On my way to KSA

On my way to KSA, living in Saudi-Arabia –

I’m sure they mean well with you. Your friends. Your family. That they make you aware of risks. Want to stop you from making a mistake. Tell you what you should do.

All well-intentioned. It’s just that if you’ve just made a decision that sets the course for the future, it’s just not helpful. You need support now, not “questioning”.

My example – We, my spouse and I together, had decided to accept my employer’s offer to me for an executive position in Al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia. We had completed a cultural training together, inspected the situation professionally and privately on site and discussed the pros and cons.

And then came the conversation with our two sets of parents, no longer the youngest and used to the fact that we could reach them within a few hours by car. And now this. The four of them sat at a table with us as we discussed our decision with them.

✳ “In this country, this heat, do you really want to do this to yourself?”

✳ “These are quite a lot of travel strains for you. How long does it take to get there?”

✳ “It’s certainly dangerous. Are you sure?”

Then my father, then almost 90 years old, stood up, came up to me, shook my hand, hugging me: “What a great offer! I’m so proud of you.”

And at the end, it was a very enriching experience. A new culture, new contacts, new friendships and an exciting professional task. And when it came down to it, we were quickly home in a few hours of flying, including to travel to my father’s 90th birthday.

Making a decision and then explaining it sometimes feels like “crisis communication.” It is often the case that you can’t please everyone with one decision, not every stakeholder will be enthusiastic.

➡ The advice of the counsellor then often tells a lot about the counsellor him- or herself. Or what do you think?

Thanks to Valentina Müller-Hinteregger for the inspiration for this post (compare  https://lnkd.in/ewJbMtnC, if you like).

I’m Bernd Scharbert and my job as a mentor and facilitator for leaders is to ensure that virtual and intercultural teams are successful. This also includes change and crisis management. If you are interested, please feel free to follow me on LinkedIn, #prepare4landing or contact me directly.

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