Training Spotlight

Off to the land of opportunity

SMT students go on college visit to United States

Master’s students at the School of Management and Technology (SMT), which belongs to Steinbeis University Berlin, have been off in search of the American dream. To gain qualifications that would equip them to work in international business, 49 students at SMT traveled to the USA, the land of opportunity, to complete the 2016 Global Management Development Program at the wellknown Indiana University – Kelley School of Business (KSB) in Bloomington. The successful partnership is part of an agreement going back almost 20 years between the School of Management and Technology and Indiana University (IU).

The School of Management and Technology allows students on the Master of Business Engineering program to choose between two specializations for their degree while still in Germany. The idea is to receive additional instruction on the subject of their choice. The specializations are general management and business intelligence, and once in the U.S., the students work on case studies to actively involve them in seminars. The approach taken in the States also places emphasis on knowledge transfer to make applied use of the theory learned.

The SHB fellows were divided into teams to work on a business plan for a new (hypothetical) product. This had to be produced in China or India to be put on sale afterwards in the U.S. The main challenge was to develop a fully functioning product (again, in theory) in order to open up a potential market and this had to be evaluated in financial terms. A jury of IU professors acted as potential investors and they had to be won over in a final presentation.

Apart from introducing the SMT master’s students to more management topics, the professors also told them about the values and traditions of IU. One tradition is an absolute must, the university anthem Hail to Old IU!, which is mainly sung (loud and proud) at IU sports events. The sports teams at IU are called Hoosiers and they act as a figurehead for every university in the United States. This made the honor given to the SHB students after completing the 2016 Global Management Development Program all the more gratifying: They were adopted into the ranks of the Hoosiers as members of the IU alumni program.

Key Skills Acquired through NLP: Communication and Psychology

SHB certification courses on the applied psychology of communication

What is NLP? A question with sometimes very different answers, depending on the priorities of who uses it. The usual answer goes something like this: Neuro-linguistic programming is a meta-model for communication and change offering a method derived from this model for short-term therapy and practical communication at work. The competence institute unison, a Steinbeis Transfer Institute at Steinbeis University Berlin, joined forces with the German NLP Association (DVNLP) in July of this year to start offering certification courses for all of the association’s levels of training and standards.

The methods used for the courses revolve around the area of application. In short-term therapy and coaching, there are specific foundation elements such as “reinterpretations,” “trances,” and different points of perception, as well as different formats to follow – a bit like a recipe for working with others – and offer varying degrees of flexibility. Each format outlines the procedures of certain steps to be taken. With communication, NLP provides a meta-language to talk about language and communicate more precisely. NLP can also help explain how misunderstandings occur in communication.

One advantage with NLP’s focus on practical application is that it is relatively easy to get into. The formats also simplify moving into action mode – “it’s easy to cook a recipe yourself, without doing a complete cooking course.” Also, the corpus is increasingly being expanded by systemic factors. The program offers university certificates called DVNLP Practitioner (SHB), DVNLP Master (SHB), Coach DVNLP (SHB), Master Coach DVNLP (SHB), Trainer DVNLP (SHB), Teacher-trainer DVNLP (SHB), Teacher-coach DVNLP (SHB), and NLP Basic DVNLP (SHB). They are awarded without an official title but they allow course participants to prove they have received well-founded, practical training on communication, coaching, training, and consulting – thus demonstrating the sustained quality of their skills to others.

Just What Managers and HQ Specialists Need

New SHB certification course in Rottweil

When leadership becomes challenging and communication breaks down, it’s important to recognize the patterns and mechanisms that make this happen. There are a number of models that help us understand certain situations and these make it possible to offer solutions to everyday occurrences – solutions that match the individual circumstances. The experts at Business School Alb-Schwarzwald, a Steinbeis Transfer Institute belonging to Steinbeis University Berlin, have been working with HR specialists at a variety of firms to develop a certification course that offers a university certificate on Communication and Leadership Psychology.

The course is tailored exactly to the needs of HR specialists and managers. The aim is to provide the know-how this target group requires in their everyday work. The certification course spans four modules, not only to examine the underlying theory but also to cover actual business practice. The curriculum is taught by experienced lecturers and the subjects are dealt with in a practical way, based on actual application. This is also achieved by underpinning lectures with visits to companies and exchanging views with people in business.

The course includes a 3-day module on modern HR development in which managers start by sharing tips on ways to establish a meaningful framework for strategic personnel development. This module also looks at demographic change, the different assessment methods of HR, and areas where it makes sense to use software tools in HR development.

Another three days are spent looking at communication, managing meetings, solving conflicts, and dealing with difficult situations. This is a particularly important area for HR specialists and managers, who have to be equipped with the right skills. Two of the days focus on psychological and psychosomatic disorders. The participants visit a hospital for psychosomatic ailments and talk to therapists and people who have suffered burnout. This allows them to see how to deal with such ailments and reintegrate people into the workplace.

Another aspect of everyday work at companies is dealing with different cultures. This complex topic is examined in the last module of the certification course by looking at sensitivity to different cultures, intercultural competence, and tools that can help interact with people from different cultures.

Overall, the course gives HR specialists and managers a comprehensive understanding of the issues encountered in their everyday work, both on a strategic and practical level. The seminars are modular so that participants can attend individual modules or the entire course, which culminates in a university certificate as proof of attendance.

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