Feedback formats with Nadine Abraham and Lea Luy

"Feedback" seems to be a core element of the offstandards offering. Why is that?
Nadine: That's right. "Feedback formats" are kind of the "primordial soup" at offstandards. Many other offerings, such as team development or coaching, contain feedback elements. At offstandards, however, we are both responsible for specific feedback formats that are used, for example, in cultural development projects.
We'll come to that later. Maybe you can first explain what "feedback formats" are all about?
Lea: Feedback is the basis for individual development. So it's about growing and outgrowing yourself. Potential and strengths are often only brought to consciousness through feedback. In essence, it's about comparing the way we see ourselves with the way others see us.
Many people are afraid of the intensity that arises in feedback sessions. How do you deal with this?
Nadine: A feedback format needs a protective framework and agreed rules. The intensity is also important, but it must not lead to anxiety or avoidance behavior. That's why we also place special demands on the moderators who conduct the sessions. They bring a lot of experience with them and know that there is no such thing as a "standard feedback session.
What do you mean by that?
Nadine: As a moderator, I have to have a very good feeling for situations and moods. The dynamics of feedback formats are unique, unpredictable and therefore not standardizable. As a moderator, I am responsible for ensuring that there are no injuries or losers. This is definitely a job for our experienced people.
Doesn't sound like a "fun event."
Lea: Wait a minute! That's not mutually exclusive! There is also a lot of laughter in feedback formats. That's what distinguishes us from the competition: our way of moderating allows participants easy access to difficult topics. And when we notice that we need to "vent", we make a methodical change that brings relaxation. Off-standard feedback formats do not have to be "endured". However, they are also a very intense experience. In this respect, you are right: we do not do a "fun event"!
You mentioned at the beginning that you also use feedback formats in the context of cultural development projects. So everyone has to go through a feedback format? Isn't such "forced feedback" a contradiction to your very individual, unique approach?
Nadine: It is true that we encounter a very different willingness to participate in feedback formats in these projects. The problem: very often, well-developed teams are very open to feedback, while less performing teams show little or no willingness to participate in feedback formats.
Now I'm curious how you'll solve this...
Lea: If a company wants to develop culturally in a targeted and strategic way, then the sponsors and initiators must also explain this well. That's why we not only offer workshops, but also advise companies on communication in the run-up to workshop series, right through to coaching top management. Posters and announcements are not enough. Participants must be taken seriously with their questions and concerns. We call this "psychological security". Good, interactive communication in the run-up to the event is already proof of cultural development if it is open, trusting and inviting. The question of the benefits - both for the company and for the employees - must be answered credibly.
We always talk a bit cryptically about feedback formats here. What specific formats are there at offstandards?
Nadine: We have made the experience that "feedback" is not only effective within teams, but also between teams, departments, hierarchies or even entire organizations. And that's how we have structured our offerings: The "Effective Cooperation" format, for example, is specifically designed for collaboration between teams that share a common process interface. "Customer Parliaments" we host primarily to improve collaboration between internal or external customers and suppliers. For the exchange of feedback in teams, we also have a fairly varied set of methods. It doesn't always have to be the feedback round. For example, the "Reflecting Team" methodology is also a popular alternative. Another very effective method is to initiate so-called "feedback buddies," i.e. tandems who arrange to give each other regular feedback. This is then completely individual.
To which question of a potential customer does your offer on "feedback formats" actually provide the answer?
Lea: Customers often come to us after they have implemented many streamlining measures that are intended to increase performance in a technical way. This is often successful, but it always has an impact on the motivation, appreciation and culture in a company. The question is often: "We've created highly efficient processes here, but we haven't developed the team. How can we fix that?
Process efficiency can be measured. How are the effects of feedback formats evaluated?
Nadine: The effect of feedback formats cannot be measured directly in business terms. However, the effects can already be seen in the regular employee surveys. And of course, we also agree on goals in feedback formats, the achievement of which is then checked, for example, as part of a follow-up. Transparent evaluation is very important for monitoring progress and ultimately for a shared sense of achievement.
And how do you ensure sustainability?
Lea: Regularity is important. A one-off event often has the effect of a "depot injection": a lot of impact at the beginning, but it continually wears off. If a feedback culture is to develop, then feedback formats must also become part of the company's everyday life, which are just as natural as, for example, departmental meetings or employee discussions. This will be decided over the long haul, not in a sprint. So it takes a lot of staying power on everyone's part, but especially on the part of management. We also support the sustainable effect, for example, by sending reminder apps to participants' cell phones. This is one way of reminding people of the agreements made in feedback workshops, for example.
In conclusion: What do customers typically say who have done "feedback formats" with offstandards?
Nadine: What we often hear is: We should have done this a long time ago, finally we are also talking about ourselves.
Thank you Lea, thank you Nadine!