Intercutlural Competencies


Goodbye Goa!

Goodbyes, hellos, and no going back!

India, special India!

The time to bid our Goan “home” of 3.5 years goodbye!

In a blink of an eye 1219 fabulously exotic days which start with a view that (mostly) resembles a seaside paradise exploding with intensely colorful palettes of sunrises and sunsets as seen on “wish you were here” postcards and honeymoon catalogues, are coming to an end. The remaining 30 days of packing and relocating not only ourselves but also our dogs to Austria, are going to pass in an even brighter blur!

A room with a spectacular view – every day – even during the Monsoon!

What can I say?

My feelings on leaving here are mixed.

What I can say is that during my time here – in the dazzle and daze of hazy day to day events, high days and bright “holi”-days it hasn’t always been a honeymoon and at times I wish I wasn’t here. We have been undergoing real-time transformation in among the frustrations and fun of this “roll-er-coast-er” time.

Happy Holi!

It’s been a transformation adventure for sure!

#transformation: having undergone change with no possibility to return to the original form or shape – like when you… Read more


Power From Within is Pure Empowerment

Power From Within is Pure Empowerment

Power: a.k.a. ability, potential, talent and gift

Em-power-ment: a.k.a. permission, green light, go ahead, consent and OK.

It’s not possible to empower someone else – each and every one of us is already empowered.
No one, especially not people “in power” have this power or hold over others.
Real empowerment only happens when people are doing something because they WANT to. Empowerment comes from within and you get to see it when people are doing something to the best of their ability – in any given situation.
Empowerment is unleashed human desire and potential. That is power-full!
And they will only make that decision – give themselves the “green light” – when they feel good, feel safe and when they know what’s in it for them.
Happy people are empowered people.
And only then can knowledge become power!

When was the last time you went out of your way to make someone you work (or play) with, happy?

I work with teams; cross-cultural teams and support them in recognizing their diverse strengths and allowable weaknesses to unlock their potential and power within.

If you’re interested in doing a cross-cultural workshop, contact me!


Movements, Myths & Burning Business Issues!

Movements, Myths & Burning Business Issues!

I visited Varanasi a few weeks ago. As promised it proved to be 3.5 days filled with fascinating fables, informative insights, metaphors and myths and what really preoccupied me afterwards was the mindset, or philosophy around dying – before and after death. It was a deeply introspective experience that, even without actually thinking about it, forced me to reflect on my own attitude and beliefs about life, and death. My more pragmatic self did some research and found facts relating to the business of burning bodies. 

Among other things, I read that this custom and practice has almost depleted India’s own forests and they are now importing the wood from neighboring countries like Nepal. Considering the pyres are burning 24/7 and an average of 50 bodies get burnt a day, that is some business! And a huge, weighty demand for wood!

An environmental activist’s nightmare and, quite frankly, a matter of life, over death! Now!

Fast forward a week or two and I am talking to one of my clients in the EU which is expanding their business borders further East mentioning Nepal as one of their new sources of wood. And I think to myself…

I get the “machinery” of business. I get what is needed to make a business run, well-oiled, efficiently and effectively to maximize profits. I personally thrive on other businesses expanding their business borders because it calls for cultural collaboration which can only be achieved through cultural understanding and clarity in communication – my business. I get that everyone wants their share (fair or not) of the economic and consumer pie and when the local market gets too small or the region has run out of resources and stock, then businesses have to move on up and out – otherwise it is death to the business! I get that.

But, how much of all of this is done in the true wisdom and understanding that some ideas, traditions and customs need to be burnt, for the benefit our children’s futures? And their children?

And, just how much of all of this is as “sustainable” as businesses envisage, intend and promise?

Let’s face it. Business is a violent business. Success can be cut throat. Does it have to be this way? Do we even have choices?

Read more


Cross-Cultural Collaboration & Communication

Cross-Cultural Collaboration & Communication

Good manners, sharing a common language and Being Nice (simply) Isn’t Enough to ensure success in your cross-cultural collaboration.

Cross-cultural Collaboration 

  • goes deeper than a “when in Rome do as the Romans do” attitude
  • can only happen through connection and clarity in conversation
  • starts with looking at your own mindset, beliefs, fears and attitude.
  • means having a deeper understanding your own culture and values

This is easier said than done. Many well intended “universal” applications like being nice, treating everyone the same, sharing a common language and expert technical know-how – that worked out well in one setting – turn out badly or fail completely in another.

Expensive business suits, corporate smiles and fancy titles don’t guarantee collaboration. Success in your own domestic market doesn’t guarantee it in another. Breakdowns in communication and collaboration happen and well planned business dealings go wrong. Why?

Get your Intercultural Communication Competence brochure!

Cross-Cultural Savvy means you…

  • have core competencies in profiling people and cultures
  • strive for clarity in your communication
  • can focus on goals but are flexible on approaches
  • are able to balance transparency with harmony
  • are open to learn from others and appreciate diversity
  • inclusive in your dealings – no “us” vs. “them”
  • eager to co-create new ideas and solutions, and
  • can prevent, resolve  and create trust in conflict

What happens?

  • We activate the Connect. Communicate. Co-create. action by delivering content designed with passion!
  • We make your knowledge acquisition experiential and therefore memorable!
  • We create bespoke illustrated company relevant handbooks containing expert solutions for your unique requirements.

Who is this for?

You. Your team or company.Especially if you are an international project manager or business leader in charge of culturally diverse teams.

What you get

If you are interested in getting personal C-CS coaching contact Hester.

If you are interested in getting C-CS for your team or company you will get our:

  • Passion Planning Program. This includes bespoke solutions designed specifically for your company/team such as survey analysis, consultation, seminars/workshops and follow-up coaching sessions.
  • Storytelling – the Training Program which includes

    keynote talks, seminars/workshops boosted with real time graphic recording and visualisation of content if you want.

  • Visual Wording – the Handout Program which is a company relevant handbook containing your very own intercultural encounters, with practical how to’s and explanations, as well as illustrations.



cultivating competence = cultivating confidence = success!


“Competencia” (Latin) means agreement and symmetry – a congruence.

Competence is having the ability to confidently bring your know-how, experience (savvy) and communication style – into congruence.


When a stick gets stuck while floating down a river, it doesn’t need years of therapy. It simply needs a nudge to get back into the flow of the water. ~ Michael Neill.

This is what I do. I nudge. Through questions, reflections and feedback.

Sport people get themselves coaches to help them get better at their sport and win. Managers have mentors to help them lead. Students have teachers to help them pass. Who do you have?


  •   feel the ownership of being “large and in charge” to turn your ideas and dreams into reality!
  •   benefit from our collaboration in expanding your scope of competencies by acquiring, integrating and mastering new skills
  •   move forward with an options based approach that cultivates confidence in yourself and others

which you acquire through…

  • experiential learning what you feel you remember – good and bad – but with me it’s all good. Guaranteed! So you remember what you learn in an inspiring and engaging environment.
  • attainability – which is the realistic do-able approach to adapt, integrate, and put your skills out there immediately.
  • measurability – you can evaluate and tweak your success and personal performance on an ongoing basis.

This will equip you to recognize, reflect and get what it is you desire. 

I am a reach-beyond-your-limits life and communication enthusiast. A success coach and idea generator who helps aspiring and adventurous people like you to transform your personal and professional lives. If money, time, place and privacy are preventing you from getting the coaching or training you need please contact me. I can offer you a PWYW – pay what you want online program. If you send me an email put PWYW as subject.