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Career Spotlight: “Governance” rocks for Women (in France)!

61080768-92da-4928-a635-0317f8cff309One of my favorite roles as career coach is to identify new types of jobs and careers. Today, there are people trail-blazing in careers they can’t even give a label to; there are need-built jobs emerging daily from new technologies –  jobs that remain “confidential” because no one with more than two degrees of separation knows about them.  In this context, I am always scouting for opportunities for my potential clients.  Okay. Especially for women.  The  sooner the historical professional gender gap bites the dust, the happier I will be.

My latest “find” is corporate governance, or “gouvernance d’entreprise” in French.  For the past twenty years, my shtik has been encouraging women to pursue getting on corporate boards; now I realize I should be recommending one better: corporate governance advisor, where you may have the role of being on several boards.  Although corporate governance usually starts as a salaried in-house position, it is also possible to pursue it independently as a consultant for multiple companies.   The latter requires a mature career in all aspects of governance as well as polish in both networking and communications. [Read more…]

The NPD-afflicted lurking among us

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)There’s been a lot of talk recently about Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) due to one of the current candidates in the U.S. Presidential elections. Those of us with forty years of career behind us know that almost all professional paths are strewn with both the NPD-afflicted and their victims, so it’s a good thing to recognize them because the only way to deal with them is to avoid them. Yes, just find another job!

If that sounds categorical, it is. Getting someone who thinks he or she is always right to admit an imperfection or error is not only a Herculean task but, if successful, potentially dangerous; NPD verbal hyperbole and bile can easily turn to nasty action. [Read more…]

Cultural Stereotyping as A Tool

Cultural StereotypingIf we seek to understand a people, we have to try to put ourselves, as far as we can, in that particular historical and cultural background.
– Jawaharlal Nehru, Visit to America

When studying foreign cultures, it’s often hard to avoid discussing generalizations and stereotypes. While stereotyping has a dubious reputation, it is actually quite useful in describing foreign cultures. One caveat is that any discussion of stereotypes should be accompanied by an explanation of the so-called Ladder of Inference – a scale, or figurative ladder – that starts off with generalizations and stereotypes and escalates to undesirable states of prejudice, racism, violence, and hatred. For this reason, all discussion of cultural stereotypes is best moderated with even-handedness and a sense of humor. (Yes, ethnocentrism thrives in most cultures. [Read more…]

On Herding Cats and Frenchmen

Herding Cats and FrenchmenPart of my latent career experience is in event management, so the idea of organizing a conference in Paris for fifty or so hoteliers didn’t seem like much of a stretch when I was first approached – shortly after the horrifying Bastille Day tragedy in Nice (July 14, 2016) – by a world-renown American expert on combating international terrorism in tourism, who was interested in speaking to the French hospitality sector.

It was an easy project in Anglo-Saxon terms: get a group of concerned professionals together to explore a timely, “hot” topic – preventing terrorism – in order to come up with some creative, holistic solutions for tourism in France. [Read more…]

Time for Serial Careers

Serial CareersCareer coaching is full of incredible surprises. This is a true story about age, the perception of time, and – inevitably – why career coaching is the bolt of lightning that lights up your darkened path.

One of my earliest career-coaching clients was also my twenty-eight-year-old accountant. He was just starting out, tugging at his rural roots in order to transplant into a more urban area, and very enthusiastic about being coached “just to see what it’s all about” but not really thinking that it would have any personal benefits for him. [Read more…]

Composing a Career: Coaching as Artistic Self-Anthropology

I recently listened to a recorded interview[1] of Mary Catherine Bateson, daughter of the famous American and British anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and author of the book “Composing a Life”[2], that struck me as a treatise for the justification for professional or career coaching.

Since the 1990s,  she says,  “Consistant career paths aren’t there for anyone. We now live with constant change.”  Yep, I know all about that; I have been helping people swim upstream in rapid change for nearly two decades now. [Read more…]

What to expect from the coaching experience

Check out this great info-graphic from the International Coach Federation to learn more about coaching.

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Why coaching works

Check out this great info-graphic from the International Coach Federation on why coaching works.

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Learning by doing at Ecole Supérieure d’Hôtellerie (ESH)

learning by doingAs a member of the faculty at Ecole Supérieure d’Hôtellerie (ESH) in Paris and London since 2005, I have taught Strategic Human Resource Management and Managerial Communications in the Master of Hospitality Management program since its inception, and Cross-Cultural Management in the London South Bank University’s Master of Science, inaugurated in 2013.

In 2008, I initiated project-based learning – learning by doing – at the master level by creating the Project Management Program, a two-semester cursus that includes writing an academic research paper and a business plan in teams.
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The development of corporate coaching

corporate coaching, executive coaching France

Build a stronger team with corporate coaching

The rapid development and acceptance of the coaching profession, beyond sports and music, is no mystery. It has evolved out of the void left by corporate down-sizing, which has eliminated traditional in-company mentors – senior persons who used to “groom” younger employees over the years for certain functions and responsibilities in the company. Now those traditional mentors are put into retirement at an early age and “grooming” is at best haphazard. This, combined with more rapid personnel turnover than in the past, has prompted management to seek the services of outside contractual professionals known as “coaches”.  Coaching has thus become part of corporate value-added strategy as well as a smart investment in an individual’s personal life and career.

[Read more…]