| 09.11.2023

High cultural intelligence (CQ) is an essential success factor in intercultural leadership coaching

Growing cultural diversity in organisations together with the rapid expansion of coaching for leadership development globally and the advancement of virtual coaching creates significant cultural diversity in pools of coaches and coachees. Cultural diversity in coaching dyads bears significant potential to enhance coaching outcomes due to the diversity of cultural perspectives, but particular conditions should be present to overcome the humans’ natural preference to develop relationships with those similar to them.

In her doctoral thesis Advancing coaching for leadership development: Coaching as an enabler of learning and well-being in local and global organizations Natalia Fey has studied intercultural leadership coaching, an innovative coaching form, gaining traction in Finland and globally – where a coach and a coachee in a leadership position have different cultural backgrounds.

“In my dissertation, I have studied them in the greatly understudied contexts of INGOs and international development organizations, which is an additional benefit for the coaching field”, says Fey. 
107 leaders from some of the largest and oldest UN agencies and INGOs, and their coaches, jointly representing 74 nationalities, took part in Fey’s study to examine the key success factors in intercultural leadership coaching. 

“I found that the level of cultural intelligence, which is an ability to function effectively in diverse cultural settings, is an important factor in enabling coachee learning when the coach and coachee come from different cultural backgrounds. Especially, the coach’s high motivation and self-efficacy to work with coachees from different cultural backgrounds, and the coach’s awareness of their own cultural assumptions are essential in intercultural coaching interactions” Fey emphasizes. 

You can read the whole thesis here: Coaching as an enabler of learning and well-being in local and global organizations 

Natalia Fey will be defending her thesis at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, 14 November at Hanken School of Economics, Arkadiankatu 22, Helsinki, and on Teams. You can join the broadcast online using this link.

Opponent: Professor Konstantin Korotov, ESMT 
Custos: Professor Denise Salin, Hanken School of Economics

Bild: Pixabay