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Building Cultural Intelligence with Trisha Carter


Saved Webinar: Cultural Intelligence and Transition Coaching

This webinar will be available to the public for one month only.

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Are you interested in professional sportspeople and how they learn to manage transitions of career and life? Are you curious about how cultural intelligence (CQ) can help when facing a transition or helping others who are facing transitions?

In this webinar I interviewed a highly experienced and knowledgeable Transitions Coach, Judy Fitzgerald. Judy works with people who are often facing a crossroad, a major change point in their lives and careers. She helps them to understand the transition experience, to navigate those changes skillfully to achieve outcomes that bring them career and life satisfaction, happiness and purpose. As she says; “to help them feel good about waking up to the alarm each morning!"

Her clients include NRL Players (this is the National Rugby League in Australia). These professional sports people face the challenging transition to life after their time in the NRL. For some it involves completely new careers, for some overseas transfers, for all it involves thinking and planning. How do they benefit from Transition Coaching? And do they need CQ?

Join Judy and I as we chat about how to go through the journey of transitions.


What can we learn from Rugby League about people development?

In a week where the world is looking towards the global sporting event of the Olympics, I’ve been reflecting on an Australian sporting code and its people practices – the NRL.

Mal Meninga and Trisha CarterThis might come as a surprise to those of you who know me as a fan of rugby union, but a couple of legends from the other code have got me thinking.

The most recent experience was meeting Mal Meninga at the AHRI Convention in Brisbane. For those of you outside Australia (or PNG) Mal is currently the coach of the national Australian Rugby League team and has himself played at a professional and representative level for many years prior to his current role in leading others. 

Mal spoke at the AHRI convention about his philosophy around creating culture, character and performance expectations of the national team he is working with and the champion state team he has worked with in the past.  He spoke of using other legends to tell stories, to inspire, create standards and expectations.

In some ways it was similar to my recent webinar conversation with Judy Fitzgerald.  Judy talks about the work she does for the NRL to help players transition from their roles as professional sportspeople to new roles beyond playing.

The common theme (aside from the similar demographic) uniting both Mal’s presentation and Judy’s webinar was the care they feel for the people they are working with.  Care and respect permeated their content.

On reflection I asked myself:

          Do I show such care and respect for the people I am working with?

If someone was listening to me would care and respect be the values that impressed?


Do we know how to learn?

Some of the people I work with are at the beginning of a steep learning curve.  Expats moving to another country need to process massive amounts of learning in a short period of time.  The cultural learning that I help them to understand and reflect on is one aspect of the learning about a country, a city, a workplace and a people that they are absorbing.  To help them with that mass of learning we also spend time discussing what is happening in their brain as they learn.  Understanding how learning happens can help us to support the process of learning. 

The importance of learning how to learn came to mind as I read the blogs from my fellow bloggers anticipating the upcoming AHRI Convention. Following on from the themes of the Convention, which will consider the period of profound transformation, we are currently facing, the blogs covered a range of topics that anticipate how that transformation is impacting and will impact on the world of work. 

They discussed the need for HR professionals to embrace an exponential rate of change.  Two separate blogs described the need to competently use technology in a way that enhances our lives and work.  One wrote about the need to adapt to careers that will span 17 employers, and another wrote about the need to prepare for lives that will span a hundred years.  

The one constant to enable us to adapt to these opportunities will be our openness to continuous learning and our ability to do so.

While academic formal learning will continue to be important, learning on the job and in the moment will become even more important.  The agents of learning may not just be the traditional trainers, supervisors, managers or leaders, but we also need to be open to learning from colleagues, collaborative networks, coaches, mentors and don’t forget the learning opportunities provided by mentees.  These will become our most common situations of continuous learning.  

We need to be aware of the processes we develop to support learning.  Understanding how to embed learning in previous experiences and knowledge will enhance the ease with which we learn.  Our ability to focus our brains and avoid distractions for short periods of intense learning will be important.  We also need the ability to space these periods of learning so our brain can absorb and embed the learning.  

And what I consider the most critical skill of all – the ability to mindfully reflect on all aspects of life and work to gain new awareness and insights – all of these aspects will help us learn and adapt to the workplaces of the future.

Many of these insights about learning have been gathered through research in neuroscience and that is one of the things I’m anticipating learning more about at the Pre-Convention Workshop at the AHRI Convention in Brisbane this week.  Dr David Rock from the NeuroLeadership Institute, a global initiative bringing neuroscientists and leadership experts together to build a new science for leadership development, will be presenting the workshop titled – “NeuroLeadership:  Rethinking how we learn and Breaking Bias. I'm looking forward to learning!

This blog was first published on the AHRI Convention Blog

Trisha will attend the Convention as a guest of AHRI. 



Insiders and Outsiders

Have you ever felt that feeling of being an outsider?  Feeling like you didn’t belong, weren’t welcomed, weren’t sure what to do?  

Perhaps you’ve felt it occasionally when you’ve moved outside your usual places of belonging.  Perhaps you feel it daily in your work or everyday life. 

We know from a psychological perspective that we are driven to find belonging.  We want the comfort of feeling at ease; that we know what to do, what to expect. We want the group of people around us, to accept us as one of them and to support us.   

“The need to belong is a powerful, fundamental and extremely pervasive motivation” … without belonging levels of mental and physical ill health increase.

Baumeister and Leary 1995

At a very basic level our sense of belonging is often tied to people who are like us.  The people who speak our language, share our ethnic background, or our religion.

And yet, in a globalized world with people studying, working and living in countries and cultures different to their passport countries, that picture of belonging is changing. 

If our sense of belonging is dependent on being the same gender or race or religion, or class or educational background as the other people in the room, or on the bus or in the neighbourhood, that feeling of belonging may be diminishing.   

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A radio interview -my first!

I was sitting at the airport waiting for a flight to Cairns to work with some great clients when I received a call from Kate O'Toole from ABC radio NT asking if I was available for an interview.  I've never done a radio interview before and I noticed my brain immediately finding reasons to avoid this one.  I didn't have time, the flight would be called soon, I couldn't prepare etc.  

But ...

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