The new normal
As someone well acquainted with the intercultural world and with what it takes to coach successful teams, international teams coach Linda Berlot is firmly convinced that inter-cultural intelligence is absolutely essential to team-coaching in today’s day and age, even for the most seasoned and successful coaches.
Coaching in a monocultural environment is simpler, truly less complex—and in that sense, easier to do, and to do well. Most or all of the team are savvy about certain cultural norms, so it is a simpler, easier task to discern problem points and to coach in those situations, because the basic fundamentals of those situations are generally understood by all involved, and do not require explanation or highlighting.
In an intercultural setting, however, everything needs to be spoken about; everything needs to be surfaced; much needs to be highlighted or explained. Too often, problem points are not identified and/or are not addressed—due to lack of awareness, or low trust. The longer they go unacknowledged, the more any remaining trust erodes.
In today’s globalized world, Linda says, an intercultural team is the new normal. There is a growing demand for coaches with the capacity to help intercultural teams navigate cultural differences in order to work together productively. Thus, inter-cultural intelligence is key to laying a foundation for high-performing teams.
Communication is more than just talk
Experienced coaches of monocultural teams may feel proficient in facilitating profitable conversations that diffuse or reconcile conflict within a monocultural team—after all, communication is key!
However, in an intercultural context, trying to solve an issue at merely a communication level is not necessarily enough, because it is “communication” (sincere though it may be) that often obscures or hides underlying issues and exacerbates them. Even the most accomplished coaches need training in inter-cultural intelligence so that they can swiftly identify and properly manage those deeper cultural issues that accompany any multicultural context.
It can be freeing to acknowledge that a specific issue stems from a cultural gap rather than just a communication gap. Recognizing a cultural root to a problem frees the trained coach to handle that problem at a much deeper level, more efficiently and with longer-lasting benefits for the entire team.
KnowledgeWorkx educates and empower coaches to be as well equipped as possible for this monumental task of melding intercultural teams together and, in turn, helping those teams to duplicate themselves, developing inter-culturally intelligent leaders and entire teams who will repeat the process again and again.