrier, the social or professional integration, the balance between its own values and those of its environment.
Intercultural coaching allows to :
- concentrate on the interaction, of verbal and non-verbal communication,
- analyse problems of communication,
- adapt to the environment, overcome obstacles or the cultural barriers,
- determine decision-making aspects,
- choose and share a new culture,
- develop intercultural skills : be open to others, understand systems of reference, manage misunderstandings, construct a dialogue, develop empathy, cooperate, favour mutual experimentation to find solutions, stimulate creativity…
Intercultural coaching aims to recognize the differences, finding coherence in change, manage diversity and create synergy.
Intercultural competence is a slow and difficult process. It is not acquired by a simple transmission of knowledge, it is rather about social skills based on real-life experience, and in consideration of the implications of identity. Meier