One of my clients, Ms. B works in a foreign country as an expat. She is the only Japanese in her department. Even though her boss is Japanese as well, he manages several departments and her department is not his specialty. So Ms. B felt she didn’t have enough opportunity to discuss her work and her development with anyone in the company. That was the reason why she started to have coaching sessions with me.
We had been discussing her own development most of the time. She had been learning and growing by herself while she was in Japan. And she always searched for opportunities to learn.
One day, she told me that she realized that her team members, who are local people, do not have many opportunities for their growth. Also, she found there were not many technical books in her field in the host country. And she told me that she would like to provide some training sessions for them. However, she learned and experienced abundantly, she felt it was not easy to transfer her knowledge to other people whose knowledge level and experiences were limited and various.
During our session, we discussed:
>What does Ms. B would like her team members to be after she goes back to Japan which is probably happening in one year
>Who can work with Ms. B as a partner and how to develop his/her skills
>What are the strengths & weaknesses and current level of knowledge & experiences of individual team member
>If there were any cultural differences that Ms. B had to be careful
When you plan a training session especially in a diverse environment and/or foreign culture, you need to consider not only what you teach but also what might influence the training. Then you are expected to understand differences in culture and clarify the goal of the training. This is the first step to plan a training session.
At the same time, we also talked about:
>Obstacles Ms. B had in her mind
During our discussion, we were talking about her new tasks. And she mentioned that she didn’t know if she could do the tasks because she’d never done them before. It is normal to feel less/no confidence when you do something for the first time. Also, she was worrying if it would be accepted by team members when she takes the tasks because it is not her official role and she was not experienced in the fields. Do you have a similar experience?
Are you less confident when you try something new?
Do you feel anxious when you are planning to take a new role?
When you feel less confident and/or anxious, what ideas do you have in your mind?
Do you hear any voice (your inner voice) telling you that you are not good enough to complete the tasks?
Those mental/psychological blocks (the voice you hear in your mind) are often harder to overcome than actual/physical blocks such as money, time, and knowledge.
I have been mentioning about our brain in my blog posts a few times, but it is our brain work as well. Our brain is used to think one way (“I have never manage people.”, “I was not good at xxx in the past. So I won’t be able to do xxx again this time.”, and “It will be a disaster if I do xxx.”), and you believe the idea. However, it is not always true. And you have to train your brain with a new idea. It takes time to change your idea and the way of thinking, but just like your physical training, continuous mental training helps to change the way of thinking.