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Coaching in the Heart of Europe: Expatriation in the light of post- conventional ego-development.

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Presentation on theme: "Coaching in the Heart of Europe: Expatriation in the light of post- conventional ego-development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Coaching in the Heart of Europe: Expatriation in the light of post- conventional ego-development

2 Background Expatriation mainly approached from cultural and organisational perspectives Focus of coaching: skills, cross-cultural aspects, the initial phase of the transition Own experience as an expat Suggestion: the real potential for personal growth lies in the period that follows the initial phases of cultural relocation

3 Literature review Essential to consider: 1.Approaches to self-development - what does literature mean by human development? 2.What may stimulate personal growth?

4 Main concepts Preference towards the cognitive developmental line - approaching human growth through the development of the self Transformation of mental processing: how individuals make meaning of their experiences throughout the life course Challenging life-events may stimulate development (require adaption and new learning, challenge ones worldview, conscious mental occupation, emotional engagement with the event, more complex interpersonal environment than the individual, turning inward)

5 Key underlying theoretical formulation Ego-Development Theory (Cook-Greuter, 1999, 2000, 2005) : It describes a sequence of how mental models evolve over time. Each stage emerges from the synthesis of doing (coping, needs and ends, purposes), being (awareness, experience, affect) and thinking (conceptions, knowledge, interpretations), and each new level contains the previous ones as subsets (Cook-Greuter, 2005, p.3) Four realms: pre-conventional, conventional, post- conventional, ego-transcendent

6 Altering stages of differentiation and integration (Cook-Greuter, S., 2005. p.4) No data on what may foster ego-development from one stage to another

7 The specificities of Brussels Expats make up nearly 2/3 of the population High level of cultural complexity No one single Belgian identity no frame of reference! Linguistic characteristics: most expats speak no FR or NL The particular circumstances provide a unique climate which facilitates ego-development beyond the conventional stages

8 Research objectives 1)Demonstrate whether expatriation in the cases of the research participants has contributed towards post-conventional development 2)Demonstrate whether it is possible to identify similarities of patterns in the individuals developmental process 3)Gain an insight into the clients experiences with coaching related to their developmental process 4)Develop an overview of the developmental themes that characterised the participants growth in the different phases – benefits for coaching

9 Methodology A positivist taste to an interpretevist approach Constructivist/interpretevist study - Heurestic research method 6 research participants Sampling via the Internations and LinkedIn websites Data collection: self-reflective stimulus activity and semi-structured in-depth interviews Analysis in 2 phases: 1. understanding the participants developmental processes in the light of the EDT 2. comparing the data to seek common patterns in their development

10 Propositions emerging from the data All participants seem to have reached the post- conventional realm differences in their path and pace of getting there strong influence of background

11 Proposition One: Impact of the culture of home country on ones relocation capacity Individuals coming from more individualistic societies are raised as naturally more introspective, self- reflective and independent thinkers They seem to handle solitude better important capacity in the transition between the conventional and post-conventional realms (awareness of cultural and personal conditioning, reconstructing self-identity and value system)

12 Proposition Two: Impact of a multicultural background on the perception of self-identity The impact of cultural conditioning on the perception of self-identity in those individuals coming from multicultural backgrounds is not as dominant as in those coming from a single cultural background The process of reconstructing their self-identity is smoother and more liberating for them

13 Proposition Three: Self-actualisation and meaning-making Important relationship between ones strive for meaning-making and self-actualisation needs (becomes dominant at the Autonomous stage) No common patterns identified in the way participants see the path towards self-actualisation – seems purely dependent upon ones personality

14 Proposition Four: Spirituality and ego-development In the post-conventional tier individuals start to abandon purely rational reasoning and open up towards a more holistic worldview, including the spiritual dimension 5 out of the 6 participants have engaged in spiritual practice New sense of body-mind awareness, conscious work on personal well-being

15 Proposition Five: Coaching and development Above the conventional realm individuals may feel a natural drive to seek external help with their developmental process – coaching, psychotherapy, spiritual guidance Coaching can be an excellent complement to spiritual practice

16 Proposition Six: The competitive edge of Brussels in facilitating individuals development Brussels indeed offers certain particular conditions that may facilitate/provoke and accelerate individuals development to an extent which might not be characteristic in other cities These seem to have contributed towards the participants post-conventional development extensively

17 Findings Illustrate the changes that may occure in the cultural relocators mental processing during their development Highlight the themes with which individuals at the different post- conventional stages may be pre-occupied Synthesized in a table – more user-friendly Benefits for coaching: help coaches understand the type of thought processing patterns and the interrelated topics of concern clients might present at a session, highlight potential correlations between these factors and the clients cultural background, raise awareness of the need for a holistic approach to expats development

18 Transition from the conventional to the post- conventional realm

19 Introduction of the Autonomous stages

20 Introduction of the post-Autonomous stages

21 Limitations and suggestions First qualitative enquiry that places expatriation into the context of ego-development and the EDT into a coaching context No tested and proven qualitative tool at disposal Focus only on the second and third tiers Not done on a representative sample Develop this study on comparision groups further Worthwhile conducting similar research in other multicultural cities as well, also with a focus on children and adolescents

22 Thank you for your attention

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