Case Study: On Assignment in Perth, Australia
Destination: Perth, Australia.
Assignment: 2 years in country.
Who: Manager in his 50s.
Background: During his acceptance meeting with management, the manager insisted he’d spend the assignment unaccompanied, despite being married for over 20 years: “my wife has many commitments and she feels that this would be best.”
As a standard component of the pre departure process, the coach arranged for the couple to independently complete our assessment using our International Assignment Profile tool to identify pre-assignment risk factors. The couple complied and completed the assessment, but when the coach attempted to schedule a follow-up call to discuss the results, the manager initially refused to have her join the call: “my wife is not accompanying me to Perth, why does she need to be on the call?” Sensing the manager was avoiding a potential underlying issue, the coach politely yet firmly insisted on the importance of speaking with his wife, which the manager finally agreed to.
In speaking with the manager’s wife, the coach discovered there was indeed marital conflict, and found both husband and wife wished for reconciliation and a positive solution. The assignment was to begin in three months, which gave them time to work things out before the manager was to leave for Perth. The coach arranged for them to meet with a counselor twice weekly at first, then weekly thereafter. The coach maintained regular contact with the couple in the three months leading up to the departure date; they managed to patch up their differences and agreed to go on assignment together. They also continued regular sessions with their therapist by Internet. With their relationship back on track, they enjoyed their time in Perth together, and the assignment proved successful.