International Communication Coaching
Creative Inclusive and Productive Teams Internationally
Who am I?
I’ve spent over 25 years coaching and training professionals in leadership and team communication, as well as business English. I’ve worked for commercial companies, the NHS, my own business consultancy and language training company.
My clients come from a wide range of sectors, professions and nationalities. But they all have one thing in common: they work in a multinational or global environment where business is regularly conducted across international borders and cultures, usually in English.
My research has shown that being able to work effectively in an international setting depends on more than English language skills alone. In fact, it depends on 5 key skills detailed in my model The Five Building Blocks of Inclusion in International teams.
Why is my model called the Five Building Blocks of Inclusion? Well not only am I totally convinced through my own experience, and from management and business research, that a diverse team which fosters inclusion can outperform non-diverse teams, but also through my own Doctoral research I have shown that multi-national teams should not take inclusion for granted. They need to pay attention to 5 key areas to ensure conditions are created where everyone can perform at their best. Those areas are Linguistic Collaboration, Empathy, Inclusive Mindset, Cultural Collaboration and Meta-level thinking.
By working with me and my team, we will provide a suit of team and individual coaching solutions to help create a high-performing collaborative team culture in an international team.
Every international team we work with is left with a positive legacy of inclusivity. Team members from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds will find their voice and know their value and impact. Our work contributes to diversity, equity and inclusion agenda by changing mindsets, opening eyes and giving pragmatic inclusive solutions to international teamwork.
Please view a recent article I’ve written for the Association for Coaching (on pages 52-53).
Available in Paperback & Kindle
What is an International Team and what are the key issues?
What do I mean when I say ‘international team’? It can be a team that works virtually across international boundaries, or is co-located but is multinational, multicultural and multilingual.
This team may be well-established but just feel they need to tweak their communication skills for higher performance, or they may be new to working together and finding that their usual communication styles are not working so well. There may also be a hesitancy, a common barrier to being yourself in an international team, caused by thoughts such as “I’ve never met anyone from this country before, I don’t know what I should and shouldn’t do and say”, or “I thought my English was great, but now it doesn’t seem to be working!” or “Building relationships with my new colleagues seems more difficult than normal, I wonder what I’m doing wrong?”.
The problems may also impact more than just individual and team relationships, sometimes they go organisation-wide and you may be thinking “We have serious communication blockages which are costing far too much, both from a monetary and emotional perspective” or “Everything used to work fine, but since the merger/takeover nothing is going smoothly”.
Increasingly, successful team performance depends on the ability to skilfully navigate both organisational and national cultural differences, as well as communicating clearly in English with international colleagues and clients.
If you’re part of a multinational team with sites in various countries – or your organisation is planning to expand into international markets – you need to make sure you are well prepared for the cultural and linguistic nuances of the environment you’re operating in.
How can I help?
Business is, first and foremost, about people: their differences, their varied backgrounds, national customs and cultural ‘norms’, their unique ways of doing business, forming relationships and interacting with each other.
Understanding, sensitivity and a readiness to adapt are all essential qualities when conducting business across boundaries and cultures. I can help organisations take advantage of global opportunities by equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in a dynamic multi-lingual landscape.
Being aware of linguistic and cultural differences can have a significant impact on the way you manage your team and conduct your business. By acquiring more intercultural understanding and new interpersonal skills, you will be far better able to avoid (potentially costly) misunderstandings and interact more sensitively and professionally.
Our work helps you see the world from other people’s viewpoints. By questioning preconceptions and embracing new communication styles, we’ll improve your ability to reconcile differences, build relationships, make decisions, influence behaviours and handle any potential conflicts with more assurance and confidence.
Does our work also involve language training and coaching? The answer is…. sometimes. Whether you’re a native or non-native speaker, we can also help you with your use of English as the global language of business, exploring essential language structures that are most appropriate for communicating with an international audience across a variety of communication media and business
So where do we start when working with organisations, teams and individuals?
We carry out thorough profiling and diagnostic assessment of your individual/business needs at the commencement of the course, allowing us to tailor the content to your specific requirements.
Our diagnostic and profiling tools include:
Another great diagnostic tool, and an immediate game-changer to communication and conversation in your international team, are our Inclusivo Cards:
These cards encourage frank, open and respectful conversation about communication and productivity challenges in international teams. You can book an Inclusivo session with us straight-away and it will only take around 2 hours of your team’s time. We can run sessions virtually and face-to-face. Please contact us to book an Inclusivo session.
International Communication Wheel
An example project
Each client and each programme is different, though our approach is always founded on the 5 Building Blocks of Inclusion in International Teams.
For a leadership team in Thailand we carried diagnostic observations of leadership meetings and used a team personality profiling tool as both a team building and diagnostic tool, a useful starting point for conversations about communication blockages and inclusion issues. From those two diagnostic activities, we then moved forward with training and coaching solutions which increased cultural awareness, improved communication, improved focus on team objectives and created a leadership strategy.
Could a consultancy that isn’t expert in international communication do some of that work, of course! But the difference with using international communication experts is that the whole range of communication matters can be addressed together in the one project including linguistic challenges, intercultural misunderstandings, unconscious biases, lack of leadership experience, fixed “my way is best” mindsets and seeing the world from only one perspective.
My values and credentials
By working with me and my team you can be assured that we walk and talk our values. Those values are:
- Equity and Fairness: giving everyone the same chances in life, levelling off and lifting up where necessary.
- Inclusion: loving to belong to a diverse team, knowing your voice will be heard, and that you can “dance at the party”.
- Love: loving others for their strengths and differences
- Pragmatism: Seeing the beauty in practical solutions that make an immediate difference
As well as a Doctor of International Communication, I also have a Masters in the same field. I am also a highly experienced and qualified and accredited Executive Coach (Association for Coaching logo here), and a licensed practitioner of Insights Discovery (Insights logo here) and licensee for THT’s 7 Dimensions of culture (logo and link here). I also hold business English teaching qualification. I am also a qualified Action Learning Facilitator, and a Chartered Member of the CIPD. My team members hold similar qualifications and are all experienced in coaching and training internationally.
Would you like a chat?
I hope this website has given you a good introduction to my work and my team’s approach. There is a range of options for moving forward with us, please select the option most suited to you below, complete the contact form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.