Gerhard Radlmayr is a communicator, a mediator. Transparent, respectful communication and good cooperation are important to him. "It’s all about the 'how'," he says. "How I interact with people and, most importantly, my attitude when doing so is much more effective than the finest of words. Though ideally it’s best to have both, of course."
This is the principle that the 60-year-old lives and works by – at HSWT as a consultant for knowledge transfer and research communication at the Centre for Research and Knowledge Transfer (ZFW) and on the staff council.
Gerhard Radlmayr has been at HSWT – and a predecessor institution before that – for 32 years. "Actually for 39 years," he adds, as he studied horticulture at the former Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences. After spending roughly two years working in sales and marketing at nurseries and garden centres, he applied for a position with the 'Institute for Horticultural Business Economics and Computing' at Weihenstephan Horticultural Research Institute, which was affiliated with HSWT. "I have always enjoyed working with numbers," Gerhard Radlmayr explains. "But mostly it was the variety of tasks and topics that attracted me to the university, plus the opportunity to work with students." His responsibilities at the institute included ensuring that knowledge gained from project research was transferred into practice, and supporting teaching on the horticulture degree programme. The marketing teaching role, which he held for over ten years, was one of his favourite positions at HSWT and he still looks back on that time fondly today: "The student project work gave me the opportunity to put all my skills, interests and passion into communication, team development, coaching and conflict management. Giving 20 to 30 students guidance on the subject, motivating them and bringing them together as a team within one semester was a challenge and provided me with a lot of creative freedom and opportunities to develop. The professional final presentation to invited guests with (generally) really positive feedback from the business representatives was the icing on the cake and made all the work worth it for me and the students."
Following restructuring measures, Gerhard Radlmayr moved to the information office at the 'Federal Research Station of Horticulture Weihenstephan (FGW)'. There, he went on to occupy a leading role in press and PR work and was responsible for event management. He was also the personal assistant to the director of the FGW. When the FGW was integrated into the university in 2012 and as research at HSWT began to really gather pace, he took up the role of research communication advisor at the newly established ZFW.
Here, he develops and maintain formats that provide information about research at HSWT and the activities of the ZFW, such as research news and research reports, manages the public image via the research information system 'Weih.FIS', which he helped develop the content for, and maintains the HSWT web pages on research and knowledge transfer. He is also building up a publication collection in 'Weih.FIS'. "I also get numerous requests and assignments from both within and outside of the university, for example to write reports and compile statistics. It is precisely this variety that I love, as well as the opportunity to gain an insight into research projects in a wide range of subjects. I love to write and edit texts, too – you can express so much using language," the Kirchdorf native explains. He goes on: "One thing that I really love to do in life is communicate; for me, interpersonal communication is really important. That’s why I take care when writing emails as well, for example, and pay attention to nuances that others may not consider as important. It is also important to me to give colleagues positive feedback from time to time when something stands out. I always take the time to do that." That is how Gerhard Radlmayr forges good relationships, creating a network. "It’s a matter of great importance to me," he says.
It comes as no surprise that Gerhard Radlmayr has been on the HSWT staff council for around eight years – and was re-elected for a further five years a couple of weeks ago. And that is not the only way in which he supports cooperation at HSWT: he is also involved in the manager development support team activities coordinated by 'HSWT bewegt' and helped with the recent workshops in the series on keeping healthy and happy at work. "I want to help ensure there is a positive environment at HSWT. When I see something that isn’t working well or could be improved, I do something about it," he says. It is also important to him to make sure that he is working and communicating in a process-oriented manner. He explains: "An art installation at the Schafhof in Freising contains the line 'The process is the project', and I think that sums it up nicely: I believe that it is important to think not just about the goal of a project, but also about how you will get there. That means not only communicating at the start and end of the project, but the whole way through."
During his free time, the father of two grown-up sons likes travelling all over the place with his partner in their motor home. Estonia is high up on their list of places to visit next. After work, Gerhard Radlmayr likes to spend time outside in nature, in the peace and quiet. He enjoys meditating and catching up with his nearest and dearest. "I think its important to take time to reflect and take an honest look at yourself – even if that’s not always enjoyable – in a loving way. If everyone understood themselves better, what their trigger points are, we would probably all get along better with each other."