Barton Insights Barton Insights

Expatriate Coaching

Expat CoachingIndividuals often turn to coaching as a tool to see them through a significant professional or life juncture – and relocations are certainly one of life’s big changes.

A relocation presents the opportunity for a fresh start, a shift in priorities, a change in direction or perspective. It can also present challenges – whether it’s the pressure of the new job, figuring out the local culture, establishing a social network, managing a family overseas or setting up a new life as the accompanying partner of an international assignee.

Coaching makes sure that you set aside the time to tackle these challenges head on. A scheduled appointment with a coach makes it more likely that you will spend an hour reflecting on what’s happening or what you need to do next or differently. It can help you to come up with a vision for your time abroad or an action plan to make a success of the new professional role.

Coaching also sees expats through the times when the post-arrival blues set in – when the novelty of the move wears off, the pressure to deliver at work increases, a partner is preoccupied with their new role or home seems far away. A coach offers the undivided attention and support that is often lacking in a strange place.

The Barton Insights team works with expatriates on a regular basis and we understand the specific transition and cultural challenges that can arise. Whether it is coaching for an expatriate executive or accompanying spouse, we work with you to ensure that the relocation is a success and the fulfilling adventure it should be.

Relevant to:

  • Expatriate executives
  • Expatriate accompanying spouse/partners
  • Expatriates in any global location


  • In person
  • Skype

Note – this is not training or country/culture-specific, although the coach will be familiar with intercultural & expat issues.

Topics Covered

Unlike the more structured Expat Transition Training (which we strongly recommended you take first), the coachee determines the focus of each coaching session. For example, this might include:

  • Discussion of cross-cultural dynamics, especially what is or is not working
  • Strategic thinking about the new role
  • Identifying personal or professional goals for the assignment
  • Managing transition stress or ‘Culture Shock’
  • Managing the dynamics of a relationship and/or family in transition
  • Steps to feel more at home or happier in the new country
  • Acknowledging achievements and what is going well
  • Building a social life or professional network

Issues more specific to an accompanying expatriate spouse/partner, such as:

  • Finding a sense of purpose, especially when a career has been put on hold
  • Dealing with feelings of dependency, loneliness, boredom or resentment
  • Coping with the a lack of a support network
  • Establishing a new routine
  • Creating and pursuing their own vision for the international assignment

Benefits to Expat

  • Take control of the relocation experience with this positive, practical tool
  • Give you and any accompanying partner the best chance of a happy, fulfilling time overseas
  • Take time to assess what’s currently going well or not so well and what needs to change or happen next
  • Step back from day-to-day practicalities to reflect on how you are going to make a success of the new professional role or tackle any challenges
  • Ensure that an accompanying spouse/partner gets the support and encouragement they need
  • Work through the transition with an experienced professional who understands what you are going through and who is external to your friendship/work circle
  • Reduce the risk of problems in your relationship, family or career

Benefits to the Company

  • Maximise the potential of the international assignment as a learning opportunity – encourage expatriate executives to reflect and consciously develop global leadership skills
  • Help your expatriate executives to manage the stress of an expatriate assignment and to achieve the intended professional objectives
  • Give employees someone external to the organisation who they can speak with openly about the personal, professional and cultural challenges they face
  • Eliminate a top concern of expatriate assignees – whether their partner/spouse will adjust and be happy. Help them to support those they care about by providing coaching as a relocation benefit
  • Provide ongoing support for assignees wherever they are in the world with affordable virtual Skype sessions

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