International Columbia Coaching Conference

Come and join Sara Bigwood at the International Columbia Coaching Conference this fall. She has the pleasure to co-lead three experiential learning sessions with three distinguish leaders: Working with Teams to Create a High Performing Culture using Stages of Individual and Team Development This experiential session will explore teams as the future’s most important unit in[…]

The Expat Method Workshop – Adaptation

Adaptation might be the key component of improving collaborative performance. How can you adapt to your colleagues? How can you adapt to the change of strategy? How can you adapt to your new boss? How can you adapt to the new culture? Adaptation is the ability of being grounded and flexible at once. It is[…]

Being “Shiftable” Is the New Competitive Advantage


As Hendre Coetzee puts it, during the WBECS intro session shiftability™ is the “power or capability of a person to exercise personal transformation in any context” Usually, businesses are driven by a survivor’s mode when they only focus on how to increase revenue, reduce costs and lower risks. They act like a hiker trapped in quicksand: they don’t move to avoid drowning. They don’t know, either, what can be done to get them out of there. Actually, they get it backward: they fear the unknown so they stay in an unproductive, even dangerous known. It all started because they wanted to fix something.  […]

How to Be in The Change Zone?

3 zones - Coach New York

We all have comfort zones: it is like the comfy couch we lie on when life feels too much. Comfort zones serve us, as they are the visible part of a neuronal system that creates highways and automatisms to save energy and attention. If we had to think about the walking process each time we walk, we wouldn’t have any energy left to talk, or think, or do anything. So comfort zones are originally very useful, until they are not anymore. […]

The Expat Method Workshop – Place

Change is a matter of place: you come from an old place to a new place. Often your new place affects the place of colleagues. It disturbs the system’s order and implies to redefine all the places. Because a place is linked to a lot of internal values, identity or principles, it is to be expected[…]

Confidence Is the Ember of Change

Confidence Is the Ember of ChangeDon’t you feel sometimes that change is like a dark tunnel or a murky place? It is like diving in black waters without knowing what lies under the surface: it is scary and worrying. You start to second guess yourself; to doubt the outcome and you hold on to whatever known you have in front of you, even if it is harmful. Change is never associated with confidence at first; it is quite the opposite: people feel doubts and concerns when invited to change.

What I’ve learned through experience as a coach, and as a human being, is that when you get out of your head, that big producer of worries, to connect to your core and your essence, you reduce the tendency of doubting change. In fact, what I’ve experienced recently was a strong connection to my confidence that helped me start a new project and lead it despite the many unknowns it carried. […]

Ease Change and Follow the Flow

Ease Change Follow Flow - Sara Bigwood Coach NYCDid you ever try to drive while pushing on gas and breaks at the same time? What happened for you? It is like willing to ski but stalling at every turn: you drain your energy, you miss the fun and you get nowhere. Change is like ski slopes or traffic: there is an energy, a flow, like a current in a river that brings you from up to down, old to new, here to there. When you can tap into that current, you literally flow and go places while controlling your energy and usually having a lot of fun in the process. […]

Beliefs, or the Power of Thoughts

BeliefsThis the fifth and last dimension of The EXPAT Method. We discovered Emotions, Xpression, Place, Adaption and now Thinking. As a whole they form the acronym EXPAT and collect the learnings gained during expatriation. They help  individuals mastering personal and organizational change.

‘Why would you believe that a man parted a sea, that another walked on water or that a fairy brings you money when you lose a tooth? Simply because your brain is wired to believe: it seeks stimuli and surprising information as a way to stay focused. But that’s not all; it absorbs all information as real, this is why a book or a movie can move us so deeply: the brain doesn’t discriminate between fiction and reality. The icing on the cake is our ability to reflect on and analyze experiences to bring consciousness, which is a high level of evolution that helps us understand concepts, symbols and virtual reality. Possessing the power of abstraction is both wonderful and darn crazy because then you can believe anything. A belief is thinking that something is true or happening, even without empirical proof. […]

Change Is the Only Constant

Change AdaptationBecause you only discovered three out of five dimensions so far from the EXPAT Method, here is the fourth dimensions: Adaptation. Adaptation is important because of the constant of change. Life is made of cycles, circumvolutions, evolutions and transitions. Accepting it helps you adapt to it. Here is a brief excerpt that states what is adaption when change is the only constant.

Adaptation happens when we use our knowledge (individual or group) to power transformative actions. We have to learn new tools at work to stay up to date, adopt new ways of meeting to become more proficient, work together to boost efficiency, behave in a new way to better suit our age or new setting… Our life is a constant adaptation of our behavior to our development stage, mindset and knowledge. We learn to talk, to walk and then to walk the talk. In fact, adaptation consists simply of building on our foundations: it is because I can talk and walk that I can think and act, then create and build. […]

Giving Information is a Way to Shape Your Success

power of communicationAs a treat before the release, I want to share with you some lines from the book The EXPAT Method, Mastering Personal and Organizational Change. This excerpt comes from the second dimension, Xpression and lift the veil on communication during change.

“In the face of change, it is very important to communicate, exactly like it is vital for an expat. A basic rule for change is to bring as much information into the system as possible. If not, you risk creating rumors or secrets: two devils that can ruin the best-intentioned process. When you don’t know something or when you are left in the dark, the mind takes over and, as you will see in the Thinking chapter, it will only produce fear-driven thoughts. Therefore, when you don’t express and share information, you create a stressful environment that triggers dark thoughts. So after dealing with your emotions, it is important to communicate. […]