Coaches of the Month: Debra Bryson and Charise Hoge

Debra (left) and Charise (right)

Names:  Debra Bryson and Charise Hoge

Title:  Certified Coaches, Authors of A Portable Identity, and Certified GoCulture Assessment Coaches

Business Name:  Take Charge of Change

Client Testimonials:

“Bryson and Hoge have given us an excellent plan of action to deal with our own personal and cultural adjustments in the overseas settings.”

— Thomas A. Rodgers, M.D., U.S. Department of State

Niche/Specialties:  Expats in transition; particularly accompanying spouses.

Expat Experience:  We met in Bangkok, Thailand over 25 years ago where we worked as counselors for a community services organization servicing expats of all nationalities as we both embarked on our first overseas assignment. Debra was a Foreign Service spouse and Charise was a military spouse. We shared a mutual interest in the well-being of women who are the accompanying spouse in an overseas move, partly from our own personal experience and partly from our professional experience with our clientele at the time. We have since expanded our work with expats to include the employee and family, all of whom are affected by change during relocation. This is also reflected in our partnership with GoCulture International to provide the GoCulture Assessment (GCA©); a tool which identifies key strengths and challenges to significantly boost performance, cultural adaptation and relocation success.

Languages Spoken:  English

Life Experience:  As advocates for improving the lives of expats, our life experience is woven throughout our collaborative work. Our roles and relationships as accompanying spouses, as mothers, as career women, as friends, all inform our work and speak to who we are and represent many of those we work with as well. A great example of this is our personal stories that are interspersed as narratives in the book we co-authored and how our life and professional experiences served as the catalyst for The Wheel©, a practical model we developed to take charge of change during relocation.

Accomplishments:  We’ve succeeded at putting identity and transition at the forefront of expat concerns, beginning in 1993 when we started reaching out to the expat community in Bangkok with workshops on this topic. This was long before coaching was a mainstream modality, but we knew that there was a need to engage people in establishing goals and tapping into their inner resources to make the changes they sought in their lives. Other counselors and professionals in the Asia region at the time encouraged us to widen our reach by preparing a manual, which became the impetus for writing and publishing our self-help book A Portable Identity (2013, 2005, 2003). We’ve subsequently collaborated with expat organizations (such as Families in Global Transition), the US Foreign Service, and corporations to offer presentations and webinars. Our greatest accomplishment continues to be hearing from those we’ve served in some capacity that their life is now back on track or more satisfying as a result of the work they have done via the book, a workshop, or in coaching.

What We Love About Working in This Niche:  We’ve lived this niche and it’s close to our hearts. We know that the expat experience is a fantastic opportunity for growth, and our mission has always been to focus on the opportunities within the challenges and how to have a positive outcome from transition.

Coaching Style:  Coaching is a partnership and this is how we’ve been successful as a team with our collaborative work, so we are well practiced with this approach. As your coach, Debra or Charise is with you each step of the way to help you explore and clarify your vision for your life, offer support, encourage you to take risks, to try specific tasks, to overcome obstacles to success, and hold you accountable to yourself so that you create the life you envision where ever you are located in the world.

Favorite Coaching Tool:  The Wheel©, which provides an action plan for getting your life back on track. The components of The Wheel include Making a Commitment, Accessing 5 internal resources, and Picking up 7 tools for change. Clients report that The Wheel© generates powerful results and is useful in any location, and for every move, including repatriation.

Why Clients Choose Us As Their Coach:  Clients choose us for our expertise and our experience, as well as our approachability and results oriented style. We are sometimes referred to as the “identity chicks” because we know how important it is to understand the impact of relocation on identity and we eagerly share this knowledge with others for a successful and meaningful expat life.

A Tip for Our Niche:  Our tip is twofold: embrace your state of transition with the coinciding range of feelings which are normal during the changes brought on by relocation; and invest in your experience as an expat by being willing to take risks, make connections and find out what you are interested in as well as what you have to offer in your new location.

Contact Details




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