Creating positive change is never easy. It is even harder when you live in remote areas of the world with no access to training. The distance learning programs are designed to support you, where ever you live.

Registration open for:

Level One: Self-Directed Study, Communication for Management and Leadership Across Cultures (ongoing)

Level Two: Virtual Group Program, Communication for Management and Leadership Across Cultures (Starts December, 2016)

Level Three: Individual Coaching Program, Communication for Management and Leadership Across Cultures (Starts December, 2016)

Coming soon, Support for the Cultural Adjustment Process

Course Description:

Communication for Management and Leadership Across Cultures (CMLxC)

In my decade of experience working, volunteering and traveling in developing countries, I have often seen teams come together to work on inspiring development projects only to end up wasting time and money. We walk away unable to truly meet the communities needs with the resources to which we have access. We may come in with the strong intention to engage a community with a participatory approach, only to find that we can’t get the information we need to collaborate. Miscommunication and a lack of clear vision create roadblocks to collaboration, and we end up feeling isolated and misunderstood. We begin to doubt whether we can trust the people around us, and we spend our productive hours worrying about the implications of unmet deadlines and wasteful investments instead of engaging in productive collaboration. Exasperation and disappointment in the lack of support we feel from our team drains our energy and willingness to continue to work as a team. The realities of working with people from different cultural backgrounds can amplify this stress. In collaborations across cultures, we get stuck trying to understand the seemingly illogical behaviors of the people around us. We yearn to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in our work, only to show up each day and encounter seemingly inexplicable barriers to progress embedded in our relationships.

The 2-month Communication for Management and Leadership Across Cultures (CMLxC) training program gives you and your team the opportunity to be freed from the barriers to collaboration thus unleashing your team’s collective potential. You develop a laser focus on predictable miscommunications and learn how to adapt to them so that you can finally feel the support you yearn for and the results you desire. When you can no longer afford the burden of unsupportive, unproductive relationships, this program will move you forward.

The program coaching and curriculum give you and your team the opportunity to:

  • discover the logic behind confusing communication so that you can work effectively and efficiently with your team
  • become a more creative problem-solver so you are able to adapt to new situations with flexibility and ease
  • cultivate connections that lead to more trusting relationships so you know you can rely on your team for support
  • develop self-awareness so you can realize the impact you have on other people and be freed from puzzling misunderstandings
  • work through conflict so you can achieve your goals
  • stop wasting time  worrying about challenging team dynamics  so that you can focus your attention on the work that matters
  • navigate predictable cross-cultural communication barriers using simple maps instead of attempting years of trial and error so you can rapidly open the lines of communication
  • develop cultural competence so you can be effective in your collaborations
  • demystify perplexing communication patterns

The Communication for Management and Leadership Across Cultures (CMLxC) train-the-trainer course is a remote training program that addresses the challenges like these. This course offered exclusively to field-based international development professionals and volunteers who work with staff from multiple countries. This program is specifically designed for dynamic organizations that want the best training available, but are unable to hire experts to train in-country for months on end. Instead of requiring that you bring us in, we coach your trainers to facilitate the activities. Before the course, I will help you decide who is the right trainer to join the course, and which team of managers or staff should attend the sessions your trainer gives. Depending on the size of your organization, it may be best for your trainers to teach either your entire staff or just some select managers.

Course Format

2 Training Sessions

The first two session are coaching calls dedicated to equipping you with the tools to deliver this course. Learn the tricks of the trade from an expert who has delivered these workshops for 10 years. On our first coaching call, you begin to understand the foundational concepts of cross-cultural communication and start to be able to identify the root of predictable misunderstandings. On our second call,  you learn how to facilitate, how to create a safe space for learning, how to debrief activities, and how to adjust to the learning styles of people from different cultures.

7 Group Coaching Sessions

In these coaching calls, we meet on Skype for two-hour session to review the content of one of the CMLxC workshop in-depth, talking through the core concepts, key take home points, flips charts to prepare, and questions to anticipate. There will be ample time for questions and answers so you feel well-prepared.

7 Packets of CMLxC Workshop Materials

You receive the complete CMLxC Workshop sequence through the materials and the coaching calls. In each call, I will coaching you on how to facilitate this valuable material. The CMLxC Workshops series is filled with activities, models, initiatives, handouts, discussion prompts, and much more. The training series gives you and your team the opportunity to be freed from the barriers to collaboration thus unleashing your team’s collective potential. You develop a laser focus on predictable miscommunications and learn how to adapt to them so that you can finally feel the support you yearn for and the results you desire. This workshop series has already been implemented in 3 continents and 4 language by CMLxC participants.

Features of the 2014 CMLxC Program



Level One

Level Two

Level Three

Valuable training on the principles of cross-cultural communication using the Intercultural Conflict Styles Inventory©       
Training on how to design and deliver high-impact, professional workshops using ReFresh’s step-by-step guide Creating a Dynamic Workshop © worksheet       
Coaching on how to adapt your facilitation techniques to a culturally diverse audience using ReFresh’s Principles of Cross-Cultural Debriefing ©        
The complete CMLxC 7 curriculum including sequenced  workshops (.pdf) for your team that you will learn how to facilitate (each designed to accommodate a two-hour session)      
9 Downloads (.mp3) that train you how to facilitate these activities       
9 Live Coaching Calls that train you how to facilitate these activities     
Recordings of the 9 Coaching calls for your future reference     
5 individual coaching session with Emily tailored to meet your current blocks and challenges with communication  
 Investment $197
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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

-African proverb

​Example Coaching Sessions

How to Design a High Impact Workshop

Using ReFresh’s Creating a Dynamic Workshop ©, learn the the step-by-step process of creating a workshop that will stick with your participants for high impact results. 

Effective Feedback

Improve your ability to approach difficult but necessary feedback. Explore why feedback is different in different cultures and how you can adapt so you will see the improvement you want.​

Direct and Indirect Communication

Why is it that in some cultures, “yes” means “maybe” or “I’ll think about it,” and in other areas, “yes” means “yes”? Learn about this yes/maybe nightmare and gain and practice tools to help you manage this frustrating communication difference.

Email to request an in-depth course overview


Who benefits from this program?

When one trainer receives this training and delivers the curriculum to 20 staff members, within six months, hundreds if not thousands of people benefit. There is a tangible ripple effect with this program. The trainer who works with me directly receives a graduate level training on cross-cultural communication and leadership. They learn how to design and implement high-value, high-impact workshops, and they learn how to facilitate activities with a diverse audience. When they implement the workshop series, the participants receive a capacity-building training on how to grow into adaptable, effective leaders regardless of their position within the organization. The organization benefits greatly as the directly workshops addresses the organizations missions and goals. During the course of the workshop, participants have the opportunity to align their vision for their organization and learn how to keep the channels of communication open through the ups and downs of projects. Clients and stakeholders benefit from staff that is trained to adapt to challenging communications and align expectations. Furthermore, participants consistently report on how these communication skills help ease communication in their personal lives. In short, the trainer who works with me facilitates a cascade of growth within their community.

How can you train people in different countries with the same program?

This program incorporates core competencies for intercultural communication and leadership including self-awareness, tools to help us not jump to conclusions, teachings on continuums of cultural difference that exist in all cultures, and the use of shared mental mapping. These competencies can readily be applied in any cultural context, including our own culture. We bring this material to life using examples from the cultures in which we each live and work.

Why can I help?

I have been focusing on the niche of international development, cross-cultural communication and experiential education for over a decade. I have worked, lived, traveled and volunteered in over 30 countries focusing on the question, how can we better identify the needs of marginalized communities and collaborate with the communities in order to connect them to the support they need? Once I learned as much as I could experientially in the field, I returned to school and earned two Masters degrees in topics related to this exploration. To be honest, I don’t know anyone else out there who has transformed this fascination into a highly relevant, valuable, applied training. In this course, I am transferring my years of knowledge and experience to you to help your organization excel.

Why online?

I used to only offer live trainings for individual organizations. Over the years, professionals approached me who want to receive more training, yet they live in remote areas of the world. It is ideal to take several months to implement a leadership workshop that challenges to people to assess their communication skills because you want time to practice and observe the issues we are highlighting in your daily life. It is not feasible for me to live in a remote areas of the world for 2 months in order to implement this training. To overcome this issue, I started refining my activities so that I could work with internal trainers at smaller organizations and coach them to become experts.

What are the advantages of this format?

There are countless advantages to this approach, including:

  • an internal trainer delivers the training to all the staff in a local language so everyone can benefit.
  • the content provides a shared understanding of communication issues. It is beneficial if individual staff members receive this training, but it is even more powerful if everyone is on the same page. Since the training can be delivered in the local language, no one is excluded.
  • the group coaching helps to keep costs down while delivering a high value program.
  • your internal trainers have established trust with your staff. This is vitally important for effective learning, especially in remote areas of developing countries.
  • the program is paced so that the coaching calls and the implementation of the activities are staggered. Your organization can decide on a schedule to offer the trainings locally, allowing you to adjust to unexpected events, holidays and emergencies.  In short, the course is flexible which is necessary for trainings in developing countries.

What is needed?

You will need time for the weekly coaching sessions. There are 9 sessions, each lasting 2 hours. You will want to make sure you have time to review the lessons or handouts I send you before each lesson. This should only take about 10-15 minutes for each session. You will also want to plan time with your organization to implement the 8, 2-hour workshops over a 2-month period. In my experience, weekly workshops are ideal as the cadence is manageable, it gives participants time to practice, observe and absorb new concepts, and the material stays fresh in their minds.

Furthermore, you will want to have a reliable Skype connection for our sessions. Each lesson comes with an organized materials section. You will need something to write on in front of the group, like a whiteboard or a chalkboard. There are some YouTube clips included as teaching aids, so you can either download them in advance, or stream them live for your class if you have a good internet connection. This course is intentionally designed to be low tech for people working with minimal resources.