Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Friday, 8 March 2013

Coaching across cultures

A fascinating conversation today about coaching people from different cultures. We all had examples to share about different cultural norms - do all Italians need to talk volubly and gesticulate, do all Turks wander off in meetings, and do all Brits speak indirectly and use sarcasm to express their real feelings? Or are these just lazy stereotypes that we hide behind rather than see the individuality of the person in front of us?

Whether we know it or not, we all see the world through a particular perspective, conditioned in part by our cultural norms, and in part by our own personality types and experience. Usually that perspective is invisible to us - we inhabit our own assumptions and beliefs - and it is only when we meet a different norm that we realise how different our own world-view is. A good case for working with a coach from a different culture perhaps?

Philip Rosinski has done some interesting work on what he terms 'cultural orientations'. These are differing cultural assumptions which vary from culture to culture e.g how power is held or shared etc. If you have 5 minutes take Philip's (free) questionnaire if you want to find out more about your own cultural orientation.