© istockphoto.com/FreshSplash

Acquiring and Passing on Knowledge

Steinbeis experts focus on the development of competences

The Steinbeis Transfer Institute competence institute unisono specializes in developing the skills of people and organizations. The many certification courses it offers allow experts to pass on know-how not only in the areas of organizational development, personal development, and quality management, but also as part of staff development programs. TRANSFER magazine presents an insight into two training courses focusing on resilience and intercultural business etiquette.

The aim of all training courses offered by the Steinbeis Transfer Institute is to make better use of the potential of both individuals and organizations by offering impactful ideas and inspiration that safeguard and develop competitiveness and future viability.

(Systemic) Resilience Coach/Mentor

For over a year, the Steinbeis Transfer Institute competence institute unisono at the Steinbeis+Akademie has been offering training to become a resilience coach or mentor. It recently added its successfully certified training as a systemic coach/mentor for resilience and sustainable development. Both courses focus on the personal development of participants. “Before you coach or mentor people on their development, it’s good to look at and work on your own issues,” explains Susanne Hollmann, who designed and runs both training courses with the Steinbeis team. A certified coach herself, Hollmann provides participants on the course with practical coaching tools with the aim of supporting clients and bolstering their resilience in everyday life. The seven- or fourteen-module training culminates in a Diploma of Advanced Studies from the Steinbeis+Akademie.

In addition to imparting knowledge and methodologies, the most important aspect of training is systemic work methodology, since this supports participants with personal development. The long-term impact of systemic methods was also a factor in the development of more recently introduced training to become a systemic coach or mentor for resilience and sustainable development.

A variety of medium-sized enterprises have recognized the long-term benefits of offering resilience training or introducing in-house resilience coaches. “The two courses are primarily attended by self-employed coaches, teaching professionals, and HR managers,” explains Steinbeis entrepreneur Peter Schust. They allow companies to establish a solid position in HR development, which fosters long-term development among employees and teams. The organization learns by itself and can grow step by step, become a safe place to work, and foster a culture of trust. For example, past participants on the resilience coach/mentor training program now support traditional companies in the development of future managers, or offer resilience courses in the healthcare sector to support stressed employees.

Competence trainer in intercultural business etiquette

The Steinbeis Transfer Institute competence institute unisono  has also joined forces with two business seminar providers, the TAKT & STIL seminar institute and Dragon Business, to offer training to become a competence trainer in intercultural business etiquette with the aim of supporting international collaboration. Course participants learn about contemporary manners and cultural behavior in selected countries.

The emphasis of training lies in China, which in 2022 – and for the seventh year in succession – remained the most important trading partner of Germany. Despite this, Chinese business culture sometimes acts like an opaque barrier to the global world of trading. This begins with how business partners are greeted: Highest-ranking people are always greeted first, with brief eye contact (maximum three seconds), a smile, and a gentle nod of the head.

“If you don’t know who the most senior person is, just look a bit helpless and they’ll help you. But of course it’s best to prepare properly,” recommends Dr. Andrea Thürmer Leung, Managing Director and trainer at Dragon Business. Communication can also be a challenge: The Germans often use clear and direct communication, whereas the Chinese prefer to express things indirectly and use lots of symbolic expressions and metaphors, which provide clues to a hidden meaning. It is therefore helpful to bring an interpreter to important meetings, who can read between the lines.

The training program to become a competence trainer in intercultural business etiquette prepares participants for exchanges with international business partners by offering a series of recommendations on dealing with specific situations, which are also supported by innovative learning aids. These include “China Business BOXs”, which were designed by Andrea Thürmer Leung and the SteginkGroup. In addition to recommendations on Sino-German collaboration on 28 hand-sized memo cards, participants are provided with a QR code linking to digital learning resources in the form of podcasts, interactive learning apps, work aids, and checklists.

The training culminates in a Certificate of Advanced Studies at the Steinbeis+Akademie.

Further information:


Peter Schust (author)
Steinbeis Entrepreneur
Steinbeis Entrepreneur Steinbeis Transfer Institute competence institute unisono (Ulm)

Gudrun Jürß (author)
Steinbeis Entrepreneur
Steinbeis Entrepreneur Steinbeis Transfer Institute competence institute unisono (Ulm)

Susanne Hollmann (author)
Coaching . Training . System . Development (Ulm)

Dr. Andrea Thürmer Leung (author)
Managing director and trainer
Dragon Business (Schwäbisch Gmünd)