Fariha Raisa, Feedback Labs | April 4th, 2022
Feedback Deep Dives are opportunities to examine a specific feedback topic in-depth. These sessions are facilitated by an experienced feedback practitioner who helps participants delve into a portion of the feedback loop. Throughout the session, participants learn feedback tips and good practices, examine relevant case studies, learn from their peers’ feedback journeys, and receive coaching from feedback trainers. In this Deep Dive, participants from the T. Rowe Price Foundation learned about dialogue and constituent feedback, and how to facilitate such conversations.
Within the feedback loop, the dialogue step is about making sense of feedback that has been collected with constituents. It is then followed by identification of opportunities for organizations to act in response to the received feedback. The dialogue phase helps foster equity by including constituents in the process of feedback analysis and course correction, preventing the initial data collection from being extractive. The session highlighted the following focus areas in dialogue:
- Conversations with Constituents: At its core, dialogue is conversations with constituents. This requires a safe space for open and honest discussion.
- Verifying, Clarifying and Refining Feedback Understanding: This includes making sense of the feedback to ensure that the organization is understanding the core needs of the constituents.
- Co-Creating Solutions Together: Once the data has been summarized and discussed, brainstorming actionable ideas together helps the organization identify ideas that work for their constituents. It also promotes trust that would motivate future participation in feedback processes!
Dialogue in Practice
The session included an interactive simulation of dialogue based on feedback data collected from the previous Deep Dive workshop. As participants speculated the reasons behind the findings, the facilitator helped surface actionable suggestions, like changing the webinar description and maybe placing attendees based on their feedback related experience.
The conclusion of the session was accompanied by a facilitation guide for conducting dialogue with the constituents and tips for carrying out the dialogue:
- Create a safe, diverse space: Consider who needs to be in the room and how to bring diverse, representative voices into the dialogue. Present clear expectations up front and ensure voices are equally represented in the discussion.
- Identify the right staff: Consider who your constituents trust most and who might impact the feedback they share. Prepare staff to listen well, including avoiding the temptation to explain away feedback or correct people’s assumptions or misunderstanding.
- Enable participants to interpret feedback, verify your interpretation, and propose solutions: Ask participants to make sense of the data themselves, rather than presenting results to constituents. Move throughout the conversation from feedback to recommendations for course corrections and action. Document the discussion through public notes so participants can clarify any feedback that is misunderstood.
The Feedback Deep Dive on “Dialogue and Making Sense of Feedback with Constituents” helped emerging feedback champions in the T. Rowe Price Foundation’s community sharpen their ability to engage in dialogue with constituents and co-create actionable next steps together.