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Intercultural Training and Coaching - why?

"In an important development project with Americans and Germans serious conflicts arose after a short while: "The Americans are not willing to share their knowledge and know-how!" said the Germans. The Americans, however, saw this completely differently: "The Germans never ask and show far too little initiative." The list of difficulties went on and the work climate was poisoned by arguments and permanent conflict in spite of initial support.

(Schroll-Machl, 1995, S. 203)

When in Rome do as the Romans do...

The above mentioned scenario might look like an "exaggerated nightmare". I've experienced the challenges of intercultural coincidences in my everyday business life quite often myself. Every time I started a new foreign assignment I was very enthusiastic at the outset, looking forward to interesting tasks and new experiences in different European, American or African countries.

I wanted to make a difference to my company and to move forward.
From a professional point of view, I was well prepared and equipped with a lot of experience from my home country. Despite that, I had to cope with quite a few difficulties which took away my initial enthusiasm. Notorious unpunctuality, keeping commitments, unstructured operational procedures are just a few examples which made co-operation difficult and it took a lot of time and energy on both sides to resolve basic differences in mindset and perception. From this sort of experience, which accompanied my international career, I could gain a lot of practical intercultural knowledge.

Yours sincerely

Karin Schwesig