FAQs Women Abroad

Develop your teams’ intercultural skills

How do you give your distance training or coaching sessions?

The individual coaching sessions are virtual. Where possible, the first and last sessions are face to face. Training sessions lasting one to four hours (2 x two hours) are given virtually. In the interests of easier interaction with and among the participants during intercompany sessions, I limit these to four participants. The public webinars offer a forum for more participants.

How can I manage my teams abroad?

That depends whether or not the executive in question manages virtual teams, regardless of the pandemic which has meant that many teams are operating virtually, even within the same country. I have devised a training model for virtual teams abroad. This training course can be adapted to meet your specific needs, taking account of the multicultural context of the team, the situation and the team leader. I can also travel to provide training on location.

What is specific about your program?

My program is designed primarily for managers living and/or working abroad. It aims to give them the tools they need to adapt quickly to cultural changes and to communicate effectively in a multicultural environment.

In particular, I help women embarking upon their career with their personal and professional development abroad. My total program comprises six half-day training sessions, each of which has a specific objective.

In the interests of easier interaction with and among the participants during intercompany sessions, I limit these to four participants. This is a specific program. It can be personalized and is therefore very flexible.

The choice and number of courses are determined by manager’s international experience, how quickly the challenges have to be met and their final goals. So my program is very flexible in terms of time. It can be personalized to fall in with manager’s foreign travel imperatives and personality. My program helps them to develop gradually to a higher level.

What makes you stand out from your competitors?

My flexibility, because I work on a self-employed basis, calling on partners as and when required.

My experience of living abroad in Africa (Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria) and now in Luxembourg has helped me to become receptive to cultural diversity and in particular to Africa. It has also increased my passion for interpersonal relations and foreign cultures.

Je reconnais que l’adaptation culturelle est un processus individuel et graduel qui ne se met pas en place en un seul clic. En d’autres termes, je considère à la fois les aspects culturels et personnels : non seulement le pays où vous devez interagir mais aussi la personnalité de la personne que j’accompagne. J’approfondis les préférences culturelles et comportementales de la personne, ses valeurs, ses motivations et j’aide le coaché à les mettre en perspective avec la culture cible. Très utile et perspicace.

I can help them to adapt quickly and profitably.

What results can I expect and when?

Your senior executives are better placed to achieve their objectives and meet their deadlines. The total program comprises six half-day training courses and in theory runs for 12 weeks, with a course every two weeks.

Why did you choose to work in the field of intercultural coaching?

Ever since I was a teenager, I have been fascinated by discovering new cultures on other continents and by opening up my mind to new ideas. After university, I went to Nigeria for the first time. I was 27 years old and felt completely overwhelmed, bewildered and lost. When I lived in Egypt, I slowly came to understand that, to communicate with people from a different culture, I needed to move out of my comfort zone.

From then on, I began to revisit my own points of view and put them into perspective so as to broaden my awareness to embrace other ideas. This proved incredibly enriching. Having lived in Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria on two occasions and now in Luxembourg, and started up my company in four countries, I realized that, apart from my immediate family, no-one was expecting me anywhere, not even in my own country.

That led me to feel that my experience of living and working abroad could become a specific advantage to help other expats and managers in other countries. It became clear to me that I could develop an intercultural program that would prove useful for people like this.

What prompted you to target women embarking upon a career abroad in particular?

With hindsight, I would have appreciated being able to share my experience or listen to other women abroad talking about their experiences. I think that would have enabled me to put things in perspective and find my way more quickly. I would also have like to have been assisted, to have had more support when I first started living abroad in a cultural context so very different from the one I was accustomed to.

In addition, I became aware that women did not fulfil the same roles everywhere in the world. That they often had to make an extra effort and accomplish more to be able to assert themselves, gain respect, take on a leadership role, especially in patriarchal or traditional societies.

It is not always easy for young women to decipher unspoken social codes. To know what is expected of them in terms of behavior and attitude. What is more, such codes are found in both civil and professional spheres. 

Thanks to their capacity for open mindedness, their sense of connections and service, the need to feel useful and a high level of perfectionism, women can prove to be a driving force, facilitators for change, complementing the other more specific skills of their male counterparts.

Soutenir les jeunes femmes qui partent en mission à l’international peut a fortiori leur donner cette chance de prendre conscience de ces puissantes dimensions personnelles grâce à cette mise en perspective qu’offre une expérience à l’étranger. Si elles sont bien accompagnées, cette expérience à l’international peut devenir une réelle source d’enrichissement personnel et de développement professionnel au service de l’entreprise.

Car développer une conscience culturelle, s’adapter au changement, créer la confiance, communiquer dans une autre culture prend du temps et n'est pas automatique. Dans ce sens, je pense que Women Abroad peut apporter des pistes de réflexion et des réponses. 

What guarantees do you offer?

The guarantee works like this: if you are not satisfied with my training courses and if the tools that I give your executives have not helped them to adapt more easily to cultural changes one month after their course, then I will give you a full refund.

How can you help executives in a culture that is not familiar to you?

Step by step, I am building a network of partners who could help me in countries with which I am less familiar.

Why should I train executives who already have international experience?

Avoir une expérience internationale ne signifie pas que vous pouvez vous adapter partout de la même façon. Des comportements et attitudes acceptés dans une culture ne fonctionnent pas nécessairement dans une autre. L’agilité culturelle peut devenir, avec le temps, l’apprentissage et la volonté d’évoluer dans ce sens, une sorte de réflexe qui vous fait temporairement mettre votre logiciel mental culturel spontané en pause pour mieux évaluer et vous ajuster au logiciel mental culturel d’un partenaire étranger. Cela ne veut pas dire pour autant que vous vous oubliez !

With more experienced managers, I can also work on wider, strategic issues such as how to integrate change and manage complexity in a world that is more open, diversified, multiple, even fragmented.