Learning as equals

09.05.2018 - 07:13 | Christian Possa

Senior Professional Training courses are offered specifically to the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation’s partner organisations abroad. At the beginning of May, 16 employees from eight countries spent a week engaging intensively with the issue of human resources.

Job descriptions, interview guidelines, employee evaluations, employee development, conflicts between employees – human resource management deals with a wide range of situations. Yet there are overarching topics that play a role in many sub-fields. «Communication and team-building are very important», says course leader Babette Pfander of cinfo, the Center for Information, Counselling and Training for Professions relating to International Cooperation. «That’s why we spent a lot of time engaging with these ideas during the five-day course.» Vilavanh Boupha from Laos highlighted content-based communication as a particularly valuable tool. «Fundamentally, it's about understanding and respecting oneself and one’s conversation partner.» This attitude is very productive when used in communication with employees.

Sharing experiences

Babette Pfander places great value on mutual exchange between equals: everyone offers their knowledge and respects each other’s differences. This is a path to acceptance, then respect, and finally to learning. This form of experience-based learning found significant favour among the participants: «It was very exciting, as all the participants had different backgrounds and brought with them different experience from different projects», enthuses Abebaw Deribew Muluneh, a programme manager from Ethiopia. Participants were able to benefit greatly from the learning-focused atmosphere. Rutashobya Ciriacus Rutashobya, a human resource manager from Tanzania, particularly valued the training’s practical orientation. «It was fantastic. We had time to work in groups and reflect on the results.»

Determining needs ahead of time

To ensure that the training engaged with concrete, practical issues, previous challenges faced by course participants were prioritised. «Working with local issues keeps the training relevant», says Babette Pfander. «It’s like going on a journey.»

Other articles by Christian Possa