4. Possibilities to develop compences

What different possibilities there are to develop competences?

In the following chapter will be shown different basis techniques, which be used in the practice, to develop competences of personnel. In human resource development are more than the followed techniques in use, but we will concentrate on five different techniques and try to explain them deeper:

(German literature translated in English: “Praxishandbuch Personalentwicklung – Instrumente, Konzepte, Beispiele”, J. Ryschka/M. Solga/ A. Mattenklott (Hrsg.), 3. Auflage, Gabler Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2011, pages 273-337):

  1. Simulative techniques/procedures
  2. Feedback-techniques
  3. Self-experience techniques
  4. Case work
  5. Systemic techniques


 1.     Simulative techniques/procedures

With simulative methods it is possible to pretend a situation close to reality. This simulation permits the learners to try and practice behavior without fearing consequences.

Examples for simulative techniques are role playing, case studies and business game.

In role playing the behavior in a concrete interaction situation is in focus, while in case studies concrete solutions into issues will been developed on the basis of written materials. On the other hand the regulation of complex systems will be simulated in business games.


2.     Feedback techniques

Feedback techniques will be used to give a callback to participants about their behavior and its effects. The aims of feedback are reinforcement of desired behavior and correction of undesirable behavior.

To reach these aims it is important to be guided by certain levels of the feedback. The    participants should:

  • get a reply about its concrete behavior
  • hear about the effect that its behavior has with other people
  • learn how the own behavior affects in general

In some feedback it is also important to look if there is reached an objective goal. But this is rarely applicable on social skills.

In general it is also important to differentiate between feedback and praise and criticism. Feedback facilitates continued learning, praise and criticism is carried out more in extremely behavior. Also feedback allows neutral reply, praise and criticism are mostly associated with valuation. At last praise and criticism demand always a concrete cause, feedback does not.

3.     Self-experience techniques

Self-experience techniques can be plays and practical exercises. Theoretical contents and practical experiences will be combined, so the participants learn on a different way.

The reasons for using these techniques are:

  • Practical experiences establish experiences, which are transporting contents to the participants. Also practical acquired contents will be reminded superior to theoretical learned contents.
  • Certain social phenomena can be illustrated, e.g. behavior of groups or individuals, development and processes.

Practical experiences make seminars more interesting and active and so can influence the attention of the participants positive.

It is Important to have an aim if using practical experiences. Just if there is a debriefing of the practical experiences, the plays are useful for trainings and seminars.

4.     Case work

In case work will be discussed about individual problems from simple everyday tasks of one participant. It will be developed constructive solutions from the whole group and the controlling and timing is taking by the coach/trainer. If we talk about case work, often the word group coaching is used. Differently to the personal coaching not only the coach advises the participant but also the other group participants take an advisory and supportive role. But there is a different to collegial consultation because in case work the trainer plays an important role and controls the process.

The aims of case work for the participants are:

  • Development of solutions for concretes challenges in their everyday work
  • Learning of a method of reflection and problem solving
  • Examination of the own role on the work place
  • Expansion of options to communicate and to act

For the company, who is operating case work, opens up following advantages:

  • Expansion of the culture of mutual support
  • Stabilization of employees on their workplace and in their roles in work


Case work as on technique can be used in behavior trainings and communication workshops. It will be used also for preparation and advancement of learning transfer.

Following aspects must be considered for operating case work:

  • Autonomy of participants
  • Openness and confidence
  • Group sizes

5.     Systemic techniques

The systemic techniques will be applied in consulting of individuals, groups or organizations. Frequently these techniques will be combined with the just described case work. Case work often will be performed systemic respectively it includes certain systemic interventions. More common the systemic techniques will be applied in coaching processes.

Followed certain systemic basic ideas are important for the assignment of these techniques:

  • The idea that the behavior of humans can be explained within different systems and not because of the personality traits
  • In social systems the relationship of cause and effect always runs circularly, that means the effect affects back to the cause and both, cause and effect, will change the role.
  • Every human constructs the reality differently. These differentiations happen through experiences and communication with different people.
  • Social systems are not controllable, that means the coaches can only give impulse and so clients put in motion, but it is not calculable how this can have an impact on the system.