Coaching across Cultures is not a new brand of coaching, but coaching that sees a wider set of variables and does its job with a more holistic mindset. In Philippe Rosinski’s words, it is a “pragmatic humanism” that “unleashes people’s potential to reach meaningful and...
Coaching across Cultures is not a new brand of coaching, but coaching that sees a wider set of variables and does its job with a more holistic mindset. In Philippe Rosinski’s words, it is a “pragmatic humanism” that “unleashes people’s potential to reach meaningful and important objectives.” He has chosen to look at cultures not as forces to be reckoned with, but as forces to reckon with, to strategize with, and to benefit from.
While interculturaalist often treat corporate, institutional, and professional cultures as poor cousins to ethnic, national and regional cultures, Rosinski respects and works with the full range of cultural dynamics. Cultures are inseparable from the ever-changing sea of behaviors they produce.
How do we navigate the chop and swell of cultural difference? How can we leverage cultural knowledge to make the journey pay off and the ports of call more satisfying? Without creating new maps, Rosinski integrates current ones to steer lives of real people and organizations. With theory developed by Hall, Hofstede, et al, in the background, and guided by such practical compasses as the Cultural Orientation Indicator® (TMC Corp.), Rosinski plots a “Cultural Orientations Framework” (COF) to help the coach empower the coachee as they set sail for business and personal success.
Coaching across Cultures first describes each cultural dimension of the COF and gives examples and stories to bring it to life. Next, there are tips to leverage and exploit the the polarities and varieties of behaviors found in each dimension, along with advice on how to face real challenges.
Finally, coaching is an art, not a science. It is messy. It relies on instruments of all sorts, but less on their theoretical coherence with each other than on the skill and intuition of the seasoned coach in applying the right one at the right moment. The book’s subtitle, New Tools for Leveraging National, Corporate and Professional Differences is accurate. Such tools abound, including a Global Scorecard for holistically building and measuring objectives. In the last pages, appendices illustrate basic features of Transactional Analysis and Neuro-linguistic Programming, along with a coaching feedback process. The glossary and bibliography are brief and there is no index, but there is a wealth of footnotes.
The overall impact? Little by little, personal testimony and hands-on activities bring the reader to realize that he or she can embrace and use cultural polarities that seem to exclude each other at first sight. Being and doing, for example, or hierarchy and equality are not forced cultural choices, but available cultural options, not eternal laws, but timely mix-and-match strategies for working and living successfully.
This review is written not from a coach’s but from an interculturalist’s point of view. Coaching across Cultures adds to the growing sense that applied interculturalism relies on many disciplines. One of these is coaching. While Coaching across Cultures addresses on the corporate coach, it takes little fancy to see that the expertise it fosters applies far beyond the boardroom.