News: Lack of preparation stalls cross-cultural mentoring

Many multinational mentoring programmes are at risk because employers fail to think strategically, adapt their approach to local cultures, or offer participants adequate cross-cultural training beforehand.
These were the key messages emerging from contributions to the multinational mentoring stream in the European Mentoring & Coaching Council’s (EMCC) first ever mentoring e-conference on 16-18 January.
David Clutterbuck, co-founder of the EMCC, said many organisations fail to change. “One of the mistakes I have seen commonly is for the headquarters of a multinational to assume that what works [fits] culturally in the home country is the right way to do it everywhere else. This cultural imperialism often leads to conflict and the abandonment of very effective local programmes.”

Adina Tarry, director of Rich Answers International, who has lived and worked in seven countries, and works with multinationals, said she has never seen a cross-cultural competence development programme precede mentoring, for example. She said businesses have a limited understanding of what cross-cultural experience, awareness, competency and sensitisation are, and do not appreciate that specific preparation is needed.

News: Coach sails

Clipper world race for H2O children’s charity. Despite never having sailed before, Terezia Koczka, is taking to the high seas in the Clipper Round the World Race to raise funds for charity. Executive coach Koczka is rising to the challenge, both to celebrate her 60th birthday and to encourage support for the H2O programme, which helps gives access to education to disadvantaged children in a rural, poor area of her home country, Hungary. The Clipper race is unique in the sailing world. Apart from the skipper, none of the participants are professional sailors – 40 per cent, like Koczka, have […]

News: Government portal helps SMEs find mentors

A UK government initiative has reached its target – by adding 15,000 more small business mentors to its books., a national mentoring portal owned and operated by the British Bankers’ Association, already had 12,000 mentors from the small business community. Over the past 16 months, it has trained a further 15,000 volunteers, to help SMEs start, grow and create jobs. The mentors have been recruited and trained as part of the £1.9m government-funded Get Mentoring project, delivered by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI). Business minister, Michael Fallon said:
“Small businesses are vital to our economy and we are […]

News: Mindjet report: demoralised employees lack the willpower to succeed

Employers are struggling to motivate employees because of a lack of resources, recognition and direction from senior colleagues, suggests research. Inefficient communication is also a factor in holding people back, suggests the report from software company Mindjet. More than half of British office workers care about their employer succeeding in 2013, but only 49 per cent take their own role in this success seriously. And although a third (33 per cent) think they need to change their everyday working practices to be more successful, 24 per cent say they “haven’t got round to it” and 19 per cent feel too […]

News: Ernst & Young builds relations

Mentoring in the community makes employees better at serving clients, and at managing people, according to an Ernst & Young community engagement champion in the US. Mentoring is a core leadership competency at Ernst & Young, said Rene Salas, Ernst & Young’s East Central assurance partner and community engagement champion. He said, “Mentoring in the community helps employees build relationships that matter – and they learn how to listen, how to coach and how to forge connections based on trust.” Salas, who directs the company region’s charitable giving and volunteerism efforts, was speaking at a networking reception for more than […]

Mediocre managers as bad as ‘David Brent’ style bosses

Mediocre managers are just as damaging to employee engagement and wellbeing as more ‘David Brent’-style bosses, according to research from the UK´s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Failing to take responsibility for mistakes, panicking about deadlines and commanding rather than consulting staff were among bad managers´ worst attributes, according to the report, Managing for sustainable employee engagement: Developing a behavioural framework. The report offers yet more evidence of the benefits of a coaching-style approach to management. It highlighted how managers who discussed workers’ career development, remained calm under pressure, and invested time in getting to know staff as […]

Megginson’s reflections

Danes and deep theory, videos and Foucault, and other things: reflections from the EMCC conference

What is the optimum size of a coaching cultured company? This was one of the questions that emerged for David Megginson, European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) ambassador and co-founder, at the EMCC´s annual conference last month.

He reflects on six themes from the conference: the learning philosophy of coaching scheme designs in organisations; transformational creation of coaching cultures; positive psychology; Danes and deep theory, videos and Foucault; the relationship between refreshment and goals, and “the quiet radical”, Nancy Kline. He shares his reflections below.

How to increase the chances of an aha moment

By Liz Hall

The more you push for an “aha moment”, the less likely it is you´ll get one but you can create conditions to make it more likely to happen, said Christian van Nieuwerburgh.

To encourage new thinking in clients, we need to encourage them to “unfocus”, be creative, experience challenge and believe, said Dr van Nieuwerburgh, senior lecturer at the University of East London´s School of Psychology in the United Kingdom.

Research on the brain shows that just before an aha moment the brain goes into an alpha (relaxed) state, then suddenly there is a “gamma spike”, where a constellation of neurons bind together for the first time to create a new neural network pathway. This is the creation of a new idea. So it helps to allow the brain to “be idle” such as going for a walk, said Dr van Nieuwerburgh.

Whyte: we are all pilgrims into the unknown

By Liz Hall and Ros Soulsby Poet David Whyte led delegates on an intimate journey drawing on his experiences and poetry, and the metaphor of a pilgrim for our travels through life and as a way to hold courageous conversations with ourselves and our world. He described a pilgrim as someone passing through quite quickly, who depends on hospitality and help from friends and strangers, who is subject to changing weather, and who finds the destination changes the nearer they get to it. Having a sense of the horizon is important as we travel through life, but what lies there […]

Greater awareness of emotional styles can improve resilience

By Ros Soulsby More than any other factor, resilience determines who succeeds or fails, said Dean Becker at the ICF conference. Becker, managing director and co-founder of Adaptiv Learning Systems, drew on 30 thirty years of research in his session on resilience and connection. Adaptiv’s Resilience Factor Inventory (RFI) measures seven factors (emotional regulation, impulse control, causal analysis, self-efficacy, realistic optimism, reaching out and connection) and seven skills (discovering emotional radar, avoiding thinking traps, navigating problem icebergs, getting flexible around the style, harnessing positive emotions, tapping into positive icebergs and creating connection). The core of the work is credited to […]