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Daily Buzz: Filtering Through Feedback

It's about more than "the coffee was cold"

If you’re an association leader, you’re probably inundated with feedback from members, the board of directors, volunteers, and staff. How do you know what to respond to?

First, it depends on the kind of feedback you’re dealing with, said Amanda Kaiser of Smooth the Path. Is the feedback based on irregular issues or systemic issues? The former includes odd complaints like “the coffee is cold.”

“Unless you are hearing feedback about irregular issues often and over time, do not dwell here. It is the feedback arising from systematic issues we want to vet for correctness,” Kaiser says.

Most of your feedback can probably be categorized as systemic: These are complaints based on problems created by ineffective processes, systems, platforms, rules or people, Kaiser added. If comments number in the hundreds or thousands, whittle them down to what’s most important by looking for patterns.

“Not every view is shared by every member. Not every opinion is worth pursuing,” Kaiser said. “Organizations that are good at pattern recognition tend to follow up on member feedback wisely.”

To further narrow your scope, ask yourself questions such as “Have five or more people mentioned the same challenge?” and “Could the people giving the feedback have an ulterior motive?” Thinking critically about feedback in this way will help you determine that to which you should respond. 

Please select this link to read the original article from Associations Now.

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