Coaching and Mentoring in an Intercultural Context

Two Canadian policer officers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The Centre for Intercultural Learning has a long history of helping prepare Canadian civilian police for UN peacekeeping and international missions abroad. Over the last year alone, 210 Canadian officers have participated in intercultural effectiveness training in order to help them become more effective when working in an international setting.

Key learning areas have focused on intercultural communication, adaptation, and knowledge of the country of assignment's culture. In recent months, new learning modules, such as Working with Interpreters, have been developed to assist members serving with the RCMP International Peace Operations Branch.

One of the main roles of Canadian police on assignment is that of coach and mentor to local police forces in the host country. Many of the members deploying have extensive experience and skills in coaching and mentoring based on their professional experience in Canada. The Centre developed a specific learning component in order to explore how to transfer these skills into an intercultural context. A day-long session was developed using intercultural coaching expertise from the Centre, in conjunction with subject matter expertise from the country of assignment, in order to explore coaching and mentoring techniques in different cultural contexts.

A few of the learning objectives of the coaching session include:

  • To gain knowledge of different coaching styles and be able to adapt your style to meet the needs of individual learners.
  • To gain knowledge of the factors that motivate others to learn and perform at a high level.
  • To improve the ability to provide effective feedback in different cultural contexts.
  • To improve the ability to aid a learner in goal-setting.
  • To examine the similarities and differences when coaching in a culture different from one's own.

A participant in a recent program commented:

"Learning communication behaviour is a must!! This ensures smooth personal and professional relationship building. These relationships and good communication skills lead to success."

For more information about the Coaching and Mentoring in an Intercultural Context program, please contact the Centre for Intercultural Learning.