A while back on a expat-related LinkedIn group, a guy asked “Is expat coaching worth it?” I was stunned; I think I actually swore at the screen.
(Yes, I believe expat coaching is worth it, 100%.)
But the guy’s question made me go find a couple coaches and sit with them (over skype). And I did.
Below I include a video snippet from meeting with one of 2 coaches I found.
“What’s an Expat Coach?”
An expat coach is someone who helps you through the stresses & hurdles brought on by living or working abroad.
Coaching can be similar to mentoring. A coach listens (a top priority), understands (based on experience) and steers you with questions to overcome your need. Hey – coaching!
If you’re feeling culture shock, an expat coach can help. If you’re feeling procrastination or overwhelm, an expat coach can help. If you’re feeling less than 100%, an expat coach can help.
Expat Coaching…Who Knew?
If you haven’t heard of expat coaching before, it’s understandable.
Expat coaching isn’t exactly a well-known service, even among the expat minority. But expat coaching is getting popular. Just in the past couple years I notice more expat coaches appearing, coming from a wide range of backgrounds.
Plus, with social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook, expat coaches can easily promote services to their target market to find clients. [By the way, if you need help with that, I’m here for you.]
What to Look For in a Coach?
Each coach I find comes with varied backgrounds, such as counselling, marketing, psychology, sales, or business management. A wide range. Some backgrounds relate to helping people while other backgrounds would be a common area between coach and client. I propose you select a coach that can identify with you.
What makes a coach a coach? The ability to truly listen isn’t innate, it’s learned. There are many coaching certifications and even more authoritative bodies willing to bequeath them. No doubt having a certified coach helps assure a sound method and approach. But it can’t guarantee a “click” between coach and client. I propose you find your coach more by gut (whether certified or not) and see how you well you connect.
I Found Two Coaches: Sabine and John
I picked two coaches, psuedo-randomly, to interview.
I knew I wanted someone new & someone experienced.
I wanted life-centric and business-centric.
And I wanted a female and a male.
I found 2 to match all wants: Sabine de Cock and John Falchetto.
What led me to Sabine? In a LinkedIn group, she was offering a select few people a free session.
BONUS: if you contact Sabine (firstname.lastname@example.org) and mention this post, she’ll offer the same: one free session to you.
What led me to John? I’m being superficial, but it was his website. His website is damn good. And it turns out that John is just as professional and polished as his site.
So, there you have it – I tried twice to find a coach right for me, and succeeded twice.
If I can do it, you can do it, too.
How to Find an Expat Coach For You
There is an “expat coach directory,” but it’s woefully under-populated. In fact, both of the expat coaches I interviewed are not on it.
Any other directories? No, not that I found. And the directory I did find is brand new itself. Yeah, expat coaching as an industry is that new.
Note to expat coaches: plenty of opportunity here to mirror other, more established consulting services.
(For now) Use LinkedIn
Until the directory gets fuller, I believe there’s a better way to find your coach: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social network like Facebook, but more oriented to professionals and groups commonly form around a career or skill.
Relevant LinkedIn groups are plentiful, like Expat Web, Expat Network, Global Worker, Living Abroad: Networking for Expatriates and a few dozen others. Most worthy expat coaches contribute to these groups. Obviously by helping others, a potential client may take interest and seek more 1:1 help.
What’s Necessary For Coaching to Work?
Easy answer and I’m just to quote what I found on another coach’s website:
Coaching works when there are two factors present:
- You see a gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
- You are ready, willing, and able to take action.
There you have it – you need to recognize areas of improvement and be willing to improve them.
My Own Experience
Personally, I only learned about coaching in the past year. Early this year when we lived in Prague I became a client for a close friend who was a coach. Kristin’s speciality was helping people achieve results, whether career, family or health related. Kristin was amazing. Extremely busy, but amazing. I wish I had started with her much earlier because the clarity, improvements, and accountability were helped me tremendously.
As for experience with expat coaches, above are just 2 minute snippets. Each coach actually gave me a full 1 hour session/interview.
In my time with Sabine, I was a one-time client (as well as a blogger). Sabine helped me tremendously with concerns I had as a new expat to my wife’s homeland, Canada and in my new role as stay-at-home dad. I am very grateful for her coaching – she made me feel better even during this one session. Again, I recommend her to anyone. Write Sabine an e-mail and ask for that session!
In my time with John, our time was much more an interview format. From that interview, I understood John is more than just a great website – he’s a savvy businessman. For the entrepreneur expat, I recommend John as the coach for proven results.
If you have ever considered contacting an expat coach like what Sabine or John do, or contacting any coach as I had Kristin, I hope this post helps.