Adelasia highlights the coaching interaction in an intercultural group, pillar of coaching program

Phd Adelasia Divona, Senior Gender Officer at the OSCE Mission to Skopje, joined GLOW4equalitys Group Coaching Program in 2021. Adelasia works in an international setting and found the coaching program contributing to a new dimension, working in an intercultural group with a coaching approach towards clear defined goals she describes as an eye-opening and supportive experience.

With 57 participating States in Europe, Central Asia and North America OSCE, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, is the world’s largest regional security organization. The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects.

- The approach of the coaching program was a bit weird in the beginning, because I was not ready probably – to have this intimate dialogues with the group of women, Adelasia describes. When we started to address the coaching questions, my biggest concern was – am I going to hurt the feelings of my sisters in coaching? But after some resistance from my side in the first couple of sessions, it was a great eye-opening experience. It made me realize how this kind of coaching can be a supportive experience for each other from which we can all gain something. A very open, supportive experience for each, and every one of us.

The women GLOW4equality coach are all dedicated to different gender equality issues, groups are themed and aligned under UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 5, Gender equality. The coaching group Adelasia attended, with women representing India, Kenya, Germany, Sweden, Macedonia and more, joined around the theme “Ensure full participation in leadership and decision-making”, SDG target 5:5.

- I oversee all cross-cutting gender work at the OSCE Mission to Skopje. In our comprehensive security effort, we assist North Macedonia in complying with international standards in democratic policing, rule of law and human rights, and democratic institutions. We mainstream gender in all activities of the Mission, not only at the programmatic level. We also strive to achieve a professional working environment that respects gender equality, diversity, and inclusion, Adelasia describes.

- One of the most interesting things about the coaching program was the diversity of the group, Adelasia emphasizes. Life experience, location, sexual orientation, relationship status and so on. All things came up: European women, African women, Asian women, different ways of using our English skills, but also the need to take into consideration the cultural backgrounds of each of us and the need to avoid hurting any feelings or breaking any cultural rules. Again, this was one of my first concerns just to be cautious while addressing my sisters in my coaching questions. But in the end, the one-on-one coaching interaction really helped us to align ourselves to each other's individual goals.

Coach Anette Tandberg, GoAvni, lead the process throughout the six-month structured program, coaching the women, challenging them personally and within the group to set and reach their personal goals. In the beginning of the coaching program each woman was coached to set a long-term goal, within about 2-5 years, something Adelasia already had in place. Connected to that she set short term "process goals" reaching towards the longer perspective. 

- I have established a long term, “end-goal” – a personal path that started two years ago, an objective by 2025, and the coaching helped me to reinforce that long-term goal, Adelasia describes. Beside that the program was really a watershed for me, because it reminded me of the long-term goal that I planned in 2020, and helped me to reflect in a moment of awareness to both look back on my achievements and look ahead on the future milestones, that I have to achieve along the way.

The coaching approach is a transformational skill that effects the ecosystem you are in, and using it systematically really creates ripple effects. Adelasia describes how the program was useful both in a personal level and in her profession and exemplifies that with a strong story.

- The coaching experience was also valuable in a professional setting, not only on the personal level. For example, by the end of 2021, I was suddenly deployed to Afghanistan for a special assignment and had the chance to apply the three levels of listening that we used during the coaching program. I used the coaching questions on all three levels when I was dealing with local Afghan women for me to understand their situation and to see how my work would help them in the best way possible. As an international community, we take many things for granted when we go to a place like Afghanistan. Using the coaching approach helped me relate with these women at different levels. It gave me a chance to prove my commitment to them and, at the same time, support them by putting in an extra effort, running that extra mile towards their commitment to supporting their fellow Afghan women.

Check out OSCE read other Impact Stories or look in to the details of GLOW4equalitys coaching program


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