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Thriving Through Inclusion: Angela Weinberger's Approach to Global Leadership!

The need for strong, inclusive leadership has never been greater. Angela Weinberger, a renowned Global Leadership Coach fluent in both English and German, is dedicated to helping leaders and teams thrive by fostering inclusion. Her unique approach emphasises the importance of building inclusive teams to drive purpose, performance, and productivity. With a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, Angela empowers leaders to navigate the complexities of global leadership and create environments where everyone can succeed.

1. Angela, could you share a bit about your journey and what inspired you to become a global leadership coach?

I started my own company Global People Transitions over a decade ago because I wanted to help expats and their families in a more direct way and through (intercultural) coaching. I basically knew that I wanted to be self-employed already in 1996 when I had the initial idea driving in an old beetle through Tasmania on the way back from interviews that I had conducted for my thesis research. I worked as an HR Manager and Global Mobility Manager during most phases of my corporate career, started to train to be in an intercultural trainer in 2002 and then topped this up with several trainings to become the Global Leadership Coach that I am today. 

2. In your experience, what are the most significant challenges female business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs face in the global mobility landscape?

I think the main issue every coach faces is business development and also “coaching” is such a vast landscape that it is often hard to stand out from the crowd. Also, depending on cultural context clients have different ideas on what a coach does and how we work. And in Global Mobility as an industry, “Intercultural Coaching” is not yet established. Many Global Mobility policies don’t have provisions for supporting expats' careers or the expat partner's finding a new job in the host country. And as in many industries large providers (called RMC’s - see handout) control the market. When you are starting out you are most likely inclined to work for a large provider to secure your income. It can become draining. So my advice is to start developing your email list and direct marketing to potential clients right away.

3. How does the RockMeApp support expats, nomads, and international team leaders in developing their careers and enhancing their mental well-being?

The RockMeApp is our client platform for our direct clients. We use it to share program content, resources such as worksheets and templates, and weekly reflection exercises. Our clients also develop their Personal Development Plan (PDP) in our RMA. We developed five areas according to my Global Competency Model, which I developed as a holistic model to further develop into an inclusive global leader.

4. You emphasise the importance of trust and psychological safety in building productive teams. Can you explain how leaders can foster these qualities in a multicultural environment?

This is very big question but first of all leaders need to learn to listen to every voice on their team (not just their own voice). I recommend ground rules for collaboration that you develop together as a team and you can start with a few simple exercises. Anyone who would like to dig deeper could start working with my latest workbook “The Global Rockstar Album - 21 Verses to Find Your Tact as an Inclusive Leader” or join my upcoming “Global Rockstars” program.

5. What strategies do you recommend for creating more inclusive global mobility guidelines and processes?

Again this is a big question. We have a series of blog posts on the topic (“The Push for Rainbox Talent in Global Mobility”), and I hold lectures and workshops on this topic, too. The most important idea is that you redefine your idea of “Expat Family” and be more inclusive in the family construct you support. You can also consider more flexibility in what kind of services you offer and to whom. A basic idea to improve the expat experience is to ask your expats what they really need and want, where and how they benefitted from a service, and what else they would have liked to have.

6. How does digitalisation play a role in bringing the human touch back into global mobility, and what are some practical examples you've seen?

In times of AI and machine learning we need to be careful that we do not forget the human touch and in my opinion “Expat Coaching” is a great way to improve human touch. We use the RockMeApp to be able to work with a larger number of clients while giving everyone the individual attention and support they need, whether it is emotional, technical or knowledge-based support. You can ask ChatGPT to write a motivation letter for you but it won’t help you to land a job. You need to understand the intricacies of the host country job market and how people build trust in order to land a job or in order to get clients. I’m not talking about automation or similar ideas where you just change the first name to the reader. I’m talking about high-level coaching that can only be provided by experienced Expat Coaches.

7. What advice would you give to female digital nomads looking to build successful and inclusive teams while navigating the challenges of remote work?

Okay, this might sound a bit repetitive but read my book. It’s exactly written for people like you. Or join my Global Rockstars program. That’s even better.

8. In what ways can companies support the mental health and well-being of their international employees, especially in high-stress global work environments?

I think companies need to go beyond Employee Support Services and provide not only career coaching but also reasonable workload and clarity on expectations around what is a high performing employee. As long as we still believe in 24/7 cultures and responding anytime, anywhere, we won’t have healthier employees. The minimum companies should provide is work with a specialist in this field, such as International SOS or my company Global People Transitions.

9. Could you discuss the role of language and cultural understanding in effective global leadership and team management?

The more you learn other languages, the wider your perception of the world becomes. Intercultural awareness is a lifelong process, and you need to understand that you do not know what you do not know. One way to improve as a leader is to reflect on your experiences. You might understand better what is going on when you bring in an intercultural coach. It also helps to read books about intercultural communication and listen to podcasts. You might discover that there is a wonderful world out there you did not know existed.

10. What future trends do you see in global mobility and leadership coaching, and how should women entrepreneurs prepare to take advantage of these trends?

I’m always hoping that I am a trendsetter so hopefully in the future, we will have an easier time selling intercultural and expat coaching to corporate clients in global mobility. Leadership coaching will focus more on diverse talent and on creating inclusive teams. We are currently facing an unprecedented backlash against diversity, equity and inclusion as well as intercultural communication. We need more women building bridges, and the sisterhood needs to come together to help each other thrive as entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

Connect with Angie Weinberger:

“I am on a Mission to Bring the HUMAN TOUCH back into Global Mobility (through Digitalization).”

Angie Weinberger is a Global Mobility Yoda, Expat Coach, and Author. She’s the Founder and Managing Director of Global People Transitions Ltd., Zurich, Switzerland.

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