"People in our training programs tell us all the time that they wished they'd had the opportunity to learn this kind of information up-front," says Frank L. Pasquale, director of executive training at IOR. "They say it might have impacted their decision."
The Self-selection Program focuses on the realities of the destination as well as many of the problems that soon-to-be expatriates will have to face. For example, separation issues are critical. If it is a dual-career couple going abroad, one person may have to leave a career for a while. How will that affect the furloughed spouse's sense of identity? If there's a teenager or an aging parent who must be left behind, that will cause anxiety. What will that do to the family?
Then, there's the day-to-day living situation in the new culture. Candidates learn about cultural values and beliefs, about specific differences they're likely to encounter, about the intercultural transition process. Then, candidates and their spouses evaluate themselves—and their partner—on a variety of topics.
Using a trainer and written assessment tools along with self-evaluation techniques, participants identify their personal strengths that will help them handle the challenges ahead. They also clarify their values and discover strategies to deal with the new situation.
Personnel Journal, January 1994, Vol. 73, No. 1, p. 99.