Time is flying! Three months have already passed since Module 1 of the Salzgitter International Training Program (SITP) 2018 and it is time for us to re-unite for the second module in Hannover, June 4th to 8th. This is also an opportunity to put the competencies that we learned during Module I into practice – such as communication and presentation skills.

This second module was split in two parts:

The first three days a DC (Development Center) took place. We were put in work related situations and role plays and were being watched by skilled observers.

Gruppenfoto 2The following two days we learned more about how to deal with conflicts, how to deal with kitchen utensils and how to deal with the heat of a steel plant.

Day 1: DC – Let’s do this!

The DC started with an introduction round of participants and observers (which were special guests from Salzgitter and KHS management and HR). Mr. Frank Gießelmann and Ms. Samira Babic introduced the participants to the meaning of a Development Center: Similar to an assessment center, yet with a different focus, the DC is to develop awareness and skills of participants, not to assess the fit for a certain vacancy. They also explained the process, agenda, activities and observation criteria.

During the day, a team exercise was conducted to reinforce the spirit of teamwork and to observe the our collaboration skills. By the end of the day, we were invited to introduce ourselves in a self-presentation and to show the skills and techniques learned in Module I to the group.

Day 2: DC – Practical activities, self-reflection and feedback

The second day focused on Customer Orientation, being one of our shared values of YOUNITED, the mission statement of Salzgitter Group.

Each of participated in three exercises: Two exercises were role plays with the intent to understand more about our styles in working with a new partner and dealing with conflict. The third activity was a presentation to the observers about an innovative project related to the upcoming Value of the Year.

The day ended with an interview by the observers, to deepen their understanding of our strengths and weaknesses.

Day 3: DC – A gift!

We were nervous to watch the recorded videos of our exercises. It was a moment to receive feedback from our colleagues and observers, seeing our strengths, development points and asking for advice. The DC ended with a great atmosphere and team feeling for the entire group.

Day 3: Salzgitter Plant Tour – hot, hotter, the hottest

Can you imagine a giant cauldron filled with molten metal that is the size of your house? Sometimes seeing is believing!! The Salzgitter plant tour was a spectacle from the moment we stepped foot on the grounds.  The sheer size and scale of the campus and the buildings was amazing to see.  We started our journey at the blast furnace, and with the “flowing lava” of fluid metal beneath our feet it was easy to feel all of the power and energy that goes into making the Salzgitter products.  From the blast furnace we headed to the converter section of the plant.  This is where we were introduced to the enormous cauldrons, flying high overhead.  Our final stop was the hot rolling mill. WOW was it hot! 10-15 large slabs of metal @ 1000-1200C gave off enough heat to make us start sweating the moment we walked in the door. The Salzgitter Plant Tour was a great exercise for the SITP team; those of us not familiar with the process and industry were guided by those who were.  This was another amazing team building and bonding exercise that will not be forgotten.

Day 4 – Class Resumes!

What better way to build on our DC experience than with training immediately following our experience. This approach kept us in the mindset of self-improvement, and self-focus; ready to tackle the challenges of conflict. It was quite enlightening to learn the many advantages and disadvantages of the conflict styles: avoiding, competing, accommodating, compromising, and collaborating and when each of these types could be beneficial (or not). We learned that what it really boils down to is having open and engaging communication, to get to the reasoning for the conflict.  Ideally this opens for the door for future growth, and synergy.

Day 4 evening – Team cooking

Team CookingThursday evening was a perfect occasion for all of us to have a great time together but what is most important – we had a chance to cook together as a team. The group was split into teams each responsible for another part of the dinner. Fully concentrated, engaged and very hungry partakers prepared dishes such as: Papos De Anjo (Angels‘ Chins), fish and prawn wontons, eggplant-ginger-salad, duck breast with blood orange jus with potatoes and a delicious mango ice cream as dessert. As it turned out, the culinary skills of the group as well as team-work are at a very high level. The dinner was a great opportunity to strengthen our team spirit as well as to relax after 3 demanding days in DC. It was a delicious evening!

Day 5 – Alter egos

Did you know that not only parents communicate in a parental manner and quite often we as adults jump back into a child’s communication style without even realizing it? Then you already know a fair bit about the Transactional Analysis. We were introduced to this communication model on the last day of our training. Learning about the three ego states Parent / Adult / Child, how to identify their communication styles and the most effective way to respond to them was quite an eye-opener. However, knowing what is most effective and acting accordingly are two pairs of shoes – so back into role plays with our peers imitating conflict situations we have found ourselves in before.

The seminar ended with mutual lunch on Friday. We were sad to say good-bye again but agreed that we already look forward to meeting again at Module 3 in September. As we know – time is flying!

Author: SITP 2018 Team


Frank Gießelmann

Drei Dinge, die mir zur Salzgitter AG einfallen: 1. Glückauf! 2. Windräder 3. Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht (...Stahl niemals)

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