In the globalized marketplace, many organizations identify needed skills throughout the world and deploy high-potentials. This allows them to effectively and rapidly staff projects in emerging markets and to build important international experience in future senior managers. The sad truth however, is that half of all international assignments fail. Individuals leave assignments early, often because of the emotional difficulties associated with transition stress. When this happens, the organization’s loss is substantial. That is why companies need to consider investing in Coaching Services for Expatriation and Repatriation.
Executives on international assignments need emotional support when leaving and when returning. Transition stress does occur not only when leaving, but also in the process of returning. Relocations are challenging life events.
Globally mobile professionals and their families go through distinct phases of adaptation to changing environments:
The first weeks and months abroad are experienced as exciting. There is much to be discovered and the new environment is seen with a certain enthusiasm.
The reality of loss of one’s former place hits and the daily grind begins to catch up. Most expats begin to notice painfully just how different life in the host country really is. They are not yet feeling part of the new place. Often feelings of loneliness, isolation and homesickness are predominant.
International assignees begin to move emotionally towards the new place and regain a sense of appreciation. They learn to understand the different way of life in the new culture.
Finally expats understand the similarities and differences between their home country and the host country. They regain a sense of belonging and are able to participate fully and comfortably in the host culture. They gain a sense of confidence and begin to feel at home in their host country.
Returning home after a longer period of living abroad confronts many expats with nostalgia for the expat lifestyle and difficulties in readjusting to the way of life in one’s home country. Friends and family may need some time to accept that the indivdual has changed.
Intercultural Transition Coaching can help you to work through transition stress and culture shock and to get your head straight when the pressure to deliver at work increases.
The ideal Coaching format to support professionals, when they are deployed to another country for a longer assignment clearly is Online-Coaching. Online-Coaching has the distinct advantage of enabling collaboration across national borders.