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Meet the Member: Muriel Omur Ilbas, Executive Coach & Trainer
Member news | January 27, 2020
Working in an international environment, whether with colleagues from a different culture or as an expat abroad, requires adaptation. For some professionals, the ability to adapt in more innate than for others. Executive Coaches and trainers can help identify hurdles in your integration and shepherd you towards the coveted status of respected global leader.
In our latest Meet the Member feature, we spoke with Muriel Omur Ilbas, Executive Coach and Trainer behind Live Study Work U.S. Keep reading to hear about her experience in consulting with notable names in pharmaceuticals, tourism, luxury goods and beyond and how she considers happiness as a key to success.
FACC: LSWUS stands for “Live, Study, Work.” Can you tell us more about your services and what makes you uniquely positioned to assist foreigners with their personal and professional transition to the United States?
MOI: My company, LSWUS Consulting, LLC provides services in the East Coast and the Midwest, offering a broad variety of consulting, coaching, training, networking and mentoring services to expats, international students, families, and entrepreneurs who came to the U.S. to study/ work/ live. We work with experts who understand both the European and the American cultures.
What I bring to the U.S. is my communication expertise as well as nearly 20 years of management consulting experience. I have provided executive and intercultural coaching, as well as training services for more than 150 global companies like Limagrain, Lesaffre, Aréva, Total, Peugeot, Groupama, Louis Vuitton, Basf, Imcd, Pepsi, Club Med, Roche, Glaxo, and Novartis.
I am working with expats based in Istanbul, Moscow, Chicago, New York, Boston, Astana, Baku, Dubai, both on site and remotely via teleconference, helping them develop and improve their communication and cross-cultural management skills.
Having an intimate understanding of French culture, and navigating professional and social life in Europe and The United States, I specialized in providing coaching and training services to French expats and companies based in the U.S.
I think that my international background makes me understand how to bridge the gaps between expats’ new environment, and their native culture, and allows me to help them finding their balance and their own way of managing multicultural teams. I am also organizing group coaching sessions in companies to help management teams to better understand each other.
FACC: As an Executive Coach and trainer, do you support the hypothesis that happiness makes you successful, rather than the opposing view that success makes you happy? A 2018 Stanford research study found that positive feelings make the brain work better, which in the business world, could translate to more efficiently climbing the corporate ladder.
MOI: I worked for the French television network, France 2 and big advertising agencies like McCann Erickson and Publicis for years. I am familiar with deadlines, stress, and pressure in the workplace. I have seen a lot of unhappy and depressed people at work; people forgetting to recognize the simple joys of life, and even neglect their family.
In 2006, I discovered that some eminent professors in Pennsylvania University, Harvard and the University of California were working on happiness. More specifically, on Positive Psychology, because they were trying to understand why some people happier than others, were stronger and better equipped to handle life’s challenges. I studied their theories and began to give conferences and workshops about happiness in global companies in Europe.
It is a fact that happy people are more peaceful, more open to new ideas, and they connect more easily with others. There are studies that prove happy people are more appreciated by their peers and managers, and are promoted quicker than others. Happy people can also deal more easily with big changes in their life, like expatriation.
FACC: How did you learn about the FACC and what convinced you to become a member of the network?
MOI: I was a member of FACC Chicago when I was living there and developed some wonderful connections in the Midwest through the FACC. The first thing I did when I relocated to New York was to become a member of FACC New York. I already met incredible professionals and I have two ongoing projects with FACC New York members.
FACC: Can you elaborate upon your business goals for 2020?
MOI: My public speaking workshops for French expats in New York begin in January. I am genuinely excited at the prospect of working with a new community here in the city. As a former graduate lecturer, and training professional, I am truly at my happiest when I get to share what I know with others.
I chose to start with public speaking workshops, because I learned a lot about presentation skills as I was working as a producer, director and anchorwoman. I realized that presenting ideas with confidence, credibility and clarity is a vital skill in business and life. I have been preparing business people for conferences and television for years and I know that public speaking techniques can be learned very quickly.
I am also working with experienced career coaches and experts on a project of workshops series, aiming to help international graduates from American colleges and young expat professionals to be ready for the American business world.
Interested in connecting with Muriel? Log into the FACC Member Directory to send her a message.