Identity, Liminality and Development

An intrapersonal view of intercultural sensitivity

Authored by: David B. Drake

The Routledge Companion to International Business Coaching

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  December  2008

Print ISBN: 9780415458757
eBook ISBN: 9780203886793
Adobe ISBN: 9781134047154


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In this chapter, I draw on Milton Bennett’s (1986, 1993) work on intercultural sensitivity as a frame for my contention that the key dynamics that play out between cultures in the external world also play out between cultures as they’ve been internalized as narrative within individuals. I will use elements from my research on rites of passage to outline some of the liminal tensions clients experience as they develop responses to these cultural demands. I will outline the way in which the six stages in Bennett’s model can be applied more explicitly at an intrapersonal level and offer a case to demonstrate a narrative approach to this work in coaching. I do so with humility as I would not claim to have mastered all six stages within my own development. Perhaps the gift of writing this chapter is the opportunity to assess where I am on this journey and to share some of what I am learning along the way.

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