Author Archives: Angie Weinberger

I did not really go into rehab but I guess I was close to a mental overload that showed in the following ways: I would go to the kitchen, start making pasta for dinner, go to my laptop…30 Minutes later someone nearly calls the fire brigade and I’m eating overcooked pasta.

Then in a time where work really picked up in my business and I had to follow a tough plan in order to manage all my work snow fell early November.

I still needed winter tyres. You have to understand that this is an obligation in Switzerland not a choice. If you are caught with summer tyres when the snow is already on the road the police can fine you. So in my lunch break on a day where my hubby stayed at home feeling unwell I’m trying to juggle housework and my other commitments. Then I remember the winter tyres and instead of checking the Internet via laptop I get frustrated trying to make an appointment over my i-phone.

I could not find the phone number. Then smack. An act of aggression. I smashed my phone on the floor. Been there?

The touch screen did not work any more.

“I am ruined. My life is over.” (Big red drama queen alert)

Lesson learnt: The touch screen is as sensitive as a human.

I noticed how much I depend on my phone within the next 24 hours. I had to buy an alarm clock. I did not have access to my bank accounts anymore. I did not know how I should find a new venue. I was looking out of the window. I read the newspaper.

Not being reachable had a few bonus points though. I got through with my plans and had a very productive day. I did not constantly check my phone. I did not read Twitter and Facebook. I opened Skype only for calls. I reviewed a lot of documents that urgently needed a review. I worked on my website. I watched a girl hugging a big teddy bear outside a pharmacy and she made me smile.

I listened in to people’s conversations. I felt calmer and less stressed. I did not feel that I had to read all my emails. I did not accept meetings changes other than cancellations. My assistant handled all official calls. I noticed that I can rely on her. I asked that she should set up meetings in person rather than making me call people. I expected people to accept that I am not available all the time.

I felt a little disconnected  with the buzz but a lot more connected with my heart.

I laughed and smiled more. I found a phone shop without navigation. I tried to remember my diary instead of checking everything twice. I accepted that I might run late and will not be able to tell anyone. I worked a whole week without phone. I don’t have a landline so I was getting worried about emergencies. It was ok but on Saturday I bought a new phone and a cover to protect it.

These days I remind myself to take breaks and to use a few analogue ways of communication such as a paper notebook. I helps me keep an overview about my projects and accomplishments. I delete apps such as Facebook on occasion so that I do not use every “free” minute to check what’s going on. I allow slow response times and we stopped having electronic devices in the bedroom, since we have an old-fashioned alarm clock now. Sleep has improved.

...and a fresh start in 2015...
…and a fresh start in 2015…

Dear Clients and Friends,

We teach others about improving intercultural communication and we want to be role models in our behaviour. That’s not always easy. Here are my seven principles for effective intercultural communication:

1) I try harder and show more patience.
2) I watch my conclusion from other angles.
3) I am more compassionate.
4) I give people a third and fourth chance.
5) I trust even if I had been hurt before.
6) I listen to my heart.
7) I speak slow and use simple language.

As we enter the contemplative holiday season think about this: Who deserves a fourth and fifth chance in your life?

Reach out to this person.

Send a sign of your love.

To all of you we wish a wonderful holiday season and a hopeful start into the New Year 2015.

With warm regards

Angie Weinberger with Ankit, Jeannine, Nabeha, Monika and Usama

PS: We will close our office from 18 December to 18 January 2015. In case you need an emergency consultation please email to angela@globalpeopletransitions.com. I will get back to you as soon as I can.


The idea of the Intercultural Coach is fairly new. I know around three books on “intercultural coaching”. The best one has been written by Gesa Kraemer and Kirsten Nazarkiewicz. Gesa and Kirsten were ten years ago where I wanted to be now. They were intercultural coaches already when no one knew what that meant.

While the term “Intercultural Coach” seems to have meaning in Germany it is not commonly known in Switzerland. There are different approaches to “intercultural coaching” and the term “interculturalist” is not used in Switzerland a lot. What we do is coaching professionals through an intercultural transition ideally improving their effectiveness by increasing intercultural competence on different levels. In our business, it means coaching in an intercultural transition context or coaching of global managers.

We integrate developing intercultural intelligence and effectiveness into all our programs as we feel it is a key competence for global leaders, in client service and global team performance. For our client selection, it means that we value intercultural diversity.

Why it can sometimes be a burden to be an intercultural coach

The Swiss culture in my view tends to value the opposite. It’s based on excluding rather than including. If you look at how “Switzerland” was founded it is very obvious why the people learned through generation to protect each other from the enemies outside. What started with the Ruetlischwur in 1291 is still in the mindset of the culture. (I call this concept “The Circle of Trust” in my best Robert de Niro-Voice).

The other reason is that in my personal life I spend time with people from different cultural backgrounds. The multitude of experiences and lifestyles sometimes clashes. There are situations in my life where I have to get up and leave a discussion because I cannot handle it emotionally. It often happens when differing religious and political views are at the table. While I consider myself open and tolerant I have a strong value-based attitude that is biased towards “Germanic” logic and values. My approach can get in my way. I get frustrated when clients or friends have a different approach.

As most people, I tend to overestimate my intercultural sensitivity and I am not as great in this topic when I get under pressure. As most of us, I fall back into my “cultural default” (citing Sundae Schneider-Bean, another outstanding intercultural coach, and trainer) when under stress.

 

Seven Principles of Intercultural Effectiveness

What I have learned over the years working across cultures that we have a lot more potential to be compassionate without judging. We just need to learn to reevaluate our conclusions and judgments. We need to give people a fourth and fifth chance and we need to accept them how they are. Then we are true humans, we are able to forgive and we’ll have improving performances in our global teams.

When I am asked in a coaching or training: “So what do you do about that?” I have to say that I try and fail or in most cases I eventually succeed if I follow those seven principles.

1) I try harder and show more patience.

2) I watch my conclusion from other angles.

3) I am more compassionate.

4) I give people a third and fourth chance.

5) I trust even if I had been hurt before.

6) I listen to my heart.

7) I speak slow and use simple language.

Those Seven Principles of Intercultural Effectiveness have been translated into visual cards and can be ordered from us (either for online or print). Email me.

Kind regards

Angie Weinberger

 

 

Read also:

 

 


This week you are finally allowed to open your “Samichlaus Surprise Säckli”. It’s not a Porsche, but I believe it will make you a lot happier.

(drum roll)

Global People Transitions GmbH proudly presents

**The Global Mobility Workbook – A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing International Assignments**

We wrote this workbook for you.

We offer it at a special price of USD 9 (or equivalent in your country) so you can buy it as a present for everyone who deals with international assignments. There will also be a Kindle countdown deal in the UK and US from 24 December onwards.

The ebook contains five parts.

Part 1: The World of Global Mobility.
We explain trends and classify international assignments according to the drivers and show you how to design the international assignment business case. We explain how to integrate the assignment in succession planning.

Part 2: Making it happen.
This is about the operational implementation of international assignments explaining different assignment types, compensation and policy approaches, roles and responsibilities, compliance and working with third-party providers.

Part 3: The Assignee Spouse and Experience.
Another focus is on the process expatriates and their spouses or life partners go through both on a technical but also emotional level. This includes safety and health of expatriates and their families.

Part 4: Developing your Global Mobility Career.
Global Competency is presented as a key component in the development of Global Mobility Professionals. We explore the areas in which your knowledge and skills can be developed.

Part 5: Case Studies and Tasks.
The seven case studies from our daily practice serve to understand Global Mobility challenges in the real world. You will complete a total of eleven tasks, learn technical terms and find useful links.

The ebook is short and concise so you really don’t need to struggle through a lot of academic or other lingo.

You’ll find the book on Amazon around the world. Find the book on Amazon.com or http://www.amazon.de/Global-Mobility-Workbook

ISBN: 978-3-9524284-0-5

Looking forward to your reviews on Amazon!

Kind regards

Angela Weinberger

& GPT – Team

PS: If you are still looking for a poem to read to Samichlaus —>> try this poem and read it out loud.

 

If you are a Global Mobility Professional, intercultural coach or a line manager you probably already sense that out colleagues in Human Resources are often overwhelmed with international assignments, business trips and expats in general.

They need your expertise and it’s great to be in expert. Expertise does not develop in one year though. It takes a life-time.

We believe in taking one step at the time and learning to do stuff yourself. That’s why I have written “The Global Mobility Workbook -A step by step Guide to Managing International Assignments”.

GM Workbook Cover High Res
#GMWORKBOOK

Because I know your struggles and I want you to shine. AND I like to build from scratch. You can break down the complexity of international assignments when you look at the parts, pieces and process.

After reading the book you should be able

  • to run your international assignments in a strategic way,
  • develop a metric for international assignment success,
  • sort out or develop your assignment policy and be more compliant,
  • have a clear structure on how you can support international assignees and their spouses through the assignment process by providing a worthwhile experience to them
  • develop your competencies according to a career plan as a Global Mobility Professionals
  • know where to go with further questions.

It’s a bit like IKEA. You break it all down into it’s part and learn to build it from scratch.

You can start by checking out all blog posts in the category “global mobility” on our blog.

Kind regards
Angie Weinberger

If you like those posts please become a member of our “Global People Club” now. For all of you who join us before the year end the membership will be free for your lifetime.

It’s best if you use a personal email ID as you might be moving jobs and countries a few times in your life.