The WorldWork Intern Diaries – Part 1

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.00.26Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” – Albert Einstein.

At WorldWork we could not agree more which is one of the reasons why our tagline is “Learning for Global Success”, we very firmly believe that learning should be a vital, continuous process and the only means to successful growth and development both on an individual and organizational level. 

In the promotion of this ethos we therefore regularly run internship programmes and welcome students from different parts of the world. 

In October Sarah Braus, from the University of Passau, joined the WorldWork team. Over the following weeks she will share her experiences and learnings in the first of the series known as the WorldWork Intern diaries…

Click here to read Sarah’s first log…[embeddoc url=”” download=”all” viewer=”google”]

Know Thyself – but is it easy to do so when working in an unfamiliar environment?

The world’s most effective leaders have a high level of self-awareness.

Sometimes the only instrument one can rely on for the job is oneself. What happens however when the ‘instrument’ has never been tested in a new environment? What steps can be taken to ensure we have enough awareness of what we take in and what we put out in the correct measure to suit unfamiliar and challenging working situations?

Speaking with a head of leadership development in a multinational organisation a short while back she told me the following:

We have a Leadership Development programme where we bring our high-potential managers together from around the world. We need to address the issue of global collaboration as there is an increasing dependence of the organisation on sales in emerging cultures, and many of our high-potentials are already involved in diverse teams. Yet we don’t currently get people thinking enough how they can approach working with other cultural locations, and what they can do to improve. We want to promote self-awareness about working in a global environment, and not just rely on generalisations about how cultures differ.

It made me think of a response I received from one of WorldWork Limited’s  licensees, Banu Goleshorki of Pharos International, Brussels, when I asked of her experiences using tools to train. Banu uses the International Preferences Indicator (IPI):

For me one of the key benefits of the IPI is that it is a training tool; not a coaching tool. I use it as a part of some of my two or three-day executive development programs. Last year I also used it for my Masters students and plan to do so again this year.   

 I personally really like the fact that it is not easy to fake the IPI responses as the respondents need to make choices and then indicate how strongly they feel about those choices. It is exciting to see the thermometers [a pictorial indicator within the IPI report that shows participants their levels of push and pull competencies] and it is very eye-opening for them that they cannot have ten full thermometers and they start to be more aware of how they represent themselves when working in unfamiliar environments. The executives are intrigued by the idea of Push-Pull preferences (click here to find out more about Push & Pull) and are surprised that they generally tend to have one or the other preference. They also like the fact that we are not talking about fixed personality attributes. Respondents really like the idea that they can focus and develop a certain area depending on the needs of their job or circumstances they are likely to face. It helps them to be more concrete about what they want to develop, why and how. IPI is not a predictive test and it does not claim to be, it merely provides awareness and a discussion tool for developing intercultural skills and strengthening our repertoire of behaviors and switching between styles as needed.

Operating as a leader in an unfamiliar cultural environment calls for a different level of self-awareness and the ability to adapt working styles accordingly. The IPI can be used in a training environment to help increase self-awareness and enable leaders to recognize and adapt their particular preferences when working internationally, which can then lead to more effective performance.

You can go to to find out more about WorldWork’s International Preferences Indicator (IPI).


The International Profiler (TIP) WorldWork Case Study


Laurence Leveque

Licensed to use TIP but still not sure how to incorporate it into your training or coaching programme?

We have put together a series of case studies to demonstrate how TIP can be used effectively in different situations and with a range of clients.

The first is from Laurence Leveque, Director of Ressources et Talents, a French-based company that provides coaching, training and support for companies or individuals facing changes and Kathleen Dameron, Founder of KD Conseil, which has, over the last 20 years, facilitated, coached and trained individuals, teams and groups to foster high performance practices in multicultural companies. 

If you would like any help or advice on using TIP, please contact WorldWork on +44(0)20 7486 9844 and speak to a member of our team. 

Case Study

About the Programme: An international bank organised a global leadership training programme with high potentials from all over the world, as part of a path to their next position within the company. Most already had intercultural experience – either they had been expats or already worked intensely with other cultures. TIP was used as part of the programme, in order to achieve the training objectives.

Programme Structure

  • Made up of two sessions, one four-day session in Paris and then, six months later, another three-day session
  • Participants completed the TIP questionnaire and had a one-on-one, hour-long feedback discussion over the phone before session two
  • There was a recap of TIP and the competences in session two, then 8-10 participants who scored very highly in certain competences were picked out
  • The rest of the group chose which of these participants to sit with and they discussed how/why he or she performs so highly in this competence
  • Participants were provided with elements of Robert Dilts Neuro-Linguistic Programming model for modeling excellence. This improves the quality and usefulness of the questions they ask those who scored highly

Objectives of Using TIP

  • The participants already had intercultural experience. TIP was good because it focusses on the participants’ personal qualities and skills, not on the new culture they are entering
  • Using knowledge from those who scored highly in certain competences, those who scored lower could put together an action plan of how they might go about cultivating the competences they wished to develop


  • TIP highlighted for participants their way of working
  • Helped participants put their finger on strengths and gaps in their skills that may be required for current and future roles
  • Through the combination of TIP and NLP modeling, participants were able to understand what enables someone to perform strongly in any given competence
  • With this knowledge, participants could question whether they shared the same drivers as those who performed strongly and if they did, how to apply them successfully

Intercultural Interaction: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Intercultural Communication

This is an extract from the book Intercultural Interaction: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Intercultural Communication by Helen Spencer-Oatey and Peter Franklin, published 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited, reproduced with the permission of Palgrave Macmillan.

This extract looks at managing culture shock and stress and features WorldWork’s competency framework. We hope you find it interesting.

7.1.2 Managing Culture Shock and Stress

As we noted in Chapter 3, most frameworks that conceptualize ICIC identify a number of personal qualities that are helpful for managing culture shock and stress. Matsumoto and his colleagues (e.g., Matsumoto, Yoo and LeRoux 2007) have researched this empirically and propose, on the basis of their studies, that there are four key ingredients for the effective management of cultural stress and the promotion of personal growth. These are: emotion regulation, openness, flexibility and critical thinking. They argue that emotion regulation functions as a gatekeeper, because people have difficulty engaging in critical thinking and assimilating new cognitive schemas to aid adjustment unless they have first been able to control their emotions. The WorldWork framework (see Concept 3.7), in common with the Cross Cultural Adaptability Inventory, includes emotional strength as one of its foci. The WorldWork framework identifies three different elements: resilience, coping and spirit of adventure (See Concept 7.3). Resilience seems to correspond closely to Matsumoto and colleagues’ concept of emotion regulation. In the related competency of personal autonomy the WorldWork framework identifies inner purpose as a quality, which contributes to the management of culture shock and stress.

A number of researchers have explored the range of strategies that people use to cope with stress and thus put the quality of resilience into practice. Carver and his colleagues (1989) have identified 15 such strategies (Concept 7.4) and these have been used in a few cross-cultural studies.

Typically, self-ratings of these items are correlated with self-ratings of measures of psychological well-being. These have yielded mixed findings as to which strategies are associated with psychological well-being, and Cross (1995) has speculated that a possible reasons for this could be cross-cultural differences in the effectiveness of different coping strategies.

Experiential Examples 7.1 and 7.2 both point to the value of social support for handling stress, and Ward, Bochner and Furnham (2001) report some empirical evidence, which substantiates this. This raises an important question: who can provide the most effective social support – people from the ‘host’ culture, people from one’s own culture, or other ‘foreigners’ or ‘outsiders’?

The psychologist Stephen Bochner explored this issue by studying the friendship patterns of overseas students (e.g., Bochner, McLeod and Lin 1977). He found that people tend to belong to three distinct social networks, and that each of these serves important but different psychological functions. He found that overseas students prefer local students for help with language and academic difficulties, but prefer co-nationals for emotional support (Concept 7.5). Spencer-Oatey and Xiong (2006) report similar findings.

Despite the importance of social support from one’s own cultural group, a number of researchers (e.g., Ward and Kennedy 1993) have found that in the longer term a greater amount of interaction with host nationals is associated with fewer social difficulties, improved communicative competence and facilitates general adaptation to life overseas. Of course, interaction with the host cultural group is a two-way process that requires both parties to be both willing and interested in interacting. Some social settings make that more difficult than others, and this is an issue that we return to in Section 7.3.

Ward and Kennedy (2001) point out, though, that there has been surprisingly little research into the coping strategies that people acutally use to deal with the stressful changes associated with cross-cultural transition, and how effective they are. This is clearly a topic that would benefit from further research. 

Concept 7.3 Intercultural competencies associated with emotional strength


Ability to cope well with stress, uncertainty and anxiety and to bounce back after making mistakes.


Has well-developed methods for dealing with stress, builds local support networks and uses humour to relieve tensions.
Spirit of Adventure


Searches out and enjoys new experiences, even if they are unpredictable and outside the normal comfort zone.
Inner Purpose


Possesses an inner strength and well-defined personal values, self-reliance and determination that provides a clear sense of purpose and direction.
(based on WorldWork, n.d.)



International Preferences Indicator (IPI) Case Study

Dr. Banu Golesorkhi



Licensed to use IPI but still not sure how to incorporate it into your training programmes?

We have put together a series of case studies to demonstrate how IPI can be used effectively in different situations and with a range of clients.


The first is from Dr. Banu Golesorkhi, founding partner of Pharos International, whose expertise include development of intercultural awareness and competence, management of global mobility and building trust across cultures.

If you would like advice on using IPI, contact WorldWork on +44(0)20 7486 9844.

Case Study

Context: Used as part of an intercultural awareness programme run in business schools in Europe and the US

Participants: High performing managers targeted for leadership development

Training Course Structure

  • The IPI is used in intercultural awareness modules – typically 2-3 day courses
  • It is introduced towards the end of the course, to tie all the insights together
  • The IPI tool and the ten qualities it identifies are explained thoroughly before participants are given their feedback report and they are asked to guess their scores
  • What is important skill-wise in their job is discussed and then compared to their results
  • Participants study their profile and discuss whether they agree with the findings
  • Participants are then paired up according to interesting differences in their scores
  • They read each other’s profiles and then coach each other, sharing advice on how to cultivate particular areas of strength
  • The trainer can use the resources manual that comes with the IPI to ask additional questions and further expand the discussion
  • At the end of the session, each participant is asked what their key learning is and what they will change when they return to their jobs

Objectives of Embedding IPI in a Training Course

  • To act as another point of self-awareness
  • To help participants to understand where they are distributing their energies and where they might divert them, in order to better meet their job’s requirements
  • To serve as a building block for personal development


  • Increased self-awareness
  • Brings useful insights together under one umbrella
  • Prompts new ways of thinking/behaviours
  • People see that they can make choices in their approach. They can decide where to channel their energies. It enables them to re-evaluate their behaviours and decide which competences they want to develop, in line with their future job requirements

Key Benefits

  • For the trainer: the beauty of the IPI is its flexibility. Whatever the objectives/time frame/participant, a good coach will be able to flow it into a training programme successfully
  • For participants: increased self-awareness and preparation for future job requirements