Unlocking Cultural Agility with Marco Blankenburgh

Intercultural Coaching and More with Paul William White and Matt Trenchard

November 02, 2021 KnowledgeWorkx Season 1 Episode 2
Unlocking Cultural Agility with Marco Blankenburgh
Intercultural Coaching and More with Paul William White and Matt Trenchard
Show Notes Transcript

Join Paul and Matt, leaders in coaching as they talk with Marco about the intersection of culture and coaching. Along the way, they share their own personal experiences in intercultural marriages and intercultural work environments. 

Matt is an internationally credentialed coach of 10 years experience, founder of North Point, and a past president of the Dubai chapter of the International Coach Federation. 

Paul’s career as an executive coach and chartered accountant spans more than 28 years working in personal & organizational change, sales, leadership, conflict management, financial planning & analysis, system implementation, and project management. He works with clients ranging from Chief Executives to high potential talent and entrepreneurs.

You will learn about-- 

  •  The intersection of culture and coaching. 
  •  How managers can become better leaders through an understanding of Inter-Cultural Intelligence and coaching. 
  •  How being anchored in your understanding of who you are, and your own culture helps you engage intercultural. 
  •  How to create safe intercultural spaces where your staff is empowered. 

-- Learn more about the Certificate in Intercultural Coaching at intercultural.coach

| Articles--



-- Brought to you by KnowledgeWorkx.com

a lot of people put off personal

professional development because it

takes time and it's in that you know to

use the johari window you know it's in

that important

but not urgent category that we often

squeeze down to virtually nothing

and so when i think about my own

schedule which often is very busy if i

don't invest the time it's never going

to happen so

i say if personal development is

important to you professional

development is important to you the

whole area of intercultural intelligence

should be on your list

and therefore it's just a matter of not

if you do it but

when welcome to the cultural agility

podcast where we explore the stories of

some of the most advanced intercultural

practitioners from around the world

to help you become culturally agile and

succeed in today's culturally complex

world i'm your host marco vlankenberg

international director of knowledgeworks

where every day we help individuals and

companies achieve relational success in

that same complex world


this podcast series is all about


and intercultural intelligence cultural

agility whatever you want to call it and

i'm really excited that uh paul white

and matt trencher could join today and a

conversation around their life's journey

their professional journey we sort of

have a list of questions but we don't

know where this conversation will lead


so thank you for joining pleasure to be

here yeah i've known the two of you in

one way for a very long time in other

ways professionally we've drifted in and

out of each other's world and for the

sake of our listeners it would be great

if you can introduce yourself to uh to

our podcast listeners

i can go first oh hello everyone i'm

matt trenchard um i'm from the uk

originally now living in dubai since

2006 which shocks me like how long i've

been here didn't never expected to be

here almost 15 years i'm the co-founder

of north point academy


at its core teaches people to be coaches

but we see that more as a vehicle for

actually about helping people go through


and we kind of come and came across

intercultural intelligence through our

relationship with you and we've loved

the journey that we've been on looking

forward to the conversation

thank you thanks having me here yeah

thank you

paul yeah my name is paul william white

and i give you my middle name because i

have a number of very famous namesakes

one being the jungle doctor author if

any of you are really old you'll know

that so that's not me um i was born new

zealand i

married an australian and i moved to

dubai 20 years ago my kids are confused

because they don't know which country

they come from half the time although

they really do come from here so 20

years in dubai i started off as a

chartered accountant

and i went through career change 10

years ago and

became professional coach and that's how

i got involved with matt i work

alongside with matt and north point

academy and i've also done a lot of work

with people in career transition

wonderful and now i know why william i

knew it was really important but

now i know why

for me you are the most famous one

thank you matt


in some way

of course our our journey through life

which involves cultural elements


since that's what we're focusing on

today i'm just curious

when did

the intercultural side of life when did

that start to come alive for you

i'm sure that there's not just your

professional life i'm sure there are

other moments in your in your history

your journey you look embarrassed man no

i'm not embarrassed i'm laughing though

i've maybe maybe i'm embarrassed as well

um i thought i'd cut you off your

question but i'm going to answer it

anyway yeah go for it um

so i think for me the intercultural

world came alive to me

um when my wife and i attended a

intercultural marriages



led by one of your friends and


and his wife uh

julian yeah julie um

we'd already been exposed on some level

but just those sessions that they had my

wife and i they asked which is talking

through situations from her background

from my background but then also like

from other like she'd be like oh yeah

this person at work and we just ended up

talking through other people's lives our

own lives and just like oh they shine

that light shine that light shine that

light things become more clearer oh that

explains why that so that's kind of how

it all began to spark in my life great

great how were you from there's probably

many times but probably the one time

especially here in the gulf was

when i was visiting a golf national

and um drinking their delicious coffee

and i was on to my fifth cup now if

anyone knows anything about golf

uh traditions you'll realize that by the

time you get to your third you should

have stopped and you should shake your

hand well nobody had told me this so i

just kept putting my cup back

and um my friend was very gracious and

pointed out what had happened

but on reflection that was like oh i

have no idea what i'm doing here

and uh did you sleep that night

i've never slept since that happened

still embarrassed

so um you both are involved

professionally with people

that's that's the direction your career

is taking you

and when you think about the work you're

involved with the lives you lead

in which way


intercultural intelligence


why were you drawn into it and what

caused you to pursue it further

i think for me um multiple levels one

you know on the intellectual just kind

of ah like it's a way it's a map

um it's a a way of understanding the


but also as we

as we and i got more into it the

realization that uh it could help me

understand me


and then as a result like okay this is

how it applies to coaching

because when the coach understands

themselves better they can help their

client to understand themselves better

and therefore be more you know effective

or whatever they need to be in there and

then the coachee's life yeah so we saw

as adding an extra

um what's the phrase a

feather to our bow or that's not the

wrong phrase but yeah actually level to

art to what we're doing i think it's a

feather in your cap

arrow and your quiver there we go

getting your metaphors mixed up here we

are australian english and british


except i'm actually born in new zealand


gotta love the dutch


for me uh marco

it's quite different um you know i've

known you for a very long time and when

we first met in dubai

i asked you what you did and found out

this intercultural thing i thought

that's interesting so ever since then

i've really been tracking what you're

doing and seeing how the methodologies

and the processes have matured and i

mean i first met you

when you and some of your colleagues

were on a disk certification

professionally at least

so i decided to engage in this kind of

professionally once i've watched for a

while and seeing that it stood the test

of time

actually also i felt like it was overdue

because like i've known you for so long

and i knew some of the stuff that you've

been doing so it was like yeah i

actually need to take this on board um

so i knew of it before coaching but it


acute relevance for people working with


especially yeah

i think i'll add that

i think i recognized how

different the ici work was

from some of the other


or cross-cultural work that i'd seen a

lot of it seemed to be like identifying

kind of like separating it putting

things apart putting things in boxes

and the result was just to see how we're

all different

as opposed to the ici work which is much

more internal much more how we similar

how we different and based on that

how can we begin to step across what

from one area into the other and

so i i found it much more that the

potential for bridging divides was much

greater right

of course

the reality with with stepping into the

world of intercultural intelligence

because it is indeed it starts with you

and a very inside out approach

there are very few people who are not

impacted by that in a profound way

so i'm curious for you as you started to

learn more about initially maybe the

mechanics and the terminology in the

system behind intercultural intelligence

how has it changed you or impacted you

yeah look i thought about this question

i think it's on three levels um firstly

just myself

and my own relationships

it's just

helped me to change the way i

approach people i think it's fair to say

and then more closely related to me

myself it's helped me be more aware of

my own worldview and and of course

um northpointe's coaching

methodology also embraces this term

worldview they're thinking more from a

philosophical worldview point of view

you're obviously talking from a cultural

worldview point of view so

i mean this was one area where i was

really quite shocked at how money

cultural i was even after living here

for quite some time so that's really

changed me and then surprise surprise it

has had a significant impact and

continues to have an impact

on the way that i coach

just because

when you consider people as unique

cultural beings

it changes the way that you approach


and the assumptions that you have to

correct because we all make them the

bias that we bring in we re-evaluate it

and we put it on the table both on both

sides of the table so it has a lot of


and the icf the new icf competencies

take take this whole area

international coach federation

federation thank you matt they have

taken this a lot more seriously recently

and they've just revised their core

competencies and we see the this area

being more richly addressed in the

upcoming revision which is due for

release quite soon i believe now you

mentioned something that that's a part

of the terminology of of the

intercultural intelligence framework

to treat every human being as you

uniquely wired cultural human being

what in the world does that mean

good spot

that's your question man

i'm still in the previous question paul

who will you all get to there

isn't the first question just for the

sake of our listeners i want to make

sure that we don't lose people i don't

know i can i can i can address this

back to what matt said before some other

frameworks that we've been exposed to

tend to kind of categorize people which

is helpful you know if you pigeonhole

people it helps you to classify the

world and make sense of it but

unfortunately what happens with culture

is people take that far far further than

it should it was ever intended i think

to go and so this term about people who

are culturally unique or culturally

wired refers to the fact that we are all

unique because our all of our cultures

are different because we come from

different families different countries

different regions of different countries

different cities different villages

there's many cultural influences so to

put us in a box

can be quite a dangerous thing and so

it's a positive recognition of that it's

a curious

it's an encouragement to be curious when

we approach people because we realize

that this person is

a one-off so let's explore that how can

they be better at who they are

this kind of stuff from a coaching

perspective so that's it's quite a shift

as both of you mentioned the traditional

way of looking at culture

is where are you from which password you



every person is unique yeah everybody's

unique and yet and this really matches

with with the way that we work and coach

as well that although we're all unique

we're all more similar than we are


so they

although i can think of it in terms of

maybe um three colors of paint

and they all get mixed together and make

a unique color right but it's three

colors of paint in different quantities

that get mixed together yeah and we'll

come back to that how does that impact

the way you engage clients

coaches in your work we'll come back to

that but uh let's stick to the personal

level yeah you asked me how it impacted

me yeah yeah yeah so um

i think part of my life story is that i

grew up and have remained

pretty flexible to other people

i think that served me pretty well as i

was growing up but then as i've got

older it's become more important

actually particularly when coaching not

to be so flexible that

you know that i don't know who i am so

my journey's been about well like what

am i and so you know i was learning what

i have learned through

the iso work about my own cultural

makeup learned that i'm also like paul


mono culture in that way

i haven't really felt a need to adjust

that or because for me it's been like ah


so that that places me within this

particularly in dubai potatoes for me

within this multicultural context

i'm still

uh flexible engaging with other people


now with an additional thing okay i know

where i am let's discover where someone

else is

we sometimes use the word anchoring

um would that connect with what you just

mentioned or


i would think so for all my flexibility

there's a need for me sometimes to be

more grounded

and so more i can know who who i am

right how i'm made

it grounds more it anchors me more yeah

so yes

now both of you indicate that

this is not just intellectually

stimulating or fun

this is actually helpful

uh it

changes how i do life

on all fronts

i'm just curious do you have any

examples off the cuff of real life

situations where ici either

the lack of it

caused a messy situation or the the

existence of it or your ability to apply

it save the day for instance anything

that comes to mind



one from home i'm trying to choose

examples which is safe to share

um because

you guys know the listeners don't so my

wife's from a

different culture to me so

we had a particular situation



she wasn't feeling so good for dinner

she said i'm not gonna have dinner

we eaten dinner the night before and

there was some dinner left over

and so i said

i i it's okay it's okay

i'll just go and make myself a sandwich

it's fine you look after yourself

she takes offense

and i'm really really thrown by this

and i think we both understood enough of

this work so this is a positive story

that i was able to ask her okay hey i'm

missing this here can you tell me what's

going on and she was able to get one

next step further and tell me hey i made

that food for you

and now you don't want it

oh and now i know what okay so

i realized that

actually it's about she was trying to

honor me and i wasn't returning the


so i was able to say to her i understand

but can i explain from my perspective

i wanted us to have that meal that you'd

cooked yesterday which we thought we'd

have today because you're not feeling

we'll have it tomorrow together and for

me that's me honoring you by making sure

we have it together and i just have a

sandwich now

it changed everything right right

and if i hadn't had the icing i wouldn't

have known how to walk that road yeah

you used the term earlier on shining a

light on the situation yeah and to me it

sounds like both of you because you know

in this case the three colors of world

view framework you're able to turn that

spotlight on

and it help you move forward wait it

defused the whole situation yeah because

it shifted it it wasn't about the food

it was actually about honourable respect

yeah yeah

any examples that come to mind paul

yeah i mean i think there's there's many


of living here

probably in the same space in terms of

honor and shame but probably more

recently for me

the influence of you know to talk three

colours of worldview language the

influence of power fear is something

that i

was not sure of

what it actually meant you know i've had

these images in my mind of you know

witch doctors

standing around casting spells on the

tribes and you know it's not it's not

about that

um and i i think i really

i've probably witnessed it more now than

i've actually experienced it but i've

just seen particularly in organizations

as well as in cultures


how fear can offer the the the domain of

power fear the the sphere of how fear

can be

seen as a very negative thing and often

it is but also it can be quite positive


and i i think one of our

intents in in organizations is to

empower people which is the was the

light side it's the positive side of our

fear and to actually

just to see smaller changes in people's


you know

i'm just trying to think of a specific

example where where perhaps they change

the way they engage with their staff and

i mean i have to be careful with not

giving specifics away here but just so

that they

they are actually more engaged rather

than kind of dictatorial


you can't change the way you kind of are

personally you know your personal style

is maybe

something that's more difficult to

change but you can change the way that

you interact with people

if you're conscious of these kind of

things so i think for me that's the area

where i've seen the

most visible manifestation recently it's

interesting you mentioned that because

even this morning i had a conversation

with a client


we've had the privilege of working with

them throughout the 2020

the first coveteer


one of the issues that they were facing

was along the same lines of what you

were just saying that um

leaders found it hard to create a safe

open space for their staff

and if that happened staff didn't feel

confident and free to step into that

space to avoid this voice their opinion

talk about what they were struggling


and and today the hr director was saying

that has totally changed

where leaders are

seeing their position of power not as a

place where they decide

who is going to speak and who's not

going to speak

um as opposed to using that power

to to actually open the space so yeah

hey let's talk about what's real for you

and what you're struggling with and what

what we need to change together

yeah so that's a great example from a of

a positive

shift in the way they look people look

at power yeah thanks for bringing the

ink what you're talking about is right

it's what we do as well because it's a

shift in in the direction of

communication from a table to do to a

more coaching style which is very



in my experience

senior leaders particularly in

organizations where there is a strong

power of fear

they themselves fear what would happen

if they stopped doing

what they were doing

and uh the work that paul and i and the

rest of the team do

actually tells them if you're gonna let

go of this kind of power

here's another way that you can exercise

your power yeah but in a way that is

then more empowering so it's not just

about letting go and

letting it all go to

the bits

yeah yeah now you've referred to the

work you're involved with several times

already um


just a quick summary north point

what do you guys do

where do you guys work and how does that

impact the world what do we do um

i don't think i'll jump for tag lines

but um

i can do that



but on on a uh

corporately when a corporate comes to us

for example they're wanting us to help


help their managers become better

leaders and often that's through uh

helping them shift from command and



being more open be more

collaborative asking better questions

helping to empower other people and all

of these things are coach skills

so what we also do is we train

individuals and teams around how to be


and all of that is founded in a body of

knowledge and body of wisdom which is

all around hey let's find out what's

inside and how can we bring what's

inside outside how can we lower our

guards and actually be more vulnerable

show people who we are and as you were

saying earlier

by doing so create safe spaces where

others can also be vulnerable and

therefore we can all be more human

so can i drop the tag lines now do it

ahead go freeze

so recently um

north point academy has kind of changed

their vision a bit and their vision now

is to build transformational communities

from the inside out so it's

talking more about what from matt's

point of view is is living from the

inside out looking inside how how that

impacts your external behavior and then

taking that into a community setting

where everyone is more open and

collaborating together and changing the

the communities and organizations

they're a part of so it's it's more than

sounds a bit stereotypical but it's more

than the coaching company


it's more than a provider of coach


now i'm going to drop the other one

because it really i mean i love this it

really helps people in their

organization or in a personal contacts

get away to themselves and alive to

others so that's the other table

but i i like that yeah

great and then you asked where are we

yeah well

we're in in a podcast booth i think we

are we are but

where where is north point well as of

2020 we're everywhere right because

we're gonna be virtual

you're a man

but where where we base ourselves well

there's a bunch of us in uae

and there's a small number of us in uk


yeah but

to your point

how has covet changed your go to market

you said we're everywhere yeah wow i

think it's probably safer to say how is

it changing because it's still a change

i mean it's taking all of our work

online um it's now taking more of our

marketing and sales work online

but yeah so that's been the big shift

i remember reading

quite early on

in the pandemics we're looking kind of

april may time already people are saying

that like health issues aside this thing

this situation has accelerated the

direction that both companies and

learning it was already going five ten

years faster than it would have been

anyway yeah yeah yeah yeah definitely

now north point existed before we

started to

engage with ici

so there was a version of northpoint

coaching the certification

to become a coach existed before ici was

sort of brought into that same space how

has intercultural intelligence shifted

the way you

look at coaching the way you train

people to become coaches the way you

engage with your clients

i think it's fair to say

the core

coach training program that that

northpoint offers

has not changed in content


this is a very loud voice into that

content because actually what what the

whole methodology of northpoint as we

talked about before does is is this asks

you to look inside out so when you look

you look inside yourself many people

don't do that so it gives you another


strong rich lens to look inside of

yourself and then obviously to look at

other people

so i think in in the core training

coach training we do it it's woven in

there more as we do it more i think it's

impacted our corporate work

in a more significant way because it's

helped us to engage with clients

more understanding and respond to their

needs better because we understand where

they're coming from as well as what they

think they need


we have seen an opportunity which of

course marco we've all worked on

together to

extend and deepen our coach training so

we've then gone on and built another

course on top of the certification

which is a certificate of intercultural

coaching which can help people to

keep themselves current for their

cceus for the icf which is continuing

education for icf credential coaches and

also it can be used as coach training

house to go to the next level

of certification which is um i'll come

back to the certificate and

intercultural coaching because i think

that's a very exciting project that we

worked on together yeah but

matt you were one of the founders of

north point yeah so i can build on what

pool's saying i mean like i think

one thing that ici did for us is it in

some ways showed us

why we were already attracting

people from a great variety of cultures

already yeah it's true

even before we were involved it was like


we're not trying to do this but in a

typical room we're having a couple of

emiratis and some people from europe and

just like a

real mixed set of people right from the

beginning and i think

for us what i see i did was show us like

oh okay so actually there's a real mesh

and actually not just a real mess

between the two ideas but both of these

ideas are actually fitting with how

reality really is


i think what it's also done for us is

it's helped us

with our

engagement with the market when we're

speaking to people right so it's not

just about like

yes you want to do it or not

in some ways it helps us see i kind of

have a longer picture a longer journey

how people are engaging along the way

and paul you already uh jumped into the

fact that

the collaboration has gone to the extent

that we created the certificate of

intercultural coaching together


if i was even thinking about coaching or

maybe i have extensive experience in

coaching the world of coaching by and

large is is sort of

infused with a

psychological perspective on humanity

there's a lot of psychological thinking

in the world of coaching

and and coaching has existed for quite a

lot of years

why bother with infusing the

intercultural stuff into somebody who's

already a good coach

why do they need it

so i'm just liking your question


i think i'll probably pull on some of

what you told us before um just from a

strictly ici perspective

marco that people are already living

cross-culturally interculturally more

than ever before that's likely just to

only increase

and actually

the pandemic has just made that more and

more although we're not actually moving

around as much physically

work working-wise virtually we're

working with people from all over the


and uh

if i don't know what drives me

i mean for me this is almost like a

universal truth if i don't know

what what is driving me or what's me is

about me i'll very likely point it out


erroneously yeah so actually hey if i

can know about my own cultural makeup

when someone's different i know that

it's not that they're wrong or they're

i see me and then i can go okay so this

is different so that now i'm curious

i'm not i'm not gonna i'm not

criticizing i'm not a critic i'm kidding

i hate it so what's going on there for

you and just one that being curated is

one of the

the grand um


just to help both themselves and others

get curious about what's going on learn

from it rather than shut down thinking

by being critical

yeah look for me when i started thinking

about the influence of ici on coaching

there's kind of three things

it's it's not exclusively this but

there's three ways to think about

about intercultural

factors influencing coaching

specifically it's the coach

it's coachee and it's the topic of


so matt was talking about


his own culture impacts or cultural

blindness impacts his ability to

interact with other people effectively

so that's super important because

you may just completely miss things as a

coach if you don't see them which is

sounds incredibly obvious as we say but

it can happen very very easily or you

know like i i wear corrective lenses so

if we wear lenses that that distort the

way we see things then again we we may

completely miss the true meaning of

what's going on in a coaching

relationship simply because of who we

are nothing to do with the glitch

because on the coaches side of things to

bring these frameworks in into this

thinking can can bring a whole new world

to someone if they haven't thought it

through or if they have actually been

influenced by this kind of thinking

before then you're basically playing on

the same ground

and so then the insight that can be

realized is is shared because you have a

mutual understanding of how culture

operates um so so that's the coach and

the coachee and then of course there's

the topic well this one is probably more

obvious because there's a lot of

consultancy you know

done on situations you know consults are

employed to look at situations people

look at situations so we're used to

looking at things from the outside and

therefore you know we can see cultural

influences affecting the way people

engage and do business and how

successful or unsuccessful they are

but i think that one the last one is

probably the one that we're the most

aware of and therefore

the one that we

well it's not that we need to pay the

least attention to it in coaching but we

probably need to be more cognizant of

the individuals involved first before we

look at the situations

i think you'd like to make some examples

so i remember earlier in my coaching

career coaching a an emirati gentleman

and as i'm coaching in my mind i'm


man it's like he's circling around and

not actually talking about the issue at


and also thinking

like um

it's like he just doesn't really know

what he wants


i remember thinking that i wasn't i

hadn't been very effective i didn't know

why and then i see eye and coach

subsequently and looked back

i realized that actually

he didn't have sufficient trust with me

that we hadn't yet built enough of a

trust between us for him to allow

himself to open up to me and tell me

really what was going on

and also when it came to making


he actually wanted he needed to

to think through who he was going to

speak to who in his community was

important to speak into his life to help

make decisions and i was kind of

blindly pushing him towards us to make

decisions because of where i come from

which is much more about this is what i

want to do because i come from more


society so then translate that into a

coach mentoring session i was doing a

few months ago and we had a um

a sally national

on that coach mentoring group call

and a very similar topic came up

and it was for me a joy to hear from him

him describing that like yeah

what he would do was he would ask

someone else

ah so

who who would you go and speak to and

what would you like to get from that who

is it important in your community

and so hearing this someone with a very

similar cultural background expressing

that me really realizing the mistakes

that i made

that helped me understand okay so this

is what i see i can do to add to my

coaching yeah yeah so you're

referring to one of the 12 dimensions

that we use

community accountability versus

individual accountability

and it seems just from the story you

just told that if you as a coach would

continue to operate

purely based on an individual


versus your coaching being more from a

community accountability point of view

what would happen if you would have

never discovered that i would continue

to find it difficult to help my coaches

to make decisions and move forward



now we've talked about coaching we

talked a little bit about the

fact that we

created a program i think all three of

us are quite excited about the fact that

the certificate in intercultural

coaching exists

uh it's uh these types of certifications

they take a lot of time and energy and


if you had a chance to say to people in

the audience this is why you should

consider investing this and in this

what would you say to them

for me

i'm i'm originally a finance guy right

so i cut my teeth and charted


and so i'm not sure i think about money

a lot but i certainly think about how

you measure things

and i think about investment


a lot of people put off personal

professional development because it

takes time and it's in that you know to

use the johari window you know it's in

that important

but not urgent category that we often

squeeze down to virtually nothing

and so when i think about my own

schedule which often is very busy if i

don't invest the time if i don't set the

time aside and actually keep it that way

it's never going to happen it's not even

a money thing to be honest it's about

time because time is

arguably one of the most valuable

resources that we have in the world

perhaps along with water


i i say if personal development is

important to you professional

development is important to you the

whole area of intercultural intelligence

should be on your list

and therefore it's just a matter of

not if you do it but when um

for me i'd speak to coaches who have a

real desire to be the best coach they

can be

and just to say that

if you're dealing with people from other


so that's if you're dealing with anyone

online outside your own country if

you're living outside your own country

any of those sorts of situations and if

you're wanting to be the best coach you

can be

this is a big step forward


it's not actually an easy step forward

it's not an easy step forward

because the big chunk of it and in some

ways this is the same with all coaching

development the big chunk of it is the

self-development and we often say um in

in the academy that it's the the

self-learning self-knowledge of the

coach which is far more important really

than any of the tools and other


you know what ici does is give a big

bright light on a new area and so yeah

if that's you if you're wanting to be

the best coach you can be

i can't really go wrong with this

thank you

i would like to uh sort of uh wrap this

up we have a had a

interesting year behind us

that's one word for it one word for it



there's 2021 is already one month in


we have of course

very little insight as to what this year

is gonna be

but i'm curious when you think about

this year what what do you get excited


i can go first so i'll start with a

couple of trivia ones

um i'm looking forward to traveling

again i mean i haven't been on an

airplane since

january last year and i love to travel

so but there's no end in sight for that

just yet for a number of reasons so

um i'm a passionate liverpool

um supporter so i'm really hoping

liverpool goes head-to-head and i have a

friend who's a man united fan who's

already spitting texts as i say that

hope he's listening home

and yeah but seriously for me it's

really hard to know what to look forward

to in 2021 because the world has changed

so much and we've really been taught a

big lesson in 2020

to not plan too far ahead

and so you know i i am looking forward

to engaging with my clients this year

but that's every year

but i've i've really held myself back

this year quite a lot because i just

don't necessarily know what's going to

happen this year we don't know how long

the pandemic is going to

you know if you like hold the world in

its grip

you know so it may be we have the same

conversation in 12 months time we just

don't know so probably for me it's it's

making the best of what i have in front

of me

which can can be a lot

i think from my side personally yeah

looking forward to

traveling i'd love to go and see my

family in uk at some point it's been

quite some time

i think professionally we're looking

forward to

although things haven't changed that


i think we're all a bit more used to


disruption than we were so it kind of

feels like

you know god willing business is going

to be up on last year

if i stand back though from the whole


and i look at trends

i think it's probably easier to speak

about trends rather than just 2021 um i

think this shift that we've seen into

virtual work is going to continue

i think the shift towards people working

home might shift back a bit but that's

here to stay

and then also politically like

i went to a um

a talk given by

one of the charter sheikhs recently he's

an economist

yeah and uh

it's like where there's a lot of hidden

corruption in the world is going to come

to the surface

and that's going to be a big upset for

us for a number of years we're already


some of those things taking place


i think it's going to be a very vuca

world to continue

volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous


so that actually gives me great hope for

the work that all of us do because if

i'm going to live in a world that's

increasingly like that increasingly

volatile i've got to know who i am and

where i am and how i can navigate a very

complex environment and that's what we


well i've thoroughly enjoyed this

conversation meet with the two of you


i wish we had more time

maybe we'll we'll

do a

part two later on in the series bring it

on even just uh talking about coaching

specifically i think it could be very

very interesting um

to talk about well what does it look

like to bring intercultural coaching


into a relationship

but uh thank you so much for making the

time and uh we are looking forward to to

our partnership and working together in

in 2021 so

let's look forward to in this

challenging year ahead of us keep doing

the good work you're doing marco thanks

very much

thank you so much for joining us for

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