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Consulting, Training and Coaching

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Cross-Cultural Coaching

A coaching relationship is a dynamic partnership designed to support people as they take action to clarify and realize their visions and goals. It is an efficient and effective way to “actualize” learning toward success in both work and life, by supporting people as they deal “real-time” with their “real-world” professional and personal issues. For individuals (and their families) living and working globally, cross-cultural coaching can be especially useful. Coaching can be especially helpful for those facing specific challenges around global work and is particularly effective as a follow-up “next-step” after formal cross-cultural and global skills training. Our DFA “cross-cultural coaches” partner with individuals and small groups to support them as they apply the learning they received in their cross-cultural training to “real-life” global issues.

One of the benefits of coaching is its flexibility. In coaching there is no planned agenda, though there can and should be specific objectives. Our approach as coaches is to respond to the needs of the client as they arise. For individuals working globally, these needs can range from the personal to professional, and include:

  • assisting with the adjustment to specific difficulties faced by assignee and/or family transitioning into and adjusting to a “foreign” environment
  • working through cross-cultural conflict or negotiation issues with colleagues and associates abroad
  • managing foreign nationals on teams in work-related projects

Cross-cultural Coaching for Individuals

While all coaching relationships are customized, the following types of individual coaching arrangements are typical:

• Project Driven – A project manager is undertaking a particularly challenging and time-bound cross-cultural assignment and could use extra support and insight. Coaching would consist of weekly telephone sessions for the length of the project.

• Global Relocation – Perhaps one of your employees is moving countries, jobs, departments or all of the above, and facing critical adjustment concerns. Coaching can provide needed on-going support in orientation, cross-cultural understanding and managing change, for both international assignee and/or family members for the length of the assignment.

• Training Follow-Up –Adults learn best with ongoing support, repetition of concepts and when they can apply learned theoretical concepts to daily organizational challenges. The critical concepts covered in DFA ’s cross-cultural global effectiveness seminars gain added relevance and impact when participants partner with a coach as follow-up. Clients can arrange for three post-training sessions weekly (or as needed).

Individual coaching is typically conducted via telephone or internet or video, or in person. Virtual (telephone or web-based) coaching ideally can follow-on after an initial in-person meeting, though meeting in person at the outset is certainly not necessary, especially if the coaching is following in-person cross-cultural training. The typical coaching format for an individual is as follows:

a. INITIAL ASSESSMENT: A 2-hour session where issues are identified, goals set, and a coaching session schedule outlined to achieve the goals established.

b. INITIAL FOUR-SESSION COACHING SCHEDULE: A block of four one-hour sessions is scheduled and delivered. Each one-hour session is usually delivered once/week over a four week period, with the initial four sessions not extending beyond 60 days. At the end of the fourth session, we evaluate the status of the coaching, and additional sessions can individually be scheduled at that time, if needed.

Cross-cultural Coaching for Teams or Groups:

Groups or teams going on assignment or undertaking a project together can be effectively coached together, learning from and supporting one another.

We recommend team coaching in groups of no more than 5 or 6 participants. Typically, these groups meet initially for a full day session and then every two months for half-day sessions with an experienced coach. There are typically a total of about six sessions in all for each group. As with individual coaching, prior to the first session, a 2-3 hour assessment session is scheduled between coach and group in order to determine issues, identify goals, and set follow-up on-going coaching session schedules.

Participants come to each session with a real, current and important professional challenge that they would like to work on. Time is divided equally among members, focusing on a total of 5-6 issues per session.

Each participant defines a goal with respect to his or her challenge and then works with the coach and group to gain insight and skill with respect to how to proceed. The group is coached to both support and challenge the participant by asking open-ended questions and sharing experiences and ideas. Ultimately, the group provides a safe learning community in which both support and challenge can take place.

In between sessions, participants are encouraged to take action on their challenge and to reflect on what they are learning. Upon returning to the group, debriefing and discussion enable progress. Throughout the sessions, the process is reiterative with new challenges identified and previous learnings incorporated into their execution.

Global Training Programs

Project-focused, solution-oriented, DFA intercultural programs continue where others leave off. Designed not merely to raise awareness and sensitivity to intercultural issues, DFA training programs use the real-life problems your team deals with as the platform for developing action-plans that are immediately implementable, both by individual participants, and the organization, as soon as they leave the program. DFA programs do not only provide information: they create solutions, and are measured by their effectiveness in advancing your organization’s global development goals.

Interactive, behavior-oriented, DFA programs are definitely NOT information dumps. They are designed to not only change minds, but change behavior, enabling individuals to not only understand, but to act on their understanding. Programs are typically one to three days in length, and, through an exploration of the target culture via discussions, small group work, role-plays, videos, etc., challenge participants to see others, their own organization, and themselves, in new and positive ways. Every DFA program is led by a certified consultant, and assisted with target culture nationals and subject matter experts.

Always customized through our pre-workshop process of participant questionnaires and interviews, each program is tailored to the needs of the participants. We always discuss your goals with you ahead of time and follow-up in the evaluation and implementation process afterward to insure that the goals of every program have been measurably assessed and achieved. DFA programs are typically delivered on-site or at a convenient training facility of your choice. Finally, as befitting an organization specializing in global concerns, our worldwide network of trainers and consultants provides you with access to our services in most major world cities.

Consulting Services

Strategic consulting means designing solutions that directly meet your business goals, even if setting those goals is the first part of the consultation process. Training programs are often just one tactical component of a company’s larger strategic mix that DFA designs to effectively address your important globalization concerns. DFA ’s worldwide association of subject matter experts, local country nationals and experienced management trainers and consultants provide on-site targeted consulting when and where you need it.

Our consultants listen, analyze, and custom-design the interventions that most efficiently solve your problems. Whether it is help with the design of an overall corporate globalization strategy, the development and implementation of global human resource policies or the creation and administration of a global training curriculum for various levels within your organization, DFA consultants and trainers are there wherever and whenever they are needed, taking you from the problem to the solution.

Our Global Training Curriculum is a unique roadmap that we design specifically for your organization, producing a full range of cross-cultural competencies at every level within the organization. It is often the first step in our global consultation process, identifying the cross-cultural knowledge needs within your organization, and then creating an action-plan that insures the development, measurable and at a pace you control, of essential cross-cultural skills wherever in the organization you determine they are needed.

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