Activision partnering with Co-Wisdom Beijing to open new cohorts in China !
Activision Coaching Institute opens to China thanks to a fruitful partnership with Co-Wisdom led by Karen Wu, past president of ICF Beijing.
The start of Activision Coaching Institute’s first program in China was planned to be in Beijing in February 2020… Although it had been prepared some time ago, we had to postpone it and finally decided to start it online in May. Our main concern was to ensure the same quality and the same impact of our training program for Coaching Individuals, Teams & Organizations (CITO).
We knew that we were perfectly aligned with our partner regarding the competences and the quality standards required by ICF (International Coaching Federation, the foremost federation of coaches in the world, with more than 38 000 members and 25 000 credentialed). Our approach, firmly systemic and business in orientation, recognized by the professional world and the HRDs of large multinationals, was the reason for the choice of our school by our partner, Co-Wisdom. They are also firmly oriented towards organizational coaching in service of economic and human performance.
Would our pedagogical tools and our facilitation techniques, aimed at the responsibilisation of participants, their proactivity and their systemic approach, meet the expectations and the sensibilities of our Chinese public?
Whilst we have just started our second program, we have the opportunity to make an initial report with some surprising first replies to our questions.
How to give feedback on coaching when you do not master the language?
Of course, the simultaneous interpretation provided by our partner Karen Wu and her team at Co-Wisdom was perfect: coach-interpreters confirmed that they could express nuances in both languages. But sometimes we were surprised to have a few words interpreted by a long monologue or a detailed explanation by a few short words.
Our biggest surprise has been the ability to understand the relational quality of coaching from non-verbal elements. The expertise of a coach, which consists in forming a working intimacy, a listening space and in making the client reflect with powerful questions, was clear: “l found that throughout these exercises the clients introduced really meaningful subjects and although we only had a partial simultaneous interpretation of the contents of the exchanges, the emotional feeling was palpable. The next difficulty is for the Chinese coach to dare to use this material”, explained Patrick Haie, one of the PCC coaches and trainers of the Activision Coaching Institute on this programme.
How to install trust, without which it is difficult to create an effective learning space?
Patrick underlines the importance of the team learning the sensibility of the Chinese regarding what is normal, or not, to say or to question. The personal sphere is very intimate in the Chinese context. For the client, expressing their emotions is a sign of great trust, and for the coach, overcoming their discomfort when asking direct questions is a sign of courage and desire to learn. The Activision Coaching Institute team, composed of 2 MCC master coaches (Denise Sin Blima and Anne Dominguez) and 3 PCC coaches (Patrick Haie, Elisabeth Bourdin and Simona Cattabiani), had to very quickly learn the subtle balance between encouraging them to work on real subjects and overcoming their beliefs and the respect of each one in their specific culture.
Trust is thus formed between the team of international trainers of the Activision Coaching Institute and the Chinese mentors-coaches of Co-Wisdom.
How to verify the acquisition of learning when it is not polite to say what is not right?
The idea of authority and respect is an important point in the pedagogic relationship in China. The Chinese public particularly respects knowledgeable people. Simona Cattabiani, another PCC coach and trainer of Activision Coaching Institute, testifies to the seriousness of the participants. She explains how she was impressed: “how knowledgeable the participants were about the subject and how they were concentrated and involved in the training”.
This requires attention from the trainers: “Even when we have the impression that everything is well prepared with the team of Chinese colleagues, it is useful to check several times that everyone has completely understood what to do”, explains Patrick Haie.
The references of the International Coaching Federation competencies has been essential. Simona notes that “It seems simple to make the ICF’s 11 competencies model work across cultures, even with our differences, which in fact are not as many as we would think at first sight.”
Conclusion: the satisfaction of connection and making a team with a difference!
The adaptation of the programme to the Chinese public, together with the need to transform the training online because of the coronavirus, has enabled us to create a true connection, in spite of the distance and the technological interface. We have been charmed by the talent of our colleagues in the use of metaphors and working images and we have been amused at their comments in the chat room and their creativity with emojis 😊! Another bridge was crossed when we used the automatic translation sites to translate the Chinese script that they sent us and prepared our replies in Chinese…….
Thanks to the Activision Coaching Institute, composed of Anne Dominguez and Denise Sin Blima, our Pedagogical Directors of Activision Coaching Institute, Simona Cattabiani, Elisabeth Bourdin, Patrick Haie, the PCC coaches and trainers endowed with a wide international experience and an excellent mastery of the training of coaches which allowed this success. Without forgetting the work of Catherine Tanneau, who has accompanied this project from its beginning to its end, and Sophie Remy, who has ensured the organisation and the follow-up of this complex program.
The Chinese adventure for Activision Coaching Institute thus begins with our partner Karen Wu and her Co-Wisdom team in Beijing, partners with a great professionalism and with whom we are very happy to work. Thanks a lot to Karen for trusting us and for her unfailing energy and optimism in making a success of this slightly crazy project, in spite of the crisis which struck China and then the rest of the world.
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