Leading international group processes

A two-year training of personal leadership skills
within an international learning system

The international group as learning system

You will be a member of a training group whose participants from various nations gather for the individual training phases. The group has a contract guarantee through the binding cooperation with the organisation which offers and conducts this training.
The specific cooperation with the organisation, with the persons chairing the training in the invidividual phases, and with the group which organises the learning process as international group, guarantee the scope of the training and also define the subjects as well as the working contents of the learning system.
Such a learning system will offer you as member of the group the possibility to experience the long-term development of an international group, to learn to understand while observing, and to explore in a designing way. In the current group situation, you will analyse the specific options and difficulties of the development of your internationally learning group.

Training of personal leadership skills

As member of the international learning system, you will experience to what extent such a group is dependent on the fact that its members mobilise all their available skills to be able to communicate at all.
The significance of communication and language mediation  in such a group is thus not a problem to be dealt with theoretically or merely on the organisational level, but is experienced as of vital importance if all members of the group contribute to mutual communication and understanding.
Within the framework of this training, the individual group members have to communicate in the English and/or German language as foreign language. They also should be prepared to and capable of guaranteeing the continuously required language mediation themselves.
It is only by this way that leadership skills such as thorough listening, posing of relevant questions, clear definition of statements, recognition of the diversity of communication acts on various levels, the structuring of group communication, and a clear understanding between several foreign languages are acquired or deepened.
In international group processes, national groups (as well as approaching these or distancing from these groups) also determine the relationship quality within the group. Because as soon as the members start a discussion via the intercultural problems of their group development, they begin to reflect on their being a group. They start to excercise meta communication.
The capability to discuss the group and its communication within the group is of particular importance for the design of international group processes. Meta communication creates language about the way the members perceive themselves, about relationships, the current mental state, and the objectives of the group. It promotes the working capabilty of the group.
Thus, in a learning system, the capabilities and skills the individual group members as leading persons contribute to the group from the beginning, are to be used in order for the joint learning process to be a success. Where limits of abilities and skills are observed, these may be experimentally extended in an observing, reflecting way and within the group.
Within this two-year learning process, different typical phenomens of international group developments will be experienced and to be dealt with by the group. Experiencing such a group process alone extends the personal scope for action and the social capabilities with which the group members influence themselves and determine the group process.
As a support of this learning process, the phenomens to be observed will continuously be examined based on several theoretical models. The model-based understanding of the group processes experienced on the one hand serve a thorough evaluation of the situation from various perspectives. This is contributed to by group-dynamic, communication-theoretical, and system-theoretical approaches which promote insight into the laws of group development and the basis for systemic thinking.
On the other hand, skills such as roll flexibility and roll distance are exercised by examining the present situation, thus extending the view on the situation and its evaluation. Furthermore, the distanced observance of the situation from various points of view leads to a more realistic self-assessment as leader of international group processes and clear personal attitude and broad competences for action.

The concept

This training is based on the working form of the situation-dynamic training.
The theoretical concept of situation dynamics is based on social-psychologic knowledge and its applied working forms as well as the insights on which system-theoretically-based counselling approaches and adult education are based on.
Depending on the subject focus and the relevant state of the learning sytsem, theoretical models as well as working forms are used in a variable way.
As is the case in traditional group-dynamic training, the focus is always on the work of the training group in the here and now. The current experience and the design of the group processes by all members involved are subject, contents and objective of the joint work.
Furthermore, the situation-dynamic training focuses on targeted, intentional work. This means that the training intentions and objectives formulated by the members at the beginning are to be accompanied continuously within the learning process and are to be achieved in the best possible way.
This concept is thus formulated such that you may variably design some training steps depending on your own experiences and interest focus as leader of international group processes (see basic qualification)

The individual training steps

5-day basic training: design of international group development, leadership and group functions, international relationships
5-day cooperation training: planning, performance and reflection of team work within the learning system, design of working units of the training by member teams,
Concept work: development of own organisation concepts and presentation of the written concept for evaluation through the training supervisors 8 weeks prior to start of the training at the latest.
Leadership/co-leadership of international events, minimum requirement: 5 days, bilateral group process, leadership mandate by the organising institution.
5-day training on personal leadership skills: Reflection of hitherto learning processes from biographical, colleague and organisational (also institutional, historical, and cultural) points of view.

Self-evaluation: Self-description as leader of international group processes with feedback from the training supervisors
5-day intention training: "Farewell into the future " reflection of the entire learning processes with a view to the future, award of the certificates and farewell to the learning system.

Basic qualification

The participation in the four training sessions is binding for all members of the learning systems in order to be able to guarantee a continuous learning process within the group for a period of approx. 2 years.
In order to obtain the basic qualification as leader of international group processes, the preparation of a self-evaluation as leader of international group processes is a prerequisite. If you already possess long-term experience in the leadership of international group processes, you may see the prescribed written concept work for the preparation of a presently planned international event as voluntary work and conduct it, if required.
The concept work is recommended if you intend to lead an international event in the course of your training and wish to further work on it in the following training sessions. As experience shows, deepened learning processes are the result.
This recommendation above all applies to participants without or only few experience in the leadership of international group processes. In this case, concept work as well as leadership and co-leadership of international events are to be embedded in the learning process to be able to use training experiences in leadership practise and to further develop them in the course of the following training.

Organisation of the training

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Concept and supervision

Christiane Schmidt, Counselling practice
Supervisor (SD),Trainer (SD)
T 2 / 12, 68161 Mannheim
Phone/Fax: 0621/ 2 99 99 20