Intercultural coaching: holding the space for it to emerge
what does it mean to hold the space for intercultural coaching?
Intercultural has become a word used by many but what does it really mean for coaching? While we coach, we follow our client who navigate through their thoughts and emotions, examining their behavioral pattern and looking for ways to improve or implement. In doing so, there is always an opportunity to bring culture into the discussion and ask the client if what they are sensing or experiencing comes from the culture or is a reaction to the culture, which culture? how many cultures? what do they feel about this development and if they are welling to navigate the challenge accompanying it?
The challenge in this approach is that the coach have to have high awareness of culture in play. It requires cultural intelligence and the ability to see through the lenses of different cultures. Nothing prepares you for this except that you develop that awareness. Its not about a specific cultural orientation or a geographical location where certain type of culture exists. Its a combination of all in play: your own culture(s) as a coach, the client own culture(s), and the organizational or context own cultural values.
The cultural values of could be a combination of several merging cultures. Thus, its not enough to learn the main culture pertaining to the geographical location where the coach and client are operating. The global transitions and movement or relocation is at its highest now and new mergers of multi cultures are arising with new generation that is not third or even fourth kid culture but more. The new generation is already out there working and leading, what are we going to do about this rapid change and demand?
I would encourage you as a coach to stay open and curious and ask the questions about culture.