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One week "FIT in the team"

"Communication is a wonderful way to resolve conflicts. Or to escalate."
(Thom Renzie)

In order to find out how to communicate correctly and why good communication is of great importance, especially in the professional environment, around 70 apprentices and dual students from Mannheim, Grenzach and Waiblingen set off for the Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm. The aim of this project week was to become "fit in the team".

After three hours of bus travel in very varied weather with rain, sunshine, hail and sunshine again, we arrived somewhere in nowhere, the small town Prüm. At the youth hostel, we expected a short overview of the program of the coming week and an introduction to the topic of communication.

After being divided into six groups and fortified by a good lunch, we had time to get to know our group members and to discuss the contents already prepared with the help of the book "Be.Komm - Operational Communication". In addition to the fundamentals of understanding, it was also about the well-known 4-page model by Schulz von Thun. One finding that will be particularly remembered by all is Paul Watzlawick's statement that "you cannot not communicate, because every communication (not just words) is behavior and just as you cannot behave, you cannot Communicate." The recognition of this fact is the prerequisite for a good understanding and conflict prevention.

The program also included numerous team exercises to put what they learned into practice. Each team had to build a tower from a given material in a short time and a car and a scale the next day, with two to three team members watching the rest of the group and giving feedback on the behavior and cooperation. The results were finally presented in plenary to the other five groups, where they compared the fulfillment of the requirements with the other apprentices and students.

One of the main topics of the week was the topic of feedback in order to compare personal self-image and image of others and to be able to draw conclusions for the future behavior and the work in the team from the differences. Although it is not always easy to give colleagues suggestions for improvement, we have noticed how helpful it is and that it can even bring a team closer together.

The topic of Wednesday was "Roles in the Team" and how they can be put to good use with their special abilities. Everyone had the opportunity to find out his role through a self-test. In the late afternoon, we received our 24-hour assignment, where we were able to prove everything we learned about teamwork during the week. Each group chose one of six skills that are becoming increasingly important in the Age of Work 4.0. These skills included willingness to change, decision-making skills, dealing with uncertainty, dealing with complexity, digital skills and self-management. Each group had to design a beach flag, a sketchnote and a photo story on these topics. The results of this work were presented on Thursday evening, the closing evening, and evaluated by all of us.

To digest the food, which we certainly did not lack in the youth hostel, and to get fit for the day, we met daily for a morning exercise, sometimes by the instructors, but also by the commercial, the scientific and the technical training groups. It was less about the athletic ability, but more about the movement and the fun in general. In the evening we took the opportunity to get to know each other across the board at the bar or in the rooms and to talk about profound topics. We benefited from the beautiful hostel and the large cozy rooms.

We were able to learn a lot throughout the week and will try to take it into our future business life, because good and respectful communication is the prerequisite for a company's success. It is becoming increasingly important today in the age of communication and digitization, even though we are often unaware of it. Therefore, a respectful approach, a trusting cooperation and honest feedback should be part of everyday life.

A report by Marianna Leshchenko and Luisa Fuß

Tags: Germany, Career Blog, Vocational Training