A Coaching Model Created by Masami Kanaguri
(Business Development in/with Asia/Asian, JAPAN)
Coaching Model designed for globally challenging Expatriates
As a performance maximizer of global business leaders, I often interface with various expatriates. Although they have excellent skills, experience and education, majority of them are stuck. Most of them are struggling to effectively utilize their excellent competencies in their work places. I can relate to them because I was in a similar situation as an expatriate in Europe. They tend to be overwhelmed and uncertain on whether things are going the right way. It is like a marathon runner wearing an eye mask. You know you have a goal and need to get there but can’t find the route to get there.
Why is this typically observed? I believe this is because of neither their lack of competencies nor low motivations but because of poor relationship building with their 2 main stakeholders: People in H.Q. and in the local site. Often people in H.Q. require targets, improvements, changes based on what they see from their side but do not deeply consider what problems there could be in order for local site to achieve the requirements. Typically, people in H.Q are not fully aware of political situations, environmental legislations, labor laws, cultural norms and etc. in the specific region. Therefore, people in Local Site often show strong resistance to the requirements as some requirements from H.Q. appears to be illogical, unfair, risky and unreasonable.
By using the below described coaching model: ‘’ The Powerful Transformational Cycle’’, Expat coaches can help all the struggling but highly potential expatriates build engaging and trusting relationships with these two key stakeholders and create high performances for the corporates’ growth.
Transformation 1 – Trust building with H.Q.
In order to maximize the business performances in Local Site, Expatriate needs to take the role of good ‘’Transformer’’. The higher/lower voltage sent from H.Q. need to be transformed by him/her to the level that fit to the local site.
In this stage, Coach supports Clients (Expats) to identify what information to share and what should be mutually agreed with H.Q. for future growth/success of the Local Site. Coach will ask Clients what he/she thinks the key person in H.Q. knows and does not know, or should know or does not have to know. The powerful questions can be:
- In order to earn good support and understanding from the people in H.Q., what do you think you should start sharing with them?
- What should you ‘not’ share with them?
- By sharing such information/voices, what kind of support do you want from them?
- In order to grasp their attention more firmly, what sort of data, statistics, evidences can you provide to them?
- When it comes to X matter, who is the key person in H.Q. and how you can elicit supports from him/her?
In this stage, visualizing, power listening, releasing judgement, creating awareness skills are appropriate tools to use.
Once you build trust with people in H.Q. and let them be aware of how your environment is like, it is much easier to set reasonable or even challenging goals for Local Site. .Relationship building with H.Q. is crucial to establish rational target and maximize the dynamics of corporate performance.
Transformation 2 – Gap Identification and Action Planning.
Once Client sets up mutually agreed target with H.Q., next step is to think about how to achieve it. Client knows what the target is at this stage but is not clear about the process of achieving it. At this stage, Coach helps Client identify where they (himself/herself or the local site) are and what actions that need to be taken in order to achieve the targets. To dig down the action steps, the coach also helps client get clear ideas about who will do what, what need to be investigated, by when X needs to be done.
Powerful coaching questions might be
- On a scale of 0 to 10 (10 is the situation where all the targets are achieved), which score do you mark to your(his/her or the local site’s) current situation?
- What needs to be improved/changed/remained to reach the target?
- In order to achieve the target, what resources do you already have and what are missing?
- What can you do alone and what KPIs do you impose to yourself?
By when do you expect to complete them?
- What are the tasks that need to be allocated to local staff? What are in their KPIs?
By when do you expect to complete them?
- In order to take X actions, any possible constraints from political and legal
Identifying where you are and what need to be done as concrete as possible. Scale questioning, SMART goal setting would effectively work in this stage.
Transformation 3 – Team Building with Local Staff
While Client conducts actions for the tasks to be done alone based on the SMART goals created on the previous stage, he/she also discusses about the expected KPIs and SMART goals with the team.
In other words, it is time for the Client to show his/her leadership to local staff and motivate local staff in order to create a high performing team. Coach supports Client to enhance his/her leadership and help him/her to make an ideal team.
In addition to leadership, another challenge for Expats is how well you increase his/her cultural competencies.
In a cross cultural environment, it is often said the way local staff are motivated is different from your expectations. For example, Indians (in general) find their positions/job titles to be very important but Scandinavians (again, in general) find the time they spent with their family is much more important than their positions/jot titles. This difference often attributes to their cultural values. If Client knows local staff’s cultural values, he/she can effectively motivate them. Some would be very motivated by getting higher titles/ more authorities. Some may appreciate if you offer more vacation days to spend with their family. As an Expat coach, it is important how well you support your client to realize the gap between his/her cultural values and Local Staff’s. The effective way to start is for the Coach to recommend to the Client and his/her key Local Staff to take some of major cross cultural assessments such as Itim international’s Culture Compass, Cultural Intelligence Center’s CQ assessment or Richard Lewis’ The Lewis Model (Not sure who supplier is. Anyone help!) , and see the numerical differences in their cultural values/norms/perceptions.
In order to enhance Client’s leadership & Cross Cultural Competencies and finally build a highly motivated and performing team, Coach supports Client by asking powerful questions such as
For Leadership Enhancement
- What kind of team do you want to create? What kind of energy there are? How do you fill in their energy?
- To be a good role model, what you can do for them?
- How do you support local staff to visualize the successful future?
- In case he/she(local staff) is stuck, what support you can give?
For Enhancement of Cross Cultural Competencies
- Comparing to your and his/her(local staff) assessment result, what kind of communication styles effectively work to motivate him/her?
- Comparing to your and his/her(local staff) assessment result, what could be the pitfalls that lead you to miscommunicate with him/her. How can you prevent from that occurring?
- Based on his/her (local staff) assessment result, what kind of reword is appreciated by him/her. And how do you tell him/her?
Visualization, Structuring, Mindfulness and Appreciative inquiry might be some of the tools that could be useful.
Well suited leadership and high level of Cross Cultural Competency are the key that expatriates succeed in building a highly motivated and performing team in Local Site.
Transformation 4 – Self Reflection
Based on the SMART goals Client set for him/herself and agreed with local staff, now it is time to review performance. At this stage, Coach & Client together review the progress, the gaps still remaining and next actions steps to get even better.
Typically questions asked by the Coach at this stage may be:
- What have you and your team has accomplished?
- What do you acknowledge yourself/your team?
- What was the strong wins you and your team have got?
- What did not go well? What do you think was the cause?
- On a scale of 0 to 10 (10 is the situation where all the target is achieved), which score do you mark to your(his/her or the local site’s) current situation?
- In order be 10(all target achieved), what do you think you and your team need to improve, change and unchanged?
What is critically important as a Coach is to acknowledge small (even tiny) progresses and celebrate together with Client, and support him/her to be more confident, to gain more energy and to grow! so that the second round will surely bring higher results. These 4 transformation stages are followed endlessly as long as Client wishes to be better, as long as Client believes in better future, as long as Client believes in success.
Short Introduction of the Writer:
Masami is an internationally experienced coach, trainer and consultant who has a strong passion in supporting your success in a multinational business environment.
His international career started as a Managing Director of a Japanese electric material company in Denmark where more than 10 different nationalities were employed. Under the diversified environment, he strove to enhance employees’ competency levels in order to create a competitive manufacturing entity and be able to supply highly reliable products constantly and in a timely manner to the European market.
Currently, he works as a HRD consultant in one of the leading training companies in Tokyo and endeavors to globalize clients' human recourses by designing, coordinating and implementing effectively customized training programs.
Concurrently, he coaches individuals privately. Leveraging on his international exposure and experience, he supports global leaders to expand their horizons and maximize their potentials in a multi-national corporate environment.