Gert Jan van Reenen
Gert Jan van Reenen is a certified coach and has more than 35 years of experience as a consultant and coach in almost 40 countries: including Africa, Asia, USA, South America, Russia, Eastern and Western Europe.
Imagine this: You got promoted and consequently, you have to move to another country. You look forward to embarking on this adventure. However, dealing with this new unfamiliar situation can generate feelings of inner resistance and create tension. How this works differs from person to person. Some people have, by nature, more talent to deal effectively with change and differences, than others.
Failure to deal with the new, possibly unsatisfactory situation could lead to feelings of stress and discomfort, or even culture shock. Both at work and in private life everything seems to be different. Without being aware of it , you have ended up in a situation where different values and norms prevail. Culture shock entails the risk of a lot of stress and possibly burn-out. By leveling cultures a more satisfactory balance will be created in your working and in private life. Your performance at work will be much better.
Leveling cultures means: being able to integrate the ‘new’ cultural practices into your own cultural background.
As human beings we are equal; but we are not the same. Gert Jan van Reenen’s passion is to support people who (are going to) live and work outside their native country, to deal effectively with differences in culture, so that they may perform and live optimally and stress-free. And last but not least, free from feelings of loneliness and homesickness.. .
As a Nigerian soccer player, you have been hired by a Dutch premier league football club. After the usual “honeymoon” it begins to dawn that things in The Netherlands are not as expected; your colleagues are not interested in you after working hours, their ways of interacting is not what you are used to. To meet your colleagues privately, you need to make an appointment first. You don’t understand their jokes, you feel left-out and lonely, and deprived of your family. The coach is worried because your performance as a team player does not meet expectations.
You are a French, high-potential manager employed by a well-known Dutch multi-national. The next step in your career is high-level position at HQ in Rotterdam. The first Monday at work is a terrible experience. Your sub-ordinates are blunt and disrespectful. You are disappointed and you wonder why? What have I done wrong? You expect that things will get better soon. However, after a month there is no change in the situation, things are even getting worse. You end up wondering whether your bosses wanted to punish you. Why? You decide to run for the hills and quit your job.
You came all the way from India to work for a well-known Dutch tech company. It seems a very appealing job and you get very well paid. However, in spite of the perks of your job, after some time you start to feel unhappy; there is a very “loose” culture in the company and, as you see it, a lack of leadership. As an employee you feel ignored and it seems you have to figure out yourself how to get the job done.
Your wife came with you from India and does not feel at home, to her everything seems to be different: how the kids are being dealt with at school, the strange ways the general practioner is dealing with you as a patient, etc. She longs even more than you to be with your kins. Life is becoming lonely and stressful for both of you.
Level Cultures –
The above realistic examples show that underperformance, burnout and culture shock are lurking.
The feeling of freedom, belonging, having a good time at work and private life can only exist if there is equality between cultures and a good balance with and between colleagues. This is what is meant by “level cultures – creating balance”.
However, there is a way out of these situations. Not by throwing in the towel, but by means of a coaching process in which you learn to understand and manage the situation, to take back control. During coaching you will learn to cope and develop solutions that personally suit you.
For whom: expats and people working internationally
After the coaching process, clients perform better at work.
Whether it concerns employees in ICT companies, tech companies, banks, etc. or football players who land in a foreign team, expats encounter similar problems; due to unfamiliarity with the culture of the new working and living environment, they will all experience the consequences.
Not every person deals with change in the same way. This is why vanreenencoaching.com proposes different approaches; a personal assessment serves to determine, what approach would serve the client best.