Coaching as a way to develop cultural understandings

Coaching, with its focus on listening, questioning, and exploration of self, especially values and beliefs, can be a highly effective way to develop understanding of a range of cultures. Such understandings have a positive impact on a person’s own – and where coaching is used throughout a business – all employees’ ability, to comprehend differences in communication and how professional relationships are formed, as well as alternative relationships with different concepts of ‘time’, rules, hierarchy, negotiations, humour, and so on.

The supportive environment that is developed by coaching provides a safe space for employees to grow their skills and build strategies for working together. In turn, this can help with short- and long-term business development, especially around decision-making, planning and operations. Some of the benefits include the:

  • Enhanced ability to meet the needs of a culturally diverse range of clients through employee cultural knowledge  (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010), and an associated reduction in complaints / grievances.

  • Improved knowledge, understanding and relationships with culturally diverse market segments (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).

  • Reduction in employee turnover.

  • Enhanced sense of inclusion, cohesion and productivity amongst employees.

  • Enhanced reputation as a business, and as an employer, with culturally diverse communities (domestic and international) (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).

  • Increased customer satisfaction and number of referrals  (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).

  • Lower costs and higher profitability.

  • More effective communications and marketing (Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2010).


Australian Multicultural Foundation. (2010). Managing Cultural Diversity  Training Program Resource Manual. Retrieved from


Challenging Stereotypes. CC ( BY NC ND ) licensed Flickr image by Jake Brewer:


About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ ( I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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One Response to Coaching as a way to develop cultural understandings

  1. Pingback: Flashback: Can This ADDer Be Saved? – Part 3 | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

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