Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI

International Business Etiquette (Sommersemester 2020)

Dozent: Dr. Michael Gordian

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 6.4.-22.4.2020
  • Lehrform: Blockseminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch
  • Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 25

Studiengänge & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • Kommunikation
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA


The course is expected to take place entirely online. Detailed information on the technical implementation (most probably via Zoom) will follow. (Stand: 03.04.2020)

More than ever, professional manners and conversational skills are vital to one's professional career. The main focus of this practical seminar is to familiarise you with German and international business etiquette, thus enhancing your social skills. We will practise a broad range of techniques which will help you to come across professionally and to master skillyfully business smalltalk. You will learn how to deal confidently with typical challenging situations one may encounter at the work place or in other business contexts. Having analysed the most significant aspects related to various areas of business and sectors of economy, we will discuss the cultural dimensions of modern business etiquette and communication styles. The aim of this seminar is to enhance your first impression in various professional contexts, to improve your face-to-face business communication and to help you understand the changing conventions of networking and modern business. At the end of the seminar, you will acquire a 'toolbox' with various techniques which you can apply in your daily work life and in the process of finding a promising position in the job market.

The participants learn and understand

  • the main business conventions from various economic sectors and branches of business, such as startups, large companies, the public sector, academia and universities.
  • how to deal confidently with uncomofortable and challenging social situtions in the work place
  •  the main intercultural differences between various European and non-European countries
  • conventions how to communicate with senior colleagues and superiors

The participants acquire practical techniques how to

  • deal with the most important aspects of modern business etiquette and business communication
  • master skillfully smalltalk at networking events and other social situations, using creative and engaging conversational techniques
  • present themselves in a favourable way, leaving a positive and confident first impression
  • build and increase their professional network efficiently and sustainably
  • steer challenging business conversations, including job interviews, answering questions about their curriculum vitae convincingly 

Dr. Michael Gordian is a lecturer at 12 German universities and a seminar leader specialised in communication and social skills. He cooperates with various management institutions, German and international companies as well as various German ministries and cultural institutions. He is fluent in German, English, Russian and Spanish and is currently working a creativity techniques seminar for everday life and the workplace.

Lern- und Lehrformen

Individual and group exercises, structured discussions and exchange of ideas in the group, theoretical input, short individual presentations.


  • students conduct interviews (roughly 1 hour) in pairs or groups of three with business representatives about modern practical business etiquette
  • they can choose the interview partners according to their own interests
  • they present their results in short presentations of 10 to 15 minutes (20% of the final mark)
  • interviews will be carried out between the two seminar blocks and students will give their presentation in the last seminar session
  • each student writes a reflection paper on their interview or a specific aspect of business etiquette (80% of the final mark)

Active participation in class is expected and highly appreciated!


29. Mai 2020 von 9:00 bis 17:00Uhr

30. Mai 2020 von 9:00 bis 17:00Uhr

12. Juni 2020 von 9:00 bis 15:00Uhr

13. Apr 2020 von 9:00 bis 15:00Uhr