Fields of consulting in organisational psychology
Training and HR development
1. Target groups and training content
The core objective of our training measures is to make the participants aware of the impact of their behaviour. The content of the training is tailored to the requirements profile of the roles. The target groups are managers, project managers as well as employees in service divisions who have advisory roles for internal and external customers. As a further area of focus, we have developed interview training for employees in sales. In the following topic areas are illustrated for three target groups:
1.2 Employees in HR departments
1.3 HR development for high potentials
Since the start of the 1990s, we have worked with individual clients to develop (leadership) development programmes based on specific project work that is important for the company. Alongside their project work, the participants deal with project tools, presentation techniques, conflict settlement, communication and group dynamics in individual learning steps. Due to the close link to the participants’ reality (it does, indeed, need to be presented; everyone does, indeed, experience group dynamics and conflicts), the training effects are immediately implemented and visible. Even though this approach is now very widespread in HR development, according to our experience many concepts suffer either under the excessive weight of content-related work (projects that are too time-consuming suppress training and reflection phases) or the overemphasising of training (the projects are experienced as “sand table exercises” only).
1.4 Emplyees (especially in sales-related areas)
Concluding interviews: Especially if field employees of some sectors see themselves as more than consultants, consistent (not forceful!) interview behaviour can constitute important training content.
Dealing with objections: The training concentrates not on escalating the situation with counterarguments (“handling objections”), but on understanding and reacting to the customer’s motives.
Customer profiles and decision diagrams: The system helps to understand the decision-making criteria of an individual customer and also to understand the routes to making decisions when several parties and persons are involved in a purchase decision.
As different as the focuses of the training can be depending on the sector, product and people, our convictions regarding the factors of successful field work will be clearly reflected in each training programme:
Identity in profession, industriousness and consistency
Authenticity - expressing one’s own attitudes openly and appropriately instead of resorting to sales techniques or sales tricks
Developing perception and a “feel” for the impact of one’s own behaviour and the attitudes and motives of the customer.
2. Training forms and workflows
The training forms are orientated towards the target group and the training content. Thus, in some cases, we work with internal trainers or HR developers, who, as a consequence, are more easily able to accompany the implementation of training content in the company.
In the area of interview training in field work in particular, we additionally train supervisors or individual, highly accepted employees intensively in a train-the-trainer concept. Genuine scripts then help with the work with training content and methodology.
In this way, we want to ensure that specific training content is continued independently even without external assistance.
In other cases, we develop comprehensive training programmes with internal specialists. In conjunction with development audits, targeted and individually tailored HR development is thus possible. Frequently, supervisors are also involved in accompanying such training programmes.
3. Special training
Open leadership training supporting group dynamics
Here, the participants do not know each other previously, as they come from different companies. This provides the suitable framework for working very intensively on one’s own (leadership) behaviour. Using concrete issues, not only are topics from the operating environment developed, but considerable focus is also placed on one’s own behavioural component. Over five days, each participant has the chance to develop solution approaches for concrete leadership issues or to find help with personal self-evaluation and in professional (career) decisions.
4. Supporting and advising individual managers (coaching)
The coaching approach applies to managers who, in self-evaluation, want to reflect on and develop their own behaviour. The initial component is often assuming a new work and leadership area. In other cases, managers seek external feedback because, as managing directors or board members within their companies, they experience only politically tinged feedback. In some cases, only a detailed location decision is agreed; in other cases, longer-term support is sensible.
Here, experiences from the working environment are then reviewed at appropriate intervals, assessed jointly with the coach and transferred into objectives for the next interval.
5. Coaching groups
On certain matters, we also accompany groups very closely over medium-term periods. Here, the topics are often particularly important negotiations (for example in purchasing or sale processes). Here we focus on communication skills, group dynamics and the interaction between the supported group. At the same time, we analyse together the motivation structures as well as the role dynamics of the “counterpart”. From this develop emotionally effective lines of communication and complex negotiation strategies.