Feedback Labs team January 4, 2017

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Here at Feedback Labs we are always looking for ways to incorporate feedback into our work. It isn’t always easy to ask for, hear and act on honest feedback, and we are constantly striving to improve our practice. In honour of the new year, we share with you our 2017 Feedback Resolutions!

Dennis resolves to speak truth to power.
I resolve to “walk the talk of feedback” in three ways. First, I will hold a quarterly “Speak Truth to Power” session with my team, where they can ask me to stop doing something that drives them crazy or to start doing something that they don’t think I understand the importance of. Second, I myself will find at least two occasions to speak truth to someone or some organization that is significantly more powerful than I am, and I will report how it made me feel and what happened as a result. Further, I resolve to get feedback from my team on this resolution before I finalize it in case they have better ideas to achieve more impact for our mission.

Megan resolves to drink more coffee.
When I joined Feedback Labs in June I asked as many of our collaborating members and partners as I could to a quick coffee date. My intention was to start building relationships while hearing what people thought Feedback Labs could be doing more of or differently. The feedback I received was generous, honest, and so influential to my thinking – it helped shape our focus over the last 6 months on feedback as the feasible thing to do. Now, with a new year starting, I am again feeling the need to connect with that well of feedback.

Sarah resolves to leave her desk more often.
At Feedback Labs, I’m responsible for making sure that what we do is truly aligned with the needs of our constituents – our partners, members, funders, other stakeholders, and especially the people our constituents seek to help. I believe that the feedback process should never impose an undue burden to the feedback giver, which can mean we have to leave the places of comfort from which we tend to ask for feedback. In 2017, that means I’ll be leaving my desk more often. Visiting the program implementation sites of the organizations with whom we work, for example, will elucidate a depth of feedback on our services that a questionnaire sent from my desk in Washington DC simply can not.

Meg resolves to ask the questions that aren’t asked.
At Feedback Labs we ground our work in experience to create actionable, practical change. Our members and partners do the same. But over the past year I’ve realized that the way we communicate our work to a broader community is equally as important as the work itself. In 2017 I will keep in mind community members who aren’t in the room. What questions would they ask to understand the work of our members? How can we describe a concept without resorting to jargon? What’s the relatable experience that will ground our conversation? This year, I strive to make our work clear and useful to people who aren’t the experts in a specific field.

What do you think we should be keeping in mind as we kick off a new year? Email us at info@feedbacklabs.org!

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