Working one-on-one with the Aperian Global expert in the coaching sessions (and utilizing insights gained from the GlobeSmart learning platform) the executive learned about the differences between her cultures and the ones she would be working with – and what to expect on her assignment.
“That provided me with an understanding of where I fit in culturally versus the markets that I was looking to work in,” she said. “I was based out of the UK and would also work with the Nordic market – so I learned about the UK cultural background, along with Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.”
With the help of Aperian Global, the executive learned how to adapt her work style to both primary cultures she would be working with. For her primary audience in the UK, she learned how to interact with a work culture defined by calm and subtlety – a style very different from those in her native country.
“I realized early on that this was an entirely different cultural environment,” she said. “And my Aperian Global coach really helped me understand – and adapt – to that.”
Along with that, her Aperian Global coach went the extra step with helping her understand the egalitarian, “everyone has a voice,” non-hierarchy culture of the Nordic countries.
Her Aperian Global coach arranged for her to meet with an Aperian Global consultant based in one of the Nordic markets, giving her some productive insights into the culture.
“It was so potent,” she recalls. “The coach helped me understand just how powerful, for example, something as simple as a coffee break was to that culture. To have someone locally give that knowledge to you was fantastic.”
Over eighteen months, the executive and her Aperian Global coach worked together, spanning the length of her assignment overseas and her transition back home to the Middle East. Coaching highlights included:
At the core of the executive’s coaching was Aperian Global’s Global Readiness Development Assessment Process (GRDA) – a framework encompassing multiple assessment methods and sources of data, built on a half-century of multicultural research. The executive’s employer company makes wide use of the GRDA in the early stages of international assignments.
The GRDA includes:
As a result of the one-on-one coaching, the executive received valuable insight into the new cultures she would be working with – resulting in a seamless and successful overseas assignment.
“I truly had a first-hand, on-the-ground look into the different cultures,” the executive said. “I learned all of those little things that can make a huge difference in interactions – everything from collaboration techniques to making sure meetings go smoothly.”
As stated, the one-on-one training gave her a distinct leg up when it came to business interactions. She pointed out that her familiarity with different cultural work styles enabled her to craft working sessions and meetings that played to each culture’s strengths and preferences.
Along with that, she was able to let her insights “trickle-down” to fellow colleagues.
“It definitely gave us an overall competitive advantage,” she said.
Along with the smooth transition to a new working environment, the one-on-one coaching with Aperian Global helped the executive in her professional mindset. The executive identified several different positive elements from her coaching that she has applied to her subsequent career, including:
“At the end of the 18-month sessions, there was so much more I discovered about myself as a leader,” she said. “I looked forward to every interaction with my coach, as I knew I would come out stronger from every session and equipped to address the business and personal challenges I faced along the journey.”