The next step takes the coachee on the journey towards a new mode of operation:
Step 2: Operating from One’s Core Values
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. Ayn Rand
If self-worth is based on external acknowledgement, expatriates might be in for disappointments. Inner balance and connection are the constants in a chaotic world.
What makes true leaders:
People who stand up when the going gets tough, who are in tune with themselves so they don’t blame others for what is happening. Assignees who find their life’s purpose within themselves show greater resilience in the face of uncertainty.
Having created more awareness about the expatriation process and the feelings related with it, the client is now able to step up and move into the first step to create a different life. When moving to a foreign culture, it is easy to adapt too much and to lose oneself.
Finding the right balance while remaining true to one’s core values and beliefs is critical. Defining core values and what really matters to an individual enables the client to enjoy the new culture and adopt new values while remaining true to himself.
Powerful coaching questions at this stage would be:
- What is it that truly matters to the client at this stage?
- What are the values that the client doesn’t wish to compromise?
- Which of the values that the client integrated are not in line with who he is?
Clarity about one’s own values is the backbone of a good life. Defining those values will create an openness and clarity about the new cultural values in the host country. Some of the new values can now be consciously integrated into one’s life. Other values may only be recognized and accepted, but not integrated. The client can make a conscious choice at this stage. Being fully aware of one’s own and other people’s values – even if they are very different – is an important step on the way to intercultural sensitivity (Bennett, 1993).
Step 3: Defining a Life Vision
Vision without action… is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. Joel Barker, Futurist
Reputable companies operate from a strong vision and they develop a business plan to verbalize that vision and align it with the situation and the available ressources. An individual should have a vision, too. A powerful vision that is grounded in one’s personal values.
Established tools to define clear objectives and identify priorities enable expatriates to stay focused and committed. Apart from using ‘The Wheel of Life’ to determine where in one’s life a coachee may not feel satisfied, it is also a vision building tool. People who set clear goals are more likely to be successful. Defining a vision that is solid yet flexible allows an expatriate to assess whether an assignment fits and whether it is necessary to adjust the vision. For couples and families, working on a joint vision makes them partners in the assignment and removes an important obstacle to assignment success.
Questions that can be asked at this stage are:
- How does the client want each life area to look like based on his top five values?
- What does the client want his life to look and feel like?
- How would the client’s life look like if he fully moved from a victim to a power mode?
Starting from this stage, it is important to hold coachees accountable and support them to be committed. Writing one’s thoughts and vision down enables the coachee to crystallize ideas. Expatriates recognize their accomplishments and priorities and disconnects become clear.
Step 4: Making Strong Decisions and Taking Action
Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. Keri Russell
As the coachee identified values and a vision for his life, it is time to support his journey towards fulfilling that vision. The coachee has to walk the talk. This requires strong decisions to experience true change and move towards more fulfilment. However, one cannot change a whole life at once. Through coaching, the client can take a look at his life vision and decide which life area he would like to change. Clear decisions will bring clarity and commitment.