Googling “Life Cycle Coaching” this afternoon, as more and more this is where I feel my expatriate coaching takes me (and of course in between making cakes with my son and waiting for them to cook) I came across Maralyn Cale’s  A hugely personal and intimately written site I began to read and came across the below questions in its resources.  I’d never heard of DePree’s work before and the questions resonated strongly with me, as at this  moment as an expat trailing spouse who is losing another good friend this week and knows not for myself when this juggling act of life will end or change I’m feeling a little “do I matter”.

DePree in the following questions encourages reflection and introspection about a work environment.  I wonder if these same questions could be applied to the expatriate posting and wow, how differently the employee, the non-working spouse and any children would answer them.  Personally, one of the many things I have learnt in my time “trailing” is to have set between us indicators of whether the expatriate life is working for us all.  When it’s a no to certain number for each of us, we’ve agreed its time to review and probably head on home or somewhere else.  As a coach I believe that coaching gives a coachee time and space to think and importantly to feel that they do indeed matter – often as an expat we don’t feel seen or heard or particularly understood, coaching allows this via techniques such as non-judgemental, appreciative enquiry, empathy and seeing a coachee for who they are and can be at their best.

So I thought I’d let you see DePree’s questions, with thanks to Maralyn, and see if they set you wondering or wandering about your expatriate existence (your work environment)?

“In his book Leadership is an Art, Max DePree invites us to wonder about our working environment in a variety of ways:

  • Does what I do count?
  • Does what I do make a difference?
  • Why should I come here?
  • Can I be somebody here?
  • Is there for me any rhyme or reason here?
  • Can I ‘own’ this place?
  • Do I have any rights?
  • Does coming here add any richness to my life?
  • Is this a place where I can learn something?
  • Would I show this place to my family – or am I ashamed to show them – or does it just not matter?
  • Is there anybody here I can trust?
  • Is this place open to my influence?

Leadership is an Art, Max De Pree (Dell Publishing, 1989)