Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sitting at home - working internationally

I work part time as an Executive Coach as a contractor for a consulting firm.  This is work I have done for years both full time and part time.  I was thinking though about how interesting it has been to work with clients who are in other countries - Japan, Taiwan, China, the Netherlands, and Mexico so far - and who are doing business in English rather than their first language.  I also work with clients all over the US.  Most of this work is done by phone from my home office although I do meet with each person once at a US location.

Each person and situation is different but what has been most different for me is learning a bit about the nuances of being a leader for a US based company in another country.  Sometimes the client is from the country where they are working; other times they are an expatriate from the US or somewhere else in the world.

I find the need to adjust my approach to these different situations a welcome new challenge.  I've always had to adjust the approach to the developmental needs and the individual's style, but this makes it much more complex and interesting for me.  I can't really imagine how challenging it must be for these individuals and they are all very successful and poised for advancement.  So they have mastered the challenge.  Hopefully I am too. 

I have traveled to European countries several times but not Latin America or Asia.  One of my sons spent two years living in Japan and my nephews and second cousins are living abroad or have done so.  I envy the ease with which they will be able to embrace the international working world.

Have you had any experience working across countries with cultures and/or languages quite different from yours?  What did you do to help yourself be successful?

2 comments:

  1. No, but I think it would be a wonderful experience. ~~Bliss

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My limited experience has been wonderful - and exhausting. I don't know how the people who do it all day long keep their energy level high.

      Delete