I was having a walk with my family the other day and enjoying the good weather in a sunny day around the lake Zug. After a while we went for a coffee in Metalli and we noticed a big group of people at the table behind us. They were talking about spirituality in a very open and profound way. Most of the people's opinions were very wise and their topic really cached my attention, because they were also giving support to each other in personal questions and some of them asked for advice. Even though I was really interested in this group, I did not dare to talk or to ask them about the nature of the group. I supposed they were doing a kind of group coaching in Zug in an spontaneous way by drinking coffee. I just enjoyed the way they discussed about it. After we finished our coffee we left and I never heard from this group again.
I think Zug is a great small city where you can find people from different cultures interested in doing fun stuffs at the lake or in the "Altstadt". It is very common to see in summer different groups of people at the lake in Zug. I saw a group sitting on the grass forming a circle and they were talking about the different phases of love's life, but more specifically, aspects about their love lives. That is interesting, I thought. I would have liked to sit with them. But in a serious group like this I cannot come and just ask "What are you doing? May I join you?" They were doing group coaching in Zug too.
I have also seen a meditation group sitting on the grass under a tree at the lake in Zug and also other different groups of people enjoying the summer at this park. But they were not doing any coaching, they were just enjoying. This inspires me to bring a group of people to work in some coaching themes like emotional intelligence, mindfulness, law of attraction and other interesting coaching topics at the lake, in the fresh air, under a tree.
So now you know, that if you see me with a group of people at the park at the lake Zug, I will be working in an spontaneous use of coaching in Zug, sharpening the perception of the world, creating and living better states of mind and better lives, so come and join us!
According to the BFS, the total number of expats living in Switzerland by the end of 2013 rose to 1.9 million. Every year thousands of international executives come to work to Switzerland and experience the interesting mixed business culture due to Its diverse population like the French, Italian and German speakers.
May be you are an expat executive that just have arrived. New expats executives might find very peculiar situations in their business environments while interacting with colleges. My clients have had similar impressions in their first weeks of work. They have found a little bit of resistance while they were proposing new ideas to be implemented in short term. Most of the times the expat executive might think this resistance could be on a personal level. But it is not. Everything that influences the way the people have been doing things in the company so far, takes a reaction of resistance every where not only here. Just give them time. Do not forget, that you are the new one who does not know how the things has been working all these years.
Do not try to innovate the very first day and do not show that you are a better or smarter executive than the locals. Before you expose any idea to be implemented, get to identify the most influential people in the division in other to get their support for implementing changes.
Do not speed up. Try to learn about them while working with them and learn about their tempo. Speeding the things up is not a good way to start new work relations with your Swiss colleges either. They take their time to do their tasks.
When you are addressing to your colleges in a day to day business relation, it is the rule to address them very formal using their last name and their titles until they instruct otherwise. In some american companies and specially in business environments with young executives you may see they address to each other using their first name.
In an executive environment mixed with executives of other cultures like Italian, Spanisch, Portuguese, people from Latin America and from India working together in a German Swiss environment. you will notice the differences in emotional behavior within the groups. Openness in the communication like saying the things direct without any anesthesia might be ok for the German and German Swiss executives, while at the same time, expats from other cultural groups have to stay focused and control their emotions.
Very important aspects of executive business environment in Switzerland are for example, emphasis on their level of educational degrees achieved, organizational rank and achievements. Trust in multicultural blended business environments is not one of the strengths here. People like dealing only with people they know, and often expect long-term commitments from their associates. Negotiations can be prolonged by the trust-building process, and the Swiss eye for detail and respect for procedure. It’s a merit-based business environment, but trust is still important to negotiations.
Executive coaching for expats specialized in multicultural coaching is a fundamental tool to succeed in your career. This is what executive coaching in successchoices can do for you:
Getting a new job abroad as an executive in a transnational company is a great career opportunity. On one hand it looks very good for the one who got this change. But, on the other hand, it could mean drastically changes in his/her personal life. The complexity of the situation gets bigger if this executive has a family.
In many cases the spouse/partner and children follows the head of the family leaving their lives, job, friends and relatives behind. They have to adapt to the new situation and start a learning process to find themselves in a new country. The relocation companies may help with the organization of this new life, but nobody prepares them for the cultural shock, they will experience once they start interacting with the new environment at work, at school and just out there.
Expat's spouses are quite brave and support their spouses and children no matter what. It means, no matter even themselves. They start with being in charge of the moving overseas, help their families with the transition, if they are lucky they get a relocation company, look for the house, register the children in an International school, look for a good expats insurance, etc., and after everything is done, they probably take care of themselves..…
No wonder that they get a kind of lost feeling when they finally get time for themselves. They might feel lonely and they start trying to do something else besides being there for the others. Then some questions like, can I work in Switzerland? Do I have to learn the language? Is my diploma valid for working? Who takes care of the children if I work or if I study/learn something? Who can help? How can I earn money too? That on top of feeling alone, lost, and unfulfilled do not help to give a step ahead. It creates an unhealthy state of being that needs to be broken in other to feel free to unfold and thrive here in Switzerland.
Please get away from the people who have had negative experiences in Switzerland and feel unhappy and frustrated all the time. Get away from them for your own sake! You do not need them. You have the opportunity to make and live your own experience. Look for people who has got what you are looking for and ask them, how they got until this point.. Many of them will help you and other not, but it doesn't matter. You go on getting to know more people and making your network bigger and bigger. So get in Toastmasters, help in a social club, do a course on something you like, learn the language. You will also get to know a lot! Life and personal coaching is essential at this point, so you can discover what you like and your own strategies to get what you want. Many expatriate healthcare insurances covers many life and executive coaching sessions. It differs from your expats insurance. Otherwise, you have to cover it yourselft, it is very affordable anyway and many coaches offers the first session for free. Book your free coaching session with successchoices.
Living in a new city or in a new country can be very exiting and full of new experiences to enrich your life in a fulfilling way. There are all these new exciting things to do in a new county, like learning a new language, getting to know the locals and their culture, looking for what to do, working, studying, doing a course, finding information about the do's and dont's, getting to know new people and get to start your own networking. It really means the start of a new life. So how great it this?
It is time to be your own hero!
Maria Griselda Mueller
is a professional coach specialized in expats and cross-cultural support. She is originally from Venezuela, has lived in more than ten countries around the world and has a Master certification in psychological coaching.