Coaching, Facilitation and ProcessModeration in global cultural Contexts
Intercultural coaching, cross-cultural coaching
Intercultural facilitation, cross-cultural facilitation
Intercultural process moderation, cross-cultural process moderation
Intercultural conflict management, cross-cultural conflict management
Intercultural team building, cross-cultural team building
Intercultural team development, cross-cultural team development
identity, identity work, autobiographic work, biographic work
Intercultural change management, cross-cultural change management
Intercultural process-moderation, cross-cultural process-moderation, worldwork, open forum
Essentially, coaching is a non-directive approach to change management. As such, it can be used for change processes within groups, across groups, within or in between individuals. In its objectives (change and development) and in its non-directivity, it is similar to facilitation and process-moderation but it may differ in its methodology and cases of application.
The change processes evolving during and after coaching, facilitation or process-moderation are too multifold, unpredictable and often too personal to give a striking and all-representing example here. So we would like to try a simile. Please keep on reading:
“Nansen saw the monks of the eastern and western halls fighting over a baby cat. He seized the cat and said, "If (any of) you can say (a word of Zen), you can spare the cat. Otherwise I will kill it." No one could answer. So Nansen cut the cat in two.
That evening master Joshu returned and Nansen told him what had happened. Joshu thereupon took off his sandals and, placing them on his head, walked away. Nansen said, "If only you had been there, you could have saved the cat."
Why did Joshu put his sandals on his head? If you can answer this question with one word, you understand Nansen's efforts. If not, you are utterly in danger.
Had Joshu been there,
The opposite would have been done.
Joshu would have snatched the knife,
And Nansen would have begged for his life.”
So – did you find an unambiguous solution to the given mathematical equation above? Most probably “yes”. Did you find an unambiguous solution to Joshu’s behaviour? If not (yet), rest assured that your mind does want to find a solution – as it did in the case of the mathematical equation. An answer will eventually come. You’re in the midst of a process similar to those generated via coaching, facilitation & process-moderation!
Coaching Across Cultures is a Berlin-based enterprise whose objectives are to enable change and to improve and facilitate cross-cultural cooperation worldwide.
Grounded in the work, experience and insights generated by China Consultancy over the past ten years and developed by our involvement in coaching, facilitation and process-moderation, we found that under the new structure of China Consultancy and Coaching Across Cultures we now can more adequately meet today’s globalized realities and challenges in a way that best suits us, our competencies, our clients’ needs and our perceived role in the world.
When interacting with people from different backgrounds you’ll find that cultural differences and similarities will have an enormous impact on cooperation.
Culture referring to a national culture (culture in it’s “narrow sense”) is one concept to analyze ways of perception, thinking and reasoning, preference, approaches to cooperation, etc.. In our work at Coaching Across Cultures, we look at culture in a “broader sense” as to take into account other cultural markers as well.
Such cultural markers may be gender, profession, family background, habits, shared patterns of perception and behaviour, experience and the like. So the concept of “culture” is used as a point of departure for psychological work on change and improved cooperation of all sorts.
Using culture in a “broader sense”, Coaching Across Cultures works to enhance person-to-person and group-to-group cooperation both within and across the boundaries of established human “ingroups”.
We therefore provide psychological cross-cultural services such as change management (via coaching, facilitation and process-moderation), team building and conflict management to interested parties worldwide.
The given offers are meant to support individuals, enterprises, groups and institutions involved in national or international contexts, regional or local entities, on a business- or on a community level.
Coaching Across Cultures’ services are offered in English, German and Mandarin Chinese.
We do live in times of transition and change. For teams, enterprises, ethnic groups, nations, communities and individuals alike, these challenges may generate high pressure for adaptation. Long-proven patterns of behaviour in important areas of one's life do not have to be the best patterns of behaviour any longer. So "going on like before” may lead to malfunction, loss of competitiveness, frustration, enstrangement and self-doubt. So – how can we adapt and change?
In its essence, cross-cultural coaching is a non-directive approach to change management for small groups or single individuals. It is a combination of confidential dialogue and psychological intervention in which the Coachee's concrete objectives and strategies for realization are jointly elaborated and alternative ways of behaviour are tried out. The way of coaching – either working on a more factual level or alternatively with a rather psychological approach – will depend on your personal preferences and the objectives you want to achieve.
Cross-cultural facilitation is concerned with all aspects necessary to enable productive and impartial group processes. It hereby caters to the needs of the given group in their decision-making processes. Neither does facilitation lead a group, nor does it try to distract, entertain or teach. It strives to support the respective group to manage its change process by itself. It is true facilitation when the group in the end has the feeling that it mastered change completely on its own.
There are principles structuring Organizations which – openly stated or not – influence the self-image and behaviour of that very organization and its members. Such organizational principles are often part of polarizing Dyads, as in, e.g., “hierarchy” on one hand, and “self-organization” on the other.
On grounds of their history of origin (“myth”) and other influencing factors, organizations often tend to identify more with one side of a dyad, whereas the other side stays underrepresented. Whereas you’d suppose a more hierarchical principle of organization within administrations, the military or within organized crime, you could assume a stronger inclination towards self-organization within NGOs, communitary action groups, and “encounter-groups”.
Both approaches are legitimate and, essentially, „good“. But in both cases, voices and manifestations of the respectively underrepresented pole of the dyad are – consciously or not – pushed aside and often suppressed, subject to prohibition and sanctions. But they simply won’t go away. They will continuously represent themselves in all-new manners, often perceived as “disturbances”, “mistakes”, “resistance”, “opposition”, “conflicts” etc.. It takes a tremendous amount of energy and power to work against these latent manifestations.
Now, this is where process-moderation and worldwork come into play. Under this paradigm we assume that latently recurring signals from the underrepresented pole of a dyad indicate potential for development and change for the organization, that they represent valuable information and resources that should be raised and used rather than continuously stay marginalized.
Worldwork has developed methods and interventions with which an equal joint search for new trails can take place. New approaches are elaborated, potentials raised and participative creativity realized. This is how change and development are initiated.
Open Change Forums are a method to ponder, initiate, accompany or look into cultural change. They are facilitated group-interventions which aim to make visible and work on concrete and latent topics within the participants’ group on a personal and group-level.
Primary objective of Open Change Forums is not to directly resolve disputed questions but to generate a changed perception and convergence on topics formerly seen as disturbing, resistant or conflictive.
We offer our Open Change Forums as public as well as organization-internal interventions.
Experience shows that in recent years more and more multi-national and pluri-cultural teams have formed around the globe. How can your team be forged into a powerful and reliable unit? The core objective of our cross-cultural team building is to have the team establish common ground from within and to define and agree behavioural, working and cooperation techniques that the people involved accept. Coaching Across Cultures facilitates multi-national and pluri-cultural team building workshops worldwide.
Coaching Across Cultures’ cross-cultural conflict management mediates between varying cultural perceptions, concepts, ideas and interests. The aim for the conflicting parties is to find possible ways to diffuse or resolve the potential for conflict in a way that is acceptable to the parties involved. This may entail approaches of personal, intra-group or group-to-group work.
As coaches, facilitators and process-moderators, Coaching Across Cultures does not solve problems or conflicts at hand. We’ll be there to accompany the disputing parties and, if appropriate, enable secure settings for debate and argument. We do provide settings in which change can develop. Again, these services are offered to interested parties worldwide.
Coaching Across Cultures’ network of coaches, facilitators and process-moderators is a living thing. It is there to jointly handle projects, and is, as such, a business strategy as well. It is there for continuous learning and supervision amongst ourselves, too, since innovation and creativity are essential to our work. It is there, last but not least, to explore our own personal processes and deepen our understanding of what we ourselves bring into the change management services offered here.
Further information concerning the above services as well as Coaching Across Cultures’ references, previously run coaching, facilitation & process-moderation, evaluation of feedback, as well as the members of our network can be obtained via the following contact data: