Feedback works: results and recognition round it all off

Good feedback is an art, as the 22 Ukrainian executives came to realize on the final day of their MP training in Hamburg. But the recognition and appreciation that they do get is very important.

They were highly entrepreneurial in pursuing goals during the 2018 spring training. The MP sessions on various management subjects, the many visits to German companies and their discussions with people there, and not least their own international experience, were all a lot of help. But also the fact that the entrepreneurs readily shared their experiences and knowledge with other MP participants, and supported one other. On the closing day, the Ukrainian executives presented their results in two groups. The open approach allowed for mutually honest and constructive feedback on the nature, content and exhibition of the presentation.

The trainees carried out an exercise where they had to visualize the three most important results of the training and possible future effects on their company by imagining that they were harvesting fruit off a tree:
1. Which fruits have I already harvested?
2. Which fruits are almost ripe and can be harvested soon?
3. Which fruits are still higher up on the tree, and more effort will be required to harvest them?

So what were the “fruits” of their four-week program? The results ranged from new input in management topics–such as change management, HR management or intercultural communication – to new contacts with German companies, benefitting their other Ukrainian friends as well as their German business partners. It’s back in Ukraine, in their own companies, that the real work will begin: implementation of new ideas in both management practice and work processes. Ramping-up of business networking with German entrepreneurs will be a critical factor in their further success. Initial contacts have already been made: for example, the participants will be selling German machines for the cable industry in Ukraine and exporting rubber mats or paper goods from Ukraine to Germany. What the executives took away from the training program was self-confidence and optimistic belief in their ability to succeed in these ventures, and on the final day, these qualities really stood out.

The fact that the group had grown together in the last four weeks and gotten to know one another was also obvious by the end of the program, because their mutual feedback was so personalized. What should you keep holding onto under any and all circumstances? And what would be best left to the future?

The Ukrainian executives left with their ears ringing and eyes tearing, but also with laughter in their hearts, because they knew they wouldn’t be losing touch with one another anytime soon.

Von Timo Tekhaus

Akademie International, Hamburg