Many of you interculturalists, I suspect, like myself, regularly receive requests from other individual consultants or consulting/training organizations, that read something like this:
"Can you do a training on Berzerkistan in June, or know anyone who can? Thanks, for your help and best wishes, Hermen R. Yermen, TrainNotPain Inc."
Though I've read Doonesbury, I've never been to Berzerkistan, and know only a few phrases in Bezerkistani, and, though I would love to see the place, it would probably not be an assignment I should take on. However, chances are that through SIETAR, through my work connections, and my involvement in social media, I may know of someone who has been there and can do it well. When people entering the field of intercultural training contact me for advice or mentoring, I make sure to stock their CVs in my db in case an opportunity comes up in my organization or elsewhere that I can recommend them for. I'm not an employment agency and don't charge finders fees, but I'm always willing to help out for the good of our network and enhancement of our profession by identifying appropriate expertise among my colleagues.
When I receive such a simple request as the one above and hazard to respond by suggesting a couple professionals and their contact information, it is likely that three or four emails will need to be exchanged, requesting and providing more information, with questions going in both directions and myself easily becoming the exhausted middle man. While I love finding the right people for the right job ensuring work opportunities with and for my colleagues, I'm posting this today in the hopes that those of you, who need to go looking for talent, will make requests that both simplify the matter for the person you are asking as well as alleviate your need to play a drawn-out game of email tag.
So, if you're looking for someone with the right kind of experience and expertise and you suspect I may know of of someone or know someone who knows of someone, I strongly suggest (actually beg you) that when you make the initial request, you provide as much of this information as you can find out and share it in your missive. It is not a violation of confidentiality to tell:
- Who is the target audience: participants, trainees, coachees, locals, expats, etc.?
- How many of them will there be? Individuals, group size?
- What is the nature of the organization or the business sector of the company they belong to or the purpose of their mission?
- What is the required or suggested time length of the intervention?
- What is the proposed date or date range in which it must occur?
- What are the key learning objectives?
- Are you providing learning materials, or will the chosen professional have to provide or develop them?
- What is the language of the delivery? Is it the maternal language of the participants or a lingua franca used in the organization by second language speakers?
- What is the location and nature of the venue or site for the intervention?
Let's continue to help each other to provide top quality services in our intercultural professions!